Madness help turn racecourse into House of Fun!
FFOS Las racecourse became a House Of Fun on Saturday night as more than 8,000 fans descended on the venue to see Madness play live.
The ska legends, which played Ffos Las as part of their A Day At The Races and Other Places tour, attracted the biggest crowd Ffos Las has seen since opening a decade ago.
Fans donned their nattiest outfits – and some sported fezes, bowlers and replica saxes – to join the party at Trimsaran, with Suggs as their ringmaster.
With more than 40 years of hit-making and 15 top 10 singles to their name, Madness had a treasure trove of party numbers to call upon to keep the audience entertained, and as One Step Beyond gave way to other hits like Baggy Trousers, Our House and It Must Be Love it was clear the night was going to be a memorable one.
The band’s infectious warmth inspired the crowd, who raised their voices throughout, even calling the boys back on for an encore with a rousing rendition of Hymns and Arias. The band responded by coming back on to sing their ska anthem, Madness.
Fan, Hilary Mullan, aged 54 from Ystradgynlais, said: “What an amazing night! Some bands have a magic ingredient that comes from genuine camaraderie – Madness have always had it in spades.
“You don’t just get great tunes, decent musicianship and a ready-made party when you go to a Madness gig, you get to be a part of a band of brothers who have been making people smile, and who have had a good time doing so, for decades!”
Darren Cox, aged 45 from Swansea, said: “The Nutty Boys were on top form! I’ve always wanted to see Madness live and they certainly didn’t disappoint!
“An absolute pleasure to have watched one of the most iconic UK bands in the past 40 years – thank you Ffos Las for bringing them to this part of the world!”
Racegoer and Madness fan Veronica JenkinsRouge said: “The atmosphere has been amazing!
“It’s great to see people cheering on the horses and getting involved in the sport before the music.
“Both worked well and everyone seemed to have a blast! I’m looking forward to more live concerts on racedays!”
Phil Bell, executive director at Ffos Las, said: “It was lovely to see so many people enjoying the party atmosphere that Madness brought with them tonight – what a perfect way to round off a great afternoon of racing.
“This was one of the biggest live events we have held here and it is great to see that Ffos Las has become an established part of the entertainment circuit in South Wales. We will continue to serve up top-notch entertainment at Ffos Las at the year unfolds.
“We are pleased to be hosting the band at our sister venue, Chepstow Racecourse, on June 8 too, so if anyone missed it this weekend, it’s not too late, they can catch them there. After tonight’s show, I’m looking forward to it already!”
A change of tack as Ffos Las gallops towards its tenth year: pages 18&19
Suggs conducts the crowd as Madness perform at Ffos Las racecourse on Saturday night.