As we get ever closer to the end of January we’re starting to see things in the world of Madness pick up once more. While news is still on the light side it is starting to slowly increase.
First-up, and it’s exciting news for fans based in Spain as this week the band revealed two Spanish dates. Madness would be performing at Plaza De Toros, Murcia on the 26th June and on the 28th at the Festival Jardins de Pedralbes, Barcelona. Both of these dates have been added to our ever-growing list of 2020 dates in our “Showtimes” section. Do check it out.
Next, and we’re learned that a certain Mr. Thompson has been hard at work on his very own biography. Written in conversation with Ian Snowball we understand that this is now complete and has a working title of “Growing Out of it”.
Naturally, as soon as we learn anything further about this we’ll let you know. We have a feeling this will end up in many a stocking this coming Christmas should it see the light of day in 2020!
This past week Lee appeared on the panel for BBC TV show “Pointless”. If you were lucky enough to get along we’d love to hear how the recording went. Do please email us with the info. We’d be only too happy to print it.
Also this week, Nick Woodgate announced that he has a new band name which promises eventual live events. Check out our MIS Feature for more information.
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 819 – Sunday 18th January to Saturday 24th January 2015
This issue we turned our spotlight on to one John Hasler as we brought you news of his return to the music scene with two gigs in London in February.
Ahead of gigs by The Skiff Skats (the band he’s in), we brought you the full lowdown on this raucous cow punk skiffle Hillbilly group, detailing the band’s history, including the plethora of Madness men and moments who’d been involved in the band back 30 years prior, during their hoe down hey day.
We urged you to kick back some moonshine and read on The Return of The Skiff Skats, as we caught-up with band member Robert Smith, and talked of rediscovered music by the band.
Perhaps this would persuade you to check them out at The Dublin Castle in February.
Over in our “Showtimes” section this month we reported that a charity “Suggs and Friends” event had been announced for the Emirates Stadium on the 12th of March and that Clive Langer’s group (Clang Group) has released two dates in February.
With the first Skiff Skats gigs due to take place for many a year our MIS Feature (and the majority of the issue) was packed with a detailed history of the band. We learned that Carl and lee were a permanent part of the band in the early days and that even one Mark Bedford had jumped on stage at least once or twice, too!
On to our “Specialized” section, and we reported that a bundle of Signed 80s Madness T-Shirts kind donated by Lee were already fetching £300 and the auction still had another week to run! All proceeds would go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
We finished with the news that this week the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra performed a corporate gig at the Grange Hotel in St Pauls. Darren Fordham posted about what an honour it was to sing a couple of Madness tunes with the band for a change at this event. It Must Be Love, Embarrassment, Night Boat, and Madness were the tracks performed.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 559 – Sunday 17th January – Saturday 23rd January 2010
In the early days of the online Madness movement trying to obtain news of what the band were up to was nigh-on impossible. Most of the time all we’d have to go on were rumours, and if we wanted something official we’d have to do some serious digging or email the band directly and wait for some juicy tidbits to land in our mailbox.
By this point things couldn’t be more different. With the band having an extremely supportive management team, in the form of Anglo Management, and a devoted record label, in the form of Union Square Music, news was pretty much handed to us on a plate.
Thankfully, a few bits were still kept under wraps by the band, their management and record label until the last minute, ensuring that at least some things were a surprise to us all.
This week the ever helpful Steve Bunyan, of Union Square Music had been in touch with details of the next two Madness album re-releases, which took the form of Absolutely and Seven. We had full tracklistings of both new albums in this very issue, along with the proposed release date.
As well as this album re-release information, Steve was kind enough to reveal that at present Rise & Fall and Keep Moving were scheduled in for June, with Wonderful and The Madness pencilled in for August.
Steve was unable to give us a release date for the Mad Not Mad re-issue, explaining that Union Square were busy enough with working on the above releases.
He finished by revealing that a new box set was under discussion for later in the year, but wouldn’t give us any further information.
Like the rest of you, we had to sit tight and wait for more news to surface on this one.
In other news we reported on Retro Madness’ deal of the week. This week’s offer was for the nickel and red enamel Madness 7 badge sold by the MIS fan club (no relation to this unofficial email newsletter) back in the 1980s. This had been reduced to a ridiculously low price of £2.50, including postage and packing. These were hand made by the legendary badge makers Dial-a-Style.
Originally contracted by Stiff Records to make badges in the late 1970s, their production line went into overdrive with the arrival of Madness on the scene and a full range of official designs were produced for them between 1980 and 1984.
These badges were not simply mass produced by machine but required a whole series of specialist techniques for the production of each individual badge. Retro-Madness had the last remaining stock of these, acquired following the closure of the MIS fan club in the mid 80s.
Moving on, and we asked if you were one of those people who had yet to purchase the recently released 30th Anniversary Madness Tribute album. If you were, there was now an online sampler for you to listen to before you parted with your cash.
We brought this issue to a close with a mix of sad and good news. The sad news was that after nine years the Madness Trading Ring group over on Yahoo Groups would close on the 18th January. With traffic declining on the group and the moderators concentrating on the Madness Central web site, it was decided to bring the curtain down on this once bustling site. The good news was that you were pointed in the direction of the Madness Central web site, with its forum which was going from strength to strength.
15 years ago…
Issue number 297 – Sunday 16th January to Saturday 22nd January 2005
This past week played host to two Madness birthdays – Suggs’ on the 13th celebrated his 44th, and Carl on the 14th celebrated his 46th.
Fans sent a mass of birthday wishes to both Suggs and Carl via the official Madness web site message board and the forum over on the chassmash.com site.
