Chris Foreman (Madness)

Best knwn as the guitarist with British second wave ska band Madness Chris Foreman, was born 8 August 1956, London. nicknamed ‘Chrissy Boy’, Foreman started Madness with Mike Barson and Lee Thompson in 1976. Foreman was one of the group’s main songwriters, mostly writing music with other members, usually Suggs or Lee Thompson, providing the lyrics. After Madness disbanded in 1986 he formed a new band The Madness with Thompson, Suggs and Chas Smash but they broke up after releasing one album. Then he, alongside Thompson, created another group called The Nutty Boys with Thompson on lead vocals. They released an album called Crunch! in 1990. The band are now known as Crunch!, and play in London every couple of years.

Madness formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s 2 Tone ska revival, they continue to perform with their most recognised line-up of seven members.Madness achieved most of their success in the early to mid-1980s. Both Madness and UB40 spent 214 weeks on the UK singles charts over the course of the decade, holding the record for most weeks spent by a group in the 1980s UK singles charts. However, Madness achieved this in a shorter time period (1980–1986).Madness have had one UK number one single, with “House of Fun” and; two number ones in Ireland, “House of Fun” and “Wings of a Dove”.Foreman reunited with all seven original Madness members in 1992, but in 2005 announced that he was leaving the band. However, on Thursday 30 November 2006 it was confirmed that Foreman was returning to play on Madness’ forthcoming UK Christmas tour, and he has been with the band ever since.The same year he moved out of his Kentish Town home, settling in Brighton with his wife Melissa and three children.

In 2006, Foreman began using a mobile phone attached to his guitar to record short videos from his position on stage during live Madness performances to provide fans with a unique perspective from the “guitar’s eye view”. He coined the term “Axecam” to describe this filming technique. By December 2008, he had acquired a higher quality digital video camera which he attached to the shoulder strap of his guitar using an “Axecam holder”, crafted by a member of the stage crew just before Madness went on stage at the O2 Arena on 19 December 2008. The new “Axecam” produced a far more stable picture and Foreman posted the first video from this performance (“It Must Be Love”) to the MadnessStudio2008 Channel on YouTube on 20 December 2008. Foreman also maintains a series of videos made with the Axecam entitled “Chrissy Boy Meets And Greets…”, in which he meets famous people that have either appeared alongside Madness at festivals, or that have attended awards ceremonies with Madness. Stars featured have included: Dizzee Rascal, Al Murray, Plan B, Alex James, Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn, former Madness singer/drummer/ manager John Hasler, all 6 members of the reformed Specials, ex-Bodysnatcher and Madness collaborator Rhoda Dakar, Martin Freeman, Eamonn Holmes, Jeremy Clarkson, Lulu, Peter Andre, and an Elvis Presley lookalike security guard from Australia.

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