The Struts – 18th February 2019 – Newcastle University

Feature by Rebecca Burgess

Have you ever wondered what the love child of Freddy Mercury and Joan Jett would be like? Well, the answer lies in Luke Spiller, who fronted British rock band, The Struts, for a night of catchy tunes, and energy to rival the Duracell Bunny.

Described as ‘glamorous and dangerous’, it was certainly clear to see why. Starting the set with ‘Primadonna Like Me’, and very much like the namesake of the song, Spiller and his bandmates were certain of their talent, exuding confidence and attitude. Following this was my personal favourite, ‘Body Talks’ and ‘Kiss This’, emitting flamboyant retro-fetishism.

It was evident that Spiller was ‘In Love with a Camera’, stating that the reason the show lacked pyrotechnics was due to the budget being spent on his outfits. This ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ was well spent as the red wizard cloak donned by Spiller fit perfectly with his ability to cast a spell on the audience, who nearly matched his energy through the show, singing along to every song.

Being here for ‘One Night Only’, the band, completed by guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies, succeeded in their aim of turning the ‘sweaty concert hall into a nightclub’ as the crowd were more than happy to be ‘Dancing in the Dark’. Looking for his very own ‘Courtney Cox’, Spiller searched the crowd for a volunteer, with every girl (and guy) in the venue being a willing tribute. The lucky winner was Olivia, who joined the band on stage for the perfectly suitable cover of the Bruce Springsteen classic. This party feeling extended further than the crowd, with the bouncer being caught nodding his head along to ‘Put Your Money on Me’.

Finishing off the set with ‘Where Did She Go’, it was clear that the Newcastle crowd were not ready for the band to go. Luckily for them, the band arrived back on stage for an encore, with a surprise special guest. Local girl, Courtney Hardwin, who has been compared to Janis Joplin since her success on America’s Got Talent, joined the band on stage for a rendition of ‘Take Another Piece of My Heart’ as well as the sing-along show closer, ‘Could Have Been Me’.

If you thought the show would end when the band left the stage, then you are mistaken. When leaving the venue, the crowd decided to belt out their own cover of ‘Could Have Been Me’, resembling an elated football crowd after a derby win.

One thing is for sure, success is certainly in the future for The Struts who I have no doubt will be going from Student Union to Stadium.

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