Steve’s decade of Madness after learning to play sax

SAXOPHONIST Steve Turner might have entered the music industry later in life, but he has certainly made up for lost time.

After setting up a Madness tribute band The Los Palmas 6, the father-of-four was invited to play for Madness full-time, and spent eight years accompanying the British ska band as it travelled around the world.

Saxophonist Steve Turner

Saxophonist Steve Turner

Steve, of Cissbury Road, Ferring, did not pick up a saxophone until he was 30. He said: “A friend of mine used to teach and asked me to have a lesson ten years before I ended up doing so but as soon as I started, I gave up my job as a financial adviser straight away.

“I absolutely loved it and knew that I no longer wanted to be doing a normal job. I took a classical music course at college in 1995.

“My first band was called The Last Word, which was a soul band but I was one member of the bass section and was looking for something that featured the saxophone more heavily. Because Madness is a party band, it seemed like a good idea to start a tribute.

“The line-up has changed a lot but the band is still going strong now and we have done hundreds of gigs all around the world.

It was while performing as part of The Los Palmas 6 that Steve was introduced to Lee Thompson, the saxophonist from Madness.

“We were playing at the Brighton Dome and suddenly this bloke got up on stage and stood right in front of me, then I realised who it was,” he said.

“I gave him my saxophone and he played a couple of songs with us which was excellent fun and also good for the band. I told him that it was only fair that I played with his band, too. This happened at Guildfest when Madness was headlining.”

For the full story, pick up a copy of this week’s paper, out tomorrow.