Sunday, 2 September 2012

Madness - Finsbury Park 8 August 1992

My good friend Ivan likes Madness.  He REALLY likes Madness but was too young to see them live before they split up.  So when, in 1992, it was announced that they were going to re-form and stage the Madstock festival at Finsbury Park it was a given that he would be going.  It was his first opportunity to see them and I was enough of a fan of Madness to want to go too.  The real treat for me though would be seeing Ian Dury and the Blockheads.  Ivan decided that he would go to both the Saturday and the Sunday.  As the line up was the same for both days, I decided that just the Saturday would be enough for me.  Also on the bill were Flowered Up and Morrissey, I am and was a fan of neither of them. Morrissey in particular infuriates me.  I like some of the music he's made both solo and with The Smiths but find his every utterance designed to infuriate me.  He comes over as a cross between Alan Bennett and Dorothy Parker, without the wit of either, and appears to consider it great sport to torture interviewers, particularly those known to be fans.  A flat track bully.  Other opinions are available.

Come the day of the show, I was not well.  In fact knowing what I know now I should probably have been in hospital rather than driving two hours to stand in a park for another six before driving home again.  However I was young and stupid and didn't want to let my buddy down as he was counting on me for the lift - and I was keen to see the show if at all possible.  We drove up to Ivan's Uncle's house, where he would be staying the night, just around the corner from the venue, parked up and walked to the park.

Regular readers of this blog (are there any?) will not be surprised to hear that I remember little of the show itself.  Even the infamous Morrissey union jack incident didn't register at the time as I was in so much discomfort and spent a great deal of time sitting down.  My biggest regret though is that I don't remember any details of the one time I saw Ian Dury with the Blockheads.  I do remember that when Madness appeared, starting of course with One Step Beyond, the crowd went batshit crazy.  Even as far back as we were, everyone was dancing and the euphoria was infectious enough to raise this sick man off the floor and make him forget his worldly pains and worries for an hour or so.  

On day two, Morrissey decided not to return and was replaced by The Farm.