A/V Room









Madness - The Dangermen Sessions Volume 1

Review: Jack Foley

MADNESS fans may be a little disappointed to discover that the band's first studio album for six years is, in fact, a collection of ska covers and pop classics.

But there is still plenty to enjoy in The Dangermen Sessions Volume 1 given that most of the tracks get given the inimitable Madness treatment making them distinct in their own right.

The album derives its inspiration from a handful of super-secret gigs the band did at the tail-end of last year at Camden's Dublin Castle, under the name of their alter-ego, The Dangermen.

The performances were so well-received that it became clear to Suggs and co that an album featuring their take on the music that inspired them might be embraced by their following.

The result only serves to confirm that belief given that, for once, this is an album of covers that strives to be different.

Highlights include the dub-heavy I Chase The Devil aka Ironshirt, which updates the Max Romeo classic in a different way to the one used by The Prodigy on Outer Space.

The trumpets come to the fore, while Suggs' distinct vocals seem perfectly suited to its laidback swagger.

Likewise, his reggae-ska makeover of Diana Ross' soul classic, You Keep Me Hanging On, is wonderfully realised, arriving amid a fanfare of trumpets and a breezy bassline.

It's testament to the band' obvious enjoyment of their craft that the album is so feel-good, delivering 13 tracks that are virtually guaranteed to put a smile on the face and have listeners bouncing and singing along with them.

The Dangermen's version of The Kinks' classic, Lola, is another surefire party-pleaser, as is their quirky take on Desmond Dekker's Israelites.

While Bob Marley's So Much Trouble In The World allows Madness to update a classic that contains vocals that are relevant to all of us in these troubled times. It's almost reassuring to hear Suggs delivering them in such exemplary fashion.

Track listing:
1. John Jones
2. You Keep Me Hanging On
3. So Much Trouble In The World
4. Dangerman AKA High Wire
5. Girl Why Don't You?
6. You'll Lose A Good Thing
7. Taller Than You Are
8. Shame & Scandal
9. Israelites
10. Lola
11. Rain
12. I'm Ready For Love
13. I Chase The Devil AKA Ironshirt

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z