Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 849 – Sunday 16th August to Saturday 22nd August 2015
Hello, and a very warm welcome to this latest edition of the MIS Online newsletter.
We may be a few weeks away from when the next leg of Madness’ UK tour gets underway, but it’ll soon come around!
On the subject of gigs, and although we’re a good four-and-a-bit months until the end of the year dates are already starting to appear for 2016. This week The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra announced their first gig of next year, which you can find in our “Showtimes” section.
One thing we forgot to mention last week was that the 8th and 9th of August played host to the 23rd anniversary since the legendary Madstock concerts took place. Our thanks go to Dan Fossard, who described it as “The greatest comeback ever” for the reminder.
Continuing on a Madstock related note for a moment longer, and Amazon now have a pre-order links to the Madstock CD/DVD double-pack, which is due for release next month. Check out our “Buy It” section for the full details.
Now, let’s get this week’s issue underway.
Enjoy the read,
See below for all forthcoming Madness and Madness related gigs and events. If there’s something we’ve missed off or you feel should be added then please let us know.
“Sporting theatres jumping with joy is the goal. Grandslam Madness – the greatest open air tour in the history of Rock & Roll…”
The Grandslam is now parked-up and enjoying a well-earned Summer break. The tour resumes in early September.
6 – Gibraltar Festival
11 – Canterbury, Kent County Cricket Club
12 – Bristol, Gloucester County Cricket Club
13 – London, On Blackheath
18 – Leeds, Yorkshire County Cricket Club
19th Newbury Racecourse.
25 – Wolverhampton
26 – Chester-le-Street, Durham County Cricket Club
November 20th – 23rd 2014 – Minehead – The House Of Fun Weekender Five
The Weekender also features sets by Woody Woodgate, Crunch!, Clang and much, much more….
Suggs At The Nutty Bar
September The 8th – Marbella Spain.
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra
January 15th – Jazz Cafe – Camden Town London ** NEW **
5th – Bingley Music Festival (Headlining Stage 2)
6th – Norwich – Waterfront
9th Liverpool – Kazimier ** NEW EXTRA DATE DUE TO DEMAND **
10th Liverpool – Kasimier ** SOLD OUT **
11th September London – St Moritz Club
29th August – Live Stock Festival, Forty Hall, Enfield ** NEW **
(Note: Lee Thompson is not billed to feature at this gig, or at a number of other upcoming gigs. The rest of the band line-up continues)
A warm up gig is to be announced shortly.
Madstock – CD / DVD Edition
Out on October the 9th. Just over 23 years after the famous comeback gigs, and just a month before the live album’s 23rd anniversary of release, Madstock is back.
Last available on DVD in the guided tour boxset only, and last on CD via a crappy on demand print service option many years ago. For around £12 you can now get both together.
The CD contains Razor Blade Alley as a bonus track for the first time on CD from the weekend’s concerts, and collects tracks previously only available from the concerts upon the CD single of The Harder They Come. These 4 bonus tracks have been included at the end of the album, Chrissy Boy has pointed out they aren’t part of the Live Album’s original mixing by Clive Langer being sourced elsewhere and masters are impossible to find nearly 25 years on, so appear as the final bonus tracks on the album.
The album features a new montage of photographs from the weekend as it’s cover, much like the recent CD/DVD edition of Take It Or Leave it.
- One Step Beyond…
- The Prince
- My Girl
- The Sun And The Rain
- Grey Day
- It Must Be Love
- Shut Up
- Driving In My Car
- Bed And Breakfast Man
- Close Escape
- Wings Of A Dove
- Our House
- Night Boat To Cairo
- House Of Fun
- Baggy Trousers
- The Harder They Come
- Land Of Hope & Glory (Bonus Track)
- Razor Blade Alley (Bonus Track)
- Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day) (Bonus Track)
- Take It Or Leave It (Bonus Track)
SIGN OF THE TIMES
News and info from online and offline media sources.
Cathal’s Tracks of My years – In Full
Two weeks ago Zoe Ball had been standing in for Ken Bruce on Radio 2, and on each day Carl discussed the Tracks of his Years.
The choice of tracks was certainly varied, ranging from oldies to Blur and even Christina Aguilera. If you didn’t listen, here are the week’s choices of tunes, and why.
Alongside this are his answers to questions about his solo album and Madness.
- Crosby Stills and Nash – Teach Your Children
“I listened to the DeJa vu album. I got the Our House title from that album. I cried listening back to it because it brought back being 15. My parenting template come from this tune definitely. My kids I love them to bits.” (Note: This track inspired How Can I Tell You)
- Madonna – Ray of Light
“Suggs and I met her at Peppermint Park back when she was beginning. She had that vibe. she’s great at reinvention. It’s a great tune. I remember seeing the video and thinking wow”
- The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
“I’m a spiritual warrior, and this song just sends me, you think of all the people in your life that your life wouldn’t be so complete without, I always cry when I hear it. “
- BJork – It’s Oh So Quiet
“I met her at Phil dirt box’s thing off centre point back in the day, I wont go into details but it was messy, she had a funky little back pack with a monkey on. This track, coming from Madness, the video of this track is full of joy and Hollywood. She hits a places in her voice that penetrates and she draws you to into the track. “
- Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
“I think I was in the top of the pop video for Joni Mitchel at Ally pally I was roller skating. Or my hand was in it.
