Scouting for Girls, with support from Skjør at Ironworks, Inverness.
Opening for Scouting For Girls were support act of the moment Skjør (pronounced ‘sure’ for those toiling with it) who are coming to the Scouting For Girls tour on the back of a place on the bill with the Pigeon Detectives in Glasgow. The atmospheric opening which drew an air of dark foreboding sat well with the Hallowe’en date, an intro that led into the signature guitar that runs through Skjør‘s set. Skjør run between a heavy Florence and the Machine vocal and attempt to drag the mood down and a reluctantly chipper Two Door Cinema jaunt. The crowd you could feel wanted the jauntiness without the seriousness but did give Skjør more attention than a lot of other acts have received early doors. There is a lot to like about Skjør and final number, and new single, ‘Living Without You’ demonstrated that, where it combined all of their strengths in reaching that balance between melody and placing their own stylish stamp on the track.
It’s been some time since Scouting For Girls made the trip north but it was clear that many remembered their Belladrum appearances in both 2007 and 2010, and to that backdrop the scene was set for the night. After arriving on stage to the theme to Rocky they won over the fans in the blink of an eye with ‘Heartbeat’. The predominance of the set sat firmly in the territory of the first album which would have coincided with those early memories. To keep that party reunion feel Roy Stride challenged the audience to be the fifth member of the band; the Inverness Scouting For Girls choir. A challenge that they rose to.
That youthful exuberance of those earlier performances has given way to a very polished band who know how to draw the best out of an audience and this they do with a seamless ease.
The hits brought dancing, clapping and jumping in equal doses. Only one play for ‘It’s Not About You’ unlike their inaugural appearance at Belladrum where a shortage of material saw them play it a second time as an encore. With ‘I Wish I Was James Bond’ Roy played with the audience before launching into the piano intro. “Elvis Isn’t Dead’ had a side versus side sing off to “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ inserted. It really was an evening where audience participation was encouraged, a birthday was celebrated and a couple of covers were thrown in, ‘Live and Let Die’ (a tribute to Roger Moore following on from “I Wish I Was James Bond’) and ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’.
It was more than just the obvious hits and they were keen to bring their new material to the audience from their album ‘Ten Add Ten’ taking ten old songs and ten new songs and putting them on one album. It’s clear that they are trying to bring back those heady days of ten years ago and although ‘Superman’ and current single ‘Dancing In The Daylight’ (in my head I have another time of day screaming at me!) are solid songs they don’t really match that debut release but tonight was a night of nostalgia, something that I didn’t think could be a thing with a predominantly younger audience. It was no surprise really that an encore of ‘Michaela Strachan’ and ‘She’s So Lovely’, it just had to be, brought the show to a close with the band promising that they won’t leave it quite so long before they return to the Highlands again.
Check out the pictures from the gig below;