Not exactly ‘rocking the Casbah’ is it? If you think Madness is selling you a parody of Strummer & Co’s biggest hit, well, this actually predates the Clash single by three years. So you can credit them for coming up with the whole ‘English punkers taking the piss out of the Arab world’ thing first. If Madness had a reputation on the socially conscious ska scene for being resolutely goofy and giving no fucks, they took it to the next level with this video. This may well be the drunkest, most unabashedly zero-budget, chaotic music video ever filmed – and consequently one of the most delightful. Let’s also give them a hand for keeping it on-theme without resorting to any standby racism. They’re not so much taking the piss out of the great nation of Egypt, more making fun of themselves for being silly drunk Englishmen with skinny white legs. One should never miss a chance to take a potshot at the absurdity of British colonialism.
Happy 54th birthday, Suggs!