WORDS AND IMAGES BY WARREN MILLAR
Today we are at one of The Jockey Club Live events at Haydock Park Race course. The Jockey Club Live is an innovative and exciting event entertainment promoter specialising in combining live music and racing. Since The Jockey Club Live launched in 2014 it has promoted over 100 concerts with a combined attendance of over 870,000, and was revealed by Music Week as the UK’s 6th largest music promoter. The Jockey Club Live’s vision is to bring the biggest names in pop music to racing events across the country; giving consumers an exceptional experience of live music and racing.
So after a successful (or not so successful) afternoon of racing, tonight’s act will make sure the night ends well as we have “The Nutty Boys” themselves “Madness” It just can’t get better than this can it ?
“Madness” really are one of the icons of British pop music. Formed in Camden Town, North London in 1976 they were one of the most prominent bands in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. They still perform today. Madness have had 15 singles reach the UK top ten, including “One Step Beyond”, “Baggy Trousers” and “It Must Be Love” and one UK number-one single “House of Fun”.
It’s a beautiful warm summer early evening as we make the short drive to Haydock Park for tonight’s entertainment with The Nutty Boys and race goers.
Upon arriving at Haydock Park it’s clear to see that the place is pretty near full with both race goers and Madness fans and we had even got there two hours before Madness were due on stage to watch a bit of racing and soak up the atmosphere, well it was such a lovely day why not ? Quite a few hen parties, stag parties, young and old were enjoying such a beautiful venue and day.
We were told that the madness fans were already staking their claims at the pit barrier as soon as the doors had opened for the start of racing at 4pm and the guys weren’t due on stage till 9.30, now that’s loyalty indeed !
The last race of the evening was 9.00pm and we were in the press pit just as it started in readiness. All we could see from here looking out over the crowd was a sea of Fez Hats stretching right to the back, which was a fair distance away. The merch stand must have made a killing on the sale of these hats today ! Chatting in the pit to the P.R. they said it was one of the biggest crowds since 2015 and an estimated 80,000 were there which is really something but then again Madness are one band that can pull in crowds of this size without a doubt.
At spot on 9.30 the stage lights came on and The Nutty Boys walked on stage to a huge cheer, Suggs looking very cool in a grey checked suit, sunglasses and blue polo t-shirt.
All Suggs has to say is “Hey you, don’t watch that, watch this. This is the heavy heavy monster sound The nuttiest sound around” ………. and It was straight into the Prince Buster cover “One Step Beyond” with the crowd echoing every single word to this iconic Madness cover.
The band were seemingly loving it, but anyone who has ever been to a Madness gig knows that the energy they give out on stage is infectious. Hit after hit are received with louder and louder acclaim.
Lee Thompson is all over the stage playing his Saxophone as only Lee can and it’s a joy to watch the whole band up there and absolutely smashing it out of the park.
During a little chat in-between songs Suggs tells us that tonight has been a ticket mix up and as we all know today is the anniversary of The Spice Girls single release Wannabe, “Well Sorry We Aint The Spice Girls” he tell us and then starts a little tongue in cheek rendition of “Wannabe”
These guys have been going strong since the 70’s and almost everyone knows their big hits enough to sing along to them whether you were into Ska/two tone of the mid 70’s early 80’s or not, you just can’t help but like Madness as a band of Nutty Boys and when you come away from one of their live shows you know for a fact you have been well and truly entertained as many race goers were tonight at Haydock Park race Course.
Big thanks to Haydock Park Race Course, The Jockey Club Live and of course the Nutty Boys themselves Madness ……… Never ever stop making people feel happy.
1/ One Step Beyond
3/ The Prince
5/ My Girl
6/ The Sun and the Rain
7/ Wings of a Dove
8/ Shut Up
8/ Bed and Breakfast Man
9/ Mr. Apples
10/ House of Fun
11/ Baggy Trousers
12/ Our House
13/ It Must Be Love
15/ Night Boat to Cairo
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.