MadnessCathal Smyth releases his debut solo album A Comfortable Man on May 4.
Smyth is better known by his Madness alias Chas Smash, but the album is being released under his real name.

It’s produced by Aztec Camera bassist Paul Powell, Alt-J producer Charlie Andrew and Professor Green producer Felix Quine. Veteran Madness producer Alan Winstanley mixed the album. String arrangements are by Joe Duddell, who has previously worked with Elbow and Richard Hawley.

Smyth began working on the album in 2005, after going into rehab in Arizona following the end of his 28-year relationship with his wife. Smyth wrote the song Are The Children Happy? at the clinic, explaining: “It was an epiphany. I didn’t even know what chords I was playing.”

Smyth previewed songs from the album last year at Festival No 6 and a headline show at London’s Wilton’s Music Hall. He said: “After every song, my heart was in my throat. I thought ‘Why didn’t I do this before?’ That gave me the belief to finally pursue a solo career.”

The opening song You’re Not Alone is available as a free download from www.cathalsmyth.co.uk
Meanwhile, Madness and Rudimental are to play an intimate charity gig at a suite at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on March 12 in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK. Suggs has been the patron of the charity for three years, after his wife’s sister Alannah died from the disease. Suggs said: “Alannah’s death came as a huge shock to us all. At her wake, we vowed to do something to help research, and I’ll do all I can to support the charity.”
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Tickets are from www.thegigcompany.org/events/pcuk2015/
Standard £160 tickets include a three-course dinner and half-bottle of wine per person. Gold £500 tickets include access to the soundcheck, seating next to the stage, free drink, a reception with celebrities and former Arsenal players and a tour of the stadium with a former Arsenal player.

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