Madness are a bona fide national treasure. From the streets of Camden Town to performing on the roof of Buckingham Palace they are the archetypal pop group and ultimate singles band.
When Top Of The Pops rocketed Suggs, Chas, Barzo, Woody, Chrissy, Thommo and Bedders into our living rooms with The Prince in 1979, the band became an institution almost overnight. Spearheading the 2Tone Ska revival, along with The Specials, Madness went on to have an almost uninterrupted run of 14 hits in the early 80s, totaling sales of over 6 million singles.
In 1981, after a string of Top Ten singles and two smash hit albums, Madness took to the silver screen. Yet while a group nicknamed the Nutty Boys might have been expected to indulge in the knockabout japes of ’A Hard Day’s Night’ or ’Help!’ like The Beatles years before, ’Take It Or Leave It’ was a grittier, less glossy version of the events that led to them becoming one of Britain’s most cherished bands. The autobiographical account of the band’s beginnings and rise to popularity, with the band members playing themselves, provides a brilliant snapshot of late 1970s London, as well as a virtual tour of the venues that Madness played as they rose to fame to become the biggest selling singles band of the 1980s in the UK.
It is considered a must-see movie for Madness fans and music lovers alike. This unique screening, the first publicly in the capital for 33 years, is part of The London Intl Ska Festival.
Now it's 26th anniversary year the festival showcases Ska music has from its roots in rhythm and blues, mento and calypso, to the Jamaican originators, the progression through rocksteady and reggae, 2 Tone and right up-to-date with 21st century Ska sounds. 50 bands and DJs play 15 events housed in famed and iconic London venues, including; The Victoria & Albert museum, Dixie Queen paddle steamer, Prince Charles cinema and in Camden Town; The Jazz Cafe, Electric Ballroom, Dingwalls, Barfly and Forge Arts venue.
For tickets/info go to www.londoninternationalskafestival.co.uk