I teach English. Both sides of the pond use this rule: a collective of several which is seen as a whole, such as a band, a flock, a pride, take the singular verb IS. We would not say, "The group ARE very good"... but rather, "The group IS very good." Just my two cents as this one threw me off and now, makes me cringe.
I disagree, I would never refer to a sports team, for example, in the singular. Neither do the BBC (again, a collective noun that I would always use the plural for). This is a quote from an article about how the Premier League might handle the current covid-19 outbreak: Of Premier League clubs, Manchester City face the maximum number of fixtures; 19.
I'm reading up on this because it is apparently comes down to American English vs British English. Collective nouns, such as a band name, in American English, will always take the singular is. Americans would never say Queen are good. It would always be Queen is good. In British English, collective nouns can use both. Another very interesting difference I've never discovered until now. Thanks Duolingo.
Yes. It is complicated, because is is the form that was considered correct in prescriptive grammars (i.e. ones that tell you what is supposedly correct). The modern trend is to be less fussy, but this is now more acceptable in the UK than it is in America. So British English now generally accepts the are, whereas this is still generally regarded as bad English in America. Doesn't stop you saying it though, even in America First Amendment
As Philip points out, that is definitely not true on both sides of the pond. It's more complicated that you state. In the US it's much more common (but not universal) to use the singular verb, and the UK it's more common (but not universal) to use the plural verb. It depends on both the noun and on the context.
Good explanations and examples here: - https://www.lexico.com/grammar/matching-verbs-to-collective-nouns - https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/nouns-collective.php
In this (and many) articles, you can see both in action: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/nov/15/one-direction-boy-band-exclusive-interview-
As it happens One Direction are usually saying they have a new product out. One Direction is the first mega-band of the social media age
It depends whether you are talking about the group as a group of people or as a thing in itself (with lots of grey area in between). In the UK, Runrig are very good and Runrig is very good would both be correct, with one emphasising the fact that it is a group of people (who are very good) and the other one emphasising the entity (maybe the band is good, but the individuals in it somehow aren't? greater than the sum of its parts?)
Note, that in both the UK and US, you would say this for some reason: The police are on the case.