jakub | May 28, 2024

Madness Solidifies Ska On The Map at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California on May 23, 2024



Save Ferris and Madness was at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California on Thursday, May 23, 2024 . Save Ferris was the first band of the night. Named after the lead character from the movie Ferris Buellers Day Off, they have set the Ska pace in the world since the 90’s. Apologizing to the audience below 16 and above 70 for the language, Monique rocked out through their songs like a woman possessed. Opening with “Light’s Out” the pace was set for the night. They continued with “The World Is New” and “Do I Even Like You?” off their 1997 release It Means Everything which was insanely popular.  “I Know” had a sing-along with the crowd and a snippet of the Isley Brothers “Shout” that was a huge hit. Finishing off was Dexys Midnight Runners “Come on Eileen” which was an excellent song to finish with this set. Everyone in the audience knew all the words and was singing along with the band like it was meant to be. 


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Monique Powell – Lead Vocals, Keyboards

Justin Linn – Guitars, Vocals

Alex Csillag – Trombone and Keyboards

Tristan Hurd – Trumpet

Jamie Howell – Drums

Jake Courlang – Bass




1). Lights Out

2). New Sound

3). The World Is New

4). Everything I Want to Be

5). Do I Even Like You?

6). Goodbye

7). Sorry My Friend

8). Superspy

9). What You See Is What You Get

10). I Know (with snippet of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout”)

11). Come on Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners cover)



Madness hit the stage to the Star Wars Theme song by John Williams.  From there it was “One Step Beyond”, the crowd went nuts and that was just the start. Rolling through “Embarrassment” and “The Prince” the fans were into it from the start and Madness knew it. From there they hit “NW5” and “My Girl” which were huge hits back in the late 70s and early 80s. They played the hit the first song, “C’est la vie” off their current album Theatre of the Absurd Presents C’est La Vie. This song was a sign that despite the age of the band, they can come up with new songs that are just as amazing as the old ones. Another new one was yet to come but, before that, they threw in a couple of old songs “Shut Up” and “Girl Why Don’t You” which is a Prince Buster song. Then it was back into a new one “If I Go Mad”, and was amazing with its feel and presence. 


 With those songs down. you would think, what’s left? Well,  “Bed and Breakfast Man”, “Wing of a Dove” and “Mr. Apples” kept the audience more than entertained. One of the highlights of the set was Chris Foreman playing an AC/DC “Highway To Hell” solo. So awesome! Then they headed back into the catalog with “House of Fun, “Baggy Trousers” and “Our House” for just fun. Finishing off the set was another cover. This one was from Labi Siffre called “It Must Be Love” and everyone went crazy. After a short break, they came back on the play “Madness” which was my favorite, “Night Boat to Cairo” and Monty Pythons “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. Just like that, it was over. The audience were both happy and sad. Happy that we got to see them, but sad that it was over. Until next time!


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Chris Foreman – guitar

Mike Barson – keyboards, piano, percussion, backing vocals

Lee Thompson – saxophone, percussion, vocals

Graham “Suggs” McPherson – vocals

Dan Woodgate – drums, percussion

Mark Bedford – bass




1). Star Wars: Main Title (John Williams song) (with sample of the theme from “Thunderbirds”)

2). One Step Beyond (Prince Buster cover)

3). Embarrassment

4). The Prince

5). NW5

6). My Girl

7). Taller Than You Are (Lord Tanamo cover)

8). The Sun and the Rain

9). C’est la vie

10). Shut Up

11). Girl Why Don’t You? (Prince Buster cover)

12). If I Go Mad

13). Bed and Breakfast Man

14). Run for Your Life

15). Chase the Devil (Max Romeo cover)

16). Wings of a Dove

17). Mr. Apples

18). Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover) (Chris Foreman on vocals, with instrumental backing track)

19). House of Fun

20). Baggy Trousers

21). Our House

21). It Must Be Love (Labi Siffre cover)


22). Madness (Prince Buster cover)

23). Night Boat to Cairo

24). Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python song)





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