Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 797 – Sunday 17th August to Saturday 23rd August 2014
“Your voice is like Sunshine to me. You are everything I need it’s plain to see…”
The exciting news from Madness this week came in the unveiling of the 35th anniversary version of One Step Beyond. The mined, raw gemstones within it are April 1979 rehearsal recordings of “Sunshine Voice”, (desired by fans ever since it’s chorus appeared in the Take It Or Leave It film.) and “Lost My Head” (wondered about ever since it was named in a set list picture in the centerfold of the Complete Madness LP).
We have much, much more on this exciting news elsewhere in this issue – from the pre-order details, to the mini website, track previews, set list notes, additional downloads, the remastering and even your chance to get hold of this album early in our competitions. All this is very timely as the album has just been voted by the fans the title of best Madness album ever, and now it’s back in a new edition.
Sunshine Voice Preview – http://youtu.be/pE7P9RGuBbw
“I love you madly… and that’s the way that things are going to be…”
October looks like it’ll be an exciting month with this new edition Madness album being released, and also the return of The Ska Orchestra to Camden’s Jazz Cafe on the 2nd. Also, the recently absented from Madness, Carl, is rumoured to be heading to east London. Cathal Smyth may soon be staging a number of solo shows under his own name there. We’ll have more on his “Comfortable Man” album direction and concerts as soon as we have firm details.
Here, exclusively, is the track listing and durations for his album. We’ll have a review in full very soon.
Cathal Smyth – A Comfortable Man.
01 You’re Not Alone – 4.44
02 Shabat – 3.56
03 A Comfortable Man – 3.24
04 Goodbye Planet Earth – 4.50
05 Do You Believe In Love – 3.41
06 Love Song No.7 – 4.03
07 She’s Got The Light – 3.28
08 Requiem For Common Sense – 5.25
09 Are The Children Happy? – 3.11
10 Love Song No.9 – 3.48
11 All My Loving – 3.08
12 Wren’s Burial – 2.29
Enjoy the rest of this week’s, news, reviews and information.
Jonathan Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams
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.
August 18th, Kubana Festival, Krasnodar, Vesolovka
November 21st – 24th 2014 – Minehead – Earlybird tickets can be ordered here: http://www.bigweekends.com/splash-pages/madness2014.aspx
All for the M.A.D.H.E.A.D Tour
Thursday 4th, Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Friday 5th, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Saturday 6th, Brighton Centre, Brighton, Matinee
Saturday 6th, Brighton Centre, Brighton * SOLD OUT *
Monday 8th, Plymouth Pavillions, Plymouth
Tuesday 9th, Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth Thursday 11th, First Direct Arena, Leeds
Friday 12th, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Saturday 13th, LG Arena, The NEC, Birmingham
Monday 15th, Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Tuesday 16th, The O2 Dublin, Dublin
Thursday 18th, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Friday 19th, Phones 4u Arena, Manchester
Saturday 20th, The O2 Arena, London
Links to purchase tickets for the above tour can be found at: http://madness.seetickets.com/tour/madness/?pre=premad&src=madnesspre
For tickets also see links via: www.madness.co.uk
The Magic Brothers
November 1st. Blakes @ The Custard House – Birmingham
Magic Brother Friday Headline set:
November 14th. The Big One 3. Park Dean, Sandford Dorset.
House of Fun weekender, appearance. (Strong Rumour – not yet confirmed appearance)
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra
August 31st, The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm, Cotswolds
October 2nd, The Jazz Café, Camden Town
More festival dates to follow.
Ska Orchestra web site: www.ltso.mis-online.net
The Silencerz (Featuring Lee Thompson)
November 8th – Hertford Corn Exchange. 39 Fore St. Herts. SG14 1AL With support. The Skammers.
November 16th – Confirmed in the Sunday Lineup of bands at Specialized The Big One 3. In Dorset.
Lee will be doing a photo signing session too.
Cathal Smyth – News Coming Soon
A Comfortable Man – Wilton’s Music Hall, East London – October – Details To Follow.
(Strong rumour – details not yet confirmed, subject to change.)
Near Jazz Experience
September 21st – Support slot before Dave Formula and The Finks, Brighton, Prince Albert
Thursday 20 – Borderline, London
Friday 21 – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
Saturday 22 – Academy, Manchester
Sunday 23 – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton
For details of future gigs keep an eye on http://deafschoolmusic.com for more information.