It was over at chassmash.com that Carl gave a short thank you to the well wishers;
Are there any of you in the Liverpool area? I also will be releasing some information regarding projects..it is going to be a busy year…more news shortly………
Thank you for the birthday greetings…..I am a very content man with a beautiful wife, lovely children, and a great life and I am so very grateful…I am over the moon and have bought a spaceship……….with the warmest of intentions
In time honoured tradition we promised to keep you updated if we heard anything more about these `projects` he mentioned.
With very little to report on this week Jonathan Young had spent his time typing up an article from a recent copy of The Daily Mail, which was giving Radio 2’s collaboration with The Brits a good grilling.
Organised to coincide with The Brits 25th Anniversary the organisers had put together a list of singles from down the years, which the paper had described as “staggeringly banal”.
Our Mr. Young clearly agreed with this, and had decided to put together his alternative selection of singles that he felt should have been in the list instead.
Elsewhere, and Madness Trading Ring subscriber, Kevin Tizzard, continued to dig around his collection for more unreleased gems for you to sample. This week Kev he’d kindly uploaded the following tracks:
Mistakes (Live in Boston 1980) and the Tomorrow’s Just Another Day Studio Demo.
Moving on, we ran our semi-regular “Mimics of Madness” article, where we listed forthcoming gig dates for One Step Behind, One Step Below, Los Palmas 6 and Badness. With the band either in the studio or taking a well earned rest, these tribute acts would be the only way for you to get a slice of live Madness until the real deal took to the stage once again.
We finished off this issue with a quick reminder that `Like Father Like Son` off-shoot band, `JAG`, would be performing at the famous `Bull and Gate`, Kentish Town, on Saturday 22nd January. The guys would be on stage at 8:00pm, with entry at a mere £4.00.
20 years ago…
Issue number 35 – Sunday 16th January to Saturday 22nd January 2000
A number of Madness fan-sites had closed their doors over the past couple of months, so it was nice when out of nowhere, one appeared.
The latest person to try his hand at website creation was none other than mad Scottie, Colin Galbraith with his `Magnificent Seven` site.
Colin told us that `It’s 100% Madness and 100% Scottish`.
Following on from last week’s issue listing the Complete Madness up and coming gigs, the band had been inundated with e-mails from numerous subscribers. The band are really appreciative of the fantastic response and promised that they would attempt to reply to everyone who’s mailed them in due course.
It’d taken a while, but the ill-updated MIS Online website had finally broken the 5000 hit barrier thanks to the elusive Mr. G.
Here’s the man himself;
“I was wondering if I get a prize for being the 5000th hitster to your MIS Online website?”.
Unfortunately, apart from having the accolade of being the 5000th visitor, we didn’t have anything to give him.
Way back in 1986, Madness took part in Denmark’s “Roskilde Festival” where they played their set in the rain in front of thousands of adoring fans. At this moment in time the bands for the 2000 festival are were still be sorted out, and one Danish Maddie, Johan Edgren had decided that Madness MUST be persuaded to return. The organisers were currently compiling all suggestions sent in and would attempt to contact any bands who received enough votes as a result of their internet poll.
Onto video news now, and we were recently informed that during last year’s `Maddest Show on Earth` tour, a certain Mr. Lee Thompson was out and about capturing video footage with the idea of uploading it to the official website sometime in 2000. The film contained footage of the tour, both on stage and behind the scenes. Footage of the soundcheck at the Bournemouth gig had been shot, and a number of fans were filmed by Lee holding banners which read “We want Lee for our leader”.
On to this week’s articles, and we started off by taking a look at issue 5 of the Mad Not Mad fanzine, and explained why you should invest in a subscription. Moving on, and we had a look at merchandise for Madness tribute band One Step Behind, and why you should really think about adding their bits to your collection.
A new Madness rarities album was the order of the day elsewhere in this issue. Entitled ‘First Step Beyond’, this unofficial release contained tracks that any self discerning Madness fan would want to add to their collections. Limited to 1000 copies, and no re-runs in the pipeline, this was one album you’d be wanting to track down as soon as possible.
We finished off this week’s issue with news from Mark Bedford. Mark had been kind enough to dig out the contact details of Winterland, the company behind the merchandise from the recent Christmas tour.
Many of you had asked how you could get hold of items that were originally on sale at the Maddest Show on Earth tour, and Mark was only too happy to help.
The Jo Jo Man Band
Earlier this week Nick Woodgate announced he had a new band name and also promised eventual live events.
The JoJo Man Band is Nick Woodgate’s vehicle for his music. Played by himself and out of this world musicians; namely Tim Maple and Accy Yeats who play all the complicated bits, and more.
Nick’s brother is Woody the drummer of the band Madness. Nick has co-written 6 songs that appear on albums by Madness, including the single ‘Another Version of Me’ In 2010 Nick and Woody formed the band the Magic Brothers and released their debut album ‘The Magic Line’ in 2013 to much acclaim. Nick and Woody continued to write and in 2015 Woody released his solo album of songs Nick and Woody wrote together called ‘In Your Mind’.
Nick started playing guitar and piano at the age of seven, and with his brother formed his first band ‘Steel Erection’ at the age 12. At 14 Nick studied classical guitar with professor Oliver Hunt and soon got Grade 6 Theory and Grade 8 Practical Guitar Playing.
Nick’s whole extended family are either musicians or work in the arts. Nick’s Grandad Erik Ogden started life playing violin to accompany silent movies and later had his own orchestral band and spent most of his life as a conductor for variety shows.
Nick’s other Grandad was also a conductor: Leslie Woodgate received the OBE for services to music. Leslie lead the BBC Chorus.
After reading all that we checked out the “Events” section of the site, but unfortunately there’s nothing shown at the moment. If Nick and his Jo Jo Man Band do decide to book in some live shows we’ll be sure to let you know.