Gig Review

Photo Of Scouting For Girls © Copyright Scott ColeScouting For Girls
Go Audio, Clocks
Birmingham, Academy
25th May 2008

Scouting For Girls       Go Audio       Clocks
Roll back, just for a minute to March 30th. Imagine the disappointment on the faces of thousands of SFG fans who turned up at the Academy... Only to discover front man Roy Stride had lost his voice. No to cheeky little ditties that seem to lean towards a life of unrequited love. The pillows of Birmingham must have seen a few tears that fateful night.

Almost a month later they've rescheduled, and Birmingham is the first of the remaining dates. So almost like a new tour then....

We arrived shortly before the doors opened. Now, at a lot of gigs I go to people are just too cool to queue, but not this band of Wolf cubs. I'm pretty sure a couple of them have actually stayed there since March 30th. These guys are a loyal band of fans... Which doesn't go unnoticed by the band.

The first thing that struck me was the age range. To start with it's looking like a kids party, with hyped up pre pubes jostling at the front, and a row of slightly embarrassed parents in a row along the back. I can't decide which camp I truly belong to, so grab a spot behind an 8yr old boy who seems to be farting pretty much constantly with excitement :(

Before long the first support band jump on stage... Go:Audio. My first thought of these guys was that they looked a lot like a strong contender for Eurovision. In fact, given the UK's poor performance at the weekend I think Go:Audio could well have made us proud. They played a pretty tight set, full of energy, and they were perfect for the SFG crowd. There was so much jumping at one point I thought there was a pogo stick giveaway at the merch desk!

Photo Of Go Audio © Copyright Scott ColeBut guys... I need to know more about the glow sticks. Apparently they were denied the opportunity to throw them into the crowd?!? Why?

Next up were Clocks. Before they arrived on stage, two delightful 5 ft doll heads were strategically placed. I was hoping the band would be a little less wooden.

Unfortunately not. Don't get me wrong, these guys had a really good sound. Imagine mixing The La's with The Monkees, with just a smidge of Supergrass thrown in and you get the picture. A really good beach/summer sound, the kind you could imagine banging out of your beetle on a summer run. But they just didn't look as though they wanted to be up there as main support. I wanted energy, I wanted more jumping... I wanted you to make the stinky 8yr old in front of me to jiggle up his wind a bit.

Good sound, dull band. The two wooden heads suddenly took on a wave of charm :/

Set over, and the chanting is starting for the long awaited main event. For a fair number of the crowd this was going to be their first big live experience (not least the trumping boy in front of me), and everyone had waited a while longer than they thought for this night, so are Scouting For Girls going to deliver?

From the moment they bounded onto the stage to the dulcet tones of Elvis (I thought he was dead) you just know they are! The first thing that strikes me was how Roy Stride doesn't let the keyboard restrict him at all. It would be a ll to easy to have perched himself behind it and just belted out song after song, but he didn't. He's a front man in every sense of the word, and between tinkling the ivories he made full use of the stage, bouncing around and engaging the crowd! He started with an apology, and a promise this would be the best gig of the tour, then launched into 'I need a holiday'. At this point I wondered why they hadn't played the original date... Everyone in the crowd was singing at full volume, so technically, they didn't need Roy!!

Photo Of Clocks © Copyright Scott ColeBut the crowd wouldn't have been able to emulate his stage presence... I don't really want to call him an all round entertainer, because it doesn't really give him the justice he deserves. He has a way about him that makes you think those 3 minute ditties are being sung just for you, and he engaged the crowd all evening (even the mums and dads at the back, who were edging away from the wall from the opening track)

Into 'Not about you'. Yes, every song may be instantly recognisable, but they were able to inject a real live experience that made them all one offs ... Even just by the odd collapse into giggles and restarts.

Next, a new one 'You Were Fitter In Your MySpace Picture'. Kind of fitting for a band who've been described as one of the 'Social Networking' era, to dedicate a song to the realities of cyperspace versus real life. The great thing about SFG is the way they seem to be able to candy coat real life with a layer of 'never mind' positivity. They make sad(ish)songs sound happy!

They're not going to change the world with their lyrics, but they sure as hell are going to make you smile!

After a couple more tracks from their album they treat us to another new one... 'Glastonbury'. Bugger, we don't know the words!!... but it doesn't matter because they do a quick opener to get us up to speed! All I needed was a room full of mud for the full festival experience :)

Then Roy thanked the fans again for their support, and dedicated 'Nobody does it Better' to them. And you know, I actually believe he really does think that much of the whole room. It's heart warming, even for this old cynic.

Photo Of Scouting For Girls © Copyright Scott ColeThen they were gone. What... Already? No goodbye??

Ahh, don't worry. It's just for the big build up to 'James Bond'. Cue the lights. In one way I was expecting them to burst back on suited up, with guns pointed, but that really would've been a little cheesy. Thankfully they didn't... I think the break gave them a renewed sense of energy! They tried to get the crowd to sing loud enough to wake their driver Colin. I k ind of think slumbering sloth's in Edgbaston were rubbing their eyes by now!!

They went off to 'Elvis Ain't Dead'. I say went off... I think they took all of two steps before the encore chant had started. We haven't had the Crème De La Crème of them yet, have we?

And, not to disappoint the last song of the evening was 'She's So Lovely'. The song that's put SFG's name on the lips of teenagers, middle aged lovelies and even 8yr olds with serious gastric issues.

Starting the track with 'Birmingham, are you ready to rock' wouldn't normally seem to fit for a band like SFG, but then neither would the site of Scott (the photographer), who's music tastes are so PUNK it's running through his veins, DANCING...and singing along!!

Scouting For Girls... They even make punks wanna dance. Brilliant.

Review By Allie Brock
Photos By Scott Cole

 Scouting For Girls

Roy (Piano & Vocals)
Greg Churchouse (Bass & Vocals)
Peter (Drums & Vocals)


Tom Hewitt (Vocals, Guitars, Keys)
Ed Hilliam (Vocals, Guitars)
John Ricketts (Bass)
Rich Farris (Vocals, Drums)

 Go Audio

James Matthews
Josh Wilkinson
Zack Wilkinson
Andy Booth

 Band Related Links
Scouting For Girls Myspace
Clocks Myspace
Go Audio Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?