Busted, the British music band formed in the early 2000s, carved their own niche in the pop-punk scene. Consisting of members James Bourne, Matt Willis, and Charlie Simpson, they burst onto the music scene with an infectious blend of rock and pop that resonated with a generation which included myself.

Their debut single, “What I Go to School For,” released in 2002, quickly climbed the UK charts, showcasing their catchy melodies and humorous lyrics. Busted’s went on to have multiple UK number-one singles, including hits like “Crashed the Wedding,” “Thunderbirds Are Go,” and “You Said No.” Their self-titled debut album achieved multi-platinum status, selling over two million copies.

Their lively stage presence and charismatic personalities made them fan favorites. Then in 2005, Charlie Simpson left the band to pursue a different musical direction, leading to Busted’s temporary hiatus.

In 2015, the original lineup reunited, Busted’s return was marked by a new album, “Night Driver,” showcasing their growth and maturity as musicians. Fast forward to 2023 and here they are, celebrating their 20th anniversary with the Greatest Hits 2.0 tour at Newcastle Utilita Arena and tonight’s gig coincided with James 40th birthday! 

The Tyne supported and got the crowd going with my chemical romance ‘Teenagers’ after moving into their own catchy material. By this time a lot of the audience had turned up and was good to see the amount of people that got to support this local band. 

Following on was the memorable Hanson, of whom I really enjoyed. Known for their catchy mmm bop i was impressed by their other songs and found them to be quite easy listening.

After a short interval Bang! Busted arrive on stage after a short introduction from Doc and his Time Machine and the crowd love every moment of it. The atmosphere was electric, made up of an older generation who grew up with them as teenagers twenty years ago and a younger crowd that I assume found busted through the comeback in 2015. This gave a diverse mix all under one roof. 

Being his birthday, there was a nice surprise for James Bourne in the show as he was presented with a cake by Hanson while on stage. Genuinely though from the first moment he came on stage and all night he was running around the stage, around the golden circle edges and just looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself. 

Charlie hasn’t changed much and hasn’t lost his husky voice that some in the crowd loved. Matt Willis has probably changed the most since the band started and certainly looks different and now appears as this buff muscular presence playing guitar. 

All three together know how to put on a show, with the aid of a giant screen in the background replaying the old videos as they sing all their classic hits like Air Hostess, Crashed the wedding, Sleeping with the lights on and What I go to school for, amongst a set list of 13 other songs that will have you dancing around reliving your youth. You could see on stage just how much they were half to be back on stage and touring with these arena shows.

Mixed in with new single Good One, which isn’t a song that Busted would’ve written the first time around it’s been bound into the kind of instantly addictive bouncy pop-rock hook that they’re renowned for.

The new album features re workings of their greatest hits and features collaborations with many known artists. ‘Greatest Hits 2.0’ is available to pre-order / pre-save here. It features Busted’s recent collaborations with Jonas Brothers, All Time Low, Hanson, Neck Deep and Simple Plan, and includes a dazzling array of special guests from pop-punk and beyond. James Arthur! You Me At Six! Dashboard Confessional! The Vamps! Deaf Havana! Charlotte Sands! McFly! Bowling For Soup! Wheatus!

It was a great night and I’m just glad I didn’t have to wait until the year 3000 to see them! The tour continues and comes back to the Utilita Arena Newcastle on Saturday again! So there’s another chance to see this band rock! 

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