Review: Madness, Capital FM Arena
MADNESS certainly know how to pack a big venue. Their pop-tinged ska has been popular ever since the pinnacle of their career in the 1980s, when unforgettable tunes such as One Step Beyond, My Girl and Baggy Trousers catapulted them to fame.
The atmosphere at their much-anticipated gig at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham was more expectant and excited than for any other artist I've seen.
The floor space was filled to capacity and pulsated throughout the gig, with a sea of red fez hats proving that people were fully on board with the "madness" that prevailed.
With age, Madness have lost neither their energy or enthusiasm and iconic lead singer Suggs is ever the charismatic front man.
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Their sound at Capital FM Arena was crisp, their staging was slick and their set list was crowd pleasing, including many of the familiar old favourites such as Embarrassment, Wings of a Dove, House of Fun, Michael Caine and Our House.
They also showcased material from their new album Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da and even a rendition of Robin Hood, by bassist Mark Bedford, made it in. Even if you are not a diehard fan, you can't fail to have a great time when they break into their uptempo Camden Town beats.
Although to be fair, the majority of people in Nottingham were genuine enthusiasts and it was awe inspiring to see them all come together after more than 30 years of devotion to the cause.
Those nutty boys must still be doing something right to have survived so long in the business.
And I can see them packing big venues like this for a long, long time to come – whatever becomes of their record releases.