Madness performing their Theatre Of The Absurd Presents C’est La Vie Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Tuesday 5th December 2023.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Dr Feelgood’s Roxette blasted around the Motorpoint Arena on Tuesday night, and within seconds Camden Town’s Nutty Boys and the packed crowd took their positions for the traditional festive staple of a Madness December tour.

It is typical of the band’s front man Suggs, who only needs to raise an eyebrow and adjust his sunglasses to have the audience in the palm of his hand where they remained throughout the set which began with new song, Theatre Of The Absurd, the title track from their latest studio album, Theatre Of The Absurd Presents C’est La Vie.

The Prince and a glorious My Girl from their debut album One Step Beyond made an early appearance, setting the bar high which in fairness, they did not drop far below all night. There was no resting on their 80’s laurels as new songs In My Street and Baby Burglar fitted into the set list seamlessly with no let up in pace for the fans.

Other new songs such as C’est La Vie, Run For Your Life and Round We Go dominated the mid set, and although known to this knowledgeable crowd it was the oldies that grabbed their attention. With Suggs tending to talk his way through the songs these days, he still entertained on the likes of 1984’s Wings Of A Dove which proved to be a big hit.

For the home stretch Suggs and the very talented band delivered their unstoppable hits which began with the upbeat One Step Beyond which immediately had the crowd joining in, before they finished the main set with House Of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House and It Must Be Love, all of which provoked a mass sing along that enabled Suggs to take a step back.

But Madness were not quite finished as they took to the stage for an encore that included the anthemic Madness and the ska infused frenzy of Night Boat To Cairo. Delivering a set that was full of vim, vigour and vibrancy, a Madness gig is fun from the off proving that they are still as nutty live.