14/01/85 Appearance (Baby, Baby)
Suggs takes some musical time out to discuss various aspects of parenthood along with other celebs. His wife, Anne, lets slip that Suggs’ mother originally wanted to call him Quentin…before that pin was randomly stuck in an encyclopedia of jazz musicians. Suggs also appears on the other episodes of this series over the next three weeks.
26/01/85 Appearance (Saturday Starship)
Suggs and Carl’s short-lived alter-egos, The Fink Brothers, invade ITV’s Saturday Starship to promote their electro-pop single, ‘Mutants in Mega City One’ and feed on some children before settling on trying to eat the presenter.
01/02/85 Appearance (ORS 85)
Suggs and Carl give madcap Timmy Mallet a dig out presenting the Oxford Road Show. They dabble in some unwinese with Stanley Unwin before interviewing Feargal Sharkey whose previous single had of course been released on Madness’ Zarjazz label. And continuing the comic sci-fi link, Suggs and Carl later get a makeover and double up as The Fink Brothers to perform their single in the studio. With a headful of straw, Suggs does however end up looking more Worzel Gummidge than Mean Machine Fink Brother.
19/02/85 Appearance (Breakfast Time)
Suggs and Carl aka The Fink Brothers meet Selina Scott before quitting the world of pop music and returning to Mega-City One with a Top 50 smash in tow.
29/03/85 Appearance (ORS 85)
A lucky reader of No. 1 Magazine wins a competition to meet Madness which for some reason also includes spending a few minutes on the Oxford Road Show. A painful 3 minutes sitting next to Timmy Mallet seems worth it though as she is showered with such gifts as a Madness Picture Disc Gold Disc (??), posters and lots of fan club goodies. The Starvation single gets discussed but not much else
07/06/85 Appearance (Paintbox: Rise and Fall)
LWT/Channel 4 on acid. Lee bristles with beard and demonstrates his acting skills in the last episode of this series of shorts where ‘visual experiments’ were put to music. Lee is the proud lift operator who takes us into a volcano and a mole hole, past a room full of PG Tips chimps and through the underground before taking off towards the sun. It’s all as odd as it sounds.
19/08/85 Yesterdays Men (Wogan)
It’s over a year since Madness performed on television in the UK and they return in contemplative mood with their new single, ‘Yesterdays Men’. Chris has returned with brand new long tresses in contrast to Lee who has cropped his hair. Their bet is on. Cathal (née Carl, née Chas) fits in smoothly between the two Jimmies (Helms and Thomas) on backing vocals on what is a slick performance which receives huge applause from the audience at the end. They had been missed! But not by the producers of Wogan as they get subsequently banned from the programme for so-called ‘unprofessionalism’ that day.
22/08/85 Appearance (Breakfast Time)
Carl Cathal review the morning papers on TV-AM.
23/08/85 Appearance (Bliss)
Suggs joins presenter, Muriel Grey in the garden for a natter about 60’s music and fashion on Channel 4’s summer replacement for The Tube. There’s also time for Suggs to make some cocktails and have a quick boogie with the other partygoers.
24/08/85 Interview (Saturday Picture Show)
The video for ‘Yesterdays Men’ gets shown before the Artist Formerly Known as Carl who was the Artist Formerly Known as Chas Smash and Suggs (the Artist Futurely Known as East) talk to Gary Davies about their record label, forthcoming album and the hush-hush ‘Lost in the Museum’ gig.
26/08/85 Appearance (Wacaday)
Downtown Julie Brown unsuccessfully attempts to teach the lads how to dance to Baltimora’s ‘Tarzan Boy’. Lee wisely opts to look on from the sidelines with toddler, Tuesday. It’s then time for “the questions on the cards” with an opportunistic Chris inventing his own question on what he thinks of Margaret Thatcher. “I think she does the work of two men…Laurel and Hardy” he answers, leaving presenter Tommy Boyd a little red faced.
28/08/85 Yesterdays Men (P.I.T)
There’s a spirit of melancholy on and off stage as Madness appear on Peter Illmann Treff’s new music show in Germany. Punters sit at tables whilst others move gently in front of the stage. Suggs has to slap his own face at one point. Carl can be seen tinkling the ivories whilst Lee is looking all peachy, Hare Krishna stylee.
04/09/85 Yesterdays Men/Interview (Hold Tight)
Madness perform outdoors on Talbot Street at Alton Towers Theme Park amidst swaying families and dancing costumed bears. Cathal is on organ again whilst Lee has gone the whole hog as the Hare Krishna saxophonist, adding some beads to his regalia. Suggs later braves the pendulum ride for the sake of an interview where he talks about the band’s new label, new single and new album. This appearance was not quite shiny new though, being recorded the previous month.
