During their last tour Scouting For Girls played to more people than they’ve ever played to before. They were celebrating ten years since they first released their 2007 self-titled debut, a record that went on to become triple platinum and birthed the generation-bridging anthems of ‘She’s So Lovely’, ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ and ‘Heartbeat’. 2017’s accompanying ‘Ten Add Ten’ record bundled that now-classic debut with ten new songs, proving that the band’s joy, energy and ability to write an instantly catchy chorus hadn’t gone anywhere.
“We had such a huge age range across the audience for that tour, from kids to people who’ve grown up listening to us,” explains vocalist Roy Stride. “It was such a lovely feeling. It almost feels like you’re playing to family. It was actually more fun than we’ve ever had before, but I find that with the band. The longer it goes on, the more fun it becomes.”
It was a chance to celebrate the journey they’ve been on, with people who’ve been on it as well. “Every time we do a tour, it’s special because we only do it every two or three years. It’s almost like a reunion, getting back together with a load of old friends.” Scouting For Girls didn’t need to remind people who they were though: they’re a British institution.
In the decade since ‘Scouting For Girls’, the band have released ‘Everybody Wants To Be On TV’ (2010), ‘The Light Between Us’ (2012), and ‘Still Thinking About You’ (2015) plus the mega hit single ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’. They’ve picked up nominations for four Brits, an Ivor Novello and played everywhere from a sold out Wembley Arena to countless festival stages. Last year they released ‘England I Still Believe’ as a cheeky, unofficial World Cup anthem, which is a very Scouting For Girls thing to do.
Friends since they were five, drummer Pete Ellard, Bassist Greg Churchouse and Roy have never changed to chase success. Success came to them. They’ve never followed what others are doing, preferring to focus on themselves and make the music they want to make. “That’s why we still have fun now. The whole point of being in a band was to try and find a way to hang out together as mates. It’s not that we never chased success, we’ve been playing together since we were teenagers and we always wanted to do it professionally, but we got to a point where we never thought it would happen. So we just carried on doing it anyway for fun.” But then it happened – Number 1 singles, sold-out shows – “and we just carried on doing the same thing because, why would you change it?”
Scouting For Girls write massive pop bangers. “We love making music that connects with people in a really fun, happy way. I love writing songs which I know are going to connect with ten thousand people in a field. We’ve always been an amazing party band. We’re the band playing in the middle of the afternoon at a festival, that everyone wants to see because they know it’s going to be fun. They know it’s going to be a laugh.”
“With Scouting For Girls, the glass is definitely, always half full. I really enjoy looking at what we’ve done, but I also enjoy where we are at the moment. It is a very happy place to be.” And that’s reflected in new album ‘The Trouble With Boys’, which is released on September 20th and follows on from lead single ‘Grown Up’, which was co-written with James Blunt. Sparked by the reflection that their ten-year anniversary caused, their fifth album sees Scouting for Girls looking back and feeling lucky. “So many bands don’t get to do this.” When they first started, there was pressure behind every achievement. “It was so full on all of the time, but now we have an amazing level of success where we just enjoy every moment.”
Upbeat, fun and infectious, ‘The Trouble With Boys’ dives into their love of uniquely British bands like The Kinks, ELO, Madness and The Beatles. It’s designed to make people feel good. It’s about remembering to be excited, care-free and in love. It’s a very Scouting For Girls album. “Being in a band almost feels like you’ve gone to Neverland,” grins Stride. “You never have to grow up.”