Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 921 – Sunday 1st January to Saturday 7th January 2017
Hello, and a very happy new year to all our readers. We trust you’ve had a relaxing break and are now looking forward to those longer evenings and warmer days.
With the longer and warmer days come outdoor Madness gigs, and during this past week we learned that one had already sold out. Yes, such was the demand for Madness at The Eden Project on the 16th of June tickets were all snapped-up within a few days.
This sudden sell-out has unsurprisingly caught many of you off guard. So, how did tickets go so quickly? Well, subscriber Diane Reed thinks she may know why;
“Apparently tickets get offered first to those that are members of Eden project sessions. I’ve been waiting years for Madness to play there. I even suggested it as a venue for them to play a while back!!”
We know of other fans living in the area who were also planning to go, but with ticket availability vanishing in almost the blink of an eye they’ve also been pipped to the post.
Hopefully both the band and The Eden Project will see that demand for the event has far outstripped supply and as such an extra date will be made available soon.
With many of you waiting years for the band to appear down in Cornwall, coupled with the fact that the county finally had electricity for the first time last week so could stage events like this (we jest!), this is a real disappointment.
On to this week’s issue, and in true first-of-the-year MIS style, you’ll notice that it’s rather light on the news front. We do have a few updates to our Showtimes section, and something in our Live and Intensified segment, but the majority of this issue is taken up with part one of our lookback at 2016. This week we review January to April. We’ll be running this section for another two weeks, so hopefully it’ll help to fill-in some of the missing memories a few of you may be experiencing.
The above isn’t all we have to offer you this issue. We have another one of our MIS Features, and this week we bring you the first of a series of four features about the songs of The Silencerz.
So, without further ado, let’s get this first issue of 2017 underway.
Enjoy the read!
See below for all forthcoming Madness and Madness related gigs and events. If there’s something we’ve missed off or you feel should be added then please let us know.
April 2017 – The Overseas Leg
Thursday 6th – Hong Kong, China, Rugby Seven’s Opening Concert.
Sunday 16th – Byron Bay, Australia http://www.bluesfest.com.au/schedule/detail.aspx?ArtistID=873
Further Southern Hemisphere dates including Japan should be announced soon!
May 2017 – Back in the UK
Friday 19th – Wirral Live, Tranmere Rovers stadium, Birkenhead
Sunday 28th – Bearded Theory Spring Gathering, (Pallet stage headline), Derbyshire
June 2017 – The Cornish Leg
Friday 16th – Eden Sessions, Eden Project, st Austell, Cornwall ** SOLD OUT **
Thursday 3rd – Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire
Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party
Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Not on Sale Yet ** Announced in the current tour programme booklet as happening again
17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead
The Clang Band
Thursday 19th January, The Islington, Islington ** NEW **
Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now
** OUT NOW! **
16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl
30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos) ** SOLD OUT **
One Step Beyond Cherry Red Vinyl ** OUT NOW **
At the moment, a limited number are available to pre-order through Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/madness). You can also purchase it from branches of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
If you order through Pledge you’ll be in with a chance of winning some test pressings!
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Bite The Bullet ** OUT NOW **
Vinyl £13.55 (Includes free mp3 version)
CD £11.37 (includes free mp3 version)
Mp3 album also available on its own for £7.99
HEAR TRACKS IN PREVIEW
Rhoda Dakar – The LoTek Four Volume 1. ** OUT NOW **
- Fill The Emptiness (Lovers)
- Tears You Can’t Hide
- You Talking To Me?
- Fill The Emptiness (Reefa)
MIS FEATURE – THE SONGS OF THE SILENCERZ
We bring you the first of a series of four features about the songs of The Silencerz. We spoke to guitarist Nick from the band, who penned the four original songs that have so far made it into the set live by the band.
