The story of Madness... in their own words
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After previous dates were cancelled due to the pandemic, Madness finally make it over the pond as they kick off the year with a USA tour

MARCH 1: Suggs guests with Kid Kapichi

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The Madness frontman provides vocals on a new single by the indie beat punk band called Zombie Nation. He also appears in the video, which sees him and the band fighting off zombies and barricading themselves in a pub, much like Shaun of the Dead. After the band perform a Nutty Train in honour of their guest vocalist, Suggs himself turns into one of the undead.

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Suggs in the video for Zombie Nation

SUGGS: My son-in-law is into the band and played me some of their stuff when he was driving me around for my one-man show. I instinctively liked it, even though it’s three or four generations before my time. The energy and attitude they have reminds me of Madness when we were on our third album as opposed to our 34th where we all hate each other, despise the whole business and have no enthusiasm left.


JACK WILSON (vocals, Kid Kapichi): We spoke to our label and they said, ‘If you could work with anyone on the album, who would it be?’ and I said how much I’d love to work with Suggs. He’s a hero of mine; I grew up with Madness and still absolutely adore them. Next thing I know, Suggs is calling me, saying he loved the song and wanted to work on it, and I had to pretend that it wasn’t the coolest thing ever. It just sent the song into another dimension and it was an honour to work with an icon like him.


SUGGS: The track was right up my street and I loved it as soon as I heard it. At the time, we were in the process of making Theatre Of The Absurd, which was about all the absurdity that has been going on for the last few years in this country, so it had a lot of elements of what we were doing for our own album, just a bit more fun.


JACK WILSON: It was a mental video and something that we wanted to do for ages. It was two days of filming in a pub in Hastings and just got more and more absurd. To the point of, ‘Right, Suggs, we’re gonna chop your head off now, then we’ll do a bit where your head is singing to the camera.’ If someone told me years ago that I was going to smash Suggs’s head with a cricket bat, I wouldn’t have known how to deal with that information. I can’t believe he did any of it.


SUGGS: I’m just glad it wasn’t really my head because he gave it a good wallop.

Suggs on set for the video shoot

MARCH 16: James Martin's Saturday Morning

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Suggs is a special guest on the Saturday morning cookery show. After having an English breakfast cooked for him, he talks about the band’s music and the upcoming Summer tour.

Suggs and fellow guests on the James Martin show

MARCH 28: Greatest Hits Radio

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Suggs and Mike appear at the end of Ken Bruce’s show as the DJ marks his one-year anniversary as a presenter on the station. The duo perform a stripped back version of It Must be Love, with the vocals changed to “It must be Ken” to fit in with the celebrations. The show is broadcast from a pub, with other guests including Sharleen Spiteri, Vanessa Feltz and Basil Brush.

Suggs and Mike serenade Ken Bruce

MARCH 29: The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Expanded Edition) released

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A special edition of the 2009 album is released, with additional tracks Bittersweet and The Roadette Song, plus a 24-page booklet with exclusive new liner notes from Suggs, Lee, Chris, Woody and Mike, and a poem by Carl.

MARCH 30: The Jonathan Ross Show

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The band appear on the prime time ITV chat show, playing Round and Round to close the programme. Recorded earlier in the week, the performance sees Mez deputising for Woody on drums.

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Performing on the show with Mez on drums
Suggs and Lee on the ITV show
The band relax in the green room before performing

APRIL 20: Embarrassment 12” released

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For this year’s Record Day, a special edition of the 1980 classic is made available, with its six tracks including the original 7” mix and a previously unreleased instrumental specially mixed by Clive Langer. Side A: Embarrassment / Not Home Today / E.R.N.I.E. Side B: Embarrassment (Instrumental) / Crying Shame / You Said.

MAY 10: Expanded editions of Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da and Can't Touch Us Now released

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Two more albums from the band’s back catalogue get a makeover treatment as two-disc expanded editions. Oui Oui… contains 11 bonus tracks which weren’t on the original CD, but did feature on the deluxe version released in 2013. Liner notes from Mike, Chris and Woody are also included. The new version of Can’t Touch Us Now includes 14 mostly demo tracks not on the original release, as well as interviews with Suggs, Mike, Chris and Lee.

MAY 14: Pryzm, Kingston Upon Thames

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Madness play two shows on the same day as a warm-up for their impending US tour, performing a matinee at 4pm and a later show at the same venue.

MAY 22: WAMU Theatre, Seattle

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Madness head to the west coast for their first date on US soil since April 2012, kicking off the C’est La Vie in America Tour in Washington State.

MAY 23: Fox Theatre, Oakland, California

MAY 24: Fox Theatre, Oakland, California

MAY 26: YouTube Theatre, Los Angeles

MAY 27: Punk Rock Bowling Festival, Las Vegas

MAY 29: MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Boston

MAY 30: Hammerstein Ballroom, New York

JUNE 1: Laugardalshollin, Engjavegur 8, Reykjavik, Iceland

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Before returning to Europe for the C’est La Vie Summer 2024 Tour, Madness stop off in Iceland to play this festival.

JUNE 14: Dreamland, Margate

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Back on home turf, and after a couple of weeks off, the band reconvene for the summer festival circuit, kicking off in the sunshine on the south coast.

JUNE 15: The Hoe, Plymouth

JUNE 16: Summer Sessions, Southampton

JUNE 28: Newcastle Racecourse

JUNE 29: Lincoln Castle

JULY 5: Edinburgh Castle

JULY 6: Lytham Festival, Lancashire

JULY 12: Open Air Theatre, Scarborough

JULY 13: International Music Eisteddfod, Llangollen

JULY 14: Summer Sessions, Derby

JULY 18: Cardiff Castle, Wales

JULY 19: Englefield Estate, Berkshire

JULY 26: Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

JULY 27: Ludlow Castle, Shropshire

JULY 28: Uptown Festival, Blackheath, London

JULY 31: Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher

AUGUST 2: Audley End, Essex

AUGUST 9: Custom House Square, Belfast

AUGUST 10: Galway Airport, Ireland

SEPTEMBER 19: SPOT/Martiniplaza, Leonard Springerlaan 2, Netherlands

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After completing their sojourn around the British Isles, Madness head to Europe for three festival appearances.

SEPTEMBER 20: Palladium, Cologne

SEPTEMBER 21: Tempodrom, Berlin