MADNESS singer Suggs will rock The Albert Halls with his one-man show tomorrow night.
Born Graham McPherson, the singer in the London band best known for hits such as One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers and Our House, says the idea for the solo tour came with his 50th birthday.
Following a heavy night on the town to celebrate his half century, he was lying in his bath and heard a large crash.
He said: “I jumped out of the water, and there, lying amid shards of broken glass, was our four-year-old cat, a British blue called Mamba.
“I was 50. My kids had recently left home and now the cat was dead. I was really upset.
“It triggered a deluge of emotion, an event that somehow tipped me over the edge. I began to consider my own mortality and, out of that, the idea for exploring my own past somehow crystallised.”
Suggs, who performed with Madness at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games, said: ‘It’s a memoir, it’s not stand-up. I toyed with calling it Mad-Life Crisis.
“In the end, I’ve called it My Life Story which won’t win any prizes for originality but does at least tell you what you can expect.”
He certainly has plenty of material to use, after experiencing a colourful upbringing.
He is the only child of jazz singer Edith and a father, William, who worked for a photographic developer but whose life was increasingly overtaken by drugs, and died aged 40.
Suggs said: “Dad left home when I was about three. I have no recollection of him and he never featured in my life.
“My mum later told me she’d come home and found him with needles sticking out of his hands.”
He joined Madness in 1977 after seeing the band perform in a friend’s garden. They went on to have 15 singles in the UK top 10.
Suggs married his wife Anne, aged 21, a professional singer herself, and they have two daughters who now sing as a duo under their own names.
The show starts at 8pm. Tickets cost £25.50. Call 01204 334 400 for information.