Madness At V Festival – Review

Who: Madness

Where and when: Main Stage, Chelmsford, 4pm.


Vibe: Avuncular, yet defiant. As Suggs himself declared to a shrugging crowd brought up on mobile phones, major-brand-sponsored festivals and free MP3s, “We formed this band 30 years ago!” That said, the evergreen classic hits were timeless enough to keep the revelry going through the downpour.

Best bit: 10,000 people running on the spot to ‘Baggy Trousers’ was up there with the organised chaos of opening foot-mover ‘One Step Beyond’.

Low point: As with most great bands of old, trotting out ‘the new songs’ was greeted by blank faces and watch-checking. May 2009 single ‘Dust Devil’… your taxi is here.

Banter: Suggs: “I met a bloke on the way here called Paul who said to me, ‘Your song ‘Wings Of A Dove’ – I’ve worked out what it’s all about! Doves!”
Carl ‘Chief Nutty Dancer’ Smyth: “Ha! We all love a dove after twelve.” Wa-hey-hey!

Verdict: We really ought to be numb to the Madness festival experience by now, but at V they managed to bludgeon the rain-soaked crowd with a party atmosphere whilst younger bands tried and failed.

Rating: 6.5/10

V Festival 2010 – Photo Gallery

V Festival 2010 – Full Coverage

Pick up the new issue of NME, on sale Wednesday 25 August, to read our definitive V Festival review