Scouting for Girls bring to a close their 10th Anniversary tour

There seems to have been a wave of bands, artists that have hit the road this year on some sort of an anniversary.

Tonight’s host are ending their 10-year anniversary with the second of two nights at a sell-out Manchester Ritz, not bad for a week day night.

Tonight, wasn’t about playing the album in a sequenced order, it was more a case of keeping things rolling and generating as much audience participation as possible.

Ben McKelvery was support act as he has been throughout this tour, like tonight’s hosts be relies heavily on audience interaction, something he does well, keeping things upbeat, not much more you can ask for a support act.

I think the atmosphere was pretty much laid down by the backing tracks played between support and main act, we where treated to the likes of Pulp, Artic Monkeys as well as Oasis, The Stone Roses, everything you would expect from a pre-gig warm up, the crowd loving each classis, the singing getting stronger and louder, however the biggest reaction that had the whole place upping their game was “Rule the world”, by Take That. Now that had me smiling.

Scouting for Girls are an English pop rock band. Their name is a play on the title of the 1908 Scouting handbook Scouting for Boys. The band consists of childhood friends from London, Roy Stride on piano and lead guitar/vocals, Greg Churchouse on bass guitar, Peter Ellard on percussion. Along with Jamie O’Gorman as touring guitarist. Having formed in 2005, they signed to Epic Records in 2007. They released their self-titled debut album that September and it reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart in 2008. To date it has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the UK.

There’s no messing about once they appear on stage, it’s the last night of the tour and the band are going to make sure we enjoy it, not that it has taken the crowd any time to step up to the plate. Opening with “I need a holiday and straight into “Heartbeat” sets the tone for the night, as stride tells the audience, “its been 10 years you have been with us, 10 years we have grown together, tonight’s about celebrating all that time, it’s the last night of the tour and we are going to enjoy this”… I think maybe that line has been used a few times on this tour.

SFG would tell you that they are not a powerhouse of a band, what they have is infectious, their delivery cannot be faulted, the lyrics to the songs clever, that’s what resonates with the crowd. “it’s not about you” sees everyone bouncing along, Whilst “I wish I was James Bond”, staple SFG set list favourites.

The hits keep coming the band keep the interaction with the crowd on a high, as “Bad Superman”, the oh so clever “Posh Girls”, as well as “Millionaire”,keep the magic going. “The airplane song”, is dedicated to a few fans in the crowd, “Elvis ain,t dead/,(I can’t help falling in love), Elvis Presley , is a great combination perfectly delivered by Stride, who has one of those voices so easily recognisable.

“This ain,t a love song has the biggest audience participation tonight , each side of the venue singing in turn. Another cover version is put forward for the masses to enjoy, Stride explaining that he may not get the high notes, but then the 5th member of the band usually help them out, yes more audience participation, Bon Jovis “Living on a prayer”, gets the SFG treatment.
“Keep on walking” and Dancing in the Daylight bring to an end a set that has been a fan fest from start to finish. Leaving the stage to the cries of we want more, the band return for a final encore, well it is the last night, “1+1” opens things up, next up as Stride putting on novelty Christmas glasses launches into “Christmas in the Air tonight”, before finally finishing of the set with, well there’s only one other track that it could be. “She’s so Lovely” probably their most recognisable and biggest hit, before finishing all the backroom staff of the tour got a mention and most where brought on stage for the finale, at one point I counted 8 people letting it all out along with the band, maybe a fitting tribute to a band who don’t leave anything in the dressing room. ”