03/01/80 My Girl (Top of the Pops)
Madness open the shiny new decade for Top of the Pops, looking smart in white tuxedos and bow ties in front of a giant pink ‘1980’ sign to remind us it’s no longer 1979. Within seconds, Lee has toppled off the stage before a lovelorn Suggs mimes with angst and Chas helps Mike out on piano. It’s a classic performance to a classic song which was repeated a further two times on Top of the Pops later that month.
05/01/80 My Girl/One Step Beyond (Multi-Coloured Swap Shop)
Two tone checks are in vogue and in the BBC studio as Madness mime to ‘My Girl’ and ‘One Step Beyond’, at a time when Keith Chegwin would spend Saturday mornings travelling the length of Britain to help kids swap their Bukaroo or Sindy for an Action Man. This performance had actually been recorded a couple of weeks earlier.
17/01/80 One Step Beyond (Musikladen)
As Madness get set to embark on their first European tour, they make a couple of TV appearances in Germany. The first one is on the Radio Bremen-produced show, Musikladen and an energetic performance it is too. The audience, in contrast, are forced to sit and clap along at best. The tables and chairs are soon shifted though as most of the band can be spotted rockin’ out later on near the front of the stage with Jerry Dammers from the Specials (who also appeared on the show) during Matchbox’s ‘Rockabilly Rebel’.
00/01/80 The Prince/Swan Lake/My Girl/Interview (Punk & it’s Aftershocks VHS/DVD)
This footage was recorded by young German director, Wolfgang Büld for a film documentary on the legacy of punk. It features some great live clips of Madness shot on their first European tour and also includes some interviews in a pub where Suggs sips on his vodka and orange and garners some applause for using the word, “amalgamation”. This film was released on VHS and later on DVD under various other titles including British Rock – Ready for the 80s and Punk in England.
21/01/80 Unknown (Midi Premiere)
After starting their tour in Paris the previous night, Madness stay on in la Ville Lumière to appear on this TV entertainment show.
27/01/80 One Step Beyond/My Girl/Swan Lake/Razor Blade Alley/Night Boat to Cairo/Madness/Don’t Quote me on that (Chorus)
Madness are on French TV again, this time with an edited live set for Antoine de Caunes’ music show. It’s recorded at the Théâtre de l’Empire in Paris and captures the best of early Madness with large doses of energy and fancy footwork on stage. Highlights are ‘Swan Lake’ which comes complete with Chas and Chalky’s head-butting dance dual and a rare outing for ‘Don’t Quote Me On That’ for the encore.
31/01/80 Appearance (Folllies)
Chas gives Belgian television viewers a short demonstration in the art of dance!
31/01/80 Interview (Unknown)
Madness give a short interview on Dutch TV, possibly prior to the gig that evening at the Trojan Horse in the Hague.
17/02/80 Land of Hope & Glory (Neon)
“Attentionnnn…na”…Madness up close and live for a terrific version of ‘Land of Hope & Glory’, most likely filmed at one of their Dutch gigs a couple of weeks earlier. Lee leads the roll call before dancing with Chas and playing his sax, leaving new recruit (and “poor poor sod”), Suggs to complete the vocals.
28/02/80 One Step Beyond/Interview (MuchMusic/The NewMusic)
This was recorded during their North American tour, probably by a cable channel and then shown as part of a Canadian music programme on the history of ska which was broadcast in 1990/91, firstly under the title ‘MuchMusic’ and then as a different edit for ITV in the UK as ‘The New Music’. It features about one minute of ‘One Step Beyond’ and one second of ‘Mistakes’ live from the Nickelodeon Club in Toronto and then shows the band doing the nutty train through what looks like a shopping arcade. Chris and Bedders are briefly interviewed and there’s also a few words from “Chalky Suggs” from the back of the tour van.
00/03/80 One Step Beyond/Interview/Madness (American Bandstand)
Before their second North American jaunt comes to an end, Madness fit in an appearance on this long-running music show. The M train can be spotted steaming its way through the dancers on stage at the beginning of the show before the band later serve up another high-voltage performance. In between the two tracks there’s a brief interview with host, Dick Clark during which Lee pinches the back of his ‘upper leg’. And not for the last time but we’ll come to that later. This show was first broadcast on 19th April 1980.
24/03/80 Un Paso Adelante/Night Boat to Cairo (Aplauso)
Back in Europe, Madness make their first appearance on this Spanish music show with its ‘cutting edge’ split-screen camera work. It’s not often you see Suggs in a pork pie and it’s especially rare to catch the band performing the Spanish version of ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘Un Paso Adelante’…excelente! As there aren’t a lot of vocals on these tracks, there’s excessive dancing instead so it’s not a surprise to see Suggs collapse at the end.
26/03/80 One Step Beyond (Palmarès des Chansons)
Another typically upbeat studio performance to the ‘rockingest sound around’, this time on TV in France where this single was about to top the charts for two weeks! Suggs has still got the pork pie on and Chas is wearing his navy suit again, he got good use out of that suit back then.
