Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 936 – Sunday 16th April to Saturday 22nd April 2017
Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s MIS.
By the time this issue lands in your mailbox the recent string of overseas gig will be at an end, and many fans will be looking forward to the band performing the first of a mass of UK Spring/Summer gigs starting on Friday 19th Mat at Tranmere Rovers’ Stadium, Birkenhead.
Much of this issue is devoted to press and fan reviews of the recent Australian gigs. If you were there these may help to fill in a few blanks, should you have them. If you were unable to get along then they’ll help to fill you in on what you’ve missed.
Finally, before we get on with this week’s selection of articles – don’t forget that this coming Saturday is Record Store Day which sees a double-side single of Drip Fed Fred and Johnny The Horse released in extremely limited numbers. You’ll find more information relating to the release in our “Buy It” section.
Now, on with the issue.
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.
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 **
Sunday 2nd July – Spiritland Talks – Madness Q & A ** SOLD OUT **
Sunday 9th July – Bospop, Weert, Netherlands ** NEW **
Saturday 29th July, Camp Bestival – Headliners
Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire
Saturday 12th – Kent County Showground
Friday 18th – Hardwick Hall
Saturday 19th – V Festival, Hylands Park
Sunday 20th – V Festival, Weston Park
Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party
Sunday 27th – The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm – Headliners. More info at:
Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Tickets now on sale! ** More info here: http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/
1st-3rd Electric Picnic, Ireland ** Sold out Festival**
17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead
Suggs – My Life Story – Australian Performances
Thursday 20th April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 22nd April – Astor Theatre, Perth
Monday 24th April – Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
Friday 23rd June – Mill Hill Festival
Saturday 22nd July – The 100 Club. Featuring Lee Thompson with support from The Skapones and MIS DJs
Saturday 29th April – Chelsea Arts Club, London, SW3 6EB ** NEW **
Near Jazz Experience
June 8th – Kino Teatr, St Leonard’s, East Sussex. Supporting Blurt.
** Rescheduled **
Voice of the Beehive
Saturday October 7th, Indie Daze. All Dayer from 1pm. Kentish Town Forum. NW5 London
Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now
** Out Now! **
16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl
Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying – Remixes
Three new dub remixes of the track “Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying”, from the current album, are now available.
Leo Zero, the London based remixer and producer, has created the new mixes. You can buy them from Madness artist pages on iTunes and Amazon, and many other music sites. They can also be streamed through Spotify.
The mixes are the “Leo Zero remix” and his “Tufnel Parkas” mix, available both as a dub and full instrumental versions.
The former samples “Rocksteady beat” from the start of The Prince before riffing on the title song. The latter mixes make atmospheric use of the backing vocal stems and there is much looping of the guitar stabs on the tracks.
It’s perhaps fitting that Leo Zero has previously worked with Bryan Ferry, as this particular Madness track from the Can’t Touch us now LP is the most dance music based track from the latest batch of Madness and so suited to elongated 12″ length instrumental musings. Certainly more so than some others. Even if these remixes won’t dazzle the general fan, they are a nice experiment that highlight in stripped down parts, some of the elements that go towards the finished Madness song on the album.
We feel a dubplate coming on.
Jonathan Young. Our thanks also go to Mark Doherty for a heads-up.
Drip Fed Fred – 7”
Catalog no.: SALVOSV0000017
Out for Record Store Day – April 22nd
A splendid DOUBLE A-SIDER. On this 7-inch the mightily menacing reggae skank ‘Drip Fed Fred’ (featuring Ian Dury’s last vocal performance before his death!) is backed with the equally catchy ‘Johnny The Horse’. And you also get a free poster. Release only in independent record stores this April, Prices £19.99
The album mix of Drip Fed Fred and the “passed this way” Radio edit of Johnny The Horse, first time on vinyl in a fetching ransom note style 7 inch picture cover.
Check out participating stores by going to: http://recordstoreday.co.uk/participating-stores/
SIGN OF THE TIMES
Madness Turn Australia Into a House of Fun
“In the ’70s and ’80s, papers like the NME [New Musical Express] were always a bit snooty about us,” Suggs says. “It’s only in the past 10 years that we’ve had the broadsheets start talking about the legacy of Madness. To be fair, we didn’t exactly help the cause. We behaved like a bunch of idiots.”
“We’ve had four generations of one family at one of our concerts,” Suggs says. “Forty years ago, we’d never have foreseen that young kids would be coming to see Madness. It’s a double-edged sword, the internet. On the one hand, they’re downloading your music for nothing. On the other hand, they’re downloading your music.”
Tickets to the band’s Australian gigs have been selling fast. Despite their British outlook, Madness has always struck a chord here.
