Hello and welcome to this week’s packed edition of the MIS Online Bulletin.
With the Suggs’ My Life Story film and accompanying question and answer session being broadcast live in cinemas up and down the country on Wednesday evening, it may come as no surprise that the majority of this issue is taken up covering this event.
We have non-spoiler and spoiler versions of the review, and opinions from our very own Jonathan Young. If you missed being at the event in person or were unable to attend a screening then you’ll definitely want to read these articles.
In the run-up to the release of Suggs’ My Life Story DVD, the man himself has been busy appearing on TV shows up and down the land. With use of the word “sh1t” during a breakfast television show, it certainly generated much media coverage! We’ve included a selection of articles and press reviews in this very issue, but with so much Suggs coverage in the past week it’s likely that we’ve not been able to list it all.
Now, we’ve got a lot to get through, so let’s get the issue underway.
Although the CD has now sold out, you can still purchase a download (plus a bonus track of “Dublin Castle”) for £2.99. All the money is going to CLIC Sargent, which is Mad Chat’s current cause. Thank you!
Behind the sceneshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnSHNq-0heg&feature=youtu.be
Full House – The New Madness Best of Album
Available to order now from Madness.co.uk & Pledge music. Out now!
2 CD’s and 4 LP’s make up a house full of Madness hits as latest in a long line of “best ofs”. Its 42 tracks neatly split into 21 on each CD or set of LP’s. That includes the biggest singles and songs of the FULL band era on Full House part one. Then Mike leaves home. Uncle Sam starts part two which brings us up to Carl-less date with the band still making great music in a house occasionally with someone who’s not home today. In fact, the CD mirrors this fact slightly, a beautiful cover bulging with multiple mad men all together in our full house of fun then opens up on the CD version to reveal just Woody inside another version of the house on the inner image, where the full band are driving away in their car, and a business man runs for the buss. The vinyl is even more stunning, housing a black and white checkered floor and an upstanding 3D pop up design of the full house cover.
Suggs “My Life Story”, DVD Pre-Order
Release date 2nd March
Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for MY LIFE STORY where Suggs, takes a hilarious, yet moving, look back at his life in a musical form.
Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? Or a music hall dream? Whatever it is hold on to your seats as Suggs goes on to stumble and plummet through the trap door of failure; then trampoline back up to catch the passing trapeze of show business success.
Our House in the Middle of our Street: It’s Pop It’s Art ** New **
Note: The below is a press release and not the words of the MIS team.
Sony ATV have put together an extraordinary collection of artwork from iconic song titles. The innovative series celebrates some of the most memorable song titles of all time including Madness’ Our House.
The series is a limited edition of 9 prints, all officially approved by the estate and have a limited run of 150 copies. The collection of silkscreen prints of iconic lyrics have shaped our culture and defined a generation. The ‘Our House’ print is an absolute must-have for Madness lovers and would brighten up any home, office or studio.
The artwork has been designed by one of the hottest young artists around Alex May Hughes.
The pieces of art are officially IPIA stamped with a Certificate of Authenticity. These artworks are priced at £225.00 (framed) and £150.00 (unframed) each.
MIS Feature – Suggs My Life Story – Film Review and Premiere Report
The Non spoiler film review…
The film is a fitting permanent record of Suggs’ first One Man Show, giving you the best humorous and touching tales told in that show all about his life. From growing up discovering music, headlines of his times with Madness, his emotional family journey and some asides on other avenues of entertainment he turned a hand to over the years.
It’s well performed in a honed and confident performance that was shot at the end of its successful touring run and staged especially for this film in an intimate Hoxton theatre. It’s 90 to 95 minutes worth of the 2 hour stage show many have witnessed, and much like The Norton Folgate movie a collage of extra tricks is pulled in presentation here by Julien Temple. From the repurposing of clips from Take It or Leave It, Madness videos and other archive punk, pop and film sources, to adding colourful animation representations, and projecting the theatre performance across London landscapes again to transition moods. Finally, dramatising unique shot sections with Suggs as himself, as narrator and performer, and occasionally filling in with a young skinhead extra as a representation of some of the youthful antics Suggs used to do as a teenager.
With some additional actors in minor roles, there is a great guest star performance from Perry Benson as a taxi driver, weaving in and out of Suggs’ stories, and lastly acoustic piano performances from Deano backing up some key songs Suggs sings in embellishing the whole experience from Madness to Ray Davies tunes.
