12 Years of McFly!

In the early hours of yesterday morning, I logged onto Twitter and saw that #12YearsOfMcFly was the top trending topic. 2 years ago, McFly celebrated their 10 year anniversary but the reason why I want to talk about 12 years is because I was 12 years old when I discovered McFly. That means I've been listening to McFly for literally half of my life!!  I instantly posted a photo on Instagram to express how I feel about it, McFly have had such a huge impact on my life so I thought I would share everything in this blog post.

It started in 2004, with a band called Busted who I used to love! I had tickets to go and see them with my dad on their 2nd tour, and I saw they had a support band called McFly. I was 12 years old at the time and I'd never heard of McFly, so I went online and checked them out.

We saw McFly play before Busted and I loved them! In the same year, McFly announced an album signing for their first album Room On The Third Floor on the 5th July 2004, which was also the day after my 13th birthday! McFly were to do a performance on the stage in the Trafford Centre for anyone to watch and then afterwards, people with wristbands could queue up to meet the band. The wristbands were first come first serve, and they only had a select number available (about 300 I think). I was in school on the day though so I couldn't go to HMV and get one so my mum waited in line first thing in the morning and queued up for me, while I spent the day in school wondering whether or not I was going to meet McFly later on. I was so excited when I got home to see my wristband waiting for me! We drove down to the Trafford Centre, with my friend aswell, and I saw McFly live for the 2nd time. After the show, everyone with a wristband was taken to behind the stage area to start queuing to meet the band. I don't remember exactly how long I queued for, but it was a few hours, eventually I made it to the signing table, where Danny was first to meet.

I'd been talking to some girls in the queue and one of them offered to take this photo of me and Danny, he actually got up out of his seat to come and take this photo. It makes me laugh how big his hand is compared to my shoulder, especially when you look at my hand for comparison! Sitting next to Danny, was Tom. There was nobody available to take a photo for me at this point and selfies weren't a thing in 2004, so instead I just weirdly asked if I can just take a photo of him..

This photo could literally have been taken by anyone but I love it because it's mine and it makes me laugh every time I see it :) Harry and Dougie were next down the table, but I had been using a disposable camera so I don't know if the photos didn't take, or if they didn't develop, but for whatever reason I didn't get those photos back. At least I have these 2 though to look back on :) In 2005, they did their first headline tour, to go with their 2nd album, Wonderland. I went to see them at the same place I'd seen them support Busted at 1 year ago.

This was a special concert for me because at this point, I was a HUGE McFly fan but I didn't really know anyone else who liked them as much as I did, and I have this really specific memory of that night when I was sat in the crowd, with my dad again, looking around at literally thousands of people who were all just excited about seeing McFly as I was and thinking, this is pretty cool! It was also really cool to see a band that I'd seen supporting Busted, when nobody knew who they were, watched them in the Trafford Centre with a few hundred people.. and now seeing them headline the MEN Arena with about 20,000 people going crazy for them. It was an amazing night. The best thing about it, they chose that night to record for their tour DVD, so now I can relive the entire night at home whenever I want!

In 2006, McFly had been given a role in the film Just My Luck as a band who get discovered in the film. It was released in the summer and I went to see it with a girl called Vicky who I'd met at school and found out she also loves McFly. Later that year, Vicky and I went to see McFly live at their 2nd headline tour to go with their 3rd album, Motion In The Ocean.

