McBusted bring noughties pop back to Delapre

It might be a new adventure for the rest of the band, but for Matt Willis, performing as one sixth of McBusted at this year’s Alive @ Delapre festival will be - no pun intended - a walk in the park.

The 32-year-old musician got married in Rushton Hall in 2009 and has been returning regularly to the county to rekindle the romance. But his next visit, headlining the festival on Friday, July 17, will be a completely different sort of blast from the past.

Speaking ahead of his show with the band, which recently formed out of remaining members of hit pop groups Busted and McFly, he said: “It has been a chaotic year, but one of the best of my career so far. When I joined in the idea to form the band I thought it would just be a bit of a laugh, but then our first show sold out in 10 minutes. I can’t stress how amazing that felt.

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“All six of us are writing music together, though it probably has slightly more of a Busted sound. We break off into little groups to see what works best, so it’s still a bit of an experiment.

“But for Alive @ Delapre we’ll be mainly playing old fan favourites - we know what people want to hear and we are not the sort of band to push new things on them.”

Both bands had their turn at dominating the UK pop scene during the early 2000s, but Matt insists that there has never been a rivalry between the two and that coming together was almost a natural next step.

“We just overlapped,” he said, “and we’ve done some bits of writing and things for each other since. It was like having younger brothers around - almost a bit incestuous, really.

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“But McBusted is a completely new thing and it’s bigger than both bands ever were individually. My aim is still the same as it was ever since I first watched NSYNC as a teenager: I just want to put on a great show.”

And it’s not just the nature of the bands that have changed. After more than a decade, its members have brought new talents and perspectives to the new supergroup - both on and off the stage.

Matt said: “I was 16 when I first started writing music and 19 when Busted was signed, and the whole experience now couldn’t be any more different.

“We didn’t truly appreciate what we had and how lucky we were, but this success has really put into perspective the opportunities we’ve had.

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“It’s less rock n’ roll and more kids’ play dates backstage now,” he continued, “we’ve become a bit of a travelling family band. Our kids love the shows and sometimes they bring their friends along and fill the place with toys.

“Both my son and daughter are quite musical and dramatic, like me, so I’m preparing myself for more of that in the future.”

Even though he may have stepped away from the microphone for some time, the devoted father-of-two has always been destined for the stage and has filled his time over the last 10 years launching a successful acting career.

He said: “I’ve been acting for about six years and I think I could even say I love it more than making music. I have two films coming out this year and I love doing TV and theatre as well.”

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But he will be putting that on hold for the Northampton audience next month and promised: “If you liked Busted and McFly, then you will have one of the best nights of your life at our Alive @ Delapre show. We give nothing but 100 per cent, otherwise we haven’t done our job. And hopefully the weather will be nice too.”

Tickets cost £39.75. To book call 01604 624811 or visit

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