MADNESS frontman Suggs is bringing his new one-man show to Perth.
Suggs: My Life Story in Words and Music will feature loads of his trademark comedy, but also includes poignant segments about growing up in London and his quest to discover more about his estranged father, William.
Suggs was three when his father walked out, but it wasn’t until 2012 when Suggs was reading his own Wikipedia entry that he discovered his father had died in 1975, aged 40, following years of alleged drug abuse.
“Maybe some of it won’t make it any sense, but it’s just the story of a kid who came from a desperate background and had the fortune to have a successful career in music,” he says.
“Then there’s the family life and my dad dying which goes on in everybody’s life—it’s a universal story that could be anyone, anywhere.
“There probably aren’t too many places I could take the show to, in America they probably wouldn’t understand it.”
Suggs says he stumbled into the role of lead singer.
“My mother was a jazz singer, but it was meeting the rest of the band that got me involved in music,” he recalls.
“We just started messing around, music was just something to do rather than cause trouble.
“Bit by bit we started taking it a bit more seriously, I never had any serious inclination to sing, but I eventually found myself as the only one left who hadn’t learned to play an instrument.”
His rise to fame was quick and in 1979, aged just 18, Madness performed on Top of the Pops to an estimated television audience of 15 million.
With their sense of humour, energetic tunes, and lack of pretension, Madness went on to become somewhat of British national treasure, performing on the roof of Buckingham Palace at the Queen’s diamond jubilee party and at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012.
The band are currently touring Australia and enjoying yet another Indian summer.
Suggs is at the Astor Theatre, Perth, on April 22.
by JASON TITHERADGE