Suggs – My Life Story (Tour – Salford)

As happens to many a folk, turning 50 has encouraged Suggs to take a retrospective of his life and try to find out more about his past; particularly his father. The death of a pet cat starts this journey and the autobiographical one man show leaps between the past and present with ease, flair and great comic timing.

At times deeply personal, the singer does not hold back and is extremely frank about his upbringing and somewhat frenetic lifestyle that moves between inner city London, South Wales and involves an unexpected trip to Birmingham. This is of course all peppered with Madness anecdotes that give a great insight in to the music scene at the time with the likes of the Specials and Madness on the 2 tone tour and upsetting members of the Clash with their mischievous sense of humour. 

For fans and even casual observers, this is interesting stuff and includes tales of early gigs as well as the famous Madstock gigs in Finsbury Park and appearing on the same billing as Oasis in Paris.

It all comes back to family though and it’s the desire to know more about his father that is the vessel for this show which truly is very autobiographical and allows Suggs to look back on all periods of his life from young boy right up to the present. It is not a gig but the show is littered with snippets of great songs; Madness hits but also covers of works by the Kinks and Ian Drury. With great accompaniment on the piano from Deano, there is a chance to hear Suggs sing but it is not the emphasis for the show.       

Great comic timing, honesty and delivered with charm and intelligence, this slightly nostalgic yet entertaining show is a success. Without being too soppy or sentimental it is reflective yet interesting; a combination these biopics can often fail to get right. Suggs story is a real treat for fans and non-fans alike.  

– Ruth Lovett