Fan review: McFly – Before the Noise, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: (L-R) Harry Judd, Dougie Poynter, Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones of 'McFly' attend the BT Digital Music Awards at The Roundhouse on September 30, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

When it comes to reviews, who better to listen to than the fans?

First up we’ve got McFly fan Katie Holbeche’s review of their Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig.

“Being a McFly fan can be a bittersweet experience sometimes.

While you look forward to every gig with a sense of enthusiasm and anticipation that’s rarely matched by any other live music experience, those around you who aren’t fans seem to insist on making you feel guilty for being excited. These are also the people, it seems, that will refuse to accompany you to a gig and dare to be proved wrong. I’ve only succeeded in taking one friend who wasn’t a fan to a McFly gig, and afterwards, she seemed a little stunned. A look crossed over her face that I’ve only seen again recently when I took my Dad to see Inception. “Wow, they were really…good.” She continued to look at me in utter amazement, eventually promising to download what was then their latest album, once she’d regained her composure.

McFly were always able to prove themselves best through their live shows; and if any non-fans were in the audience at their Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig last week, they will surely have been as equally surprised as my friend was. As they prepare to release their new album ‘Above the Noise’, this ‘Before the Noise’ tour offered a showcase of sorts, so that fans could get a taster of what is soon to come. While some may have been expecting the new songs to all follow in the same vein as their latest single ‘Party Girl’ with an almost electro-pop feel to it, the reality was very different. In fact I can say with confidence that this album, more than any other, promises a huge spectrum of sounds and vibes.

For me, the superb ‘I Need a Woman’ (and it’s killer bass hook courtesy of Dougie Poynter) could be the musical love child of Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones, while ‘Nowhere Left to Run’ and ‘If You See Kate’ are the sort of songs that could have been 80’s classics. Danny Jones’ rugged rock voice is perfectly suited to the latter, and he really knows how to work it. But it was the beautiful ‘I’ll Be Your Man’ that could easily become a timeless rock ballad. Looking around the venue as McFly sung this song, regular gig goers and fans alike were transfixed in a swoon-like state. Tom Fletcher’s immaculate falsetto lends the song an edge that you will rarely see in a pop/rock band these days. As the song came to a close, my friend and fellow McFly appreciator Sophie said to me: “They just took their music to a whole new level. Amazing.” As cringeworthy as this may sound, I couldn’t answer immediately, as I was completely speechless. That song alone has got me counting down the days till the album’s released.

McFly had devised a truly innovative set list, a perfect mix of the classic and the new. Drummer Harry Judd was able to go wild with the revival of the ‘Motion in the Ocean’ song ‘Friday Night’, and the return of ‘Wonderland’ classic ‘Too Close for Comfort’ in acoustic form received a roar of approval from fans.

One of the reasons why I’ve come to value the band more and more over the years is the sincerity with which they come across. You’re never in doubt that being in McFly, writing music together and performing together is exactly what these four want to do with their lives. This was evident in the little speech that Judd gave as the evening drew to a close. Though he was, in short, just thanking the fans for such a good night, it is symptomatic of the motivation behind their music; the constant and wholehearted support from their followers. As long as they’re there to tour with them, listen to their music and experience their vision of what the band should (and hopefully, will) become, McFly will never die.

After all, Galaxy Defenders stay forever.”

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