We love Madness! Ever since I met my man, he has been educating me on everything to do with the musical phenomenon. The nutty boys have been performing for years and years and years and to be honest, before coming to the UK I had never heard of them.
Then I met their number one fan and my musical appreciation expanded rapidly. We have seen them at least nine times now. Live. Usually around Christmas, so we make a night of it. We dance (we buy standing tickets only so that we can jig, pogo and otherwise express ourselves) through the whole concert and then after Night boat to Cairo we sprint to the multi-storey car park to beat the traffic.
Except this year the date collides with something else and we realised that we wouldn’t be able to pay our homage to the legendary ska band. My husband’s heart sunk. And then.
The local theatre put on a Madness tribute band called Los Palmas 6. With some hesitation he booked us two tickets. Only seating tickets available. Oh dear. Through a series of coincidences my brother (knows about one Madness song) and his wife (knows about one Madness song, vaguely) ended up coming with us. This had disaster written all over it.
We sat at the balcony. There was no one in the seats behind us and I quickly noted an area for dancing. And then the music started.
The tribute band made the right ‘heavy heavy monster sound’, the right moves and played all the best known songs. Even my brother and his wife knew more than just Our house (famously performed and projected on the front of the Buckingham Palace)! Within ten minutes we were moving in our private little spot with premium view.
The orderly atmosphere in the seated auditorium underneath lasted for exactly two songs. Then everybody took to any available space and the distictive Madness dance erupted from all corners of the theatre. People of all ages were singing, bobbing, jumping and clapping. The performance was brilliant. The tribute did the real thing proud.
If you ever want a really enjoyable workout, go to a ska concert. I am speaking from an experience when I tell you that Lovestruck can make you work through that stitch in your side… and you can really hone your whistling and screaming and whooping skills.
And if you can’t make the real band’s gig, go and see a tribute. You might be pleasantly surprised!