HOUSE OF FUN EARLY LINE UP ANNOUNCEMENTS
This week Madness announced the first set of acts to be performing at this year’s House of Fun weekender.
Centre Stage Histrionics
The Cuban Brothers Present: Barry Peters, Dub Pistols, Reeps One, Giselle The Burlesque, DJ Woody
David Rodigan’s Ram Jam: Shy FX, Bitty Mclean, Rootikal DJ’s
Norman Jay Presents: Good Time Sounds System.
If money’s currently burning a hole in your pocket then perhaps we can help with your dilemma.
***New – Pre-order*** Madness – One Step Beyond 35th Anniversary edition CD.
You can now order the new edition of One Step Beyond 35th Anniversary, from Salvo Sound & Vision:
This Anniversary edition has been digitally remastered from the original 1⁄4 inch tapes. A photograph emerged online this week of Tim Turan, the engineer, holding the original master tape boxes, as he spoke about working on the track Swan Lake, and making this new master of the album.
This edition comes with recently unearthed rehearsal recordings from 1979, including two songs that have never appeared anywhere before. “Lost my head” and “Sunshine Voice”. It’s also very interesting to see Absolutely album track “You Said” on the rehearsal tape and Grey Day B-side “Memories” as well as hearing versions of tracks that made the album some 5 months before the debut LP was recorded.
Nutty Sounds was released as Nutty Theme when it appeared on the One Step Beyond single with a few different lyrics. This tape, called here “Fab Toones”, is a C90 kept safe by Bedders. Indeed, we’ve previously run news of tweets about this very cassette. It goes back to the days when Mike and Chris sang some of these songs.
Hear previews of all the tracks, help yourself to a free download and you can even re-name the album, creating pictures you can share with people. Visit the mini site to do all this.
The classy photo montaged site contains a preview link to a private set of videos of every track on the album. You can hear 1m30s versions of all the unheard tunes and rehearsals.
The website also shows some tracks that are not to be released on the album. Including a Bedders/Barson song “My Mates” and covers of “Shop Around” and “There’s always something there to remind me.” You can grab a download of another songs for free right now. An April 79 version of the track “Madness”, with further downloads promised in the future from the mini site.
There is a DVD of videos and Top of the Pops/Old Grey Whistle Test appearances, that includes the Young Guns documentary, and a 24 page booklet that speaks to Clive, Alan and Chris about the album.
The album sounds really good, and our own Paul Rodgers will be here soon in a future issue with a full review.
New Madness T-shirts.
Over on the Madstore, at http://madness.sandbaghq.com/left-menu-madness/clothing/t-shirts.html/ a selection of new official T-shirts for you to buy, have been unveiled.
The most mentionable among the new designs is a summer white palms t-shirt, depicting a tropical sunset beach seen through an outlined Madness crowned M. Very Nice. It has a very Nassau Madness Seven mode we feel.
Other New Shirts include a ringer, showing a crowned M with a laurel ring around it, and an orange Madness London Logo on grey. See below for details of the tour T-shirt which can be bought on its on separately.
The M.A.D.H.E.A.D Tour T-shirt – Get it now.
What does any self respecting Madhead wear? The only true fan clothing of choice right now is surely the brand new Madhead T-shirt. Available now at least five months ahead of the tour, this T-shirt is so NOW!
The brand new 2014 picture of all seven of the band next to their happiness machine and ready to bring joy. You can look stylish in it in a range of sizes, you can promote this summer, the forthcoming tour and help your heroes and of course in this day and age by buying the bands official clothing you are putting your money into the future new album project pot etc of the band who exist these days on their own self produced record label.
We’re very happy with this move to give out the T-shirt ahead of the tour as it makes so much sense to us. The T-shirt is relevant and current for a longer period of time for the fan. Steer clear of knock off clothing and get the official Madhead T-shirt. Support your favourite band directly, like a true Madhead.
Available here… Via See Tickets and Madness.co.uk
Out Now! SPECIALIZED: Mad Not Cancer. 4CD covers album for Teenage Cancer Trust – Pre-Order Now
Over 70 tracks. 4 CDs. Cover versions of Madness by not just Ska bands but lots of young up and coming acts of many genres including a few famous pop stars and Bedders on one track, too. All for Teenage Cancer.
http://www.specialized-project.co.uk/#!shop/c1atu (remove hyphen from URL)
LIVE AND INTENSIFIED
This week we bring you links to various videos shot during the band’s recent European shows, including new stage formations and singers as Carl is currently taking time out from the band, or at least from live performances.
