The Ordinary Boys are a band who sort of faded into the abyss. The height of their success came in 2006 when frontman Preston gained them widespread media attention following an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and a high profile relationship with Chantelle Houghton. The band split only a few years later but Preston has since been writing songs including hits like “Heart skips a beat” which he co-penned with Olly Murs. Now the boys are back with a new album and tour. I was lucky enough to catch up with Preston just before he took to the stage for their first gig at The Cavern in Exeter…
Inside The Cavern the lighting is dimmed, the stage is set and the support act are slowly but surely getting the crowd pumped. I’m awkwardly bopping along to the music as I stand beside Preston who seems to be very chilled as he soaks up the atmosphere. Seeing him signal to his bandmate that he’s going out for a cigarette, I grab my chance and in the most non-stalkerish way possible, I follow him outside. At first I feel a bit intimidated about approaching him, I mean he is (or was) sort of famous. However Preston doesn’t have any airs or graces and is very obliging when I ask for a photo and ten minutes or so of his time to have a chat….
Have you played at The Cavern before?
Yeah we did a gig here about 11 years ago and were supported by The Kaiser Chiefs and The Cribs. By the time we arrived The Cribs were already crowsurfing, it was mental.
Do you like playing here then?
Yeah the staff are really nice here. I did feel a bit bad though because I brought some chicken in and it’s a veggie place isn’t it? (During the day The Cavern serves food.) I could feel some eyes on me….
Do you regret ever going on Celebrity Big Brother?
No not at all, it was a really nice, fun time – I really enjoyed it. I feel like all the things that have happened to get me where I am today in my life would never have happened without it. I’m happy where I am now.
Do you feel that The Ordinary Boys only made it big due to your personal media presence?
Oh massively. We weren’t ever suited to being that big. It was just a bit of a weird sort of situation for us to be in. It’s better being back just playing to a few people in little clubs. Now we’re just doing it for fun really and having a bit of a laugh.
How did you get into songwriting?
Well our third album was really poppy and maybe it wasn’t quite right for The Ordinary Boys but it made me really like pop music. I wrote a few songs and people liked them.
What was it like to work with Olly Murs?
Well I‘ve gone for drinks and stuff with him before. He’s a really nice guy. As nice as you could imagine he is. If you’re not genuinely nice and you’re someone like Olly Murs you get found out very quickly. Now with Twitter and social media it’s harder to get away with it.
What’s your favourite alcoholic drink?
Beer. I drink IPAs. I’m really posh like that.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on a night out?
You don’t want to hear about that…we’re quite sensible now really but we all get a bit over excited when we see each other because we haven’t seen each other in so long. We do have a bit too much of a nice time sometimes but it’s good to have an excuse to do that when you’re over thirty.
What happened after you stormed off on Never Mind the Buzzcocks?
I just got in a taxi and went home.
Where do you see the band going in the future?
Onwards and downwards – It’s just an excuse for me to hang out with my best friends. We have the same members now as we had for the first album which is the one that everyone likes.