Scouting For Girls

Fiona Doran 03/07/2007

The Joiners is really hot. Stifling in fact. Even worse is the belief that it could be avoided. Air vents stare down at you so clogged full of dust they look like patches of carpet upon the ceiling. Temperature gripes aside I do admire the Joiners as a venue. Stuck in a street found in Southampton's less favourable side, it's comparable to a crumbling toy you had as a child but refuse to throw away.

The toilets are appalling, the walls are flaky but yet it can summon up a truly great atmosphere. Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and Oasis all played here before their arena days and it still attracts many acts touted as the next big thing.

Current golden boys of XFM and Radio 1, Scouting for Girls have received heavy airplay on account of their first and current single “It's Not About You”. After making music for the last ten years they have finally found success and their appreciation shows.

Bounding onto the stage to hefty cheering and applause they are positively beaming. As with all bands that have only one hit single to their belt, they face the problem of other material not being so well received. Combating this with endless enthusiasm from lead singer Ray who gave his everything throughout their 45 minute set and centering on audience participation, they successfully avoided potentially boring moments.

The rapport that comes from genuine friendship within the band really shows and they truly enjoy performing live. With influences from the Sixties and emphasis on creating upbeat and full bodied music, it's hard not to sing along to their catchy songs.

Although rather simple, there are quick and witty lyrical moments that convey a sense of innocence and childhood reminiscence. Their opening song is homage to those days of working in lowly menial jobs and I'm sure I wasn't the only person in the audience who could relate to the line about wishing every time you woke it was a Sunday.

Another crowd pleaser was the bouncy “Mountains of Navaho” with Ray comparing himself unfavourably against He-Man and She-Ra. Previous to its start the audience were encouraged to shout “By the power of grey skull”, which led to many shared glances of nostalgia amongst the older members of the audience.

Of course there was one song everyone was waiting to hear, and with teasing mentions throughout the set they finally played “It's Not About You” to rapturous cheering and whooping. The atmosphere was fantastic and the whole place was dancing or tapping their feet. Scouting for Girls probably won't change the world but their music is upbeat, cheerful, and energetic and delivered with endless enthusiasm that I hope never fades. My only criticism is that they hurry up and write more material so they don't have to leave the stage so soon!