CENTREFOLD / Don't watch that ..: North London's baggy-trousered nutters turn back the clocks

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Punk had dribbled dry by the time Madness got in their stride, but, with the rest of the Ska crowd, they retained its tension and urgency: they put it in a pan and they kept the lid on. Everybody cherishes memories of Suggs, Chas, Dave, Dee, Dozy, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub. Madness meant playground scraps and nabbing your first French kiss and learning the songs from Look-in. Your mates liked them, the roughs on the estate who bullied your dog liked them. Best of all, they were the only band to hit number one with a song about rubber johnnies (what joy when the lyrics were explained to you).

Now they're back. Again. August 1992 saw their first live comeback, when Finsbury Park was transported to 1981 for two days. It was a raucous event, marred by the fracas between support act Morrissey and a blood-thirsty audience. And speaking from experience, there is little glee to be had in wearing Morrissey's name on your T-shirt while the local Pitbull Fanciers Committee are out for the blood of anyone who's even heard of him.

This year, the presence of two black acts cannot go unapplauded given the ugly elements of the Madness fanbase. Top marks for choosing Credit to the Nation, a band who drink Molotov cocktails for breakfast, while Aswad should be their mighty crowd-pleasing selves. It'll be interesting to see how Buzzcocks and Ian Dury and the Blockheads fit into the equation, though there's room in any sound heart for 'Love You More' or 'What a Waste'. As for Madness, the absence of new stock could fast turn them into UB40. But for one day - Saturday 6th August - you can shave a big 'M' in your hair and attempt the 'One Step Beyond' walk with someone you love.

1pm onwards Tickets pounds 22.50 (071-284 2000/734 8932). Information (071-284 4111)

(Photograph omitted)

Comments