Back in November, Busted became the latest boy band to announce their reunion. Yes, James, Matt and even Charlie are back! What better time for the Noughties chart-smashers to reclaim the gap in the market left by One Direction’s hiatus?
A lot of people shook their heads, casting their minds back to a bunch of badly dressed boys jumping around with guitars. But ahead of the band’s ‘Pigs Can Fly’ tour getting underway next week, Saleena Rani argues that Busted are actually a better band than most people give them credit for.
Busted were not just pop; they were pop rock.
The early Noughties and 90s were full of squeaky clean bands like Blue and Westlife, who sang innocent songs about love and heartbreak. Busted brought something new to the scene. There was a real cheekiness to their approach, marrying catchy choruses to youthful rebellion, and it kick-started a whole new wave in the music industry.
It’s no surprise that bands such as McFly and The Faders got their guitars out and followed in Busted’s footsteps. More recently, The Vamps and 5 Seconds of Summer have also cited Busted as an influence.
“That’s what I go to school for”; “I asked you to dance at the disco but you said no”; “Air hostess, I like the way you dress”…
Busted’s lyrics aren’t the most subtle or symbolic, but their bluntness resonated with young teens who could relate to the same problems – mainly getting turned down, and wanting to cop off with schoolteachers and other older women: “Cos my life’s just a bitch, and you know it”.
They seem to have toned down their pop rock vibes to go with a more synth-pop sound with their new release, ‘Coming Home’. Then again, two of the band’s members are now married fathers.
Cool music videos
The boys’ music videos were often innovative, and unlike anything else in the industry at the time.
‘Year 3000’ is a blend of nostalgia and animation, mashing up retro and the future as they take a trip in a makeshift DeLorean. ‘You Said No’ features the band as bitter BMX riders. In ‘Crashed The Wedding’, the boys play every character in the wedding spoof video.
There’s even a brilliant cameo from drummer Harry Judd, from fellow pop rock band McFly. The equivalent these days would be Ashton from 5SOS popping up in a One Direction video.
Strong fashion game
Looking back at Noughties fashion is not something that should be done often, but Busted got it very right back in the day.
Spiked highlighted hair, cropped jeans, cargo trousers, ties worn over branded t-shirts, beaded necklaces … you name it and the boys have probably worn it. They also definitely put a new spin on school uniforms.
But these were not the kind of ‘choreographed outfits’ that other boy bands at the time were sporting, oh no. Busted wore what they wanted and most definitely did not perform dance routines on stage.
They were a success
Two high-charting albums, a handful of top five singles, two Brit awards, two sold-out arena tours, and The Record Of The Year Award, as voted for by the public.
It’s safe to say Busted were an astounding success and have millions of adoring fans. James and Matt joined McFly in 2013 to form the megaband McBusted. As McBusted, the bands released a top ten album and sold out an arena tour. Clearly, fans still love them.
Now an individual band once more, Busted look set to replicate their previous success with their comeback tour, Pigs Can Fly, this summer, as well as a new album to be released later in the year.
[Main image: Getty]