The result is much more fun than just a live theatre DVD by a long mile, and this will please both fans of the original stage show and is also a great document to introduce who Suggs is to a wider audience of family and friends, and new fans, as it begins at the beginning and brings you up to now via a handful of the biggest choice headlines of Suggs life, just like if he had told you all this over a pint in your local together.
The Premiere Report
A successful Wednesday night unveiling of the movie took place as it was screened live in cinemas up and down the country. The technology responsible for this marvel came in the form of a giant satellite dish parked out front of the Koko in Camden Town. This venue is shown as The Music Machine in the film, as it was known back in the 1980s, as this venue historically housed The Morris and the Minor’s gig where the band jacked in that name almost instantly and instead became “Madness”.
The price of £36 for a cinema ticket is a bit steep, and then to find you’re standing for the full duration in a concert hall, adds insult to injury. Unsurprisingly, there were many complaints of the event not being worth the money ultimately. Some reported having a great evening, while many many more called it a rip off but remaining happy with the film’s content.
A shambolic Q and A did actually contain some interesting and quotable answers, and some controversial ones asked, too. On a night so Suggs focussed to open with the question “When’s Chas Back?” was a pathetic gambit in terms of focus however valid a fan’s inquiry. Just as cheeky was a question about Thommo’s film, both fielded well by Suggs.
Keith Allen was explained as the guy who would make tonight’s Q and A better than a shambolic attempt Suggs had confessed he made in Barcelona. However, Keith wasn’t given a mic for audience members to ask questions on. Without this, it was a shouting match, time wasted in asking people pointed at to repeat questions and none of this was audible to the cinema link ups. Some of which were handled badly locally. Some cinemas failed to carry all or part of the Q and A while others showed the film too early leaving a 30 minute or more gap in the Q&A appearing during which many audiences left. So, management of the cinemas and of the event itself both had short comings. Suggs himself managed to repeat a couple of things far too directly from the film like a jukebox stuck in anecdote mode about 10 percent of the time.
It Must Be Love
A trio of piano performances were nicely turned. Suggs was in good voice, but they couldn’t save the majority of minds who felt they had seen it all in the film or before now and weren’t in the mood for a sing-a-long any more as much as they were a seat by this point.
Here are a few video links and some of the quotes from the Q & A proving it was worth a look in, if nowhere near £36.
MIS Feature – Suggs My Life Story – Film Review With Spoilers and Opinions
In addition to the above review summary of the film, which I liked very much indeed, there are also some fresh delights for diehard fans here that I can tell you about. Read on if you don’t mind spoilers, and of course some issues I personally find I wish to mention in opinion of the film, as a total fannorack watching it.
When you’ve seen the One Man Show, enjoyed it, been impressed with Suggs’ new ability to be a raconteur at length, and indeed heard these stories in “That Close”, other documentaries, press etc over many years of course you can reach saturation point of hearing the tales, They are designed more for a wider first time audience. The same saturation is now true of the recycling of Take It or Leave it; a film that’s been purloined in clip use again and again and again. Inevitable. So it’s nice then that Julien Temple doesn’t often rely on that film as a whole clip from the original in telling the tale, and makes effective what he chose most of the time, weaving it in and out of the new narration and more, quickly and not often lingering. It’s still a little too much used for my liking though, as hard as other archive footage is to find. If it had, it would have wowed older fans all the more, thought there are some nice photographs at times.
Fresh delight then comes from the new representations of these old themes to the already educated fan. The kids television animation choices of Suggs’ early days are delightful, adding new visual parodies and laughs that strengthen Suggs’ telling of these colourful tales. The school Grange Hill montage and the suit story set to Mr Ben style, as well as the flower shop teddy boys fights are all delightful sketchings that raise smiles. Julien Temple does more with Take it or Leave it clips and even the Baggy Trousers video than Jeff Bridges manages with Thommo’s film to be honest, even though they both pull similar redubbing tricks.
