The hottest day on record in the UK and I got to see the hottest show of the year so far.
CARDINAL BLACK were there to warm us up, just incase we needed it. Tom (vocals), Adam (drums), Sam (bass) and Chris (guitar) are an alternative rock band from Wales with a soulful blues sound that could have come straight out of Nashville.
Toms voice has hints of Caleb( Kings of Leon), Paul Weller and Steve Winwood and he even managed to pull off performing the last song whilst laying on the stage floor. The star of the show though had to be Chris and his superb guitar solos, what a treat for the ears, Great band to open with.
THE STRUTS were welcomed on stage with a tremendous applause, the fans had waited a long time for this. Gethin (drums), Jed (bass) and Adam(guitar) played to the frenzied crowd before Luke (vocals, piano and showman) casually walked out, belting out PRIMADONNA LIKE Me. He struts like Mick Jagger, has the moves of Michael Jackson, the flamboyance of Freddie Mercury and was dressed in a purple satin
shirt, black and purple fringed trousers and sparkly silver boots, not in the slightest bit a primadonna!! The next two songs BODY TALKS and KISS THIS had me wondering what on earth they were going to for the rest of the show but, especially if you are a Struts fan, the set list was packed full of bangers, in fact they have done so many good songs they had to string a medley together mid set to fit them all in.
They got the crowd involved for their brand new track ARE YOU FALLING WITH ME, which is a good idea in case it was the only song you didn’t know all the words to. The fans voices were in fine form and all the phone torches were swaying too during MARY GO ROUND.
The cover version of Chris Isaaks WICKED GAME was OK but nowhere near the emotion of the original. My new favourite Struts song has to be WILD CHILD, a great song which had Jed rocking out (he’s definitely one of the most animated bass players I’ve seen) and Adam producing a quite fabulous guitar solo. After quite a lengthy encore, and probably a wet towel or four, Luke took to the piano for STRANGE DAYS, the latest albums title track which features ROBBIE WILLIAMS and the night concluded with the popular sing-a-long track COULD HAVE BEEN ME. These Derby lads always provide top class entertainment and despite the crazy temperatures that night they still went in at full throttle.
Credit also to the staff at the ritz for keeping it safe and providing plenty of water and ice, I couldn’t have got through it without.
Full set list below:
PRIMADONNA LIKE ME
I HATE HOW MUCH I WANT YOU
FIRE ( part 1)
ONE NIGHT ONLY
DIRTY SEXY MONEY
ARE YOU FALLING WITH ME
LOW KEY IN LOVE
MARY GO ROUND
PUT YOUR HANDS UP, THESE TIMES ARE CHANGING , BULLETPROOF BABY , ALL DRESSED UP (with nowhere to go) , ONLY JUST A CALL AWAY , WHERE DID SHE GO
WICKED GAME (Chris Isaak cover)
I DO IT SO WELL
COULD HAVE BEEN ME
Words by Joanne Marsland
Photos by Ange Cobham – Cobspix