HIS LIFE AND TIMES ON TOUR
Madness and their trademark One Step Beyond pose performed on the Palace roof because Elton John and Paul McCartney had taken up stage space with their pianos.
Suggs said: “As someone pointed out, the first man to play on the roof was, yes, Brian May – so that brought me down to earth. I suffer from vertigo but I just about managed to hold it all together.”
The star, a die-hard Chelsea fan, was introduced to Her Majesty. He recalled: “I asked her if she was into football. ‘No, not especially,’ she said. So I said, ‘Well, can I have your Cup Final tickets then?’
“She didn’t miss a beat. ‘That’s a Tommy Cooper joke,’ she said. And she was right. She’s sharp as a tack.”
Suggs represented his country again soon after when Madness performed Our House at the Olympics closing ceremony. He said: “There I was on the back of a truck somewhere in the East End. On the truck in front were The Who. On the right were some spotty Herberts called One Direction. On the left, the Pet Shop Boys were riding bicycles with traffic cones on their head.
“And behind, the Spice Girls were doing vocal warm-ups until Pete Townshend called out, ‘Someone throw them a f***ing fish!’ Then we’re in a stadium with 70,000 people and two billion watching worldwide. The bass, the brass, the strings of Our House strike up – then it’s my turn. And I forget the first line.
“Fortunately, the crowd were singing so I pointed the mic at them. Bizarre.”
And the big gigs keep coming. After his one-man show finishes, there’s a Madness tour before Christmas and the band’s 40th anniversary next year.
The star admitted: “Who’d have thought it would go on this long? I know how lucky I’ve been.”
■■Suggs is on tour from October 15 to November 7. Details from Ticketmaster
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