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Scouting For Girls

November 2008

THEY have been on the road pretty much for the past 18 months flogging their debut album time and again in to the upper reaches of the chart.
And it's worked -- still sitting in the top twenty 14 months since its release.
And it's produced the hits She's So Lovely, Elvis Ain't Dead, Heartbeat and the reissued debut EP It's Not About You. But the latest single, I Wish I Was James Bond, only scraped in to the chart at No. 40.
Suggesting it's time for some material.
"We're hoping to get in to the studio early next year," says bassist Greg Churchouse.
"The album is well on the way. It's just when we get some time off from touring."
The relentless tour has seen them play the Rescue Rooms, then Rock City, with The Feeling at Clumber Park and now they're back again, at the Trent FM Arena this weekend.
"It's going to be a lot bigger and better visually this time round," he says.
Any dancing bears?
"Unfortunately not. The only dancers will be the three fools on stage."
Are you firing any cub scouts out of a canon?
"(Laughs) Why couldn't you have been around for the production meetings?"
Their association with Baden Powell's lot has extended beyond simply basing their name from the 1908 handbook Scouting for Boys.
As well as their fanclub of Wolf Cubs, last month SFG played to 40,000 girl guides at their annual Big Gig at the NEC in Birmingham.
"I tell you, my ears afterwards... the frequency that 14 year old's scream at is deafening," he complains.
Churchouse was never a scout, as a youth opting for the more thrilling air cadets.
"You'd get to fly planes, you'd get to go gliding."
He didn't want to join the RAF?
"I did think about applying but I have a phenomenally bad eyesight. The chief medical officer of the RAF said I was medically unfit for any military service. If there's any conscription I'm bringing that letter out."
While singer/songwriter/pianist Roy Stride was working at the Harrow's Carphone Warehouse at the beginning of last year, school mate Churchouse was earning his pre-fame crust at a nearby Thresher off-licence.
"For nine years," he groans.
"I had my fair share of robberies. A couple of times I took a bit of a smack but I'd say I was really lucky. I never had a knife or a gun pulled on me. I did chase someone out the shop once. He had taken a case of beer but luckily there was a police car right outside so the coppers carried on chasing him for me. I was quite glad I didn't catch up with him."
Since the band has taken off, the trio have played to more than a million people. And it's given them a chance to meet a hero or two.
"Tony Hadley".
Tony Hadley? A music hero?
"Don't let Pete hear you say that. He idolises Tony Hadley so much that the first time we met him he couldn't bring himself to say hello. He was so nervous.
"At V festival this year we did a set for Virgin Radio and he came on stage and did Suspicious Minds with us. It was a very moving moment."
"80s music is quite special to all of us. There are Spandau Ballet tracks that can bring a tear to the eye."
But it was during the 90s that he and Stride decided they wanted to be in a band.
"We were in the same year at school and discovered Britpop together."
Their first gig was Suede.
"It was the Dog Man Star tour, their second album, just after Bernard Butler had left. And it was wicked. We weren't sure what to expect and then the band came on and we all rushed as far forward as we could.
"We had tickets to see Blur but we were playing in a school music thing that night. Though we saw The Stone Roses at Wembley Arena. I've still got the T-shirt I bought outside for £4."
He also cites the likes of The Kinks and Madness as key influences.
"They write great pop tunes, which is what we endeavour to do."
So, who wants to be James Bond?
"A couple of years ago we discovered Pete wandering around our local nightclub using the chat up line that he was just about to be cast as the new James Bond," laughs Churchouse.
"To no avail I might add. He came away single every time."

Scouting For Girls play the Trent FM Arena on Sunday November 16 with The Days and Nottingham's Sam Beeton

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