Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 835 – Sunday 10th May to Saturday 16th May 2015
This week finally sees the general release of Cathal Smyth’s solo debut album “A Comfortable Man”. In some ways this is a continuation of his song writing that has weaved through many incarnations of Madness albums, and a few previous short lived endeavours beyond Madness, too. In other ways this is a new departure in its sound, and a brand new distilled focus of his artistic intent musically.
Now is the time to buy “A Comfortable Man” to see if the sound is for you. You can listen online via YouTube, Spotify. The whole album is currently previewing on SoundCloud via Q Magazine. Have a listen and do email in and tell us your thoughts.
This coming week, Carl will be in London for three events. The first is an album signing at Fopp. Following that he’ll be in conversation with Gavin Martin at Talking Musical Revolutions, who tells us a couple of tracks will be performed acoustically at the event. Then Thursday brings a full musical hall show, again at Shepherds Bush, with the album plus three new songs that Cathal has been putting the finishing touches to. If you get along to any of the above do send us your reviews or comments.
We feel it’s a stunning album. Some powerful deep subject emotion, balanced with cheery bright love songs that light up the world.
Most of this week’s issue content comes from Carl’s appearances in the media in support of the public release of “A Comfortable Man”. We hope you enjoy the album. It’s been a lifetime coming.
In other news, and this week Suggs revealed that brand new tracks will be aired at the forthcoming Madness Weekender in Minhead. He also commented that the release date for the next album is not yet known.
Check out the short video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1CNGWU4lqA&feature=youtu.be
Now, on with the issue!
Enjoy the read,
Jon 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.
“Sporting theatres jumping with joy is the goal. Grandslam Madness – the greatest open air tour in the history of Rock & Roll…”
29 – Lincoln City Football Club
30 – Gloucester Rugby Club
3 Chelmsford City Racecourse
6 – Portsmouth, Fratton Park *** General tickets sold out ***
26 – Newmarket Racecourses
27 – Doncaster Racecourse
28 – Hove, Sussex County Cricket Club
2 – Silverstone Circuit
3 – St Helens, Haydock Park Racecourse
4 – Carlisle Racecourse
5 – Montrose, East Links, Scotland
9 – Epsom Downs Racecourse
10 – Chepstow Racecourse
11 – Rhyll Outdoor Events Arena
11 – Canterbury, Kent County Cricket Club
12 – Bristol, Gloucester County Cricket Club
13 – London, On Blackheath
18 – Leeds, Yorkshire County Cricket Club
25 – Wolverhampton
26 – Chester-le-Street, Durham County Cricket Club
November 20th – 23rd 2014 – Minehead – The House Of Fun Weekender Five
Early bird tickets on sale now
Near Jazz Experience
19th – NEAR JAZZ EXPERIENCE + Support + DJ Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT *Free*
16th – NEAR JAZZ EXPERIENCE + Bad Cats Blues + DJ Set
Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT *Free* 8.30pm BST
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra
24th Llangollen Town Hall, Denbrighshire, Wales (Fringe Festival Event)
1st The Garage Highbury, London
May *** This week – album launch events ***
11th Fopp Record shop Covent Garden 6pm – ALBUM SIGNING EVENT NOT A CONCERT
13th Boogaloo Soho – TALK EVENT NOT A CONCERT.
14th Shepard’s Bush Hall London. W12.
*** NEW *** 4th – Prince Albert, Brighton
5th – The Garage, Highbury, London
*** NEW *** 5th – Bingley Music Festival (Headlining Stage 2)
The Clang Group
*** NEW *** 19 June – The Islington, London N1
The Grandslam Tour T-Shirt
It’s 3 weeks until the Grandslam begins. You can get the latest official Madness T-shirt here…
The charcoal grey T-shirt (available in small or large sizes) costs £20 and is exclusive to the Madshop. It’s also available in advance of the tour, which is nice
Brand new Madness vinyl stickers.
Cover your pencil case, fridge, exercise book, vinyl boxes, hamster cage, wallet, picture frame, tooth brush holder, local lamppost, envelopes, passing double decker busses, birthday cards, mobile phone case or other, with new Madness stickers. In 6 piece sets of classic M’s or a union jack worded M.
Also now available – Madness Brewing Company. Bottle Opener.
A Comfortable Man – Cathal Smyth solo album. Signed Packages Now Available. *** This week ***
Remaining limited LP’s, CD and download. Album available May 11th.
