Welcome to the House of Fun!
Our reviewer Dave Ballinger enjoys a night of Madness in The Quarry watching the sunset as the bands play on.
Madness descended on The Quarry for a couple of hours on Friday night – and everyone had an absolute ball.
Suggs and his fellow Nutty Boys from Camden Town strolled onto the stage in Shrewsbury and belted out hit after hit, and had the crowd dancing and singing, well, everywhere!
From young Henry up the front in the mosh pit to the watchers sat in their chairs stretching back up on Henman Hill (© Suggs, on stage in Shrewsbury, Jul 15 2022) it was impossible not to be carried away by the beat.
As Suggs said during the introduction to one of the songs, the band have been doing this kind of thing for 40 plus years now.
And when you add the tight musicianship from the band led by sax man and percussionist Lee ‘Thomo’ Thompson to the clever lyrics, you get the perfect pop song time and again – My Girl, Embarrassment, House of Fun, It Must Be Love, Baggy Trousers to name but a few.
Each was performed with relish and received by the audience with delight – and Suggs was on top form with his between-song banter.
It was only whilst walking out of The Quarry at the end of the show you realised just how many people were there – and they had all been thoroughly entertained.
Earlier in the evening, The Hoosiers opened the show with a half-hour slot which whetted the appetite – and they’re still Worried About Ray.
They were followed by the The Zutons. I have to admit a soft spot for the Scousers, and they didn’t disappoint with their sax rock as the skies cleared and the sun came out.
They warmed up nicely in their 45 minutes to finish with a great rendition of Valerie (covered famously by Amy Winehouse) and You Will You Won’t.
Then it was Madness. Don’t worry if there are a few red fez hats floating around on The Severn in the morning, everyone safely boarded the Night Boat to Cairo as it drifted off into the sunset.
Oh what fun we had.