Back in 1980 my brother and I could choose one LP each for Christmas, my first real record aside from Pinky and Perky singles (Google them kiddo, they were the Alvin & The Chipmunks of their day.) My brother thought he was being mature when he opted for the Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta, and my choice was juvenile; Madness – Absolutely.
But from all the ska and two-tone bands of the period, it was the pop, fairground style of Madness which stood the test of time, because our generation could identify with them.
Through synth-pop, electro and hip hop, and soul, not overlooking my eternal love for reggae, my eclectic tastes relished them all along the years, and then the rave scene took me away. It seems now though, I’ve turned full circle and, zipping up my boots, I returned to the roots, the offbeat ska sound; when Madness ruled that Christmas morning.
While 80s mod bands warbled on subjects unrelated to the experiences of a seven-year-old scallywag, Madness sung songs of baggy school trousers and dirty shirts, of pulling hair and eating dirt; we did all that, we walked home squashing snails, and when the teacher came to break up a fight, well you get the picture.
Bands like the Jam I appreciate now, but at the time I didn’t have a clue what they were on about; a clown called Maurice, what’s all that about? And you know their song Eton Rifles? My adolescent mind thought they were singing about eating trifles.
Seems I’m not alone in this affection for the Nutty Boys, the area has gone mad recently. With the MACS theatre school surprisingly opting the Our House Musical for their next production, and now I’ve just picked up on the rumour that the unquestionably best Madness tribute act, Los Palmas 6, is visiting the sleepy village of Market Lavington on October 28th, to show the Music and Comedy Club their nutty acknowledgment.
Not without connections, Los Palmas 6 boast authenticity, citing amidst their seven-piece band, saxophonist for Madness for over eight years, Steve Turner.
Established in 1998, Los Palmas 6’s objective, said Steve “was to offer the most accurate Madness Tribute, and we succeeded.” They proudly awarded themselves the title “best Madness Tribute Band in the World,” and with prestigious booking from the BBC, Virgin Records, Arsenal Football Club, Cardiff Castle, Alexandra Palace, Splash FM, Cobo Bay festival in Guernsey, and not forgetting The Army, SAS, Navy and RAF, nobody’s arguing.
Can you afford to miss this, at twelve quid a ticket? You’d be a nutty boy to wait as gossip is spreading it’ll be a sell-out. Get your ticket from Devizes Books, Market Lavington Post Office or www.ml-mcc.weebly.com