This week Suggs and a Fat Boy Slim stepped aboard an ice cream van in the middle of winter. The Reason? To give away 100 free tickets (and ice cream!) to this summer’s Hi-Tide Festival which takes place in Margate in July.
The event which takes place on the 4th and 5th of July is expected to host over 15,000 festival goers. Fat Boy Slim headlines the 4th while Madness headline 5th July.
The supporting bill is expected to be announced this coming week.
Tickets, which includes entry and free rides on all the fairground rides all day, range in price from £72.50 for one day ticket to £130 for the whole weekend – are set to go on sale at 9am on Friday, January 31.
Check out our Showtimes and Sign of the Times sections for more information. A new gig date has also been announced for the 27th June in Valencia Spain. The 2020 gig calendar is now starting to look rather impressive!
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 820 – Sunday 25th January to Saturday 31st January 2015
Last week we kicked off the issue with coverage of The Skiff Skatts, this week it was the turn of one Woody Woodgate to bask in the intro text glory.
Here’s what Woody had to say;
“Finally finished mixing my latest album. Songs written by my brother Nick and I, but with a great new backing band and lead singer Dan Shears. Artwork, and Woody Woodgate website almost ready.
Watch this space.”
This new, post Magic Brothers band having two Dans lead our own Paul Rodgers to ponder if the new line up would be called “Duodan Duodan”. Well, we at least reckoned the album would have “Something”, you should know if you heard the new material aired at last year’s previous line up at the Dublin Castle.
Naturally, we promised to feature more on the Woody Woodgate band as soon as we’d heard anything further.
Over in Live Intensified regular MIS columnist Daren West gives us a write-up of two halves. Part one covered the Blockheads gig which took place on Friday 19th December at The Jazz Cafe in Camden Town. The second part featured the following day and a write-up of his pre-gig meet and greet of the band at the London O2; a prize he’d won in a recent charity auction. The article was appropriately entitled “From Blockhead to M.A.D.H.E.A.D”.
Moving on, and we next reported that Retro Madness were having special half price sale. You could purchase an official bowling bag, part of socks or knitted scarf, from the 2010 tour all at half price. What’s more was if you spent £10 you’d get free UK postage!
Our MIS Feature for this issue was an exclusive interview with Robert Smith of the Skiff Skats. Robert kindly took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us and answer a selection of questions we’d fired in his direction.
We brought this issue to a close by reporting that the Lee Thompson signed T-Shirt collection auction only had three days left to run. Currently, the top bid stood at a whopping £300!
10 years ago…
Issue Number 560 – Sunday 24th January – Saturday 30th January 2010
We got this issue underway with a feature covering the latest special offer from Retro Madness. To coincide with the release of the band’s latest single “Forever Young”, this week’s special offer was for an official 1 track promo of Forever Young, complete with an A4 press release sheet. The price for this little gem of a pack was £9.99 including postage and packing.
Next, and we re-published an article which had originally appeared on the Retro Madness web site. The article explained that the Maddie Mobile designed for the West End stage production of the Our House musical (2002 – 2003) had resurfaced in the Hackney Empire’s 2009/2010 pantomime Aladdin… sprayed pink!
All those Madness collectors who might have dreamed of one day having the fully mechanised Maddie Mobile parked securely in their garage, would have to think again, as the former Maddie Mobile was now being used as Widow Twankey’s runaround !
Moving on, and it was over to the French MIS team who reported that Madness played 4 tracks live on a show called “One Shot Not” on Arte TV. Aired on the 21st of January, the session was recorded in October of 2009.
The show featured an intervuew along with perfomances of Our House, Dust Devil, Forever Young and Night Boat.
If you’d missed it the French MIS team had been kind enough to provide download links for you.
It was on to MOT news next as we were pleased to report that “Smoke in the Garden”, the long awaited new album from the band, had just been released. Realising money was tight at the moment the band were letting you download the album for free! What gents.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that a Retro Madness Facebook group had recently been set up and already boasted a respectable 270 members. If you’d not joined perhaps it was time you did.
