Narh, narh, narh. Narh, narh, narh, narh, narh, narh. They were great weren’t they? Madness I mean. They were though weren’t they? Its 12.55 a.m. Monday morning, I’m up for work in five hours, I sat here in the living room watching old Madness videos on Youtube. Why?
Sunday morning I had a big brunch date with my three favourite girls. My daughters. We were stood outside Raymonds in Montclair with all the other would be diners, MSU hipsters, Manhattan office working commuters, families and pensioners, waiting for our table – twenty minutes sir, these girls all yours? They’re adorable – watching the world go by. The girls, smiled at babies, played tag and commented on a passing greyhound,’ I hope it’s a dog that’s been rescued,’ my eldest enquired in a concerned tone.
It was one of those perfect early Autumn mornings, glorious sunshine but a little nip in the air. Great weather for a thick shirt or maybe a jumper. I saw one chap in a North Face fleece but he was just being daft. The twins were getting a bit restless, bored even. Twenty minutes seems like an age when you’re eight, I’ve no doubt. Especially when you’re waiting to eat pancakes. Out of the blue, The Dude (one of my kid’s nicknames) started up, ‘Hey you, don’t watch that watch this. This is the heavy, heavy monster sound…’ Everyone within earshot grinned or laughed out loud.
Madness can do that though can’t they? Even after 31 years, One Step Beyond can cheer you up. It can, believe me. They had great tunes didn’t they? And the lyrics – admittedly the afore mentioned One Step Beyond and The Return Of The Los Palmas Seven were a bit what you might call sparse in that department – were amazing. Little insights into another, yet strangely familiar, world. If Ray Davies had written Our House or Embarrassment… How could you take Suggs seriously when he didn’t appear to take himself seriously? But never mind all that. It was the videos wasn’t it? It was. I can’t think of another band that embraced the medium so fully. They were brilliant. They are brilliant. They draw you in. They make you smile. And they get you tapping your toe.
You doubt me? Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, might I present, in no particular order, for your musical and visual entertainment, se7en of the greatest videos you will ever see.
House Of Fun
It Must Be Love
Tomorrow’s Just Another Day
And, of course, One Step Beyond