Well, I'm just back from a well-deserved break in Italy. It was great. Visited an island that had a volcano on it and smelt of farts; went on a trip at sea that involved a small boat, a singing captain and no life jacket; saw a Pizza called 'McDonalds Pizza' which had chips and a burger on it (note: didn't order it, just looked at it). All in all a good holiday.
The one thing I'm extremely glad I didn't encounter was any Scouting for Girls songs. As I lay back on the beach, reading my overpriced international edition of the Guardian and getting a Cornetto all over my chest, I was listening to the stuff that they're currently playing on Italian radio. Much of it was the same as what is dominating the airwaves in the UK right now: Estelle, Duffy, Mark Ronson doing his celebrity karaoke thing - but thankfully there was absolutely no Scouting for Girls.
Clearly the Italians have taste (when it comes to music - we shouldn't forget that they recently re-elected Berlusconi.)
Now, I've been at the receiving end of rock criticism, both good and bad, so I tend not to write blog posts slagging off other music. And I don't want to encounter the inevitable response of 'You're jealous - they're selling more albums than you'. Or the 'You can't argue with popularity' argument. (Popularity is hard to argue with. Mind you, Hitler, Thatcher and James Blunt all enjoyed massive degrees of it).
But I'm sorry, I simply have to make an exception to my 'no slagging musicians off' rule for Scouting for Girls. I can't bear them. It pains me to have to hear them every time I turn on the radio.
In one way, what they've done is quite an achievement: they've effectively released pretty much the exact same single 3 times. And they've got massive airplay on each occasion.
The formula is simple: a tune with one note repeated ad nauseum, some staccato piano, and a pained, earnest voice singing any of the below trite lyrics:
She's so lovely, she's so lovely, she's so lovely, she's so lovely
Elvis isn't dead, Elvis isn't dead, Elvis isn't dead
I miss a heartbeat, I miss a heartbeat...
The band will also stop at various points in each song, and sadly, just as you think it's over and you're getting a much-needed respite from the staccato piano and crap one-note tune, they'll start up again, singing the same crap one-note tune again over a backdrop of staccato piano.
I just don't get it. Or maybe I'm getting old. But I have to say, I think this is the worst band I've ever heard. Westlife appeal more and I bloody hate them too.
But one way or the other, if this continues I'm moving to Italy. If you haven't heard them yet (unlikely), go to http://www.myspace.com/scoutingforgirls. Bring earmuffs.