Gig review: Busted at O2 Academy Leeds

Charlie Simpson of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith
Charlie Simpson of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith
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Pop rock band Busted recently played at the O2 Academy in the heart of Leeds and it was everything and more that the fans expected from the band who reunited last year, after almost 12 years off the radar.

The night began with an opening set from New Forest tribal-pop quartet Natives, consisting of lead singer Jim Thomas, drummer Andy White, bassist Greg Day and guitarist and keyboardist Jack Fairbrother.

The band led an interactive performance from the start, encouraging fans to hold up their fingers into a point for a polaroid photo, which would then be given as a prize to the best dancer during their song ‘Passion’. The quartet sang songs from their upcoming album, which is to be released later this year including ‘Stop The Rain’, ‘Chasing Lions’ and ‘War Paint’.

Following their set the lights went out and the band teased fans with a cinematic backing track that gradually built up, encouraging fans to scream and shout for Busted who would momentarily take the stage.

As the neon lights lit up the stage the electronic synth beat of ‘Kids With Computers’ broke through the silence and frontman Charlie Simpson took centre stage, arms outstretched to welcome the crowd.

Simpson covered every inch of the stage, which he shared with bassist Matt Willis and guitarist James Bourne before getting the crowd jumping and dancing to ‘I Will Break Your Heart’. The best dancer was given a free T-shirt from Chris Bourne, James’ little brother, who has been following the band to promote his own tour later this year.

Matt Willis of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith

Matt Willis of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith

The band took fans on a rollercoaster of emotions with songs old and new, playing brand new hits ‘New York’, ‘On What You’re On’ and ‘Those Days Are Gone’ before taking the crowd back to the ‘Year 3000’ with a couple of old hits, which integrated nicely into the set list.

The band took time through their set to thank the crowd for their on going support following their ‘Pigs Can Fly Tour’ last year. Willis added that as long as the fans kept coming they’d keep playing and that it didn’t matter how fans found their music as long as they were listening to it.

The band concluded their set with an encore of songs both old and new with the band encouraging fans to jump as high as they could to the beat of ‘Those Days Are Gone’ before their set closed. Busted gave their all in a poignant and energetic performance full of passion which left fans longing for more.

James Bourne of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith

James Bourne of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith

Matt Willis of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith

Matt Willis of Busted at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Sarah Smith

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