If this is love, then love is easy!
An awful lot can change in ten years. I finished high school and university (twice). I’ve changed my goals, my hairstyle, moved house, visited new places and made new friends. But one thing has stayed the same throughout everything. Oh yes – all that time, I have been a McFly fan.
I am well aware that this is not a cool confession, but I really don’t care. Do you know why I first sought out the up-and-coming ‘baby Busted’ in late 2003? Because they praised my favourite contestant on Pop Idol. It was that long ago.
They burst onto the scene with Five Colours in Her Hair at the beginning of 2004, and I saw them at Big in Falkirk, when very few people knew who they were. I was also one of the few to run around to the VIP area to see them leave; I swear, Danny waved at me as the bus pulled away.
Danny, singer and guitarist, was (and is) my favourite. I still think he has one of the best voices on the planet. Dougie was the cute one on bass (and you might have since seen him win I’m a Celeb). The drummer was Harry (you might have seen him win Strictly). And Tom was the other singer/guitarist, and I wish my teenage self had known that it is boys like this that you should go for! (Becoming a grown-up.) Even if you don’t really know the band, you might have heard Tom’s wedding speech, when he basically outdid all men ever.
When they did their first tour, I convinced no fewer than eleven of my friends to go to their concert with me. We were in the exact same row, but one group was on Tom’s side, while the other was on Dougie’s. (I realise this is a fan explanation – one was on the right-hand side and the other on the left.) Those on Tom’s side caught the towel thrown out by one of the members of V, the support act; those on Dougie’s side – well, we got great photos of a cute bassist who was only a couple of years older than us.
In the – I really can’t believe it – ten years that followed my discovery of this new band, I saw them many, many times in various venues over Scotland. I saw them three times last year alone: first at the SECC in Glasgow, where I have to admit, I felt a little old. I expected everyone to be around my age – fans that had grown up with the band – but they have gathered lots of new and younger fans over the years.
However, a couple of months later, I travelled to see them for the first time. My friend, Jen, said she was going to drive to Gloucester for an outdoor concert they were doing – did I want to go too? I did, and it was one of my favourite concerts of theirs. It was in Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester, and the audience was a complete mixture of people – kids, teenagers, adults, whole families – just singing, dancing, drinking (well, the adults) and having a good time. It was a brilliant atmosphere. They also sang Not Alone, a song I’m not sure I’ve heard live since their first tour.
The final time I saw them was in September, and this time it was a major event: one of their tenth anniversary concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. To be honest, I bought the tickets on a whim, never thinking I could go to London to see them. Once I had the tickets, though, I thought I most definitely deserved to be one of the lucky few to see their celebration of ten years together. After all, it was a big deal for me, too. I’ve not stuck with many things for ten years; being a McFly fan is one of the few things about me that hasn’t changed!
Everyone has songs that remind them of different times of their life. It might not necessarily be a song you listen to often, but the first few chords take you right back to a certain moment and you remind all the words as if you were sixteen again. For me, the Memory Lane tour was as much about enjoying the songs as reliving certain moments of the past decade – a pretty significant chunk of my life! May there be many more anniversary concerts to come.
Last week, I attended their latest tour, which was also pretty special: the McBusted tour. Now, I came late to being a Busted fan, and only saw them once before the band split. So I’m not going to lie, when James and Matt joined McFly on stage for their anniversary concert, and I had no idea it was going to happen, that is possibly the loudest I have ever squealed – yes, squealed, like I was fourteen again. This tour meant an entire night of singing songs I know better than any subject I ever learnt at school, watching my two favourite bands, and taking a nice trip down Memory Lane.