Live via satellite from London’s Koko
My Life Story
Starring Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson
For tickets click HERE
17th January 2018 8.30 pm
Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for a “montage” style film of performance as documentary in MY LIFE STORY.
Opening with Suggs (Graham McPherson) on stage in a London music hall, we move quickly to a bath where he recalls the death of his beloved cat on his fiftieth birthday, triggering a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew.
Heading back to the stage before taxi driver (Perry Benson) drives us to archive heaven in 1970’s Soho, the film continues throughout to switch between film forms, as well as music & dialog. With his faithfull man servant Deano (Dean Mumford) on piano, Suggs seamlessly moves from words to song throughout with The Kinks, Ian Dury, Prince Buster and of course his beloved Madness.
Stunned by what he learns Suggs is taken back through his life to a childhood on the streets of Soho: mum a jazz singer from Liverpool, working in Soho clubs run by mobsters, dad a heroin addict he never knew. A spell in Haverfordwest follows, returning to London to the epithet of “flea-bitten Jock-Welsh bastard”, and the schooldays which inspired “Baggy Trousers”.
We see a misspent youth, running the gauntlet of London’s teenage tribes and football hooligans, hanging out with the punks at the Roxy and covering North London in self-aggrandising graffiti, his first job as a butcher’s boy, delivering meat to the nuns and that fat is impervious to cold water: that’s why ducks wear it.
Inside tales of the Madness years roll into centre stage, from a Teddy Boy riot during an early gig in a florist’s, through the fateful meeting with The Specials at the Hope & Anchor and the subsequent chaos of the 2 Tone tour.
Later scenes hosting a Karaoke TV show, becoming a DJ for Virgin Radio, a disappointingly small part acting opposite Keira Knightly and Sienna Miller – are intertwined with his attempts to find his father.
Bouncing back for the Madness reunion, including the famous Madstock earthquake of 1992, when dancers in Finsbury Park caused tremors of five on the Richter scale and the evacuation of nearby tower blocks. The moral – or, let’s be honest, the excuse for a singalong finale – is that only one thing matters, and it must be love, love, love.