Roaring return for lost quartet with council pop

Orphan Boy
Orphan Boy

Four Orphan Boys from the Lincolnshire coast are hoping to rock Doncaster music lovers when they take to the stage.

Indie-rockers Orphan Boy are on tour following the release of a new single – with a date in Doncaster on Saturday, April 18.

The band enjoyed early success, before calling it a day, only to quickly reform.

Frontman Rob Cross says: “We formed in 2005, a long time ago, in Cleethorpes.

“There were three of us, we moved to Manchester and signed to Concrete Records.

“We put out two albums, several singles with them and had some success, we appeared in NME, enjoyed some airplay on Radio 1 and BBC 6 and played Glastonbury Festival four times.

“We were a post punk band, but then we brought in a keyboardist and became more of an indie-type band.”

However, in 2011, the quartet of Rob, on guitar and vocals, drummer Chris Day, bassist Paul Smith and keyboard player Sam Carlton – called it a day, frustrated by the lack of recognition for four lads from the unfashionable music metropolis of Cleethorpes.

Rob says: “We went on an indefinite hiatus as we were tired and frustrated by it all.

“We tried to be normal, but it didn’t work.

“We got proper jobs and tried to be decent citizens, but after a year we were back in the rehearsal rooms.”

The band then gathered more recognition when they were ‘discovered’ by Tom Clarke, lead singer of indie-rockers The Enemy.

Rob says: “Tom Tweeted about us, that he’d discovered this new band. It rejuvenated everything.

“We did gigs for NME, supported The Enemy, and we started getting noticed.”

The band have been busy in the studio ever since, with a new single –Beats Like Distant Tides – released this week and a new album due for release in May.

Rob says: “We’re chuffed with it all.

“Beats Like Distant Tides has been getting good radio play on XFM, Radio 2, BBC 6.

“We’ve obviously got something. We’re still independent, we’re doing well.

“We found our own style which we invented, council pop.”

The past frustration of being overlooked – the band says ‘when did you last see an A&R man in Cleethorpes’ – seeps out in one particular song, From The Provinces, which also name checks Doncaster.

Rob says: “That particular song will be a single and hopefully we’ll doing it on the road.

“It’s a tribute to all the towns like Doncaster and Cleethorpes that are actaully ignored as far as music goes.

“That’s why we had to move out of Cleethorpes to go to Manchester.

“For example, if you’re from Doncaster, you get considered a Sheffield band and compared with Arctic Monkeys, which is unfair.”

And Rob is particularly proud of the new album.

He says: “It is a culmination of everything we have been working towards.

“I was always trying to write a big pop single like Common People, that would go stratospheric, but it never really happened.

“However, I had a lot of songes that flowed together, and the new album really flows together.

“Our first two albums were a mish-mash, but this is like a whole, its feels like the old classic albums where it all flows together.”

And Rob urged the people of Doncaster to check them out – even if past gigs have been a bit ‘unsavoury’.

“People seem to go crazy,” he says. “We’ve played Manchesrer, London, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes and people have gone crazy, climbing on stage, taking off their clothes. It’s all very unsavoury.

“I guess we’re just the kind of under-the-radar band that never gets the success they deserve, the kind of band you can see in small venues right up close.”

n Orphan Boy play The Leopard, West Street, Doncaster, on Saturday, Apri l 18.