Lee and his son Daley have been heard singing these numbers or playing upon them, and great little ditties they are too. We get to look at what Inspired Nick to write each tune and a look into the lyric’s recounted in full in this new series of features . Here’s Nick…
It’s been three memorable years since I joined The Silencerz and looking back, what a cheek I had to ask Lee Thompson if I could put some self-penned songs to the band for consideration. How very dare I? This man has sold more singles… blah blah. I didn’t exactly have to ‘wiki’ the band to know the pedigree. Well, I thought, they could always say No. Take a deep breath…
First song I wrote for the band was Cally Road. The initial sparks came early in 2014 when I was listening to Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp” from the album Hot Rats and started playing around with the riff – the main bit of the song. Trying it with a reggae backing and a couple of chords that fitted; then I thought – that could be a brass riff, hmm. How to take it forward? I started thinking about all those classic Madness songs that are iconic and have such a strong visual London element to them.
Well, I was raised in Wood Green but lived for a couple of years in Caledonian Road, some of that time above a gentleman’s hairdresser – Harold & Leslie’s. It had 4 giant heads above the shop that were in front of the windows of our flat. That train of thought got me thinking of a guy I’d met in Greece many years ago, when I was back-packing some of the islands – Paros and Antiparos, after a spot of ‘woman-trouble’ – when this bloke, fellow-Londoner told me the story of how he got beaten up by a local gang round Cally Road; so when I was thinking about where to set the song it was easy to think of Cally Road.
After that? Well, Cally rhymes with ‘alley’… So by then I had: Callie Road; running from a gang; a barber shop; a riff and a couple of chords. Put it in the mincer and PTOOF!! Something tales shape within the swirling mist.
Callie Road – Nick Godwin 2014
Put on your mohair suit
Your Crombie and your boots
They will recognize you, son
So you must get a number one
I was trapped in the alley
Just behind the heads of the barber on the Callie Road
In a place that I frequent
Where the bookies all are bent
But you can spoil their fun
If you just have that number one
Come the morning call your silk
All black robes and mothers milk
Give her the file if she takes the brief
An envelope for the dirty thief
Next Week : Havin’ a laugh
A LOOKBACK AT 2016 – PART 1
Yes, it’s that time of the year where we take a whistle-stop journey over the past 12 months, and chart some of the highs along with those unavoidable lows.
This week we take a look at the first four months of 2016, taking you back through January, February, March and April.
Our first issue of the year got underway with some very sad news indeed, as on Monday 28th December 2015, Specials drummer John Bradbury passed aware at the age of 62.
Visitors to thespecials.com were greeted with a wonderful tribute, including comments from band members themselves.
On a happier note, in that very same issue were were able to report that the first Madness related gig of the year would take place on the 15th of January, when the one and only Ska Orchestra would be performing at Camden’s Jazz Cafe.
Continuing with the good news, we were able to reveal that the artist for the fifth Specialized album of covers would be non other than the legendary Bob Marley. Mr. Marley was no stranger to MIS circles, as beyond the Dangermen cover of “So Much Trouble in the World”, Suggs and Carl appeared in the posthumous 1984 video for One Love. Not only that, but Thommo’s band have had a crack at “I Shot The Sheriff” and “3 Little Birds” at previous gigs.
Later this month Madness would add the first of numerous gigs to their Summer line-up, as they revealed that they’d be headlining the Cropready Festival on the 11th of August.
As January drew to a close we reported that work continued on The Ska Orchestra’s next album, and Mr. Thompson had been kind enough to show us a preview of the band’s forthcoming video, prepared by Jeff Baynes. Jeff had previously shot the “Bangarang” video and had directed the photography on “Cardiac Arrest”. To celebrate the forthcoming launch the band (via Mr. Scurf) were auctioning off a T-shirt signed by 10 members of the original band who recorded the Ska Orchestra debut album. All proceeds would be going to the Newcastle Charity Winter Warmer.
February got off the starting blocks with the news that the list of Madness’ 2016 gig dates was continuing to increase as in the first week of the month the band had been booked to headline this year’s Boom Festival.
The festival boasted over 100 acts across 4 days, including Bad Manners, The Selecter and Neville Staple.
At the start of the month we also learned that Suggs’ “One Man Show” was being advertised as “your last chance to see”, so it was looking very likely that this would be the tour drawing to a close. If you’d not seen it we advised you to get your skates on.
Back to Madness, and with their 4th August gig at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange already selling out, a second date for the 5th had quickly been added to what was already looking to be a busy summer for the band.
