Gallery: McFly rock the Regent

REMEMBER when Sundays were so quiet you could hear a pin drop?

Steven Russell

REMEMBER when Sundays were so quiet you could hear a pin drop? Well, Britain changed and the traditional day of rest's not like that any more - especially when McFly are in town and making the Regent vibrate like there's no tomorrow.

A sell-out crowd came dressed not for Evensong but a pop-and-rock party, and the boys supplied the music and the amps.

Once upon a time, at this point in the year, you'd have found sleepy Suffolk chasing away the vestiges of winter with some sedate dancing round the maypole; in 2009 we're letting our inhibitions go and warming up for summer proper by preparing our home-made “Show us your pants and marry me” banners, switching on our flashing antennae and waving our plastic swords as the hyperactive foursome bounds through a songbook of number-one hits and the odd cover versions - like a whipped-up take on Girls Aloud's The Promise.

The soil is well and truly shaken from its slumbers.

“Up Close . . . And This Time It's Personal”, the tour posters promised, and that's what the disciples got in an 85-minute set.

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Obviously (pun intended) it was the number-one hits and the old favourites that went down best: Obviously, Room on the 3rd Floor, Star Girl, All About You. The McFly finale, the signature Five Colours In Her Hair, stripped off any paint that was still left on the walls.

(One gripe: like 2005, they didn't come back for an encore. Their cover of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now would have been perfect. Next time, eh, lads?)

Sunday's energetic display will disappoint those who half a decade ago bet on McFly joining the ranks of “here today, gone tomorrow” pretty boys - a pre-ordered group that, the sniffy detractors insisted, slid under the spotlight on the slipstream of Busted.

It's interesting to compare the 2009 vintage with, say, McFly circa autumn 2005, when they did two shows in one evening at the Regent.

Then, there was a palpable air of six-formers who couldn't quite believe their luck. Now - post the obligatory greatest hits album, with most of the boys heading towards their mid-20s and a year or so after taking greater control of their career direction - their stagecraft benefits from the greater maturity of five years of touring and their music from a deeper self-confidence.

And all without sacrificing that nought-to-60-in-three-seconds explosion of vitality and those poppy melodies.

Before Christmas, McFly did their stuff at the Miss World shindig in South Africa; a couple of weeks ago they starred on John Barrowman's TV showpiece Tonight's the Night; and on the day of their Ipswich date they were on Channel 4's T4 slot. That's not a band tumbling into obscurity.

After venues like Croydon and Oxford - and appearances this week on The Paul O'Grady Show and Hollyoaks - McFly see out May and early June in Brazil, Argentina and (swine 'flu permitting) Mexico.

On the evidence of Sunday night at the Regent, Rio had better be ready to rock.

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