Skip to Content
That close

That close

Suggs, 1961- author

Suggs is one of pop music's most enduring and likeable figures. This entertaining and insightful autobiography takes you from his colourful early life on a North London council estate, through the heady early days of Punk and 2-Tone, to the 80s, where Madness became the biggest selling singles band of the decade

Paperback, Book. English.
Published London: Quercus, 2014
Rate this

Available at Bramley and Pudsey.

  • Bramley – One available in B SUG

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    46302905 B SUG Adult non fiction Available
  • Pudsey – One available in B SUG

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    46936661 B SUG Adult non fiction Available


Statement of responsibility: Suggs
ISBN: 0857389556, 9780857389558
Note: Originally published: 2013.
Note: Includes index.
Physical Description: 341 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (black and white, and colour) ; 20 cm
Subject: Ska (Music) Great Britain.; Television personalities Great Britain Biography.; Suggs, 1961-; Madness (Musical group); Biography.; Singers Great Britain Biography.


  1. Introduction.
  2. Cavendish Mansions.
  3. Soho.
  4. The Wales.
  5. The Who, Camden, Clothes and Punk.
  6. Naughty Boys.
  7. Butcher Boy.
  8. Charlton Away.
  9. Parmesan Wheels.
  10. Sultan, the Flying Dead Pigeon.
  11. In Camden Town.
  12. New Year's Eve.
  13. The Glamour Boys.
  14. Hope and Anchor.
  15. Swanky Days!
  16. Four Wheels.
  17. Let's Go!
  18. More Crap Jobs.
  19. Making Music.
  20. Arlington House - One Better Day.
  21. This are Top of the Pops!
  22. Stop Messing About.
  23. Turning Japanese.
  24. Liquidator Studios.
  25. Hollywood.
  26. Rediffusion.
  27. Things that Go Bang in the Night.
  28. Celery.
  29. Ska.
  30. Radio-Rental.
  31. Liverpool Away.
  32. Madstock.
  33. Athens.
  34. Basso Salento.
  35. The Barbie Bike.
  36. The Back of Clive's Head.
  37. Me and My Girls.
  38. The Liberty of Norton Folgate.
  39. Up on the Roof.
  40. Closing Ceremony.
  41. Television Centre.
  42. Index.
  43. Acknowledgements.

Author note

Suggs is a singer, songwriter, DJ, actor and TV presenter. He is perhaps best known as lead singer with Madness, who have had 24 top-twenty hits and continue to tour. Suggs lives in Camden, London.


'Brilliantly nutty ... gloriously irreverent' Mail on Sunday .||'Beautifully recreates the memories of his early years' Daily Express .||'Wonderfully evocative' Scotsman .||'His early life would make a novel in itself' Ian Rankin.||'Really well written. Gripping' James Brown.

Back cover copy

A lawless brat, from a council flat,

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that - Oh, Oh.

Aerosol, the bricks.*

A pigeon that was flying better dead than when it was alive,

A second-hand suit and Dr. Martens boot,

Punk, 2 Tone, infinity and (one step) beyond.

A life lived, given and taken.

No questions asked.

We were that close, it was scary,

We were that close, to getting it right,

Or crashing and burning.

When time wasn't of the essence,

When time didn't mean money,

When time was an irrelevance.

Remember them summer days,

When we took whatever came our way,

And got away, hey, but not too far,

Took a spin round in your broken-down car.

From the back streets of North London to Buckingham Palace, and everything in-between. The story of... SUGGS.

*With a nod to Ian Dury.