It’s said that you can tell a lot about a band by their fans, and if this is true, then Scouting For Girls have cornered a very well bred niche market. In Kings College on a Friday evening, the bar is rammed with boys in rugby shirts and girls in pearls, not quite what we’d envisioned as fans of the cheeky, MOR 3 piece, Scouting For Girls, but never judge a book by it’s cover, right?
First on is Sam Isaacs, performing on acoustic guitar accompanied by a solo cellist. He starts off promisingly with a touching ‘Get Cape Wear Cape’ vibe, but ruins it by announcing he ‘has a bogey’ after the first song. Nice of you to share Sam. The spell is broken, and the crowd are never really behind him after that. His set limps on along much the same lines, with stories of burnt fish fingers amongst the highlights. The songs are well written, touching and beautiful – tarnished by heavy handed banter in between tracks.
Zut Alors come away from tonight with the most credibility. This London based four piece produce a commanding performance with a seemingly neverending supply of great tunes, with an almost Strokes-esque vibe. They keep the chat to a minimum and keep the tempo going, focusing the attention back on the stage. Having opened for Manchester Orchestra at the Barfly a few weeks ago, these guys seem to be going from strength to strength, with their gutsy indie pop – this could be the start of something very special indeed.
And so onto the headlines, Scouting For Girls. With their brand of upbeat, uptempo ( some might say sickeningly happy) piano based indie pop, Scouting For Girls have been a fun summer treat, the antidote to the miserable weather and bubblegum pop – and with a couple of top ten hits under their belt, they’re holding their ground. As they bounce onto stage, to the shrieks of the audience, their enthusiasm is almost tangible, and for the first few tracks, they’re undeniably good with their harmonies and dancing swirling tines. But then it starts going a little wrong…because every single track seems to merge into one, with their false endings, and plinky plonky piano finales.
Roy Stride’s songwriting – whilst amusing for a while gets a little samey, with every other line seemingly rhyming and tracks about TV detectives, and He Man starting to drag. The happy, upbeat vibe…well basically it’s annoying after a while. That said, maybe we’re just bitter – as the crowds are lapping it up, pearls a-shaking and rugby shirts a-quivering, and as we slip out in the night the last thing we overhear is ” This is almost as good as James Blunt!’