When I told people I was going to see McFly at the Guildhall, I was greeted with such scathing responses that I was beginning to wonder if I was making a huge mistake. Yes, they were cool when we were fourteen, but can the foursome really be relevant or enjoyable to anyone not still at school?
And I am pleased to report my doubts were unfounded. As the foursome lept to the stage amidst wails and screams and launched into latest single ‘Party Girl’ it was clear that the cheeky chaps have got some serious stage appeal that goes way beyond aesthetics.
It was practically flawless in a way that many established acts cannot even hope achieve. The vocals from Tom and Harry were exceptional, gliding through musical scales like they were no difficulty whatsoever, whilst the musical accompaniment was perfectly in time, perfectly in tune, and perfectly executed. What’s more, as their new material exhibits, McFly seem to have grown up.
Collaborating with Taio Cruz for the new album Above the Noise, due for release on November 11th, the boys have taken a few steps away from the radio-shiny pop they have become known for, and exhibit a somewhat darker side to the foursome. The stage set up, with blacked out backdrop, strobe lights and even an illuminated bass guitar, is worlds away from the sunny aura created by the foursome in the past, but somehow it worked. Especially given that their new material, particularly ‘Nowhere Left To Run’ and ‘End of the World’ have a rougher feel to them, falling somewhere close to Lady Gaga in some respects.
And although the new tracks were received with open arms, the reaction was nothing close to that during crowd pleasers ‘Five Colours in Her Hair’ and ‘Stargirl’, which caused a massive amount of nostalgia for my teenage years. It was impossible not to dance and sing along, and I enjoyed every second.
But this was much more than an indulgence in my juvenile past. Nostalgia aside, it was impossible not to be charmed by McFly, as they ran about the stage with an excitement and energy that was simply infectious. They are great performers, and I have no shame in saying that they are one of the few fantastic pop artists left in a world of auto tune and faceless writers.
Personal highlights included an exceptional cover version of Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite’ and an acoustic version of ‘Too Close for Comfort’, which further demonstrated their mastery of music. It was a thoroughly enjoyable show, and I can find almost no fault in the performance. McFly really are a guilt-free pleasure, one that I would indulge in again without a single doubt. Truly fantastic.
Good: Musical mastery, charisma, stage show, everything!
Bad: Bizarre choice of encore that left the crowd a little flat.