Gig Review: Scouting for Girls at The O2 Academy

Image: Zoe Godden

What was your first time getting high like? For me, I danced about my kitchen eating garlic bread whilst blasting out ‘She’s So Lovely.’ Unconventional, yes, and whilst Scouting For Girls certainly aren’t your average stoner music, their influence on British pop in the past decade is one that transcends any ‘appropriate’ time or place to listen to them. Heck, some of the biggest clubs in the Toon will play their discography every other night and people will still shout-sing along.

The band seems very much aware that they peaked at their debut ten years prior, with their new album Ten Add Ten acting as a pseudo re-release of their self-titled first record, along with new songs inspired by their early career. It was only fitting in a way then that their current tour focused heavily on their older material, celebrating a decade of music and never once letting it seem stale or outdated.

It’s probably the most diverse gig I’ve been to, with people ranging from uni students to young fans and older couples.

The show opened with some of their most popular singles from their first two albums, getting fans pumped with ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Famous’, whereby lead singer Roy ran about the stage filming the crowd with a ridiculously long selfie stick. This energy never died down throughout the show, with bassist Greg in particular having some great crowd interaction; standing on speakers, encouraging people to sing along, he was having a blast. Similarly, when he wasn’t doing wonders on the piano, Roy was always doing something on stage, whether interacting with props like Clark Kent glasses in the lesser known ‘Bad Superman’, or simply just messing about with touring guitarist Jamie. This peaked in a surprisingly great cover of ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’, fitting the band’s sound and energy flawlessly.

The stage set up also really helped build up this atmosphere, with the lighting colours simply changing the mirror the theme of the song. This worked great for fan favourite ‘I Wish I Was James Bond’, with the white and red neon strobes perfectly matching the song’s tongue-in-cheek take on 007.

Perhaps the best thing about the gig, however, was the crowd’s energy. The band would stop playing in awe, smiles beaming across their faces, when the entire room were singing the likes of ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ and the emotionally charged ‘This Ain’t a Love Song.’ It’s probably the most diverse gig I’ve been to, with people ranging from uni students to young fans and older couples. It’s a testament to the appeal of the band’s music to have stuck around for so long, and reach so many different people.

Of course, the show had to close with their biggest hit, though their latest single ‘Dancing In The Daylight’ was also a very worthy encore song, which I hope will see some chart success. An overall highly energetic and joyful live experience, Scouting For Girls showed that their music is still just as relevant today as it was a decade ago, and I can confirm that their performance is just as fit as they were ten years younger.

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