Review:
It must be Suggs

By James Iles Monday 28 April 2014 Updated: 30/04 13:03

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Suggs - My Life Story

Palace Theatre, Redditch

April 24, 2014

MADNESS frontman Suggs plays narrator, lead character, stand-up and fool in this funny and at times moving reflection on his colourful life so far having reached his half century and deciding to find out what happened to the late absent father he never knew.

The audience pulled on their Fred Perry tops albeit in slightly larger sizes nowadays and sporting shaved heads now not through choice for this two-hour amble down memory lane with many hilarious rock ‘n’ roll anecdotes and the occasional piano/acoustic guitar-accompanied song.

Suggs did not disappoint. A natural frontman, he held us in the palm of his hands as he glided through tale after brutally honest tale of high jinks and delinquency during his rise to success with Madness.

Further self-deprecating accounts of his mixed career post-pop triumphs builds ultimately to the pinnacle of his train journey (to ‘Birminum’!) as he seeks to discover the truth about his father.

The show is difficult to pin down being part vaudeville, part comedy and part biography but a musical spine binds it together as stories behind classic hits like Baggy Trousers, One Step Beyond and Shut Up lead satisfyingly to personal renditions of the crowd pleasers.

Reflecting fondly on the successful comeback of Madstock in 1992 following Madness’ demise some eight years before, Suggs concludes he is a happy place with his life and his bonkers band, even despite the death of his beloved cat on his 50th birthday which started the whole journey off!

James Iles

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