The Struts rise to fame has always seemed particularly out of the ordinary.
Essentially snubbed by their compatriots during their humble beginnings, The Struts’ first album release received weak sales in the UK. They seemed to do better in countries like France, and later America, where their brand of electrifying glam rock wasn’t something that had been overdone. It wasn’t long before they took off for the glittering promise of the United States, touring there extensively for some time and even re-releasing their debut record to the sound of much fanfare. The band returned periodically for smaller shows in the UK and European festivals, but it was only recently that they’ve begun to come to the attention of a wider audience in their home country.
Gone are the days of 200-cap venues, with The Struts’ last performances in London including the likes of the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and KOKO. This week they took to the stage at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, a 2,300-cap venue that was packed to the rafters with eager fans of all ages. Support came from indie rockers King Nun, a relatively new signing to Dirty Hit Records which is the home to superstars The 1975. They were well received, but the buzz of excitement in the air made it clear that everyone was more than ready for The Struts to appear.
The Struts’ second album YOUNG&DANGEROUS hit shelves in October 2018, and since then they’ve been touring in support of it. However, the majority of the setlist they performed at the O2 Forum was taken from the re-release of Everybody Wants, a well-loved record and so ultimately a move that went down well with the audience.
‘Primadonna Like Me’ kicked off proceedings, followed by ‘Body Talks’. Both from the second record, with the latter proving particularly popular in the charts thanks to its remix with party pop princess Kesha. It was the album version that fans heard that night though, and they didn’t seem to mind at all if all the singing along and dancing was anything to go by. ‘Kiss This’ might just be The Struts best-known track, so it came as no surprise that in delivery it well and truly brought the house down. They continued on playing a combination of older favourites and new material, which visibly impressed their doting audience.
Known for their theatrical performances, particularly in the case of lead singer Luke Spiller, The Struts pulled out all the stops in the bid to entertain the masses. A particularly fantastic moment, however, was when Kyle Falconer of The View fame made his way on to the stage to perform his band’s hit ‘Same Jeans’ alongside The Struts. A friend of the four-piece and also an incredible influence to them, it was touching to see how excitedly The Struts played alongside one of their heroes.
Ultimately ending their set with a three-track encore (‘Somebody New’, ‘Ashes (Part 2)’, and ‘Could’ve Been Me’), The Struts finished up with an almighty bang. Their glittering stage presence and confidence to boot, unified with their fantastic song-writing and musical talent prove that this is a band who will go the distance. It might seem like they’re already up on top… but glass ceilings were made for breaking.