Jules Reid

11:16 24th September 2003

Sheffield based anti-cool merchants Ormondroyd were formed just over a year ago at Uni and have been making a name for themselves peddling their own brand of (what I like to call) Dream Rock. John "Champion of the Underdog" Peel was playing their first demo on Radio 1 when they had only played a handful of gigs. "It was rather bizarre to be honest" says singer Ollie Birtill. "My mobile rang and it was John asking me if he could play our track on his show. He's a good guy that man."

Having heard the demo in question it's obvious to see why Peel is so taken by the band known by their fans as the 'Droyd. The songs are dreamy laments; even the happy ones somehow manage to sound sad. This is due in no small part, to Ols' beautiful fragile vocal performance. You get the impression that if Ol was to sing happy birthday at a Childs' party he would be besieged by angry mothers wanting to know why their kids were in tears.

So, what have Ormondroyd been grooving to recently then? "'I'm in hoc to Spiritualised up to my eyeballs my man" enthuses Ol. "The 'Pure Phase' album is fucking brilliant! Otherwise Mogwai, The Beach Boys…That kind of stuff." So with labels starting to circle like vultures, a British tour planned for the summer and members of the opposite sex actually talking to them for a change, are the 'Droyd enjoying life then? "Yeah" says Ol, "before all this our single biggest achievement to date was getting Steve Lamacq back to our halls of residence for a post-gig cider drinking session. He had a 'what the hell am I doing here look on his face the whole time he was with us. We let him go after a couple of days…"

Picture by SJ Crowe