The Seventh House of Fun Weekender takes place this coming weekend, so we’ve got a full preview in this issue of the entertainment you can see during the event in Butlin’s Minehead in just a few days time.
If you want to know the latest from the European Tour, and news of songs returning to the Madness set list, scroll down to our live section. We’ve a Jamboree Bag preview, also recapping the potential tunes thus far publicly aired at the end of this issue, so equally avoid that IF you are staying spoiler free for Friday. We are excited though by so many old rarities, can we just say that one song is returning to the live set after 40 years away! That’s a first! Whereas another 80’s tune from record, this one penned by Madness, is making its live gig debut, and a big well known live rarity is coming back too.
We’ve current event timings and small previews of the acts appearing in full below at length. We urge those with compatible phones to download the APP to be up to date with any changes.
We also urge you to come watch our Sunday MIS show in Reds, that Owen and our hungry skeletons will kick off at 2.30pm and our opening band is Mez & the Fezzez. Mr Mez brining old style 50’s Rhythm and Blues & Rock and Roll, Surf and more shiny singing from behind his drum kit and under his red hat. We are delighted as Mr Mark Bedford told us he is Fezzing up for the day and joining us and the other Fez friends and maybe more, (we’ve a recent gig review of this band in our live section) before we head onward with Brit pop and Ska DJing and The Launchers and The Skapones with an added King Hammond round off our Sunday’s ska punk reggae fest with covers and original penned tunes, bringing things to a ghostly conclusion.
So it a FULL HOUSE of Fun issue we have for you, as we review the new Madness Hits album, and tell you how you could WIN it, at the Weekender with us, as well as a Signed Voice of The Beehive 7″, more Madness CD’s and related prizes to give away and most delightfully, a deleted “Can’t Touch Us Now CD boxset, for one lucky weekender attender.”
We’ve also news of Retro Madness’ House of fun Folgate Boxset offer.
We will have a review of the weekender in two weeks in MIS and this year will be including you, as we wander the weekender grabbing a few quotes from the fans on the venue floors and ask what you think, as we give out some free stickers.
Whatever you watch, and wherever you wander on your weekender. Have a brilliant one. You deserve it.
Hi everyone, thanks so much for your support – it’s great to have finally reached the target and get to 100%. We’re keeping the store open for a few more weeks whilst we get all the production in place, we’ll have another update for you soon with dates for when you can expect your goodies.
Full House – The New Madness Best of Album – Review
Available to Pre Order now from Madness.co.uk & Pledge music. Released 17th November.
2 CD’s and 4 LP’s make up a house full of Madness hits as the new best of reaches it’s Pledge shipping date, to be store available later too. But my house is already full of Madness Hit’s albums! is the shout of many fans that prefer a lesser milking of the back catalogue. So apart from Complete, Utter, It’s, It’s too, Divine, Divine, Divine, Heavy Hits, The Business, Our House the original songs, The incomplete digital singles collection, Total, Ultimate, Total Olympics, A Guided Tour, The Very best of, imports, The Ska Collection, The Take It or Leave It out not again soundtrack and Chris Foreman sings the hits LP, what has Full House ever done for us?
Yes, This is the best of with added CTUN & OUI OUI. Maybe it will settle pub arguments as to what counts as the singles from those last two albums now. Maybe it will start even more arguments.
So given the truth that ” Hit’s happen ” lets leave that fact to one side now, and address the fact that this isn’t Madness the complete singles. Though it nearly is. It’s 42 tracks neatly split into 21 each CD or set of LP’s. That includes the biggest singles and songs of the FULL band era on Full House part one. Then Mike leaves home. Uncle Sam starts part two which brings us up to carl-less date with the band still making great music in a house occasionally with someone who’s not home today. In fact the CD mirrors this fact slightly, a beautiful cover bulging with multiple mad men all together in our full house of fun then opens up on the CD version to reveal just Woody inside another version of the house on the inner image, where the full band are driving away in their car, and a business man runs for the buss. The Vinyl is even more stunning, housing a black and white checkered floor and an upstanding 3D pop up design of the full house cover.
Most singles are present, mostly in chronological order, of course lets not forget to say pretty much all of this music is bloody brilliant. 42 career spanning tracks does stand up very well in quality of tuneage being consistent and delightful at least 95% of the time. As a best of it really does give a very long and satisfying listen. Certainly for the general music listener who is often the consideration with these things.
