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The guitar wielding, jumping pop rockers, Busted disbanded back in 2005 leaving many a crying fan in their wake. This paved the way for McFly, who took over the guitar pop reins. Now the two genre heavyweights have come together and brought all their fans with them for a sold out Manchester show and huge UK tour. The atmosphere is absolutely electric, and that’s even before they have taken to the stage. A Back To The Future/McBusted/McFly spin-off montage plays on the big screen before the iconic DeLorean car jets through the back-drop delivering Matt Willis and James Bourne to the stage, whilst Mcfly follow from underneath the stage all to deafening screams. And from here on in it’s non-stop.
‘Air Hostess’, the infamous Busted song, kicks the set off and the rapture around the arena is unbelievable. The opening of the set, and indeed more of the evening, is dominated by Busted, and it is little wonder; fans have had to wait nearly a decade to see their favourites play live again. Big hits such as ‘Who’s David’ are played alongside album tracks such as the poppy ‘Nerdy’. It’s hard to resist the charms of the songs and undoubtedly they have entered everyone’s subconscious; even the arena security man can be seen singing along.
Making room for McFly, hits such as ‘Five Colours In Her Hair’ and the more recent ‘Shine A Light’ blast out. And although the setlist may be weighted in Busted’s favour, all six members of both bands play and sing on all songs; and admittedly former Busted member, Charlie Simpson, is barely missed. Slick and spontaneous, the newly formed six-piece are clearly revelling in every moment. They reminisce on how Busted first began in Manchester which spurs the fervent crowd on further.
It’s the perfect pop stage production and everything’s been thought out and planned down to a T. The VTs between sections, staring the boys themselves in many a guise, are witty and in keeping with the show, making it a cohesive narrative. As the stage darkens and the boys leave, a VT runs whereby the six of them are acting different Hill Billy characters and describing an alien invasion who are calling themselves McBusted. And it’s not long before attention turns away from the stage into the middle of the arena where a huge spaceship is descending down in to the centre, carrying the band who burst into McFly’s ‘Star Girl’. The second stage is awash with flashing lights and the sextet even have light-up guitars. A few songs and even more screaming girls later they are back on the main stage and have left the guitars behind; instead they break into the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’ complete with impressive dance routine. The OMFG Tour is all you could want, and just when you think things can’t get any more wild, four giant sized sports balls are thrown into the audience during ‘What I Go To School For’ . And whilst bassist Dougie Poynter bounds around with a horse head on, Matt Willis and James Bourne have huge guns which fire out McBusted t-shirts into the crowd.
The night ends with huge hit, ‘Year 3000’, as three huge breasts emerge from the ceiling of the arena (and if you’re not familiar with the song it concerns ‘triple breasted women swim around town totally naked’). McBusted; they may not be deemed “credible”, they may be far to “poppy”, but you have to give it them, they have returned at 100mph and certainly don’t show any signs of slowing. At the heart of tonight was opting to embrace this and join in the sing-a-long (let’s face it, we all know the words); and it left us saying “can we do it again, same time next week?” 9/10