I was 15 at this point and this was the first concert I went to with a friend without dad, we were also a lot closer than we'd ever been before. The previous tours, we'd been sat up in the upper tier, watching down at the show, but this time, we were right on the side, on the lower tier with the best view we'd had so far! It was amazing! In 2007, McFly came out with a Greatest Hits album, which I thought was hilarious because they'd only made 3 albums! But I wasn't going to argue with it, I was going to buy the album and see the tour! I remember this concert being extremely exciting for McFly fans because it was the first tour where they'd have a standing area instead of seats on the floor! Tickets for McFly concerts always sold out fast but this year I really wanted to get standing! I recruited my best friend James, who doesn't even like McFly, to go to the box office at 3am on the day of the ticket sales release day, and queue up to buy tickets at 10am. James is always up for anything, we've been friends longer than I've been a McFly fan, so when I called him up and asked him to come out with me at 3am, he just said ok. We stayed up all night on the phone to make sure neither of us fell asleep and missed our 3am meeting. We arrived at the box office to find that there was already a queue of people waiting, including a group of people who'd camped out overnight. However, the queue ended up being not bad at all because at 10am the box office opened and I was able to get my standing ticket! I don't actually remember who I went to concert with, in 2007, I was using MySpace to talk to loads of McFly fans, I'd always meet people at concerts and then add them on MySpace, or I'd recognise McFly fans in real life that I'd spoken to on MySpace, so I think I just went with some random McFly fans that I knew at the time! I remember going into the standing area for the first time and just being so excited at how close I was to the stage! There was around 4/5 rows of people in front of me, I'm short too so I had to find a good place to stand where I didn't have to strain to see over people's heads. None of that mattered in the end though because by the time McFly came on, the entire standing area was just complete madness! Everyone was just going completely crazy, the crowd was moving as like one giant unit because as soon as someone tried to push forward, everyone went forward and when McFly shouted out for the crowd to jump, we all jumped together. it was so hot and sweaty and crowded, but everyone was having a great time. Unfortunately, I didn't get to keep my ticket for this one, they swapped the standing tickets for wristbands so I have this instead..

2008 was one of my favourite years as a McFly fan. They released their 4th album called Radio:Active which is still my all time favourite, they did another tour and they also did another signing! Before all of that though, I had another visit to the cinema to see a live stream of McFly performing at the iTunes festival in London on 24th July 2008. Their set was broadcast live in Vue cinemas across the UK, so once again, I dragged my best friend James along to see it with me. It was a really weird experience because it was live but it was on the cinema so it was like I was there but I wasn't there.. It was so much fun though because everyone in the cinema ran down to the floor at the front and was dancing and jumping all over the place, singing back to the cinema screen, while my friend James just sat at the back laughing at how silly we all were. In September 2008, McFly announced a signing for the 2nd single off the Radio:Active album, called Lies. Instead of doing the signing as the 4 of them together, they split into 2's so they could cover more places. Danny and Dougie came to Manchester. This was the most exciting thing that had happened so far because it'd been 4 years since I met them at the Trafford Centre! I used to spend a lot of time on MySpace talking to other McFly fans, and one of those fans was Sian. She lives in Stoke and McFly didn't do any signings there, so we planned for her to come to the Manchester signing with me! This was the first time we met in real life but it felt like we'd been friends for ages (I guess we had but just online). On the day of the signing, we had to get wristbands again. So I went to Zavvi at 3am to queue up for wristbands. Sian arrived in Manchester a few hours later and we spent the day sitting outside with loads of other McFly fans, waiting for the signing to start. We queued for about 7/8 hours in total, which by this point, was a completely normal thing for me to do.

This is me and Sian in the queue, sitting on the floor taking selfies! We took many photos like this, but at some point during the day, we met up with some MySpace friends so we had to take some more photos!

Also, these were the MySpace days so it was all about mirror selfies! Finally, after hours of queueing, the signing began and we met Danny and Dougie! Sian went before me, so after she had met them, she stood to the side and took a photo of me while I was talking to Dougie.

On the table, you can also see the cd, which was my copy of the Lies single, which they signed!

A few months later, McFly went on another tour to go with the Radio:Active album. Sian came down again, we went to the concert together and then she stayed over afterwards.

Once again we were in the floor area, it was seated this time so it even though it was still just as crazy as always, it was a lot more spacious! This is one of my favourite McFly concerts I've been to because I love that album! Sian was spending the night after the concert and we made a plan to try and meet McFly at their hotel in the morning. All of the McFly fans at the time, had found out over the years which hotel they always stayed in, the only problem was nobody knows what time they leave in the mornings. So we made a plan to go to the hotel at 3am and wait for them. (Yep). We spent the night talking about our favourite moments from the concert and taking lots of silly photos.

By 3am, we had left the house and were sitting outside of McFly's hotel. However, it was almost the end of November so it was very cold!

