MADNESS are this year’s first Party in the Paddock act at Newbury racecourse.

The gig on Saturday, August 17 is part of the beloved band’s 40th anniversary tour, which Suggs announced with a proclamation:

“Friends, mad heads and countrymen,

Lend me your ears.

This year be the 40th anniversary of the groupus maximus MADNESS XL

And to celebrate the country will be witness to celebrations of Romanesque proportions!

Forty years at the coal face of modern popular culture.

Man and boy.

Dedicated to the purveyance of popular music of quality and distinction to the people.

Dedicated in their selfless quest to have the nation singing, dancing and making merry through some of the darkest times of the last 4 decades.

There will be feasts, street parties extraordinary concerts of every shape and size up

And down the nation.

They 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 they’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 forty.


MADNESS having it extra-large!”

The words are typical for the band whose good-natured attitude - not to mention classic tracks such as House of Fun, Baggy Trousers and It Must Be Love - saw them dominate the charts and eventually come to be regarded as a national treasure.

“I think the reason we endure is that we genuinely do enjoy ourselves,” said Suggs. “From the very beginning you could see the joy in the early videos we made and hear it in the records.

“The fact that we were friends before this band started is key. I genuinely think the whole spark or art of craft and creativity was a by-product of our friendship. I think that’s what people feel.

“It’s a genuine experience. It’s not manufactured. I can’t ever remember being onstage and feeling fed up with the people around me.

“It’s been very flattering and marvellous to see so many different age groups enjoying the band. We are looking forward to this on the tour – people of all ages.”

Like many performers, the Madness frontman has his tour rituals.

“It’s like preparing for war, a war of fun, you know?

“A war of fun and frolics but, unlike the Romans, we are going to unleash heaven.

“I have a suspicion that if I didn’t have a few tequila shots before I went onstage I wouldn’t be quite as lubricated in the joints. Tequila and orange juice is the secret of keeping those limbs loose!

“I suppose our rituals are now so ingrained that I don’t notice what the rest of the band are doing!

“Traditionally, we don’t tour for months and months - we gave up on America and they probably gave up on us. Touring for years on end is what drains the lifeblood out of a lot of acts that I see. Each tour we do we try and make unique – and special. The main thing is to keep it exciting for yourself, that’s the way to ensure the audience is kept excited too.”

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