Gig Review: Busted at the O2 Academy Bournemouth


After returning to the music scene, 10 year after their breakup, Busted played an impressive set at Bournemouth’s 02 Academy on Saturday (04/02/17), playing new and old songs from their catalogue to a room packed out with adoring, nostalgia hunting fans. George McMillan reviews…

After watching Busted play at the BIC last year, their new album seemed to have not done enough to prolong the novelty of the 90’s boy band comeback. Downgrading both venue and set size from their previous visit to the coast, with less scissor kicks, pogo jumping and power stance guitar solos. However, what may have lacked in enthusiasm from the band was more than made up for by the packed out academy. A crowd mostly full of age 20+ fan girls screaming out for their childhood sweethearts on stage.

The band ran through their catalogue of songs that was more heavily weighted towards the new album which was released towards the end of last year, disappointingly I’m sure for the majority of people who had seemingly come expecting more of the now decade old tracks from the band. Songs such as ‘Air Hostess’ and ‘That’s What I Go to School For’ were met with rapturous applause and ear piercing screams from the room as grins mounted everyone’s faces and memories of their 10 year old self dancing in their room listening from a Sony Walkman. The newer songs such as ‘Night Driver’ and ‘Thinking of You’, although visibly more fun for the band to play and more technically impressive than the guitar thrashing style of their earlier tracks, lacked the same ability to move the audience’s feet which stayed firmly put. Anyone who had just walked in might even have mistaken Busted for the supporting act.

There were several occasions during the night that I had to remind myself I wasn’t in Cameo’s Vinyl room and instead was actually seeing the band in the flesh.

It was clear the band were in their element either way, reveling in every minute and loving being able to play songs that have only been played live a handful of times rather than hundreds. They were playing because they wanted to, not because they had to… A refreshing contrast from many bands who speak of tour as more of a chore than a privilege, the royalties from Year 3000 I imagine have set them up for life, making touring a hobby rather than an income source. There were several occasions during the night that I had to remind myself I wasn’t in Cameo’s Vinyl room and instead was actually seeing the band in the flesh.

Matt Willis, also known for winning ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here,’ made it clear how thankful he was for the dedicated fan base, frequently taking moments in between songs to engage with the audience and thank them for their support. Frontman Charlie Simpson stayed quiet for a vast majority of the gig, maybe with a tail between his legs after promising he would never regroup as ‘Busted’ again three years’ prior when ‘McBusted’ toured together.

Love them or hate them the band don’t seem to be going anywhere with promises from Willis that it won’t be long before the noughties pop punk band would be back with more material and another tour, only time will tell as to whether the novelty will fizzle away.