Madness - What To Expect At The Northumberland Plate Festival Performance

Madness – What To Expect At The Northumberland Plate Festival Performance

As the Northumberland Plate Festival fast approaches, excitement is building for Madness’s highly anticipated performance at Newcastle Racecourse on Friday, 28th June. In an exclusive interview, the band’s iconic lead singer, Suggs (Graham McPherson), provided a glimpse into what fans can look forward to, from setlist surprises to the unique atmosphere that Madness is renowned for.

We asked Suggs what the inspiration was behind their recent announcement asking guests to dress ‘absolutely absurd’ for their upcoming tour and performance at Northumberland Plate Festival.

Suggs told us: “We know that people always like to dress up, especially for the races, so we wanted to put our own twist on this and see how people would interpret the absolutely absurd theme. Newcastle has always had such a great atmosphere, and since we started performing at racecourses three years ago, Newcastle has always been the wildest. We never need to encourage people to dress up and have a good time. Newcastle never fails to amaze me and always brings such good energy and atmosphere to our shows.”

Q: Madness has a vast array of classics that fans love to hear. Can we expect to hear any particular songs or surprises during your performance at Newcastle Racecourse?

Suggs: “We are a surprise. It’s a surprise to me that we are still here [said laughing]. That’s the biggest surprise. We are so lucky that people still come to enjoy and watch what we do. We will be playing a few songs off the new album but will definitely be performing some of the classics everyone loves. Our shows are always a surprise and full of madness.”

Q: For those attending their first Madness concert, how do you hope they feel after experiencing your energetic performance at Newcastle Racecourse?

Suggs: “My mate once said to me, ‘You go and see a Madness concert and come out and you’ve sort of been madnessed’. There is just an unbridled joy, and something about the songs we play and the way we perform creates a huge amount of happiness for our audiences. We still really enjoy performing and feel that you only get what you give, so we always want to give a lot to our audiences and always seem to get even more back.

It’s been a truly great 40-odd years, and somehow, our music just doesn’t age. All generations seem to enjoy it, and people want to be entertained, and that’s exactly what we do. It’s something that the whole family can enjoy, and there is no age limit on our music or performances. I think this is exactly what continues to attract new generations to Madness 40 years on. We had one gig where four generations in a family came along to watch us, it’s a real privilege and joy to see and be a part of.”

Q: With the race day festivities happening before your performance, will you and the band be joining in the fun?

Suggs: “Most definitely! We love it, it’s a great day out. I think I’ve only won one bet in my entire life [said laughing], but it’s all part of the fun of it. I won by accident once when I picked the wrong horse, so I am the sort of person that if you want to win, pick anything I have [said laughing].”

“We really enjoy performing at Newcastle Racecourse, and it’s a great combination of entertainment for all to enjoy. Even if you’re not the biggest Madness fan, it’s going to be a really good evening full of joy, fun, and music. It’s a real privilege to be performing at this prestigious event and bringing our music to the North East.”

Q: Finally, looking back at your incredible career, what has been the most memorable moment or performance so far?

Suggs: “There are so many. Playing under the roof of Buckingham Palace is pretty unforgettable, and the main stage of Glastonbury. I remember when we played in Newcastle last, hearing the fans singing outside our hotel from 4 PM, thinking they have 8 hours to go [said laughing]. All the pubs were playing Madness songs, and it always amazes me how much stamina Newcastle has. Newcastle is just such a great party town and always has been a place where people love to go out and have a good time, and that’s what we do, we love to give them a good time with our performances.”

Madness performs on the Friday of the Northumberland Plate Festival [Friday, 28th June 2024]. Set to be an unforgettable show, with their unique style, energetic performances, and the promise of both new songs and beloved classics, fans are in for a night of sheer entertainment and joy.

Limited tickets for Friday’s Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate Festival, featuring live entertainment by Madness after the races, are still available starting at just £42.

Friday’s Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate Festival Tickets

Address: Newcastle Racecourse, High Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 5HP

Contact: General enquiries –

Raceday Sales Hospitality –

Raceday Sales – Admission –

Instagram: @newcastleraces

Facebook: Newcastle Racecourse

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