|Stand And Deliver/Give Me All Your Money!
I'm gonna come clean right from the start. I was at a Busted concert last night! (Sacre Bleur!- P.D.C.)
There I've said it and any punk credibility I may have had goes flying out the window or does it? Now let
me tell you the story before you judge me.(OK were all ears - PDC) I was given four gratis tickets worth a
whopping £120 with the understanding that I accompanied three kids aged between 11 and 9 to the
show. And me being the only person in the family who goes to gigs on a regular basis, I was roped in.
Now I tried my best to get out of going, but emotional blackmail was applied. If I don't go then the kids
would have to miss the show and it'll be my fault. So I had to give in and attend reluctantly.
Entering the massive aircraft hanger known as the Odyssey arena, the place is wall to wall teenyboppers. Some
are dressed in a kids chainstore version of someone's vision of 'punk' style. And no doubt persuading their
disgruntled parents to part with serious ammounts of cash for absolute merchandising tatt...like badly designed
t-shirts and inflatable guitars. A a rip-off!!! Add this to the vastly marked up prices at the concession stands and
you were sure to have a wallet emptying evening. This was rampant comercialism in full effect, and these alleged
Tory boys Tarquin?, Jeremy? and Ronald? (I don't know their real names?) sure know how to fleece an audience.
The prices were astronomical for everything! They also know the power of advertising as they bombard the kids
at every opportunity with adverts on the video screens to buy the latest product from their boyband buddies. And
of course where there's a buck to be made Beckham is sure to be promoting something. This time it's an out of
date dvd going by his hairstyle. It's all relentlessly plugged, "if you don't ask you won't get" as one advert stated.
The persistant in your face sales push is sickening and really sticks in the throat.
We missed the first rocky sounding band whoever they were?!! But we were in plenty of time for what turned out
to be one of the worst concert going experiences of my life. And believe me, I've seen some dross in my time!
They were an all miming unable to dance in time together, boyband. It was fucking awful. I felt like jumping off the
balcony. How did they manage to get on a stage, never mind near a microphone? The person who booked them
should be ashamed of themselves. It couldn't have been a serious band like Busted's choice could it? It must've
been a management/record label decision. There was a much used saying in the music press in the post punk
80's "Kill Ugly Pop" And I couldn't agree more. If Busted really want to be taken seriously then they gotta get away
from variety bills like this. Whoever was selling those glowing stick things must have made a mint, there was
thousands of the things giving a Christmas tree lighting glow in the darkness, as Busted took to the stage in a
blaze of light and prepubecent screaming. This was the template for the rest of the show to batter the audiences
senses into submission with stage lighting effects, noisey pop and inane chat from start to finish. "Are we going
back to your house for a party?" they jokeingly tease, as the little girls scream louder. Knowing full well that if they
did they would end up in jail as most of the audience were about 13!
Now to my reason for writing this, as I wouldn't have wasted my time otherwise. Each Busted member had a solo
spot mid gig, and the punky one (Ronald?) launched into a stadium punk version of the Clash's 'Should I stay Or
Should I go' as the massive video screens relayed xerox punk images, including the Misfits skull motif and
@narchy symbols to the shellshocked kids and disaproving parents. Cr@ss would have turned in their grave. He
threw himself into the song with gusto and enough pyro to make Kiss proud. Then unbelievibly came the 70's
dancing punks video footage from the Sex Pistols 'Anarchy In The UK' promo. Classic giant images in black and
white as they pogoed and pushed in a hail of blood and gob. It still looks powerful now at a scale I've never
imagined, and it's the first time I've seen it projected at skyscraper height. Julian Temple or the Pistols must be
onto a few quid. I hate 'Should I stay Or Should I Go', it's one of the Clash's/Mick Jones worst efforts! But this
performance looked and sounded great. So full marks to that man. I was impressed but then I was a kid in the
glam era, so I'm easily won over by all the OTT bombast. It just went over the puzzled kids heads though, as they
waited on the next top ten hit. After my one highlight it was hit after hit with the odd LP cut. But on the whole as a
big budget, crowd pleasing show, it did it's job if your into this sort of thing. What's wrong with young men wanting
to show off and play their own brand of noisy guitar pop/punk? If I put my punk snob prejudice to one side, I'd
rather have this than X idol. academy, fame, factor, rival crap, dance conveyor belt pop anyday. Busted may not
be the best band out there and they're certainly not the worst, but god help us if the alternative was that shower
of shite that supported them. Thankfully there's plenty of choices out there. If this was the late 70's Busted would
probably be thought of as a decent pop/punk band, but unfortunatlely for them it's not and they are gonna be
dogged as a boyband till the day they finish. Green Day intro music and Clash covers will not gain Busted the
credibility they desire. And as for breaking the USA, the yanks have this sound sewed up...they don't need
Busted. Dunno what's gonna happen to them, but then I don't really care either. What happened to Teenage
Joe Donnelly - Belfast 21/11/04.
|Joe Donnelly was a member of
Belfast's the Producers punk
outfit, back in the late 70's
Northern Ireland punk scene.
He's currently still going to gigs,
still into punk and contributing
articles on punk and it's influence
on many web sites including
Punk Rocker and we're more
than happy to get his gig
reviews, comments and views on
what's happening on the streets
of Belfast these days.
Here's one example...