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Those born before 1970 might remember the assorted school-teacherly members of the [B]Outdoors[/B] from such chirpy Norwich pop combos as [B]The Nivens[/B] and [B]The Farmers Boys[/B]...

By rights, this shouldn't be happening. The Great Outdoors' singer Baz lapses into a protracted bout of giggles midway through a song, that quickly infects guitarist Stan and within seconds the stage is an ocean of smiles. Such boundless enthusiasm might be expected of 17-year-old debutantes, but in a bunch of 30-something indie-popstars it seems almost indecent.

Those born before 1970 might remember the assorted school-teacherly members of the Outdoors from such chirpy Norwich pop combos as The Nivens and The Farmers Boys. The rest of us should be satisfied to bask in the glow of their childish enthusiasm.

For here are five men who never lost the thrill of pop performance, and more saliently, never lost the more fundamental knack of writing great pop songs. The plaintive strains of forthcoming Fierce Panda single 'It Looks So Easy' are bristling tonight with the boundless joy of a band that are well aware as they stare down the barrel of musical oblivion that they have nothing left to lose. This is not another Happy Mondays revival designed to pay the bills, but a bunch of provincial music lovers who never knew how to give up.

"It's a long way down the M11,' states Baz. Here's hoping on behalf of the capital's cognoscenti, that The Great Outdoors will have a few more big nights out to come.

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