I know this isn’t a bookish post but bear with okay ‘cos I just feel the need to talk about this okay okay.
So on Sunday night, me and my wonderful friend Olivia went to see Busted at the 02 Academy, Bristol. It was such a good night with an amazing support band and set list from the main boys that was both a blast from the past and a great way to introduce us to their new sound.
I haven’t been to a huge amount of gigs but I think the O2 is a great venue. I do enjoy the venue for its club nights and as a gig venue, it is even better. As the gig was mid Feb someone was walking up and down the queue handing out foil blankets which was a super nice touch because it meant that, even though I had a coat on, I was able to cover my legs which I only had tights on. The venue has around 2,500 capacity which makes for a really intimate and immersive gig experience. They do bag checks and send people through metal detectors too so I always feel safe and the security guys hand out water to the people at the front of the main floor area. You can enjoy the gig, knowing you’re in good hands, ran by a company that care about the music. I know if I go to O2 for a gig, I’m in for a good time.
The Supports – Natives:
Guys. GUYS. I LOVED the supports. So much. They’re described online as ‘tribal pop rock’ which is the perfect way to label them. With synths galore and a lot of drums I instantly fell n love with their effortless style. I used to drum so anything with a lot of drums just gives me life and this was no exception. I think, as a relatively unknown band they commanded a large crowd really well. The lead singer was super confident and did a great job at hyping everyone up for the main dish. I haven’t stopped listening to their music since and me and Olivia are gonna go see them on their headline tour in May. We bought their EP which has become my new life soundtrack and they signed it too. We got pics with the drummer and we’re looking forward to their much more intimate show in May. I am so thankful to have discovered a new fav band completely by surprise. Find Natives on spotify here.
This was the blast from the past you imagined it would be. However, they made no apologies for playing their awesome new stuff. I really am in love with Busted’s new sound. The set list was the perfect mix of old classics like Year 3000, What I Go To School For and Air Hostess weaved in between their new (and I think improved) sound. It was really well set out and I liked how they played a new song to begin and again to end. One thing I really appreciated was that in their new stuff, a few badass saxophone solos occur. For the gig, they had a live saxophonist which was such a breath of fresh air and boy, did he own the stage! It helped Busted’s more mature image and showed their heart really is in the new stuff, rather than the old.
Matt showed the most engagement with the audience, I would have liked a bit more from the other two. He looked like he was having such a great time, which put a permanent smile on my face. When a fight broke out in the main crowd (we were on the balcony) he showed his disdain telling him to “f*ck off”which, was actually quite nice because, who want a fight breaking out at a Busted concert for goodness sake? He was really good at engaging with the people on the balcony. I swear for a moment we caught eyes and we both made the same hand signal to each other but…I ould hcave just been drawing in my teenage fandom memories.
James and Charlie were also clearly really having a good time. James seemed to command the most instruments and he effortlessly worked the crowd, making sure everyone had as good a time as he did. My teenage crush came rushing back when Charlie started to sing. His voice is incredible in every way and the moments he sung acappella shone like diamonds.
The gig officially ended with Year 3000 I clutched Olivia’s arm “Oh my god what if it’s…oh my god” and i was and the whole place burst with joy and excitement. But the best moment of the gig was still to come for me. When they came back onstage (which, took them a cruelly long time, I have to say) they played 3 more songs as an encore. They ended the entire gig with a new song, Those Days Are Gone which is easily my fav off the new album. I completely lost myself in the song and as it was one of their new ones I was one of the few people on the balcony singing along. It was a really special moment and a perfect way to end the show. It was glorious.
The only downside to the gig came right at the end. After we had a chat with the support band, me and Olivia decided to walk around to stage door (or whatever the music world equivalent is…I’m a theatre kid…cut me some slack) on the off chance that we could maybe meet the Busted guys. It was pretty clear early on that they just wanted to leave, which was completely understandable, it was a Sunday and cold and they had another gig elsewhere in less than 24 hours. James came out (Matt had already left) a few people were so out of line and started screaming and swearing at him. Obviously eager to meet their idols but…wow…it was too much. A few people told them to shush and to stop screaming but it fell on deaf ears. This kind of behaviour is so out of order. When you buy a ticket to a gig, that does not include meet and greet. There is no obligation for the band to endure endless selfies with their fans, no matter how appreciative they were. I’m sure that actors and authors feel the same way sometimes! It was really nice to be able to see them and just give them a wave and show our appreciation one last time, however.
Overall, it was wonderful evening. I spent it with one of my favourite people seeing one of my favourite ever bands and found a new one to obsess over too! I’m excited to see Busted grow in this new era of music as I do really really like the new sound.
Thanks a lot for bearing with me on this post, I just wanted to document it!
Thank you lovelies and happy reading! (or listening…to Natives…do it now!) ox