Sadly though, Madstock is ruined for me in the film. It’s impossible to get hold of HD quality video of 1992. Only VHS or cropped laser disc NTSC is possible apparently which is sad despite it once being broadcast on TV in the past. This hampered the release quality of Madstock on DVD recently and in this film Julien Temple chooses to sepia Madstock and add grain effect to distress the visual all the more as if to say “It’s in the past, so it’s an old film”. This trick is forgivable on the 70s punk clash clips I feel given the departed Joe Strummer and the mood of those times, but for 90s nostalgia I find it more just turned out looking like coffee was spilt on the film and then they reused the Seismologist footage from the young guns documentary and sorry, it didn’t do the seminal gig justice at all for me.
The second half of Suggs stage show is the most truncated in this 90 minute story; his other jobs sections. The Eubank “Cecilia” moment is gone, and so are tales of dancing on The Farm’s mixing desk. Again, inevitable as I feel this show needed chopping to a shorter running time for DVD enjoyment in the home and possible TV use so I don’t mind this fact so much. It would be nice if the DVD had had these as deleted scenes but it’s not listed that they are included in any way. The show even originally had Monkey Man in it, sung by Suggs, though this was long gone by the time the show finished its live run, and this is another song nowhere in this film version, though the film does have a great soundtrack overall as more choice tunes are weaved in and laid over some moments effectively.
The opening and closing of the film work brilliantly with it’s graffiti motifs, and the whole emotional story of Suggs’ father is dramatised to great effect. It’s still a fresh and heartfelt brilliant thing to witness, in the telling of the tragedy, so personal, and with this film you can live it as if it’s just happening to Suggs in the moment, and even see his mother watching him telling the story as she sits balcony left.
A young audience its often cut to, and you get a sense of Julien saying this story resonates with all, not just old Madness fans. This is for anyone to discover Suggs, the man.
It’s not a Madness Documentary. They barely feature to be honest by individual name. There is a one picture tribute to all 7 as a brief needed moment, otherwise they are background so as to say nothing to upset and split the band again! Madness becomes only a backdrop to Suggs’ stories, referred to a collective rabble occasionally and at other times a beloved surrogate family. It’s no surprise to hear that’s how Suggs chooses to see the band. The Thommo vicar rehearsal hall money story is gone by the way.
Lola and Shut Up were the stand out song moments for me. The first capturing with archive footage, and a new French house staged performance from Suggs, the spirit of Soho, while the latter showing the old video with new dubbed Suggs and Deano performance that brings home the feel of the 40 years time gap as sweetly as a Christmas John Lewis advert does. It Must be Love quickly ends the piece and is slightly chuckled away, leaving you with the idea Suggs is happy enough and doesn’t take life too seriously after a film full of character and warmth but not unaware of life’s tragedies. Pathos, as the great man often says.
The Question and Answer Session
Below, you can check out a section of the Q & A here, thanks to Darren Jones who was at Wednesday’s Premier.
The full Q & A will be available on the DVD, coming in March.
Suggs praised Lee’s Film as “different artistically” to his but that he said he would love people would go and see.
He replied to the question of whether Chas would came back, saying that as front man he often didn’t know who was behind him, some bald blokes, but reiterated that Madness is 7 and he hoped that Chas would come back some day, reminiscing a memory of them as younger men dancing to Reggae on the dancefloor in the venue the Q and A was happening in.
Asked about a Brit Award for Madness, he said he would melt it down for a platinum toilet seat which he would shit all over.
Julien Temple made a nice speech saying Madness were treated badly by critics over the years not getting enough respect, for the painting of their life through their songs, he said he was proud to tell Suggs, Madness and the kids of North London.
Keith Allen pointed out it’s a film about Suggs family too. Suggs said his family is about the people around you the most, rather than just blood relatives, and he says the film is a love message to London, which wasn’t about leaving London as a Ghetto, but reaching a point of expression.
Suggs and Julien met through Clive Langer. And the film Absolute Beginners, which Keith then calls Shit, and Julien points out Bruno Tonioli worked on that film. “Yeah well it’s my Toe-nioli that got broke!” he joked in reply to the story of how he lost the film part.
Suggs does have a Bucket list as he feel privileged to have had the life he has had. Except he wanted to be Tommy Cooper the man who made him fall off his sofa. Tommy Cooper was it.
If Madness happened today they wouldn’t have got through the X Factor, but might have been involved in Grime with it’s humorous lyrics, but they would be called “M” as only be Suggs and a drum machine and would be quite sad really.
Asked what job Suggs Mum wanted him to do, he said she didn’t want me to spend a life crashing cars into trees on Hampstead Heath
Asked if he had Met Michael Caine, he explained the recording and that he hadn’t met him. He would like to but can’t get into the clubs where he is.
