Review: Madness @ Manchester Arena

Madness rocked the Manchester Arena last night with a powerful potion of their old and new foot-stomping songs.

Formed in 1979 with Suggs, Barso, Chas Smash, Chrissy Boy, Bedders, Woody and Thomo, Madness brought the house down with their second performance of their tour The Sound of Madness.

The band, who write their songs and play the instruments, were chart dominators between 1979 and 1986 with classic hits such as House of Fun, The Sun and the Rain, Michael Caine and It Must Be Love.

Before Madness came out, The Fratellis performed a variety of their hits for an hour to get the fans in the concert spirit and they didn’t fail to do that. Chelsea Dagger was enthusiastically performed with fans jumping to the beat before they introduced Madness.

After the Nutty Boys kicked off the tour in Leeds, over 25,000 people flocked to Manchester from all over the North of England, including as far away as the Lake District to once again hear those beloved tracks and new song Mr Apples.

The four screens above the stage began with clips of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music film before the band walked out to a huge round of applause and cheering.

“Hey you, don’t watch that, watch this,” echoed the words of Suggs throughout the stadium with the fans standing up to leap and dance to the rock steady beat of the heavy heavy hits. It was definitely One Step Beyond.

Suggs and company have been known for writing songs that have multiple meanings. Not only are they fun songs, but they interconnect with their personal experiences and events at the time of writing.

All that could be seen throughout the arena were fans with t-shirts, Fezs, and everything that represents their love for the most successful band in the 1980s.

For me personally, it was the first time I had seen Madness live after being a lifelong fan, and it is something I will never forget.

Whistles and cheers were heard all the way through the concert as fans stomped their way through the songs.

“Welcome to the House of Fun” raised the roof with its poptastic beat and thousands of feet jumping up and down to the rhythm of the music of the night.

The end of the concert came very quickly as time goes fast when having fun, and it was the best fun ever.

As a finale, Night Boat to Cairo, the classic 1979 hit which was filmed on a moving platform with the Nutty Boys dancing around the stage, captured the hearts of the audience as Lee Thompson, the saxophone player, began the song.

Thousands of fans walked out at the end and could buy plenty of souvenirs including t-shirts, badges, hoodies to keep the memories of this amazing performance close to their hearts. I for one will never forget this concert by my favourite band. Fantastic.

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