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Madness were formed in North London as The Invaders, changed their name to Madness (after a song by Ska hero Prince Buster). In 1979, the Specials launched '2 Tone Records' and Madness was invited to cut their first single The Prince/Madness: their first hit.
Madness then signed with Stiff Records and became the biggest act on the label, with 13 further consecutive UK hits and five Top 10 albums by the end of 1982.
With their appealing mixture of Ska, music hall, pop, R&B, visual comedy and biting yet amusing social comment, Madness became the most consistent UK hit makers of the 80's with guaranteed sell-out shows wherever they appeared.
In 1981, Madness took to the movie scene and made their only feature film 'Take It Or Leave It'. They then released 'Complete Madness’; a TV advertised hits compilation that topped the UK charts for three weeks during 1982. Our House (1982) marked their US breakthrough, followed by a five week tour with David Bowie and The Police.
As a six-piece, the band greeted 1984 with 'Michael Caine', a single on which the actor actually sang. After five years and 18 consecutive hit singles, they left Stiff Records in May 84 to form their own Label, 'Zarjazz’. Feargal Sharkey was their first release.
Pulling in members of UB40, The Specials, General Public, Pioneers and Afrodiziak, Madness put together the admirable Starvation charity single as their contribution to the African famine relief in 1985. Meanwhile, a band called 'The Wayfarers' played to a packed audience at the Bull and Gate Pub in Kentish Town, which proved to be Madness rehearsing their new album prior to recording. The following hit single, 'Uncle Sam', showed the band had lost none of its good, healthy humour.
The band also released the album 'Mad Not Mad' in the same year which spawned several minor hit singles. However difficulties with the Zarjazz operation prompted a split within the ranks. Suggs, Foreman, Smyth and Thompson resurfaced two years later as 'The Madness' having signed with Virgin UK. Their eponymous debut LP was released in May 1988. Mark Bedford has since dabbled with television scores, while Graham McPherson (Suggs) managed 'The Fall' and successfully appears on television.
Madness have spent almost 300 weeks in the UK charts and amassed more than 28 Top 40 single successes. This started off with "The Prince" reaching number 16 back in 1979. Top 10 hits include: "One Step Beyond" (7), "My Girl" (3), "Baggy Trousers" (3), "Embarrassment" (4), "Shut Up" (7), "It Must Be Love" (4), "House of Fun" (1), "Driving in my Car (4), "Our House" (5). When added to the hits of Bad Manners, including, "Lip Up Fatty" (15), "Special Brew" (3), "Can Can" (3) and "My Girl Lollipop" (9).
Formed in 1994, Badness has established themselves as the premier tribute to the sounds of Madness, Bad Manners and Buster Bloodvessel. Badness brings to you the most authentic recreation of these amazing performers in a spectacular fun-filled production. The band has established an international reputation, appearing across Europe, the Middle-East and North America receiving wild acclaim wherever they perform.
European gigs have included the SKA/punk festival at Glabeek, Belgium where they headlined the show with six other European bands in support. More recently, they performed at the Desert Rats Headquarters, near Hanover. In complete contrast to this, the band landed a 3 weektrip to Israel. They were told their bar-bill alone reached many thousands (old habits die hard).
Other notable engagements have included a gig at Her Majesty’s Prison ‘Wormwood Scrubs’ and Her Majesty’s Prison ‘Brixton’. The band have appeared on the National Lottery summer roadshow, rocking with renditions of all the favourite songs of Madness and Bad Manners where ‘The crowd just went wild…’ and the band were involved in the celebratory arrangements for the ‘Utah Beach D-Day Landings.’
Following more rave reviews at the Edinburgh festival, Badness are heading back to the USA and have plans to play throughout Germany, Spain and Scandinavia. Of great excitement for the band this year is a return trip to Belgium for a week of dates.
BADNESS THE BEST
Badness has cemented their reputation as amongst the best tributes in Europe with The Stage producing an article of the Top 10 Tribute Bands highlighting Badness.
This show is full of fun and audience participation from the first note to the conclusion of the performance and is sure to be a highlight of any venues calendar. You are in for an amazing experience when Badness comes to town.