Lets nitpick this apart then, fans size-ably probably wanted a complete chronological singles collection. Where does this house fall down? Missing is “Sorry” (perhaps a blessing!) Live Harder They Come (It’s self a live oddity in the UK singles line) Sweetest Girl (Maligned not Mad) and most Scandalously perhaps Shame and Scandal being out leaves only a Girl to represent the danger covers, a shame that. These tunes feeling a little less than Full Madness be it for live, production sound or reasons of writing or reaction perhaps ultimate explains why this album is aiming to slightly distance its self from being The Full Singles Collection and instead live next door to that idea.
There are other arguments of omission like double A sides, Herbert’s or promoted tracks or pressings of various kind’s. Consider too many of those and you unbalance the album and overshoot the maximum CD or Vinyl time slots. I feel I would have possibly finished with slow trousers down as a Grand ending though, as version of me would have been propped up by another version of Baggy Pantalons echoing earlier days.
Fair enough then if because of things like all this, you don’t want to live here. I hope it sells well though and lands in many houses across the country. Firstly cus this music sounds great, secondly the album looks great. Paul agar once again achieve a great cover montage, using images that recall, One Step Beyond, Seven, Cant Touch us Now, Driving in my Car, Oui, Oui boxset, and some recent tours like Madhead & before. There are some neat art touches. My favourite is Lee Thompson, known for a nudey moment or two, depicted on the cover as Twickenham 1974 Michael OBrien, the famous England vs france Rugby streaker with policeman’s helmet cover up. Priceless scene stealing again! Bedders top hat chimney pop up is nice too and really sweet in the lucky dog looking up at the classic black and white photo on the inner sleeve of the boys during house of fun days, and the nod to the newly installed heritage plaque status of Madness.
Even if it’s far too standard for fans not completist enough to give a home to the hits yet yet yet yet yet yet yet yet yet again, this album’s biggest plus points (beyond looking and sounding good) is its chance to get some of the second part of Madness’s career into the homes of people only likely to listen to Divine or Total in the past.
This will bring the rare overlooked Sarah’s song and Simple Equation into the ears of even people who never saw a version of the musical and are unlikely to buy wonderful. Promote interest in Cant Touch us Now, Oui, Oui and Folgate even further, and most criminally the single Drip Fed Fred brings this Ian Dury featuring tune to the most prominent position it’s ever had. It seems crazy that despite listing so many hits albums, it’s only the poor selling Guided Tour that has ever hosted this track in a hits collection before despite being released 17 years ago. Here is a chance to get that track across again to the masses and then please bring it back for the Full house tour 2018 Christmas? You are a bonafide two CD’s hits album band now Madness. Quality 21 song sets, in two eras of Madness for the masses, music from the very best band, no wonder at gig’s the house is always full. Madness Pale Ale, Tin and Pint Glass Set
Product description: Ladies and Gentleman, for your drinking pleasure Madness bring you one of the fines beers to ever pass your lips. An idea born in the Dublin Castle (the very pub where we played our first gigs), Madness Beers go one step beyond with flavour and style.
ABV 4.2%, Units 2.1
The House of Fun Weekender Preview
A Who’s Who of whats on at HOF…
MADNESS – A Damn fine band from the 80’s playing the big hits and more to a packed pavilion Saturday night 8.30pm
All For The Madheads.
MADNESS – JAMBOREE BAG – Joyus alternative set from Madness. Bsides, Covers and Rare tracks promised. From 8.30pm
Set to hear some of Seven and Madness, Dangermen, Invaders rarities for another legendary Friday Night Delight.
STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL – Come up and see them, they will make me smile. A tune Suggs even covered once and he’s sung with this seminal act too at Glastonbury before choosing them as the headline extra act of Saturday night 11.45pm Centre Stage. A famous glam and progressive rock band from the late 70’s London and a real highlight to witness. Check out also the tune “Mr Soft” He’s a cousin of Mr Apples! and get ready yourself ready for the Rebel.
CRAIG CHARLES – Seminal funk and soul DJ who needs no introduction after multiple House of Fun and House of Common appearances. Craig is one of the fun family. He is set to close the weekender in Centre stage from 10.30pm (Here’s hoping he doesn’t hop to the jungle out there instead.)
Pavilion Main Stage Saturday Night. – This year a line up of Support bands on the main stage on Saturday.
THE INFLATABLES – First back for a 5th year, Oxfords finest this time open a main stage Saturday packed with bands in The Pavilion before Madness. Oxford’s finest here to warm up with sounds of ska, soul and reggae. 4pm Reminding us of the music we all love and know.
Then a trio of NEW London and surrounding county sounds, with youth on their side as Madness give a leg up to some bands clearly a little influenced by the nutty sound but all every much their own modern selves. Championing new music.