27/03/80 One Step Beyond (Les Rendezous de Dimanche)
Madness appear on this French entertainment chat show along with the cast from Monty Python and others. And quelle surprise, it’s ‘One Step Beyond’ which gets played again.
00/04/80 Night Boat to Cairo (Unknown)
A knobbly knee-d Madness turn out in colonial safari gear and dance about in a park, circled by motor cyclists…possibly from French TV.
01/04/80 My Girl (Plattenküche)
There seemed to be some strange music and entertainment shows on German TV in the eighties and this was one of them. It starts off with a short sketch featuring Lee as an undercover watch salesman before the band find themselves in a white room with clouds looming above and statuesque girls hanging around smoking cigars. They get to play their instruments a bit but mostly spend the time climbing in and out of the window and generally messing about, probably presuming that this appearance would never be seen again.
03/04/80 Night Boat to Cairo (Top of the Pops)
Sailing into the charts as the highest new entry at no. 14, Madness raid either the BBC costume department or their favourite theatrical costumiers, Berman and Nathan’s. Either way, they’re well prepared for a trip to Cairo or somewhere over that direction. Suggs dons his safari outfit complete with pith helmet whilst others wear fezzes and Arabian headdresses. Suggs would later recall glancing across the studio at Dexys Midnight Runners who were looking On the Waterfont cool and feeling that maybe things had gone a bit far with his own band’s wardrobe choices. The playback track unfortunately finishes early at the false ending, allowing no time for the band’s families to jump on stage. Maybe just as well as there’s an explosion behind Woody’s kit at one point.
19/04/80 Appearance (Tiswas)
The video for new single, ‘Night Boat to Cairo’ gets shown and some of the lads talk with presenter, Sally James amidst the usual Tiswas chaos. The Nutty Boys design on Woody’s T Shirt gets an early run out, many months before it graces the front cover of “The Return of the Los Palmas 7”. Chas falls victim to the Phantom Flan Flinger, with an unexpected pie in the mush.
00/04/80 The Prince/Swan Lake/Razor Blade Alley/Madness/Night Boat to Cairo/One Step Beyond (Dance Craze/Skabeatz VHS)
This concert film captures ‘The Best of British Ska Live’ and features six tracks from Madness, recorded during their UK tour at St. Georges Hall in Bradford on 27/4/80 and at the Mayfair in Sunderland on 30/4/80. The footage is shot mostly on a dimly lit stage with a steadicam; stage lighting rigs could be quite basic back then. However it’s a brilliant, high octane performance from Madness, capturing their ‘One Step Beyond’ phase perfectly. Production troubles delayed the film’s release and it finally previewed at Midem in France in January 1981. It opened in the UK the following month, by which time the ‘ska-boom 2-Tone bubble’ had burst. Alternate takes of ‘One Step Beyond’ and ‘Night Boat to Cairo’, which seem to be taken from the Dance Craze vaults, later appeared in 1989 on the American video cassette release, Skabeatz. There is lots more unreleased footage which Dance Craze film cinematographer, Joe Dunton, is currently trying to track down in the hope of someday releasing a ‘Dance Craze 2’. Fingers crossed.
21/05/80 Night Boat to Cairo (Collaro Show)
Madness are touring Europe again and are back at the Théâtre de l’Empire in Paris, this time to appear on a TV comedy/entertainment show. Here, they interrupt a round table discussion and kick (literally in Chas’ case) the guests off stage, creating some space for them to cavort around in their khaki shorts and doc martins. There is a mysterious bassist aboard the night boat this time whose identity remains hidden under his over-sized pith helmet…looks like it could be the band’s roadie, Chalky.
02/06/80 Night Boat to Cairo (Rock Planet/TROS Top 50)
The Madness Timeline, which you could at one time access on the official Madness website, lists an appearance of ‘Night Boat to Cairo’ on this chart show in the Netherlands. Tour Madness also mentions it, adding that they all sported painted moustaches!
11&12/08/80 Night Boat to Cairo/E.R.N.I.E/Mistakes/Close Escape/Crying Shame/Razor Blade Alley/Baggy Trousers/My Girl/Bed and Breakfast Man/Embarrassment/On the Beat Pete/The Prince/One Step Beyond/Madness (Rockstage)
This live concert was filmed over two days at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham. Judging from the audience profile, most of the footage is taken from the second concert which was a matinée show for under 16s. The Face magazine at the time surprisingly claimed that Madness mimed to some of their previous night’s performance so that the film crew could capture close-ups of the band. I’m not sure how true that is, it doesn’t look mimed. Anyway, Madness weave their way through a selection of tracks from ‘One Step Beyond’ and ‘Absolutely’ but most interestingly, there are a couple of b-sides in the mix too. And Chas makes his trumpet debut for TV although this programme wouldn’t be broadcast until almost a year later, in July 1981.
22/09/80 The Business/Baggy Trousers (White Light)
Madness debut not one but both sides of their new single on this youth programme which was filmed in Hatfield and presented by Daley Thompson (that’s the Olympic Champion, not Lee’s yet to be born son) and a crop haired, teenage Gary Crowley. The instrumental B-Side gets a 45 second preview at the start the show, a real rarity. For ‘Baggy Trousers’, Suggs wears one of those party eye masks and during the harmonica solo, he gives a shout out to Woody and the consummation of his nuptials which hints that this was recorded about 3 weeks earlier. It’s a live vocal from both Suggs and Chas with this version ending more abruptly, in a similar way to how they played it live back then.
