Throw down that stapler - the boys are here to set you free!...
My, haven’t these boys grown! Last time we saw spunky young Brighton punk-pop pups [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] they were an exciting but barely-formed blend of [a]Jam[/a]’s working-class-hero zeal, topped off with some articulate Smithsy wordplay and a dab of The Specials’ agitated outsider rage. It was this that made us mark them out as one of the prime reasons for getting ourselves worked up about the rebirth of British Guitar Cool. Which would be the end of the road and high fives all round for other lesser bands. But [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] have enough ambition, drive and sheer greed to leave their peers for dust. Somewhere along the line the Boys, not content with winning hearts, have decided that they want our souls too.
Because their status as kings of the road – or indeed, Travelodges – and their persistent approach to touring, has seen them transcend their tentative potential and evolve into something rigid and strong. They have come, ladies and gentlemen, to liberate you.
Because what becomes immediately apparent as Preston and his cohorts stride confidently onstage tonight, is that it’s clear that this is a band fully aware of their responsibilities to pop’s wide-eyed dreamers. Here are the facts:[a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] are the antithesis of monochrome indie balladeers and say-nothing punk poseurs. [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] know that come Monday, stood next to the malfunctioning photocopier and with Friday night aeons away, a great pop song can stop you reaching for the nearest hole-punch and bludgeoning your workmates to death
with cheap stationery. They know the importance of dreaming and optimism. And most importantly of
all, [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] know that if Jesus saves, great pop scores on the rebound.
So as Preston launches into a fiery rendition of ‘Week In, Week Out’ Newcastle’s assembled throng stare adoringly at the man who’s come to lead them into the light. Because this is, beyond all question, great pop. How refreshing is it to see someone so
in love with being a proper pop star – a bona fide poster boy and an indie rock icon of resilience and hope – reaching for the stars as opposed to stalling
at the clouds? How exciting is it to have a proper
pop band to hand our faith to on a platter, and in return, them tell us our lives are more exciting,
worthy and beautiful than our dreary existence had ever suggested?
Because tonight ‘Seaside’ takes us to a place that defies the drab constraints of rain-sodden Newcastle, while ‘Maybe Someday’ reminds us of a time when Blur articulated our belief in the fist-raising power of an almighty chorus and a communal singalong.
Then there’s the climactic ‘Robots And Monkeys’,
the moment at which [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] etch their place on the souls of the slaves to the minimum
wage, the dull-eyed pessimists, and the weary, downtrodden mass. [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] are a blur of inspiration, escapism and triumphant celebration. Tonight they made us feel like heroes.