Q&A: Beans meanz lockdown

Suggs weighs up the highs and lows of the past year

Friday, 14th May 2021

Madness_The Get Up

Q: How has lockdown been for you?

SUGGS: I’ve had a form of performers’ Tourettes. I’ve been going up to people at bus stops, on park benches, anyone in the street and bursting into song. People have been running away from me. My wife was worried I’d lost it and told me to rein it in.


Q: What’s on your immediate post-lockdown to-do list?

SUGGS: I am really looking forward to seeing some gigs again. I’ve been looking at these great gigs coming up, and it seems absolutely everybody is up for playing. There’s bands being advertised that I honestly thought were dead. Back in the old days, you’d sit at home and think I can’t be bothered to go out tonight – but now I’m going to go to literally anything I can.


Q: Where would you like to put a Madness gig on tomorrow?

SUGGS: The thing I am looking forward to most is going for a pint at the Dublin Castle – that’s almost like my home, so there would not be a bad place to start. I am also looking forward one day to get back to The Forum in Highgate Road. It is the perfect size and the perfect layout for a gig.

Of course there is the Electric Ballroom. When we returned to a 40th anniversary gig, we charged the same for a ticket as it was back then – £2.50. We asked if we could do the same with pints. That would have cheered us up – 12p. Can you imagine? “I’ll have just the 44, please.” The brewery wouldn’t let us – shame that.

We are very much looking forward to getting out there and doing our bit, doing a tour. I know there are some festivals taking place over the summer but I think people are still feeling very cautious. It was good to see a test gig so well in Liverpool.


Q: What music has been on your stereo these last 12 months?

SUGGS: I’ve really enjoyed listening to the rapper, Dave. He is a very clever artist.
Q: What else kept you busy?

SUGGS: There is bound to be a tsunami of shit paintings done by pop stars in lockdown. I too did a shit painting as well, like everyone else. I also made some shit bread, too. The highlight was I made some decent beer. There wasn’t much I could do as a performer, and that has made it so good to get back in the rehearsal room and play some music again, see other people.
Q: Other memorable moments last year?

SUGGS: I tried to buy some weights, to try and keep in shape, but there was something like a six-month waiting list. My daughter sent me this DVD of how you can do exercise using household items. It was all about walking around with baked bean tins down your socks clutching handfuls of books.

I found these two tins of paint in the shed and a chair leg, so I thought, ‘Hello, home-made dumb bells.’ I went into the living room to do it. One fell off one end and went all over the carpet. That set me off balance and the other went off all over the telly. It ruined the sofa and table too. There are still splodges everywhere.

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