Thrilled to announce some dates for the Doctors of Madness 2018 Spring tour.
Tickets are on sale NOW for our UK tour in March 2018. Brighton, Birmingham, London. Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow… See you there!
“If you have never heard the Doctors of Madness, you should. Musically they are the Velvet Underground, New York Dolls with shades of glam, hippie, prog and punk all rolled into one, yet are still totally original. Vastly underrated, they should have been huge. Pure genius”
Vic Reeves (Comedian and Artist)
The Doctors of Madness are “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” (The Guardian May 2017). Exploding onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band’s dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance. Among the many fans of the band were acts as diverse as The Damned, Vic Reeves, Joy Division, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Spiritualized, Julian Cope, The Adverts, The Skids and Simple Minds. The Sex Pistols supported them, so did The Jam, Penetration and Cabaret Voltaire. They were the first to combine the avant-garde approach of The Velvet Underground with a distinctly European aesthetic. The blue hair, exotic stage-names, the lyrical themes of urban decay, political propaganda, mind control and madness were all taken up by the punk bands who followed in their wake.
The Doctors of Madness were trailblazers, pioneers, adventurers…pushing the boundaries of rock music and theatre to see how far it would go before it bust. What happened after them was due, in no small part, to what they achieved in three short years. They may not have been Jesus Christ, but they were, arguably, John The Baptist!!!
Frontman, singer and songwriter Richard “Kid” Strange went on to make solo albums, open clubs, write a memoir, curate art events and act in dozens of films and TV programmes including Batman, Robin Hood, Gangs of New York, Harry Potter, Mona Lisa and Men Behaving Badly. He also worked on projects with artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Gavin Bryars, Marianne Faithfull, Damon Albarn and Jarvis Cocker.
40 years after the band broke up, in 1978, they are back with an incendiary energy and a passionate fury that would be the envy of many bands just starting out. Their songs are political, tender, and genuinely edgy, complex but forthright, melodic and epic, and their live shows have been critically acclaimed in the UK, in France, in Belgium, in Germany, in Scandinavia and in Japan.
Their 3 albums have recently been remastered, repackaged and rereleased in a handsome boxed set, “Perfect Past- The Complete Doctors of Madness” by Cherry Red Records, and have been discovered by a whole new generation of music lovers. The reviews have been unanimously ecstatic, from Jools Holland, through the Daily Mirror, The Guardian, Gonzo Weekly and Vive Le Rock, the music media is agreed on the importance, both historical and contemporary, of this seminal band. The Doctors of Madness will undertake a UK tour in March 2018, promoted by the UK’s leading promoter AEG Presents.
What they have said about Richard “Kid” Strange and The Doctors of Madness
“The Doctors of Madness were the best! Blue hair, sequinned eyelids, a guitar that spelled out “KID”, space-age vaudeville that tipped this 16-year old kid over the edge! One of the most original songwriters & performers of my generation.”
Joe Elliott (Def Leppard)
“18 years after first meeting him, just thinking about Richard still reduces me to a state of near hysteria…and terror. He restores one’s faith in the ability of the human spirit to soar.”
“Absolute GENIUS. As reunions go, for me this eclipses the Velvet Underground in 1993”.
“In my Version of Rock History, Richard “Kid” Strange looms a lot larger than Pete Townsend”
Paul Morley (Journalist and Broadcaster)
“When Ziggy shagged all of Amon Duul 2 at the Berlin premiere of “A Clockwork Orange”, their divine progeny was undoubtedly Richard “Kid” Strange and The Doctors of Madness.’
Julian Cope (The Teardrop Explodes)
“The Doctors of Madness- now THERE was a band!”
DOCTORS OF MADNESS RE-RELEASED… WITH UK TOUR TO CELEBRATE, and dates in JAPAN
The Doctors of Madness are the great outsiders of rock history. They are the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols (The Guardian). In the words of Def Leppard’s frontman Joe Elliot, they were “Monstrously brilliant”.
