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Bridging the gap and breaking the mould

 article about Busted music
2004-02-28 01:41:34
Yes they're boys and yes they're in a band- but if there's one thing Busted are not, it's a boy band.

Charlie
Simpson, Matt Jay and James Bourne aren't in the habit of taking things
too seriously. The boys from Busted are quite happy to admit that with
songs containing lyrics like I asked you to dance at the disco but you
said no The whole world was watching and laughing, On the day that I
crashed and burned and Are you sure that youre mine, aren't you dating
other guys? They aren't trying to change the world. There's no hidden
subtext or political statements lurking behind their songs. All Busted
are trying to do is sing about what they know and inject a bit of good
humour into the proceedings- who after all can take So she may be
thirty-three. But that doesn't bother me, Her boyfriends working out of
town, So I find a reason to go round seriously? Despite the humour,
Busted are very much the real deal and are keen to prove to anyone that
will listen that they are a cut above the manufactured pop music that
all too often dominates the British charts.

James is quick to
warn doubters that Busted are a force to be reckoned with, to call us a
boy band is seriously underrating us, he warns. Which is just as well,
since Take That burst on to the scene in 1990 as Britains answer to New
Kids On The Block, pop music in this country has come to resemble a
production line of cloned bands, put together by management companies,
pop svengalis and more worryingly reality TV shows. From Take That to
Boyzone, 5ive to Westlife (with twelve number ones, the most successful
boy band to date) via a few we'd all rather forget (mentioning no names
3SL and One True Voice), its been clear for a while that a breath of
fresh air was more than needed to blow the cobwebs off a stagnated
market.

When they first appeared on the scene in September
2002 you would have been forgiven for thinking that Busted were little
more than another moneymaking gimmicks from the record companies. Their
debut single What I go to school for was a cheeky tale of teenage
infatuation and extracurricular activity. But since then their
popularity and appeal has gone through the roof, and they have attained
what few bands often do- credibility and acceptance from right across
the music press, Smash Hits said they were set to kick some boyband
butt with this rock-inspired masterpiece, whilst NME proclaimed them
big balled, big chorused, big eyebrowedace.

So what is so
different about Busted? Well, for a start theres no gushing ballads
about love with lyrics that donut make sense, take Sleeping with the
Light On, a touching song about lost love with surprisingly mature
lyrics like I feel her slipping through my fingers, Now shes gone, Im
sleeping with the light on. There are certainly no matching outfits and
unless you count the synchronised jumping theres definitely no dance
routines. Busted are simply a band that arent trying to be anything
more than the three average looking lads that they are.



Charlies bushy eyebrows may have gained a weird cult following, but
what is so refreshing about the band is that they are happy to be
skater boy meets overgrown schoolboy than pretenders to the rock god
crown. Ironically though Busted ride the line between rock and pop very
well- they have become the cross over kings- instead of being berated
for their gimmicky lyrics the critics are lapping them up, Q magazine
praised them for the inspired one liners and the Times newspaper were
impressed by their catchy pop-tunes with a sense of humour.

With
three number one singles, two best selling albums (Busted and A Present
for Everyone have sold in excess of a million copies each) and having
won two out of the three Brit Awards they were nominated for earlier
this month (for Best Pop Act and British Breakthrough Act - beating off
competition from The Darkness in the latter), Charlie, and James have
carved out a niche for themselves in the market and brought something
fresh and new to the pop table, proving that you can indeed have your
cake and eat it.

Perhaps the biggest surprise about Busted is
the fact that for all the gimmicks, they didnt begin life as the
brainchild of a record company boss. Having spotted Matt singing
karaoke (Oasis Donut Look Back In Anger apparently) a management
company suggested he hook up with James (he two had actually already
met on the audition circuit). Two members do not a band make, so they
put and ad in the NME, Charlie answered and Busted were born.



The trio spent months writing and recording demos in a rundown studio
in Londons Brick Lane before they were signed to Universal Island at
the beginning of 2002. The bands self titled debut album made it into
the top WHAT but quickly disappeared out of sight. Word of mouth proved
itself to be a powerful force and once the second single Year 3000- a
homage to time travel inspired by the Back to The Future films- was
released in January 2003 and hit number two in the charts the album
shot back up the charts and stayed inside the top ten for several
months. The coveted number one came a few months later with You said no
and with it Busted became the first act in UK chart history to have
their first three singles debut at chart positions 3, 2 and 1. A
sell-out tour followed and with it, in the space of a year Busted had
cemented their place as one of the most exciting and refreshing acts
around.

Having proved that they are so much more than a boy
band, Busted have made it more than clear that they are in this for the
long haul, I think weve got a bit more longevity, explains James, Boy
bands dont have a hand in what they do. Busted are however aware that
the pop business is a fickle one and that the band wont last forever,
Thats a bridge well cross when we come to they say, before Matt adds At
the moment people out there are loving it. I donut want to think of a
time when they donut any more.

Busted may not last forever,
but for now they are well and truly here to stay. After all they are
something of a rare breed, a pop act unafraid to rock and a rock band
not ashamed to embrace pop.





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