Camden Town

Album: The Lone Ranger (1995)
Charted: 14

Songfacts®:

  • Suggs is actually Graham McPherson, frontman for the band Madness. He was also a TV personality in the UK and a DJ at one point in his life. Rumor has it that the nickname of Suggs was self-bestowed when he randomly stuck a pin in an encyclopedia of jazz musicians and landed on jazz flautist Pete Suggs.
  • McPherson's childhood was quite dicey, owing to a mother who abandoned him for long periods of time (years) and a father who abandoned him for his entire life. He admits to having been in and out of therapy over the years to learn to accept everything that's gone on. Deborah Ross asked him in a 1997 interview if he ever remembered receiving affection during his early life. His response was, "Well, whenever I ran away the people who brought me straight back always seemed very nice."
  • Camden Town in London is known as a hub for the Goth, punk, and alternative music scene, largely due to The Roundhouse, a famous performing arts theatre. The streets are usually packed with tourists and locals alike, drawn to the open-air market, which began in the '70s as a simple craft market and has now grown into a major shopping mall, offering everything from a homeless shelter to quality leather shoulder bags.
  • This song is a paean - or perhaps a lambasting - of the town, and was obviously written from personal observation owing to McPherson's time spent in the area. A particularly favorite haunt of his and his bandmates is an English pub called the Dubliner.

Comments: 1

  • Ian from Isle Of Wight Having grown up around Camden , I just have to correct the favourite haunt of Madness named wrongly as the Dubliner it is in fact the Dublin Castle a pub in Parkway , Camden . They played a lot of their early gigs there . A great pub , still going I think . Though sadly I haven’t been home for a few years .
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