Saturday, 20 October 2012

Scouting for Girls @ Shepherd's Bush Empire - 18/10/2012

Scouting for Girls played a "home turf" gig at Shepherd's Bush Empire on 18/10/2012.

 As newbies to the venue, we were surprised at how intimate it was, confirming the feeling that this was a gig aimed at real fans who had stuck with the band for all three albums. Having anticipated finding ourselves among a crowd full of screaming teenage girls, we were also surprised at the range of the audience, from families with kids as young as 6, to people in their sixties.

Predictably the first few songs were from their newly released album, The Light Between Us, including Rocky Balboa, Summertime in the City and It only rains in LA.

They then moved back into the second, more catchy album, Everybody wants to be on TV, before finishing with all of the classics from their eponymous debut album. This choice to cover all of their material, rather than focusing on promoting the newer singles as other artists may have been tempted to do, meant that nobody was left disappointed at not having heard their favourite SFG tune.

The band interacted with the crowd throughout, telling the story behind writing each of the songs, proving that this is music with meaning rather than music for the sake of music.

The highlight was seeing lead singer Roy Stride heading up into the stands (the shorties at the back didn't even realise he had left the stage, so effortless was the transition), taking optimum position for singing two of their cheekiest songs, 1+1 and Posh Girls, before borrowing a member of the audience's phone to take a photo of the screaming crowd below.

The basic, shabby chic set consisted of a backdrop onto which the latest album cover was projected, embellished by a mish-mash of lampshades hung from the ceiling. Simplistic though it was, it really captured my imagination and seduced my inner interior design geek, showing that SFG don't need fancy sets and expensive pyrotechnics to put on an enjoyable show.

Charismatic, charming and categorically the best live performance I've seen any artist give.

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