15 years ago…
Issue number 298 – Sunday 23rd January to Saturday 29th January 2005
We started off this week’s collection of articles with a nice piece from Graham Hewson, who was kind enough to review the recent JAG gig which took place at The Dublin Castle on Friday the 7th of January.
Graham had knocked-up a glowing review of the evening’s performance, and finished by saying that he recommended we all went to see them as soon as possible.
Moving on, and in the next article we advised fans to head over to the ChasSmash.com web site, where seven tracks, recorded at The Velvet Ghost Sessions between the 25th and 29th of September 2000 had been made available for download.
The seven tracks in question were:
– We are Love
– As Stars Above
– Bewdley Street
– My Heart is True
– The Weak and The Strong
– This Friend I know
– Welcome to The Darkside
Following last week’s roundup of Madness tribute bands and their forthcoming gigs, we asked you to send in details for any other Madness tribute outfits you knew of. A number of you were happy to oblige, and so this issue featured gig listings for Complete Madness, and This R Two Tone.
Keeping with the tribute band coverage, we moved on with an in-depth review of a recent One Step Below gig at Bristol’s Fleece and Firkin.
We’d originally seen the band almost two years prior to this gig, and came back with a less than favourable review. Things had changed over the past two years, and this time we were pleased to give the band a rave review.
The band played a fantastic set, running at just over an hour and a half. The `Greatest Hits` were (of course) churned out, but it was nice to hear a number of tracks that are rarely performed live by the `real` Madness, such as `Uncle Sam`, and the excellent `Los Palmas 7`, which the crowd really appreciated.
We finished this issue with news that Simon Roberts was progressing very well with the new MIS site revamp. The MIS back-issue search was pretty much up and running, and we were looking to start testing some of the features of the new site over the next week or so.
20 years ago…
Issue number 36 – Sunday 23rd January to Saturday 29th January 2000
If everything went according to plan, it wouldn’t be long before us fans would have the next Madness single, Drip Fed Fred, in our greasy hands. With a release date pencilled in for the 14th of Feb, it’s launch was looking promising. The video on the other hand was looking far more uncertain, as we’d received news that Virgin would not be financing the next video, and that the Lee and Mike would be scripting and making it themselves.
Comedian, Phil Jupitus who supported the band during `The Maddest Show on Earth` tour was being drafted in to play the part of `Reverend Greene` in the new video, whilst Ian Dury would be seen whisked around in a wheelchair. The general plot would see Ian (who plays the part of `Fred`) having a bad day by receiving some terrible news and then winning the lottery.
Apparently Virgin were a bit concerned because with only 3 weeks to go till the release, the video had yet to be shot.
As we got ever-closer to the release of `Drip Fed Fred`, it looked like the Madness media machine was starting to increase in activity once more. The almighty Vincent Carden reported that The Magnificent Seven would be appearing on this Saturday’s edition of the BBC’s `National Lottery` programme. Yes, the program was crap, but with our boys on there, you’d be a fool to miss it.
Following the almost non-existence of any Madness advertising for `Johnny the Horse` and `Wonderful`, both products did nowhere near as well as they should.
With the next Madness single, `Drip Fed Fred/Elysium` due for a February release date the online Madness community had made up their minds to make this a success.
A Madness advertising campaign had recently got off the ground thanks to its two ringleaders on the Total Madness Mailing List, Rob W and the infamous Wee Stoo.
They seemed to have a lot planned already. Apparently radio stations were to be bugged, national and local newspapers were to be informed that a band of fans were taking the promotion of a new single into their own hands.
Other plans consisted of strategic placing of `Vote For Fred` posters in and around UK towns including bus stops, car-parks and shops.
Further plans were for persistent requests to regional radio stations asking them to air `Drip Fed Fred`.
If this wasn’t enough, a massive pub crawl around the centre of Glasgow had been discussed which would involve handing out `Vote for Fred` posters and leaflets to customers . This they were hoping would also get them into the local newspapers!
