Sunday 16 December 2018
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.theguardian - 10 days ago

Madness review – baggy bangers with a British pop institution

First Direct Arena, Leeds
Suggs and co shuffle their back catalogue to the delight of a loyal crowd as new songs document a changing BritainMadness singer Suggs walks on and says just two words: “Hey you!” He doesn’t need to say anything else – the arena audience do it for him, yelling, “Don’t watch that, watch this! This is the heavy, heavy monster sound …” As soon as the crowd reach the words “one step beyond”, Lee Thompson’s sax tears into the intro of the Prince Buster cover of the same name, as it must have done thousands of times before.That an arena full of people of all ages (many wearing a Madness fez) know every word of a spoken intro from a 1979 single says everything about the esteem with which the Camden Nutty Boys are held by the public. They’re a British pop institution, with a reputation – and the core of the setlist – still based on an incredible 1979-86 run of 21 Top 20 hits, and why not? Few bands have had such a Midas touch that such giants as Embarrassment, The Prince and a lovely reworked My Girl appear within the first six songs. Continue reading...

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