Thursday, 24 April 2014

It's Not Always About Football!


Went on a rare mid-week night out, yesterday evening.

It was touch and go as to whether I would make it. The dilemma being that my son was playing a rearranged football match. His club playing catch up on one of the Sunday fixtures missed, during the winter of biblical rain.

It would be the first of his fixtures that I would be absent from, this season.

It was an important game.

It was a must win game.

They lost.

I went to see Suggs do his one man show (well, one man and a pianist), 'My Life Story', at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, accompanied by good friends Jim and Neil, who live up that way.

Following on from his recent biography, 'That Close', the show is, loosely, the book brought to life.

The live show, 'My Life Story' is exceptionally written, weaving through the Madness front man's colourful life, starting with his 50th Birthday, darting back to his early years living with his single parent mum in Soho, being taken on holiday to Wales and being left there for three years, his return to London, dodgy schools, music, clothes and of course, the highs and lows of Madness. This is all glued together with the search for the truth about the Father who abandoned him at three years of age and is lovingly intercut with Suggs performing songs by Madness and others, assisted by Deano on piano or guitar.

At first, it seems a little unreal to see this Nutty Boy doing what he is doing but as the show grows, so does the audience's confidence that he is indeed good at this. The show is touching, detailed and most importantly, funny.

Here, Suggs has taken on a lot. There is a ton of dialogue and how he doesn't lose himself, I don't know. Despite the odd stumble he is off and running a blink. Naturally humorous, he exudes confidence and handles the odd (good natured) heckle like an old pro stand-up.

I had expected to the show to be less structured and more chaotic. Once you get your head round the fact that without the structure and the attention to deliver each line as it is written (in order to tell his story as he wants you to hear it, rather than a Madness style free for all), you can only stand on your feet at the end and applaud what is a damn fine effort.

Suggs is a competent solo showman delivering a wonderful story that has been written with exceptional talent and a whole lot of love.

He and his intricate tale left us smiling.

Suggs is at The Watford Colosseum on Saturday 3rd May. Some tickets are still available.

Tweet @hoganwatford


  1. Watford and Madness/Suggs? You sir have impeccable tastes!

  2. Am going to the Watford gig. Good review. Looking forward to it.

  3. Booooo! Who is Suggs? Bring back the football ;)