The ska legends performed alongside the 'Live While We're Young' hitmakers during the closing ceremony of London's 2012 Olympics in August and despite the difference in genre, singer Suggs was reminded of his younger self.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz he said: ''It was nice chatting to them. They reminded us of us when we were that age. Young guys just starting out in their careers - knocking about and having a laugh together.''
Despite Suggs, 51, spending time with the group - Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson - he doesn't watch reality TV competitions like 'The X Factor', where One Direction were formed, but doesn't ''begrudge'' them either.
He added: ''I'm kind of beyond it because I'm an old man. Last year people were asking who my favourite was and I didn't know what they were talking about.
''But when I was young there were different kinds of impresarios. People like Kylie Minogue dominated the charts for five years at a time. Phenomena come and go faster than before. But I never begrudge an artist success no matter how they get there.''
Madness' new album 'Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da', featuring their new single 'My Girl 2', is out now.