Leah Hamer // May 16th
Kicking off proceedings for the evening, were popular indie quartet, The Gurus, who took on their opening slot with their usual might and reverence. With quick, slick licks from Jamie Ball on lead, to cool, relatable lyrics from frontman Jimmy Hackley, their whole persona as a band is always a crowd-pleaser. With well-established tracks like Flashing Lights and Gravel in their arsenal, they don’t need to do too much more than rock up and play these days. After the gig came the news that The Gurus will be taking a break from performing until the foreseeable future, in order to focus on creating another blinding set-list for our listening pleasure.
Next up were the rebranded and revived, Camens, formerly known as LazyEye. With a mid-noughties, indie-pop sound reminiscent of The Wombats and The Pigeon Detectives, they have that charming, cheeky sensibility which always goes down well with an audience. A set-list filled with observational, quirky lyrics and catchy hooks meant that the minds of fans leaving the basement of The Exchange, were circling with the choruses of Camens. Their latest single, Boys Will Stray, was the primary culprit of this, with is dashing melody and energetic feel. After that performance, it’s clear the boys are back with an unstoppable ferocity and desire to storm the scene once again.
Ennio Morricone’s foreboding theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly thundered through the venue, as a hearty crowd of fans sardined themselves into the prime position in front of the stage. All eagerly stared to the left to try and catch a glimpse of The Ordinary Boys, preening themselves at the side of the stage. The mob fell into a roar, as the band rolled onto the stage and frontman, Preston, greeted everyone with his usual cocky charm.
One song in and chaos had already been inflicted, as the drummer smashed through his kit in an instant to the panic of the roadies. Fortunately, all was fixed in time for one out of the two singles that everyone was desperate for, Talk Talk Talk. The iconic riff churned as the crowd began to chant, mimicking the laddish voice of Preston.
As a band who have had a quiet career since their mid-noughties heyday and as a character with a reputation, Preston and the rest of The Ordinary Boys, made this part of their act and found humour in a subject that most bands would shy away from. Before playing tracks from their self-title latest album, they laughed- ‘We’re a lazy band…we put out an album but we forgot to promote it…so you won’t know any of this.’ As some lairy lads in the crowd begged for the track, Seaside, they commented again- ‘When we were young and successful, we used to have trumpets in this song…but since we’re no longer young or successful…we need you to be our trumpets.’ It was this banter and laughter, muddled up with the nostalgic riffs and barmy attitude that created such a lively atmosphere.
After their fake exit in preparation for the encore (Preston remarked, ‘We’re meant be going off stage but I’m just going hide behind my amp instead’), the crowd prepared for that ultimate indie anthem to blare out of their speakers, Boys Will Be Boys. Preston dived into the crowd and left the singing up to us, which was an easy task. Drinks flying, sweat pouring, a horde high on youthful memories and the era of The Ordinary Boys.