Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall

There are certain musicians and bands more suited to the outdoor gig than others - and Madness proved last night they fall into the former category.

Fundamentally a bunch of people persons, Suggs and Co seemed to enjoy their performance every bit as much as the crowd.

While previous stars at Blickling have been crowd flops, take Van Morrison for instance, Madness were quite the opposite, literally playing the rather soggy field with good grace, humour and more than a little spark.

The Nutty Boys will always attract their share of die hard fans, and there were plenty of pork pie hats and the like as evidence of this fact.

But as with nearly all Blickling gigs, one got the impression this evening was populated as much by people who simply love their lakeside wining and dining as much as the act on the stage.

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In this case however, as the fifth and final show of the Blickling summer season drew to a close, it was clear that the huge majority were up and dancing to the familiar sounds of the 1980s.

A vast back catalogue was well plundered, Suggs was engaging and helped build the atmosphere with his easy patter and attentiveness to his gathered fans. Baggy Trousers, House of Fun, One Step Beyond and Our House were among the many tunes which received an enthusiastic reception, with sing-along aplenty from the crowd.

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