After nearly 40 years, Madness have become ‘national treasures’ in the UK and that hasn’t gone unnoticed with founding member and keyboard player Mike Barson.
“When we first started we were jokey, cheap, lavatory humour, what are they going to do next,” Mike tells Noise11.com. “Bit by bit as time went on they started talking about classics like The Kinks. They first started talking about us as “the classic British band” and then they started talking about ‘national treasures’. Something must be going right, I guess”.
When Madness began in the 70s, the British press thought they were a joke. “We like to have a bit of a laugh but it doesn’t mean it is not serious,” Mike says. “A lot of people mistook it in the beginning. In the late 70s and early 80s the music press were very serious and dare I say slightly pretentious. If you had a bit of a laugh and didn’t take things seriously they didn’t seem to like it. We got a lot of flack for that. They wanted to put us in a pot”.
Madness will play headline dates for Live Nation when they visit Australia for Bluesfest in April. “We just did a tour just before Christmas and it ended just before Christmas. We seem to be doing well, almost better than ever. Who would have expected that all these years later,” he said.
April 10, Fremantle, Fremantle Arts Centre
April 13, Melbourne, Festival Hall
April 15, Sydney, Hordern Pavilion
April 16, Byron Bay, Bluesfest