BUSTED: Pigs Can Fly Tour Review

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

I experienced my first heartbreak in 2004, I was ten years old and a voice from the radio announced that a certain pop trio had decided to part ways due to creative differences.

Sniffling and slobbering into my school uniform, my first stop was to my next door neighbour Leanne's house. She had been the one to play me their album for the first time only two years before, and I felt as though she was the only person who could confirm the news. Alas, it was true, my favourite boyband were well and truly BUSTED.

Over the years, I never had the opportunity to see Matt or James as they took on new musical challenges. However, I did travel to Portsmouth in April, 2012 to watch Charlie Simpson perform at the Pyramids Centre after the launch of his 2011 album 'Young Pilgrim'. I remember looking up and thinking that he didn't look much different, but as soon as he opened his mouth the voice and style was a million miles away from the horny teenager he had made his name as, and I felt glad that he had made a decision that allowed him to develop and progress as an artist.

That doesn't mean that I haven't spent the last few years feeling pretty devastated, and if you've been on a night out and suddenly 'What I Go To School For,' has burst onto the speakers, it's pretty safe to assume that myself and the same best friend that introduced me to Busted in the first place, are the ones who requested it and somewhere we are balancing wine glasses in our hands whilst dancing like it's the Year 3000.

With this in mind you can imagine the 'I've-wet-my-pants' level of excitement that took place when we realised Busted were reuniting AND we had tickets. It was a countdown that felt like a lifetime, but May 11 eventually arrived and we headed to London on the train, for an afternoon/evening that began with a lot of excited giggling, singing and eventually pizza & prosecco. 

 So, the show itself...

It's fair to say that a lot has happened since Busted last played at Wembley Arena, from Son of Dork and Fightstar to Matt Willis' solo venture, but their comeback was one of such amazing triumph that as they kicked off their Pigs Can Fly Tour - a name you probably know, taken from the unlikelihood it seemed they would ever reunite - after twelve long years, it was as if they had only been there yesterday. 

As the curtains dropped and Charlie Simpson, James Bourne and Matt Willis popped up through three trap doors, greeted with intense deafening cheers from throughout the arena that soon proved no amount of time had damaged the enthusiasm of their fans. It was the sound of a thousand of childhood memories bursting to life all at once as a joyous, energetic nostalgia swept over the audience.

Opening the show with brand new single ‘Coming Home,’ and later performing ‘One of a Kind,’ I was super excited to hear something different, it was a great balance of new material and certainly got the audience elevated over the prospect of a new album. Although, it was reasonably clear that they were under no illusion of what people were there for; those lively, cheeky classics we have waited over a decade to hear.

I don't believe I have ever sung as loudly or danced so passionately at a gig in all my life. As they played hits like Air Hostess, Year 3000, and What I Go To School For, not one person had forgotten the words - except Matt sort of.

Their time apart certainly hasn’t done them any harm and the venue was boasting an infectious energy with a wonderful sense of solidarity among fans; we were all a part of this wondrous pop pilgrimage, and as people shuffled from the arena, smiling ear to ear excitedly clutching posters, t-shirts and any other merchandise they could get their hands on, it was as if the boys had never been away. 

I am incredibly excited at the promise of a new album in the pipeline - it's a wonderful thought to imagine myself and the same best friend who I enjoyed their music with in their original glory days, playing the new album and dancing around the living room, hitting the repeat button and learning lyrics almost instantly, it are these thoughts that make it suddenly very fitting that they called their first single 'Coming Home.' 

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