Over 5,000 people stormed the Rhyl Events Arena for the biggest music event in Rhyl since the Radio 1 roadshow’s of the 80s & 90s, the “Nutty Boys” were in town.
News broke of the appearance of Madness at the events arena way back in February, the show was billed as “The greatest outdoor event in the history of Rock n Roll” and boy wasn’t it just.
With the gates opening at 4pm the crowd which flocked from fair and wide traveling to Rhyl began to trickle in to the stoned circle of the Rhyl Events Arena. It was a fairly sombre mood to start off with, with sadly not a beam of sun in the sky at that point, this didn’t stop DJ Darren though, he kept the crowd happy with an array of classic Ska and Northern Soul tracks.
Bring on the support acts
As the crowd began to fill out now slightly alcohol fuelled, but in good spirits, no doubt from a Saturday afternoon pub crawl, it was time for the first support act. Point FM’s very own Andy Baker & Kev Hamilton took to the stage first to warm up the crowd along with introduction of the first act “By The Rivers”. They took the classic Ska sound and gave it a modern youthful twistwith shades of Motown and Soul on their own tracks such as “Vulture” and “Rocksteady”.
“Ladies & Gentlemen … SHOWTIME !!!”
To the sound of the “World of Sport” theme and a video gallery of GRANDSLAM events, complete with boo’s for images and England winning the World Cup in ’66 and cheers for Wales winning the 6 Nations in good taste, it was now PARTY TIME !!!Madness took to the stage with raptuarous applause from the crowd, starting with their self penned track “Grand Slam” which may have threw some people with it being fairly much unknown and possibly written from the tour, but then the classic began, even their debut single “The Prince”, “Embarrassment”, “My Girl” and the perfect “Sun and the Rain” most suited for the current weather conditions. After what seemed like a halfway musical interlude of “Return of the Los Palmas 7” and a short rendition of “Living on a Prayer” by guitarist Chris Foreman, putting the blame on Bon Jovi if anyone complains about the noise, it wasn’t long before the songs that everyone was waiting for to be heard. It was from this moment even “non-die hard” Madness fans could erupt on the event arena into a dancing and singing frenzy, “House of Fun”, “One Step Beyond”, “Our House”, “Baggy Trousers” and more from an outstanding back catalogue, not many people weren’t making some kind of movement at this point. A hands in the air rendition of “It Must Be Love” brought the show to an end before and encore of “Madness” and the fantastic fog horn sound of “Night Boat to Cairo” and still the crowd wanted more. Sadly more never came and after what seemed a very quick goodbye from the band lead to the slow but highly spirited walk out of the arena from the crowd into the Rhyl nightlife for a quiet tipple no doubt.
It was an historic night for Rhyl with any amazing buzz feeling that has not been felt for sometime and possibly the beginning to a great future for the seaside town in live events. Who would of thought an iconic 80s group selling millions of singles and albums worldwide would change the current spirit of a town in 90 minutes, it was Madness.
All pictures courtesy and property of Jeff Pitt Photography.
My Girl 2
Take It or Leave It
The Sun and the Rain
Don’t Leave The Past Behind
Return of the Los Palmas 7
Bed and Breakfast Man
Living on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
One Step Beyond
House of Fun
Wings of a Dove
It Must Be Love
Night Boat to Cairo