Who fancies sharing their secrets? The long bank holiday has been and gone, and Easter holidays are over. The Spring that seemed to be springing has been and gone, it’s raining again and there’s a nasty cold doing the rounds. So I think we all need some help to stay upbeat – and nothing makes us happier than our guilty pleasures.
Now, we’ve all got guilty pleasures. A bit like Secret Single Behaviors, but usually a bit more public. For some, it’s watching The Little Mermaid with housemates on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It could be the hours you spend with your friends looking up which 90s teen TV shows are available on DVD (and the hours you spend together watching them).
For me, it’s the pop band who don’t fit with the rest of my music collection but who I can’t help but love.
McFly Are My Guilty Pleasure
I’ve loved them for years and the love just doesn’t seem to be waning. At first, it was just one song. Then another…and another. It kinda snowballed from there and now I have all their albums, a t-shirt, lots of concert stubs…and a hardened sense of self-confidence from defending my McFly fan-dom to my friends.
For anyone who doesn’t know, McFly are a band from the UK consisting of Tom, Danny, Dougie and Harry. In 2004 they stole away the Beatles’ crown of the youngest band to have a number one album. They’ve done some major growing up since then, in particular when they did some seriously yummy beefing up between albums four and five.
Last year, Dougie and Harry won a whole new harem of hearts by being just darlings and winning I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here and Strictly Come Dancing respectively. McFly are just about to disappear for a bit to record their sixth studio album – but not before finishing their Keep Calm and Play Louder tour. (See last week’s post for why that’s an almost unforgiveable name!)
McFly Gig Review – Whoop!
I was lucky enough to see McFly at the Hammersmith Apollo last week and it reinforced their status as my official guilty pleasure. I was tired, it was packed…part of me kinda thought I wouldn’t enjoy the concert. That is, until the first few chords rang out and I remembered what good musicians those boys are.
I go to see quite a lot of bands, and I have two indications of a good gig. One is whether I am engaged enough not to clock-watch and worry about leaving in time for the last train back to Brighton. The second is about stage presence and creativity – nothing sticks in my craw more than a band who just play the songs as they are on the record and who don’t try and engage between songs. McFly ticked both boxes.
What most people don’t realise is that McFly are much more engaging live than 90% of the indie bands I go to see. You can tell they really love music, showing off their creations and captivating a crowd. That kind of energy can’t be faked, and not many bands can keep up that kind of energy after eight years of popularity.
The highlight of the gig for me was the song Everybody Knows, which they spun out for probably the best part of ten minutes, incorporating mini-covers/mashups of the best-chosen crowd-pleasers you can imagine: Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, Busted’s Year 3000, One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know and Whitney’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Well chosen, boys.
Infusing Rock And Dance
The last McFly album, Above the Noise, was quite dance-y and I had wondered how the dance fans would get along with the pop-punk and vice versa. I shouldn’t have worried – all the music was quite rock-y live yet so incredibly upbeat that the energy was insane. New song Red was the perfect example of McFly’s unique ability to infuse rock and dance without it seeming try-hard.
“Don’t pretend you hate us and then sing along”
(From One For The Radio)
McFly themselves got it right when they wrote that lyric – it’s ‘cool’ to hate McFly because, yes, their initial success had a lot to do with their appeal to teenage girls. The problem for the haters is that the songs sneak up on you as genuinely good pieces of pop music – and you can’t help but sing along.
Of course, I aware that one of the reasons they packed out the Apollo was because of the most excellent PR from Dougie and Harry’s success on reality TV. But, from where I was standing, it looked like each and every person not only passively enjoyed the gig but got right in there and bloody loved it. Methinks a few hundred more people are celebrating McFly as their own guilty pleasure.
(Image via Featureflash/Shutterstock)