madness - The I-94 Bar
What a daft name for a band. Their Wikipedia page (trust it if you dare) asserts that they are a “funk-punk’ band ‘in the 1980s”. Formed in 1980, disbanded ‘by mutual consent’ (says Wikipedia) in 1986.
Charlie Higson - formerly of punk outfit The Right Hand Lovers (oo-er, missus, mine’s a large one) - David Cummings and Terry Edwards formed The Higsons. Charlie Higson is now described as an actor, author, writer, producer, comedian etc etc and he’s bloody well known around the UK, mostly from The Fast Show. If you can’t place him yet, it doesn’t matter.
This is only my second venture into reading this series. It’s a great idea; a short little book about your favourite lp; no author gets a second go. There’s over 100 in the series so far, and I want to own about half of them. And I imagine you’ll want a similar number. No Radio Birdman volume yet, nor the Stooges, though there is one on The MC5, and Love, and The Ramones …
So. Madness. You’ve probably heard of them. You may even have a few singles or LPs. Madness resemble a cross-between old-style British music-hall and pub entertainment. Although they are described as a ska act, well … kind of. They’re more like a gang of British lads out for fun and games. Like glam without the chunky choruses and tinsel, Madness are fun.
Now then. Imagine heading down the pub, wondering how to consider writing a book on a band with several frontmen, assorted musicians and songwriters … it’s more like a couple of gangs stuffed into a sack than a band.
And then, you find yourself next to a quiet, cheerful chap with a slightly cheeky grin and a pint. It’s a crowded pub, and neither of you know anyone, so you end up talking. As you do.