Making light of our British summer
SCOUTING for Girls have spent many months tucked inside the dark recesses of ten different studios, writing and recording their third album The Light Between Us.
It is perhaps surprising then that their first offering from their latest release, Summertime in the City, is about the simple pleasure of being outside on a rare sunny day in Britain.
Since their first gig in Bristol at the Fiddlers Club, in Bedminster, in 2006, Scouting for Girls have achieved more than their fair share of chart success. Six years on, with a triple platinum debut album, four Brit nominations and a legion of fans (known as the Wolfcubs), they're back with a brand new offering of upbeat pop numbers.
"I know everyone says it, but this really is our best album yet," says front man Roy Stride who as well as providing lead vocals, guitar and keyboards, pens many of their hits.
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"Being able to sit down as a band and write in our own studio was a godsend. Having our own space and time really helped us step up to our A-game!"
The Light Between Us is an album full of love songs written across the world with five producers, and has been two years in the making.
Roy says: "We wanted to make an album with a concept behind it, we tried, but the songs were rubbish, so we decided to write an album of singles instead.
"Writing the songs in the studio was a very natural process. They all still have that contemporary Scouting for Girls edge that people know, but I also think they've got a more classic sound compared to our previous stuff."
The oldest song on the album, but one of the last to be completed, Summertime In The City was begun in 2010, inspired by a drive in to London.
"I was in the car," recalls Roy. "The sun was shining, the view was amazing and, as I drove through the city, I could see how good a mood everyone was in. No country celebrates the summer as much as we do – because good British summers are too rare to take for granted."
The 18 months between the song's conception and completion were, Roy admits, a struggle. Record label changes even put recording on hiatus. To keep themselves sane, the childhood friends from Ruislip, West London, rented a studio and spent every day working on new songs. But they also used a studio on the West Coast of America to record their work.
Roy adds: "We've tried really hard to produce some amazing songs. When you spend two years making a record you feel very close to it...Our aim was to make something that isn't just a collection of songs, but that also works as an album."
With their happy-go-lucky pop anthems such as She's So Lovely and Heartbeat, Scouting for Girls have a widespread network of young followers.
"I think you've got to be honest when you're writing your lyrics, so maybe that's why they're well received by people," he says.
"Our success can ultimately be explained through our supporters though. Making it past the tricky second album is a true testament to our fans – we couldn't have asked for a lovelier lot.
The trio – Roy, Greg Churchouse on bass guitar and Peter Ellard on percussion – met at school and began playing together at an early age. In their time together, they've visited Bristol on several occasions.
"I'm sure we've had a fair few wild nights out in Bristol. But for the life of me I can't remember them," laughs Roy. There is a pause. "I guess this means they must have been good ones."
Despite playing at huge numbers of festivals and stadiums, their current tour caters for a much smaller audience. The band admit that although the big shows are great fun to play, "When you can almost see the whites of the audiences' eyes, it does make you that bit more nervous."
But when not trying out new tunes or fulfilling their role as ambassadors for the Wellchild Appeal, how do they spend their time?
In true testament to their newest release, Roy doesn't miss a beat: "You can't beat taking the dog out for a walk and ending up in the local pub garden, enjoying the sun."
Scouting for Girls play 02 Academy Bristol on Tuesday, October 16, at 7pm. Ring 0844 477 2000 for tickets.