Asked about the TV “Shit” storm this week Suggs replied. “I can’t think why Piers Morgan and that word, came together in my mind!”
SUGGS MY LIFE STORY is available now on DVD from pledge music.
I Remember Way Back When
This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 715 – Sunday 20th January – Saturday 26th January 2013
“The original line up”, proclaimed Jonathan Ross as Madness appeared on his TV show, with the original seven line-up, on Saturday night ITV, for a great version of the new current single, alongside a sofa chat with Suggs and Carl.
Indeed, many of the facebook fan pages this week had been discussing Bedders, from scrutinisable rumours circulating ahead of the TV recording.
We thought it was more notable to know that Thursday marked the first full gig for the original line up since 2009, as the band performed for the Nordoff Robbins Music Charity, at the Six Nations Rugby awards dinner in London.
“Chuffed. Certainly completes the sound”, said El Thommo of playing alongside his fellow bandmate again. Whether we can look forward to many more appearances with the full line up remains to be seen, as the bass position is under review for the year, and Mark hasn’t yet considered later Madness engagements in this years’ calendar. As The great man himself said on Twitter at the time, “I’ve had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, so you’re bound to see ma at some point…”
The big news this week was that the dates for the Oui, Our tour were starting to be listed by the bucket-load. We may have only been in January but the band’s gig line-up was already looking impressive for the year ahead.
Next, it was over to Wilko Johnson news. If you remember, we’d recently passed on the news that he was suffering from terminal cancer. This week we learned that Wilko had now announced his final four gigs.
Wilko was due to perform the following dates before hanging up his hat;
London, Koko (March 6th)
Bilston Robin 2 (7th)
Holmfirth Picturedrome (8th)
Glasgow O2 ABC (9th)
Moving on, and it was over to the one and only Paul Rodgers, who brought us another one of his detailed Stats, Facts and Figures articles.
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da was now up to 23 on iTunes chart, Complete only up to 112, and Total re-entered at 172.
We went over to the BBC’s Winterwatch next, as we reported that Winterwatch presenter Chris Packham slipped 22 song titles by Madness into hit BBC nature show.
The song’s Chris mentioned were…
1. Baggy Trousers
3. Johnny The Horse
4. Yesterdays Men
5. Grey Day
6. Our House
7. Sugar And Spice
8. Wings of a dove
9. Driving in my car
10. One step beyond
11. Uncle Sam
13. Tarzan’s Nuts
15. Cardiac Arrest
16. Night Boat to Cairo
17. Shame and Scandal
18. My Girl
19. Michael Caine
20. Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)
21. Dust Devil
22. It Must Be Love
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs would be presenting an award at the Jazz FM Music Awards on Thursday 31st January.
10 years ago…
Issue number 455 – Sunday 20th Jan to Saturday 26th Jan 2008
With the release of NW5 in the UK, the news had been literally flooding into our mailboxes, and as such we had an absolutely massive issue for you this week.
We kicked things off with a bit of an update. In the previous issue we’d mentioned that we’d heard that Lee Thompson had been caught for speeding on his way to the band’s recent Bridgewater gig. Well, we’d since learnt that this was not the case. Lee was not stopped by the police, so we were still non the wiser as to why he’d not turned up.
News in from the one and only Iain Mason revealed that despite being a week late The News of The World had made NW5 their single of the week for the coming week. With a readership of 10 million, it would provide some great publicity, and would hopefully give the single a nice second week sales boost.
Here’s what the paper had to say;
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
MADNESS – NW5
After 30 years, Suggs and co are more like Nutty Grandads than Nutty Boys, but they can still bash out a brilliant pop song. Named after their local North London postcode, it’s a tune the whole of Britain can sing along to. As catchy as their old hit Our House, so it’s bound to be great.
***** (five stars)
On to this week’s collection of articles, and we began with a news article from the Camden Gazette. The report announced that numerous NW5 posters had started popping up around the area. When interviewed, Katie Ellis, of the band’s record label, Lucky 7, commented that they were nothing to do with them. Meanwhile, Lee responded by saying he believed the campaign had been organised by the fans.
Next, and following on directly from his award winning Disappearing London Show, we brought news of Suggs’ next TV show. Going under the title “Suggs’ Survivors”, the programme followed much the same format, only this time the search for old and interesting buildings would go nationwide.
We reviewed the second episode of the show, where Suggs visited a velodrome, a cycle track once used in the 1940’s Olympics, a visit to a lighthouse, where we learn that the great man isn’t too fond of heights, and off to a railway where he gets a chance to drive a steam train.
To top that lot off he winds up at the original Twinning’s Coffee house in London, where where heard about the history of tea and how it became the national drink.
Following this it was over to Lee Swandale, who was pleased to announce that Crunch would be performing at Camden’s Koko Club on March 12th.
Tad from the band also took time out to answer a few questions, and sadly confirmed that their planned Swindon gig was now off.
Further on, we took a look at some of the comments NW5 had received over on Apples iTunes store. At the time of typing the song had received 15 reviews, and had managed to attain a 5 out of 5 rating.
It was undoubtedly a very impressive score, and the glowing comments accompanying this only helped to confirm that this was a much loved release.
Steve Bringe took the reigns for the next article, where he kindly reviewed Sony’s latest Singstar release, which included “Our House” among its track roster;
“Something very disturbing was learned while singing along to “Our House.” For the past 25 years, I’ve been totally off-key singing the “our” part of the chorus. I got “house” down just fine. But “our”… totally off”
It was over to Lee Buckley next, who had kindly transcribed a Radio 4 interview with Paul Moorley and Suggs, when they were discussing Lola as being the perfectly formed pop song, as part of the series “Pop! What is it good for”.
We moved on to the press next, as we covered a few reviews of NW5 that had appeared over the past few weeks. Reviews were taken from Adatez.inc, IndieLondon Music.com and The Daily Star. All three of the write-ups were extremely praising of the new release, which was nice!
We should have known how vocal the fans would be when the Madness Trading Ring asked them what they thought of the packaging for the NW5 7″, CD and DVD releases. The general opinion seemed to be that the artwork was very poor, and because they all looked like 7” singles, that they’d end up in the 7″ section of record stores.
What we at the MIS felt was a novel way of promoting the single may have backfired somewhat.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that North London band MOT, had been booked to perform their biggest gig yet, The Dry Bar, Barbican, and that according to Jean-Pierre Boutellier, NW5 landed at number 24 in the UK music charts.
15 years ago…
Issue number 193 – Sunday 19th Jan to Saturday 25th Jan 2003
We started off this week’s issue with exciting news that the Our House musical had been nominated as the best musical in the 2003 Laurence Olivier Awards. The awards are the highlight of the theatrical year and the most prestigious prizes in London theatre. Our House was up against Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Boy George’s Taboo and Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams. The awards ceremony was penned to take place on February 14th. This was really excellent news for Our House and greatly deserved.
Next up was one for those who like to add live recordings to their collection. We leant from members of the online Madness community that there were a number of recordings of the recent Docklands gig from the 21st of December doing the rounds. A certain Andy Thomas managed to get hold of one of these which was taken from the crowd, and whilst he admitted the quality wasn’t brilliant, he did say;
“The quality is NOT excellent”, however he goes on to say “For gods sake, it’s a bootleg whadda ya expect. And that said it is BRILLIANT!! The thumping bass, atmosphere etc are all captured”.
We also learnt that a version from the soundboard was also doing the rounds, which, as we didn’t have access to it, could only assume would offer far superior sound quality.
Finding himself with a bit of spare time to trawl the web, MTR subscriber Birchy, discovered that the video section of the Top of The Pops web site had been updated, and now contained video clips from a whole host of Madness TOTP appearances. Although each clip was only a small snippet of the full performance, we were all urged to pay the site a visit if we had a spare 5 minutes to kill.
One very nice article we featured this week originally came from the seventh and final issue of the wonderful “Madness Unsugged” fanzine. The article in question covered the legendary Liquidator Studios.
Located on London’s Caledonian Road, we learnt that the building has remained in Madness’ ownership since 1986, and had been used by a number of bands including The Nutty Boys/Crunch and Butterfield 8.
Rumour has it that the basement still held a load of old fan merchandise, presentation discs and video props. Even now the article is a fascinating read.
Moving on, and Jonathan Young covered the rerelease of Butterfield 8’s 1988 album, which had been reissued on the Satorial label, with CD and 12″ vinyl versions were now available. Mark Bedford kindly took time out of his busy schedule to talk to MIS readers about his memories of being part of Butterfield 8, declaring it a labour of love.
Sign of the Times
We round up a busy week of Suggs promoting his film and forthcoming second solo tour with a selection of links and summaries. The most interesting and varied discussed points around these topics reveal further details of the film and new live show…
For his birthday, Suggs is presented with a selection of cakes featuring printed cake toppers of his face. At the same time, he’s also given a long fork. The latter is a reference to him not being able to reach the food cooked on the show in a past episode of which they showed a clip, because there were a lot of guests on that show and he couldn’t get to the front where the plates were.
Minehead House of Fun Festival was discussed, with Suggs stating that “What goes on at Minehead stays in Minehead”. He also discussed the fact the event us held in the South not the North said Suggs discussing the fact that its in the South, and not in a Northern mining town which he thought. He said that no one came to the early swimming pool party (exaggerating again) this year, and he mocks one of the fellow guests for correctly identifying that mine head was probably named after a tin mine. He also performs My Old Man’s a Dustman on the spoons while cooking bread and butter pudding with the resident TV chefs, doing some whisking.
Suggs, in the interview section, talks about gigging with David Bowie and they point out he’s been dead two years now.
Suggs talks about the process of writing his life story for the stage, and then the collaborative process of handing it over to Julien Temple to bridge the story into a film beyond the stage show. They show a clip of him walking off stage and walking as a narrator into an old music club he once attended as a kid and then archive punk band footage is shown to take you back to how things were in the 70’s. Very effective embellish and style of film making done cheaply. Suggs praises Temple’s films of The Sex Pistol and The Clash and DR feel good. There is much raucous ribbing of ages jokes with Suggs claiming he has been gigging since 1886, and he mocks one of the presenter as not being famous enough to understand the craziness of being famous. His second one man show is about the story of how mad fame can be and his life in Madness. He also confesses that he hasn’t quite finished writing the new show yet.
Some regular watchers of the show didn’t like Suggs’ boisterous joking at his mates, Simon and Tim on the show, and a quip to one of the guests, a wine expert. Despite this mild humour, twitter hosted a few moaners, saying they wouldn’t watch again if Suggs was on. This was quickly followed with the Daily Mirror churning out click bait headlines.
Suggs, 57, is SLAMMED by Sunday Brunch viewers for being “rude”
The 57-year-old was branded “rude” by viewers, who unanimously panned his presence on the weekly cooking programme. Specifically, they chided him for being disrespectful to both the presenters and fellow guest Olivier Ward from Gin Foundry.
Gary Rielly tweeted
“Enjoyed #SundayBrunch but Suggs was embarrassing, the gin guy was very well spoken and interesting but Suggs just butted in and slurred over him – no need to be so rude”
Suggs talks about the film My Life Story and The King Cnut tour. Julien Temple’s friend’s young son plays Suggs as a kid in some scenes he explains. It’s not chronological as a bio pic life story but more jumping about in time and he praises Julien Temples film collage approach.
Talking about his dead cat, he says he is finally over its death despite it being the only person in his house that would come near him when Chelsea lost. He explains Keith Allen will be doing the broadcast Q and A at the Camden Koko. After the Spanish film festival was a bit tricky with regards the Q and A being awkward, they needed some one good. He confirms Baggy Trousers and Lola are both in the film, thanking Ray Davies for allowing them to use it for the Soho section.
The King Cnut show is about how crazy fame is. Suggs explains what’s good and bad about fame and is thankful that he wasn’t like Boy George on the front of every magazine, and he talks about New York being fun the first time out. Robert reminds him he lost his suitcase there and Suggs jokes about wearing an American football shirt for two weeks.
The King Cnut tour image is based on the famous story of the king unable to hold back the waves and Suggs says fame is like that whether you are holding back age, people’s indifference or whatever you are trying, that wave of reaction is coming regardless. He is looking forward to the show at the Palladium, saying is his mind it will be dancing girls and Bruce Forsyth but in reality just him on stage and butler Deano who Robert asks “does he iron your underpants.
Suggs talks about naming the band Madness, The earthquake in Finsbury park and more on his film with Perry Benson starring as an unsympathetic at first taxi driver. Saying Julien Temple’s film includes drama and archive and animation as a more interesting approach than just a live DVD of the stage show on its own. He talks about writing the first stage show and checking his memory and the presenter asks about touring all these years. It’s been a long series of interesting events on offer says Suggs, comparing this to a conversation he had with Helen Mirren. Could Madness even tour mars? asks Dominic “No no atmosphere!” quips Suggs.
Suggs talks more about his film and his father and his father’s heroin addiction. He is praised as honest by presenter Alex, as well as Suggs calling the film his love letter to London and growing up there. It’s lamented the pubs that are disappearing in London. The school yard and generations of kids getting into Madness are discussed and Suggs is scolded for the cheeky graffiti he did in Shepard’s Bush that is seen at the start of his new film. He promises to wash it off with soap and a bucket of water.
Suggs reveals he was shy when first joining Madness, saying he was younger than some of the people in the band.
“My live show went well, me looking into my past, Julien Temple has added animation and archive. My mouth dried the first couple of times out on stage which is difficult when you have two hours of talking ahead”.
He talks about the combination of his show being a mix of stand up and music. A clip is played of the Taxi Ride, withhim being late for his radio show. Suggs talks about his mother being a Soho singer and him growing up on the fringes of Soho.
The film gives an insight into early Madness with footage of early rehearsals (presumably this is Take It Or Leave It). He talks about the comedic reality of writing the show is building it up and dragging it down again, as life does. He talks about his father being in an asylum. He wanted the show to resonate with the public, and he says the people he met when touring who saw the show, were often telling him stories of their lives being ups and downs.
Suggs talks to Piers Morgan and Susan Reid ruminating on the opening of his One Man Show. He talks about the death of his cat starting the ball rolling on this look back film of his life and the father he never knew. Piers Morgan asks if his Father “Starting again with a new family” was worse tragedy, and Suggs says he thinks he never really escaped his heroin addiction that meant he left his mother. Suggs says having kids is a highlight of his life for sure. Buckingham palace and the Tommy Cooper gag comes up again – the Queen is sharp to get that explains Suggs of her memory and Piers Morgan adds an anecdote that the Queen told him Garden Parties are “12,000 strangers wandering on your lawn.”
“Oh shit, I’m afraid of heights”, said Suggs in response to Piers Morgan pushing him into answering “What did it feel like to be on the roof of Buckingham palace that day?” Immediately Piers made fellow presenter Susan apologies to viewers for the mild naughty word so early in the morning.
Perhaps the biggest exaggeration of one S word is the express who called it an Epic foul mouthed clanger. As many of these publications have done countless times to countless celebrities plugging this TV show…
Suggs talks about Driving in his electric car. The days have come on from Milk Floats he says. We need more charging points he says.
He talks about the two bus touring system of Madness, the good and bad bus. Of early contracts he says “in perpetuity” is the term that screwed The Beatles and Kinks over their song rights, whereas Madness asked his mum and only signed things for a number of years. These are contracts which have massively helped the band continue. The clip of the movie of Suggs talking to Mike about being the drummer
in the band. The presenters talk about the film, not shying away from the darker side of things. They praise the films inserts by Julien Temple, including Suggs in the Bath. “I’m not wearing Speedos either!”
Talking about the second One Man Show, it’s about “what happens when you’ve become famous, everything and anything, Buckingham palace, Olympics, David Bowie supporting and Lost Vagueness on the casino side of Glastonbury”, a legendary gig from 2007.
Suggs tests a biodegradable straw that will help us to stop oceans being filled with old straws. “I’m putting the next Madness album out on Banana Skins”, he claims, in the help to the environments of removing plastics. “it’s our planet”
We’re almost done for this week, but before we go we’ve just got time to tell you that Suggs will be appearing on Channel Five’s “The Wright Stuff” on Wednesday 24th January.
This appearance will be available via the channel’s on demand service shortly after the show is broadcast.
Moving on, and if you remember in last week’s issue we reviewed the latest Skapones single. Well, you may be interested to learn that this managed to reach the lofty position of number one in the reggae charts. Congratulations to all involved.
Next, and we’re pleased to see that Nick Woodgate’s new album is due for release on the 16th February. We’ll have more on this release in a future issue.
A press launch preview of Suggs’ “My Life Story” show takes place on Tuesday at the Rosemary Branch Theatre. MIS subscriber Alan Flynn has told us that he’ll be attending, so we may well have a few words from him in next week’s issue. Just in time for the tour that begins at the end of this month.