11:44AM, Friday 09 August 2019
Dedicated in their selfless quest to have the nation singing, dancing and making merry through the last four decades, Madness are celebrating their 40th birthday as a band at Newbury races.
The ska outfit have seen off eight prime ministers, 12 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.)
As Suggs said: “I think the reason we endure is that we genuinely do enjoy ourselves. 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.
“It’s been very flattering and marvellous to see so many different age groups enjoying the band.”
The singer has a secret weapon for keeping it lively on stage.
“It’s like preparing for war, a war of fun y’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! “
The band members avoid too much touring in order to keep the act fresh.
“Traditionally, we don’t tour for months and months –we gave up on America and they probably gave up on us. Each tour we do we try and make unique – and special.
“We can change the setlist nightly if we wish. The main thing is to keep it exciting for yourself, that’s the way to ensure the audience is kept excited too.
“Racecourses are great we’ve played a few in the past where there have been a few races and then you get a bit of Madness. It’s an unbeatable combination.”
For more details and tickets visit newburyracecourse.co.uk or call 01635 40015.
The changes could see Colnbrook with Poyle, Langley Kedermister and Foxborough wards moved from Slough to the Windsor parliamentary constituency.