Review and gallery of fans and band: Busted, Wolverhampton Racecourse

It has been a whole 11 years since they initially split - and last night Busted transported fans back to the early noughties with their lively, hit-packed set.

Review and gallery of fans and band: Busted, Wolverhampton Racecourse

The trio stepped out onto Wolverhampton Racecourse stage to roaring applause, kicking off their 90-minute (or so) set with newly released electropop single Coming Home.

And though the choice of the opener left my friend and I looking at each other with puzzled faces, the 2016 single - released back in May - has clearly been a hit, particularly with the band’s younger fans, who belted out the words faithfully throughout.

“How are we doing Wolverhampton?” shouted a beaming Charlie, as the set turned to better-known songs from the band with 2003 number Air Hostess.

And it went down a storm. Fans filled the gaps in the words whenever given the opportunity and jumped and danced along to the beat, many of them clearly revelling in the chance to relive their younger days from when the song was first released.

Though Charlie Simpson, Matt Willis and James Bourne have taken some time away from touring as a trio, the three appeared to look good for the break - though all three of them now seem to have more or less taken centre-stage.

When the band first began, they were set out like a rock band - with Charlie on drums, Matt on bass and James on guitar. But last night, each of the trio stood at the front, with a backing drummer and guitarist.

Though this no doubt looked odd to older fans, the layout actually produced great sound throughout the show, delivering a solid, hefty drumbeat and clean guitar and bass notes on every song.

And though the band sounded very good through much of their performance, vocally it was undoubtedly Charlie who stole the show, with his deep, strong, wide-ranging vocals and his trademark rocky tone.

“We’re gonna sing our first number one from like 100 years ago,” announced Matt, as the band launched into Crash and Burn - much to fans’ delight who whooped and cheered as they recognised the hit.

“Wolverhampton let me see your hands in the air,” screamed Charlie in excitement. And the crowd happily obliged.

“So how you guys doing tonight? You ready for some party time?,” he added.

“It is a Saturday night.”

More hits from the band’s back catalogue followed, including Dawson’s Geek and Who’s David, before the lads performed a highly-emotional rendition of 2002 number Sleeping With The Light On. This slower, softer number saw Charlie request fans dig out their mobiles and shine their lights toward the stage - creating a lovely setting, especially given the show was outside.

And though Busted released just two studio albums during their heyday back in 2002 and 2003, the audience was made up of a huge variety of ages - from families with young children, to groups of young adults and even older couples.

Some watching the set had, it appeared, only really come out for the racing, as a few shouted out the odd phrase of abuse at the lads as they performed. Some of them were, however, later spotted dancing and singing along to the better-known songs - so whether they were Busted fans in disguise, we will never know, but by the end of the set there was barely a member of the crowd not moving.

Songs which infected the audience with the dancing bug included Crashed The Wedding and What I Go To School For, before the band retired backstage for the obligatory encore.

Returning to the stage a few minutes later, the band completed their set with a pitch-perfect performance of 3am.

“And just like that we’ve reached our last song,” declared James.

“Wolverhampton this is the last one - everyone go nuts.”

“Let’s see if we can get everyone jumping from the front to the back,” added Charlie.

And, as the sounds of Year 3000 were belted out by the band, the crowd did go crazy - jumping and singing and dancing along, with great grins on their faces.

“Wolverhampton, thanks for having us,” said Charlie.

No Charlie - for a trip down memory lane and a night of dancing and laughter - thank you.

By Kirsten Rawlins

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