Its pure Madness in Brighton


 

MADNESS – BRIGHTON CENTRE 7.12.21

Madness: Phot by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

After the pandemic, the city of Brighton need a bit of a knees up!  Last here in Christmas 2018 it was a joy to see Madness schedule a Christmas tour and drop in a return to Brighton. They have become a regular “Christmas Night Out” in the past and here they were, back once again with their Nutty sound! It was a breathtakingly entertaining show.

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The kings of Two Tone, Madness, were at the Brighton Centre to help a packed in crowd begin their Christmas revelry early, and what a party it was.

To the glorious refrains of One Step Beyond, Suggs appeared dressed in his almost trademark suit, appearing from a phone box. He had been “phoning” his mum telling her he was out tonight with a bunch of friends who were having a party in Brighton!  Phone receiver put in place, Suggs, always steeped in bucket loads of charisma, shouted “Hey You”, this Brighton audience yelled right back at him “Don’t Watch That, Watch This!”, and the fun began…

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness dominated the charts between 1979 and 1986. Only a few bands have had such a magic touch that giants like Embarrassment, The Prince and a lovely reworked My Girl appear within the first six songs! With a huge repertoire of songs to choose from, sadly they had to leave some tunes out. But dear reader Madness worked hard and dropped in some 22 songs for the crowd.

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The stage was packed, 6 original members of the band and 4 other musicians, 10 people on stage and all the screens, backdrops and two large replicas of Big Ben on either side. It looked busy, but also rather splendid!

Click on image to enlarge

The Set:

One Step Beyond
Embarrassment
The Prince
NW5
My Girl
Take It Or Leave It
The Sun And TheRain
Baby Burglar
Wings Of A Dove

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Wings Of A Dove was accompanied with a super back drop animation. It was packed in tight at the Brighton Centre. I took the camera into the crowd and was surrounded by an audience wearing T Shirts and red fez hats, What a great atmosphere! It was full of people of all ages who seemed to know every word to their oldies. It says a lot about the love and esteem with which Madness are held by the the crowd.

One Better Day
Lovestruck
If I Go Mad
Shut Up
Mr Apples
Bed And Breakfast Man
Wooly Bully

Click on image to enlarge

With a massive back catalogue of songs to choose from, they had to leave some songs out! This time in Brighton the dropping of some of those tunes cleared the way for Bed And Breakfast Man, a terrific version Shut Up and the wonderful Mr Apples.

House Of Fun
Baggy Trousers
Our House
It Must Be Love

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

And when Madness kicked off with, I think, their only UK number one, House Of Fun, the crowd, indeed the party, also stepped it up another notch. Baggy Trousers, Our House and a superlative cover of Labi Siffre’s It Must Be Love followed. Was this 2021 or indeed had we been whizzed back in time to those two tone days some forty years ago? Madness were on top form tonight. Suggs seeming to also go back in time as he drew in the love and appreciation from the crowd and put forward a superb performance.

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Encore:

Madness
Night Boat To Cairo

Madness decided to wrap up this Christmas party with a return to their ska roots, first off was Prince Buster’s Madness, this had those folk of a certain age in the audience dancing like once again like teenagers and with the last song, the bonkers sound of Nightboat To Cairo.

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Madness, and their fans, put on a fine display and yes we can still have those nutty moments. Well played Madness!

Madness are on the WWW here: www.madness.co.uk

 

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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2021.

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