On to Madness off-shoots, and the gent that is Nick Woodgate got in touch to say that he’d created a new web site detailing news and updates relating to his songwriting. Every working away, Nick had a ton of new songs in various stages of the pipeline, and were either Madness considerations, material Woody considered of interest or his own personal releases.
Around the middle of the month fans were first introduced to “Operation MAD”. A black and white teaser photo appeared online. The picture showing the six band members sat around a well lit circular table was set deep within a Doctor Strange style nuclear bunker. “Coming Soon” announced there text underneath. How soon? We’d have to wait and see. Was this the name of a possible Summer tour?
Meanwhile, the band continued to add further gigs to their 2016 line-up, as mid February saw the addition of Kendal Calling on Saturday 30th July and the Y Not Festival the day after.
This was really starting to shape up to be one busy year!
Those of you who’d signed-up to receive news of the much-anticipated big Summer gig should have found a link to a live version of “Blackbird” (live from the House of Fun Weekender) land in your mailbox at the start of the month.
The band were also kind enough to give us a gallery of photographs from the Dr. Strange Love video teaser, with the promise of revealing the big gig South London location and more on the first Monday in March.
So, what was that big Summer gig? It was revealed that the band would be performing at Clapham Common on the August bank holiday – Monday 29th August. Fans were also told that Madness would be supported by 20 like-minded bands and individuals. Tickets went on sale at the value-tastic price of £27.50!
Asked how many tickets sold in the first 24 hours of presale, and Chris was kind enough to tell us that “it was at least 6000”. Impressive stuff!
Our very own Jonathan Young would be helping to lengthen the Madness bank holiday weekend, announcing that the day before, on Sunday 28th October, he’d be organising a charity fundraising event at The Dublin Castle. With limited numbers available you were asked to register your interest early.
Going back to the subject of value-tastic ticket prices, we feel that this was somewhat lost when around mid March another gig was added to the band’s Summer line-up. Why lost? Well, the venue were charging an eye-watering £46.75!
In album news, we learned that “The Lone Ranger” would soon be less lonely as it would be re-released in April alongside a second disc of remixes and B-sides from that era. The bonus material would include the b-sides “Bedazzled”, “Animal”, “When You Came” and “I Feel Good”. The CD booklet would feature original artwork, a UK discography, lyrics of the original album tracks all in a 16 page booklet.
As the month drew to a close Suggs announced that the band would be performing on Hastings Pier on Saturday 21st May. Popping down to the venue Suggs took part in a spot of pier renovation.
We began the month with the news that Madness were once again confirmed to appear on the main stage at Glastonbury. This would be the band’s third appearance not he main stage, and a whopping thirty years since their first way back in 1986.
Commenting on the booking Chrissy Boy stated “We are on the Pyramid Stage Saturday. 4th from top, allegedly”.
Meanwhile, Suggs took time out of his busy schedule to speak to the Evening Standard and comment that “We are working on some new material. We’ll hopefully have a new album out this year”.
Continuing with Suggs news, and this month we also learned that Suggs would be taking part in two solo appearances. The first would be on the 18th of April when he’d be performing for “A Concert to Save Norton Folgate”, while on the 7th May he’d be on stage at “Brixton Jam Rock”.
As April wore on numerous acts began to be added to the line-up for the House of Common gig in August. Many of the supports were odd choices indeed, and we did wonder how your average Madness fan would take to them.
Towards the end of the month the Dauwpop concert scheduled for the 28th May had now sold out. If you were planning to purchase tickets but had yet to do so it looked like you were too late.
We also learned that the band had been booked to play at the Stockholm Amusement Park on the 30th September. The price was a mere £15, which was surely an absolute bargain!
More next week!
On New Year’s Eve Camden’s Dublin Castle pub was packed to the rafters with punters keen to celebrate the start of 2017 in style, and for the last chance in 2016 to catch The Silencerz live.
Our man on the ground, Jonathan Young, selflessly journeyed many miles from home, forced himself to mix with fellow Maddies, and got drunk just to bring you the following setlist.
Is this man a gent or what?