THE GAS TANKS – 5pm – Then its a Fresh young witty band of teenagers. Check out Chicken Shop on youtube.
THE GALLERYS – 6pm – Fresh young Mod band. From the who to oasis the music is upbeat, they recently supported The Rifles and are set to follow their rise to sell out shows, due to great reviews. Catch them now on the up.
THE RHYTHM METHOD – 7pm London pop duo joey and rowan. The Rhythm Method’s tracks sum up the best things about British culture, mainly pub culture and our undying loyalty. Inspired by Ronnie Barker and Dennis Waterman and living under a flight path, vocalist/lyricist Joey Bradbury and songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Rowan Martin write odes to their local pub and the bittersweet emotions they feel about their hometown. Upbeat basslines, jammy keys and Bradbury’s almost-spoken vocals allow them to both subvert and celebrate suburbia and British life in a similar vein to The Jam. Check out.Their new track “Home Sweet Home”
RUB A DUB REGGAE SESSION – From 23.45pm until 2am Friday Centre Stage.
TIPPA IRIE – Brixton singer from the 80’s, a top 40 hit with “Hello Darling”, more recently achieving sucess with The Black Eyed Peas on “Hey Mama”
DENNIC ALCAPONE – Famous Jamacian DJ, Singer and Producer from Studio one, his gun’s dont argue!
MICHAEL PROPHET – Jamaican Roots Reggae singer, known for his “crying” style and the hit “Gunman”
THE LOCKDOWN BAND – Backing these singers during the Rub a dub session is the lockdown band a bunch of gifted reggae musicians.
GAVIN MARTIN: TALKING MUSICAL REVOLUTIONS – 6.30pm Pavilion Friday Gavin does his own music, but is perhaps better known to Madness fans recently as the curator of some very successful printed programmes full of written ideas at Madness gigs. His appearances are billed as his “Talking Musical Revolutions” banner and also DJ sets. There could be some interesting stuff played then but also some presentation of music discussion or symposium with guests as his recent events have also covered this dimension. One to watch. Also on & 1.30am in Reds Friday and Inn on the green 6pm Saturday.
OH MY GOD IT’S THE CHURCH – 10.15pm Reds Friday – Returning burlesque eccentrics of a religious order, praise be they are back.
A Northern soul tripple Bill. Wigan Casino was the seminal club of northern soul in the 70s.
WIGAN CASINO PRESENTS: ALAN KING DJ Saturday Reds 10.15pm Northern soul DJ from Manchester.
WIGAN CASINO PRESENTS: RUSS WINSTANLEY DJ Saturday Reds 11pm The Northern soul continues.
WIGAN CASINO PRESENTS: DIANE SHAW BAND Saturday Reds Midnight. Uk Soul singer from Manchester performing for two decades.
KIOKO – 6.15pm Sunday Centre Stage – multi cultural new young reggae band in modern style with eclectic influences.
Their true what they say EP was produced by Spider Johnson who you may know from crunch and the last madness LP.
DENNIS BOVELL – 8.15pm Sunday Centre Stage – A Dub set from celebrated artist Dennis Bovell, producer of The Dangermen album.
GENO WASHINGTON & THE RAM JAM BAND – 9.30pm Sunday Centre Stage. Returning vocal legend. 60s RnB singer that Dexys name checked. Woahh Geno.
DESMOND DEKKER’S BAND THE ACES (Featuring Delroy Williams) – Saturday Centre Stage 10.30pm The performed at House of Common but will Delroys shirt be just as colourful at HOF? Find out Saturday and sing along to Dangermen tune “The Israelites”
God bless you Desmond the music lives on.
ROXY MUSIQUE – 10pm Jaks. Saturday night. 7.15pm Sunday Centre Stage. Tribute band to Brian Ferry and Roxy Music an influence on the wider music of Madness. Most recently on Dont Let Them Catch you crying. The band have wanted to put this on the bill for a while but tributes to Roxy are busy and rare so here is two chances to catch them, we recommend Jaks on Saturday.
RIOT JAZZ BRASS BAND – Friday 10.15pm Centre stage.
Captained by Nick Walters (soon to complete a Masters of Jazz Trumpet) and fronted by the prodigious MC CHUNKY, these brass-wielding sentinels of live music and good times have infected ear-holes, dance floors and festival fields far and wide. The Riot Jazz Brass Band navigate a minefield of original peace-lovin’ aggro jazz, hip-hop samples, funked-up favourites and re-interpreted dubstep, drum’n’bass and dancefloor bangers that never fail to send limbs flying!
