Suggs: My Life Story (2018)
Is it a Drama? A Comedy? Or Music Hall dream? Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for MY LIFE STORY where singer Suggs, takes a hilarious, yet moving, look back at his life in music and words. The death of Suggs' beloved cat on his 50th birthday triggers a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew. Stunned by what he learns Suggs is taken back through his life to a childhood on the streets of Soho featuring music written by The Kinks, Ian Drury and, of course, his beloved Madness.
- Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for a "montage" musical film in MY LIFE STORY.
Opening with Suggs (Graham McPherson) on stage in a London music hall, we move quickly to a bath where he recalls the death of his beloved cat on his fiftieth birthday, triggering a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew.
Heading back to the stage before Cabbie (Perry Benson) drives us to archive heaven in 1970's Soho, the film continues to switch between film styles. With his faithful man servant Deano (Dean Mumford) on piano, Suggs also seamlessly moves from words to song throughout with songs written by The Kinks, Ian Dury, Prince Buster and of course his beloved Madness.
Stunned by what he learns Suggs is taken back through his life to a childhood on the streets of Soho: mum a jazz singer from Liverpool, working in Soho clubs run by mobsters, dad a heroin addict he never knew. A spell in Haverfordwest follows, returning to London, and the schooldays which inspired his own song writing.
Temple uses the story to explore the musical and social trends of London and Soho as tales of the Madness years roll into center stage, with animation, archive and performance illustrating a Teddy Boy riot during an early gig in a florist's, through the fateful meeting with The Specials at the Hope & Anchor and the subsequent chaos of the 2 Tone explosion.
Weaving through the linear history is the attempts to find his father, his solo career, hosting a Karaoke TV show, becoming a DJ for Virgin Radio, a disappointingly small part acting opposite Keira Knightly and Sienna Miller.
Bouncing back for the Madness reunion, including the famous Madstock earthquake of 1992, when dancers in Finsbury Park caused tremors of five on the Richter scale and the evacuation of nearby tower blocks. The moral - or, let's be honest, the excuse for a singalong finale - is that only one thing matters, and it must be love, love, love.