They took all the trees and put them in a museum it’s still current.”
- The Temptations – Ball of Confusion.
“I was in a beautiful confusion last year, I think I’m still in it. It’s got guts, energy and power I just love it. One of the best soul record sof all time.”
- Blur – Parklife
“I was close to Dave Balfe, food records. I gave blur through them the idea for this video, though I didn’t direct it in the end.
It’s got a great chorus.”
- Christina Augilera – Beautiful
“It really hits me emotionally. Acceptance we all need. It’s good to celebrate beauty. That quality in people to be themselves.”
- Barry White – My First, My last, My Everything
” I think he had iron reinforced piano stools, but that voice so groovy and saucy, and it’s a song of it’s era.”
- Daft Punk – Get Lucky
“When this hit in Ibizia. I work out to this in the morning. It’s really weird not being in Madness. It’s a bit like that bit in werewolf in London where he wakes up again and again going “What Have I done?” It’s a great song this. It’s infectious, I don’t do lunges, I work out to it. I live out in Ibizia and my work is everything. It’s wonderful it’s beautiful”
Zoe asks about Carl’s solo album a comfortable man.
“It’s great finding my own voice, I’ve spent so long doubling Suggs and harmonising, It’s been great to find range and my own
expression. There is Madness songs but this is personal.”
Do you think you’ll join the boys again?
“Yes, I’ve know Mike, Chris and Lee for 40 years, we are part of a British institution. I popped out for some fags, they all moved house while I was gone. I’ll track them down. You appreciate what you’ve got when your are not in it. It’s nice to have an objective view on it. It really does give me so much joy it really does. The relationship Madness have with an incredibly loyal and devoted fan base and the atmosphere at gigs is always incredible.”
Suggs At Business Expo Wales
Suggs will be appearing at Wales’ biggest business Expo hosted by Introbiz later this year at the Cardiff City House of Sport on Thursday, November 5th, 2015.
Tracey and Paul Smolinski, Introbiz’s managing directors said, “We’re really excited to have secured Suggs for the Expo this year! It’s going to be a great event with so much going on over the course of the 2 days. Make sure you come along, there’ll be over 300 exhibitors to see and thousands of visitors to connect with!”
Suggs will be appearing at the Expo on Thursday, November 5th and will be appearing on the main stage from 3:30pm. He’ll also be appearing at the after party held at the Mercure Holland House hotel, Cardiff which starts at 7pm.
The Nutty Boys Bowl Into Yorkshire
“We wrote songs that say something about ourselves and how we feel and today when I see the unbridled joy of an audience that means a lot”
“When we’re on stage performing It Must Be Love and you have young and old people singing along to it, that’s a real privilege.”
But he insists they’ve never been the kind of band obsessed with churning out hit singles.
“We didn’t write songs and then say ‘O, let’s write another hit.’”
“It’s always been about fulfilling our souls and if along the way we’ve helped fulfil the souls of some other people, then that’s got to be good.”
LIVE INTENSIFIED – THE SKA ORCHESTRA WITH NEW AMMUNITION
The mad meet at the hope and anchor began in Ernest. The landlord was wearing his Madness polo top and The sun and the rain was blaring out of the jukebox as I arrived. Sadly a 1979 picture of the stub of a ticket that got someone into the first Madness gig staged here at this pub, that used to hang on the walls seemed to have been replaced by a wide screen TV. Underneath it still hangs a black and white picture of the Specials. Close.
“That was my sister’s ticket” the landlord explained when I asked about it, he replied along with the news that it was being reframed currently. Phew.
I’m soon joined by Stav, and Dave and most of the support band Home Town Hi Fi, who are thrilled to be playing tonight in support of Lee Thompson. Dave, Home Town Hi FI’s Sax players clearly has Kix as his hero and inspiration to be in a band, and he’s so thrilled to be supporting his hero tonight.
Madness began here in Islington many years ago. The famous party in the garden seen in Take it or leave it film, happened just across the road from here and there is something cool about mad meeting so close to the ground zero of this bands birth into live music. Especially when Si Birdsall pops into the pub. MIS awards him a pint as Mikel our Spanish branch of things MIS arrives to what is now a packed pub now full of fans and we chat.
The echoes of Madness and the 1970’s are all around. But this is 2015. And This is Lee’s Ska Orchestra tonight. And this is time for new songs to start hitting the masses and fans of this band for the first time. It’s exciting. Tonight’s showcase will bring 9 of the proposed second album songs to light to a large London audience for the first time. Most of these tunes heard only a couple of times before now, at Wales and a small preview at the Dublin Castle, so this is the big gig for the year for the band, and the Garage is pretty full up venue tonight.
