Undoubtedly the most successful ska band during the late 70s early 80s both commercially and longevity was Madness. An era which introduced brass grass to the working class. One Step Behind formed in 1993 and have been specialising in Madness covers around Australia for 26 years. A lineup comprised of 6 members, which was the equivalent to what Madness had on their first album One Step Beyond. Playing hits and album tracks, featured predominantly from Madness’ first two albums and a selection from the following four albums representing Madness’ strongest era from 1979 through to 1985.
24 songs featured in the 90 minutes set commencing with Shut Up followed by a couple of early hits in The Prince and My Girl and then album tracks Believe Me, Rock in A B and Disappear. For me as a Madness fan, it took me back to when I saw Madness in concert at Thebarton town hall in the early 80s. Coming into the home straight two of Madness’ biggest Australian hits Baggy Trousers and House of Fun, featured prior to the original bands theme track in Madness and of course One Step Beyond which concluded the main set, therefore leaving One Step Behind in a still position!
Other selections in the set included songs such as Bed and Breakfast Man, Return of the Lost Palmos 7, Cardiac Arrest from the first three albums which were hits in the UK but didn’t set the charts alight in Australia. If I was to put my manager’s hat on for a moment I would be encouraging for some way to arrange two hits, because unfortunately perhaps through the limitations of not having a 7th member and backing vocalists the audience was denied, my favourite Madness songs, Grey Day and Sweetest Girl.
One Step Behind also included a recent single Mr Apples from Madness’ 2016 album. A cover of Lola by the Kinks, which influenced the band. As well as a cover of the Simon & Garfunkel’s single Cecilia covered by the lead singer of Madness, Suggs.
Again another song which was a major hit in the UK but didn’t transfer here Night Boat to Cairo got everyone in the room skanging to conclude the concert.
Given the extreme heat we encountered on Thursday 19th of December, plus the factor that the gig was sold out, it was still comfortable for everyone to continue skanking wall-to-wall inside the Governor Ballroom. I also must commend both bands, the support band, House of Ska and One Step Behind for dressing with jackets and in some instances hats and perspiring immensely under the process to provide an entertaining night.
Review by Damian Woodards photos courtesy of Fidelma Fotos.
One piece of trivia, the album cover which features Madness outside of tube station, not at Midnight was actually taken at Chalk Farm instead of Camden because it was too busy. I had a look at the street name where the photo was taken and it’s on Adelaide Street!