Night Boat to Cairo (Now opening the set) Majorca Rocks
Dust Devil – Majorca Rocks
Showtime – King of Rock – Majorca Rocks
It must be Love – Majorca Rocks
One Step Beyond (encore) – Ibizia Rocks
Take it or Leave It. – Ibiza Rocks
My Girl – Rock for people – Prague
One Step/NightBoat/Madness Medley (encore). – Reggea Sun Ska Splash.
Szivget festival. Nearly full broadcast of yesterday’s Budapest concert.
Despite Chris and Bedders being unavailable for these two concerts, fielding a nearly unprecedented sparse 4 originals with current deps. The crowd can still be seen to be lapping up the bouncing fun of Madness, with Suggs buoyant and Lee on fine form for the broadcast quality cameras. “I’ve 3 little words for you” shouts Suggs in the newly placed encore, “One Step Beyond.”
TWEETS OF A DOVE / THAT FACEBOOK
Various posts from Facebook and Twitter that have caught our eye over the past week or so.
“@madhouseoffun reveal early line-up details… Many more acts to be announced soon! http://www.butlins.com/madness”
“Thanking all at @mallorcarocks last night, now it’s @ibizarocks turn!”
Magic Brothers (@MagicBrothers3)
“Almost finished adding Siobhan’s backing vocals to the next Magic Brothers album. What a beautiful voice she has”
Chrissy Boy’s Cupboard
Asked about the Fab toones Tape…
“It is a copy of an old rehearsal cassette. Practically the whole “One Step Album”. I really loved listening to it quite charming. It was found in Bedders loft..”
The Madheader Encore: WIN STEP BEYOND – Get the 35th anniversary album early.
The competition ended with a win for One Step Beyond. The Madheader crowned the debut album the best and most loved by fans. While Folgate fought a near 50 to 50 % battle in the early stages of voting. Later One Step Beyond took a lead, and persuaded opinions towards the iconic first album.
The Specialized competition on All Things Madness concluded with a large amount of Specialized prizes being given away.
Now fittingly the number one album has been remastered from the original 1/4 inch master tapes. As one last Encore to our competition, win the 35th anniversary edition of the album you voted the best ever, now in new hi fi definition. With added curio hissy rehearsal tape rarities, unheard songs, TV clips DVD and 24 page booklet by the albums producers.
You could win this soon and get it early. Join in the specialized raffle in the pinned post at All things Madness. Donations in August are now eligible for both prizes, (this includes a Specialized album and this Madness one, up to their individual draw dates announced later.) Money to teenage cancer trust for specialized mad not cancer.
Donate at least £2 here.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
There are some bands that just encourage crowds to lose their inhibitions, forget the fact that they can’t sing and bellow out the words regardless. The balconies surrounding the pool of the Ibiza Rocks hotel are all full and everyone is joining in the fun. Suggs holds court in the middle of the stage without his wing man Chaz Smash, who has decided the time is right to go his own way, and while there is an element of sadness attached to that decision from the fans perspective, the show, as they say, must go on.
It’s another feel good night of happy melodies, familiar lyrics, memories of a time when everything seemed to be a lot simpler and the joy of singing at the top of your lungs alongside complete strangers who were doing exactly the same.
Madness played another blinder and we left the west end with ear to ear grins on our faces and without our voices.
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 537 – Sunday 16th August – Saturday 22nd August 2009
This week we brought you details, revealing the latest line-up for The Isle of Wight gig. Additions included the legendary Jerry Dammers and Gentlemen’s Club.
In football news, we explained how you could sign-up for the Madness Central Football Dream Team League.
Armed with a pin code, team name and password, football fans could then join in and play against fellow Maddies.
Elsewhere, Jonathan Young gave us the heads-up on Suggs’ latest cinematic appearance, which saw him appear briefly in the film “Billy and Lilly go to New York”. Filmed in Soho, Suggs played himself
Further on, and Australian Maddie, Michael Gillis gave us the lowdown on his visit to the Melbourne International Film Festival, where he managed to catch the Norton Folgate Film, and Jonathan Young made a welcome (temporary) return to the MIS to review the forthcoming ‘Suggs and The City’ book.
