The truth is Londonist has somehow allowed One Direction to slip through the cracks of our musical knowledge. We know they exist, we know they play some kind of pop music and we know that teenage girls scream in their thousands as a direct result. But ask us to name a single One Direction tune and you'll have us scrabbling around like a man without a monocle.
We wonder if some of Londonist's readers aren't similarly afflicted by a lack of information regarding the second-highest earning celebrities under 30, according to Forbes. Given the group we must seemingly call '1D' have announced a trio of dates at the O2 Arena next autumn (24-26 September 2015), and the tickets go on sale tomorrow morning, we thought it might be a good idea to produce a bluffer's guide to Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis. And in all honesty we thought there were only four of them so this is as much for us as it is for you.
The parents of each member of the group were selected two decades ago to produce the superstars of the future, five strapping heartthrobs to take over the world. Their young offspring were guided through school by the kindly hand of Machiavelli under his current guise of 'Simon Cowell', who saw to it that they auditioned individually for the same series of the X Factor and were 'put together' as a quintet and intentionally awarded third place in the series so as not to appear to be overplaying their hand. Mr Cowell's record label then masterminded the release of What Makes You Beautiful, the group's debut single, which over half a billion people have watched on Youtube. Half a billion. Population control becomes more topical by the day.
Their debut album Up All Night was released when they were still too young to be up all night but that didn't stop it selling by the cartload. It was released in November 2011. Their second album was released in November 2012. Their third album was released in November 2013. Their fourth album was released in November 2014. How curious. Which month is Black Friday in again?
We're getting ahead of ourselves. The second album was Take Me Home, a title not in any way guaranteed to make teenage screamers think they have a realistic chance of doing just that to one of the boys. Its lead single was called Live While We're Young and included the controversially racy lyrics 'Tonight let's get some, and live while we're young. Woahhh oh oh oh. Woahhhh oh oh oh.'
In 2013 One Direction released a charity single for Comic Relief, a medley of Blondie's One Way or Another and The Undertones' Teenage Kicks. We won't be embedding that track here because we recently did a piece on the much-missed John Peel, whose favourite track was Teenage Kicks, and the man would have every right to haunt us off the internet if we did.
The third album appeared later that year, and with it a monster of a track entitled Best Song Ever. Having weighed it against various songs by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Leadbelly, we remain utterly uncertain whether this is indeed the Best Song Ever. Judge for yourselves.
And last month the band released Four, because they're so famous they now no longer have to think of album titles that might sell. Perhaps this is the reason we thought there were four of them, because their marketing campaign has been so successful we think of 1D and we think four. Or perhaps Niall Horan doesn't actually exist. Who can say?
The most recent entry in the One Direction singles back catalogue is the behemoth Night Changes, in which 1D took an unexpected post-punk turn and Zayn Malik dressed up like Robert Smith of The Cure for the video.
Night Changes reached an inexplicable peak of 21 in the UK singles chart, so to arrest the imminent slide of the group that will save us all we strongly recommend you have an early night to be up in time for the ticket sale which begins at 9am tomorrow morning. This may be the last chance you'll get to see One Direction in such intimate surroundings as the O2 Arena, before the magpie Cowell spies another shiny thing and palms them off onto Fierce Panda and they start their alcohol-fuelled wilderness years playing the Barfly to a small crowd of former stalkers whose hearts aren't really in it.
One Direction play the O2 Arena on 24, 25 and 26 September 2015. Tickets go on sale at 9am on 6 December, from See Tickets and most other reputable outlets.