Oh yes, yet again lady luck did not desert me, I managed to win a couple of tickets for the Radio 2 recording of Madness.
Having seen Madness numerous times, actually only a couple of weeks ago at the iTunes Festival, but I can’t help but being very very excited ;-).
David and I left a little earlier than usual, wouldn’t mind securing a front row spot, but I have no idea what the place at BBC Broadcasting House is like, so we have to wait and see.
Joy, it started to rain, it does however not dampen our spirits, singing Madness songs all day already it is just another “Dreary Day”! We found the place not far from Oxford Street Station and joined the queue, which doesn’t seem too long. We were given a sticker with a number to put on our tickets, 108 & 109, hmmm, not exactly first in line are we? Never mind we will have a blast anyway. The queue moved very slowly, tickets need scanning as much as your bag, jackets and body….lol. And yes, you can bring in a bottle of water, just no nail files!!! They took mine off me, but gave me a receipt so I can get it back from the main reception at the end of the show. 🙂
We made our way into the holding area, oopppss, sorry I mean waiting room, there was a bar for drinks coffee and snacks, and a single bags of beetroot crisps, how awesome is that? Just beetroot crisps, my favourites ! 🙂
The wait is boring, but hey, the nutty boys are worth it! We get chatting to a lady and her son, they have come up from the south coast, quite a way to come, but as I said and told her, they are so worth it!!
Finally there is movement, everybody seems to moving towards the doors, a couple ask us if we knew what was happening, shrugging my shoulders I said I didn’t know but we thought we might as well join in! Ahhh he says, being a sheep!!! Hehehe, yes, today we are!
The people get called in by numbers on the tickets, that is fair, if you were here first you should be able to get the best place! Not sure what the green tickets are about, maybe VIP or disabled….green tickets first, 1 -50 next, 51-100 after that and at last us and 47 others. It’s all very posh looking, at the entrance we were told no photos, buhhh, not fun! I understand that no photos should be taken from the news room, but Sugs and the boys?
Anyway we are led into the theatre, and it’s all seated :-(, we are guided into the fourth row, all the way to the end and offered a couple of spaces in the third row (I don’t quite get it, over 100 people came in before us and we are near the front?)…..I spot two free places at the end of the front row, looking at the security guard I smile and say “Can we sit there?” “Sure why not” he replies, result, living up to my name!!
Suddenly we get talked to by a guy called Michael, he tells us he is with Jo Wiley and if it would be ok to interview us after the show? I say “yes of course” but David is adamant not him…we’ll see..heheheh! We told to stay back at the end together with the mother and daughter couple, Sarah & Louise.
And now it’s time!!! The audience get told how to react and to make a LOT of noise as we are on live radio, I don’t think we needed to be told, as Jo runs onto stage the room shouts and claps. She introduces the show, tells us there is no need to stay seated, get up and dance she smiles! Madness arrive on stage, the crowd erupts in what sounds like a noise from a thousand people, and we are only about 300!!! And there are the Nutty Boys, omg, I could actually touch them, I have never been that close to them, except of course when the picture with Suggs was taken not so long ago at the Wycombe Swan theatre.
Starting with the expected song “One Step Beyond” straight into “Embarrassment”. David and I don’t need much warming up, we are dancing and singing as are a lot of other people, some need a little more time but it doesn’t take long for everybody to be on their feet.
Suggs gives us a lot of banter, asking who has seen them before and who are novices (a few actually), who are lucky winners or know people, he is in fine form. After a couple more well loved songs Madness play 7 tracks off their new album, I can’t wait for it to be in the shops, having seen Madness a couple of times recently it feels like we already know the songs. I in particular love ” Kitchen Floor” and “I never knew your name”! Lee Thompson is right in front of us, being Lee! Pulling faces, having fun playing the Sax with such skill( uhhh, I love a man who can play the Sax), behind him is the brass section, watching and smiling (smirking a tiny bit maybe) as people do their best to skank in the tiny space in front of their seat. Again we are lucky, you get more room in the front row, not enough for David though, he steps out into the aisle, not allowed, the security guard comes along and tells him to stay in his seat, tut tut David. Lee has been watching all this from the stage and sure enough he gestured David to come and dance next to him. I could see this split second thought going on in David’s head and then he climbed onto the stage….brilliant!! The security guard is back trying to pull him off, but gets told that Lee had invited David to join him, he leaves him to it. I see Lee gesturing towards the end of the song to go back to his seat, but David is oblivious, loving it! I manage to catch his eye and tell him to come back to earth…hehehehe!
There is no let up in banter, jokes, interaction with the audience and each other on stage, absolutely brilliant, I don’t want this to end. Lee also spots Louise next to me trying to take a photo of her daughter Sarah with Lee in the background, he promptly comes close and leans in for a great picture, I did take a couple but they haven’t come out brilliantly, never mind it’s all in my head anyway, that is where memories belong in the first place.
The last six songs completely nail it, nobody is able to sit still now, “Our House”, “Baggy Trousers” and for the encore “Night boat to Cairo”. I love the way they do their encore, turn their backs, pretending they’ve gone off stage, after enough noise turning back and Suggs says: ” You still here?” As if we would leave…hehehehe. A towel gets put over Sugg’s head and you just know it’s “…♫♪..It’s just gone noon,..♫..half past monsoon on the banks of the river Nile….♫♫♪.
I can’t believe it’s over, I can’t believe I was here, so, so awesome!!!
We are staying behind for the interview, arrgghhhh….Jo Wiley comes to say hello (David get’s a little bit excited, he likes her, a lot!!!), after a doing her radio thing she comes over to us. I was so determined to say “I’m Stefanie, better know as FrontRowStef”, but no, still buzzing from the gig I twittered on about how Suggs should be my husband…blah blah blah, well done Stef…hahahahaha! And considering David wasn’t going to do the interview he said a lot.
Jo moves on to Louise and Sarah, we’re still hovering around, as Jo promised we could have a photo taken with her. And yes, she kept her promise, what were her words: ” you are sweaty”…of course we are, if you don’t come out of a Madness gig sweaty you haven’t enjoyed it to the full. 🙂
And then it’s time to leave…..nooooo, I want more!!!!!!
Round to the main reception, picking up my nail file and off home, not before serenading a lamppost on the way…..
I listened to the concert online the next day, no comparison to being there but still, it comes across brilliantly.
Madness, Radio 2, Jo Wiley……thank you for one of the best evenings, let’s do it again soon!! 🙂