We also had material from Paul Rodgers, who was here with yet more Madness chart news, thoughts and opinions.
Alongside all that we had news which indicated that the license for the Isle of Wight gig had yet to be issued, and was up against some serious opposition.
Add to that lot our usual collection of Madness related news snippets, and we had one packed issue to plough through.
10 years ago…
Issue number 275 – Sunday 15th August – Saturday 21st August 2004
We started off this week’s issue by announcing that the mailing list problems we’d been experiencing over the past three or four weeks would soon be resolved.
The downtime with the list server stemmed from our host, Brian Edmonds, moving from his place in British Columbia to the sunnier climes of the California Bay area, and a job at Google – lucky swine.
For the tech-heads who were interested, the move would also see us moving off the old Majordomo software which we’d been using since 1995, and on to the Mailman platform.
Moving on to more Madness related bits and pieces, one of the biggest items of news this week was the release of a 148-page collectors’ special edition from the makers of Q and MOJO, starring…
The Specials, Madness, The Beat, The Selecter and more
Foreword by Suggs
Jerry Dammers speaks!
Collectables & Memorabilia
The 20 Greatest Ska Revival Songs
And much more
This magazine would be available as a Q special edition in the UK and a MOJO special edition overseas, including the US, with a release date of the 19th of August.
Whilst the above was certainly a nice piece of news, what was to follow was of much more interest to the majority of the Madness online community.
A quick and to the point message from co-editor Simon Roberts, to Chris, on the official web site simply read;
“CB-How about some more samples from ‘Perfect Place?’
This is the holy grail for the hardcore fans (all 6 of them) and a tune close to your hearts I believe.
It’s your 25th birthday now, so please.. please..
pretty please..begs etc..”
Chris was quick to reply;
“Well it’s funny you should say that, because it’s on the agenda.. As soon as me and Bedders get back from our holidays.
Would this mean that we’d finally be able to get our paws on the full studio version of this much sought after track, or would we be given a few more bits of the track to download instead? Only time would tell.
Moving on, and a few weeks back Woody kindly asked fans to send in pictures of themselves for inclusion over on the official web site.
Well, it seemed that many of you were only too willing to have your ugly mugs plastered all over the internet as veritable selection of fan pictures were now on display behind Woody’s door.
Maddies on there this month were:
Alex and Marco from Italy
Kevin Crowther (jerseykev)
Michael Evans and Phil Jupitus
Colin Reynolds and Bedders
Colin Reynolds and Woody
We finished off this week’s issue with a slightly non Madness related item, as it turned out that Phil Jupitus’ column in the latest issue of The Radio Times magazine was giving the Kinks’ legendary album ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ the once-over.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 13 – Sunday 15th August to Saturday 21st August 1999
MIS subscriber Dave Scocca kicked off this week’s issue of the weekly bulletin with a number of snippets relating to the band’s future releases.
Whilst rummaging around the CDZone website he noticed that they had Johnny The Horse pencilled in with a release date of 27th Sep with a cat number of VSCDT1740 and of even more interest, they had the Madness 6 CD box set down for a 1st November release with a cat of `Madbox2`. These packages would apparently cost 4.31 and a wallet busting 57.81 UK pounds respectively.
Elsewhere this issue we had exciting news on the fanzine front, as long-time Nut Inc contributor, Vince Carden announced that issue one of his newly released zine ‘Madness Unsugged’ had just been released.
To coincide with this, we featured a full lowdown of this first issue, along with contact details so you could order yourselves a copy.
At the time we wondered if we really needed another fanzine, what with Stuart Wright’s Nut Inc already doing the rounds, but over the coming months Madness Unsugged would prove that there was more than enough room for two fan publications on the block.
Moving on, and Vince Foley emailed in to let us know that the Lovestruck single had fallen 7 places in the UK chart, and was now sitting down at number 27. Vince commented that he thought
“Lovestruck captured the fickle record buying public at the right time and is surely one of the anthems of the summer.
So well done gents and roll on the next.”
Further on in this issue we featured a huge article taken from a 1992 edition of Vox magazine (between the release of Divine Madness and the original Madstock weekend in Finsbury Park), and painstakingly typed up by subscriber Mike Hearne. Although it was certainly a lengthy read it was a fascinating one, and revealed just how the planets aligned in order to make the whole Madness comeback possible.
