Despite a strong start with 'One Step Beyond' ska legends Madness never really lived up to their legacy last weekend.

Despite a huge crowd clearly excited (although possibly more for nostalgia than anything else), the pioneers failed to keep up any kind of momentum in a staggered and uninspiring set.

Given the band's legacy and undeniable influence as part of the Two Tone movement alongside the likes of The Selecter and The Specials, their fairly bland set was a disappointment.

Four of the last six songs were (in order) 'House of Fun', 'Baggy Trousers', 'Our House' and 'It Must Be Love'.

Whilst this made for a nice run-in to the end of the set, spreading these hits across the set would've made for a more enjoyable experience that kept the crowd captivated for the duration, instead of keeping them in anticipation for the hits.

Suggs, for his part, tried to get everyone involved, but his patter seemed dated, as he described the crowd as "yobs" and made a joke about the sound tower being a council flat.

Despite the overall feel of the set, it would be too critical to not admit that, for a few songs, Madness were on fine form.

The big hits did get the crowd going, and mass singalongs of 'Our House' and 'It Must Be Love' were great moments, as was a field of people skanking in wellies.

As good as these performances were, the set as a whole was disappointing considering their undeniable talent and influence on the ska scene.

Whilst songs like 'Forever Young' and 'NW5' proved that Madness aren't trying to rely on past successes, this felt too much like a nostalgia act rather than a vibrant and worthy festival show.

Female First - Alistair McGeorge

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