Signed Super Deluxe Bundles are now available, containing the Limited LP, CD and download editions. The preview track and single download instantly, and you also get a pack of 10 art postcards. The album is available in a Digipack CD with 8 page booklet.
More info at: http://cathalsmyth.tmstor.es/ Price – £28.99
If you attended the Wilton’s music hall gig and already have the LP, or if you are only interested in certain items there are a range of other buy options available. Signed CD’s separately. Etc.
In Your Mind – Woody Woodgate solo album.
Pre-Order Now on Amazon.
OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE A SIGNED ALBUM INSTEAD http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/Woody-Woodgate-In-Your-Mind-Ltd-Autographed-Edition-188454
Album released June 1st. 13 tracks with new band line up and vocalist Dan Shears.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
This week’s news and media appearances focus heavily on Carl and his solo album, but in amongst that lot are one or two Suggs and general Madness features, also
MADNESS on The palladium
Our House – https://youtu.be/Mq_sunVhNHA
It Must be Love (With Olly Murs) – https://youtu.be/zgmc3pn9rNQ
Our thanks thanks to Dicka for the upload.
Cathal Smyth Talks to The Irish Post.
What are you up to right now?
Finishing of the lyrics for three new songs, which I’m performing at my album launch this week.
What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?
The last as it’s been the most challenging, life affirming and continues to be an adventure.
What record sends a shiver down your spine?
The Women of Ireland performed by The Chieftans.
What is your favourite place in Ireland?
My great Auntie Annie’s cottage in Mayo.
What makes you angry?
Man’s inhumanity to man.
What book influenced you most?
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of The Warrior, Chögyam Trungpa.
What was the worst moment of your life?
When my father passed.
Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?
Daniela Prasuna Coppeli, who runs a restaurant in Ibiza, La Paloma. A beautiful human being and an amazing cook.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I would stop smoking cigarettes.
Can you recommend an interesting website?
What is the best lesson life has taught you?
Breath deeply, it too shall pass
Who are your heroes?
The Dalai Lama, Rumi, Jesus, Buddha, Michael Smiley, Eckhart Tolle, Alan Watts, Sir Ken Robinson, Brene Brown, Robert Tressell, Susie Pearl.
What is your favourite film and why?
It’s a Wonderful Life. It never loses its impact and always brings a tear to my eye.
What do you believe in?
The power of prayer and good intent.
What trait do others criticise you for?
Where do you live and what are the best and worst things about that place?
I live in Ibiza, Spain. The best thing is the tranquility of the countryside, the worst is the holiday season mayhem.
On what occasion is it OK to lie?
When the truth might hurt someone.
What do you consider the greatest work of art?
The Creation of Adam, Michelangleo.
What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Taking a holiday.
Who is the love of your life?
My ex wife.
Q Music Listen to A Comfortable Man
Cathal Smyth – sometimes known as Chas Smash when he’s around the lot from Madness – releases solo album A Comfortable Man on Monday (11 May). It’s reviewed in our new issue – Q347 out now – but here’s an exclusive preview of the album ahead of its release
Cathal On Radio 5 Live
Carl talks to radio five live, about Ireland, his new album, going solo, ageing. He talks about writing Poetry and musical projects.
They play “You are not alone” & “Do You believe in love”, and Carl performs the Norton Folgate era poem, “The Happy Man”. With Sarah Brett and Dan Walker interviewing.
“Writing has always been a pleasure.” Cathal Smyth
Carl also talks about the early day of Madness. Then talks about what it was like to leave Madness. Comparing it to a scene from American werewolf in London, and spirituality from Buddhism to reading widely. Living life for now is the conclusion.
In the last hour he talks about The Rehab Centre times ten years ago extensively, including lectures, group therapy, control issues,
The election is the final topic.
Suggs With Simon Mayo
Ahead of the Grandslam Suggs talked to Simon Mayo on Radio Two this week. It’s a most amusing interview in which the presenter manages to unwittingly play Michael Caine to Suggs as his favourite Madness song! Doh! And listener questions range from the most stupid of rumours (about Olly Murs being the band’s new singer for Grandslam) to the most stupid mistake of facts (Suggs having a son!). But beyond that it was a great plug for Grandslam. It’s also worth it to hear Suggs blatantly plug Gladness by suddenly opening a bottle in the studio unannounced.
