Madam
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Madam

London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
18
Madam @ Servant Jazz Quarters

Bethnal Green, England, United Kingdom

Bethnal Green, England, United Kingdom

Oct
24
Madam @ Kasteli 1663

Pyrgos, Ionian Islands, Greece

Pyrgos, Ionian Islands, Greece

Oct
02
Madam @ St Moritz Club

London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom

Music

Press


"Ones to watch: Five of the best new acts"

Sukie Smith, better known as Madam, has a rare ability to combine the smoky, nocturnal atmospherics conjured by PJ Harvey or Portishead or the Velvet Underground with a pop sensibility that’s seen her compared to Goldfrapp. The amalgam is showcased on debut album In Case Of Emergency, a work of fragile beauty whose widescreen, slightly eerie quality has drawn comparisons to David Lynch – significantly or not, Smith herself apparently once worked as an actor. Either way, it sets her head and shoulders above the singer-songwriter masses, as individual a voice as Cat Power or her own label mate, Joan As Policewoman. And neither of their records boasts a windscreen wiper solo. - The Independent


"Album Review: Gone Before Morning 4/5 ****"

...The iron fist/velvet glove approach is also favoured by former EastEnders star Sukie Smith on her second album, Gone Before Morning (Shilling Boy, ****) as MADAM. Smith isn't just an actress playing at being a musician, however: a misfiring cover of Al Wilson's The Snake aside, it's compellingly gritty and haunting. - Q Magazine


"Madam: Gone Before Morning (review)"

Madam Gone Before Morning ****
Sukie Smith and band released this beguiling, seductive blend of triphop stealth, soundtrack atmospherics and skittering pop in 2009 for a short period only. Now re-tuned, the striking, smouldering sadness, beauty and erotic longing is out again and worth finding. - The Mirror


"Album Review: Gone Before Morning, 8/10"

Our Rating: 8/10 ********
There are times when I have mixed feelings about the way the music industry is fragmenting these days. Theoretically, the MySpace generation has instilled a new DIY-style Punk ethic and given artists the chance to promote themselves away from the clutches of ‘The Man’, but the sheer glut of new bands (singer/ songwriters especially) also ensures that some of the best new talent now simply slips through the cracks while we all download ourselves to death.

On a more positive note, some new artists have found tangibly exciting ways to present themselves. A good example is Sukie Smith, aka MADAM. Having established something like a base for herself with her debut album ‘In Case of Emergency’ in 2008, the momentum brought her to the attention of a high-end audio company called Bowers & Wilkins. They have a website-based music club, which afforded Smith the chance to record at Peter Gabriel’s renowned Real World studios in Wiltshire. In its’ initial form ‘Gone Before Morning’ was laid down there and given a limited edition release through the B&W website, garnering further critical acclaim.

From there, Smith sought further financial help from a website called Pledge Music which allows fans to provide financial assistance in return for a unique memento of the project. It gave her the final impetus to put the finishing touches to the new, improved version of the album we have here and the end results are certainly a fine testament to perseverance.

Because, for all its’ protracted incubation, ‘Gone Before Morning’ is a striking record. Adroitly avoiding pigeonholes, it speed dates Americana, Alt. Folk, Trip-Hop and sparse acoustic confessionals before heading gloriously off on its own unclaimed path and showing us that ye olde singer/ songwriter genre isn’t as washed up and exhausted as we may have thought.

Opener ‘You Lead, I Follow’ gives you some idea what to expect. Sparse and lonely and built around string bass, impatient drums, skeletal guitar and lowing cello, it’s the perfect vehicle for Smith’s sultry and yearning voice. Not too surprisingly, her voice has found reviewers referencing the likes of Hope Sandoval and Chan Marshall, though I also hear a little spooked Beth Gibbons and eerie Gemma Ray in there too. Actually, Smith’s ghostly, stripped-down takes of Al Wilson’s Northern soul classic ‘The Snake’ and Odyssey’s disco hit ‘If You’re Looking for a Way Out’ (previously handled with melancholic kid gloves by Tindersticks) are both redolent of the success Ray had with her deconstructed covers album ‘It’s a Shame About Gemma Ray’ last summer.

