Only a special gig would get me out on a rainy Sunday evening and McFly tick that box multiple times. This band mean a great deal to me and my sister, as we’ve seen then 13 times now and it’s become a tradition for us to see them on every tour. The first time I saw this band was around 19 years ago at Power in the Park on Southampton Common, so it was a full circle moment seeing them back in the same city and having the opportunity to photograph them.
McFly are celebrating their 20th anniversary and have certainly used their time wisely – with an impressive CV including 7 number one singles and a debut album also hitting the top spot. In fact, the latter earned them the world record for youngest band to ever achieve this – breaking a record long held by The Beatles.
Fresh from a summer of festivals, including a secret set at Victorious Festival, the band are back on tour promoting their latest album ‘Power to Play’.
The support act for tonight’s show came in the form of Derby band, Lost Alone who did a fantastic job at warming the crowd up. Frontman Steven Battelle expertly encouraging everyone to clap, punch the air and wave, creating the perfect atmosphere for inbound McFly. I had heard a few Lost Alone songs before but seeing them live was even better. The band are due to go out on their own UK tour early next year and I encourage you all to check them out.
In no time at all, the lights are out, and the audience erupts behind me as the song choice for this tour, the YMCA, starts playing as the band takes the stage.
Opening with two tracks from their new album, the leading singles ‘Where Did All The Guitars Go’ and ‘Land of the Bees’, both having an eighties vibe mixed with classic McFly songwriting from frontmen Danny Jones and Tom Fletcher. I even had goosebumps from the first lines of ‘Land of the Bees’ – ‘Now we’re right back where we belong’ and you know that every member of that band felt those words as the smiles and energy were huge.
Bassist Dougie Poynter hardly stands still as he takes to bounding across the length of the stage before jumping quickly to the microphone to add backing vocals.
McFly’s musicality has kicked up a gear, from the drums of Harry Judd to the melodies of Tom and Danny, you can see this is a band that never sits back and is constantly growing and developing their sound.
You can tell the band are having so much fun performing together again, and this new album seems to have released a new surge of energy and love into the band, especially after a few years of each member having their own projects to work on. It’s so good to see them this in sync and loving every minute of this show and the tour.
Having been a fan since the beginning, it was a joy to see them play ‘Not Alone’ from their debut album as well as my other favourites “Corrupted” and ‘’Lies’’. The setlist was a perfect mix of new tracks, mixed with nostalgic fan favourites and the crowd sang every single word throughout the night.
Whether you are a McFly fan or not, this band have firmly proven themselves to the doubters, displaying all the skills and stage presence you would expect from such a well-known act. They deserve every bit of success they achieve, whether that be in the band or as individuals.
Photos & Words by Hannah Kenyon.