This month saw the release of the collective autobiography Unsaid Things Our Story by the pop/punk collective known as McFly. Before any nay-sayers bandy their opinions about whether or not this band have enough life experience or much of a story to tell let’s quash those thoughts straight away. This band create their own music and write their own lyrics; they have released five albums; have their own record label; performed ten headlining tours; won 27 music awardsand are collectively 103 years old. The fact that they have crammed this into a 300 page book is an impressive feat; especially when having read the book you can see how they probably could have each released a solo autobiography rivalling the page count.
Unlike a lot of biographies, the bulk of the narrative is about the time that they band has been together. There are individual accounts of childhood, their families and growing up but instead of focusing on the how their background made them into who they are today the Fletcher, Pointer, Jones and Judd talk about how being in the band taught them how to grow up.
The account of their career to date is entertaining and endearing; the frank and honest approach to some of the darker moments and how humbling the effects of these times had on the band in a rich, fascinating but not overexposed way; these include Dougie and Tom’s stints in the rehab facility The Priory. The band talk about their visit to Africa as part of their work with Comic Relief and how they have continued to try and raise money for the charity – never in a boastful “look at us and the good work we are doing” kind of manner but in a genuinely unpretentious matter of fact way.
There are times in the book, during the more difficult periods of the band’s life that you do sense that they are holding back, not so much the details but protecting themselves, self-preservation of their feelings; if anything this makes them seem more human, more touchable than if they talked about their demons in a blasé way.
One of the main themes in the book is the almost desperate need for acknowledgement of their talent. There is an attitude within the world of music that if a band veers towards pop music then the music has little worth; bands like McFly and the defunct Busted were both victims of this negative attitude. McFly write their own music and lyrics, they have now started producing their own songs and they have taken control by releasing it through their own label with their own money. This is a lot more than many of your indie and rock bands are currently doing so you can understand their frustration. The band have somewhat come to terms with this now but their anguish is evident in the narrative.
The conversational style of Unsaid Things is truly fascinating; Dougie, Tom, Danny and Harry play around and bounce off each other exactly how you would expect them too and their friendship, nay their brotherhood, is evident on every page.
If you choose to read this book (and believe me, you want to read this book) there will be times that you will laugh, cry and cover your eyes with the shock of some of the things that the guys (*coughs* Danny and Harry) get up to.
It is an un-put-downable book that can (and was) devoured in one sitting.
Unsaid Things Our Story by McFly is available now from all good bookstores.
Follow McFly @McFlyMusic @tommcfly @dougiemcfly @Dannymcfly @mcflyharry @SuperCityHQ
* Review originally published on Different Scene