Day 2 and the rain has stopped but it doesn't matter either way as there's no need to venture outside. The daytime seems to be more for fans to socialise. They gather together and catch up like a big family. It's a nice site to see, people that have known each other for decades, brought together from their long serving dedication to one band, a band that genuinely appreciate this fact and show respect back to their audience.
So after a daytime of rather of little programmed the main stage opens for Madness. The energy is totally different from the previous night. The crowd go wild the stage lights are used and the band have dressed up for the occasion. There is no comparison between this and what we say last night, this is a band who've impressed crowds around the world for almost 40 years and it is completely evident from the opening track through the 25 or so songs in their set. It's a greatest hits set so no one will be disappointed but the band even play a new song called 'Last Rag & Bone Man) about a man that Suggs knew. I'm sure fans were delighted by this but maybe I'm not enough of a fan to appreciate it as I found it sub-standard, but then when the standard of the other songs are 80''s and 90's classics then it's perhaps a lot to expect.
The band laugh and joke between songs and even speak to specific members of the audience and comment on the night before. It's wonderfully friendly and intimate considering the several thousand audience. The last 20 minutes are all gold, One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers, Our House, It Must Be Love, House of Fun & Madness by the finale I see smiling faces from loyal fans and I see emotion evident on the faces of those who have finally seen the band after many years. What an endearing bunch the band and their fans are!
None of the other acts are expected to live up to Madness but in one of the back rooms a band who are rising stars of the London ska scene take to the stage. ChainSka Brassika are a formidable force and whilst end with some crowd pleasing covers the quality of their own tracks are incredible. With a large brass section they blend the instruments perfectly, with groove similarities to Fat Freddy's Drop but with less emphasis on the dub and infinitely better to dance to. The full dance floor show their appreciation in the best way possible by dancing like nutters and it's the first time this weekend I hear people ask for an encore.
This event starts to become a blur as people buy me drinks and I have vague dream like memories of the Inn on the Green, the main pub, being rowdy with extremely inebriated 'blokes' and saucy dancers displaying cleavage.
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