COMEDY: EDDIE NESTOR & ROBBIE GEE – 11.30pm Reds. A late evening comedy show from two celebrated black stars famous for appearances on top rated British black comedy shows Sitcom Desmonds and Sketch show The Real Mcoy.
And Saturday and Sunday in Centre stage a full bill of comedy.
COMEDY: KEVIN MCCARTHY – 2pm and 4.20pm – Resident compere brings you and afternoon of stand ups.
COMEDY: DAVID HANDINGHAM 2.20pm
COMEDY: ANDRE VINCENT 2.45pm
COMEDY: JOJO SMITH 3.10pm
COMEDY: JOHN FOTHERGILL 3.35pm
COMEDY: RAYMOND AND MR TIMPKINS REVIEW – 4pm
“specialist purveyors of sandal based choreography”
Our show in Reds Sunday from 2.30pm
MIS DJ: Owen Collins – B sides. – 2.30pm Sunday in Reds, The weekenders Resident Poet compere’s The MIS Presents show.
MIS Presents: MEZ & THE FEZZES – 3pm Sunday Reds – beat combo Mez & the Fezzes slap you in the kisser with their Eclectic mix of Rhythm & Blues, Surf, Tarantino movie themes and ‘Rock & Droll’! Many a madman has worn the little red hat through out history, Join us it’s time for The House of Fez.
MIS DJ: Jon Young – Brit pop tunes – 4pm
MIS Presents: THE LAUNCHERS – 5pm Sunday Reds – Launched into orbit in 2016 at The Legendary Dublin Castle, some ex home town hifi members melded with skaelectrix and more, The Launchers perform an energized take on classic ska covers and have just released some original radioactive material. From “Liberty” to “Dirty Mouth” you’ll be surprised how quick their fresh new tunes grab you like a brain invasion.
MIS DJ: Mr Scurf – Ska from The Koast Train’s main driver. 6.15pm
MIS Presents: THE SKAPONES (Featuring KING HAMMOND) – 7pm till 8.30 show finish. Hailing from the The North East, The Skapones have played alongside the likes of Bad Manners and Dennis Alcapone and headlining the Great Northern Mod & Ska Festival. They have recorded tracks for the Specialized Project that raises money for Teenage cancer Trust & Youth Music UK, and Lynval Golding & Jon Read of The Specials, feature on their second EP, “Rudys Return”. They are fresh from supporting Lee Thompson at the 100 club in July. Expect some Special choices of favourite songs you’ll know and they will also showcase some storming tunes from their debut debut album of original songs ” Cradle To Grave”.
King Hammond – UK reggae star King Hammond AKA Grammy award winning musician Nick Welsh, is a former member of Bad Manners & The Selecter and a renowned producer working with some of the biggest names in Ska. He will be joining the Skapones to play a few of his own tunes and some crowd favourites, for the finale of MIS Presents 2017.
DJ: DON LETTS – Long standing London original era Reggae DJ. Jaks. 11.15pm
DJ: EARL GATESHEAD – 10pm Jaks Friday. 4pm Inn on Green Saturday. Reggae from the Trojan sound systems selector.
DJ: GAZ MAYALL – 1am Saturday Centre Stage. DJ and Modern Style Dandy.
DJ: DARREN BENNETT – Pavilion Friday 7.30pm getting us ready for Madness excitement.
With MADAM SCORCHA – 1am Jaks. Saturday Night. Reggae and more, with women vocalists from Kathy’s set.
DJ: BEAR GROOVES – 2am Centre Stage Friday (Caliburst & Cuddles) with a love for the feel-good. DJ’s from London, funk, house, soul and R and B.
DJ: MR HAPPY – Inn on The Green 4pm Friday. Inn on the green 8pm Sunday. Starting and ending the parties in Inn on the Green.
Resident sharp coated DJ and entertainer Mr Happy is here to rouse the crowd.
DJ: KING REBSKA – Some say he does his show naked. Others say all he wears is a red fez and a thong. It’s KING REBSKA!! Presenter of Sweet n Dandy thursday night on Barnet Radio. Recent support DJ of Silencerz gigs too. Jaks Friday Midnight and Inn on the Green. 1am Saturday.
DJ: JERRY BLESS – Jaks Sunday 4pm. DJ from the crew that bring you musical Bingo and other events.
DJ RICHARD CORDLE – 6pm Inn on the green. Funk and House DJ who recently appeared at Boom Town.
MADHEADS’ GOT TALENT – Jaks 3pm Saturday. Hosted by Lee and Chris. Weekender Attenders perform their party pieces.
SWIMMING POOL PARTY – In the morning Saturday, have a splash. 1 till 3pm is party time.
