Remember Madness, the ’70s/’80s UK-Ska band most famous for their irreverent attitudes and spiffy dressing (not to mention some brilliant ska-punk music)? Well, it’s been ten years since their last one (save an all-covers piece called “The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1, released in 2005), but they’re set to release a new record, The Liberty of Norton Folgate, on Yep Roc! Records, with a street date of September 29, 2009.
According to a Yep Roc press release, the album is “described by the band as an ‘audio guide to the greatest city on earth’ and . . . moves between elements of burlesque jazz, rock, ska and even polka combining for an effortless lesson in pop song craft.” The band’s version of a concept album, “Liberty . . .” focuses on an area outside London city walls that would eventually become Whitechapel (made infamous by Jack the Ripper), and used to be home to artists and writers like Philip Marlowe.
Grahame McPherson (Suggs), one of Madness’s founding members, described the area as ” . . . a refuge for actors, writers, thinkers, louts, lowlifes and libertines – outsiders and troublemakers all. We’d been kicking around the idea of a concept album about London for a while. We wanted to get the x-ray camera out and shoot down through the crust, past the bullets and bones, the clay pipes and stones, to try and get to the soul of the place. We’re all dancing in the moonlight, we’re all on borrowed ground.” And the record promises to bring a new light to the streets and gathering places of the area, as only Madness can do it.
PRE-ORDER “The Liberty of Norton Folgate” from Yep Roc.
Stream the record HERE.