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Lee Thompson (saxophonist)


Lee Thompson (saxophonist)

Lee Thompson (left) and Chas Smash on stage in 2009

Lee Jay Thompson (born 5 October 1957, London), nicknamed Kix or El Thommo, is an English musician, best known as the saxophonist and songwriter of the second wave ska band, Madness.[1]

Thompson started Madness with Mike Barson and Chris Foreman in 1976, and wrote the group's debut single, "The Prince". Among the other songs, he wrote or co-wrote the singles "Embarrassment", "House of Fun" and "Uncle Sam". His experiences of being a petty criminal and serving time in borstal in his youth inspired his lyrics for "Land of Hope and Glory" and "One's Second Thoughtlessness", the latter an unusual diversion into synthpop for the group, and for both of which he performs lead vocals. He also sings the vocals on his own composition Razor Blade Alley which was a regular inclusion in early Madness shows.

According to Madness' drummer, Daniel Woodgate,

"Lee is not bound by the English language, but he is a great songwriter. He writes from the heart and expresses himself in a way that other songwriters can't. He's a very poetic writer who ignores the rules."

After Madness disbanded in 1986, he formed a new band The Madness with Foreman, Suggs and Chas Smash, but they broke up after releasing one album in 1988.

Thompson then joined forces with Foreman, and the pair began to write songs. They soon recorded an album at Liquidator Studios with Thompson on vocals and saxophone and Foreman playing the other instruments. This album included the song "Magic Carpet", which was co-written with Suggs and originally intended to be included on a Madness album. When it came to promoting their debut album, they found they needed to form a group and also decide on a name. Due to an error at the printers, the band name and album title were accidentally switched, and they started off as The Nutty Boys. The album was re-released in 2002, and the mistake was rectified, with the group now known as Crunch!

Thompson reunited with all seven original Madness members in 1992, and still plays with them today. He can also be seen fronting and playing sax with a covers band called The Camden Cowboys.

Thompson founded The Dance Brigade with Keith Finch in 2007, and they were soon joined by Jennie Matthias of The Belle-Stars. The other musicians came from projects that they had all been involved in.

Thompson was featured floating while playing a red, white, and blue-colored saxophone in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Thompson often performs shows with his new band, The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra who formed in 2011 and released the album 'The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius' in 2013, from which they released the single 'Fu Man Chu' ft. Bitty McLean and, in Feb 2014, will release the follow up single 'Bangarang' ft. Dawn Penn and Sharon Shannon.[2]

Lee Thompson is married to Debbie (née Fordham) and they have three children called Tuesday, Daley and Kye.


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography: Madness".  
  2. ^ "the lee thompson ska orchestra". Under The Bridge. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 

External links

  • The Dance Brigade Official MySpace
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