Madness: Before We Was We - The true story of the British musical iconsMay 27 | 3 min read
Madness: Before We Was We – How to watch the new documentary series about the British music legends on AMC
The story of Suggs and the Nutty Boys is coming exclusively to BT TV in a three-part series which traces the incredible rise of the ska legends and recalls their unforgettable hits.
"Don't watch that, watch this!”
British pop royalty Madness are coming to AMC for a new three-part documentary series, Before We Was We: Madness by Madness.
Watch and stream Madness documentary Before We Was We episodes 1, 2 and 3
All three episodes of the documentary are now available to watch on BT.com, Episode 1 right now and Episodes 2 and 3 from 10pm on Saturday May 15.
Opening on the very foreign world of North London in the late '60s, we discover each member's uniquely chaotic upbringing at home and school, from their early teen years existing on the fringes of society to meeting each other and forming a band (of sorts).
As the eventual line up comes together, all of their cultural and musical influences and creative ideas begin to fuse.They change their name from The Invaders to Madness, and release their first single, 'Prince', on Two Tone and it is a hit.
Madness join The Specials and The Selecter on the Two-Tone tour: lifelong friendships are formed and a movement is realised. But the tour is marred by police harassment, and Madness leave early to bring ska to America.
Adapted from the band’s critically acclaimed biography, the 60-minute episodes will look back at the band’s musical legacy through interviews with band members past and present.
Their 40-year career began at a time of cultural and political upheaval in the 1970s and the docuseries offers a captivating insight into a post-war Britain and how it has changed beyond recognition alongside the band’s inevitable rise to the top of the charts.
The series is AMC UK’s second original production, following the success of An Accidental Studio, which told the story of ground-breaking British film studio, George Harrison’s HandMade Films.
When does the Madness documentary Before We Was We start?
Before We Was We: Madness by Madness is available to stream for BT TV customers on the BT Player.
Listen to the Before We Was soundtrack
Featuring classic Madness, hidden gems and tracks from the band's heroes and influences, such as Ian Dury and Roxy Music, the Spotify Playlist for episode 1 is live now.
How to watch AMC
AMC is available in the UK exclusively on BT TV.
BT TV customers can watch AMC on channel 332/381 HD.
You can also catch up on episodes you miss on the BT Player.
And if you want to watch shows on the move or on your tablet and phone, download the BT TV app.
AMC is the UK home of TV series including smash hit Fear the Walking Dead, anthology series The Terror, travel documentary Ride with Norman Reedus and Pierce Brosnan’s The Son.
What is Before We Was We: Madness by Madness about?
The docuseries traces the humble beginnings of the band that would go on to set the record for the biggest audience ever for the BBC’s Live New Year’s Eve Broadcast – the most watched TV music event of 2018 - and perform on top of Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Looking back at his career, Suggs said “I don’t remember ever thinking about whether it was going to last. You see this polished Madness that's been going for years and people would think, ‘course you knew’. But I didn’t have a clue. I wasn’t taking it the slightest bit serious.
“That’s why I got thrown out of the band at the start, because I just thought it was a laugh and just something to do - hanging out with pretty cool geezers. The idea that I was ever going to make a career out of it was totally beyond my comprehension.”
Siena Pakington, BT and EE Content Director, said: “Madness are an iconic British band with a huge dedicated following, so we’re delighted to be bringing this doc-series exclusively to our BT TV customers.
"Today’s announcement, alongside our wider offering and flexible TV packages, demonstrates how BT TV is the destination for customers wanting easy access to the best TV, film and sport content.”
Who are Madness?
Madness have had 10 UK top 10 albums, 15 top 10 singles and have won a multitude of awards including a prestigious Ivor Novello. And the story isn’t over yet.
Their list of unforgettable hit singles includes One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love and the UK number one House of Fun.
Part of the 2 Tone ska revival scene of the late 70s and early 90s, the group spent a record 214 weeks in the charts in the 1980s.
Hit West End musical Our House was inspired by their music and the group have continued releasing albums and playing festivals including Reading and Leeds, and delivered memorable performances to gigantic crowds at Glastonbury.
Band members past and present including Chris Foreman, Mike ‘Barso’ Barson, Lee ‘Thommo’ Thompson, Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson, Daniel ‘Woody’ Woodgate, Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford and Carl ‘Chas Smash’ Smyth will appear in the documentary series regaling stories from their 40-year career together as Madness
Watch Before We Was We: Madness by Madness, exclusively on AMC, the BT Player and BT TV.