This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 818 – Sunday 11th January to Saturday 17th January 2015
We were only a couple of weeks into a brand new year, but news surrounding the next stage of band developments were already starting to surface as these compiled set of Tweets from Suggs revealed;
“Yes. Happy new year campers, batten down the hatches. That old moon river keeps rolling along. Madness preparing buffet of new songs/tour.
Announcements forthcoming. We have just recorded a song called ‘rag and bone man’ in Ray Davies studios muswell hill. The onslaught begins.”
Naturally, we promised to bring you news on further developments as and when they surfaced.
Over in “Sign of the Times” we featured a snippet of an interview with Cathal which had originally appeared in the February edition of Mojo magazine.
The introductory text called Carl Cosmic reborn Cathal Smyth, and covered the emotional nature of the A Comfortable Man record, and divorce, rehab and healing. it then added a further element to the events, revealing the shaman assisted mystical trip Carl took using “hallucinogenic Amazonian plant ayahuasca” in Ibiza. He later in the article called this an “Epiphany” in relation to a question about his family role in Madness, saying he didn’t know,” the myth and story falls away”.
Elsewhere, and it was on to the final part our three part series where we looked back at the highs and lows of 2014. This week we covered September to December.
Our “MIS Feature” this week covered Suggs’ recent appearance on TV show “QI”, which airs on BBC2. We provided you with a brief lowdown of the show and even included a link to a short YouTube clip.
We brought this issue to a close by reporting that the Mad Not Cancer Specialized 3 album had one the RSS Album of the Year award, and that Darren Fordham’s band “Reece” would be supporting Lee Thompson’s band The Silencerz this coming February.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 558 – Sunday 10th January – Saturday 16th January 2010
With most of us deciding to stay home and hibernate during the current extended cold snap, it was nice to hear that a few of the more hardy members of the Madness fanbase and band itself had decided to venture out to last night’s screening of the new Ian Dury movie, at Camden Town Cinema.
Lee Thompson was amongst the crowd, accompanied by a few cans that he’d managed to smuggle in. He was quoted as saying that the film wasn’t anything new, but added “It really gave me the inspiration to do a Take it or Leave it Part 2”. We told you at the time not to get too excited as we really couldn’t see it happening.
Mad fans, including Jon young, Stuart Wright, Chris Carter-Pegg, Alan Halford, Yvonne Knock and Emma Southerby enjoyed the movie. Jon told us that “it’s like Take it Or Leave it meets Walk the line, with a small touch of a Scooby Doo cartoon”.
On to the articles, and we kicked things off with news of the latest offer from Retro Madness. This week’s offer was for an original Madness 7 poster from 1981 of the famous ‘Rising Sun’ post. The price for this? £2.99 including postage and packing. What a bargain.
Moving on, and we went over to The Inflatables, a band celebrating their 30th anniversary. The band needed your help as they attempted to get their cover of classic Madness track “One Better Day” into the UK music charts. All you had to do was log in to iTunes and purchase their track for a mere 79p.
Next we passed things over to Spike The Bulldog, who pointed us in the direction of Ian Dury singing a classic Ian Dury number.
It was on to tribute bands next, as we reported that not content with being the drummer in North London outfit “MOT”, he’d now also joined “Big 10; a 10 piece ska band who did covers of Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners, The Beat, The Selecter and all the classic 2Tone and Ska tracks.
We had a request next, as resident MIS statistician Paul Rodgers, was asking if anyone reading the bulletins had access to the top 100 album charts for the mid 90s when Divine Madness was doing so well. He was quietly confident that he had a few more chart positions for Divine that he felt the urge to record.
There seemed to be Faceboo groups for anything and everything these days, but when we received an invite to join the “Spasticus Autisticus for no. 1 in the week of 27th March” group it brought a smile to our otherwise miserable faces.
The plan was, as the group name suggests, to buy Spasticus Autisticus from iTunes, Amazon and everywhere else during the week of the 14th – 20th March, in the hope it’ll get the track to number one in the UK music charts.
We brought this issue to a close with news from the latest issue of Mojo magazine, who reported that Chas Smash was working on a forthcoming Dubstep album.
15 years ago…
Issue number 296 – Sunday 9th January to Saturday 15th January 2005
You’d be forgiven for thinking that there was little going on in the world of Madness, as both the band and their fans seemed to have all gone into hiding.
Whilst we didn’t deny that things were certainly sedate, a closer look revealed that things were still plodding on.
The majority of the band had been busy updating the contents behind their doors on the official web site, and a number of messages on the messageboard had also been answered. The band were clearly still there but deciding to either take it easy, or were busy working on the new album, due out that Easter.
Like the band, the fans had been pretty much keeping a low profile over the past few weeks, but a number were proving that they were clearly wide awake and on the continual lookout for all things Madness related, with Chris Mountain and Andrew Langmead managing to find even BBC2’s darts coverage worth mentioning.