BRING & SHARE – Midnight Inn on the green Friday. Sunday 11am Inn on the green. Your choice of tunes on CD or USB
KARAOKE RUMBLE – 10pm Inn on the green Friday and Saturday. – Sing your hearts out.
MUSICAL BINGO – Jaks 5.30pm Sunday – Play along with this fun musical spin on Bingo. Tunes not balls!
DANCE OF THE DEAD – Inn on the Green. Saturday. 11pm – Tunes of artists who have passed on presented in a gruesome style.
SILENT DISCO – Headsets of fun, silence or two channel DJ play. On the main poster but not listed in the recent programme, check the jaks venue to see if two DJ’s are on.
DWILE FLONKING WITH GLADNESS – Middayish Saturday on the big field by Blue Skies Lodges. – The MIS present a traditional old English pub sport. 16 players defend the honour of the four Madness beers. As Team Gladness, Lovestruck, Night Boat and Absolutely compete by flonking a dwile at each other for points whilst drinking from a fezunder, in this gladnessified version of a very silly past time. Come and witness and cheer for your favourite beer. Who will win.
THE FANCY DRESS – Saturday’s theme is Madheads at the movies.
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 705 – Sunday 11th November – Saturday 17th November 2012
We decided to do things a bit differently this week, and kicked off the issue with a competition. It wasn’t a particularly exciting competition, but we had three Oui, Oui stickers to give away. All you had to do to be in the running was send us an email. Simple!
On to the articles, and we began with the news that Lee Thompson had been in touch with news that he was thinking of raising some money for charity this coming tour by auctioning the Kilt he flew in during the closing ceremony of the Twenty Twelve Olympics.
If you wanted to be in with a chance of owning a Kilt he flashed One Direction in we suggested you look out for details on the forthcoming Charge Of the Mad Brigade Tour.
Moving on, and with two weeks to go until The House of Fun was due to start at Butlins we had details surrounding one of the events the MIS team, were staging at the Minehead Madness Weekender. It was billed as a unique fan film party experience you could join in and have fun with on the Saturday morning.
What ever happened to MISWAS?
What ever happened indeed? To whet your appetite we had two teaser trailers to keep you going until the morning of the event.
Further on, and it was over to Darren Fordham, who posted over on the MIS’s Ska Orchestra Group Page of Facebook to announce that Lee’s X factor stolen sax had been returned and that Lee’s new EP was now available. The EP was available for a mere £7.50 delivered.
Elsewhere, we reported on a new Madness Fan Forum which had been created by subscriber Jim Lavery. We’ve just checked and it’s still up and running. Take a look and get signed up at http://madnessfansforum.proboards.com/
Next-up were a number of fan and press reviews of the recent Norton Folgate album and My Girl 2 single, before we brought the issue to a close with another of Paul Rodgers’ excellent Madness Stats, Facts and Figures articles.
Paul told us at the time;
“Madness have now chalked up 54 weeks in the top 10, 218 in the top 40, 418 in the top 75 and 512 in the top 100 of the album chart. The more recent extension to a top 200 has seen their albums rack up 785 chart weeks. Clearly it is not all bad news.”
10 years ago…
Issue number 445 – Sunday 11th November – Saturday 17th November 2007
Over the course of this issue and next we were celebrating an upcoming anniversary, Monday the 19th of November marked 25 years since the first UK release of the “Our House” single. With this in mind we featured a whopping ten articles (some in this week’s issue, and some in next) revealing the song’s full history from idea, through to writing, recording, mixing, record releases, live history, influence, cover versions, adverts, TV use and the musical.
Readers didn’t have to worry about ‘Our House’ grabbing all the attention this issue as we also featured a plea from Bristol based resident Simon Rugg who needed your help. While it was more relevant to House of Fun, and the pub used in filming of The Young Ones (which, at the time was also celebrating it’s 25th year) we felt that although this issue and the next were primarily look-backs, up to date news also needed to feature.
15 years ago…
Issue number 183 – Sunday 10th November – Saturday 16th November 2002
The big news for us this week was that we finally moved away from Demon Internet’s “tenner a month” web space, and onto our new mis-online.net web space.
Initially we simply moved the contents over from the old web space to the new, meaning that we at least had a web presence whilst the new site was under construction. Some 260,000 visitors later, and much work was going on behind the scenes.
One Step Behind’s very own Brendan Phipps contacted us this week to let us know that Suggs featured in an interview in the latest edition of Easyjet’s inflight magazine.
Talking about the musical, as well as Madness tribute outfits, and how Madness came into being, the article was a light hearted read covering a mixture of old and new ground.
