Gambling is more often than not, considered a form of addiction. A filthy and seductive – but equally destructive – habit spawned by the Devil himself. It’s designed to inhibit your soul into a pit of depression every time the horse you backed falls at the final hurdle, or the football team you bet your mortgage on concedes a 93rd minute equalizer to Accrington Stanley – and of course, you are constantly running the risk of your wife filing for divorce if you lose the house.
However, not everybody thinks of it this way, which isn’t surprising considering close to a million people in the UK alone (it’s likely to have increased since I wrote this) are partial to placing the odd, online bet now and then. Even if it is just 50p on a seventy team football accumulator that’s as likely to make you a millionaire as going on Dragons Den and slapping Deborah Meadan around the face is.
But fortunately for The Struts, a four piece band from Derby whose leading man, Luke Spiller is blessed with the voice of Mercury and the swagger of Jagger (circa 1965-75 of course. Any form of hip thrusting the Rolling Stone does today is as visually pleasant as your Grandad grinding on an 18 year old would be), placard yielding, anti-gambling protestors are seemingly hard to come by, which works very kindly in the groups favour. Why? Because otherwise this band’s audacity to lyrically demand we avoid hedging our bets and instead put our money entirely on them in their new single, and this week’s ‘Track of the Week’, ‘Put Your Money On Me’, would fall on death ears – or angry ears at the most. And, even if you weren’t willing to part with this month’s wages you’d still be stupid to not let them at least try to persuade you first – because in the end, you will come around. It’s inevitable – like the assassination of Piers Morgan.
So anyway, let us dissect. After all, that is the reason we are all here.
Made up also of Addo Slack (guitar/vocals), Jed Elliot (bass/vocals), and Gethin Davies (drums) The Struts, who are now signed to Virgin Records and recently supported The Rolling Stones, were originally part of Gary Barlow’s record label – until it hit the fan and unfortunately went bust. And, in light of his recent tax shenanigans, it’s actually very difficult to see exactly how he COULDN’T afford to keep it going.
But Barlow or not, in the long run it’s proved that this brief hindrance that this group of such dazzling prospect came under, very quickly became as irrelevant as every X Factor winner does, six months after capturing the hearts of the money wasting idiots that actually bother voting. Fair enough, Sam bailey had the voice, but she isn’t going to end world hunger is she?
‘Put Your Money On Me’ then is the musical equivalent of their new found, self assured, sky-high (and rightly so) sense of confidence – and in comparison to the bands fantastic earlier single, ‘Could Have Been Me’, it paints an entirely different picture. So much so in fact, it could be argued that the Spiller, (who acts as the protagonist) in ‘Could Have Been Me’, is a million miles away from the sassy and ‘comfortable in his new layer of rock star skin’ Spiller we now see and hear in ‘Put Your Money On Me’.
Some things don’t change though. They’ve once again re-adopted their Queen/Rolling Stones hybrid sound, meaning musically of course there isn’t much differentiation between the two tracks, and it still relies nicely on the bands, pulsating rhythm section – but that is more than fine by me. After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it, right? But the underlining message of ‘Could Have Been Me’ conveyed a sufficient part of The Struts that was riddled with regret – or at least a part of The Struts that was frightened of one day being riddled with regret. Frightened, perhaps that they would never pluck up the courage to tell their boss to stick his job. Which would consequently place them in a position that only enabled them to sit idly by – whilst other, probably not half as talented bands started to make music for a living after having done the very thing The Struts felt too reluctant to do sooner. Now however, ‘Put Your Money On Me’ in particular, aides to justify the fact that this band has grown into an outfit that no longer has any remaining room for regrets – purely because The Struts have grown and they are only going to get even bigger – stadium filling big. Hit records big, The Rolling Stones big.
With reference then to the bands inability to be content with waking up on a Monday morning and wasting their time in dead ends jobs, ‘Put Your Money On Me’ is a track that makes you want to storm into the soul sucking high street store that provides you with your undeniably boring, 9-5, minimum wage job (that you will constantly be told you are ‘lucky to have’) and drag the ‘boss who’s always nagging’ over the counter and dare him to tell you that you will never achieve your dreams. And, it’s songs like, ‘Put Your Money On Me’ that make YOU believe otherwise, make you believe in yourself and make you strive for something worth waking up for.
So, whether you are a gambling man or not, take my word for it and put your money on The Struts – because unlike the risk associated with backing England to win the World Cup, this band is a very, safe bet.
The Struts’ forthcoming debut album Everybody Wants will be released July 28th.
Words: George Henry King