“We chose to write about ordinary, everyday life: going to school, getting your first girlfriend, your first car. We were brought up on The Kinks and Ian Dury, who sang in their own vernacular about their own lives, trying to make something cinematic out of making a cup of tea. There’s something universal about the everyday.”
LIVE AND INTENSIFIED – HONG KONG & AUSTRALIA – PRESS & FAN REVIEWS & VIDEOS
Hong Kong Noise Polive
Madness kicked off the Rugby Sevens with a show at Sevens Village on Thursday 6th..
“We’re not for a second gonna suggest we’re disappointed. We thought we were playing over there!” Graham “Suggs” McPherson joked at one point in the set, pointing towards Hong Kong Stadium. But the noise will be on a whole other level when Madness play to 40,000 people on Sevens Saturday.”
Madness started out slowly with some low-key numbers as the rain poured down, but the skies cleared just in time for the party to get going with 1979 hit One Step Beyond.
The band then launched into House of Fun, an apt message for the weekend ahead. Giant inflatable beach balls were being punched around the crowd, many of whom were decked out in flashing LED sunglasses.
There was even a shout out to an England World Cup winner. “I see you bouncing along in the front, Martin Johnson,” Suggs said, before the band got everyone dancing again with Baggy Trousers.
The set was then closed out with 1980s bangers O ur House and It Must Be Love.
The noise – or lack of – issue was apparent. The Hong Kong government doesn’t allow for more than 65 decibels of noise at night – the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner or powerful hair dryer – and have become stricter in enforcing this code because the music went way above ambient noise last year.
Then Saturday The Full Show half hour appearance in Hong kong Stadium.
One Step Beyond
House Of Fun
It Must Be Love
Night Boat To Cairo
Press Reaction in Australia
After members of Madness visited Bon Scott’s statue at Fisherman’s Wharf during the day, Suggs handed the microphone to his band mate to cover AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. What followed would barely hold up at a karaoke night and was the nadir of an otherwise joyous skank through 38 years of chart-busting ska-pop hits. Thankfully, after Accadacca, normal Madness resumed with five favourites — One Step Beyond, House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House and nappy commercial soundtrack It Must Be Love — bringing the main set to a close and testing the stamina of the mostly older, mostly male and mostly English crowd.
While the geezers loved classics such as early hit My Girl, the Afro-pop inspired Wings of a Dove and early 80s single Cardiac Arrest, material from last year’s Can’t Touch Us Now left many poker-faced. That was perhaps understandable during pianist Mike Barson’s ballad You Are My Everything and mid-tempo numbers Herbert and the title track, but songs such as Blackbird (inspired by Amy Winehouse) and the bouncy Mumbo Jumbo are top shelf.
“We’re not One Direction, Take That or Kylie Minogue,” dapper frontman Graham “Suggs” McPherson pointed out, just in case the crowd needed any reminding, before the band’s name lit up in huge letters at the rear of the stage and they launched into another new track, NW5. With Suggs in fine, witty form and the band playing as tight as ever, Madness continued on with their appreciative audience skanking and singing along to older favourites as well as new tracks such as Mumbo Jumbo that proved to be equally popular with the crowd.
The chilled Monday clientele made for a less boozy and, dare I say it, “mad” experience with more than a few tunes from the new record gently peppered throughout the set.
Fans of the early stuff were more than catered for with at least 10 numbers coming from 1982 and earlier, however it wasn’t until at least seven songs in until they were treated to the first big (UK) hit of the night, 1984’s “Wings of a Dove”.
It didn’t seem like anyone was too bothered, being a balmy Freo night in a historic setting meant folks were happy to dance along in the night air or sit back on their picnic chairs and blankets and chat during the songs they didn’t know.
Fan’s Comments in Australia.
The set list was the same from Tokyo. Overall, I was very impressed. The only thing missing was “Driving in my car”, but great concert regardless. I picked up a Fez, shirt & stubby cooler. That’s a CTUN Drink cooler made of neoprene. Fits a can or small bottle. An Item unique thus far to this tour overseas.
MR APPLES – Live at Freo
“OMG this time last night, if only I could rewind the clock and relive it just without the extra bottles of red wine perhaps, so one of my to do dream list things was to see the best band play in Melbourne, of course i was greedy and saw them in Perth the other night but this Melbourne one was the real to do one and I completed my mission well and truly, not only ticked it off but surpassed it by miles cos I never expected what happened and I am not gonna say too much on here but i am just so lucky lucky lucky that the band really do appreciate me ,you would think after all these years of bothering them at stiff records, cally rd, and any tv appearance I could get to that they would be sick of the sight of me but no, I am still smiling and dont think i have ever been so happy to have such amazing times with my fav band, i got mentioned by Chris again last night and he even told the crowd where i came from and was a friend! I got on for night boat with some new mad friends i made and Suggs told the crowd how far I had come too, still got a few videos of the gig to upload and the videos my friends hubbie took is here so you all can see my dream come true esp as Chris got Suggs to let me end the show so i spoke on the mic and i didn’t swear ”
Hordern Pavillion, Sydney – Saturday 15th April
I went to see Madness at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney last night and thought I’d send you a quick review.
