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Live Review: The Troggs @ The Hamilton Hotel


The Baby Boomers were out in force at The Troggs’ show at Brisbane’s Hamilton Hotel, and I was acutely aware of the fact most of the people in the room had around 30 years over me. But it’s no wonder they were also able to attract a few young whippersnappers, because The Troggs hold an innate timelessness in their music that stands strong throughout the years. It felt utterly strange I was able to see these giants of 60s rock ‘n’ roll in the flesh, even if that flesh hangs a little looser than it used to…

As soon as they took the stage guitarist Chris Britton let out the wail that’s unmistakeable as the opening of their most famous track, Wild Thing. As the room erupted in cheers, the guitar stopped short and frontman Chris Allen laughingly apologised that they had got ahead of themselves. The half-hearted groans the crowd let out made it clear they knew it was too good to be true. Instead the band warmed up with a few choice B-Side tracks. This got a few stragglers grooving down the front of the stage, but most the crowd stayed in the rows of seats provided behind the dancefloor.


That was until The Troggs broke into their cover of the iconic Richard Berry track Louie Louie, and the floor quickly filled with oldies boogying with the rest of us. They churned out one legendary track after another, with every person singing along word-perfect. With A Girl Like You had the crowd twisting like mad, and Love Is All Around reminded us all that that song had existed for 40 years before the movie ‘Love Actually’ was made.

The room was well and truly amped up by the time they were ready to put us out of our misery. For the second time that night, we heard the opening strains of Wild Thing, but this time they continued into the unmistakeable riff that has defined several generations of rock music. Chris Britton’s artful playing of his guitar was phenomenal, and he shredded his way through the song while looking effortlessly cool the whole time. Hips swayed, feet stomped, and every voice in the room was raised to sing along to one of the most iconic rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time.


Throughout this all there was an undeniably bittersweet air to the performance. The group has shuffled around its members a little over the years, and the most notable absence was that of Reg Presley, original lead singer of The Troggs who died in 2013. But Allen was more than capable of capturing the sound that I was afraid may have become lost over time, and was praised onstage by bassist Pete Lucas as a credit to Presley’s legacy. The group holds all the glamour of aging rockers, and there’s a powerful and compelling energy to them that can’t be lessened by some grey in their hair.

This sparkle was mirrored by the people in the audience. It was easy to tell that many of them had lived their lives by the music we were hearing. No matter the amount of time that has passed, their rock ‘n’ roll spirit remains untarnished. This was made obvious when they let out a deafening roar when, just before The Troggs played their final song, as Allen cried out the room, “Are you still Wild Things?”.


Check out our Photo Gallery of The Troggs at The Hamilton Hotel HERE and our interview with guitarist Chris Britton HERE