Live Review: Scouting For Girls / The Horn / Anni Pohto – O2 Academy, Leeds 24.11.2023

Phil Wright

Thursday 24th November saw me taking a trip up the M1 to the O2 Academy in Leeds for a night of Scouting for Girls. I know that sounds wrong, but not as wrong as the first act to perform! Anni Pohto felt very wrong for the night. She definitely had the audiences’ opinion split, with a few saying she was “hypnotic” and others saying she was “very dull indeed”, I was of the same opinion as the latter.

The night then jumped into a frenzy, thanks to the very talented five-piece band from North London, ‘The Horn’. They brought a stupendous Britpop infused Indi sound to the O2 Academy, pleasing the sold-out crowd to tracks from their debut album ‘People Like Us’. Lead singer. Jonny Taylor was a firm favourite, not only for his cracking vocals, but especially when he turned and shook his butt for the audience, who went wild!

The time came for ‘Scouting for Girls’ to make their appearance and they did not disappoint!

Scouting For Girls performed with the original line up they had when they first formed in 2005. You could see the bond between these old schoolmates and the fun this led to on stage, with their well-known hits ‘She’s So Lovely’, ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ and ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’.

The O2 went into meltdown with ‘Missing Part’, a song from the seventh studio album, ‘The Place We Used to Meet’. They mixed new and previously released material, all of which were outstandingly performed. Singer, Roy Stride, left the stage, reappearing on the balcony, filming the crowd for social media.

The strength of their stage presence was easily identifiable as I watched a guy in the crowd who had quite obviously been dragged along by his partner who looked to be a ‘SFG’ superfan. He was the tallest chap in the audience, and the only one not to be singing along or jumping around as the band gave a powerful performance, I watched his reaction as the night progressed and it took the band just two tracks to get this guy moving, he went from not wanting to be there to being THERE! Well done. ‘Scouting For Girls’, by the second track you had captured 100% of that audience!

To date, ‘Scouting For Girls’ have achieved 8 top 40 singles and sold over 4 million records. If you are looking for a proper feel-good night out, make sure you catch them. You will not be disappointed!

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