Album: Scouting For Girls, Everybody Wants to Be on TV (Epic)
Friday 09 April 2010
After years of diligent dues-paying in front of a small circle of friends down their local pub, the Harrow trio Scouting for Girls suddenly hit the big time, becoming the biggest-selling new British band of 2008.
The vertiginous rise seemed to frighten the group: the tracks they had already begun recording for the follow-up album were summarily scrapped, as the pianist/singer/lyricist Roy Stride decided that they needed to come up with something better. Two years further on, the 10 tracks that make up Everybody Wants to Be on TV are the result, its release happily coinciding with their first chart-topping single "This Ain't a Love Song" – a success that arguably validates their refusal to rush into things.
In its ambivalent attitude towards relationships, the single is typical of the way Scouting for Girls live up to their name. "I'm a little bit lost without you/ And I'm a bloody big mess inside", acknowledges Stride over trenchant piano chording and strings. Elsewhere, the subjects of "Goodtime Girl", "Little Miss Naughty" and "Posh Girls" are all found wanting in some respect: the first is the girl he wants to forget, the second the flirtatious "little mistake" precipitating the end of a longer relationship, while the third are dealt a particularly harsh hand in the singalong refrain of "Posh girls have good manners, but they go like the clappers 'cos they never got to hang around with boys at school", a tendentious claim alleviated only by the artful rhyming of "apprehensive" with "comprehensive".
That kind of wordplay points towards the group's stylistic precursors in the mannered English pop of such as Squeeze, who given the opportunity (and the technology) might also have slipped from an autotuned vocal intro to a lolloping trumpet boogie, as SFG do on "Little Miss Naughty". There are several touches reminiscent of Buggles, too, particularly the medium-is-the-message concerns of "On the Radio", with its recognition of somebody being "in every song from the past, a ghost of the radio mast".
I get the impression that Stride would like to document his era with the same kind of droll commentaries employed by the likes of Squeeze and Buggles, and he certainly comes close in the cautionary tale of casual sex and pregnancy "1 + 1 = 3" and the paean to pointless celebrity, "Famous". "I want to be known for just being famous – I can't act, I can't dance, I can't sing, but I'm young and I'm pretty", he satirically notes in the latter. But it doesn't quite go far enough, merely reporting without trying to fathom the underlying insecurity and need for anonymous affirmation without which many modern lives seem so empty.
Download this This Ain't a Love Song; Little Miss Naughty; Famous; 1 + 1 = 3
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
scienceThe new development in bio-printing technology could be used in the future to restore lost vision - though years of research still await
architectureThe design collective which has stuck two fingers up at the modernists will call it quits at Venice
... But if you’re one of those poor souls offended by Jennifer Lopez’s choice of leotard, Grace Dent wants you to get a bloody grip
Arts & Ents blogs
Brian Griffin returns: Cartoon dog back from the dead in Family Guy Christmas episode
Matthew Perry: He'll be there for you
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
FAT’s all folks: Architecture’s biggest jokers sign off in style
Shia LaBeouf apologises for plagiarising cartoonist's story for Cannes short film
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 British prisoner Dr Abbas Khan found dead in Syrian jail days before he was due to be handed over to MP George Galloway
- 4 Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >