Review: Motionless kids and melody-free songs

30 Jul 2012 @ 11.29 am
| Entertainment
McFly at the York Races Music Showcase
McFly, Music Showcase, York Racecourse, Saturday July 28

What happens when the bounce drops out of a boy band? They end up playing at York Races, judging by the performance of McFly on Saturday.

McFly are a guilty pleasure. In the mid-2000s they came up with a host of catchy pop songs, and even took the title of the youngest band ever to have an album debut at number 1 from The Beatles.

Fun and fizzy as a sherbet dib dab, the four lads could rattle out an instantly hummable chorus and two verses, with the cheeky charm which went on to win the hearts of many a reality TV show voter.

Now, though, they are in their mid-twenties and perhaps keen to demonstrate their rock ’n’ roll credentials. Wrong time, wrong place.

Around 40,000 had enjoyed an excellent day’s racing and most stayed to hear McFly rattle out all those number ones. Parents and their children were ready to bop, pogo and sing along to much-loved hits.

The fans' response
McFly wasted that pent-up excitement with a forgettable opening song. Time and again, they repeated the mistake. Whenever they generated a thrill by playing a hit – or on one occasion a medley of hits (to get them over with?) – they squandered it with a lacklustre finish.

Or they bored us to tears with prolonged, hard-to-hear and at times completely inappropriate banter. I declined the opportunity to explain a reference to teabagging to my nine-year-old daughter.

Many a jacket-less man and barefoot woman, intoxicated on life after six hours’ at the races, kicked up their heels to McFly’s tight rhythmical riffs. But it was disappointing to see kids demonstrating their sober and sharper critical faculties by remaining motionless through the many melody-free songs.

Try out your new stuff on your hardcore fans, McFly. When it comes to a fun family gig like this, well you weren’t at the races.