With MADNESS now officially reformed. apparently. nutty days are here again! Philip Dorward joins Carl Smyth (aka Chas Smash) in the House Of Fun.
hink of all those classic leading men: Clark Gable. Humphrey Bogart. Cary Grant; suave. sophisticated but streetwise. Now think of Madness. possibly the greatest pop group in the history of the world. and their resident spiv. one Chas Smash aka Carl Smyth. 33-year-old
trumpet-blower. co-vocalist. and eo-lyricist
for the band. as well as former A&R man with Go! Discs. Certainly. in regulation
Crombie and green felt Does. he exudes all
1992— 14 was 1993
the sophistication ofa leading man (he recently modelled Paul Smith suits for Esquire). It‘sjust that. . . well. when you look at his chubby exterior. the way he croons ‘Love Me Tender‘ whilst straddling you in the middle of a pub in Camden Town that it dawns: Life is about laughs not fashion.
The opening funny of the Madstock video seems the only response to a situation like this. so. er. Carl. are you into it yet?
‘No, not at all.‘
.‘Vw’t‘ ,’ \
‘Oh, all right then. only a little bit. only a lot.‘ He boyishly smirks his cheeky Maddie smirk and orders the first of a trio of Kir Royales — champagne and cassis. apparently.
Fourteen years ago. and less than 500 yards from the pub we‘re sitting in. The North London invaders made their first tentative steps into the world of popular music. As Madness. they conquered Britain and beyond. becoming heroes to crew-cut