We weer all used to hearing the Madness singles used as background soundtracks to TV commercials and programmes in general, but news in from subscriber Chris Wardell really surprised us;
“On Friday, 8th November I was sat in my living room with my two children watching the cartoon Recess on the Toon Disney channel. While we were all eating our scrambled eggs I nearly choked as the Chris Foreman penned instrumental number “Town With No Name” (the B Side to “Shut Up”) ended the show.
A number of Madness songs now appear on TV but my only hope is that the chaps get some money out of this instead of Virgin who have (literally) made millions out of the Seven Wonders of Camden.
Old ska classics have dominated adverts for around five years now but it is great to hear Madness and fellow North London ska loons Bad Manners have their music aired on television.”
Following a few messages on the Total Madness Mailing List regarding the comments people had left on the `Whats On Stage` website relating to the `Our House` musical, the MIS team decided to visit the page and read through the comments themselves, and it was safe to say that we weren’t fully prepared for what we found.
As soon as we entered the `Our House` section of the site, we could see things were not going to bode well when the average score from the people who had left comments was a mere 2.5 out of 10!!! Things went downhill even quicker when we started reading through the comments.
Although the first batch of initial comments were good – all dishing out anything from 3/5 to 5/5 we soon stumbled across a whole slew of comments giving the show an absolute slating.
To this day we’re still puzzled with these comments, as everyone we spoke to seemed to love the show.
The big shocker this week however, was the news that a months worth of Friday matinees of the Our House musical had been cancelled. A spokesman for the show explained to Whatsonstage.com that the cancellations were a result of needing more time to rehearse the first and second understudies for leading man Michael Jibson. In Tim Firth’s Sliding Doors-style story, Jibson’s north London lad character Joe Casey is on-stage for almost the entire evening, with quick changes between his alter egos, ‘good Joe’ and ‘bad Joe’, adding to the technical demands of the performance.
Because of the complexity of the part, only Jibson is currently able to manage it fully. “If we had a problem with Michael, we’d have to cancel the show,” the spokesman said. The extra rehearsal time will be used to drill understudies Chris Thatcher and Andrew Spillett.
Unfortunately this was just the start of the cancellations that were to follow.
Sealed Liberty of Norton Folgate Box Sets For Just £30!
Over the next four weeks Retro-Madness.co.uk will be advertising a further 100 official Madness collectables from the past 38 years, many of which we have not had in stock before. The items include some rare 7”s and CDs and some Japanese Honda City Madness memorabilia from the early 80s, not previously seen in the UK. Check out Retro-Madness on Facebook where we will provide updates over the next few weeks when the new items are added.
As a special offer aimed primarily to those attending the House of Fun weekend, for the next 10 days only (until 21st November) we will be selling the final unsold batch of Liberty of Norton Folgate box sets at just £30 each providing you collect from us in London, Brighton or Minehead to save posting. This unbeatable price is a far cry from the £125 these items were selling for on Ebay and Amazon only a few months ago. To ensure there are enough to go around but to allow everyone the scope to buy several for Christmas gifts etc we will be limiting this deal to 5 box sets per person. You probably have one already but at this bargain price how about having another to keep mint / still sealed so you can split up your existing one to keep the LP with your LPs etc…and not a bad investment either! Please contact us by facebook or the email address below if you want us to bring any of these box sets for you to collect at Minehead.
We’ve a pot full of prizes, to give away during our House of Fun events this coming Sunday at The weekender. Are you going to be there?
Would you like to win the brand new Full House hits album by Madness on CD?
A full band signed Voice of the Bee Hive 7 inch?
A fully deleted Can’t Touch us Now Box set?
Those are just the three star prizes, we also have a few LTSO & Beat specialized DVD’s and Dance Crazy live ska band CDs left here to give away in promotion of our favourite charity, And a Scottish ska compilation gifted to us too thats also good promotion for the ska scene, and one lucky lucky winner will get The Chelsea Pensioners album instead because of a link that is tenuous after they promoted Cant Touch us now, and you should know us by now we are cruel with our humour like that too!
If you would like a chance to be lucky at the lucky seven HOF weekender. You must first email register by emailing operationMIS@outlook.com there may be a pop question to qualify.
Full instructions will be emailed to you after registering. You must be present at the weekender and at our events at the time instructed in order to collect any prizez awarded, or they will be redrawn and given to someone else.
Email registration ends Mid day Tuesday. Open to all expect people involved directly in MIS show in Reds Sunday.
