But fortunately, that wasn’t the case. In fact, the complete opposite was true and I now can’t wait to see them again when they next play in Leicester at the Donkey on December 23rd.
Largely, that’s because Gladness are a fine troupe of musicians. Jono’s got a wide network and he’s used it well to put together a band that know how to play. Madness tunes might be so familiar to us that they itch with simplicity but let’s not be fooled. These are often quite complex musically and yet Gladness are up for the challenge.
This is also an act that’s clearly in love with the band they mimic. I had the pleasure of going to the ‘House Of Fun’ festival with Jono (review here) so I know this for a fact. Yes, they play the hits you’d expect but they also delve into the more remote regions of the Madness back catalogue to bring us EP tracks and, in a fine twist, a cover version of a cover version.
Most of all though, my Gladness enjoyment can simply be attributed to the fact that this is a lot of fun. For an hour and a half, you can lose yourself amidst an audience of like-minded nostalgia seekers who are also seeking to lose themselves. Most will sing along to every word; many will ache the morning after after exerting a bit too much energy on the dancefloor. But it doesn’t matter one jot when the smiles are broad and the happiness contagious. These are times when more of that is needed.
Tribute acts – a house of fun and I’ve now got to an age where I’m ready to accept that without embarrassment.