We begin this week’s issue with the news that the band recently played a short set of hits at the legendary Beatles studios in Abbey Road. The set, as part of a corporate event, saw Madness perform Mr. Apples. Very appropriate, considering the venue is closely associated with Apple Records.
On a more serious note, we were pleased to learn that Blockheads band member Norman Watt Roy is now comfortable and making a good recovery following a recent heart attack.
The band updated subscribers to their Facebook page with the following message;
“We are happy to report that the great man is on his way home! We will pass on all your lovely messages of love and support. He will be taking a few days off, our gigs will go ahead as usual, Norman wouldn’t want it any other way! Brilliant news
Thank you ALL for being so wonderful.
Love, The Blockheads. X”
The band followed up two days later with a photo of Norman back at the bass! We kid you not.
As we recently mentioned, Thommo’s film project “One Man’s Madness, A RockuMockuDocumentary”, is now live on Pledge Music
Lee Thompson’s comedy life story film, featuring multiple mad Lee performances, and starring all of Madness and many more well known voices, is nearly complete and coming out this year. All that remains to make this possible if for your to pledge and help complete the project as planned.
11. Oranges And Lemons Again – Jools Holland & Suggs
12. No More Alcohol
13. Blue Day (feat. The Chelsea Team) [Stamford Bridge Mix] – Suggs And Co
14. I Feel Good
It collects all 8 of his top 40 singles, adding to that the original “Alcohol” and what was arguably the most like second single, if three pyramids had reached that stage, in “So Tired”
Adding 3 b-sides, the obscure “Same again” to two covers, “I feel good” (James Brown) and “Alright” by Supergrass, to no doubt try and encourage the casual music fan to buy this budget priced release.
Finally, it pulls the two tracks from Jools Holland and Friends albums. The near single “Oranges and Lemon’s Again” and the more forgotten bouncy “Jack of the Green.”
This new CD is out now and has started shipping to fans. The sleeve features a new cover design, based on a photo taken recently for Suggs Live show.
Fans have reported that “The Tune” is the instrumental version from the Cecillia CD Single, rather than the vocal album mix.
Can’t Touch Us Now – Limited Double Vinyl Edition.
2xLP ** New **
All 16 tracks. A new half speed master in gatefold.
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Limited & Numbered of 2,000
The inner sleeves inside the gatefold outer cover features “Hong Kong” and “Australian” versions of the albums cover art, no doubt used in some function on the recent tour. So, we’re treated to Hong Kong’s Tian Tan Buddha statue and Sydney Opera House replacing St. Paul’s, for example. There are also a number of other country references mixed in. We noticed Dame Edna! on the front of the Australian one.
MIS Feature – “Mr. Suggs” – A Solo Tribute to Madness
Introducing “Mr Suggs” – A solo tribute to Madness
Based in the “Somerset Rivera” well, Weston- Super-Mare…. and having only discovered his voice performing in recent years with local SKA & indie covers bands, it was always an ambition to be in a Madness tribute band having grown up with huge 2-Tone influences & especially loving Nutty Boys songs.
So, in the absence of a full live tribute band to play alongside, “Mr Suggs” was finally born in April this year as a more unusual tribute being solo.
With so many good Madness tribute bands on the circuit with some equally good names, it was only fitting this act paid additional tribute to the band’s frontman too by naming the show “Mr Suggs”
Due to a particular love of the boys early catalogue from late 70’s – early 80’s the “Mr Suggs” is an hour long celebration of “Best of the early days” from The Prince, Baggy Trousers & Night Boat to House of Fun, Cardiac Arrest & Must be Love. Needless to say the response and interest has simply has been incredible in just a few months having played everything from pubs to scooter events & now outdoor festival stages also booked in coming month too.
Having now completed the initial showcases in smaller venues around the local area from Bristol – Cardiff – Taunton – Mr Suggs is now available for Private / Corporate Party bookings along with holiday parks, sporting & social clubs.
Shows include fully insured, PAT tested PA & Lighting or can play through in house system.
