Scouting For Girls take cover for new album and confirm York Barbican gig for 2021

Scouting for gigs: Scouting For Girls have lined up their longest-ever tour for 2021, taking in York Barbican next autumn

SCOUTING For Girls will play York Barbican on October 10 on their 42-date 2021 tour, showcasing next spring’s Easy Cover album alongside all the hits.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on December 4 at yorkbarbican.co.uk for the London indie-pop trio’s first appearance in York since the York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend in July 2015.

Roy Stride, piano and lead guitar, Greg Churchouse, bass guitar, and Dr Peter Ellard, percussion, first performed at the Knavesmire course in July 2011 and had been booked by promoters Cuffe and Taylor for the inaugural York Festival, at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, on June 20 this summer until Covid changed everything.

Scouting For Girls initially responded to this strangest of years by “surrounding themselves with sources of comfort and escapism, things from what felt like a simpler time”.

Going back to the 1980s’ music of their childhood days, the trio regrouped during what should have been a summer of festival appearances, and the result is a joyous album of cover versions and new compositions, buoyed by an optimism that “2021 can be everything that 2020 was not”.

For Easy Cover, Scouting For Girls revisited Eighties’ pop masterpieces and indie alt. band favourites alike, taking in Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins (presumably Easy Lover?), Tears For Fears, The Waterboys and more besides.

Scouting For Girls’ artwork for their 2021 tour

Not only covers motivated the band to write original material inspired by the decade for next year’s March 26 album. So did their abiding love of those halcyon days, leading Stride to write I Wish It Was 1989 and festive new single Xmas In The 80s.

Looking forward to the Londoners’ longest tour of their 15-year career, Stride says: “Touring is our very favourite aspect of being in this band and to go out longer and harder than ever is a dream come true.

“We’re going to put 2020 behind us and put two years of pent-up energy into every night of this tour. We can’t wait to give people the most fun night out of 2021”

Since forming in 2005, Scouting For Girls have chalked up two million album sales and a similar figure for their singles, such as Top Ten hits She’s So Lovely, Elvis Ain’t Dead and Heartbeat and 2009 chart topper This Ain’t A Love Song.

BRIT Award and Ivor Novello nominations have come their way, as have sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena, the London Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall.

Oh, and apparently Scouting For Girls are the most played band on Spotify in York.

Leeds Festival off. “Just not possible to go ahead in strange times,” say organisers

Cancelled: Oasis old boy Liam Gallagher’s headline slot at Leeds Festival 2020

LEEDS Festival is off. The last mighty oak on the summer’s rock calendar has fallen, bowing inevitably to the Coronavirus pandemic prohibitions.

Along with its southern marrow, Reading Festival, the open-air event at Bramham Park, near Wetherby, would have run over the bank holiday weekend of August 28 to 30, headlined by Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Rage Against The Machine.

Organisers say Leeds Festival will return in 2021. Tickets bought for 2020 will remain valid for next summer’s August 27 to 29 festival run, while refunds will be available too.

The official statement says: “Leeds Festival will no longer be taking place this year. We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation and we were hopeful we could deliver the ultimate festival to you in August, something to look forward to in these strange and confusing times. However, it has become clear that it’s just not possible for this year’s festival to go ahead.”

Stormzy: Grime figurehead, pictured at last summer’s Glastonbury Festival, will not be heading north this summer

“We want to extend our gratitude to our teams, artists and partners who work so hard each year. And to our fans, we’re nothing without you. We thank you for your continued support and understanding.”

Leeds Festival joins a long list of Corona-cancelled music events, such as the inaugural York Festival from June 19 to 21, headlined by Madness, Westlife and Lionel Richie; Forest Live at Dalby Forest, with Kaiser Chiefs on June 26 and a James Morrison/Will Young double bill on June 27, and the summer season at Scarborough Open Air Theatre.

Off too are the Platform Festival in Pocklington in July, headlined by Robert Plant’s Saving Grace, Shed Seven’s Rick Witter & Paul Banks and Richard Thompson; Deer Shed Festival 11 at Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, Thirsk, from July 24 to 26, featuring James, Stereolab and Baxter Dury, and Shed Seven’s all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on September 19.

York Racecourse is yet to announce the fate of its Music Showcase Weekend of race-day concerts by Pussycat Dolls on July 24 and Rick Astley on July 25. All seven meetings on the Knavesmire track up to June 27 have been cancelled, so watch this space for an update.

Madness: June 19 show at York Festival cancelled

Meanwhile, the Leeds Festival organisers are working closely with ticketing partners. “They will be in touch very soon to process your refund, or, if you prefer, you can retain your ticket and carry it over to next year,” the statement says.

