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Confidential talks to...Scouting for Girls

Simon Binns talks to SFG bassist Greg Churchouse and spends the first five minutes discussing their undies

Written by . Published on October 20th 2010.

Confidential talks to...Scouting for Girls

Scouting For Girls are going big time. The London three-piece has just announced a trio of major shows next spring, calling at the MEN Arena on April 9.

I think the X Factor’s an institution now... Would we go on it if it hadn’t worked out? Yeah, I would, except for the queues. They’re way too long. There’s no way I’d stand outside for that many hours just to audition.

Their most recognisable tune, She’s So Lovely, graces the advert breaks of X Factor every Saturday night and their radio-friendly brand of indie pop seems to pull in teens, has-beens and somewhere-in-betweens with equal measure, despite most of the band being in their 30s. Even my three-year-old daughter likes them.

So where is Greg Churchouse when I catch up with him on the phone to discuss the biggest shows of their lives?

“I’m actually at home in my dressing gown. I’m watching Homes Under The Hammer. I normally try and catch Trisha too.”

SB: I’ve done that before. Radio interviews in your underpants. It’s the knowledge that nobody can see you.

GC: Yeah! I do it all the time. It’s the dirty little secret.

SB: Anyway. The MEN Arena. It’s a bit of a step up isn’t it?

GC: We played the MEN earlier this year for a Real Radio gig so it was a good chance to get an idea of the size of the place. You have to take 20 seconds just to look from left to right and take it all in. It was amazing. I can’t wait to get back there.

SB: Presumably you’ve played Manchester before? Any early memories?

GC: Our first gig in Manchester was the Night and Day cafe, I think around the time of our first album. It’s a mad little venue, really great place, and it was our second sell-out ever. We’ve got a good following up there.

SB: So how do you change the mechanics of a show for 250 people compared to an audience of 15,000?

GC: It changes everything really. We’re a pop band but when you come to see us, we want to put on a rock and roll show. You’ve got to do something for the crowd. You can’t just replicate your records.

We always like to throw in a cheeky cover or something a bit different. And lots of running around.

SB: She’s So Lovely gets beamed into millions of homes every Saturday night thanks to X Factor. Do you watch the show? People say it’s killing pop music.

GC: I think the X Factor’s an institution now. You shouldn’t criticise anyone for going on it. It’s difficult to go out and perform in front of that many people. I don’t really watch it but the rest of the band are well into it.

Would we go on it if it hadn’t worked out? Yeah, I would, except for the queues. They’re way too long. There’s no way I’d stand outside for that many hours just to audition.

SB: Will you be getting the X Factor crowd snapping up tickets now, to see ‘that band from the adverts?’

GC: We’ve got a really mixed age range of fans...quite a big family following. It makes it hard for our record label to figure out where to advertise. We’ve done lots of gigs where younger fans couldn’t get in but there are no age restrictions for the arena dates, so anyone can come and see us.

SB: Do you tweet with your fans?

GC: Social media is really important to us – we oversee our own email account and try to reply to as many as we can. MySpace was really important to us before we got our record deal. It’s nice to have that direct contact with the fans.

SB: How about the way you access music? Do you still buy records?

GC: The others are real advocates of CDs. I’m incredibly lazy – I love iTunes and just end up downloading everything. I love the convenience. Because of the way packaging music has changed, performing live has taken on a whole new side too.

SB: That’s us done I reckon. You’d best get dressed or you’ll be sat there all day.

GC: Yeah I know. Good to speak to you. I have missed Homes Under The Hammer though.

Scouting for Girls play the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 9.

Tickets are available from www.livenation.co.uk and www.gigsandtours.com on Friday 22 October from 9am, at £23.50 for regional shows and £25 for London.

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