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 689 – Sunday 22nd July – Saturday 28th July 2012
When this issue originally went out, it was getting on for ten years since the Our House musical was first staged (23rd October 2002, according to Wikipedia), and yet the influence of the short lived stage show continued, as amateur dramatics societies up and down the country had been staging their own versions of the production ever since.
This week we learned that a production of the show would be taking place at The People’s Theatre, Newcastle, and we were sure that many more would follow across the country over the coming years.
The original stageshow may have only run for a mere 10 months, but it seemed to have had such a huge influence on budding actors and actresses all over the UK.
It looked unlikely that the show would make a full return to the capital, at least in the near future. So, if you wanted to catch this fantastic production it would seem that amateur productions would be the only way for you to get your fix.
On to the articles, and we got these underway with a detailed review of the band’s recent performance at the Fiera International Music Festival, Italy, which took place on Saturday 14th July.
We moved over to lyrics for the next article. It’d been a fairly recent addition to Madness’ live music set, and a track where we’d been doing our best at working out the lyrics for.
Well, we could wonder no more as Lee Thompson had kindly confirmed and corrected our slightly inaccurate transcriptions.
This article contained the legitimate lyrics.
It was back to the Our House Musical for the following article, as we reported that a new production of the stage show was due to take place at The People’s Theatre in Heaton. Tickets were priced at between £8 and £12, and the show would run not he 4th and 5th of August.
We brought this issue to a close with another chart roundup from the one and only Paul Rodgers. The big news this week was that Complete Madness had noticed up its 150th week in the top 200. This included the 88 week runs the original Stiff album had between 1 May 1982 and 28 April 1984.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 429 – Sunday 22nd July to Saturday 28th July 2007
Normally we’d hear of a new Madness/Suggs release months before it was due to hit the music stores, so it came as more than a bit of a shock when news came in from French MIS Online maintainer, Jean-Pierre Boutellier announcing that Warner Music were about to release a new Suggs album.
It still seemed more than a little baffling to us. The track listing looked to be nothing more than his two albums sandwiched together, whilst the album sleeve looked like a bootleg cover. If we were at the start of April we’d think the whole thing was a big wind-up.
Moving on to the articles, and we kicked off with a report from Patrick (possibly Clifford. We don’t have a surname), who gave us a detailed lowdown of the Guildfest, and Madness’ headline performance at the event.
We popped over to Ireland for our next article, as news reached us, courtesy of the Meath Chronicle, that a new Madness tribute outfit were now doing the rounds.
Going under the name of Pure Madness, we were told that within a short time the band had become one of the country’s most sought after Madness tribute bands.
It was off to Belgium next, as Jacko gave a short bullet-point style review of the band’s performance at Rock Zottegem last week. Amongst his short, and to the point snippets he commented;
“One (for me, new) possibly unfinished song called ‘Let’s go!’ was played. I didn’t really like it, and afterwards Suggs made a little shaky-shaky symbol.
I assume Mark wrote it, since the guys went into a little discussion on a bass riff with each other.
Then suggs said: “maybe this should be played solo, Mark!”
Next-up, we featured a transcription from the Cambridge News, which featured an interview with the one and only Chas Smash. This lengthy one to one featured a collection of much asked and new questions, and Carl describing the band as “The Working Man’s Pink Floyd”.
Following this we took an in-depth look at “Suggs, The Platinum Collection”, which we briefly covered in our intro. The album contained 20 tracks, and it didn’t seem to be something the fans were very impressed with.
Madness Trading Ring subscriber, Paul, had this to say about it;
“I was always hoping one day a Suggs best of would get released but this is not what I expected.
[Whoever] put this together had no imagination [whatsoever].
It’s basically his 2 solo albums on one CD, with the exception of Blue Day and the single version of No More Alcohol.
Where is Oranges and Lemons Again, and Jack of The Green?
Both of these tracks are on the Warner label. If a couple of the B sides were added instead of so many album tracks it would make more sense, or even the inclusion of a DVD with some of the promo videos”.
