Back in the early 2000s, Busted were topping the UK charts with a brand of punk pop that appealed to a mostly young audience.
So, more than 15 years on from their first chart-topper, it might be expected that their concertgoers would largely be people who had grown up listening to their music in the noughties. In other words, 30 and 40-somethings.
However, while the audience at the band’s show at the University of East Anglia in Norwich was dotted with people of these ages, most people were a decade or two younger. They would have been toddlers when Busted crashed onto the scene in 2002.
On the strength of this gig, then, the group has secured a whole new generation of followers after returning to the scene in 2015 from an almost decade-long hiatus (not counting their McBusted collaboration with McFly).
Kicking off in upbeat style with Air Hostess, Busted continued the fast pace with another of their early songs, What I Go to School For,before launching into Reunion, a track from their latest long-player, the well-received Half Way There. This album showcased a punk pop sound after their previous record, Night Driver, offered a more disco-oriented influence, and it was clear from the head-banging in the audience that the crowd are keen on the band’s return to their musical roots.
Indeed throughout this show the audience were extremely receptive and the band genuinely seemed to be enjoying the response.
Matt Willis and Charlie Simpson in particular were chatty, although Willis’s expletive-laden outbursts could have done with a bit of self-censorship.
But the crowd certainly didn’t mind the swearing as the band whipped through yet more upbeat tracks such as Thunderbirds Are Go before slowing things down with a fine version of the laid-back Tom Petty track Freefalling.
Busted’s new LP looks at the world through a nostalgic filter, and that was much in evidence at the UEA through songs such as All My Friends and Nineties, excellent tracks with a bittersweet twist.
The concert finished with the catchy Year 3000, a song from Busted’s first album, and one that was greeted with yet more whoops and cheers.
Perhaps against expectations, Busted’s lengthy pause for breath seems to have helped them restore the momentum.
Support band The Scruff, pictured below, earned a warm reception with songs that were catchy on their first listen. Let’s hope we hear more from them in future.