It had been pitched by many as a glorious homecoming show for local lads The Ordinary Boys, having formed in Worthing nigh on 13 years ago… What? No, you do remember The Ordinary Boys… they did a song with Lady Sovereign… had the singer who went out with the fake celebrity on Big Brother about 10 years ago? There you go. A nearly full capacity crowd made up almost exclusively of sideburns and polo shirts flood the venue, though, so some people clearly must do.
It’s remarkable, and worth congratulating, that The Ordinary Boys have been able to persuade so many middle-aged men that they’re listening to anything other than a power-pop outfit masquerading as some sort of indie-rock band. Power chords and a lightning tempo go some way, but the lack of any real reason for animosity is apparent. It’s like a middle-class punk kid with a Mohawk, desperately trying to convince you that he’s edgy, before going home for supper with his mother.
That’s not to say we’re safe from the danger of this lapsing into a rock show, with older tracks like Seaside receiving a raucous response from the faithful in attendance. Preston abandons vocal duties to scale the stage and the heads of those furiously pogoing beneath him. The temperature increases several degrees, from lukewarm to toasty, while his supporting artists expertly navigate their way from pop-rock to middling-indie and back again.
It’s worth noting that during the band’s hiatus, Preston took up work as a pen-for-hire in the music industry, writing songs for Olly Murs and Cher, to name but a few. It’s hardly remarkable that a band whose most successful single between them is Murs’ Heart Skips a Beat emanate a somewhat contrived rock n’ roll atmosphere.
Slurred lyrics and poor vocals can’t be hidden behind a punk rock mask, but when the band break out into the unmistakably pop pomp of Boys Will Be Boys, a rapturous welcome greets them, with the old faithful screaming back the lyrics from a time long before the iPhones that are being waved around at head-height. Smiles abound, with the sweaty effort of the band warmly appreciated by all in attendance.
That being said, if you’d wanted to see a genuine showcase of all that The Ordinary Boys have done well, you’d have only needed to show up at 09.50pm. Curfew’s at 10.
By Lennon Craig