Mez & The Fezzez – Surf Party Night – Live in Walthamstow
“Or Why The Fezzez are the hottest HOF hat selection for Sunday. ”
[On the Saturday before House of Common presents Monday Madness, this following live review takes place after our review a month or so back about Lee Thompson DJing at The Social with the pop up Nutty Bar. ]
I then find myself departing Camden in the late afternoon, having shared a meal with friends at the Goodfayre cafe. Sadly due to train line closures my evening plans outside of London are cancelled and I’m stuck inside the M25 so that I can be here for tomorrow’s MIS pub crawl event on Sunday. Nothing to do. That is until some familiar Fez hats loom into friendly view on social media. It seems tonight there is a Mez gig up at the end of the tube lines in Walthamstow. So I happily swap NW5 for E17.
I arrive into ye old rose and crown theatre pub, a traditional old pub (with a BBQ roast taking place outside in a marquee set up), to the unusual site of the band trying on Hawaiian shirts, it may be the end of Summer but tonight is this rhythm and blues band’s Surf Party Night. There is no evidence in the audience of anyone joining in on this theme mind you at all, in fact there is little audience at all at times, but The Fezzez are not just a band united in headgear they like a uniform band look too and they take this synchronising seriously. Past gigs have seen them all in white shirts and ties together, or all in 50’s American style preppy jumpers, its that Brian Epstein Beatles management approach but mixed with a hint of knowing style reclamation from knowingly less popular looks for an ensemble, as well as being era fitting and out of time. Tonight it’s visually a little early beach boys. Fitting perhaps as a few of Al Cherry (the guitarist) riffs tonight are sourced from surf 60’s beat groups.
We had the pleasure of Mez and the Fezzez appearing in a line up for us at our Dublin Castle all day MIS event just one year ago to when this surf night gig is taking place, so this marks a little anniversary moment for me to witness Mark Bedford returning to play with them again tonight. I find him saying his hello’s to Al and Mez after a while of not playing together as Fezzez (even if Mark and Mez being on stage in Madness in a pretty recent occurrence.) Most amusingly it takes seconds for them to talk about Lee Thompson from their last gig all together and the drinking that took place that day, Mark commenting that Lee tonight is probably drunk somewhere in the world, and I chuckle knowing that I’ve just left him outside a lobster restaurant complaining they wont let him in with the brandy he was taking between pubs!
It’s then that Bedders breaks to me the great news that he is planning on joining the Fez line up for House of Fun. This is delightful as he takes over the traditional Sunday slice of extra playing that Lee bands and Woody and Suggs with Clang have provided as an extra house of fun delight in previous years for fans, added to the fact that he clearly really enjoys playing these Fez choices of Surf, Rock and Roll and old school Rhythm and blues. Talented and versatile in playing pop and Motown, ska, and near jazz, tonight we get some prominent bass groves from an era when simple instrumentation was powerful, its a joy to watch Mark play.
Phil Veacock on saxophone is equally a delight, our old friend Joe Auckland is trumper and Al Cherrys guitar twang ive praised as a highlight of the Dublin castle show before and its all great again tonight.
The Pink Panther theme is the biggest delight for me, from the selections I witness. Taking me back to my childhood when both those films and the cartoon were king. The sax and bass on this are amazing. Equally “last night” a tune by The marquees (thats a band, by the way i’m not referring to the BBQ tent!) is equally thrilling, they play it as musicians , but the slight love of comedy in the band brings to mind it being the theme tune to TV sitcom bottom and i want to dance in silhouette and hit people! (they have done the Benny hill theme as well at previous gigs!) Pulp fiction’s Misirlou is another rousing instrumental, full of guitar. (And teenage wedding chuck berry has been played before from this film too by these hatted rock and rollers.)
Buona Sera is a romantic crooning 50’s standard (Louis Prima) as the Italian “good evening” and this is an example of a song Mez sings well. Mez is a witty drumming front man, and both his singing and quips are equally as entertaining as his ability to drive home beats so impressively that he is now a percussionist not only integrating with Madness and The ska orchestra but drumming in the jazz world of Van Morrison too. A van load of people from Morrisons would be appreciated right here though on the empty dance floor as there isn’t really a crowd to see them, it’s passing trade, but occasionally they catch a passer by who curtails his drunken wander to the bar with a bop or two to a song and they draw a few people into the pub from the BBQ. They don’t mind, they are happy to play and send up any situation, but i cant help but feel there is a great interest when this band is in the right place (Indeed they have stormed Tinwood festival to large crowds too.) It’s for all these reasons, that the Fezzez are mostly an undiscovered delight to most fans In the circles I travel in and so it’s been my 18 month mission to bring them to the house of fun, and let an already Fez devoted crowd enjoy this particular different slice of old school sounds and Fezz lineage. Tommy Cooper would be proud, Lee Thompson might pop along if he fancies invading on the day, and Matt Smith’s dr who is here in spirit to take you back in time to when the Fez was king and bring you some rock and roll and classic sounds. Come along and help us make it The House of Fez. MIS Presents begins 2.30pm in Reds Sunday.