To top all this off, the TMML’s Simsey was also thinking about running an exciting competition for `the most outrageously placed poster`.
We finished off this issue with a full transcript of Fredrick C. Threwe’s (he of Drip Fed Fred fame) aims and ideas for a brighter future. Ranging from free cans of Virgin Diet Coke to every DJ in Croydon who played his anthem to death, to bringing back free school milk and milk monitors, it was certainly an interesting set of proposals.
Under The Clock – A Novel
News from the author, about a new novel written by a two tone fan, and about some friends who celebrate that time in music…
Under The Clock
“A nostalgic trip back into 1981, following 16-year-old Shell Rogers as she leaves school with nothing but her friends, fashion, and love for the Two-Tone movement.
Desperate to leave town, she makes a pact with her best mates to meet again Under the Clock when they’re all aged 50. Filled with Two-Tone music, sex, drugs, and language that your mother would have disapproved of, it’s a heartwarming story of friendships that stand the test of time.”
Here’s Author Shelley…
“I spent all of 2019 writing it part time as I’m a mum and carer mostly. I grew up with Two tone and it’s in my blood.
The girl in the book is based on myself and my mates but it’s mostly fiction. I enjoyed every minute writing it.
Just starting a sequel to it, but it takes me most of the year to do. I really appreciate anyone reading it as I self published it with no help at all.”
I’ve put in two extracts from the book here. Have a read.
Thanks for reading.
‘The woodchip laden walls in Lou’s bedroom are covered with posters of her musical heroes. Terry Hall and Suggs take pride of place above her pillows and her favourite band pictures from Smash Hits Magazine stretch up high. The white polystyrene tiles on the ceiling have yellowed slightly with age and a few have been hand painted black to make a chequered look for Lou’s passion of Two-tone and Ska.’
‘Marty goes to sit down next to his girl but as he does, the music choice changes and ‘One step beyond’ by Madness blasts out from the huge speakers on the dancefloor.
The whole gang get up and hit the floor skanking crazily in sync. Their life problems dissolve for a time while they get together doing what they love most. Ecstatic smiles show their joy at being part of the Two-tone movement and Marty and Shell join in together, singing at the top of their voices, holding hands and shouting “ONE STEP BEYOND!”’
Shelley Hinchliffe Reece
Sign of the Times
Dreamland 100: Fatboy Slim and Suggs from Madness hand out tickets to Margate festival
Madness frontman Suggs has revealed that he regretted calling Brexit voters ‘small-minded’ in their decision to leave the European Union.
The lead singer of the ska band, whose real name is Graham McPherson, apologised for taking fire at those who voted to leave and added that he understood it was a democratic vote and he had to ‘accept that’.
The music artist also revealed that the referendum left himself and his bandmates conflicted over the decision to Leave or Remain.
Full story can be found at the above link.
New touring Ian Dury exhibition to launch in March
All Kinds Of Naughty features paintings, photographs and unseen lyrics
A new exhibition of Ian Dury-related art and ephemera will open at London’s Stash Gallery on March 24, before touring various venues around the south-east of England for the remainder of 2020.
It’s called All Kinds Of Naughty, after an unrecorded Ian Dury song which was recently rediscovered by former Kilburn & The High Roads keyboard player Rod Melvin in his personal archive. Dury’s handwritten lyrics to the song will be on display in the exhibition, alongside the recreation of a knitted stage glove that Melvin made for Dury in the 1970s.
The bulk of the exhibition will be comprised of Ian Dury-inspired artworks by the Thames Group of artists, who include painters, photographers, designers, writers and milliners among their number.
Full article at the above link.
We’re almost done for this week, but before we go there are a couple of last minute bits to fire in your general direction.
First up is Nick Woodgate’s new band; The JoJo Man Band. If you’ve not yet begun following them on Facebook then get that sorted. Point your web browser over to https://www.facebook.com/thejojomanband and click the “like” button.
And finally, if you’re in the London area you may be interested to learn that the Phoenix Players will soon be staging their very own performance of the much-loved Our House musical.