The band had been together for three and a half years and had a loyal, committed following when they decided to call it a day. They were finally floored by the killer punch of punk rock, which, like a raw, swaggering, bare-knuckle fighter, saw off many established bands in the period between 1976 and 1978. The fact that the Doctors of Madness were one of the few British bands who could credibly have claimed to have been ‘proto-punk’, with their frantic delivery, their preoccupation with urban neurosis and systems of control, their appetite for fast drugs and their exotic stage names, was not enough to earn them a reprieve. Nor was the fact that their fans included The Damned, The Skids, The Adverts, Simple Minds, Julian Cope and Spiritualized. Even the fact that they gave The Sex Pistols their first out-of-London gig didn’t save them from the punk juggernaut, which flattened everything in its path.
Pop loves novelty. It is the blood on which the pop-vampire feeds. The Doctors just weren’t new enough and they had to die.
Richard ‘Kid’ Strange, Stoner and Peter di Lemma played their final concert at the Music Machine, in London’s Camden Town, on 26th October 1978, by which time Urban Blitz, their violin player, had already left the band.
But now…they are back! Nearly 40 years after their farewell gig, Richard “Kid” Strange, Urban Blitz and Japanese goth/glam/death metal duo Sister Paul (Susumu Bass and Mackii Drums) are touring again. To celebrate the 3 CD Boxed Set “PERFECT PAST- THE COMPLETE DOCTORS OF MADNESS” by CHERRY RED RECORDS in May 2017, the Doctors of Madness toured the UK to massive critical acclaim, with shows in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Brighton, Leicester and many other towns.
The band tour Japan in September 2017 with dates confirmed for:
Friday, 1st Tokyo Shinjuku JAM
Sunday, 3rd Sapporo Susukino 810
Tuesday, 5th Kyoto Saiin Ooh La La
Wednesday, 6th Kyoto Saiin Ooh La La
Thursday, 7th Osaka Shinsaibashi Hokage
Saturday, 9th Nagoya Tsurumai Bar Ripple
Sunday, 10th Hamamatsu Kircher
Monday, 11th Tokyo Shibuya Last Waltz
and plan to tour the UK and Europe in March 2018
Reviews of the gigs and the CD set can be found here, as well as Richard doing some radio interviews with
Jools Holland, Robert Elms and others.
Richard Strange on Jools Holland
Richard Strange on Robert Elms
Richard Strange on Soho Radio
Richard Strange on Resonance FM
Gonzo weekly Interview
The Guardian feature
All About The Rock
Soundblab – Review:
Louder Than War – Review:
Eyeplug.net – Review:
It’s Psych Baby – Interview
The Afterword – Review
Discussions Magazine – Interview
Gonzo Weekly Lexington gig review
Perfect Sounds forever Interview
Morning Star Lexington gig review
In his autobiography, ‘Strange- Punks and Drunks and Flicks and Kicks‘ Richard ‘Kid’ Strange describes The Doctors of Madness recording their first album, Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms.He writes: ‘With the early technical problems overcome, we set about our task of recording a great first album with a genuine relish and a manic intensity. I wanted to make an album that would contain, reflect and mutate everything I had ever felt, ever experienced, in my 24 years. I wanted it to reflect every joy, every disappointment, every grudge, and every resentment. I wanted it to be full of bitterness, desolation, alienation, bile and fury. Such tenderness as there was would be tempered with cynicism and distance. Such romance as there was would be doomed to painful breakdown. I wanted the record to be dark, cinematic and colossal. My subject matter was urban decay, neurosis and corruption. I had the anarchist’s loathing for all systems of control. Lyrically my roots were in the singer/songwriter tradition of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel and David Bowie, but my songs were seasoned with a sour edge and a rotten middle, courtesy of William Burroughs. Musically I loved the energy, directness and gonzo avant-gardism of the Velvet Underground at their most uncompromising. Walls of white noise and feedback laid over speed-fuelled, dumb-ass rhythm. The harmonic equivalent of bare-knuckle fighting. Sonic porn. We set ourselves into a circle in the studio, turned down the lights and attempted to blow each other off the face of the earth.‘
Richard Strange has just completed a hugely successful tour of Japan. Billed as The Doctors of Madness Live in Japan, Strange was accompanied by his longtime collaborator and soul-brother, David Coulter, and the Japanese three-piece band Sister Paul. The hour and a quarter long programme featured songs from all of the Doctors of Madness albums, and there are now plans to release a live album of the concerts.