It’s not often my jaw hits the roll of my button-down but it did watching The Strypes at Crossfire. On the face of it four Irish lads, average age fifteen, playing R&B covers is about as appealing as an after school detention but whilst other kids have been doing whatever other kids do, these lads have been studying The Yardbirds at the Crawdaddy Club. The result was nothing short of incredible. They weren’t incredible for their age; they were incredible, full stop.
I’ve never seen R&B played with such contagious energy and excitement. It’s one thing doing rave-ups of “You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover”, “I’m A Man”, “Got Love If You Want It” and “I Wish You Would” but they even breathed fresh life into drab old standards like “Stormy Monday Blues” and “See See Rider”. They’ve done away with the dull old man blues part and replaced it with young man fiery reds. There was stacks of both smoke and lighting coming off that stage. Their playing was phenomenal. One can only assume they sold their souls at the tuck shop.
The lead singer was slightly overshadowed by his band mates but he’ll grow in confidence and add an edge soon enough. The cockiness of the others, especially the young Keith Richards-looking guitarist, was fully justified. They know how good they are.
The Strypes aren’t the run of the mill young group fumbling around; they’re obviously being groomed for the big time. I hope the two or three songs I didn’t recognise at the beginning of their set were originals [they weren't] as their next test is to channel their unquestionable talent into something of their own. Once they do, they’ll be the ones with imitators.