For those of you who aren’t British, Busted are an English pop band, consisting of Matt Willis, James Bourne and Charlie Simpson. Their music graced our ears between 2001 and 2005. They broke up because one member of the band (Charlie) wanted to go focus on his other, rockier band. I was 15 and heartbroken. Everyone has a favourite band, but Busted weren’t just my favourite band, they were my hobby.
By this I mean, my evenings were spent on the Busted message board (Username: ***I love James***). I’d buy weekly magazines so I could read interviews and get the latest posters on my wall, go the tours (sometimes twice), and go to gigs up and down the country… when my parents let me anyway.
You may also be surprised to hear that the Bristolian Backpacker wasn’t my first website. My first website was actually a Busted one, made on some kind of MSN server thing, where I would share photos and news with fellow fans. Somewhere in a drawer back home I still have a folder with all my concert tickets, pictures, and so forth. I own every single and album.
So I think I’ve convinced those of you who didn’t know me at that time how big a fan I was (/am). Just in case, here is a picture of my 12 year old self’s dream come true: the first time I met them (though certainly not the last).
Despite my broken heart, I moved on with my life when they broke up. However, I still followed the work of Matt and James after the band broke up, solo careers and a less successful band (sorry Son of Dork). In 2012 saw James play a small gig in Birmingham and could see how much he loved still playing Busted songs. I even went to the opening night of ‘Loserville’ on the West End as I was living in London at the time.
In 2014, before I embarked on my travels to Vietnam, I had the pleasure and excitement of seeing McBusted – a supergroup consisting of McFly and Matt and James from Busted. My teenage heart exploded with joy. I heard songs I never thought I would hear again and had an amazing time.
By 2016, I was living in China with Mitch, teaching English in a primary school. It was during this time there were rumours flying around the internet about Busted re-forming. I refused to believe it until I heard it officially.
It was true; Busted reformed.
After it became official, a tour was announced. Of course, the tour is while I’m still in China. I was gutted. I may now be 25 and classified as an adult, but my heart was once again torn in two as I knew I wouldn’t be able to see them. It’s not like I don’t enjoy living in China or the life I have. I do love it. But my teenage self so wanted to go. I grew up with that band and at the time, and for many years after, I found meaning and comfort in their songs during difficult parts or meaningful parts of my life.
Over 10 years later, they are still managing to do that as the new song they released is called ‘I’m Coming Home’. Granted, I’m not coming home (yet). But, the song still resonated with me as someone who travels. I know many other travellers who don’t really have a ‘home’ – the world and travelling are their home after not being in the country they were born in for several years. I find that amazing and I am impressed that people can live like that.
For me though, I like knowing that I do have a home to go back to. Bristol will always be my home, and thankfully my parents are always willing to take me back when I need to figure out what I’m doing next or get some money together for a bit. Don’t worry parents; it won’t always be like this!
Anyway, the new Busted song has a line:
“I’m coming home | I want to be in your loving arms.”
It resonated with my older self. As much as I do love travelling, I love coming home to see my family and those I love. It’ll still be five or six months until Mitch and I are back in England. And, apart from a whirlwind few days in England when I went back in March for a friend’s wedding, it’ll be the longest I’ve ever been away from home (nearly a year and a half).
I appreciate the fact that I’ve grown up (and so have Busted). But their music still has a lot of meaning for me. Sure, I won’t be seeing them in concert (unless they plan on coming to China? Hint hint, if you’re reading this Matt, James, or Charlie)…
…but I know when I am on a plane back to England, I can listen to this new song by Busted (along with their new album which I am super excited for), and feel happy in the knowledge that their music still speaks to me – even as I get older.
You see, when you travel, there are events you’ll miss back home. Not just concerts by your favourite band who reform after 12 years, but also birthdays, weddings, family growing up, or growing old. It’s a choice we make with the lifestyle we have. I’ve had a couple of people say they are jealous of my lifestyle and travelling, but it’s all about choice. I love the choices I’ve made and where I am right now. As for my friends who are successful and enjoying their jobs, buying houses, getting married – I’m jealous too. I don’t have a house or a settled job earning me a pension. But it’s about the choices we make, and, as long as you’re happy, that’s the most important thing.
I’m thrilled about what Mitch and I have planned for the rest of this year. But as Busted said, I’m also looking forward to ‘Coming Home’ at Christmas <3
Thanks for reading.