Smash Hits, March 17, 1983

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Smash Hits

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Madness

London

Kimberley Leston

"The Greatest Show On Earth" is projected on the high screen at the back of the two tiered, Hollywood-styled stage of The Dominion. Brightest pink-and-blue light bathes the set as the Nutty Ones bound on and into a booming "House Of Fun."

Chas cavorts and quicksteps in undertaker's coat and top hat like a battered Fred Astaire through "Bed And Breakfast Man" and "My Girl." Suddenly, to the opening strains of "The Sun And Rain," up lifts the screen to reveal a quartet of violinists like shimmering white angels behind a gauzey curtain.

"Here's a serious one," says Suggs as "Have A Drink On Me" is accompanied by vintage clips of wartime films and the odd western.

Then Lee Thompson's sax grabs the spotlight for a superb "Embarrassment" while "Mrs Hutchinson" has a pyjama-ed patient and three crazed doctors running on and offstage.

It's movie time again, but now it's slightly distressing footage of laboratories, wild life safaris and captive rats and rabbits.

Thankfully, the tone is lightened as Chas and Lee amuse us all by being silly whilst singing "Razor Blade Alley."

After a dramatic rendition of "Grey Day" amidst smoke and a long, almost dub-like, finish comes much dancing in the aisles to "Madness" and "Baggy Trousers."

After violins on "Our House," it's the first of four encores with a seventeen-piece brass band in red jackets and dickie bows who have to squeeze their way on stage.

Encore number two and on strolls Mr. Elvis Costello, who's come "all the way from Vegas" to sing, uncle-like, his version of "Tomorrow's Just Another Day." He floats coolly off, some of the crowd obviously bewildered and glad to get back to some serious stomping.

Madness don't just play a gig — they sing it, dance it and act it and, like their videos, each member performs in his own wacky way. There's always something different going on wherever you look.

"The Greatest Show On Earth"? It certainly was.

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Smash Hits, March 17 - 30, 1983


Kimberley Leston reviews Madness with guest Elvis Costello, Thursday, March 3, 1983, Dominion Theatre, London, England.


Bitz reports on the release of "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)."

Images

1983-03-17 Smash Hits page 51.jpg 1983-03-17 Smash Hits photo 01.jpg
Photographer unknown.



Tomorrow's Just Another Day


Bitz

1983-03-17 Smash Hits page 16.jpg

B-sides can often hide little gems and on the flip of Madness's "Tomorrow's Just Another Day" lurks just such an item. Elvis Costello has slipped in his own version of the song, giving it a totally new, down-at-heel feel. Elvis, a long-time admirer of Madness, heard the song in its early stages and liked it so much that he asked if he could have a go at it. The seven-piece were only too happy as were their producers, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. Legal complications between Stiff and F. Beat were ironed out and, hey presto, two for the price of one. Only on the twelve-inch, though. Now turn to Nightsout...



1983-03-17 Smash Hits cover.jpg
Cover.

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