A LAST-MINUTE change of venue did nothing to stop Carlisle going mad for Madness.

The eighties pop giants, who until Tuesday were set to play in Bitts Park, electrified the Sands Centre on Sunday evening.

The change of venue was perhaps fortunate for the fans of the north London ska giants, given Sunday evening’s dreary weather.

“I’m not fussed by the change of venue”, said Aaron Bond, 23, from Carlisle.

“You don’t have to worry about the weather here, you know it’s going to be warm.”

For Andy Mackay, from Longtown, the venue switch worked out much better.

“I wasn’t allowed to take my son to Bitts Park for some reason,” he said.

“I bought two VIP tickets which would have been £140 for £50, so I’m happy.

“I’ve been a Madness fan most of my life, so I’m looking forward to seeing them again.”

For his son Jay, aged 11, Sunday evening was his first live experience of the band, who have scored a total of 15 UK top 10 singles.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Some die-hard fans had travelled from much further afield to see the band, who formed in 1976.

Richard Edwards, accompanied by his 14-year-old daughter Charlotte and family, has seen Madness live “at least 10 times”.

“The last-minute change doesn’t bother me,” he said.

“At least I won’t need my coat in there.”

The Sands Centre gig was Charlotte’s first time seeing the band live.

“I’ll be honest, my dad is the bigger fan out of the two of us,” she said.

“But I do like them.”

Some punters were slightly more put out by the surprise switch of venues.

Dean, 30 and Kita Roland, 29, had travelled over on the train from Whitehaven.

“The change made things a bit confusing, and our last train back leaves before Madness even comes on,” said Dean.

“Our last train is 9.10 and Madness comes on at 9.30,” said Kita.

“It looks like we’ll have to book a hotel,” Dean said.

Madness were supported by a mixture of established and up-and-coming talent, from popular tribute act the Bootleg Beatles to local favourites Hardwicke Circus.

They were also supported by north east rising stars Cattle & Cane, as well as Squeeze frontman Chris Difford.