SET 1 – 9:45 PM- 11:00PM
Havin’ a Laugh
More Than Fair
Fu Man Chu
Mother and Child Reunion
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Step it up Sister
SET 2 – 11:30PM – 12:45AM
You Can Get it if you Really Want
Let Your Yeah be Yeah
Dance The Night Away
No, No, No
Auld Lang Syne
Guns of Navarone
One Step Beyond
54 46 Was My Number
Soon You’ll be Gone
Jonathan Young / Rob Hazelby
I REMEMBER WAY BACK WHEN
This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 660 – Sunday 1st January – Saturday 7th January 2012
Our first item of news for the year wasn’t a particularly exciting one, as we reported that the band would be appearing on yet another Madness compilation.
Entitled “Forever Young, The Ska Collection”, this would be released by Salvo and primarily aimed at the US market ahead of an expected Stateside tour later in the year. The current planned release date was some time in March.
As usual, with the first issue of the year news was rather thin on the ground, and our main article was the annual look back of the previous year, which this issue looked at May to August 2011.
We moved away from Madness for one of our articles, as we featured a re-print of an article which originally appeared in the Independent and reported on the recent Blockheads gig at Water Rats, London.
On to Ska Orchestra news, and we revealed that following rumours we could now confirm that the bad would be recording b-side “Racquel” for the forthcoming Specials covers album.
It was back to Suggs next as we featured a transcript of an interview Suggs gave to the Mail on Sunday. The short interview didn’t once mention “the end of Middle England” by the rag, and it was actually a good read.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs would be appearing as a guest on BBC 2’s “Something for the Weekend”, on Sunday 8th January.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 400 – Sunday 31st Dec to Saturday 6th Jan 2007
We began by not only welcoming readers to the final MIS of the year, but another landmark as we hit issue number 400!! Those eagle-eyed amongst you would have no doubt been aware that technically it was something like issue 398, due to a couple of number gaffs, but with all the mid-week announcements we’d sent out, we felt it let us off the hook.
Thanks were dished out to everyone who had supported the MIS over the years, either by submitting articles, passing on information, sending complimentary emails, or simply reading the issues.
With the back slapping out of the way, it was straight in to our first article, which was a lookback at 2006. With such a packed year gone by we decided to look at the first six months of the year in the first of two articles.
Naturally, the issue wasn’t all about looking back, as the following article announced that Suggs hosted TV series, Disappearing London, would be returning for a second series. Series two was due to start airing on Tuesday the 9th of January, at 19:30, in the London area.
We were also told that a DVD of series one was now in the planning stages, and that Suggs had recently won and award as best presenter for series one from the Royal Television Society.
Next, it was over to Andrew Langmead, who had been busy keeping his ear to Virgin Radio over the past few days, as he was keen to know how well Madness songs had placed in the listener voted top 500 songs of all time.
Had Suggs’ popularity as a Virgin Radio presenter boosted the number of Madness songs in the rundown? Well, the songs featured so far (as at the time of going to press the rundown was still going) were as follows:
412 House Of Fun (2005: 205)
283 Embarrassment (2005: 230)
203 Our House (2005: 334)
On the previous year’s chart they managed six entries as follows:
- Madness: Our House
- Madness: Baggy Trousers
- Madness: Embarrassment
- Madness: House Of Fun
- Madness: My Girl
- Madness: It Must Be Love
Had Baggy Trousers fallen from the chart completely, or has it climbed into the top 200?
174 Baggy Trousers (2005: 269)
Yes, it had another climb!
93 My Girl by Madness (2005: 170)
Followed by a magnificent climb of 77 places for My Girl to sneak into the Top 100. It Must Be Love made No. 60 last year, but this year it blasted into the number 9 position, making it the oldest song in the top ten.
It was over to Colin Galbraith next, who was kind enough to give us a detailed lowdown of the band’s recent Glasgow gig. With a near 9,000 capacity crowd, and the boys reportedly on great form, Colin found the night full of many memorable moments.
This issue also featured a short review of the gig, taken from the living.scotsman.com web site. The writer described the night as a ‘hit fest’, and gave it a three out of five write up.
We went back to Colin again for the next article, as this time he reported on Madness’ Newcastle gig. Telling us the night was a “musical and drinking bonanza”, we can only assume that unlike the Glasgow gig where he remained sober, things were a little more hazy at this gig. Another detailed write-up followed, and it looked as if Colin had yet another fantastic Madness night lodged in that noggin of his.
