Documentary traces Madness's rise from Camden to charts supremacy

Madness performing for a Children in Need appeal

Madness performing for a Children in Need appeal - Credit: PA

A three-part documentary will tell the story of how the band Madness became a household name. 

The series – Before We Was We – will explore the ska music pioneers’ beginnings in the Camden Town scene of the late 70s, led by frontman Graham “Suggs” McPherson.

The documentary will air across three 60-minute episodes and offer insight into the band’s “inevitable rise to the top of the charts, pop fame and fortune against the backdrop of the ska, punk and new wave revolution”. 

Suggs, 60, said: “I don’t remember ever thinking about whether it was going to last.

"You see this polished Madness that’s been going for years and people would think, ‘Course you knew’. But I didn’t have a clue. I wasn’t taking it the slightest bit serious."


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Last year unveiled a stone in honour of Madness was unveiled on the Music Walk Of Fame in Camden Town. 

Frontman Suggs

Frontman Suggs - Credit: PA

The group were presented with the honour by Dizzee Rascal in front of a crowd including David Rodigan and the mayor of Camden, Cllr Maryam Eslamdoust. 

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Before We Was We: Madness By Madness will air on AMC via BT TV on May 1 at 9pm. 

The documentary will air on May 1

The documentary will air on May 1 - Credit: PA

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