27/09/80 Appearance (Tiswas)
According to an article in NME, the ‘Baggy Trousers’ video got played which was followed by some chat about the band’s concerts for Under 16s. It’s reported afterwards that Suggs and Chas got Madness ‘banned’ from the show for spraying presenter, Sally James in the eye with silly string and removing one of her false eyelashes. The ‘Coco Twins’ had been out partying in Coventry with the Specials all the previous night and were apparently still tripping on acid. Stiff Records head honcho, Dave Robinson would also claim that one of James’ frocks was stolen that day and left at a motorway service station. Anyway, all is later forgiven as Madness would go on to appear on the show again. With most of the Tiswas master tapes wiped for re-use, few episodes from 1980 are known to exist in the official archives so it’s possible that this appearance may never be seen again.
02/10/80 Baggy Trousers (Top of the Pops)
A cheeky Chas has already interrupted one of the links between songs earlier in the show and here he is at it again, prompting presenter, Dave Lee Travis to warn viewers to “lock up your daughters”….ha! Over on stage, Madness look like they’ve jumped off the sleeve of their ‘Absolutely’ LP as they prepare to build up a sweat in their crombie overcoats. It’s arguably their best look from over the years and it inspires another top performance for Top of the Pops. Any issues the BBC had with the word“fight” (which had been oddly replaced by the word “not” when the video was shown previously, creating a line which made absolutely no sense – “Gone to not with next door’s school”) seem to have been resolved as Suggs mimes to the proper lyrics. At the end, naughty boys Suggs and Chas interrupt DLT again. This performance was repeated two weeks later.
15/10/80 Un Passo Avanti (Discoring)
Madness close off the Italian leg of their European tour by taking their heavy heavy monster sound onto this popular music show in Rome. It’s great that they’re doing the Italian version of ‘One Step Beyond’ on TV but unfortunately It’s one of those couldn’t carelessness performances. They had attempted it sitting down during the rehearsal in some sort of protest against the expectation to act ‘nutty’ alas some sense prevailed in the end. Suggs and Chas play toy guitars, staying mostly rooted to the spot although Chris makes an effort and goes rushabout once or twice. This programme was broadcast four days later.
18/10/80 One Step Beyond/Embarrassment/My Girl/Baggy Trousers/Madness/Night Boat to Cairo (Countdown Live)
Next stop on the ‘Madness Monster Tour’ is the Netherlands and a festival appearance at the Jaap Edenhal in Amsterdam. An edited version of this concert was aired on Dutch TV. Chas is at the top of his game for the opener, “One Step Beyond” before adding some trumpet during ‘Embarrassment’.
23/10/80 Baggy Trousers/ Night Boat to Cairo/One Step Beyond (Top Club)
Madness are on French TV again with a nut-nut-nutty performance of ‘One Step Beyond’ as Chas plays a ‘marionette’ with Suggs standing behind him on a box as the ‘marionettist’ (yep, that’s a word!). Mike meanwhile plays the organ with a set of drumsticks.
11/12/80 Embarrassment (Top of the Pops)
Madness appear in their collection of coloured tartan jackets from the promo video. Bedders is armed with his double bass for this one and Chas is on trumpet again. It’s a slightly downbeat performance, compared to their previous Top of the Pops appearances at any rate and understandably so as “this is a serious matter”. There is a funny, awkward moment at the beginning though as presenter, Richard Skinner introduces the song and puts Jermaine Jackson on the spot by asking him about Madness. Jermaine has to admit he has never heard Madness. A typically non-rehearsed Top of the Pops interlude.
25/12/80 Night Boat to Cairo (Unknown)
It may be Christmas day when this was broadcast but Lee is dreaming of sunnier times in his sombrero. Suggs and Chas ditch their dance moves again until near the end when things pick up. This performance was in fact recorded in Paris during the summer and a bit bizarrely, formed a musical interlude during a programme on ‘Philosophy for Children’ with French Philosopher, François Châtelet. But to quote another great mind, Aristotle
Aristotle, was a bugger for the bottle; “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of Madness”. And so say all of us…
25/12/80 One Step Beyond/Interview (Christmas Runaround)
It’s an outbreak of Madness in Santa suits on an ice rink in Torquay! There’s a polar bear there too (well, a large prop) although admittedly, this is a kid’s TV game show. And one of these kids in the audience is excitedly giving the fingers to the camera (see boy in blue on the right at 2:00 on the video clip)…the ultimate rude boy! There’s a short sharp interview with Santa Suggs too. This was recorded the previous week, smack in the middle of the band’s ’12 Days of Christmas’ tour and they had used these Santa suits for the tour’s promotional shots. It’s a bit of a surprise that they played this particular single on the show, considering it had been out over a year previous. Nothing wrong with that though, it’s not as if they were miming to recordings over 30 years old! Ho, ho, ho.