Suggs shares real reason Madness got to play on top of Buckingham Palace | Music | Entertainment

Estimated read time 2 min read

The palace was memorably lit up with images of high-rise flats and terraced houses as Madness played their hit ‘Our House’ from the Palace roof at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.

But now Suggs has revealed his band were originally meant to go on the same stage as everyone else – until it was realised it had to be kept clear for a time for Elton’s piano to be replaced by McCartney’s because each wanted to play their own.

So the idea was put forward to shift Madness on to the roof, which became a highlight of the show.

Talking about the 2012 concert, which was broadcast to millions around the world, Madness front man Suggs said: “We got a letter from the Queen. The missus and everyone’s going mad.

“It’s a letter from the Queen, what are we going to wear, what are we going to do.

‘ ‘Would you like to attend the Queen’s (jubilee concert)?’. We said ‘Of course, yeah, lovely’.

“So we get down there for a rehearsal. They say ‘Oh dear, there’s a bit of a problem, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney want to have their own pianos, so there ain’t no time for you to get on between’.

“So some geezer at the back goes ‘Well, tell you what, why don’t we stick them on the roof?’

“And that’s as simple as it was. They built us a stage on the roof, but it couldn’t have been more iconic.”

Asked if the iconic performance only arose because Elton and McCartney wouldn’t share a piano, Suggs replied: “Exactly, and we wouldn’t have stolen all the limelight.”

When asked if it was one the greatest moments of his career, Suggs, 62, said: “Definitely, definitely, definitely. I mean I love the Queen. I’m not a mad royalist and I’m not sure where that process is going, but I did love the Queen.

“It just worked out – we performed good, it looked good, and it’s like ‘there we are on the roof of Buckingham Palace’.”

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