Published On: Thu, May 13th, 2021

Suggs reveals he’s been singing to strangers at BUS STOPS in lockdown

Suggs has admitted he’s been singing to strangers at the bus stop after a ‘horrendous’ year in lockdown meant he was unable to perform.

The Madness frontman, 60, said passers-by would make a hasty exit if they saw him coming after he developed the hilarious habit to satisfy his performance itch.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Headliners podcast, Suggs added that he’s thrilled to finally be back rehearsing so he and Madness can return to the stage when lockdown restrictions ease later this month.

Difficult: Suggs has admitted he’s been singing to strangers at the bus stop after a ‘horrendous’ year in lockdown meant he was unable to perform (pictured in October 2019)

Suggs, real name Graham McPherson, said: ‘We have been back rehearsing, which has been fantastic. The greatest joy was just seeing the other guys and making music again, you know?

‘It’s been a horrendous year for the performer – especially someone as big-headed as me…. because I was singing at people at bus stops and shelters.

‘They were running away as they saw me coming towards them, going ”here he comes again”.’ 

Here he goes again! The Madness frontman confessed passers-by would make a hasty exit if they saw him coming after he developed the hilarious habit (pictured in 2018)

Here he goes again! The Madness frontman confessed passers-by would make a hasty exit if they saw him coming after he developed the hilarious habit (pictured in 2018)

At last! Suggs added that he's thrilled to finally be back rehearsing so he and Madness can return to the stage when lockdown restrictions ease later this month

At last! Suggs added that he’s thrilled to finally be back rehearsing so he and Madness can return to the stage when lockdown restrictions ease later this month

Suggs is set to take to the stage alongside Madness at the London Palladium for the live-streamed event The Get Up on Friday.

It comes after the music legend revealed how he and his bandmates were on a dangerous criminal path before being saved by music.

The hitmaker headed up the group as they found fame in the early 1980s, releasing songs such as House Of Fun and Baggy Trousers.

Suggs – who used the moniker for a graffiti tag before keeping it on as his stage name – was arrested for fighting in public, while his bandmates dabbled in burglary and shoplifting and even ended up in prison.

Rocky road: It comes after the music legend revealed how he and his bandmates were on a dangerous criminal path before being saved by music

Rocky road: It comes after the music legend revealed how he and his bandmates were on a dangerous criminal path before being saved by music

‘Being in the band was like an extension of being in a gang — apart from the fact it wasn’t just us smashing up phone boxes and kicking traffic cones down the road together,’ the crooner said in new documentary Before We Was We.

‘It was at a crossroads. A lot of those people we knew at that time did get into serious crime.

‘We were all a little bit involved in that sort of thing and graffiti was the first thing. Music was a huge step in the right direction.’

The band also featured saxophonist Lee ‘Thommo’ Thompson, now 63, who was caught committing burglary aged 11. 

He broke into singer Lynsey de Paul’s home with a friend where they eat cereal before they ‘put the plates in the sink and left – we didn’t take nothing’.

Boys will be boys? The singer headed up the group as they found fame in the early 1980s, releasing songs such as House Of Fun and Baggy Trousers [pictured in 1981]

Boys will be boys? The singer headed up the group as they found fame in the early 1980s, releasing songs such as House Of Fun and Baggy Trousers [pictured in 1981]

Along with songwriter and keyboardist Mike ‘Barso’ Barson, 62, and guitarist Chris ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman, 64, Thommo would also steal records from a shop in Camden on a regular basis, as well as Lambretta scooters and Sellotape.

While Thommo’s father ‘gave up on him’ and sent him to reform school, Barso went to prison when he was 18.

‘That was pretty stupid. Me and my mate found a load of these long neon light bulbs and we were just smashing them. The police got called and we got caught,’ he recalls. 

‘Because we’d been stopped by the police a lot of times, the judge decided he was going to make an example of us.

Crime: Suggs - who used the moniker for a graffiti tag before keeping it on as his stage name - was arrested for fighting in public, while his bandmates dabbled in burglary and shoplifting and even ended up in prison [pictured in 1982]

Crime: Suggs – who used the moniker for a graffiti tag before keeping it on as his stage name – was arrested for fighting in public, while his bandmates dabbled in burglary and shoplifting and even ended up in prison [pictured in 1982]

‘He said, ‘Remand without bail’. That was a short, sharp shock. We were in there for about three weeks and it was pretty horrible.’

The trio, along with trumpet player Carl ‘Chas Smash’ Smyth, 62, then started to meet up to play music. Suggs and other band members joined later.

Over the years there have been 15 members of Madness, with a remaining six still in the group.   

Front-man: Suggs is pictured in 1980. He said, 'We were all a little bit involved in that sort of thing and graffiti was the first thing. Music was a huge step in the right direction'

Front-man: Suggs is pictured in 1980. He said, ‘We were all a little bit involved in that sort of thing and graffiti was the first thing. Music was a huge step in the right direction’

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