Live music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember; I was taken to concerts and roadshows from a very young age. For most people like myself, there is always one band or artist that truly make you fall in love with music and who shape your lifelong musical choices and taste. For me, that band was Busted.
They came along at a time when the charts had become a quagmire of novelty bands and putrid pop; the likes of Fast Food Rockers et al leading the way. With their own brand of three chord pop punk (all music and lyrics written by themselves) the British music scene (yes the indie scene included) saw a seismic shift in the commercial popularity of guitar bands take place.
Along with Busted came McFly. A band who were represented by the same management, the same label and who arguably benefitted from Busted being the prototype. Much like the older sibling that the parents made the mistakes with, McFly reaped the benefits from having Busted try things first.
Sadly, in January 2005 and midway through their five album contract, Charlie Simpson decided he wanted to pursue other heavier interests on the UK emo scene and left the band causing Busted to split. Admittedly, I shed a few tears that day and listened to the bands entire back catalogue in a darkened room. That was the day I grew up.
However, nearly ten years on, McFly and Busted have made my youthful dreams come true by forming a supergroup – sans Simpson who is currently pursuing a solo career. Armed with a sense of nostalgia and a ticket in my hand I went to see the supercombo at their Liverpool show. As McBusted kick off their seventeen song set (a mixture of both bands hits) I am at once transported to a time when life was simpler and for one hour and forty minutes I am young again.
The show opened with Matt Willis and James Bourne on that fateful day in January 2005 when Busted split and instantly the madness begins. Homage is paid to Back to the Future as James and Matt travel through time to get to the future (in James’s Delorean no less) to perform with McFy. In fact, Matt and James land on the stage in a flying Delorean as McFly’s Tom, Danny, Dougie and Harry fly in from below amidst the first of many pyrotechnics before bursting into four classic Busted tracks. All the songs on the set list besides current single Love on the Radio were classic Busted/McFly songs, indicating who this concert was really for – the older fans who made up the majority of the audience, the ones who essentially were robbed when Busted were cut down in their prime. The response from the crowd only served to prove the relevance of both bands in the current pop scene.
As the audience have matured, you can’t help but notice the changes in the band. Some of them are married, some of them are parents themselves and whilst they have grown older and arguably – erm – grown in girth, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have grown up. Talk turns to poop, sex and there are a few swear bombs dropped. However, rather than feeling vulgar it makes you feel privy to the bands dynamics, like you are invited into their conversation rather than the casual observer; the bands histrionics are evident in the easy nature of their banter. It is this which made the arena feel smaller. To create this sense of intimacy is no easy feat but McBusted did just that. The fact that they were having fun translated to the crowd wonderfully.
With added surprises such a video interludes, a floating spaceship stage, a walk through the audience and a Jackson’s cover version (among many more) made you feel you were getting more bang for your buck. In an industry with constantly inflating ticket prices McBusted seriously put every effort into giving their audience everything they had and more. I would advise anyone – old fans or new – invest in a ticket. Over the years I have been to a lot of gigs but this one goes down as the greatest live show I have ever seen. Viva la McBusted.