Ordinary Boys

Published on October 13th, 2018

Ordinary Boys

While people might roll their eyes at the mention of a cover band, they might want to give Miami’s Ordinary Boys: The Smiths & Morrissey Tribute Act a shot. The group’s haunting recreation of this influential ’80s British band and its iconic singer is an apt precursor to the spookiest day of the year — and a break from the scary, cringe-inducing 2018 version of Morrissey.

Founded in 2010, Ordinary Boys debuted at Churchill’s Pub in Miami and have gone through several lineup changes in a continuous effort to refine and deliver the meticulous sound that is a trademark of both the Smiths and frontman Morrissey in his solo incarnation.

Ordinary Boys sound anything but when they hit the stage. A voice not unlike that of Manchester’s Pope of Mope pours out of lead singer AJ Navarrete, who sounds just as emotional and pleading. Smooth guitar chords a la Johnny Marr by Michael Setton accompany the vocals. Bass player Uned Correa, guitarist and keyboardist Byron Lopez and drummer Rees Bridges round out this polished reflection of the original.

Named after a song from Morrissey’s 1988 debut solo album, “Viva Hate,” the group plays solo Morrissey mainstays such as “Irish Blood, English Heart” and Smiths perennials including  How Soon Is Now?,” “This Charming Man” and Navarrete’s personal favorite, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.”

Their music videos, filmed in black and white, exude nostalgia. And when they play, it’s easy to forget that they’re just some dudes from Miami.

In an interview with The New Tropic in 2017, Navarrete talked about how he and the rest of the band balance performing with their day jobs; in essence, their ordinary lives: “I’m not saying we’re just as good or better than the real thing, but we get to recreate it. And the band is great — any little hiccup will be picked up immediately and we’ll be able to recoup in a millisecond.”

It takes real work for a tribute band to sound like their heroes, which this outfit has managed to do while still making the music sound effortless.

Ordinary Boys: Let Them Eat Cake w. Jay Baldo & The Midnight Sun, DJ Klov on October 26 at Voltaire in West Palm Beach. Advance Tickets at Ticketfly ~ Olivia Feldman

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