We brought this issue to a close with massive reviews from Jon Young Looby following the band’s recent performance at the Newmarket Racecourse, which saw a sellout total of 22,000 descend on the famous venue.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 167 – Sunday 21st July to Saturday 27th July 2002
Following a number of weeks of silence, Cheryl returned to the bits and bytes of the MIS with news that the second Madness Weekender would be going ahead, and it was all-systems-go.
Elsewhere, and a certain Mr. Birch was kind enough to provide us eager fans with a full track-listing for the forthcoming Madness musical, ‘Our House’. Not only that, but he was also scanned in the promo flyer for the rest of us to gawp at until the musical was underway.
Further on, and news reached us via Dan Kemsley that Like Father Like Son would soon be fully online with their own web site. At that time the issue went out a basic title page was the only item to view, but we were assured that further pages would be made available over subsequent weeks and months.
On the subject of LFLS, MIS Online were informed by the one and only Lee Swandale, that the band would be playing at the famous Dublin Castle on Monday 15th August. Indications were that this would be the last show the band would do, as Lee and his family would be jetting off to Oz for six months.
With one band seeming to close it’s doors another, MOT, were going from strength to strength. First of all they get their first ever gig at non other than The Dublin Castle, but their follow-up gig gets booked for the legendary Hope and Anchor, Islington. Talk about following in the footsteps of your heroes!
Sign of the Times
Tickets Selling Fast For Madness Gig at Hardwick, Live at Sedgefield
THERE is still time to secure tickets for one of the region’s most popular music festivals this summer.
Hardwick Hall, near Sedgefield, County Durham, hosts Madness Live on Friday, August 18, followed by Hardwick Live the next day.
With just one month to go, many tickets are on the verge of selling out and organisers are advising those who wish to purchase camping or gold tickets to act fast to avoid missing out.
Iconic 1980s ska legends, Madness, will get the party started when Suggs and the gang take to the stage on the Friday evening. The main event on Saturday will involve some of the biggest bands from the 1990s, including Ocean Colour Scene, Pete Doherty, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Soul II Soul, Gabrielle and Brand New Heavies. Audiences will also get to enjoy emerging talent from across the region along with DJs and comedians.
Tickets for Madness Live and Hardwick Live are available now, with prices starting at £8 for children and £49 for adults.
Suggs appeared with new music duo Slaves at the London Community Festival.
The duo performed a host of tracks from their debut album ‘Are You Satisfied?’ including ‘Sockets’ and ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ and their 2016 follow-up ‘Take Control’ including ‘Spit It Out’, ‘Lies’ and ‘People That You Meet’, the latter of which saw Suggs from Madness join them onstage. Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey also made an appearance.
Slaves appear at The House of Common festival on August Bank Holiday Monday
Thousands of people from all over the country packed into the village last Saturday and Sunday for Spa’s woodhall 40’s festival.
Now in its sixth year the event, which celebrates the best of life on the British homefront, is firmly established as one of the biggest and most popular 1940s events in the UK.
And, it appears the popularity of the event has spread to some famous individuals. ‘Suggs’ – the leader singer of Madness – was spotted among the vast crowds…dressed in 40’s regalia of course!
Suggs About Steve Harley
Ahead of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel’s appearance on the center stage at The House of fun coming weekender… Here Suggs talks about one of their songs’
The Song That Reminds Me of School
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel “Judy Teen”, 1974
“When we were kids, buying a record in those days was a big deal. You had to get on the bus, find the record, sometimes the record shop wouldn’t have it, and so when you bought a record you’d go to school with it the next day under your arm, like walking around as if it was a badge of honour. If you could find something that was a bit obscure that no one else had, it was a badge of honour and people would look up to you: ‘How did you get that record, where did you find it?’ I remember taking that one to school.”
Taken from Australian Rolling stone.
And finally, in a recent Australian Rolling Stone interview, the publication asked Suggs what was the one track he wished he hadn’t recorded…
Madness “Money, Money, Money”, 1999
“We [covered ABBA’s song] for some TV show, and I wish we hadn’t. God knows what the show was. It was a bit of amusement, but nothing that Madness have recorded I regret. We work very hard on all the songs we write and record, we never really do anything we don’t want to do.”