Can I Play With Madness?


The third episode of Later…with Jools Holland continues some themes from the previous two. For the second week running it features a singer from Mali as well as another ska band from the Two-Tone label. The established singer-songwriter is Cat Stevens and three up-and-coming acts also appear

Growing up in the eighties, one of the bands that I heard most often on the radio was the English ska band Madness. The majority of their hits appeared in this decade and they were invariably accompanied by humorous promotional videos. The combination of these videos, the type of music, and the band’s comic image led to them being labelled The Nutty Boys. Despite this, their lyrics stood out from normal pop fare and the subject matter of their songs ranged from contraception (House of Fun) to the health service (Mrs Hutchinson) to apartheid ((Waiting For) the Ghost Train). Embarrassment was written by band member Lee Thompson and concerns pregnancy outside marriage and inter-racial relationships

Embarrassment – Madness

Yusuf Islam is the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens who was born Steven Georgiou in 1948. He was very successful throughout the sixties and seventies, but converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf in 1978. He left the music business at this time and only returned in recent years. In 1989, he appeared to support the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, but later denied this. If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out is one of a number of his songs that were used to great effect in Hal Ashby’s film, Harold & Maude (1971)

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out – Cat Stevens

Bat for Lashes is Natasha Khan, an English singer-songwriter and musician who has just released her second album, Two Suns. It is the follow-up to her 2007 Mercury Prize-nominated Fur and Gold (2006). This is her rendition of one of Bruce Springsteen’s most frequently covered songs, I’m On Fire

I’m on Fire (Springsteen cover) – Bat For Lashes

Oumou Sangaré is a singer and businesswoman from Mali. She began singing at the age of five in order to support her family following the departure of her father. Eventually, she signed to the English label, World Circuit. Her business concerns include the hotel, car and agriculture industries. Seya is the title track of her new album

Seya – Oumou Sangaré

William Elliott Whitmore is a singer from Iowa who also plays guitar and banjo. Animals in the Dark (2009) is the sixth and latest album that he has released in his ten-year career. Hell or High Water features him on guitar accompanying his bluesy voice

Hell or High Water – William Elliott Whitmore

Hockey is the name of a Portland, Oregon four-piece who have just only just released their debut single in Britain. It is entitled Too Fake and will appear on their forthcoming first album, Mind Chaos. Song Away is another track that will feature on the album

Song Away – Hockey