The Sunday Times – Album of The Week – Cathal Smyth, A Comfortable Man
It charts the break-up of his 28-year marriage, but whereas most break-up albums follow reasonably quickly after the break-up itself, this comes 10 years after the event, allowing for unusual amounts of perspective and self-awareness. This could lead to an album of dull, self-obsessed navel-gazing, but fortunately it doesn’t.
Smith’s simple, honest lyrics and straightforward delivery mean that songs such as Are the Children Happy? make a real emotional connection with the listener; while his gift for a pop melody (this is the man who co-wrote Our House) allows for light relief on the upbeat numbers Do You Believe in Love?
Our thanks to Lindsey Davies for spotting this one.
MIS FEATURE – A COMFORTABLE MAN TRACK BY TRACK
Cathal Smyth talks to Q magazine about each track on the album.
You’re not Alone
There is no end, no beginning, its all an illusion held together by the ego. Don’t be frightened. Fall through the beautiful confusion, breath deeply and find peace in the now. This was inspired by the premature death of a friend, it also made me think of those I know who are troubled souls. First we create our habits then our habits create ourselves.
Shabat She Come’s
Like a breath of fresh air she came into my life. I celebrate her though it wasn’t to be, I am grateful to have known her, what spirit. She was intoxicating. What a beautiful dance this life is. The gods were smiling. I wish I had read some Rumi to her.
A Comfortable Man
My memories of what have shaped me and brought me to this point where vulnerability, the gentle way is my ground, my path and my comfort. I am who I am. There is only acceptance. The rest is as it is.
Goodbye Planet Earth
I read Schumacher’s: Small is Beautiful, thirty years ago. This book frightened me then and re reading it recently how prescient he was. Mining, Metallurgy, Money, Mechanisation and the Military are all part of the maelstrom that is devouring our planets resources with no thought for our future.
Do You Believe in Love
How many time’s do we need to be told that Love is All. What a force Love is. Better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. I still love her and I feel better for that, even though she is not in my life.
Love Song No. 7
This is simply how it felt. Don’t we all feel this way when someone we love says its over. I wanted a lot of space within the music to suggest that which I was longing for, my home, my happiness and my family. It’s a time capsule of a moment in my life, like most of these songs a cathartic act which I was lost in.
She’s Got The Light
What attracts us to someone, like a moth to a flame? Perhaps the certainty that they reflect ourselves? I couldn’t help myself. She had the light.
A Requiem for Common Sense
War what is it good for? We have to remember our priorities. Put down the weapons and stop fighting you’re waking up the children. No excuses are good enough.
Are The Children Happy?
A window into my thoughts at that moment. I put it into words exactly how I felt then and actually heard who I was. It helped me deal with the pain. The memories of our life filled my minds eye. This song was a turning point in my writing. Truth has such a powerful sound and effect. It has quietly amazed me how many people have been touched by this song and related to the experience.
Love Song No. 9
If you don’t risk a broken heart you might never experience it. I wanted a sense of speaking quietly into her ear. To go back to that moment, to stir the memories. Perhaps, I’m just a daft old romantic. A Happy Fool.
All My Loving
It’s a simple song. Almost a lullaby. Im sharing in these words how I feel about love and my idea of commitment. What else can I say but go figure? Ive never been anything other than determined.
The Wren’s Burial
We are ever and will always be within each other, a part of each other, though we will all depart this mortal coil, memory keeps us living on in the hearts and minds of those who remain. Live well and accept its only a moment we are sharing
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 575 – Sunday 9th May – Saturday 15th May 2010
How would you like to have Madness staying in your house while they gigged in your neck of the woods? Well, with many of the stars performing at the Manx Telecom Bay Festival asking to stay at locals’ houses rather than hotels you could have had the band staying at your gaff during the event.
Here’s what Suggs had to say at the time;
“It is my first visit to the Isle of Man and I have been made most welcome and the house we are all staying in is fantastic”.
This week we also reported that on Wednesday Madness played a secret concert that was so intimate it may have been in Suggs’ front room.
The press reported at the time;
“Packing out Camden’s Flowerpot pub with friends, family, former flatmates and even a few fans, the Nutty Boys played a truly special show.
Within touching distance – especially when using the bar as a second stage – the band enjoyed the gig just as much as the audience.”
On the 1st of May a group of Madness fans from Barcelona took a car to see the band perform in Murcia. Thankfully for us they documented their road trip, which saw Madness perform at the SOS 4.8 Estrella Levante Festival in front of 35,000 festival goers.