We were also still sleep deprived and tired from the concert, but we were still in good spirits.

We never actually got to meet McFly that day but we did meet up with some other McFly fans who'd also turned up, so we had fun talking about the concert the night before.

 2009 was the best year of all!   McFly were doing an Up Close and Personal tour, which was not a big arena tour to promote an album, it was a smaller (although still big) set of shows, at Manchester Apollo.

It was also standing so after managing to get tickets again, my friends and I made a plan to camp overnight before the concert, outside the Apollo, in order to get front row!  Unlike the MEN Arena, there is no inside area where we could sit and wait, so we were literally in sleeping bags on the streets from about 8pm the night before until 7pm on the day when they finally opened the doors! It sounds like a completely crazy thing to do, but at the time, it was the most fun ever! We were joined by loads of other McFly fans, all throughout the night, more people were turning up and joining the queue. It was a cold night, the floor was hard no matter how many blankets you had and there was nowhere to to go to the toilet after midnight, when the McDonalds closed. However, the McDonalds re-opened at 6am, at which point there was a crowd of McFly fans waiting to get in! We all rushed to the bathroom as soon as it opened and managed to freshen ourselves up. We then had a McDonalds breakfast, where we ate as much as we could before going back for another 13 hours of queuing! We ended up going back there for lunch and dinner though so it broke up the wait a bit. Camping overnight for an event is funny experience. Everyone goes through a range of emotions through the night. It starts when all the first people arrive and everyone's really excited, then more and more people arrive and there's a buzzing atmosphere, down the queue you can hear various McFly songs playing from loads of sets of speakers. Then the music stops playing and everyone starts to get tired and starts trying to sleep, but then more people arrive who are all really excited, but the people who've been there for a few hours already are not excited anymore and just want to sleep. So then there's about 2 hours where nobody's asleep yet, but nobody's talking. Everyone's just silently debating why they thought this would be a good idea! Then you start to get people in the street walking past and staring at you from across the road, asking what you're waiting for. We were very lucky in that during the night, we had police officers walking up and down the street all night, just incase some drunk people tried to start some trouble or something. I imagine the venue arranged it since they'd expect there to be fans camping. Luckily, there wasn't any trouble during the night anyway. Just lots of fans turning up constantly every few hours. Around about 4/5pm, a few hours before the doors open, everyone starts to get really excited again. The music is playing, people are singing on the streets and  the queue of McFly fans now stretches all the way down the street and round the other side of the venue. My dad came around that time to collect our sleeping bags and everything else we didn't want to take into the venue. 7pm rolled around and we were finally allowed into the venue. The Apollo was completely empty when we showed up, we didn't even need to race to the barrier at the front, we just walked up and got our space, we'd waited all day and all night for, for the first time ever, front row at a McFly concert right in the middle!

No matter how crazy it sounds, I still think it was worth the wait! The show was amazing, the view was amazing, the overall experience of being right at the front for my favourite band was just the best experience ever! I found this video on my old MySpace account of a video I took at the front. I wish I could upload it to YouTube but I can't remember my MySpace password to save the video! At least I can embed it!

Obviously Live From Manchester Apollo May 8th 2009, Front Row from Kat Poynter on Myspace.

I don't know what camera I had but that quality is hilarious, I thought it was amazing at the time! And yes, my MySpace name was Kat Poynter because that's how cool I was! Sian spent the night over at mine again after that concert, and we re-attempted our plan of meeting McFly at their hotel. We ended up meeting lots of our MySpace friends who'd also turned up to meet McFly, so it ended up being a huge McFlyfan meet-up as well!

Near the hotel, there was a Starbucks. At some point during the morning, we went to Starbucks and found Tom and Dougie in Starbucks! We got the photos we'd waited years for!

It was an amazing 2 days. I'd seen them live, front row and gotten to meet them the next day! (well half of them). I didn't think it could get any better until McFly announced they were doing some summer outdoor shows, the following month! My friend Jess and I travelled down to Mansfield to see them, where they performed at Sherwood Pines Forest! 

