LOTS of 1980s pop nostalgia on the radio last weekend. On Sunday Kirsty Wark corralled four members of Madness to look back over their long career in The Reunion (Radio 4), while on Radio Scotland the night before Ricky Ross talked to a very chipper-sounding Lloyd Cole about his Glasgow days in the Commotions and his time as a pop star pin-up for girls (and boys) doing their Highers.

Madness had the juicier material – Two-Tone, Nazis, playing on the roof of Buckingham Palace. On Ricky Ross Meets, Cole couldn’t offer any of that but his mordant sense of humour about his own past follies proved equally good value.

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The Commotions, Cole told Ross, started off trying to make music in the same vein as Scritti Politti or the Style Council. “I was just no good at it,” Cole admitted. “I definitely was trying to be a male Aretha Franklin.” The mind boggles.

It was only when the band wrote Are You Ready to be Heartbroken in a day in the studio and realised it was much better than the song they had been working on for ages that they started to get a glimpse of what their first album, Rattlesnakes, could be.

Throw in Anne Dudley’s gorgeous string arrangements and you have one of the albums of the 1980s. Personally, I only have to hear the opening notes of Forest Fire from that album, and I’m immediately swept back to a first floor student flat in Cowane Street in Stirling. I’m also reminded of how music can make you feel young and old at the same time.

Much of the humour of Ross’s chat with Cole came from the latter’s droll acceptance of falling out of favour with the audience. He didn’t mind the being noticed, he says of his eighties salad days. “But the day that I walked through London in the mid-1990s and realised that heads weren’t turning that was something.”

The Reunion, meanwhile, touched on all the familiar beats in the Madness story. The early days, the clowning around on videos, getting banned from Top of the Pops and the problem of some of their early fans at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s. “It was a dark time,” lead singer Suggs recalled. “We had people Seig Heilling at our concerts. We wouldn’t stand for it.

“Whenever we could confront them, we would,” Chris Thomson added. “We became more popular, so we left them behind.”

The programme was matey and raucous until right at the end when Mike Barson, the group’s early driving force, talked about when he opted to quit in 1984. “When I left nobody said anything, more or less,” he pointed out, sounding a little aggrieved about it.

Suddenly there was a sliver of hurt piercing the programme’s bonhomie. A reminder that sometimes life in a band is not necessarily as much fun as the video for Baggy Trousers might make it look.

Listen Out For: The Documentary: Bob Marley - An Extraordinary Day, BBC World Services, 8.05pm.  Benjamin Zephaniah on the impact of Bob Marley's death on Jamaica.