Possibly the most amusing thing in this week’s issue had to go to the reply subscriber Andrew Langmead received from Jeff Smith, Head of Music Policy at Radio 1, when question as to why Lovestruck hadn’t been aired on the station.
It was good of Jeff to reply, but the comments that the station felt it wasn’t one of Madness’ finest moments, and that it was more suited to Radio 2 didn’t go down too well with fans.
Andrew urged us to not take this as an opportunity to start flaming Mr. Smith, and pointed out that a long as we still loved the band any kept buying the singles they’d keep releasing them…
with or without Radio 1.
NICK WOODGATE’S – MAGIC DAWNING & MAGIC BROTHERS Part Two
Nick Woodgate approaches a new dawn. He spoke to us this week about a future project that he’s excited about – he plans to release his first solo album as Nick Woodgate.
Nick’s songwriting has been a long time passion, a few download albums under the name Nicky Woodgate were written in the past, but now all deleted. This project is a new dawn an all newly recorded set of his songs, professionally mixed with Nick playing all the instruments, with additional help on drums from his bruv, and it’s well underway, with continuing work and mixing taking place on the album.
We can’t say too much just yet, but from previews Nick has shared there is a track called “The Magic Dawn” that begins with a Revolver era Harrison style Indian influence before the great guitar grooves kick in and grab you.
We will be back to let you know more as this as yet untitled album the project heads toward it’s bright new beginnings.
While working on this release, he remains involved with song writing with his brother, on both “some cracking” tracks available to Madness for consideration and the second album by The Magic Brothers band. He made an announcement publically this week about forthcoming live gigs, that the live Magic Brothers band would be using Dan (the keyboard player) as the new lead vocalist, and Nick wouldn’t be traveling on the November gigs as the band reach Part Two of their live outings.
“I have made the decision that I can’t do justice to the Magic Brothers songs as a singer, so I am very happy to take a back seat and concentrate on songwriting.” Nick posted this week.
“We have got in a professional singer who is more than capable. If you are going to one of our gigs planned for November I send you my deepest apologise that I won’t be there and wish Bruv and the band an excellent time all round. As Bruv says we are here to spread love, so I am sending you all my deepest love and look forward to the release of the Magic Brothers second album
XXXXX. Nick Woodgate”
So look out for all this fresh new music soon. Twice the magic.
MIS FEATURE – THE SERVICE – THE RISE, FALL AND RISE AGAIN
The Service, a ska band from Ireland feature on the new album Specialized Madness not Cancer CD.
We now introduce them to you our readers…
In 1993, a few young men with a shared love of all things Ska-Reggae and 2-Tone got together and formed a band called The Service. Within a few months they were up and running and gigging in their native town of Cork City, Ireland. Playing to small, sweating and enthusiastic crowds the band soon became a mainstay of the Cork music scene in the mid-90s, playing well known places like Sir Henry’s and Cork Opera House.
Within a short time, regular gigs and growing crowds were followed with bigger venues as some prestigious support gigs. The Service were on hand to support legendary acts such as Bad Manners, The Specials and most notably perhaps the Selecter. What was memorable about that gig was the headline band were running late due a delayed ferry to Ireland. A slightly stressed promoter asked The Service to keep on playing until Ms Pauline Back and here merry crew arrived. This was duly responded to, as the now legendary The Forum venue skanked to a 2-toned crescendo as the main event finally arrived.
Many more gigs followed as did a few outings to the studio, but like all good things, within a few years, the band went their separate ways in 1996. A brief reunion followed in 2001 but perhaps the world wasn’t ready yet for another trip to Skaville. Fast forward to 2013, with a few changes in personnel and fresher sound, The Service returned to reclaim their crown as local Ska heroes on these shores.
The band have been gigging continually since and have broadened both repertoire and reach more, with a hark back to the Ska fore-fathers of the Trojan era as well as playing Ska festivals and venues throughout Ireland. As well as this the band have taken to the studio again and have just released their first single, some twenty years in the making called ‘We Knew you’d do it’ which was recorded along with our own track for the Specialized ‘Mad not Cancer’ album; ‘the Rise and Fall.’
