Madness to play in the forest

MADNESS are the latest music stars to sign up to perform outdoors in Suffolk this summer. With REM, Neil Diamond, Will Young, Ronan Keating, Ian Brown and the Beautiful South all set to perform around the county later in the year, Suggs and co are now booked in to perform at Thetford Forest on June 11.

MADNESS are the latest music stars to sign up to perform outdoors in Suffolk this summer.

With REM, Neil Diamond, Will Young, Ronan Keating, Ian Brown and the Beautiful South all set to perform around the county later in the year, Suggs and co are now booked in to perform at Thetford Forest on June 11.

Meanwhile an announcement has also been made that American superstar Little Richard is on his way to the Regent on May 7.

Formed in 1978 Madness became one of the best-loved British pop acts and the biggest selling singles act of the 1980s. Between 1979 and 1986 all 21 of their hits, including Baggy Trousers, House of Fun, Our House and Shut Up, charted in the top 20 as fans lapped up their nutty brand of ska.


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However, in 1986, two years after keyboardist and unofficial group leader Mike Barson quit, the remaining six split. Suggs, emcee and dancer Chathal 'Chas Smash' Smyth, saxophonist Lee Thompson and guitarist Chris Foreman reformed fleetingly to make an album as The Madness in 1988 but after that Madness seemed over for good.

Or so fans thought. As their reputation grew in the early 1990s, the band reformed to play two songs at the Notre Dame Hall in 1992. Amid the following clamour, two open air shows at Finsbury Park were booked in 1992 and came accompanied by new album Madstock.

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Since then the band have continued to perform together and now in 2005 it's time for even more nuttiness Madness style as the band get ready to perform at six of the UK's best forest sites for The Forestry Commission, starting things off in Suffolk.

Closer to home, in Ipswich, Little Richard is set to take to the stage at the Regent.

One of the original rock 'n' rollers, he first exploded into the American consciousness in the mid-1950s. Since then his screaming vocals, rattling keyboard style and outrageous showmanship have set the standard for flamboyant rock 'n' roll.

Madness will be at High Lodge, in Thetford Forest, on June 11. Tickets, priced £27.50 (plus booking fee), go on sale at 9am on Friday.

Little Richard will be at Ipswich Regent on May 7. Tickets, priced £35 (plus booking fee) are on sale now.

Weblinks: www.madness.co.uk

www.forestry.bo.uk/music

www.ipswichregent.com

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