“Madness were supposed to start at 11.30 pm, but heavy rain in the afternoon caused a one hour delay… Spanish timing…
The Madness show was as usual: 90 minutes starting with classic One Step Beyond – Embarassement – The Prince. In the middle of the concert a mix of: Classic hits (My Girl, Shut Up,…), Dangermen covers ( Chase the devil, Taller than you are,…) and new songs (Clerkewall Polska, Forever young,…). And the final rush with all the hits:
House of Fun, Bed and Breakfast Man, Wings of a Dove, Baggy Trousers, Our House and finally It Must be Love.
And, as you can imagine, the classic encore: Madness and Night Boat to Cairo, but this time nobody joined the band on the stage.”
Elsewhere in the issue, and we reported that Union Square’s re-masters/re-issues were to continue, with both The Rise and Fall and Keep Moving seeing the light of day on the 28th June.
Both albums were to feature promotional videos, plus a second disc of 12” mixes, b-sides and rarities.
We brought this issue to a close with links to more of the Madness range of Ben Sherman clothing, and photos of Carl’s son, Milo, modeling the new range of attire.
10 years ago…
Issue 313 – Sunday 8th May to Saturday 14th May 2005
We started off this week’s issue by welcoming back our old friend, Stuart Wright, who kicked-off the articles with a review of the recent JAG gig, held at The Metro Club.
Stuart’s lengthy review finished with;
“…this is a band that has enormous potential and is rapidly becoming a real group’s group as many other musicians make a point of seeing them play when they can. Their set has plenty of variety and the musicianship adds a nice wash of colour to a strong set of songs.
Check out Jag for a good night out and you won’t be disappointed”.
Moving on, and it’d been all of a couple of weeks since Madness last appeared on a compilation, so we thought you’d like to know about a forthcoming one from Virgin, entitled `The Best Album Tracks Ever`.
From Madness we had `Night Boat to Cairo` (from the One Step Beyond album), The Specials with `Blank Expression` (from The Specials album) and from the legendary Ian Dury and The Blockheads we were given `Sweet Gene Vincent` (from the New Boots and Panties album).
The compilation was a three disc affair, featuring 41 tracks.
Next-up we reported that Crunch would be performing on the same day as one of Madness’ Forest Tour gigs. How did Lee and Chris expect to do this? Well, the gig would take place earlier in the day meaning that Lee would have time to get to the Forest gig and perform with the rest of the band later that day.
Due to reasons we weren’t prepared to go into it was looking unlikely that Chris would be performing at this or any of the other gigs on the Forest Tour.
With the band signing a one-album deal with V2 records, to release an album of reggae and ska covers in April 2005, Chas took some time out from his busy schedule to chat to Youth Music about life, the universe and that famous “nutty sound”. Carl revealed the type of music he was in to at the moment, gave advice on new musicians just starting out, and revealed just what this forthcoming album was about.
We finished off this week’s issue by reminding those who were planning to meet up with fellow Maddies at one of more of the Forest Tour gigs to get over to the MIS forums where a number of meets were already in the process of being organised.
15 years ago…
Issue number 51 – Sunday 7th May to Saturday 13th May 2000
Some people do the nuttiest of things. In an attempt to cheer himself up after hearing that Madstock 2000 was now a non-runner, MIS Online subscriber, Chris Carter-Pegg had dug deep into his pockets and had forked out for a new number plate on his car. No, not just any old number plate, but ‘M7 CCP’. As Chris rightly pointed out at the time, “I must be mad!”
Elsewhere, and Chris Byrne reported that on Wednesday 3rd May, the legendary Suggs hosted a 3 hour radio show from 10am – 1pm on London’s XFM Radio Station
In news that would interest the collectors out there Jenny Payne reported that the classic `Seven`, `Rise and Fall` and `Absolutely` were apparently being re-issued in the UK with separate covers. Jenny continued by telling us to take the information with a pinch of salt as this is was first time she had received info from this source.
Those of you subscribed to the Total Madness Mailing List and who contributed to Cancer Bacup in aid of the late Ian Dury could all give yourselves a pat on the back. The TMML’s Simsey reported that;
“”I have informed Martina at CancerBACUP that members of The Total Madness Mailing List, from both Britain and Abroad have pledged in excess of £100 to the charity. She thanks all the members very much for their generosity.”