In March 2014, the idea of contributing to this worth-while project came our way, and all on board, who loved the aforementioned band were happy to get involved. We decided that it would be great to take perhaps a lesser-well known, but none-the lesser tune to cover. A few ideas were emailed back and forth and finally we decided to go with the title track to their 1982 masterpiece ‘Rise and Fall’.
In an effort to reflect the band’s sound, as well as putting our own spin perhaps on the track, we stripped it back to come up with a reggae-opening and off-beat skanking throughout, take of this great song. Someone quipped that it sounded like Rise and Fall as if it was on the ‘Absolutely’ album; and I think we’ll take that synopsis!
This was a labour of love as well as an honour to be part of and we hope that you all enjoy the fruits of our work. Please check us out, ‘like’ and ‘share’ on Facebook and put the word out so we can embark on or UK, European and World tour in 2015!
If you like how we sound, you can visit our YouTube channel ‘theserviceskacork’ or why not treat yourself to our new single ‘We knew you’d do it’- The Service now available on iTunes!
SPECIALIZED 3 MAD NOT CANCER – THE ALBUM ARRIVES
It’s here! Paul Willo has confirmed that the Specialized 3 album. Mad Not Cancer, has been dispatched. With just enough typing power left in his arms that have been stuffing envelopes all week long, he wrote…
“Every single remaining order done and ready for the off…. That was a marathon session. … Keep an eye on your letterboxes. Thanks again. The Post Office have brought in a fast track system which helps. No standing at counters for an hour now lol.” Paul Willo
Although the albums are so fat they had to go second class to keep the profit margin right for the worthy charity cause, they have started arriving with happy customers this weekend from Friday morning.
“It’s arrived! I can’t wait for the drive home, to give it a listen.” Maria Ashe
“Servers – Lovestruck is a quality cover. Sounds bloody brilliant up loud on headphones.” Hazel Foster
Here is some more track reviews, as Graham Yates reached over 50 tracks in his review, which will reach completion in the next issue.
The Resonations – 1978
One of the things that has fascinated me with Specialized 3 – Mad Not Cancer, has been hearing how songs sung by a female vocalist are changed so much just by that simple difference alone. This cover of Oui Oui Si Si Deluxe album track “1978”, by Exeter band The Resonations, is a good example. The basic lilting melody isn’t that different from the original, but vocalist Louisa Edmonds’ soulful interpretation of the song changes the whole “feel”of it completely. The way Louisa uses phrasing and intonation in a totally different style from Suggs, adds a layer of beauty to the vocal that wasn’t necessarily there in the same way with the original.
The Rough Kutz – Mistakes
The Rough Kutz from Stoke have been around for over 20 years now, so are familiar to most with any knowledge of the ska scene today, and are another band back for their third Speciailized outing. Here, they demonstrate their wealth of experience with a cover of One Step Beyond b-side, Mistakes, widely acknowledged as being one of Madness’ first ever self-penned songs. This cover is driven by drummer Yatesy and bassist Tony, with Hazza’s keyboards taking a bit more of a back seat from the original, singer Brigga’s vocal is strong but just as deadpan as Suggs’ version.
The Fecking Eejits – Cardiac Arrest
Near legendary punk band The Fecking Eejits from Aylesbury, first formed in 1982, got back together earlier this year to perform a tribute gig to ex-band member Alex who had sadly passed away, and have carried on ever since. Here they deliver a performance of Cardiac Arrest that replaces the original’s heartbeat opening with a bass riff, followed by a fairly laid back drum and guitar led performance right until it bursts into a good old fashioned punk thrash, slowing down for a neat guitar solo and another verse, before a storming punk finish.
The Funaddicts – Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)
The Funaddicts from Brisbane, Australia, make their second appearance for Specialized having featured on Beat Cancer performing Jeanette. This time round they go for Madness’ 1983 single, and a very good job they do of it too. The harmonica intro is replaced by a trumpet backed by the piano and accompanied by lead singer Chris with the first two lines of the chorus. The song then thumps into life and remains fairly faithful to the original, with perhaps a little bit more of a brassy ska bounce to it. It continues to build throughout with the tempo increasing towards the whole band joining in for a “la la la la” chorus before the pace slows briefly and then picks up to a rousing finish.
