The Struts have been on my radar for a long time but unfortunately my radar and their tour dates didn’t collide until I caught them opening for Foo Fighters in Cincinnati. One song into their set, I knew I’d be going to Vogue Theater in Indianapolis for their show at the Vogue Theater the following weekend. The weather outside was stormy and nasty – shout out to Vogue for providing temporary shelters for the queue – but inside was hot and steamy, a perfect setting for what was to come.
Consisting of frontman Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliot, and drummer Gethin Davies, The Struts are a product of the UK. Part glam, part camp, and all rock, they seem to be poking tongue-in-cheek fun of every rock genre and meme in the book, but this doesn’t subtract from their shows. When asked in an interviews where they came up with their name, Spiller answered “I was just moving around and somebody was like, ‘you strut around a lot.’ From then on, we knew we had a great name. We couldn’t believe it hadn’t been taken.” And strut he does. If you were to take DNA from Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, and a touch of David Bowie, Spiller is the result. Photographing him is definitely a challenge – he doesn’t stand still.
Following the release of UK single I Just Know in 2012, their first album, Everybody Wants, was released in the UK in 2014, and the EP Have You Heard was their first US release. They toured the US following the EP release and found great success with the single Could Have Been Me. They made appearances at several festivals and opened for The Rolling Stones in Paris, but they moved to Los Angeles in 2015 because, as Stiller said on stage, “we weren’t getting the same love in the UK as we do in the US.” Sorry, UK, your loss is our gain. Further exposure came through opening for Guns and Roses in 2016. As their reputation gets bigger and word-of-mouth drives ticket sales, their rise continues. To-date, 2017 appearances have included opening for The Who, another date with The Rolling Stones and, most recently, Foo Fighters. And when the Foos took a break on their current tour, The Struts quickly set up a mini-tour on their own through Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Indianapolis.
Opening with the appropriately-titled Put Your Hands Up, The Struts continued through a blistering set list. Spiller, who is known for his elaborate stage presence, was dressed in an outfit of red fringe, sequins, and beads. If you want to catch him on film you’d better be fast – he doesn’t stop moving. Crowd favorites The Ol’ Switcheroo, Kiss This, Could Have Been Me, Where Did She Go, and a cover of David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel rocked the house. Also included in the set list was One Night Only, the first single for their next album which is scheduled for release in early 2018. Judging from One Night Only, this album won’t disappoint.
Following their mini-tour, The Struts have resumed their opening slot with the Foos and have several more dates in the US in the coming months. So if they happen to be strutting your way, put on your sequins and eyeliner and go. They don’t disappoint. And stay tuned for news about the upcoming album.
Indianapolis Set List: Put Your Hands Up/Times are Changing/One Night Only/The O’ Switcheroo, Primadonna, Kiss This, Dirty Sexy Money, Let’s Make This Happen, Put Your Money On Me/Rebel Rebel/Where Did She Go
Upcoming Tour Dates: http://thestruts.rtouring.com/
One Night Only: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFnQu0kmCuY
Kiss This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abOhx2YtPyM
All Photos CW – Tara Pitts