Review: McBusted blast into retro heaven
Pop: McBusted, 3Arena
How much retro can you take? If you're a devotee of McBusted, the answer, the group's 3Arena concert suggested, is 'a lot'. The guitar-slinging mega-boyband - a Vulcan mind-melding of McFly and Busted, minus the latter's Charlie Simpson - crowbarred in a lifetime's supply of 80s pop culture references, with endless hat-tips to Back to the Future, Street Fighter, and so on, and a giant Marty McFly DeLorean suspended from wires.
What did it all portend? For any agnostics present, it was hard to tell. Certainly the vintage trappings bore little obvious relationship to the six-piece's repertoire, a zesty punk pop, high on melody and whiny vocals. Moreover, the time-travel motif was arguably unfortunate with McBusted occasionally resembling an ensemble in denial about the forward march of years. All verging on 30 and crinkly about the brows, they weren't quite fresh-faced enough to fully inhabit their Inbetweeners-with-guitars personae - it was, at all points, clear that you were watching half a dozen musicians channelling their younger selves for the benefit of a room eager to recreate cherished teenage memories.
But what of the songs? Actually, music was McBusted's trump. With Green Day's most cartoonish moments as jumping off point, the sextet ripped through an endlessly solid catalogue: that it was difficult to distinguish between material from new LP, McBusted, and catalogue stuff was testament to the stability of Busted and McFly's arranged marriage. To stand back for a moment, how strange that these former chart rivals should so thoroughly enjoy figuratively writhing around in bed together. But their contortions yielded sweet music and as, the joyous shrieks that rang out all night demonstrated, this, more than any vintage distractions, was what fans truly craved.