New fans join original supporters for amazing gig
THERE was a time when you'd never imagine a ska band like Madness to be performing on the roof of Buckingham Palace, helping Her Majesty celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
A lot might have changed since the band formed in the 1970s but the quality of their music has not.
At Westonbirt Arboretum, Suggs and co performed some of the hits that have made them household names with the energy and freshness of a new band.
The weather gods were kind and the rain stayed away for the gig, much to the delight of a sell-out crowd. Some of them may have had their minds on the football but they were kept up to date with regular updates throughout the night.
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Thirty years ago, Madness spent 214 weeks in the UK singles charts over the course of a decade, holding the record, along with UB40, for most weeks spent by a group in the 1980s UK singles charts.
And while it looked as though the majority of the arboretum audience were people who had helped to line the band's coffers back in their heyday, there was a good mix of new fans, too – some had even caught on to the trend of wearing a fez.
Primed by a fantastic country tinged with soul supporting act from Bristol-based Phantom Limb, the crowd went wild when the original Nutty Boys started the set with One Step Beyond. From then on it was a mixture of the classic tracks and their newer material.
My Girl, Baggy Trousers, Our House, and It Must Be Love, were all met with thunderous approval.
There was plenty of banter about the ages of the band members, jokes about getting old, and quips about the footie, but the performance was electrifying.
The Night Boat to Cairo ended off a fantastic night with dozens of children taking to the stage. Amazing.