Baggy trousers are optional at Complete Madness gig in Gravesend
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:10 24 September 2019
They still tour, they saw in our New Year, and now they are coming to Gravesend, sort of.
The Woodville will be playing host to Complete Madness on Saturday, October 12.
Audiences will be able to celebrate the very best of Madness as the theatre show takes people on a musical journey through the story of one of Britain's most memorable, visual and fun bands.
Complete with crazy costumes, comedy and chirpy banter, Complete Madness invite you to their House of Fun.
This highly visual and energetic show is a riot from beginning to end and features all the favourites including Baggy Trousers, One Step Beyond, It Must Be Love and Driving In My Car.
Lead vocalist and director of Complete Madness Ltd, Mark Keegan, takes on the role of Suggs.
He said: "The band started because we wanted to do something fresh in venues. It was 1993 when we started performing Madness and ska hits and no one was covering this genre at that time.
"I am one of the original members who put the band together and it was around 2006 when we started performing our theatre show.
"I have seen Madness four or five times. We like to think we put our own take on the songs so try not to compare too much. People say we are more entertaining, but without their songs and ideas we would not be doing what we are doing.
"One of my firm favourite tracks to perform is Sun and the Rain, as there is so much going on in the show. We hope the audiences are going to have some fun when they come to see us.
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"I just love being appreciated for putting on a good show and a major highlight for me is the recognition the band is finally getting after 25 long years."
Complete Madness was formed in 1994 from a band called Beat The System which itself was born in 1989 with original members Mark Keegan and Derek Wood who are still with Complete Madness today.
Mark was always into the original punk and ska scene while Derek was more of an old school rock person, so finding a happy medium of music was always difficult. But in 1990 they decided to settle on the New Wave type of stuff featuring bands such as The Clash, Alarm, U2, Nick Lowe, Big Country and Flock of Seagulls to name a few.
In 1992 they added a few Madness songs to their set such as Night Boat to Cairo and Baggy Trousers. The band started doing showcases and signed to an agency and with their growing popularity began to add more Madness and Specials songs to the set.
In 1994 the set became ska influenced and they decided to launch as Complete Madness. As well a name-change they also added saxophonist and pianist Chris Halford to the line-up and then in 1998 keyboard player Chris Collier also joined the band.
It was at this point they really began to become the band that they are today.
It was around this time the band's popularity really began to grow and they made the decision to quit their day jobs and go professional.
Complete Madness are now in their 25th year and each year go from strength to strength, adding new songs to the set such as a ska version of Bruno Mars' The Lazy Song and Paulo Nutini's ska hit 10 by 10?
The company behind the show, Sweeney Entertainments, co-founded by Julie and Peter Sweeney, has been providing a wide repertoire of touring shows for theatre and corporate events for over 18 years both in the UK and internationally.
Julie said "Complete Madness brings to theatres an evening of pure Madness, showcasing the very best hits in a non-stop evening of live and energetic performance."
The show at The Woodville, Woodville Place, starts at 7.30pm on October 12.
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