England’s The Struts to play Wilkes-Barre’s F.M. Kirby Center in support of newest EP, “Have You Heard”
WILKES-BARRE—The Struts are one of England’s latest rock exports and other markets are buying in. The band has played with The Rolling Stones in France and was named Best Live Artist/Band of 2015 at the French-based Sound of Brit Awards. Now The Struts are setting their sights on the United States, and if the more than 4 millions Spotify plays of their single “Could Have Been Me” are any indication, they’ve found a whole new audience across the pond.
It’s fitting the band’s first show on U.S. soil was at New York Fashion Week; The Struts embody a bygone era of rock stars who brazenly wore their sex appeal on their leopard-print scarves and leather vests. Guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, percussionist Gethin Davies and vocalist Luke Spiller create music that mirrors their throwback rock aesthetic while simultaneously remaining modern, and they’re bringing their award-winning live show to Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 29 as part of the F.M. Kirby Center’s ongoing Live at the Chandelier Lobby concert series.
“It’s actually great to be in America and it’s great to play to fans every night who are just loving what you’re doing,” Spiller said. “Our show is a lot of blood, sweat, tears, dancing, confetti, glitter and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s either Heaven or Hell, depending on the way you look at it.”
According to Spiller, The Struts found themselves in the U.S. after signing a contract with their current label, Interscope. When the label expressed confidence in the band and the U.S. radio play potential of “Could Have Been Me,” Spiller and company decided to trade fish and chips for fish tacos and make the move to Los Angeles.
It’s looking good for The Struts; the band recently came off a three-week run that saw them sell out the majority of dates. Spiller may be bias when he says the reception was amazing and the crowds were crazy, but the frontman uses his own custom crowd barometer to measure the levels of amazing and crazy inside each venue.
“I’d say ‘When She Goes’ is probably one of my favorites to play,” Spiller said. “I wrote that when I was 16, so it resonates with me musically and it’s got a personal touch to it as well. When we do it live it’s the climax of the show and if we’re really winning people over we can normally tell by that song because everyone’s hands are in the air.”
Spiller’s experience show through his performances. His approach to the lead singer role channels those larger-than-life influences that The Struts’ musical foundation is built upon and gives insight into the Clevedon, England native’s own musical background.
“I was fairly normal growing up; when you’re 6 the ‘Bananas in Pajamas’ theme song is universal,” Spiller said. “As I got a bit older I was into Michael Jackson and a lot of R&B, but in my teenage years I really got into bands like Queen and Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. I really fell in love with that aesthetic.”
Spiller, Slack, Elliott and Davies make music that merges their appreciation for rock’s past with the sensibilities of rock’s present. The Struts won awards in France, they’re are critically-acclaimed in England, and their single “Could Have Been Me” has charted in the Top 5 on Billboard’s alternative rock charts. Spiller says to expect a show that embodies rock ‘n’ roll, but don’t take his word for it—there’s an 80,000-seat stadium in Paris that can attest to his claims.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO:
Who: English rock ‘n’ roll 4-piece recently relocated to Los Angeles
Where: F.M. Kirby Center’s Chandelier Lobby
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
How Much: $15 plus fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Kirby Center box office, kirbycenter.org or by calling (570) 826-1100