Esperanza – On The Town
Esperanza are another of the Scottish contingent on Mad Not Cancer. Here they bring in Jane Chalmers, from The Amphetameanies, to assist with vocal duties on their cover of The Liberty Of Norton Folgate album track “On The Town”. The cover, with its interplay between Jake from the band and guest vocalist Jane, stays fairly faithful to the original throughout with some nice brass and drum touches added in for good measure, and does the song no injustice by doing so.
Kingston Ska Orchestra – One Step Beyond
The Kingston Ska Orchestra describe themselves as a band “playing traditional big band ska” – and that’s exactly what they deliver here: a fantastic big band sound. Let’s face it there’s not a great deal you can do with One Step Beyond in terms of doing it “differently”, as has been done with some of the other tracks on Mad Not Cancer. What the Kingston Ska Orchestra have done is create a four minute track (without any of Dave Robinson’s famed loops and splices either!!) in which each of the various instruments gets it’s turn in the spotlight, all held together by a solid rhythm section. On top of this they cleverly weave together all the elements into a big swirling mass of brass in places, take a break about three minutes in for a thumping section led by the bass drum, before driving neatly to a bass led fade with sax and trumpet free forming over it. Kudos too for avoiding a cheesy take on the “Hey you” refrain to start and just sticking to understated “One Step Beyond” calls in all the right places. Big, bouncy, brass led ska at its very best. Bombskare – Deceives The Eye
Scotland’s ska juggernaut, Bombskare, give us a breathless, and indeed faultless, cover of Work, Rest & Play EP track Deceives The Eye (With that EP being fully represented on Mad Not Cancer, there’s a potential vinyl EP release for Specialized ready made too, but I digress!!) From the thumping brass intro, through to the closing “Deceives the eye, the eye”, the band barely pauses for breath, delivering a slightly faster version in the process. There’s not a great deal of difference in style from the original, but the tale of light fingeredness is transferred from the streets of Camden to those of the band’s home town of Edinburgh, courtesy of lead singer Scott McCafferty’s distinctively accented vocal. A storming cover!!
The Service – Rise And Fall
The Service, hailing from Cork, take on the title track of Madness’ fourth studio album. This cover actually reminds me a little more of the Our House: The Musical version of the song than the original, which is not a criticism, more an observation. The band deliver an accomplished performance from start to finish, kicking off with a neat organ riff before a slightly melancholic lead vocal kicks in to lead the song through the downbeat opening section, bursting into the more up tempo middle, and finally breaking back to the slower ending and a repeat to fade of “Rise And Fall”.
The Originals – You’ll Lose A Good Thing
The Originals are an all-star collective of old school ska artists comprising: Tony Washington, Count Prince Miller, Dennis Al Capone, Carl St Clair, Jimmy James and Winston Francis, who between them have worked on, and produced, many of the original hits we all know and love. Here they team up with French ska orchestra The Skamanians to deliver a cracking version of the Dangermen Sessions track (which happens to be a personal favourite). The song veers more towards a reggae vibe at times, with each of The Originals taking a turn on lead vocals, The Skamanians providing excellent backing rhythms and some good solid brass. The Originals pay tribute to the band that paid tribute to many of them, and their genre, in fine style!!
The Bionic Rats – In The Rain
Another of the Irish contingent appearing on Specialized 3 – Mad Not Cancer, The Bionic Rats, from Dublin, have opened for many of the great and the good of the ska scene. Here they deliver a solid cover of Absolutely album track “In The Rain”, bringing some nice trumpet parts to play along the way. The vocal is gentle and lilting throughout, the mix of keyboards, bass and drums hold the song together while sax and trumpet dip in and out nicely.
Ska Face – The Young And The Old
Ska Face, from Blackpool, take on another of the Work Rest & Play EP tracks, and one that gives rise to one of my old mate Chigs’ many Madness trivia questions, as it shares it’s opening two words with another Madness song (if you don’t know – answer at the end!!). The track starts with a nice organ solo, that quickly bursts into an almost salsa brass refrain, that leads into Tony Montana’s vocal. What follows is a very tight performance of the song, with some great brass throughout. There’s a great sax solo which is then echoed by the keyboards. It’s not that different from the original, but the brass touches really add something. Oh and Lovestruck is the answer by the way!!
