Welcome To The House Of Fun!

Last Friday, I attended my third gig in nine days when I went to see Madness play The Marquee in Cork. Regular readers shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that my friend John also attended and he was kind enough to drive up and down from Limerick. Of course, I repaid his kindness by playing music from my iPod on the way down and back, with a fair bit of ska and reggae numbers soundtracking our return from what was yet another great gig. John’s a bigger fan of the band than I am but, like me, this was his first time seeing The Nutty Boys in concert. The band formed in the latter half of the 70s and released their first singles in 1979. They had their biggest success in the 80s and many of these wonderful singles formed the basis of their show in Cork. They began the show with their first top ten UK hit, One Step Beyond, and went on to deliver familiar versions of Embarrassment, Our House and House of Fun as well as some songs from their most recent album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate. My own particular favourite on the night, however, was their version of My Girl, which Suggs introduced by singing a slowed down version of the first verse before the whole band and the crowd launched into the song

Suggs and the rest of the band were full of energy all night and delighted the audience by not straying too far from the originals. The crowd was made up of all shapes, sizes and ages and were even more energetic than the band as they sang along while bouncing and dancing all over the place. Many of them were dressed as fashionably as the lads on stage as can be seen from the guy with the hat who features prominently in the two shots that I tried to take of the band. The only real drawback of the whole night was the poor quality of the sound, which was extremely heavy on the bass and made the vocals sound muffled. However, it did sound a lot better when we moved back a bit before the encore. To be fair, it didn’t really make too much of a difference as everyone was singing and dancing to the music so much that they didn’t really notice. The song after the photo is one they didn’t play on the night, but is from their Dangerman Sessions album from a few years back. The song has been around for a while in various titles and guises and I really like its humorous lyric and amusing punchline

Shame and Scandal (Sir Lancelot cover) – Madness


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