Scouting for Girls at The Borderline
On an evening this hot and humid there can only be a handful of places to be in that are less comfortable than the confines of Soho’s most sweltering subterranean music venue: The Borderline. Even before the mid-gig jostling has begun its attendees are sweating like Lee Evans in a sauna, and they’re crammed in ankles to elbows.
Tonight “S4G” are in a boisterous mood and filliped by a rabid crowd, that isn’t as teenage as you might expect. They waste no time in launching into their slew of chart-friendly tracks. An early appearance of Summertime in the City makes for an apt choice, even if the awkward faux-rapping during the verses prompts shivers of embarrassment.
Frontman Roy Stride is in full-on cheeky-chappie mode – he’s all smiles and pleasantries and soon has the audience clapping and bouncing through lively renditions of Famous, Posh Girls and Heartbeat. Naturally, this all goes down an absolute storm. Sometimes the get-the-crowd-to-sing-the-lyrics trick can go down as successfully as The Bay of Pigs, but here it doesn’t cease to succeed from the first minute as the rowdy fans continually express their joy. In one cheesy-but-nice moment, Stride turns their glee into the loudest, most full-throated rendition of Happy Birthday that its recipient, Catherine, will ever be likely to hear.
They might occasionally sing about nothing of substance (Michaela Strachan, I Wish I Was James Bond) but Scouting for Girls do so in a wholly infectious and undeniably fun way, and they exhibit more flair on stage than they do on record. Plus the decision to add to their live tour with a fourth member, Jamie O’Gorman, on guitar, was a wise move.
Some may argue that to release a greatest hits record having only produced three albums is a tad unnecessary, but as a precursor to their next release, this evening’s set is an amusing one that flies by and inevitably ends with She’s So Lovely. This is cheered as fervently as it probably was eight years ago when S4G last played at The Borderline: their first London gig.
Photo: James Gray-King
For further information on Scouting for Girls and future shows visit here.
Watch the video for Millionaire here: