Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Madness announce live shows and book to mark 40th anniversary

By | Published on Tuesday 29 January 2019


Everyone’s performing with an orchestra these days. Even Madness are at it. They’ll play with strings and that at Kenwood House this June, as part of various 40th anniversary celebrations.

“40 years at the coal face of modern popular culture”, muses frontman Suggs. “Man and boy. Dedicated to the purveyance of popular music of quality and distinction to the people. Dedicated in our selfless quest to have the nation singing, dancing and making merry through some of the darkest times of the last four decades. There will be feasts, street parties extraordinary concerts of every shape and size up and down the nation”.

He continues: “We saw off eight prime ministers, twelve England managers and a nasty bout of lumbago. But, it’s not the endless achievements, not the unforgettable memories, it’s the fact we’re even still alive! And miraculously in the rudest of health, thanks for asking. Raise your glasses, lower your swords ‘arise Sir Madness!’ Get stuck in! Here’s to the next 40”.

With the Kenwood House show set for 15 Jun, the band will follow it by reviving their House Of Common festival on Clapham Common in London on 26 Aug.

As well as that, Suggs et al are preparing to publish an autobiography – ‘Before We Was We’ – telling the story of how they originally formed. That being a story they already told in the 1981 film ‘Take It Or Leave It’, in which they acted out (fairly badly) their own story. It’ll be interesting to compare how the telling of that story has developed with four decades of distance between them and it. Although I will quit miss the shoddy acting.

The book is out on 26 Sep, by which time some or all of the new album they’re currently working on may also have emerged.