Live Review: Busted - O2 Guildhall, Southampton 25/02/19


It may not be the Year 3000 yet, but we are heading all the way back to 2002 courtesy of the one and only, Busted. Here’s what unfolded at an intimate Southampton show on their Half Way There arena tour.

The setting for the nights show was the stunning O2 Guildhall, we made our way in for a night of teenage nostalgia and brand-new music. The house lights faded and the room dropped to black, a murmuring intro of opening track ‘Nineties’ rang around the Guildhall, shortly followed by silhouettes of Charlie, Matt and James shining onto the curtain covering the stage. The curtain dropped and the guitars kicked in revealing Busted accompanied by a wave of screams from the crowd, the perfect energy to kick-off the night. The energy didn’t stop as Busted headed straight into classic, ‘Air Hostess’ which proved this Southampton crowd were in great voice screaming every word back at the stage. After a few old tracks Busted pulled out ‘Reunion’ off their new album Half Way There, which set the tone for how the rest of the night would pan out, mixing the eras of Busted up perfectly for the huge array of fans. From adults to teenagers who have grown up with different Busted albums they catered to all, old and new.

We headed back to 2002 and 2003 for a few songs as ‘Britney’ blended effortlessly into ‘She Wants To Be Me’, fast forward 16 years it was time for another new track off their latest album Half Way There, ‘Radio’. Which shows a more harmonious side of Busted with James delicately playing the piano and Charlie on the acoustic guitar which makes you want to jump in a car and drive for miles listening to this track. While transitioning from his piano to get his guitar James delved down next to his mic stand and grabbed an array of chocolate which he threw into the crowd, it didn’t stop there though as he proceeded to pull out a carton of Um Bongo and tossed it into the crowd. While we are back in the 1980’s lets head to Tracy Island as Busted launched into ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’.

Slowing it back down it was time to get the acoustics out for another new one from Half Way There, ‘All My Friends’, again showing the dynamics what Busted have throughout their 4 albums. Back to the 80’s, Busted covered ‘Free Fallin’’ by the late, great legend Tom Petty. Swinging back and forth from new to old such as ‘On What You’re On’, ‘Crashed The Wedding’ and ‘What I Go To School For’. Busted were coming towards the end of a stellar set, not before playing another track off the new album though, Matt explained that James came to him with ‘What Happened To Your Band’ while they had split up and he knew at that moment it was a Busted song and could be the spark to something new.

Finishing their set on ‘3AM’ they headed off stage to ready themselves for their encore, which kicked off with ‘Coming Home’ from their 2016 album Night Driver, closing a set full of throwbacks and different Busted eras the only way to finish a set this stellar was on ‘Year 3000’, the crowds participation finished how it started, giving 100% to every lyric. An ecstatic way to close a set full of reminiscing our teenage years.

Words by Jake Haseldine
Photography by Ami Ford