No, not Eyewear's, or King George's - or even poor Speaker Martin's. Actually, the band. Madness, that great two-tone Ska sensation. Back, and, perhaps, better than ever. I bought and played The Liberty Of Norton Folgate (I am writing this from memory in a library so I hope I get the eccentric title right) last evening, and was deeply moved by its inclusive, upbeat sound and content - it is a sweeping love letter to London, and its people, and, the second track is generous enough to reference poets, along with plumbers, as a key part of the London experience. Indeed, the opening line, mentioning the Mosque near Baker street (my Marylebone area for years) brought tears of joy to my eyes. Madness is back, and not a moment too soon - their cheery, positive music was a tonic in the Thatcher era, and we need it again. This delightful album reminds us all that finding the seam of light in the dark is also artful. And that London can be a hell or a heaven, as they sing.
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