05/09/85 Yesterdays Men (Top of the Pops)
Swaying proves infectious as this time Suggs, Chris & Bedders rock from side to side. ‘Yesterday’s Men’ is up to no. 21 in the UK charts and one week later, it would become their twentieth consecutive Top 20 hit in the UK. And Madness would become the first ever band to achieve that with their first twenty singles. They were, however, in the wars with the BBC again and at the end Peter Powell sarcastically remarks on “what a wonderful sense of humour they’ve got”; apparently a dig at their antics that day when they were said to disrupt other performances. Lee was also reported to have been turning cartwheels across the floor at one point.
10/09/85 Yesterday’s Men (No Limits)
I’ve a vague recollection of this appearance which I had on a tape that got crumpled up in our video machine shortly after recording it. Sellotape and a scissors had been its intended savior but somehow the reel ended up in a bin. I think the appearance was in a dark studio and was pretty much nondescript, like my memory of it. An advert for the single in New Musical Express has this appearance dated as 27th August but other sources have led me to the date above.
11/09/85 Interview/Yesterdays Men/Embarrassment (Countdown)
The sextet are in Amsterdam and in obvious high spirits. Suggs keels over as he gets interviewed but gets up in time to enthusiastically leap about to the opening bars of ‘Yesterdays Men’. There’s only a very small audience in the studio and reportedly Amsterdam based defector, Mike was somewhere there too. Alas, he didn’t join his old mates on stage unfortunately even when they played their biggest Dutch chart hit next, an oldie which he co-wrote. Maybe give him another six or seven years to think about it.
12/09/85 Appearance (Good Morning Britain)
Madness appear from under a sheet as some kid gets shown around Madame Tussauds in London.
12/09/85 Yesterdays Men (Cheggers Plays Pop)
More echoes of yesteryear and another mellow showing from Madness as the red and yellow teams take a break from battling it out on this children’s music game show. As on their recent Top of the Pops appearance there’s only one Jimmy with Cathal on BVs, that one being veteran American soul singer, Jimmy Thomas. This was recorded three days earlier at the BBC studios in Manchester.
23/09/85 Appearance (Blue Peter)
Suggs and Cathal answer a few questions from Peter Duncan as they literally run around in circles in the Blue Peter garden in preparation for the National Fun Run which was taking place at Hyde Park the following Sunday.
12/10/85 Interview (TX)
Cathal does a brief interview with Alison Dowling on this new Saturday morning show for children and chats about the video for their next single, ‘Uncle Sam’ (which gets shown…our first chance to see it!) and the ‘Mad Not Mad’ album which had recently been released. He also pops up later to announce some competition winners.
19/10/85 Appearance (Saturday Superstore)
It’s Suggs’ turn to announce some competition winners before he joins the other five in the Superstore Coffee Shop. They all take questions from the young studio audience and then some more over the phone. ‘Uncle Sam’ has been released that day so the video (winner of ‘The Video Vote’ on The Whistle Test four days earlier!) gets shown again. Back in the Superstore Lee is joined by Chris this time on the Pop Panel and later on, birthday boy Woody gets a cake!
22/10/85 Interview (Good Afternoon)
Cathal and a sheepskinned Suggs get interviewed from the streets of Cork City as Madness get set for their long overdue tour of Ireland. For all you fact fiends out there….Ireland is the country where Madness had the most success chart-wise with their singles. Between 1980-85, they scored a mammoth thirteen Top 5 hits there which included two number ones.
23/10/85 Interview (Video File)
With their ‘Mad Not Mad Tour’ now underway, Suggs and Cathal meet Marty Whelan in the Cork Opera House to discuss the band’s history, their videos and new album. A selection of their videos get shown too.
26/10/85 Interview (Anything Goes)
Still in Ireland, Chris, Bedders & Woody travel from out of the west to Dublin to appear on RTÉ’s Saturday morning TV show where they answer some questions from three young fans. Madness never played ska, insists Chris! The video for “Uncle Sam” rounds things off.
26/10/85 Interview (Good Evening Ulster)
Meanwhile, Suggs & Cathal are in Belfast with Eamonn Holmes prior to their gig at the Maysfield Leisure Centre there that night. It’s a just a short interview which touches on their new single and Cathal’s Irish connections.
02/11/85 Appearance (Wide Awake Club)
It’s a day off from the ‘Mad Not Mad’ tour for the chasps but Suggs and Cathal must rise and shine early to answer those questions on the cards from Tommy Boyd. What we mainly get to hear about this time are Cathal’s zen pond and Suggs’ designer underpants party.
