So if one of my band mates, if we imagine I’m in a band, turned to me and said “I’ve got the best idea in the world, I’m going to raise our profile and expand our fan base by going on Celebrity Big Brother” I’d probably be on board and expect it to pay off massively. This is exactly what the lead singer of the mid 2000’s indie/punk/ska band The Ordinary Boys did back in 2006 when Preston entered the infamous house and stole the nation’s heart. Unfortunately, unforeseen to him, and probably everyone else, all credibility was lost and after re-releasing a few of their old hits as well as releasing a few new lack lustre, pop friendly, easily accessible tunes, they faded entirely into obscurity, apart from Preston becoming just another Heat magazine, celebrity favourite as they followed his relationship/marriage to the winner of aforementioned Big brother, Chantelle Houghton.
Of course, 2006 was a long time ago and after an eternity of silence, the Ordinary boys have returned with not only a new self titled album but a thirty date world tour and I had the privilege of catching them in mighty old Lincoln at the Engine shed’s Platform venue. Beforehand I was quite unsure what to expect. I certainly didn’t want to be one of those waiting for those big songs we all know from back when they were a credible name, immersed in the same categories as bands like The Kooks, Razorlight and the Arctic Monkeys back in 2005 – 2007. I wanted to be open-minded and accept the band for what they now are, almost ten years later, in what appears to be a time where the band have reset and begun again, as they originally did, setting out what they originally set out to do, that being create good music.
So imagine the scene, when you walk in the room, one song in already because me and Jim Sonic have missed all the support bands (of which I heard were incredible) and also the first song by the headline band because we’re doing our best Loose women impression downstairs in the student bar, a place we’re probably not particularly welcome anyway. But when we do eventually walk in, towards the middle of the second song of the set, of which we assume was from the new album, we’re smacked clean in the face by a four piece punk band, tight as you could ever believe, as active and energetic on stage as any band you’ve ever seen and fronted by a face known to most households as Preston aka Samuel Dylan Murray Preston. They sound like The Jam & The Clash got together and created a super group. It’s punk at its utmost and they drive through song after song, hammering away and diving around the stage, even at one point the lead singer taking a guitar to the face as they smash through the second to last date on their tour like it’s the last gig they’ll ever play.
An impressive performance to say the least but I did fall victim to becoming exactly what I didn’t want to be and that was, the guy marking out to the big tunes from back in the glory days like ‘Week In, Week Out’, ‘Talk Talk Talk’ and ‘Maybe Someday’. They eventually arrive at their most well-known and most successful song ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ which went of big style with the crowd, had everyone singing along and sounded incredible considering a lack of instruments compared to their earlier days as well as a line up change that works so well with what the band are doing at this point in time. The best part for me was when they capped off their big hit single and without warning or announcement headed straight into an amazing version of The Beach boys classic ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ but of course, in keeping with the punk theme of the night, they covered it in the style of my favourite band, The Ramones. It was a truly fantastic end to an incredible set.
The Ordinary boys have won my respect, my love and my faith in them as a credible band, that deserves to not only take their place back in the scene as big contenders, but when you talk about punk making a comeback and the style of bands like Wolf Alice and Slaves now grabbing the attention of the contemporary music fan base, why would the Ordinary boys not be on their way to the same heights as these current bands and artists. I hope that the name Preston is no longer associated with Big Brother and instead with being one of our generations most well-known front men and musicians. Fingers crossed.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)