One word: Brilliant!
The Hordern is a 5500 capacity venue, last night it was configured so that probably 70%+ was standing / dance floor. It wasn’t sold out but it can’t have been far off. The boys were slick (as you’d expect!) and were obviously enjoying themselves, lots of banter with the crowd.
They opened with Can’t Touch Us Now then launched into Embarrassment which is a personal favourite. I can’t remember the exact order or all the songs but there was a few from the new album as well as all the old favourites such as My Girl, Cardiac Arrest, Wings of a Dove, Grey Day, Baggy Trousers, One Step Beyond, Our House, House of Fun, It Must be Love. They got the support act (Caravanna Sun) on stage for one song which I thought was a nice touch.
The encore was Mr. Apples and Nightboat to Cairo at which point lots of audience members wearing fez’s ran onto the stage.
Last time we saw Madness over here they played at Luna Park back in March 2009. My wife commented that last night was definitely a better a gig, Suggs had lost weight and his suit fitted him better!
Really enjoyable evening. Thanks Madness!
You can catch support band Caravana Sun on stage with Madness, and being name-checked by Suggs, at the gig by going to: https://www.facebook.com/Caravanasun/videos/vb.156872084359428/1346717498708208/?type=2&theater¬if_t=comment_mention¬if_id=1492367358898880
Night Boat In Melbourne
Jason Smith said in The Invaders group…
“The Maddest 2 days of my life. Photos, autographs of the band, thommo invited my bro and me to sound check and then gave me a cd of his ska orchestra. Drove thommo, chrissy and a roadie to Bon Scotts grave site. 2 absolute best ever concerts, chat with Chrissy boy then , few drinks, songs and stories with Thommo til 1am. A day on the town with MADNESS, best band, best blokes and no doubt best fans”
Thanks also to Peter Pringle for the video.
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 675 – Sunday 15th April – Saturday 21st April 2012
New 2012 dates for Suggs’ My Life Story tour got this week’s issue of the starting blocks.
Running from 19th July to the 9th October, our favourite frontman was due to slot in an impressive 13 dates. Would further performances be added? We’d have to wait and see.
It was over to www.pe.com next, as we featured a transcript of their recent review of Madness’ performance at Coachella 2012;
“There’s nothing like British ska to make people (and David Hasselhoff) happy.
It isn’t Coachella without The Hoff and he showed up just before Madness’ sunset set at the Outdoor Theatre. The band even gave him a shout out from the stage.”
Moving on, and it was time for us to fess-up. Why? Well, in our April 1st issue we’d liked to a rather terrible version of Greig’s “In The Hall of The Mountain King”.
This was actually a recording of the in-game music from the 1983 ZX Spectrum classic “Manic Miner”, (although a small batch of 1984 sequel “JetSet Willy” also have this tune) and as such, sounded absolutely terrible.
Readers would not doubt be pleased to learn that the ‘proper’ Madness version of the the classic tune, along with a video (using combinations of classic Madness vids and stock footage) was now available for your viewing and listening pleasure over on YouTube.
Next, and a wedding was being planned and you were all invited. Well, that’s what the Camden New Journal web site were telling us;
“IT must be love, love, love for a couple so obsessed with Madness that they plan to turn Camden Town Hall into a house of fun for a wedding day with a difference.
Super-fans Helen Moore and Stephen Boyd – better known as “Boydy” – want all true followers of the band and, maybe some of its members too, to join them for a party on the day they tie the knot.
Although they are both from the North East, they have booked into Camden’s registry office for their wedding on August 18 because the borough is so heavily linked with the hit ska band.”
A Facebook group with full details of the wedding plans was available online.
Moving on, and with Madness’ performance at this year’s Coachella been and gone we thought we’d have a quick rummage around on video sharing site, YouTube, to see if anything had been uploaded. We were not disappointed. We’d managed to dig out links to One Step Beyond, Night Boat to Cairo and It Must be Love, and promised to give a heads-up on further links from the event should we find them.
Our final article reported on a special Jim’ll Fix it medley of One Step Beyond/My Girl/Baggy Trousers/Embarrassment, recorded for a little girl who danced with the band back in 1981.
“This is me with Madness in January 1981.
I was 12, and they were in their early twenties….. They were up most of the previous night putting the mix of 4 songs together.”
Finally, we brought this issue to a close with links to a selection of photos taken at the recent Coachella Festival, and a heads up that the Near Jazz Experience were staging their next gig on the 24th April.
