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Presented by: Carling and Wave 105
Date: 20 June 2013
Location: The Fat Fox, Portsmouth

When I heard Scouting for Girls, the British band who have sold 2 million records worldwide, were playing in the Fat Fox, a little pub down a road in Portsmouth, I didn’t believe it. I have drunk in the Fat Fox a few times and it’s a little place, where a few locals get together and share a drink. Sure, there has been the occasional acoustic night there, but it is nowhere I expected a major player like Scouting for Girls to consider playing at, let alone following through with that consideration.

The event held 150 people, so it was a miracle that me and my girlfriend even got hold of some tickets. It was the smallest crowd the band had performed to in years. During the gig, I could literally lean forward and grope Roy if I wanted to; that was how close you could get to the stage. A lot of bands are going through a phase where they are interesting in performing to small crowds, rather than large festivals. Certain acoustic singers, like Ed Sheeran and Passenger, are much better performing to a small room, and it also allows for a much more intimate setting. Hopefully, several groups will follow Scouting for Girls’ lead and make a trend of this.

The reason for this personal performance was to give the band a chance to advertise their Greatest Hits album. They haven’t been around for too long, compared to other artists with a Greatest Hits album, but thinking about it, you know almost all of their songs. This CD trims the dead weight from their discography and gives you the very best they can deliver. We even got to hear their latest single, Millionaire, which was a great tune. It’s one for the couples and a bit more laidback than their usual stuff. However, it hits every note and emotion it is going for.

So close. I can smell them. Mmmm

So close. I can smell them. Mmmm

Before we begin, I better tell a secret: I never used to like Scouting for Girls. When they released their first single ‘She’s so Lovely’, I just didn’t get it. They were just a bunch of guys singing with a guitar in their hands. The lyrics weren’t even clever. Were they even trying? In fact, it wasn’t until ‘Heartbeat’ that I understood what the fuss is about. They are three very talented guys and I recommend checking them out whenever you get a chance.

I could tell you how good they actually were on the night, but that seems somewhat pointless. They, of course, smashed the ball out of the park. The vocals were superb, they had every song you wanted to hear and they summoned up a really great atmosphere in the Fat Fox. They were genuinely funny, bantering with the audience. In between each song, they allowed the audience to ask them questions and they would do their best to answer. There may have been an awkward moment where they made a cheeky reference to an audience member’s daughter, only to learn that her daughter was 15. They took it on the chin, though, and we all laughed along.

Halfway through the gig, they even took requests. They were kind of rusty on some of the songs, seeing as we had the entirety of their discography to choose from. However, Roy Stride, a little unconfident with the tune ‘Michaela Strachan’, gave us a verse and the chorus – anything he could remember – to make up for the lack of memory in that department. And we managed to coax, Posh Girls out of them, which is always a great song to listen to.

All in all, it was a fantastic night. I would recommend, not only Scouting for Girls, but any Up Close and Personal events that you stumble across. Seeing a band is always a great experience, but seeing them in a venue like this makes you all the more appreciative of music. Add it to your bucket list.

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