1976-1979 The Ordinarys formed during the winter of 1976 and 1977, merging the members from two local bands. Steve Phelps on lead vocals arrived from Waltham Cross having left his band Son of a Bitch, or Sonavabitch as they were known then, and joined the rest of the members of The Os, Jim Lewis, lead guitar and vocals, Steve Phypers drums and vocals, Steve Richmond, rhythm guitar and Neil Broadbank on bass guitar and vocals, who were known in their home town, Hoddesdon, as Granite. They al...
The Ordinarys formed during the winter of 1976 and 1977, merging the members from two local bands. Steve Phelps on lead vocals arrived from Waltham Cross having left his band Son of a Bitch, or Sonavabitch as they were known then, and joined the rest of the members of The Os, Jim Lewis, lead guitar and vocals, Steve Phypers drums and vocals, Steve Richmond, rhythm guitar and Neil Broadbank on bass guitar and vocals, who were known in their home town, Hoddesdon, as Granite.
They all shared common ground musically, and the joint collaboration between the five teenagers welded an awareness and a desire to become part of the coming new music scene. Punk had arrived. Frenetic, fast and powerful. Having been inspired by a live performance in Cheshunt's Wolsey Hall of a song called 'Here Come The Ordinaries' by the New Hearts (soon to sign to CBS Records), the new local band called themselves The Ordinarys. They would choose however, a more New Wave, PowerPop approach, less punk in attitude, but certainly retaining the urgency and excitment of the time.
Although musically compared to bands like The Jam, Generation X and The Buzzcocks etc, The Ordinarys retained their roots in pure Rock & Roll and R&B, playing covers of Chuck Berry and Dr Feelgood at local gigs to large, appreciative audiences.
During 1977 The Ordinarys were to enjoy a particularly busy date sheet thanks to the contacts and efforts of Steve Phelps and his brother-in-law, Oliver Scarrott, or 'Oli' as he was most affectionately known. The band drew wider and larger crowds at local residencies, which included gigs in pubs such as The Bell and The Kings Head (also known as The Top House) in Enfield Highway, The Cock in Ponders End and The Hop Poles in Enfield. By the end of 1977 The Ordinarys had become a local success, attracting huge crowds at their shows, which, in turn, produced a good deal of press and music business interest.
The most significant development towards the end of 1977 was The Ordinarys being chosen to appear on ATV's New Faces in the coming new year. Instrumental in this endeavour, was Les Cozens who sought to do his best to get the band as much media exposure as possible. The audience rating of New Faces was between seven and ten million viewers during February 1978, so, despite the show's lack of credibility, The Ordinarys agreed to go on it, performing one of their own songs, the show stopping 'I Wanna Be An Ordinary'. However, the guys felt that the New Faces appearance was, in hindsight, regrettable in some ways.
After a live interview on Radio London with Malcolm Laycock, Steve Phelps, after introducing three recorded original compositions by The Ordinarys, spoke of his frustration with getting '...a record contract'. Having already been approached by managers of bands The Killjoys and Suburban Studs, The Ordinarys were undecided as to what route they should take. Having already recorded demos for New Faces at Porcupine Studios in Mottingham and at Morgan Studios in Willesden at the request of the studio manager, Monty Babson, the band now had enough recorded demos to take to A&R men. But the backlash from appearing on New Faces was inevitably the prime erosive factor that led to the band's demise, despite ploughing on till the end of 1979 with different band members and sell-out gigs. New members from May 1978 included; Paul Hilder, lead guitar and vocals, John Harty (formerly of the New Hearts), bass guitar and vocals and Paul Doyle, 1979, bass guitar and vocals. A final demo, recorded in the summer of 1978 in Epsom at the home studios of Mud guitarists Rob Davis and bass player Ray Stiles, produced yet another collection of excellent recordings that were sadly destined to be shelved that is, until over 25 years had passed! Fortunately, Detour Records, based in Midhurst, Kent, will now be releasing The Ordinarys demo tracks on a compilation album called 'Bored Teenagers Vol.4 - Great British Punk Originals '77-82'. Due for release in 2006. For more details, check out Detour's web site www.detour-records.co.uk - or check the news page on this web site.
The Ordinarys were without doubt a band of their time, and that time was short. Just like the Sex Pistols, The Ordinarys would implode but leave their mark. Ironically, The Ordinarys sprayed their name on a wall over a railway bridge in Rye Park, Hoddesdon, 25 years ago. This graffiti still remains slightly faded, but having endured a great deal of weathering much like the five members of the band. The Ordinarys are still with us. 2003- date
In June 2003 The Ordinarys were invited to perform at the 2004 Modern World International Mod Festival in Morecambe. A prestigious line-up of 'known' chart and indie favourites were on the bill - such as Secret Affair, Purple Hearts, Squire and Little Roosters. The invitation to reform and play again with the original line-up was an added bonus to the proposed release of original 1978 demos on the compilation album 'Bored Teenagers - Vol 4' on Detour Record's subsidiary label Bin Liner Records (now due in July 2006). The Ordinarys all happily accepted the invitation and set about dusting down their guitars! They proceeded work at Farm Factory Rehearsal Studios in Welwyn Garden City immediately. Through the months of regular visits to the studio, the band slowly returned back to form, both recording and writing new material for the show for the following year. Very sadly, with just weeks to go to the eagerly anticipated show, the whole festival was cancelled due to bands allegedly 'pulling out'. A further blow was struck when original vocalist Steve Phelps declined to continue on with his four old chums. Despite all pleas to continue, he bid them all farewell for now...
Enter old friend, superb vocalist and frontman Kevin Irons. With more and more new, powerful and exciting material coming through from band writers Steve Phypers and Jim Lewis, the band were set to produce their best work yet. With the clock running towards their first gig in 26 years at The Marquee Club in Hertford in October 2004 the band were rockin' once more!
The Marquee show was a great 'Sold Out' success. The Ordinarys continued on to play more shows, not just locally, but at venues further afield such as the Croydon Cartoon, supporting American punk stalwarts The Derritta Sisters, and headlining at The Man On The Moon in Cambridge.
The Ordinarys were also given regular Thursday-night spots at The Standard Music Venue, thanks to the help of Gary King and Ted Path of The Anoraks.
By 2006 Kevin had been very busy promoting his own covers band project 'BeetleBonnet', rehearsing and playing regular shows. By March, Kevin had mooted about parting company amicably with The Ordinarys, which is indeed what happened by April.
This offered an opportunity for Steve Phelps, the bands original vocalist, to consider returning to the fold. And so it was that on April 12th 2006, at London's Oxford Street 100 Club, The Ordinarys finally played a storming set at 'Punk Aid 2006', celebrating 30 years of Punk, supporting Spizz Energi. Promoter Tim Scargill and event organiser Oonagh Sherlock generously gave The Ordinarys the prestigious platform they needed to play to a raw punk audience for the first time since May 1978!
The show was an instant success with the public and promoters alike with many punters asking "...just who are these guys?...how come we haven't heard of them?..." etc, etc.
God Save The Ordinarys - Bless 'Em all...
Bored Teenagers - Volume 4 is OUT NOW!!!. - http://www.detour-records.co.uk/binliner.htm
The Ordinarys are also featured in a new book, published in 2006, called 'No More Heroes - The Complete History of British Punk Rock from 1970 to 1980', by renowned author Alex Ogg. - http://www.alexogg.com - published by Cherry Red Books - ISBN 1-901447-65-0 Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.