What Is To Become Of Our Beloved Preston?

Preston's Wild Sex and Drugs
BBC6's Mark Sutherland weighs in on the very same question that has been haunting me since Preston from the Ordinary Boys finished fourth in the recently concluded season of Celebrity Big Brother UK: Will his newfound mainstream exposure save or kill the band's career?

Us Sunday Mirror readers are used to being greeted over our toast’n’Marmite by minor celebrities with their shirts off, but the cover stars don’t generally hail from the ranks of mid-ranking indie bands.

But last Sunday, there was Preston from The Ordinary Boys, tats out for the 14-year-old girls, accompanied by the obligatory ‘My Story’ banner headline. Except that this particular version of his story didn’t seem to feature much about his music, but an awful lot about his supposed romance with a poor quality Paris Hilton-lookalike.

Meanwhile, Boys Will Be Boys has achieved the Top Ten placing it always deserved, the neglected Brassbound album is back in the charts and the Ordinary Boys tour in March will probably be a sellout success.

On the face of it, then, Preston’s stay in the Big Brother house, rubbing shoulders with no-marks like Michael Barrymore and Jodie Marsh, has paid off. He’s swapped the NME for OK and is currently British rock’s hottest property after the Arctic Monkeys.

So far, so good, right? So why are the original Ordinary Army of fans – built up over years of hard touring – now at war with the newbies on the band’s website and even accusing Preston of being a “media whore”?

Some of the problem may just be the traditional indie fans’ “I saw them first” mentality but then it must be pretty galling to champion your favourite band to utter indifference only for the people who previously laughed at you to suddenly steal the band from you.

And that is perhaps the reason why this publicity blitz may not be such good news for The Boys in the long-term. Never mind the damage done to their credibility (can you seriously imagine either of Preston’s heroes, Morrissey or Weller, ever taking the reality TV dollar?), much of The Ordinary Boys’ charm rested upon the fact that they spoke up for the dispossessed and the outsiders.

Can Preston still write credibly about dismal dead end jobs and doomed romantic relationships now we know his life is swanky showbiz parties and liaisons (even platonic ones) with wannabe glamour models? And will the new fans stick with them once the appeal of screaming at Preston has worn off and they find The Ordinary Boys’ music is not as fluffy as Kandyfloss?

Those are the questions we want you to answer this week. But don’t bother telling us what you think about Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s chances now Maggot’s also back in the real world. After all, their career always was a joke.

Most importantly, what effect, if any, will Preston's new front-page-news stature have on the size of the venues the Ordinary Boys will play if and when they ever come back to America?


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Blogger Jane said...

May I love you from Hollywood?

An avid Pete Doherty fan before he hit big... I'm warming up slowly to the Arctic Monkeys but hate that the press is saying that Pete's fans are leaving his for them, I'm not quite sure the Arctics have a sould yet, Pete I fear has too much of one.

5/2/06 21:05  
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