Portsmouth has always turned out in force for ska gigs, whether it be Bad Manners or The Beat, and so there was great excitement when Madness announced they were to play at Fratton Park on June 6, 2015.
Paul Windsor was there to take pictures and said: ‘Opening proceedings were Portsmouth band The Rackateers with their own unique blend of Jamaican ska/reggae, playing the gig of their lives in front of 13,500 fans.
‘Sadly it was not to be for guitarist MIchael 'Cello' Wincello , who was unable to play as it was his stepdaughter’s wedding. Thankfully Dan Sawyer from Offbeat Offensive – probably not believing his luck – stepped up to the plate to deputise, but not before having to borrow a suit as he didn’t own one at the time.
Now check out other galleries of Paul Windsor’s pictures
‘There was a huge roar from the crowd – by now hydrated crowd from several glasses of lemonade – as Madness’ sharply dressed lead singer Suggs strode out confidently onto the stage.
‘”Thank you very much, a much warmer welcome than the last time I was here,” he said, no doubt alluding to his visits as a Chelsea fan in the 1970s.
‘Opening with Grandslam from the 2016 album Can’t Touch Us Now the band soon hit their stride with a succession of hits from the 80s. Embarrasment, The Prince and My Girl quickly followed.
‘Let’s face it Madness have enough hit records in the locker to sink a battleship so it’s no surprise they are still to this day a huge draw on the festival circuit playing both the Isle of Wight and Victorious.
‘Our House, It Must Be Love and My Girl rounded of proceedings before the encore, where my colleague at The News , a young 24-year-old reporter Miles O'Leary, uttered the immortal words “So Paul, what's all these fezes about?” as the band finished off with 1979 hit Night Boat To Cairo.
‘Sadly there has been no subsequent concerts at Fratton Park – though did you know that American stunt motor cyclist Evel Knievel was scheduled to appear at Fratton Park before his crash at Wembley Stadium in 1975?’