We’ve had many a pop gem land on the Review Corner desk over the years, usually to disappear without trace, from the folky Crash My Model Car and Martin John Henry to pop bands such as Allo Darlin’ and Portugal The Man, or the genius of Sparkadia.
Scouting For Girls aren’t one of these lost classics: their debut wasn’t a pop gem, but then neither did they disappear. There’s a moral there, probably.
“Inoffensive” would have been our word for it when it came out, not brilliant but not terrible, yet here they are a decade later and still at it. They did have some inoffensively catchy tunes it’s true — She’s So Lovely being the big one — but we suspect they owe their longevity to connecting with their fans.
We dug out our 2006 review and we called them enjoyable but bland, but noted they had a pre-formed fan club, the Wolf Cub Club — new members received a membership card, allowing reduced entry tickets to gigs, a Scouting For Girls Handbook and a secret code to be used in sending coded messages to other members. Canny blokes, eh?
This 10th anniversary reissue has all the originals plus 14 bonus live tracks and unreleased demos, and is available on vinyl and cassette. They’re still a bit bland but probably don’t care if anyone tells them now.