As reliable as late buses, wet summers and fibbing politicians, but far less irritating of course, Madness continue to amaze and delight. Having over 30 years-worth of classic hits under their belts certainly helps, but Madness have been more than just an '80s throwback - they have been and still are, an institution.
From their early days as ska-dazzling 2-Tone youths with hits such as "The Prince" and "Baggy Trousers", through their more grown-up anthems such as "Embarrassment", "My Girl" and "The Sun and the Rain", to recent comeback album "The Liberty of Norton Folgate", Suggs and his merry band of ace musicians rarely disappoint, especially live. Just say Madstock to a Madness fan and watch them melt into teary-eyed nostalgia.
Suggs has recently been embarking on his own 'life story' spoken-word and music tour, in fact he has a further string of dates looming on the horizon in the spring. His 'My Life Story' tour covers most of the UK until June - tickets cost around £24.50 - but after appearing in Ipswich, it's back to the day-job. Madness.
The band recently released their 10th studio album, "Oui Oui Si Si JaJa Da Da", earning critical acclaim and, just to prove they can still shift a few copies, a chart placing of #10. Recent single "Never Knew Your Name" (see video) is a dewy-eyed soul-tinged slice of Nutty melancholia that ranks as one of their trademark best.
After touring arenas in 2012, as well as playing the Olympic Closing Ceremony and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Madness will turn their attentions to the horses! They'll perform a series of concerts around UK racecourses including Chepstow on 14th June, Carlisle on 6th July and Haydock Park on 20th July. In addition, they've also confirmed a show at Northampton County Cricket Ground on 23rd September and their own 'House of Fun Weekender' at Butlin's in Minehead on 22nd - 25th November. Tickets on sale now, from £35.