Live Review: Madness – The Piece Hall, Halifax 16/06/23

The summer season of music is finally kicking off this year at the historic Piece Hall in Halifax with the first of a two-night stint by ska legends Madness. Following excellent sales when the band were first announced, a second date was quickly added and it’s a packed crowd here tonight.

The venue has gone all out this year for the ‘Live At The Piece Hall’ events, with a special VIP area (Live At Lounge) featuring a private area with exclusive bar and covered viewing gallery. The VIP package includes fast track entry, a welcome drink, souvenir goodie bag with limited edition merchandise alongside an exclusive food menu from their award-winning chef.

Madness open their set with the classic ‘One Step Beyond’ as Suggs commands the audience in his usual charismatic way speaking the opening lyrics of the track “Hey you, don’t watch that, watch this, this is the heavy heavy monster sound of Madness One Step Beyond”. The crowd, many wearing black bowler hats or a red fez, gleefully sing along and even dance.

The setlist contains a bumper number of tracks spanning their career but even newer tracks such as ‘Mr. Apples’ from 2016 album ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ are known by the die-hard crowd. Classic favourites House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House and It Must Be Love feature consecutively ensuring a barnstorming end to the set which is swiftly followed by encore tracks ‘Madness’ and ‘Night Boat to Cairo’ ensuring all the fans wearing their red fez can leave happy!

The Piece Hall have recently announced that this year’s summer series has sold 120,000 tickets and the launch night tonight is the first of a spectacular line-up that has massively increased in the number of gigs from last year and now extends into August. Tickets for future events are available for purchase here.

Previous Premiere: Eric Lindley returns as Careful with first new music in almost a decade, 'Promise'
Next Live Review + Photo Gallery: Dark Mofo Festival, Molchat Doma at Mac 02, Hobart, 16.06.2023

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