When she was very young Maddie put on a pair of leg warmers and a Kids from Fame album and danced around the lounge to a mortified gathering of family and friends. It was the 1980’s so it wasn’t entirely unprecedented but it was clear that Maddie wasn’t going to be satisfied until she’d drawn attention to herself.
Inconsiderately nobody in Maddie’s family had bothered to become a famous musician so had nothing more to pass on to her than a love of music in all its forms: a bewildering mixture of traditional folk, heavy metal, 60’s pop, Hollywood show tunes and half-remembered cockney songs sung by her grandfather that sounded suspiciously like he made them up as he went along. Unsurprisingly the music Maddie went on to make displayed a variety of influence and she’s plied her trade in a number of genres. More surprising is that she didn’t end up in therapy aged 5 after her Dad repeatedly played ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ to her and then showed her the album cover.
Aged 17 Maddie joined a rock band as lead singer - massive perms and the willingness to wear Lycra and fringing were obligatory. Despite this they got Radio 1 airplay and legendary rock DJ, the late Tommy Vance, was a fan. All good things must come to an end however and after a couple of years, and after hearing Tori Amos’s Little Earthquakes, she decided she might have more fun on her own with a piano; what a freak. In order to give herself something to write about she travelled around the US by Greyhound bus for a few months: she has yet to write about the man that pursued her through NY Port Authority bus station trying to buy her shoes but she had enough material to create ‘Unlikely Prom Queen’. It had a lovely snapshot of her as a kid in flares on the cover. Her next release ‘Hollow’ had a black and white cover photograph, clearly demonstrating that this was a much more serious record, and by her 3rd album she wasn’t on the cover at all.
She’s been compared to Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega and Sarah McLachlan and lots of influential people have said nice things about her. Cellist Katherine Martin has been a long-standing collaborator and their music once prompted someone to say it displayed ‘an almost classical purity.’ Not sure what that means but it sounds good. Anyway, in the spirit of open-mindedness and independent thought you’re encouraged to go and have a listen for yourself and make up your own mind.
So, it’s 3 albums later and she’s back from her brief yet enlightening foray into the world of traditional folk (turns out it’s not all beards and smocks as her Dad had led her to believe) and she’s now working on her fourth album. This time she’s doing everything herself. She’s writing and performing all the songs, recording and engineering them in her own studio, creating the artwork, building the website and making the tea. She may even have written this biog in the third person which is, frankly, a bit weird.
You’re invited to come along and find out what happens next.
There's a slightly more serious version of the biography to read or download for press purposes here