In these celeb-obsessed times, it’s tough for a self-aware artist to separate themselves from that world, as Preston of The Ordinary Boys knows only too well.
The band’s frontman appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006 and ended up marrying fellow contestant Chantelle Houghton, which lasted for barely a year.
As he tells The Guide during a day of press interviews: ‘It’s a bit of a day of it – I didn’t want to do any gossipy ones, but then I thought, screw it, I want people to hear the album, and if it helps...
‘But I was talking about Big Brother and Chantelle, things I haven’t thought about in a long time. And it’s sad that it’s still relevant to them, because it’s irrelevant to my life now.
‘By talking about it I’m acknowledging that I imagine that I think anyone cares.’
Realising the absurdity of the situation, he laughs: ‘And now I’m talking to you about it! Sorry, I’m a bit flustered.’
I always say that doing this album and tour is a way of forcing my best friends to have to hang around with mePreston of The Ordinary Boys
Nine years since their last album the band are back with a new self-titled album, and a tour that packs 27 shows into a month, including The Joiners in Southampton on Monday,
Best known for their hits Boys Will Be Boys and Lonely At The Top, the process saw three-quarters of the original line-up get back together, plus guitarist Louis Jones from power-pop band The Spectrals.
In the interim Preston has been honing his skills as a singwriter-for-hire, penning hits for John Newman, Example and Olly Murs’ number one Heart Skips A Beat.
While this tour may not take in Portsmouth, Preston knows the city well. Having grown up in Worthing, he attended university here for six months before transferring to Brighton. But even before that, the city played a pivotal role in his formative years.
‘When I was 10, maybe younger, I used to do acting, and I was in two music videos for a band called Kinky Machine, the band that became Rialto. They said ‘‘come see us play’’, so I saw them at the Wedgewood Rooms.
‘I was blown away by it, it was: “Wow, I want to do this, I want to play here one day”.’
With the tour having started on Wednesday, the band are looking forward to a busy run: ‘We’ve also got our jobs outside of this now, and our lives exist beyond this band. I always say that doing this album and tour is a way of forcing my best friends to have to hang around with me.’
Doors 7.30pm.Tickets£10. Go to joiners.vticket.co.uk