Saturday headliners Madness deliver an energetic showcase of hits

House of Fun Weekender review

published: Wed 30th Nov 2011

Madness

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
from £149 per person (based on four people sharing)
daily capacity: 6500
last updated: Thu 10th Nov 2011

10am and no matter how hung over these people are it seems there is no stopping a good old chant of 'oggy oggy oggy.' - I may as well be from a different planet. I feel unsatisfied with the music so far. Kudos to Madness for picking some fine artists but they had been put on at times such as 3am, or had their times changed last minute, or had just been cancelled completely. It doesn't seem to matter to much as almost everyone here appears to be here for Madness and the cabaret style entertainment of the daylight hours such as darts, pub quizzes and comedy. It seems the balance is tipped in favour of the Butlins spirit rather than a festival vibe. So be it, off to the pool. I know they aren't the biggest water slides in the world but it was such a nice novelty to have access to such facilities and a brilliant opportunity to examine some full body tattoos. Never before have I witnessed such extensive pieces of body art up close, although I don't know if I have ever witnessed such extensive sized bodies up close. Some of the gentlemen were very large, I actually saw one guy struggle to get into one of the water chutes due to the enormous beer gut he was carrying.

Madness
Madness hit the stage full of energy, a marked contrast the Friday they had full stage lighting, snappy suits and the usual cheeky swagger. No messing around the guys launched themselves full throttle into 'One Step Beyond.' Everyone in the audience cheered and instantly had their knees up grooving to the beat. It was like watching a different band. They played almost every song a fan could want to hear; 'Our House,' 'Baggy Trousers,' 'Wings of a Dove,' 'House of Fun' and ending the main set with the rousing anthem 'It Must Be Love,' a song so fantastic to hear being sung by a large group of people that it can warm even the most cynical of hearts. For some people that was the festival done, they had seen the only act they were truly interested in and could now return to the on site pubs and bars.

Don Letts
It was around 10pm and many people had not been drinking 'responsibly.' By this I mean I saw some car crash scenes of geysers squaring up to each other or couples arguing viscously over trivialities as if their lives depended on it. I needed to escape in music and I knew DJ Don Letts wouldn't let me down. Don Letts played a DJ set of classic songs that had been covered or made into reggae tracks. Michael Jackson, Tracy Chapman and even Adele were featured. At first glance It looked as though Letts had some seriously devoted fans as the front of stage was five people deep all filming with their phones and staring adoringly at the stage. On second glance it became apparent that Suggs was stood next to him. Apart from the Madness gigs this was probably the busiest I saw a dance floor all weekend, although it has to be said few people were actually dancing.

around the festival site
review by: Anthony Hetherington

photos by: Anthony Hetherington

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
from £149 per person (based on four people sharing)
daily capacity: 6500
last updated: Thu 10th Nov 2011


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