Entertainment Music

Monday 21 October 2019

Madness memorabilia goes on display at V&A Museum

Items including a newspaper print suit from their 1986 music video (Waiting For) The Ghost Train are on display.

Madness rose to prominence in the 1980s (Simon Cooper/PA)
Madness rose to prominence in the 1980s (Simon Cooper/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Memorabilia belonging to British band Madness is now on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Fans of the ska and two-tone band can see items including saxophonist Lee Thompson’s union flag kilt from the London Olympics closing ceremony in 2012 and the saxophone he played.

There is also a newspaper print suit seen in the band’s music video for 1986 song (Waiting For) The Ghost Train, which also features on the cover of their greatest hits record Utter Madness, published sheet music for hits such as Baggy Trousers and a collection of badges, posters and tour T-shirts.

Lee Thompson in the union flag suit (Yui Mok/PA)

Highlights from the collection, which celebrates 40 years of the ska band, are on display now in the V&A’s theatre and performance galleries.

Simon Sladen, senior curator of modern and contemporary performance, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome the Nutty Boys to the Victoria and Albert Museum’s theatre and performance collections.

“Madness’s influences are as varied as our collections themselves, from music hall to variety, ska to two-tone, with their impressive career encompassing not only a film and chart-topping singles and albums but also inspiring a stage musical.

“They play with and are a part of British iconography and continue to entertain us 40 years after first getting together in Camden.”

Madness, featuring lead singer Suggs, formed in the late 1970s and rose to prominence throughout the early 1980s as part of the ska two-tone revival in the charts. They have 15 top 10 singles.

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