05/11/85 Appearance (London Plus)
Suggs, Cathal and Lee join various models, actors, slebs and that annoying kid from a Madonna video on the catwalk at the Royal Albert Hall for Fashion Aid. Two Madness songs get an airing and during ‘Madness’, Lee takes to the air ala ‘Baggy Trousers’. Otherwise there’s a lot of dancing and prancing about in gaudy clothing. Everyone looks a bit silly but it’s all for a good cause, of course.
18/11/85 Interview/Uncle Sam (Nightline)
Madness leg it off stage at City Hall in Newcastle to the nearby Tyne Tees Studios as the Mad Not Mad tour enters it’s final leg. Presenter, John Stapleton interviews Suggs and “Carl Smide” about violence, remaking how intimidating Carl’s red socks and a girl in the audience with green hair can be. Suggs shows no fear however as he makes his way out to the audience and grabs a front row seat next to a lady in an intimidating grey cardigan for the closing bars of “Uncle Sam”.
20/11/85 Appearance (This is Your Life)
It’s Richard Branson’s turn to be surprised by Eamonn Andrews and his big red book. During the show, the Virgin Records boss is greeted by various artists including Mike Oldfield, Phil Collins and…our very own Suggs. Madness were of course signed to Virgin at the time, via Zarjazz. And Suggs would himself be the guest of honour on the show 15 years later! Although he must’ve ended up a bit puzzled as he got lumped with guest greetings from the likes of Boy George and Mel C.
21/11/85 Uncle Sam (Top of the Pops)
It’s sailor chic for Chris, Lee and Woody as Madness hop scotch it from their ‘Mad Not Mad Tour’ to the BBC studios. And guess what…they’re in the bad books with the BBC yet again, for the third time in three months. As she introduces the single, presenter Janice Long makes a quip about the band “going up the charts faster than they’ve been coming down the shaft” in reference to them being stuck in the lift just before they were due on stage. Someone had been jumping up and down in the overcrowded lift or so the story goes. This jaunty performance is reminiscent of some older ones but unfortunately the single didn’t perform as well those other singles in the charts, becoming their first single to miss out on the Top 20 in the UK.
26/11/85 Burning the Boats/Time (The Whistle Test)
Madness make a live return to The Whistle Test, augmented by three backing singers (Lorenza Johnson, Jimmy Thomas and Jimmy Helms), two keyboardists (Seamus Beaghan and Terry Disley) and a percussionist (Bosco De Oliveira) who were all on board the ‘Mad Not Mad’ tour. It was great to see Madness getting a chance to perform two album tracks for a change, the coulda shoulda beena single, ‘Burning the Boats’ and the chirpy ‘Time’. Their UK and Irish tour had just ended two days earlier and it looks like exhaustion may have set in as Cathal topples over at the very end.
21/12/85 Interview/My Girl/Rough Kids/Burning the Boats (Burning the Boats VHS)
This footage was filmed at a Concert for the Unemployed, organised by the Greater London Council, for an anti-heroin campaign video entitled ‘Burning the Boats’ which was later distributed to some schools. The video also featured other artists, a couple of whom would ironically have had drug dependency issues themselves. It’s Suggs and Cathal who are interviewed whilst the highlight from the live excerpts is undoubtedly the guest appearance by Ian Dury for a live rendition of the old Kilburn and the High Roads chestnut, ‘Rough Kids’.
23/12/85 The Sweetest Girl (Razz Christmas Special)
The festive edition of Razzmatazz provides some advance promotional opportunities for Madness’ next single which wouldn’t be released until the following February. They are introduced by Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott on what would sadly turn out to be his last ever television appearance. Lee is missing so Carl replaces him on sax and Lorenza Johnson is joined by two others on backing vocals for some extra miming. Ol’ Eddie Scissorhands in the Razzmatazz editing suite is at it again though with the second verse, chorus and the Sweetest Boy getting the chop (ouch!) this time.
31/12/85 Time/I’ll Compete/Embarrassment/My Girl/Michael Caine/Grey Day/Uncle Sam/Yesterdays Men/It Must Be Love/Burning the Boats (85 Whistle Test 86)
Thirty five minutes of Madness here, broadcast from the Hammersmith Odeon as part of a five hour New Year’s Eve Whistle Test special. Unfortunately, King nab the midnight slot so Madness are on at 11pm, by which time their concert had in reality already finished. There’s a definite party atmosphere going down though and even an attempt to bring in the new year a couple of hours early with some bell ringing. It’s the full ‘Mad Not Mad’ tour line up on stage and the portion of the set shown draws from the latest album with some singles thrown in. Lee gets swung around on a rope during his solo in ‘Yesterdays Men’ and they all seem to be enjoying themselves. And they sound great. Oh for the days when Suggs used to take singing live a bit more seriously.