Moving on, and due to a busy Christmas and New Year, a full MIS Wembley review had yet to be written, but following last week’s snippets we decided to feature a small story from the Wembley concert day. It was was one of travelling half the world to see the full band you enjoy, as Japanese Madness fan Noriko, had come all the way from the land of the rising sun to see her favourite band.
We brought this issue to a close by revealing that the final nutty moments of the year would be taking place at the Red Lion Pub, Barnett, as it was rumoured that a band not unlike “Like Father, Like Son” and “The Camden Cowboys” would be playing out the last few hours of the year. Lee Thompson and Mr Burdette were supposed to be amongst the band members.
Naturally, we asked that if you managed to get along you’d email in with a review.
15 years ago…
Issue 138 – Sunday 30th December to Saturday 5th January 2002
We launched this final MIS of 2001 with the news that `Like Father Like Son` (featuring none other than Lee Thompson) were playing none other than Camden’s Dublin Castle on New Year’s Eve! Also, the original Crunch! album would be re-released on February 14th, which would contain a 14 page booklet, extra tracks and videos. Swanny told us that he’d seen the new artwork and it was a must for fans.
With little news to speak of, the majority of this issue contained a full 12-month lookback on the year just gone. Here we charted the highs and lows of the last 12 months. Would 2002 see the boys make a welcome return to Finsbury Park for another Madness concert? Only time would tell.
It was over to the Independent newspaper next, where we featured a transcript of their article entitled “Pop’s Most Intriguing Cover Versions – Madness – Prince Buster / Madness”.
The article finished by saying;
“The nutty boys were never shy to acknowledge their debt to the King of Ska, scoring also with Buster’s party-favourite instrumental “One Step Beyond”. Although it never charted in the UK, the original version of “Madness” is currently enjoying a peculiar revival as the backing jingle in a TV advert for Japanese cars”.
Could you spare some time and provide content for a Madness web site?
If so, the maintainer of Complete and Utter Madness wanted to hear from you. The site infrastructure was all there, all that was needed were fans to help provide material and keep things updated.
If you were interested we urged you to contact the site’s web master.
So much time and effort had gone into building the site that it would have been a shame to let it die a death.
It was over to Jon Young next, as he reported that Madness offshoot, “Like Father, Like Son” would be staging three post Christmas gigs. The first would be at Torrington’s, North Finchley, on the 30th of December, the next at The Dublin Castle on New Year’s Eve, and the third would be on the 12th of January at Fould’s School Barnet. If you were in the locality we urged you to get along.
The reigns were now handed over to Carl, who wished us all a very happy Christmas and new year. He also apologised for not being in touch of late, and apologised. Carl had been busy starting a new record label, and in the new year hinted at the possibility of updating the Velvet Ghost and Chas Smash sites.
We brought this issue to a close by thanking Jon Young for stepping aboard during the year to take on half of the work running and editing the MIS. If it wasn’t for his efforts it would have likely been the end of the weekly bulletins as it was simply too much work for one person.
Jonathan finished by saying;
“It’s been an ace 2001 for me, not only enjoyed writing for MIS but I’ve been very fortunate to meet many many fun and kind people through all the mad meets I’ve been to this year, most of all Blackpool. So, a big hello to everyone I’ve met. You know who you are, and thanks also to Rob. Be assured that MIS will continue in MII”.
The members of the MIS editorial team saw the new year in in very different ways. One of the team was comfortably installed in Camden’s famous Dublin Castle, another was fighting off a bout of Man Flu, forcing himself out to his local, and another spent a quiet evening at home with his family and 6-week-old daughter.
MIS readers meanwhile saw in the new year in all sorts of ways. We’re still trying to get Graham Hewson’s drunken live Facebook video broadcast out of our heads. It was certainly an interesting start to 2017!
And with that, we’re done for our the first MIS of the year. We’re off to continue the detox and wolf-down the leftovers from last night’s festivities.
Happy new year everyone!
(With thanks to Diane Reed, Nick Godwin and Graham Hewson)