So, 17th December 2010 paved the night for Madness to take over West London's renowned Earl's Court to entertain fans with their rocking beats and choppy vibes as they renounced the return of true ska to British music.

First on The Jolly Boys were possibly one of the best and best selected out there. Playing an entire set of covers, they roused the few hundred early revelers and excited everyone, whetting the pallet for what was to come. Particular highlight "Walk The Line" got everyone dancing and warmed up, while covers of "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse and "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers also went down a treat. There simply wasn't a better way to open such a momentous gig, which is why the disappointment of having to wade through Paul Heaton's dismal set was 10 times worse than it should have been.

As a cloth backdrop fell, and the lights dimmed, a set consisting of London-esque trinkets scattered the stage was revealed, a telephone box on the far right as well as a charade of TV sets and lampposts dotted around the rest of the stage. Starting off with a cheeky advert for Madness's new box set they made up by taking the stage and starting abruptly into 'One Step Beyond' as fans shouted along to the ever famous first lines. Followed by 'Embarrassment' things looked good to start off with, but throughout the middle of the set I personally feel a band that are commonly considered "the nuttiest band around," they didn''t seem to transfer the spark to the audience.

In many ways it also became too much of a franchised affair, ironically or not an advert for Madness merch placed around the middle made me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Luckily though, they seemed to recover from this wavering start, pulling out the favourites towards the end as the piano to 'Sun And The Rain' chimed. Followed by a block of big hitters as they played 'Madness,' and 'Baggy Trousers' the crowd washed into a sea of skankers as fans young and old grooved together in harmony.

It seemed very much as though tonight was a family show, the band themselves giving nods to their relatives and children with dedications throughout. With a big surprise at the end as they joined the band onstage with the last track 'Night Boat To Cairo' which followed 'Wings Of A Dove,' for a powerful encore that left those who were unsure before feeling exhausted and content.

The audience left the massive hall to Monty Python's 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life,' with grins spread wide across their faces, faint murmurs of the song could even be heard outside the gates.

Although starting rocky, tonight was a lovely, festive and family affair, something to really introduce children to live music. With a big stage presence and hits a plenty, Madness are a band anyone can enjoy, regardless of age or gender. Much unlike most music from the period.

Looking set to keep touring as a band, and back for the festival season next year, Madness are clearly going to keep making crowds happy for aslong as they can.