Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the future of rock ‘n roll – in a tiny club the size of a badminton court where The Beatles first played in Hamburg.
The Strypes. Their average age is 16 but two could easily pass for 11 and one of them’s still got spots.
But I have never heard a band play like that since The Jam or the second coming of The Stone Roses.
Tight doesn’t even begin to describe them. Drummer Evan Walsh beats the skins like they’re about to jump up and attack him, bass player Pete O’Hanlon headbutts his thick mop of curls to every chord change and lead singer Ross Farrelly is a reborn 21st century John Lennon.
But the star of the show is guitarist Josh McClorey. And boy does he know it. After 45 minutes of edge-of-the-cliff rhythm and blues he finally got sick of one young girl front and centre of the stage filming the entire gig on her smartphone.
So he snatched it out of her hand, stuck it behind the neck of his guitar while he finished his solo and then popped it on his amp til the gig was over, literally without missing a beat.
They look like rock stars and they sound like rock stars. How can they play like that at their age?
This is no hyperbole, although the buzz that follows them around does feel a little artificial, but if they’re not filling football stadiums by the end of the decade I’ll be very surprised.
I’d heard a few of their songs on the radio and was impressed enough to get on a plane to Germany to see them, but compared to their 17-song live set they just sound like a copy of a copy of a copy.
Live, they’re like the clang of the opening chord of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but for an hour.
But don’t take my word for it.
In a cruel twist of fate, a few weeks after I’d booked tickets and flights, they announced they’re playing 53 Degrees in Preston on July 11. If you learn nothing else from this newspaper today, get a ticket.
Could’ve saved myself a fortune but then I wouldn’t have seen The Strypes, at the Indra Club, just off the Reeperbahn, for less than a tenner.