“Look out for an e-mail from your ticketing agent and please only contact them if you have not been contacted after seven days as they are very busy at this time. If you purchased your ticket from a physical outlet, please contact that outlet to obtain your refund.”

Looking ahead to next summer, the organisers strike a positive note: “We’re already counting down the days to when we’re back in the fields we call home for the August bank holiday weekend,” the statement waxes lyrical. “We promise you that Leeds 2021 will be worth the wait.”

“Keep safe, keep healthy and look after each other,” the message ends.

Winner takes it all at Bjorn Again, karaoke and Silent Abba Disco day at York Races

Super troupers Bjorn Again say thank you for Abba’s music

BJORN Again can pick a host of Abba winners when rounding off the day’s racing at York Racecourse on June 27.

First up, Money, Money, Money will be The Name Of The Game as the runners and riders invite you to Take A Chance On Me and The Winner Takes It All (along with other winning bets too, before pedants start writing in) from the seven-race afternoon card on Summer Music Saturday.

Next, the long-running Abba tribute act will take to the stage, notching up another addition to a list of 7,000 shows in 100 countries since forming in Melbourne in 1988 en route to Bjorn Ulvaeus saying the Aussie doppelgangers single-handedly initiated the super-Swedes’ revival.

Bjorn Again’s post-racing set will be preceded earlier in the afternoon by Abba karaoke singing and a Silent Abba Disco.

Prizes will be awarded in the 1970s’ Fancy Dress Contest, for which racegoers are invited to create a stylish look from such fashion favourites as flares, platform boots, 1970s’ jackets and kipper ties. Look out for the “selfie stations”, on hand to help share the good times with the wider world.
 
On the Knavesmire track, £150,000 will be won over the seven races. Tickets for the racing and music double bill are on sale from £25 (for an advance booked group of six), with no booking fees and no parking charges. Under 18s will be admitted free of charge with an accompanying adult.
 
James Brennan, head of marketing and sponsorship at York Racecourse, says: “We wanted to offer people the chance to have fun, we hope in the sun, and what better way than in celebrating all things Abba.

“You only have to remember how popular the Mamma Mia films and Mamma Mia The Party have been to understand the affection across the country for the famous Swedish quartet. Obviously, they aren’t able to join us, but the rave reviews for Bjorn Again demonstrate the show is a great performance.”
 
Brennan continues: “There’s a lot of choice for music events around Yorkshire this summer, so we think this offers something different, a little more relaxed and at a more affordable price.

Of course, we have the additional excitement of Pussycat Dolls and Rick Astley set for late-July, so a little bit of ABBA fun seems a great way to kick off our music events.”
 
The York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend will bring the re-formed Pussycat Dolls to Knavesmire for the July 24 evening race meeting, followed by Newton-le-Willows crooner Rick Astley at the July 25 afternoon card.

Tickets can be booked at yorkracecourse.co.uk and on 01904 620911.

Pussycat Dolls are playing York Racecourse this summer, don’t cha know, but when?

Pussycat Dolls: prepare for Doll Domination at York Racecourse in July

REVIVED American girl group Pussycat Dolls will perform York Racecourse’s first 2020 Music Showcase Weekend show after the evening race card on July 24.

Eighties’ soul-pop icon Rick Astley was confirmed already for the weekend, signed up to play after the afternoon racing on the Knavesmire course on July 25.

Pussycat Dolls sold more than 54 million records in a run of hits from 2003 to 2010 and returned to the live platform after a nine-year hiatus at last year’s final of The X Factor: Celebrity: familiar territory for band member Nicole Scherzinger, a long-standing judge on the ITV talent show.

Scherzinger is joined in the Pussycat song-and-dance line-up by Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta and Carmit Bachar. Expect them to sing the chart-topping Don’t Cha and Stickwitu, Beep, Buttons, I Don’t Need A Man, When I Grow Up, Whatcha Think About That and more besides, all coupled with dance routines.

Rick Astley: July 25 concert at York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend

James Brennan, head of marketing and sponsorship at York Racecourse, said: “Announcements don’t come much bigger than being able to say that Pussycat Dolls will be bringing their Doll Domination to York Racecourse for a special Friday night performance to open the Music Showcase Weekend.

“Performances on a Friday evening have always had a special atmosphere with the excitement of the stars on the turf and the stars on the stage combining to make this an event to put in your diary now.”

To book, visit yorkracecourse.co.uk; no booking fee applies and car parking will be free. On the race track that evening, the European Breeders Fund Lyric York Stakes will be the centrepiece of a six-race card.

One York race-day concert is yet to be announced: the Summer Music Saturday on June 27. Watch this space.