Scouting for Girls at the Royal Albert Hall
Some venues and bands make for a perfect marriage. When a sound and performance meet the right setting, it can make for a memorable night. Just a few months ago Scouting for Girls played The Borderline, and in its jostling, sweaty confines their teenage-themed irreverence was harmless fun.
Thursday’s venue – the Royal Albert Hall, in all its enchanting opulence – was the perfect platform upon which their brand of whimsical indie pop could be delivered on a far grander scale. Unfortunately, on this stage the limitations of their sound are somewhat exposed.
The support comes in the shape of Loveable Rogues, who you’ll have already forgotten from Britain’s Got Talent 2012, and whose combination of rather bland acoustic strums and shouty vocals make for an uninteresting listen. But they certainly kindle enough cheers from those already present to shield themselves from a real shellacking.
Arriving to the sound of horns, Scouting for Girls wisely kick off with their trio of hits: Heartbeat, Summertime in the City and Millionaire. Clearly they have a lot of love for their audience and never tire of praising them for being the all-important “fifth band member”. Frontman Roy Stride makes a commendable effort, compensating for the increased stage size by upping the level of his onstage bounding, which even includes a hugely-cheered wander through the crowd.
Attempts to inject some originality into the set come in the shape of some all-acoustic renditions of their greatest hits, but it’s hard to see (and hear) what exactly this approach brings to the table. The result is that tunes like Famous and Rains in L.A. end up sounding a bit flat.
The band initially end the set with the piano-driven Keep on Walking and Without You before departing the stage momentarily. They return with Posh Girls (a song with a chorus that sounds a bit more tasteless with every listen), Michaela Strachan (a jokey ditty with a title lost on half the audience) and She’s So Lovely, which still sends people absolutely berserk with joy.
And yet for all the cheers and applause from the evidently satisfied fans, on this larger stage in an all-seated, multi-tiered hall, what a few months ago felt like lighthearted pleasure, tonight feels more like misjudged silliness.
Photos: Helen Parish
For further information and future events visit Scouting for Girls’ website here.
Watch the video for Millionaire here: