Busted @ Rough Trade

This afternoon, Busted went down to Rough Trade in Nottingham to perform an intimate set ahead of the album charts tomorrow in which they are in close competition with The Special’s greatest hits for the number one position. Having only announced the show on Monday, and then announcing a second Rough Trade show yesterday, as well as a third in London the same evening, Charlie, James and Matt managed to sell the venue out.

Doors opened an hour before they were due to perform, but even this early, the queue was all the way down the road and wrapped around the corner as fans were eager to get a good view of the pop-punk three-piece, along with their new touring drummer Eddy Thrower from Lower Than Atlantis. The crowd was a mixture of younger and new fans as well as more mature fans who have been supporters of Busted since way back in 2003 when their classic ‘A Present for Everyone’ was released.

Busted had a lot to live up to with their new album ‘Half Way There’, especially as the album before this-, ‘Night Driver’, didn’t really amount to much. However, the boys have gone back to the sound that fans know and love, all be it with a bit more added nostalgia thrown into their lyrics. They wrote a lot of the album at James Bourne’s North London apartment where they spent a lot of their time while they were first starting out as a band. Taking it back to this original sound has definitely paid off as the album contains some hit sing-along songs which incorporate some humorous and clever lyrics. The public obviously agree as it placed at number one in the midweek charts and is in tight competition for number one on tomorrow’s official chart.

As the three walked on stage, the small venue of Rough Trade erupted with applause and somehow managed to increase their cheers when the opening lines of ‘What I go to School For’ filled the air. Everybody knew the lyrics and started singing along while they played a few new songs off the new album including ‘Radio’ and ‘All My Friends’, the latter featuring the genius lyric of ‘all my friends have got fat’ and ‘when we talk on FaceTime, I see it on their waistline’, which is probably incredibly offence to any friends of Matt, James or Charlie, but undeniably rings true for a lot of people. They also performed ‘Sleeping with the light on’ which was a welcomed classic, but fairly unexpected out of all the songs that they could have chosen. Never the less, the audience were singing along and at one point, James turned his microphone around to face the crowd making us all feel more involved.

During the show, Matt made an effort to convince people to buy their album and also ended up reading out some messages from a phone of an audience member which was very entertaining, as well as taking a phone to FaceTime with another fan . The boys put a lot of effort into making the most of the intimate environment and really tried to talk to the audience and get them involved, even if they did admit that it was weird doing a show at 2pm as that was the time they usually got up, and the crowd wasn’t drunk enough. James even said that “it’s morning, good morning!”.

The show ended as everybody expected (and had been hoping that it would), with ‘Year 3000’ which was amazing to be seen performed no more than two meters away after 16 years since its first release. The show was very cleverly made up of songs from the first and also the new album, highlighting the fact that although the group have obviously grown up and learned a lot from both their time as a band and their individual solo careers, they haven’t forgotten where they’ve come from and where they started.

The session ended with some album signings which were rushed through so as to get the next performance underway and so that they could then head to London for their third show of the day. The effort they are putting in to make a final push in the album charts is to be commended but unfortunately Matt revealed that as of this morning they were actually number 2, and that if people bought their album today, it would ‘really, really help them out’.

Whatever the outcome tomorrow, whether they secure the number one position or do narrowly miss out, Busted are definitely back with a vision in mind to be the very best that they can be. They start their UK tour next month which ends at Wembley Arena on March 30th, and if it’s anything like the snippet we were treated to today, it should include a variety of their old-school classics alongside their latest hits which seem to be heading in the same direction.

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