‘We’re in the entertainment industry’: Leigh Leopards’ Derek Beaumont explains Scouting for Girls gig

LEIGH LEOPARDS owner Derek Beaumont isn’t someone who is content to do things by halves.

Whether it’s signing a top coach in Adrian Lam, recruiting top stars from Super League or the NRL to secure promotion, or rebranding his club on its return to Super League, Beaumont is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is.

And as Super League counts down to the opening round of fixtures, Beaumont has surely done it again, engaging rock band ‘Scouting for Girls’ to perform a 40-minute pre-game set before their opening game against Salford Red Devils at the Leigh Sports Village on Friday 17 February, and then playing for another eight minutes at half-time.

The band is famous for songs such as ‘She’s So Lovely’, ‘This Ain’t a Love Song’, ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’.

Coincidentally, they will be appearing at the AO Arena in Manchester on 5th May alongside Olly Murs, when the top-priced tickets will be in excess of £100.

The band was formed in 2005 by three childhood friends from London – Roy Stride on piano, lead guitar and vocals, Greg Churchouse on bass guitar and Peter Ellard on drums. They signed to Epic Records in 2007 and released their self-titled debut album that September, which reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart in 2008 and to date has sold over a million copies in the UK.

The single ‘This Ain’t a Love Song’ went to number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks.

The band has now achieved eight top-40 singles, sold over two million records and received over a billion streams. They have been nominated for four Brit Awards and one Ivor Novello Award.

“I approached an agent to advise me on which acts might be available,” Beaumont told League Express.

“We settled on ‘Scouting for Girls’ because they perform songs that will appeal to a wide audience.

“The fact that Sky is covering the game was attractive for them.”

Beaumont is hoping to come near to selling out Leigh Sports Village for his club’s return to Super League and inevitably he would like to see the Leopards achieving the highest possible grading later this year from the IMG-inspired grading process.

“We are in the entertainment industry and we need to make our matches more entertaining than just a game of rugby,” he added.

“When people leave the stadium, even if the result isn’t what they wanted, we want them to think that they attended a good event and they’ll want to come again.

“I’m confident that we will have an evening that everyone will remember for a long time and that will appeal to a wide range of people who want to come and enjoy themselves.”