I always loved watching Madness videos when I was growing up, not just because of the invariably brilliant songs (did any other band produce such a consistently excellent sequence of Top 10 hits in the 80s? I think Madness had 15 in all, every one a gem), but also because they always looked like they were having so much fun.
The reason I mention this here is because I've recently been watching a 1960s comedy series called Do Not Adjust Your set on dvd. DNAYS (as I think we'll call it from now on) was a kids' sketch show which featured several members of the Monty Python team before they became Pythons. The show also featured, as its in-house musical turn, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, fronted by the ineffably eccentric (ie bonkers) Vivian Stanshall.
Now, not having been alive in the 1960s, watching these episodes on DVD was the first time I'd ever seen them, and also the first time I'd properly clapped eyes on the Bonzos in their pomp. And what an eye-opener it was. Basically, The Bonzos were Madness well over a decade before Madness were Madness! Certainly in terms of presentation. Just compare and contrast these two performances I've nabbed from You Tube: Madness in the (wonderfully cheap & cheerful) Night Boat To Cairo video, and, firstly, The Bonzos playing Hunting Tigers Out In Indiah live on DNAYS. (Apologies for the slightly grainy picture quality on Hunting Tigers, by the way. Just think of it as historical footage!)
Visit the garishly-coloured Official Madness website
Or perhaps you'd care to check out this rather nifty Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band fansite
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