10 years ago…
Issue 415 – Sunday 15th April to Saturday 21st April 2007
This week we brought you the news that you’d soon be able to listen to Suggs live on your Nintendo Wii and PS3 (and possibly your 360, if things get sorted) when Nintendo and Sony gave Virgin the all-clear to stream live broadcasts to their systems.
As of the 14th of April console users were finally able to listen to Suggs in the afternoon or the wonderful Jeff Lloyd in the evening.
The station, alongside sister stations Xtreme, Classic Rock and Groove were now available on the consoles via the Virgin Radio Player.
Next, we were able to reveal that Madness were booked to perform live at The Marquee, Cork, on the 5th of July. Tickets were priced at 65 Euros, and were due to go on sale on Thursday 19th April.
We took a look at more Camden related news for the next article, as we reported that the borough now played host to a new magazine.
Dubbed “A Fresh Voice For Camden Town”, NW1 was a monthly magazine which highlighted the latest issues affecting the area, as well as reviews of pubs, bars, clubs, and featured interviews with locals and visitors to this famous part of London.
Not only were the articles interesting to read, but the photography was also of a high standard, and, of course, features numerous shots of famous Camden landmarks.
Looking at the NW1 Magazine web site to see what had been going on since we reviewed the publication a decade ago, we were saddened to see that two issues were as far as it got.
We brought this issue to a close by pointing you to a series of YouTube clips featuring The Blockheads and Mark Bedford, from way back in 1987.
15 years ago…
Issue 153 – Sunday 14th April to Saturday 20th April 2002
We started off this week’s issue with news that the eagerly anticipated Madness musical would open at London’s Cambridge Theatre on the 15th of October. Although casting had not begun, it was revealed that the band had already written two new songs for the musical, including one tentatively titled “Sarah’s Song”.
With Madness due to play at “Heineken Night Live”, Rotterdam this coming week, MIS subscriber Joost Eijkholt kindly asked if we’d oblige, and post details of the coinciding Madmeet in this week’s issue, and we were only too happy to oblige.
Appearing on Jools Holland’s radio show the previous Wednesday, we featured a full transcript of the interview with Suggs, where he revealed some of the songs he plays on special occasions. A number of tracks were played, including the Suggs and Jools collaboration; “Oranges and Lemons Again”.
Five years ago, and North London band MOT were still just finding their feet, and it was in this issue that Dan Fossard revealed how he had now been along to three rehearsals with the rest of the band. Here’s what Dan had to say;
“I’ve had three rehearsals so far, and these guys are as big mad-heads as me.
Every rehearsal is reminiscent of the scenes from `Take it or Leave` it – i.e. `Do you know what key it’s in? Yes, that one there. D!`.
It’s great to play in a band with such like minded people, and the best bit is that when we get bored or run out of things to play, we jam Madness songs, and they all know them”.
With the rumours of a Glastonbury appearance by Madness continuing, subscriber Chris Carter-Pegg attempted to once and for all find out if the band would be performing at the long-running event.
Although unable to fully confirm that Madness wouldn’t be making an appearance, the latest version of the band line-up was unfortunately missing the magnificent seven.
News also reached us courtesy of Swanny, announcing a new Crunch! spin off band by the name of Milk (featuring Tad and Spider, plus others), and that the re-issued Crunch album now had a release date of the 6th of May.
We rounded of this week’s issue by announcing the winners of our recent Blockheads badge competition. The three winners were; Tobias Malins, Joe Maryon, and Charyl Barzo.
We’re almost at the end of this week’s MIS, but before we go we’d like to point you in the direction of the following auction currently running on eBay with a price of £903.
This is an auction for what is apparently the 1976 Fender Stratocaster as used in the famous It Must Be Love video. The description reads;
“THIS IS THE ACTUAL GUITAR FROM THE MADNESS VIDEO FOR THEIR SINGLE “It Must Be Love” where the guitar was played under the water in a swimming pool! I’ve got full provenance for it to prove it is the guitar. The letter also explains how the paint damage got to be on the body. After Stiff Records had hired the guitar the hire company wouldn’t take it back. It then went into the ownership of Nigel Dick, here’s his Wikipedia entry. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Dick
I bought it from him. I’m pleased to say the guitar works perfectly nowadays, last time I used it was at HELLFEST in France last year which is a BIG Punk and Metal Festival, in front of 15,000 people. It sounds awesome, has an amazing provenance and it’s all good to go.”
If you’ve got just under £1000 burning a hole in your pocket you may want to put in a bid!
And finally… to finish this week’s issue of the MIS we gently point you over to Facebook where, ahead of Camp Bestival Suggs talks to Rob Da Bank:
Enjoy the read, and we’ll see you next week, take care,
(With thanks to Tony Mahony,, Lynn Lawlor, Peter Pringle,
Patrick Jones and Jason Smith)