Moving on, and `Madness Unsugged` editor, Vincent Carden reported that a page had been set up on the BBC’s Ceefax service where fans could write in and discuss their favourite Madness single. You could E-mail them yours.
Vince also told us that;
“Seamus ‘Mad Not Mad’ Beaghan was on Later on Jools Holland last week playing the keyboards for “Death In Vegas”.
It was also time to get those blank video tapes out and those videos set. TMML subscriber JRC reported that Ian Dury would be featured in concert on the 7th of May at 11.40 PM On Channel 5. Perhaps it was a bit late for those of us who had to work, but was ideal viewing fodder for the students amongst us.
Moving on, and it was time for some congratulations. The Total Madness Mailing List’s Stuart Cook recently took part in a `Stars in Their Eyes` style competition at Freeport Village, West Lothian.
Performing as the almighty Suggs, and wearing a pin striped suit he sang the classic Madness single, `My Girl`. Once the results were in, it turned out that Stuart had got himself to the finals.
Congratulations also needed to go out to Vincent Carden who recently had his excellent fanzine, `Madness Unsugged` reviewed on Channel Four’s Teletext Service. It’s a shame Teletext couldn’t be bothered to get in touch with Vince to let him know that the review would be on as he subsequently missed it.
We finished off this week’s issue with the news that Madness were to perform alongside other stars on Friday 16th June in remembrance of the late Ian Dury.
Tickets were not yet available, but we did know that all proceeds would go to the more than worthwhile Cancer Bacup Charity which Ian Dury played an active part in promoting.
TWEETS OF A DOVE / THAT FACEBOOK
Cathal Smyth – Facebook.
“A Comfortable Man is now at No.1 in the Recordstore Top Ten signed pre orders.
Thank you one and all
“HMS MISERY, is musical play I’ve had on the back burner for some years. It’s Oliver Twist meets Cape Fear.
Chrissy Boy @CBoyForeman
“Errol Brown Sad news. Great singer, great band, great songs. We played on the same bill as them about 12 years ago”
Suggs also this week tweeted the word “Mother” along with a cat and all her kittens.
Could this suggest that there’s a new set of cats in the McPherson household? How nice after the story of “Mambo” in his 50th One Man touring show
The Ska Orchestra have been back in the studio for a second run of work on the second album, provisionally titled “Doughnut Disturbed”. Pictures showed Mark Bedford on a double bass and drummer Mez turning to xylophonic pursuits.
In last week’s issue, which included auctions and competitions and reviews of the Lovestruck 7 Inch for Record Store Day, we incorrectly reported that the number of copies of the limited edition record ending up on Ebay after two weeks was 3%. This figure actually covered only the first 48 hours. Here’s Graham Yates;
“There were over 120 completed (i.e actually sold) listings, which is more than 12% of the total, – and that doesn’t take into account Amazon Marketplace.”
Graham’s figure covers the first two weeks, showing the real impact was actually over a tenth of copies going through inevitable “buy to sell” people’s hands first. Graham reports the majority as going for £25+, with a handful as original face value sales. He also says there was much more bemoaning of this from fans he was in contact with. We apologise for the inaccurate reporting.
In other news, this week Mark Bryant visited the Covent Garden toy shop we also reported on, and he confirmed that they are now selling the individual pop up inserts separately. Not only that, but he discovered that that the shop window currently houses a full sized version of the punch and Judy theatre design! Also it was discovered the shop is run by the actor who played Derek in Coronation Street many moons ago. To coin an apt phrase. “Well, We don’t really know.”
Elsewhere, The Comfortable Man album received nice small reviews in Mojo and Q Magazine, and also got album of the week in today’s Daily Mail event magazine. The paper gave it 4 stars and they compared Cathal and his songs to Johnny Cash, Ian Dury, David Bowie and Randy Newman. Specific tracks were praised and lyrics quoted. We don’t think that review is online, so we’ll endeavour to include it in a future MIS issue.
Finally, one of the new songs from Cathal Smyth that may debut at Thursday’s gig, is possibly called “I Choose Life”. Carl aired an acoustic guitar performance of it in part on the news talk radio show this week.
And with that, we’re done!
Have a good week! Don’t forget to buy Carl’s album and Make it a Comfortable one.
Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams
(With thanks to Ian Beatty and Mark Bryant, Lindsey Davies,
Daren Dixon, and Mark Adamson)