Interview: Warrington Music Festival headliners Scouting For Girls hope their show inspires town's artists

Warrington Guardian: Warrington Music Festival headliners Scouting For Girls hope their show inspires the town's artists Warrington Music Festival headliners Scouting For Girls hope their show inspires the town's artists

FROM bedroom rehearsals to arena tours, Scouting For Girls have made the journey a lot of Warrington bands would love to make themselves.

So if the London trio can motivate any of the artists watching to take their music career a step further then they will consider it a job well done.

The indie pop band are headlining Warrington Music Festival at Golden Square’s Old Market Place stage on Sunday, July 20.

“If we could even just inspire one band it would amazing,” bassist Greg Churchouse told Weekend.

“It’s such a hard struggle trying to get into music in the first place.”

Band members Greg, Roy Stride and Pete Ellard can relate to a lot of Warrington’s unsigned bands as they have been in the same position.

Greg added: “It took us well over 10 years to actually get a record deal but throughout that time we played so many gigs and spent so many hours learning the instruments in our bedrooms.

“When you start off you’re pretty terrible and then you get to this point when everything starts clicking together.

“It just takes a lot of time and perseverance and an unwavering commitment to doing something you really love.”

It all started when Roy and Greg saw Suede at Watford Coliseum in 1995. It was their first gig and it made them dream about what it would be like to be up on stage.

Days later it went from a dream to a burning ambition.

Greg said: “Roy dug out a guitar from his mum’s wardrobe and I got one from Argos and then we just started from there.

“I think we were pretty horrendous to begin with.”

The first riff that Greg learned was from Nirvana’s Come As You Are and the band honed their craft playing pubs in Harrow and Ruislip.

The name Scouting For Girls was settled on in 2005, inspired by Roy and Pete’s time as Cubs.

It came from the title of a 1908 handbook, Scouting for Boys.

After signing with Epic Records in 2007, their self-titled platinum-selling album topped the UK charts for two weeks.

Greg added: “It was really weird because we had been touring constantly for about a year and then we had a couple of weeks off and decided to go on holiday in Singapore.

“So we were all away when we got the email saying the album had gone to number one. We were all gobsmacked.

“I don’t think it sank in for a good couple of years. It was just a very bizarre thing.

“We had been in bands since we were 15 and so for that to actually happen was mindboggling.”

‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ gave the band their first number one single, they have headlined Wembley Arena and sold two million records along the way.

“It’s been a whirlwind journey,” said Greg.

“But it’s been pretty much over half of our lives that we’ve been doing this and playing together.

“It’s the most amazing journey you can have with other people. It gives you such a close bond as friends.

“You become compadres that get to travel the world together doing the thing you love the most.

“I don’t think we ever thought we’d get to do all the amazing things we’ve done.

“We just hoped at some point we’d make a few quid so we could quit our part time jobs.”

That turned out to be one of the highlights for Greg, who worked at an off licence for 10 years.

It was the day that Scouting For Girls signed their record contract.

Greg added: “It was the same day as the Brit Awards so the guys at the label all went off and we went down the pub with our management.

“We had a few choice ales and then we all had to make a phone call to our respective jobs saying: ‘Hi, I’m really sorry but I’m never coming back – I just got signed’.

“I think that was the greatest phone call I have ever had to make.”

But Greg also said that the buzz of walking out on stage has never got old.

He said: “It’s mind blowing just walking out and hearing the roar of the crowd and from the first note of the first song everyone just erupts.

“It is the most euphoric feeling you could ever have.”

So what would be Greg’s advice to Warrington’s artists who are struggling to find that big break?

He added: “It’s all about perseverance and honing the craft from your musicianship and songwriting to performing live.

“You just have to knuckle down, be the best that you possibly can and don’t give up.

“There could have been hundreds of times when we said ‘we’ve been doing this for years and years, nothing is coming of it’.

“But if we’d done that we’d have never got to where we are today. Just don’t give up even though it sometimes feels desperate.”

Meanwhile, Scouting For Girls are still good friends with the lads that inspired their name.

Greg said: “We still hang out with all the guys who Roy and Pete were in the Venture Scouts with.

“We go hill walking every October for a few days in Snowdonia which is always good fun and a chance to catch up and see everyone again.

“They came to so many gigs and still do. They have pretty been on the journey all the way with us.”

- Scouting For Girls play at Old Market Place as part of Warrington Music Festival on Sunday, July 20

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