McBusted – Birmingham (Live Review)

Rating:

On a massive UK tour this Spring, supergroup McBusted were back in Birmingham for the fifth time at the 16,000 seater LG arena.

Donned a ‘supergroup’ McBusted is a combination of 2002’s creators of pop rock Busted and their cheeky little brother band McFly that formed in 2003. Having had a shared history and both bands and members weaving the same path from the start, these guys have been working together for years, and so this spectacle seemed to form naturally.

Busted’s heartbroken members Matt and James were left devasted by (wanna be rockstar) Charlie’s abandonment of the band, who (shockingly) also turned down joining McBusted, although he happily scooped up the rumoured six figure payout necessary for them to carry on without him. Still dabbling in bits of music and such over the years the guys have seemingly been waiting in the wings for such an opportunity and they deserve it. Inverted James is such a talent, writing for other artists over the years (including Mcfly) and having his fingers in so many pies he must have been constantly sticky, you can see that he’s not a backstage guy at heart, he loves to perform and he was made to. Matt is a yummy treat that has never really left the public eye from his place atop of the Jungle throne to his dancing shoes on the west end, but all we really want from him is to slappa-da bass…

McFly had a great amount of popularity immediately after touring with Busted and their first single ‘5 Colours In Her Hair’, it went strong until around 2007, although still present in the industry and to fans their mainstream popularity started to wane…

Enter McBusted.. Two popular noughties pop rock bands meshing together to do one of the biggest and most popular tours ever? No one would have expected it- not even the guys themselves. The ever prompt pop fans were in their seats, ready and waiting 20 minutes after the doors opened. Building the anticipation the show included three support bands. Each band with a short set, the stage hands had their work cut out setting and removing equipment, but it was done so efficiently that before you knew it another band was up, actually providing the kids with great value for money- four bands one ticket, one can’t complain at that.

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First up was Salisburys’ Young Brando. Unremarkable and looking to be an eternal support band, these guys didn’t really have any presence or a recognisable sound. Rock singers can get away without actually being about to ‘sing’ pop rock singers? Not so much. To give them a break, they tried hard, the crowd seemed to react positively and the musicians are somewhat talented.

 Second supports EofE hit the stage with an immediate draw and energy, with a fledgling rock sound  that got the crowds attention. With a four long set the guys didn’t have a great amount of time to make an impression, but with their range of original songs and interesting mash-up covers they had the kids screaming. The star of the group is frontman/vocalist Tom who makes dental braces look genuinely cool, whilst also reminding you how young these lads are. He’s got energy and spirit and a rocky tone that lifts them above the other tosh that these kiddie pop bands usually come selling. Whilst commending Tom, one must not forget his support band, the professional musicians who owned the stage and hit every note with passion and a clarity worthy of any rock star.

And last up was support band Hollywood Ending. Having an actual back catalogue, these guys have been around a little longer than the other two supports. Coming in a polished package Hollywood Ending are similar to perhaps a Jonas Brothers, these guys come bringing sweet Disney pop rock, which is nothing to be ashamed of, as they do it well and the fans ate it up.

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McBusted were ten minutes late to stage but no one was bothered. Flying (?) down in their iconic Delorian Matt and James were welcomed with a ridiculous level of excitement, screaming, clapping and crying. Appearing as if from nowhere the four McFly boys flew through the air. Without barely missing a beat they grabbed their weapons and hit straight into their first song, Busted’s ‘Air Hostess’.

This 2014 merger brings a stronger ‘boy band’ connotation than the guys ever had before- (them actually being married, fathers and men, about as far from boys as possible) but in a completely positive way. They are a big polished vocal harmony group. Four amazing singers (figure out which four are meant for yourselves..!) all weaving their own personal voice into a goosey creating sound. Firing t shirts into the crowd, squirting them with water and generally being inclusive in every aspect of their performance, everyone in that massive room felt part of the show. 

The most poignant part of the show for me personally, all came down to someone who was actually one of my least favourite members- sorry Harry. Sat below us and in front of an awkward part of the stage was the wheelchair bound audience members. Whether they could see or not a young man caught my eye several times throughout the show, he seemed to be having the time of his life, easily enjoying the show the most out of anyone in the cavernous room. Getting on towards the end of the show the McBusted guys seemed to be looking at Harry bewildered as he jumped out of his seat (topless, I’m sorry touching moment, but goodness me..) to lean over the stage and call at a crowd control man. He pointed to the happy fella below us and passed the guard his drum sticks to give to him, with a smile and a wave in his direction Harry fled back to his seat. The young man in the wheelchair squealed with delight and (what I figure was..) his Dad seemed even happier. still Such a touching moment, for him to notice someone in the audience, pick them out and take that time and make that effort. Harry you’re a star. That little gesture has given someone unknown happiness.

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Ensuring smiles from start to finish the show was enthralling, this isn’t a last clutching attempt at fame for these fellas, this isn’t money, business or corporate. This is their passion, their love and dedication to music personified. The show was everything you want any show to be- it was impromptu, to the audience it felt like this show was for you, it wasn’t rehearsed or planned, they said what they felt and often went on a tangent musically or otherwise. The show included giant balls, three giant nipples, a horse playing a bass and a man in a wedding dress- who could sniff at that?!

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Reportedly planning to hit the studio for an LP in June this is not the last we will hear of McBusted- thank goodness.