Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Review: McFly, Odyssey Arena, Belfast

McFly get Belfast buzzing with their punky new image

Fans were fortunate that last night's rescheduled Belfast show by McFly happened at all.

The illnesses of two of the band last month forced the gig's postponement; then bassist Dougie Poynter entered rehab.

But all four members were present and correct at the Odyssey Arena for a high-energy rip through their eight-year career.

The hall was some way off capacity, but the erstwhile boy band didn't let that put them off, giving the concert their all.

They started with four songs from 2010's less poppy, more punky, fifth album, Above the Noise. It was a brave move, and the group's new, heavier style seemed convincing enough.

Party Girl was a surprisingly pounding opener, while If U C Kate reminded this writer, oddly, of forgotten 1990s alternative rockers Jellyfish.

There wasn't much of a stage show to speak of, or many additional musicians — just a bit of pyro, a walkway that extended over the crowd, a keyboard player and two backing vocalists.

Though skewing heavily to the current CD, the set also included a number of oldies.

Transylvania was augmented by spooky imagery on the video screens, while 5 Colours in Her Hair had a mid-section breakdown to allow the band to fire T-shirts into the crowd.

Yet some hits were nowhere to be heard and former number ones All About You and Obviously were squeezed together in a medley.

The band, now in their mid-20s, clearly prefer to rock out, with their scissor-kicks, unruly hair and armfuls of tattoos giving them the appearance of Green Day's kid brothers. They like to muck around between songs, too.

Poynter and guitarist Tom Fletcher had colds, leading the bassist to joke, to the horror of fans: “It's because we keep kissing and sleeping in the same bed.”

McFly might not be the edgiest outfit in town but at least they do write their own songs and play their own instruments.

Indeed, the musicianship was very good, notably drummer Harry Judd.

As long as they keep delivering the goods, rocking the stage in tight jeans and ripped vests, McFly should continue to transfix the kids.

ANDREW JOHNSTON

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