Here’s what Chris and Andrew had to say;
“Mountain Boy back again with some trivia for we anoraks :
On the telly yesterday afternoon, (Saturday) the darts was on BBC2. I don’t ever watch darts , I was at somebody else’s house. Honest.
It’s a bit like the wrestling/boxing these days, a bloke introduces them and they march onto stage to the music. Each dart player has their own theme tune.
Well, this dart player called “The Dazzler” was introduced. He came on stage to One Step Beyond doing the Madness walk and dance. His shirt had some ska bloke type logo on the back and had, I kid thee not, the Madness “M” logo on the front. (not the old one with the hat but the new one with the crown ).
All his fans in the audience were dressed up in the ska way white shirts/black tie or vice versa with pork pie hats and shades. They were all dancing away nattily to the music. The cameras were lapping it up. The BBC commentator , just paused and said…….. “Its Madness!”
It certainly was.
If you cant make it to see The Dangermen , go and see the darts!”
Chris, like us here at MIS Online was obviously not a darts enthusiast, and so Andrew Langmead provided us with a bit of background information on this televised pub game…
“The chap in question is called Darryl Fitton and he’s a huge Madness fan. Maybe he’s even on this list? I think he’s from Manchester and he bears a passing resemblance to Mr Barson.
Unfortunately he was beaten in yesterday’s semi-final by Raymond Van Barvevelt of the Netherlands (who just happens to be the world’s No. 1 player), so we won’t be seeing him in action again today. Shame, because it was nice to see all the nutty boys and girls in the audience.
With so much work going on behind the ‘door’ of each band members’ section of the official web site we decided to take a look at just what additions had been made to each area. It turned out that all but Suggs and Lee had updated their areas. Suggs’ hadn’t been updated in a long time, and Lee’s page was sadly blank.
Following his recent uploading of unreleased Madness tracks, Kevin Tizzard had done it again by making further material available.
This week Kevin had kindly uploaded an MP3 of `Dazed and Confused`.
As he rightly pointed out at the time, “This is a slightly alternative mix to the renamed ‘So Tired’ on the TPC album”.
The mix was taken from Suggs’ `Three Pyramids Club` 4-track sampler.
Not content with making one extra track available he’d also uploaded an alternative version of `Our Man`, also from the `Three Pyramids Club` 4-track sampler.
We finished off this issue with news of the next MOT gig, which was due to take place at The Bull and Gate, Kentish Town, on Saturday 15th of January, and an update on the new MIS web site, which was being worked on by Simon (Roberts).
20 years ago…
Issue number 34 – Sunday 9th January to Saturday 15th January 2000
We’d all seemed to have scraped through into the year 2000 without much (if any) disruption caused by the so-called `Millennium Bug`, but it seemed that we were still not completely safe from crashes to our computer networks. This week, the TMML list server was playing up, and for a day or so, nothing arrived on the list. As usual, Jenny Payne managed to keep a large number of us informed with the goings on via her own emergency e-mail list. How was that for service?
Elsewhere, the MIS hard drive decided to wave a big goodbye, and so we spent the majority of the weekend, installing new hardware and software, when we should have been putting the new issue together.
We were sure that the news that Madness were to play in Belgium couldn’t have passed you by, and all those of you living in mainland Europe were probably already making plans to get there in August. Well, unfortunately if you did venture off to Belgium then, you wouldn’t be catching Madness as they weren’t playing there. As soon as the news went out, we mailed Bedders and asked him if there was any truth behind these rumours to which he replied that there wasn’t, as they had nothing booked.
On a more positive note, subscriber Suzanne Gilmour contacted us to say that on the Virgin Radio website, Madness were voted `Band of the Year`.
Moving on, and Bedders was kind enough to drop us a quick email to let us know that if all went to plan, the third single would be (as the majority of us knew), `Drip Fed Fred`. This would hopefully see the light of day sometime in February.
Although suffering from poor health, a number of new Ian Dury and The Blockheads dates had been announced for Norwich UEA on the 4th of February and The Palladium on the 6th. Both of these were with the proviso that Ian was well enough to perform.
In this issue the articles were a review of the Bournemouth International Centre gig which took place on Friday 17th December, a lengthy write-up (complete with gig dates) of Madness tribute Complete Madness, written by band sax player, Chris Halford.
Elsewhere, subscriber Chris Byrne had been kind enough to post up the bullet points which popped-up during the “Pop up Video” screening of It Must be Love, and not to be outdone by Complete Madness, One Step Behind also had a mass of dates to pass our way, which we were only too pleased to publish.
This issue finished off with Ian Taylor (of Mad Not Mad fanzine) reviewing Johnny The Horse, You’re Wonderful, I Was The One and Dreaming Man.
That’s just about it for this week.
If you’re going to see Lee’s recording of “Pointless” on the 15th then please email in and let us know how it went. The rest of us would love to know what went on.