This was the first time seeing them outside Manchester. We had a complicated train journey down, as it's a weird place to get to! We had to go to Mansfield, where we got a taxi that ended up being a lot longer than we expected, and then there was a really long walk through a forest. We actually thought we were lost at one point because, we got a taxi to the hotel, and we asked at reception how to get to the venue. The woman at the desk said we just have to turn out of the hotel and follow the road until a  certain point and then turn left and carry on. What we didn't realise was that the road we had to follow was so long! We were walking for ages and seeing nothing but forest on one side and cars going past on the other. We thought we'd taken the wrong road until about an hour later (literally) when we saw the turning point, we turned in and saw all the signs pointing to Sherwood Forest. We still had another 30 min walk ahead of us but at least we knew we were going the right way! We finally made it on time to get pretty close to the stage! We were about 5 rows away from the front. Of course, we arrived way earlier than we needed to go that close in the first place. We still queued up for a few hours before hand! However, it was June and we were outside so it was actually nice to sit down and queue in the sun for a change! At one point during the wait, I went to the toilet, while Jess held our place in line, and in the toilets I met one my MySpace/McFly friends who'd also travelled down, but from London! I haven't been to a McFly concert since that one, so I'm so glad I went! I hadn't any interactions with McFly after that, they released their Above The Noise album which I didn't really like, and then I went off to University. At University, they always have a welcome party in the student club and they always have a famous person host the event as a fun way to start off the year. A few days before I started University, they announced who was hosting our welcome party, and it was none other than Danny Jones, from McFly! I was like, seriously?!?! Is this a joke?! So as soon as the tickets came on sale, there was no question about it!

That was the last time I had any interaction with McFly but I still go back and listen to their first 4 albums and just remember all the amazing times I've had and the awesome friends I've made because of them. Aside from concerts and signings, there's loads of other random fun memories I have of them too. For example, there was the time when I asked Tom on Twitter if he was going to  see Green Day at their latest tour, not expecting him to actually reply!

That's my old Twitter account hence why my username is blacked out! Kat_04071991 didn't really catch on as a username..

There was also the hours I spent reading through McFly forums to get all the latest news so I never missed what was happening! It was also a great place to talk to other McFly fans, besides MySpace.

I don't even remember writing that..

There was also the time I heard McFly were going to be interviewed on Key 103 radio, so I got my dad to drive me down there to meet them as they arrived at the radio station. We sat in the car for hours until we heard the interview come on in the car.. I thought maybe we missed them arrive, maybe we could catch them leaving.. The interview ended and nobody came out of the building..a little while later, an employee came out and we asked what time will McFly will be coming out and he said the interview was pre-recorded and McFly weren't actually here! 

There was also the McFly fan site I made on MySpace, called Team__McFly (because TeamMcFly and Team_McFly were already taken). You can't actually see it anymore because MySpace has changed. 

So that is everything I wanted to share today. McFly will always be very special to me and hopefully with this blog post, you can see why! If you made it this far, that's pretty impressive since it was such a long post! 

I just went onto Twitter and saw that it's #12YearsOfMcFly so even though I've shared these photos recently, I had to make another post to celebrate 12 years of the most important band of my life. No other band has had such an impact on my life as McFly. Going to HMV and buying every one of their singles and albums on the day they were released, camping out overnight on the streets for concert tickets and then camping over before the concerts to get front row, travelling around the country to see them, going to every single one of their tours, queuing up at 3am to get wristbands for signings..is basically how I spent the past 12 years of my life. The top photo was taken the day after my 13th birthday (5th July 2004) and just after the 2nd time I saw McFly live..the bottom 2 photos of Tom and Dougie were taken when I was 18 when I met them in Starbucks 23rd Nov 2009) with @siannstagram, who I actually met because of McFly!! Happy 12th Birthday McFly.. I love you so much and I hope you come back with album 6 soon! 💜💜💜 #McFly #DougiePoynter #dannyjones #TomFletcher #harryjudd #12yearsofmcfly @dannyjonesmcfly @idougahole @tomfletcher @juddymcfly
A photo posted by Katya Owu (@katyaowu) on

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