Paul Brightman – My Girl
Paul, a solo recording artist from Kent, turns the amps up high and the guitar up higher, for this rocking cover of Madness’ third single and its tale of “girlfriend troubles”. The song is led by an old school rock style guitar, and a simple drum rhythm accompanying Paul’s vocal. The mid-way sax break is replaced by a more than accomplished guitar solo and overall the cover works well.
The Crabs Corporation – The Opium Eaters
The Crabs Corporation, from Argentina, bring us their take on Seven album track “The Opium Eaters”. They’ve used synths and other assorted background shouts, noises and dubs to great effect, whilst not straying too far from the original, along with some nice sax touches layered in here and there. Another one to turn the lights down low, and let your mind wander.
Bluebird Parade – One Better Day
Bluebird Parade, from the East Midlands, are another band who are no strangers to Specialized, having contributed stunning versions of Dawning Of A New
Era and Best Friend to the first two albums. They don’t disappoint here either, with their cover of Madness’ 19th single “One Better Day”. Singer Ming Nagel’s distinctive and haunting vocals work perfectly with the overall feel of the song, the melody of which in places reminds me a little of a 1970’s TV theme, although I can’t think which one!! The blend of Ming’s voice and the dreamy laid back jazzy vibe is spot on, and the band can most certainly claim a Specialized hat-trick to be proud of.
Urangmatang (featuring Big Jim Paterson) – Madness
One of two versions of Madness’ eponymous theme tune on the album. This one sees Scotland’s Urang Matang return for their third Specialized outing, and team up with Dexys’ trombonist “Big” Jim Paterson. The track actually gets a neat jazzy laid back vibe over the ska backbeat, with, as you’d expect, some nice brass touches throughout, including a great trombone solo from the band’s esteemed guest.
Carl Dawson – In The Middle Of The Night
This is another track that’s been re-worked as simple vocals and an acoustic guitar. The neat trick of this one being that Stevenage based vocalist Carl Dawson sings alternate verses in two different keys, which gives the impression of the song being a duet. The original was a classic “story telling song” and the way it’s been worked here has enhanced that further. The acoustic guitar is understated, leaving Carl’s vocal to showcase the song nicely.
Specialized New You Tube Channel.
A SMALL MISTAKE – A BIG SORRY FROM US
“We would like to make a sincere apology to ESPERANZA for the printing error on the [Specialized 3] CD back which has them omitted with Bombskares name in their place. (They are pictured inside the album, and correctly listed against the track on the publishing listings inside)
The track ON THE TOWN is credited to ESPERANZA. Bombskare remain artists on Deceives the eye. We are very, very sorry for this omission but all our social media is correct and all documentation sent out at promo to press and radio is correct.
Another run could be possible and will ensure changes made in that case. Our updates at the time show the probs we had been having and this is just the end of a long line of them.
We apologise unreservedly. Paper Re-Correction slips will go out with all future albums.
That’s just about it for this week’s issue of the MIS.
Next week we should have an album review for you of both Carl’s solo album, and the new edition of One Step Beyond, plus Graham will be completing his review of the Specialized album.
If you’ve received your copy of the Specialized album by now, or it lands on your doormat this coming week, do write in and tell us which songs you’re enjoying the most in their new cover version form.
Next, and earlier this week we received this short message;
“Hi it’s Alex from Italy, there’s the new single by Italian band Tiromancino, it seems like something I know….
all the best ! Alex”
Mai saputo il tuo nome …
It’s true. Give it a listen! It’s an Italian version of Madness’ most recent hit single Never Knew Your Name.
Moving on, and we have a Paul Rodgers Amazon flash. Paul tells us that the One Step Beyond 35th anniversary edition is currently ranked at number 4 in the pre-releases chart and at number 20 in the main CD chart. Not bad for something that was only announced 36 hours ago and with no proper advertising as of yet. All being well, this should be heading for top the top 40.
Next, and if John Tovey is reading this week, can you please contact Paul Rodgers through us. We’ve had messages asking to contact you. Thank you John. Speak soon. Please reply. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally, a reminder that you have two weeks left to promote Mad Chat and at the same time win some great prizes. The prizes are as follows : 1 x Madness Artwork, Embarrassment T-Shirt (Size XL), SUGGS ‘That Close Ltd Edition Bookmarks.
By entering the competition over at www.madchat.co.uk you could win. Good Luck.
Until next week, thanks for reading,
Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams
(With thanks to Graham Yates Vince Foley and Paul Rodgers)
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