Sussex musicians have been chosen to accompany Girls Aloud on tour after their cover of one of the girl group’s hits became an internet sensation.

The five members of Absent Elk caught the nation’s attention after their version of the Girls Aloud song The Loving Kind became the most watched YouTube music video in the world with 50,000 plays in a week.

The Shoreham-based group are used to good news – they signed a four album deal with Sony for a six-figure sum last summer.

But this week they are particularly pleased to have gained such attractive tourmates.

Guitarist and keyboard player Ross Martin, 26, said: "We recorded the cover in my living room in Shoreham Beach with a hand held camera.

"It was tongue in cheek and fun more than anything, but a lot of people watched it and our record company entered in to talks with Girls Aloud record company and eventually they chose us as a support band.

"We haven't met the girls yet but will start the tour on April 24 and finish May 8.

"We're excited but at the moment we're concerned with making it good. We'll be playing to an arena of 22,000 or more so there are new and different issues to think about."

Mr Martin met drummer Ric Wilson, 26, guitarist Mike Hillman, 27, and bassist James Penhallow, 27, at school at King's Manor in Shoreham.

The foursome then met lead singer Kjetil Morland, 28, from Norway, at a Shoreham beer festival in 2005.

They went on to play the Concorde 2, the Barfly, the Joogleberry and Pressure Point in Brighton as well as dozens of London venues.

After signing with Sony they spent the end of last summer in a Buckinghamshire hideaway recording their first album which is now ready for release.

Absent Elk will be supporting Girls Aloud on tour throughout April and May starting with a warm up gig at Brighton's Audio on April 1.

They will go on to play venues in Sheffield, London, Newcastle and Belfast.

Tour dates and more information can be found on