Live review: Scouting For Girls, with Ben McKelvey and Aliensdontringdoorbells – Cheese and Grain, Frome. 23/10/2021

Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their album Everybody Wants To Be On TV, scouting for girls stopped off in Frome as part of their MEGA 45 stop UK tour. When these guys tour, they tour hard.

Before anything else, I have to say how much I love this venue. In a quiet little Somerset Village, with not much really going on, lies a pretty big music venue (about 500 capacity). Every gig I’ve been to there has always been great fun, and the team at the venue always know how to put on a good show.

Opening the night was Ben McKelvey, a solo singer songwriter from Oxford. Ben did his job as a warm up artist perfectly, getting the crowd dancing and singing along, with a mix of his old and new music, and even a brilliant Johnny Cash cover. The crowd really warmed to him and I’m sure he went away with a few new fans after his top performance last night.

Up next was Aliensdontringdoorbells (yep, all one word for some reason?). These guys brought all the energy on stage of their younger selves, and were trying really hard to rock the crowd. The guitarist was incredibly talented, and I cannot put into words just how good the vibe was that the bassist gave off (he was really in his element, playing amazing and rocking hard), but something about the lead singer felt very out of place. Pointing at the girls in the crowd and singing “I want to spend the night with you.” Was more like a karaoke night with a backing band to be honest.

Also, they did not need to do a meet and greet at the barrier before SFG set. Those who wanted to meet them could easily find them at the merch desk.

After that slightly strange performance, it was on to the main act of the night. Scouting For Girls certainly have a wide fan base, from the very young (some awesome kid fans I saw at the front), to the much more established live music fans, these boys know how to rock a crowd.

It was an absolute killer of a set list, playing songs both old and new, singalongs and moments, pure good times. Playing such a big song as Heartbeat so early on was certainly a brave move, but they pulled it off and the crowd were loving it.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of artists playing cover songs at their headline shows. At the end of the day, most people have paid to see them, play their songs, but I think SFG did it well, breaking halfway through Superman to play Stacy’s Mom, and a super upbeat cover of I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

If I thought the crowd were loud for Heartbeat, that was nothing compared to This Ain’t A Love Song, with everyone dancing and having a good time, and then getting even louder for Elvis Ain’t Dead, for the first big finish of the night.

After the whole walk-off-walk-on, the band came back on to firstly play Michaela Strachan. A good song, but even better when someone from the crowd called Michaela was welcomed onto stage with her partner, for her birthday. It was made a million times better when the two of them got engaged on stage, and got to enjoy the last song with the band!

And the crowd enjoyed it just as much. She’s So Lovely made the room explode, an absolute sea of dancing and having a good time, really what this band is all about. Just enjoying the good times and good music.

In short, they know how to have a good time and get the crowd moving.

Scouting For Girls are only about halfway through this tour. Tickets for the remaining shows can be found here.

As always, a massive thank you to the staff and security at The Cheese And Grain, as well as the promoting team for making such an awesome night possible. And of course to Roy Stride, Greg Churchouse, Peter Ellard and Jamie O’Gorman for putting on a brilliant show, and the crowd for taking their job as the 5th member of Scouting For Girls so seriously.

Review and photographs by Ted Stargatt for TrueStyleMusic

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