(Advert: Fez hats are available from www.madness.co.uk and the merchandise stall at The house of fun for your pleasure!)
But for now sadly I have to catch the last tube back to Camden as I’ve a pub crawl to organise. “see you later Alligator” the band play as i wander out the door. Yes. Yes you will boys, I think to myself and I’m happily left whistling the rest of the night away, as the Fezzez put you in a great mood.
The seventh weekender looks set to be lucky, as potentially 14 tracks have aired now on the European Tour that could fingers crossed make up Fridays set at The House of Fun, so far. Fittingly the Seven album provides three Madness penned tunes not heard live we think since the 80s. The Bullfrog makes it’s continued return after an outing at Lee Thompson all stars it now appears with the full band.
Juicy Bsides thrills are up to with the amazing news Guns make a live debut (bside from keep moving single One Better Day), Complete Madness favourite In The City will allow many fan to complete their hearing of that first hits album, after Cardiac aired at the last house of fun etc. It’s it’s first outing in the uk since the 80s airing more recently only in Japan where is was a single and TV advert jingle. Never ask Twice aka Airplane, itself a Seven album track in some foreign editions and a 12″ bonus track in the uk later appearing on the House of Fun CD single in 92 and The Business.
The Invaders return to HOF or even The Pirates! sail into Minehead, as two potential tunes hail from the very first live outing in any form by any line up of the band. Covers of the late Fat’s Domino and Clyde McPhatter bring some rock and roll covers. While Poison Ivy, The Coasters hit, is first listed as 1978 City and East gig the following year.
Some Dangermen era tunes are back to give a rematch in equal measures. As bside Skylarking (Horace Andy) could air, and Vietnam (Jimmy Cliff) was a rejected session for the 2005 album that later emerged on The ska collection CD by Madness. Oh my love first briefly appeared live in the embryonic 2003 tour which first birthed some of the covers known to be Dangermen sessions. It didn’t make the album either in its recorded version, but a reworked new recording of this John Lennon song did make the oui, oui boxset. (So If its played that leaves only My Obsession as a non aired at HOF oui, oui era tune.) If we are doing Lennon, maybe Suggs should also resurrect his acapella version of “Help” that used to delight crowds in the 90s.
Lastly two brand new covers have been aired in Europe. Joe Higgs, World Upside Down (which featured a young Jimmy Cliff on backing) and A place in the sun a Stevie Wonder Motown number that was reggaefied by David Isaac’s. Its due to rain a bit at Minehead Friday, but once again Madness are set to make the place a ray of sunshine full of song! Will all these tunes air Friday? We will be disappointed if they don’t. Are any for Saturday’s Set? Will we get Don’t Let Them Catch you Crying at House of Fun as well? Is there anymore treats to join these? Which is your favourite? sherbet dib dab anyone?
One thing is for sure. Its a selection. Jamboree bag is full of Different Sweet Sensations. Thank you Madness.
That’s almost it for this week, but before we go…
We’d like to thank subscriber Sandra Colburn for giving us the heads-up on a missing date in our gig listing for Suggs’ forthcoming tour. The missing date is Wednesday 28th February at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline. For more information go to https://www..alhambradunfermline.com/listings_detail/534/
Thanks also go to subscriber James Lay, who pointed out that Suggs’ London Palladium gig we had listed for the 21st March 2018, should have bee listed as the 22nd. This has now been corrected.
Moving on, and we’d like to give further thanks this week to Sharon Staite, Rita Melissa Hammer, The French MIS, Katharina Wendelius, Lisa Search and Chris Carter Pegg for their help with this issue.
We have also this news in from Tony Murphy at Hanna Management (Thanks Tony!)
We have the Lee Thompson film One Man’s Madness screening at the BFI coming up on Friday December 1st. The evening will include a Q&A with Lee.
At the moment this is a stand alone event with a view to next year.
And finally, subscriber Kieron Murphy has emailed in to give us the heads-up on a new BBC 4 series called “Live at Eden”. Why? Well, at midnight on the 25th November the channel will be airing “Madness Live at Eden”. Once the programme has aired you’ll be able to watch it on the BBC iPlayer at the following link: