Local pop trio Scouting For Girls soared straight to the top of the charts with the first single off their new album. The band told IAN PROCTOR it was just hard work that paid off - and a pinch of good luck
HOW do you better the achievement of having a best-selling album? Answer: you write a monster hit to follow it up. Scouting For Girls, a band formed in 2005 after two schoolfriends met a third through a scout group in the Harrow and Ruislip area, are riding a wave of success after the sing-a-long pop ditty, This Ain't A Love Song, dropped straight in at number one in the singles chart in April.
It proved an admittedly surprise triumph for the trio, Greg Churchouse, 30, Roy Stride, 30, and Peter Ellard, 28, whose formulative gigs took place at Trinity Bar, in Station Road, Harrow.
Speaking ahead of their performance at Ben & Jerry's Sundae On The Common festival in Clapham, south London on Sunday, bassist and co-vocalist Greg told the Observer: "We spent the whole of 2009 holed up in our studio writing, recording and demoing our second album.
"We wanted to make sure our album was better than the first one and I know every band says that, but we spent a lot of more time on our songs and the production we used; there's a lot of strings, for instance.
"Roy is quite literally the world's most prolific songwriter.
"He loves sitting with a guitar or at a piano and playing with melodies. Then he'll come to me and Peter and we all work on the arrangement and practise the song.
"We're happy to carry on writing by ourselves; no one has asked us to collaborate."
Released on April 4, This Ain't A Love Song proved to be the band's most successful to date in its first week.
Pinner resident Greg said: "I suppose it did vindicate all the hard work, yeah.
"We didn't know if, because we had been out of the scene for such a long time making our album, people would remember us and still enjoy our music.
"Initially, This Ain't A Love Song wasn't actually going to be the first single off Everybody Wants To Be On TV."The first single was going to be Famous, because the title of the album is a line from that song and it made sense.
"But from the feedback, everybody said This Ain't A Love Song is the one." Three months
on and Famous, which was released last weekend, has a lot to live up to.
"With Famous, we have done some remixes of one of our songs for the first time.
"The dance remix went to number one in the dance charts, knocking JLS off the top spot.
"That was one of the strangest bits of news I've ever had."
The Indie group have been bringing their music to their fans and performed many dates in Germany last year, as well as in the UK.
"Playing live is one of the things we love to do the most, he said. "We were playing our old stuff to a very new audience as the first album [called Scouting For Girls] only came out there last year."
This summer, the band performed at
Radio 1's Big Weekend in Bangor in Wales, as well as Oxegen in Ireland and Scotland's T In The Park, as well as Skyfest in Hounslow, west London, a little closer to home.
Greg said about his former school: "We haven't actually been to Queensmead School for a long time, but we did do a charity event with Hillingdon Council through our old history teacher a couple of weeks ago.
"We haven't been back to the Trinity for a year and half, when we did an acoustic session, and before that I had my surprise birthday party there."
He added: "We're keeping busy for the latter half of the year.
"This Ain't A Love Song has been doing well in Australia and we're jet-setting around the world, and getting ready for our third album, which will be due out in the latter half of next year, as well as hopefully another UK tour."
Despite success internationally, Greg says the trio still leads relatively normal lives.
"We're never really recognised, and only then as 'the band', and even now we can go down the street and nobody bats an eyelid.
"When we have a day off, you enjoy the garden and pay the bills."
* 2005: Band formed by schoolfriends Greg Churchouse, Roy Stride and Peter Ellard * February 2007: Get first record deal with Epic UK to record five albums * September 2007: Release self-titled debut album, selling more than 900,000 copies * January 2008: Album reaches number one in album chart and remains there two weeks * June 2008: Play Glastonbury Festival's Other Stage * February 2009: Trio nominated for three BRIT awards - British Breakthrough Act, British Live Act, British Single for Heartbeat * April 2010: Boys claim their first number one single with This Ain't a Love Song * April 2010: Second album, Everybody Wants to Be on TV, released * July 2010: Second single from new album, Famous, released