The Ordinary Boys: ‘By the end of that phone call we had put the band back together’

As they release their first album in a decade, speaks to Preston from The Ordinary Boys about what the future holds for the reformed four-piece

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It’s been a tumultuous last ten years for the man born Samuel Preston, lead singer of
The Ordinary Boys. There’s been a stint in the wider public eye following his 2006
appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, a marriage (and subsequent divorce) to fellow
contestant Chantelle Houghton, a much remembered and somewhat ill-fated
appearance on anarchic quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and a successful
career as a songwriter for other artists (Preston co-wrote Olly Murs’ number one
single ‘Heart Skips a Beat’). But now, Preston has returned his attentions to the band
that made him famous, the result being their eponymous new album.

The Ordinary Boys is an energetic, high-octane set of songs that sees the band
return to the sound of their earliest material, particularly that of their 2004 debut Over
the Counter Culture. The band reforming, though, seems to have been far from

“I had had a little falling out with Charlie, the original drummer from our debut, and I
figured that, after all this time, I should call him up and make peace. By the end of
that phone call we had put the band back together and were planning an album and
a tour.”

If you are going to do something you might as well do it properly

Considering the shotgun nature of their return, the band seem remarkably in tune
with one another. Preston is definitely buoyed by having the original members back
in the band, and the music making has been far from a chore. There is genuine
affection between the band members here.

“I’m definitely really lucky to have an excuse to hang out with my childhood pals. We
have been making music together since we were 12. It’s actually only the second
record after the debut album that we have done with the original drummer Charlie,
and he is such an integral part of the band.”

Perhaps this new-found feeling of unity then is the source of the overwhelmingly
positive energy that feels almost palpable in the album (Preston: “It was such a fun
recording process and the songs are a lot of fun, so that makes this great energetic
outburst”). He dubs The Ordinary Boys his “joint favourite” album along with their
aforementioned debut.

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That’s not to say that the album is just the same thing recycled. The lead single, ‘Four
Letter Word’ is a raucous 3-minute bridge between the band’s original punk-hardcore
roots and a newer, more melancholy edge. Much of the album is quintessentially
Ordinary Boys (see ‘I’m Leaving You and I’m Taking You with Me’), and then there’s
songs like closing-track ‘Disposable Anthems’; a sweet, melodic tune that suggests
The Ordinary Boys have designs to continue to evolve their sound in the future.

Perhaps this new sound is owed in part to the addition of new guitarist, Louis Jones,
of lauded indie-pop outfit Spectrals. When questioned about what Louis has brought
to the table, Preston says “well he’s way better at guitar than me for a start”, and
describes him as his “instant first choice” when it transpired the band would need to
recruit a new guitarist.

In spite of Louis adding an extra level of skill and slickness to the band, Preston is
still “apprehensive” about touring. And with good reason; the band embark on a
monolithic 27-date UK tour commencing this autumn. With no breaks. One can’t help
but wonder whether this will leave them rocking maniacally back and forth in their
underpants questioning their existence.

We want to keep putting records out as often as we
can find the time to do

“It was only once my friends started congratulating me on doing a tour with no days
off that I realised what an undertaking this was”, Preston confirms. But he maintains
“if you are going to do something you might as well do it properly”. Properly indeed.

The focus right now for Preston is very much solely on the music. Gone are the days
of reality TV, showbiz weddings and disastrous panel show appearances (the less
said about the infamous Buzzcocks walk-off the better). Being out of the spotlight
has allowed the band to concentrate on their songwriting and recording without any
inconvenient distractions. This, perhaps, has also contributed to the fresher sound of
The Ordinary Boys, which has seen them produce an album of genuine quality and
exorcise the demons of that questionable third album How To Get Everything You
Ever Wanted In Ten Easy Steps.11959990 751487508294359 8713519174183255216 nPreston, though, still appears pragmatic when assessing the chances of The
Ordinary Boys breaking the top twenty. “I guess that’s not been our intention. We
haven’t really pushed this record because we are just testing the water.” The band’s
three previous albums all broke into the top twenty and they intend to “aim slightly
higher next time”, although chart positions seem to currently be unimportant to a
group that aim mainly to find their feet in a constantly changing music industry that
they’ve been away from for ten years.

So what next for The Ordinary Boys? Preston is keen to emphasise the fact that
having enjoyed making this album so much, the band thoroughly intend to make
more music in the near future: “We want to keep putting records out as often as we
can find the time to do. It would be great to spend a little more time and money on
recording and having more time to promote it. I think with how good it feels to be
releasing our own music again I will definitely be back in the studio with the boys
very soon”.

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