Elsewhere, Smith flits from opiated folk musings (‘Tar & Serpents’) to the sneaky, deceitful seduction (“I have to make trouble in my life”) inherent in ‘Cover The Ground’ and slips into full-on femme fatale mode on ‘Someone In Love’ (“did I say forever?/ well I was lying like someone in love”). All the songs are dreamy and floaty, but fall just the right side of ethereal. Riding on niggly rimshot-driven snare and fork-tongued basslines, ‘Marine Boy’ is even more murderous and strange, while Smith leaves us hanging beautifully with the glorious, aquatic torch song ‘Riding on The Waves’ where the sharks move in and literally scent blood. It’s a cliff-hanger and then some. We can only hope the air sea rescue snags her and gets her back to the studio on time.

Madam’s music is riddled with obsession, driven by desire and brings lust and revenge along to ride shotgun. If ‘In Case of Emergency’ was the sound of a fatalistic beauty being born, then ‘Gone Before Morning’ is the sound of that offspring learning to hustle, turn tricks and count the proceeds. But, God dammit, you’ll be drawn to the flame in spite of yourself. - Whisperin' & Hollerin'.com


"Live Review: Madam @ Union Chapel"

For those yet to encounter their darkly atmospheric sound, Madam is a musical vehicle for singer/guitarist/producer Sukie Smith, a striking amalgam of tousled hair, sparkly leggings, and knowing glances, all housed in a dominating presence.
The visual and aural impact of upbeat northern soul opener ‘The Snake’ brought to mind a 21st century, pop-tinged Patti Smith. Yet Sukie’s is a subtler, melodic punkishness, shed of its raucous energy and loutishness, but garnished with a certain sparkle. (And the comparison doesn’t end there: Madam perform a song called ‘Horses’ too.)
One might place Sukie somewhere between the lyrical and vocal anxiety of Martha Wainwright and a more wistful version of the feistiness that is Natalie Merchant. But whereas former 10,000 Maniacs’ vocalist calls out ‘hey’ and mourns the premature death of writer Jack Kerouac, Madam seem to set about recreating something of that jazz-infused coffeehouse atmosphere that so characterised Burroughs, Ginsberg and assorted stragglers of the beat generation. Dean Moriarty should have been propping up the bar, happy in the spiritual surroundings of Union Chapel.
Though comparisons to other female vocalists inevitably abound, the Madam front woman is equipped with a powerful yet sensitive voice and remains a unique figure. The vast majority of her songs are intimate affairs. Confessional rather than confrontational, Sukie gradually upgrades her whispery inter-song patter into low-key slow numbers like ‘Call America’ and the stand out ‘Superfast Highway’, and then really ups the attitude on more upbeat tracks, like ‘Calling for Love’.
With such an accomplished performance, the only disappointment of the evening was the short 11-song set. Other fantastic songs on Madam’s 2008 album In Case of Emergency, such as the innovative ‘Strange Love’, were seemingly prohibited by time restrictions.
A multi-talented artist, in 2007 Sukie took a detour into the film industry. After meeting director and fellow musician Tom Thywritt, Sukie was commissioned to write and performed the entire soundtrack of the feature film Hush Your Mouth, watching scenes over and over until, as she describes, “the dialogue became like poetry”.
Having supported the newly reformed Black Box Recorder at Queen Elizabeth Hall earlier this year, and garnered a succession of glowing critical reviews, Madam are surely poised for greater success.
Simon Riches - The Londonist


Discography

  • 2016 Back To The Sea Album | Release Pending
  • 2011 Gone Before Morning Album | Shilling Boy Records
  • 2008 Fall on Your Knees EP | Reveal Records
  • 2008 In Case Of Emergency Album | Reveal Records
  • 2007 Call America Single | Reveal Records

Photos

Bio

Madam is a five-piece London based band, fronted by charismatic singer-songwriter and composer Sukie Smith. Madam create nocturnal, intricate-yet-cinematic soundscapes with a pop sensibility; songs that are at once confessional and a call to arms. Bold songwriting alongside multi-talented band members means the band is able to create a unique musical landscape for each song, whether that be utilising the unorthodox - from a cello to a saw - or more conventional rock guitars and drums.

Madam makes music for the brave and the weak, full of both joy and melancholy; songs of love and death and the human condition. 

The band has amassed a loyal legion of fans at home and abroad, showcasing their smoky sound at intimate gigs and packed venues across Europe.

Recent press
"Contender for the noir niche occupied by Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star)...Madam is a real find!"  THE GUARDIAN, 4/5 ****
"Champions of sounds soft and subdued. the terrific madam favours sultry, slightly spooked and lusciously late-night americana noir" TIME OUT
"Beguiling seductive blend of triphop stealth soundtrack atmospherics and skittering pop..."  THE MIRROR

Band Members