DJ’s Darren Bennett and Madame Scorcher spun discs keeping the night at a high level of skanking atmosphere from opening doors through to kick out time. Support band Home Town Hi Fi, were a great hit, a buzz is climbing on them, since packing out venues with 2tone Ska covers for a year, the Garage gig saw them step up to mostly doing their own material. The absolutely era or early specials albums influence is clear on them in their energy, style and wall of sound skank, and although for most people new material is always hard to take in at first, the gig went very well indeed setting up the main act with a high bench mark to surpass. A moment of cats/madness dip in the swan lake was allowed, Dave chasing up like 79, and their Combat Cancer cover also pleased the crowd. A few like the present Mick Jenner had caught this band before, like I have, and those fans were riding the enjoyment of watching them evolve into their own songs set. Perhaps only Missing Andy have ever come this close to being considered the new Madness and also their own groove within, the Self penned tunes like “Long Gone”, the amazing “Checkered” and charactorial writing like brand new tune tonight “Jimmy the fly “most confidently impressed.
The main event were then welcomed with the joyous cheers of a crowd well up for their return. For most fans of The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra that have attended previous gigs, this was a good solid nine months wait, so they’ve more than a few months worth of cheers to shout out tonight.
GUNS FEVER!!!!!!!!!! And they are off…
There is plenty of crowd pleasing established tunes mixed into this gig. Amongst the 9 new tunes. From both The Benevolence of Sister Mary and live known tunes like No, No, No, and Broadway Jungle.
The Wickerman should really by the highlight of all this new material. It’s the Lee Thompson Song, written for The Lee Thompson Orchestra, by Lee Thompson, not only the first thing of it’s kind, echoes of his Madness penning, and his Crunch penning of lyrics and singing style on his own tunes feel both at home, and yet subtly just a touch different too in writing for this band with a wide choice of sounds to draw on. It’s got piano moments, brass moments that fit together so nicely. “You’ve been caught with your knickers down, and it’s all come back to haunt you” lyrically it’s got the cheek you’d expect. It’s ending is quite ghost like and ethereal (backed up by the organ) and almost other worldly, there may have been a sample used of a Theremin, or it may just have been vocal of guitar effect. When the album comes this is one that brings something brand new from Lee and is a great mid gig mode, amongst more obvious skanking. It’s somewhere between Doolally and Birthday Girl. I don’t think the crowd has really been able to sinking into it yet though, with so much new to take in while enjoying the wild high atmosphere of the night. Come the album it’s appreciation will rise for the discerning.
Western Standard time, as reported on at the DC preview gig, is the sergio leone soundtrack like storming tune, it’s an instant hit with the crowd, and before the obvious pastiche that makes it feel like you’ve heard it before, I notice in tonights set it’s similarity against Gun’s Fever makes the crowd sing that tune as this is played, hence why it’s cheered like and old favourite when it’s so new.
Mez’s Prince Buster style tune goes down well with the crowd too.
Step it up Sister
Mez Clough : “Thanks for Sharing Sharon, And thanks to the band and Sumudu for bringing my little ditty to life….chuffed! M x
Feel A Little Better
Where as Andy’s tune, gets a nice warm reception and the bands new cover of “Hungry” got a few singing it’s instant chorus. Which is heavily repeated. Mikel and his girlfriend are joining in and English isn’t even their first language! Well being Hungry is universal I think. It’s got fast brass stabs, and a Stop moments. Fans are clearly hungry for the album, but I’ve a feeling we’ve a bit longer to wait for it to cook just yet. This gig didn’t feel like the launcpad for immediate action. Just a showcase to start building demand for this album. Thommo shouted out at one point “Tunes from an album available fucking nowhere. I need 20k in sponsorship, I’ve got 20p.” If you’ve serious K to invest in this man. Get in touch with your pin numbers.
Cry to me, is performed in it’s more bouncy swing arrangement now, counterpoint of the more playful brass, it’s a little closer to ska than it was before.
“We love you Darren” shouted some of the crowd.
“F*ck off!” Yelled Thommo, interrupted during his announcement of a little Louis Vause Piano aside moment, as the keyboard master tinkled off a little solo improv moment on request and a got some applause, before No No No, was given to the crowd, with Sumudu swaying, she’s sungs a good two thirds of the songs with the band tonight, and the whole room once again joining in the band hypnosis and audience participation moment. “Boom” Makes you wonder why they haven’t recorded this one? Or would consider a live bonus track to the LP??? “Wales 0 London 1” shouts Darren, sporting a travis bickle haircut, an allusion to tonights crowd being the bands following and hitting this song more than the previous gig.
Dave Robinson came out onto the stage to whip up the crowd for the returning encore of the band. Great to see him around the band and surely he can help sort out the future album plans again with the band. Cool though the next London gig January 2016 was announced before this review of the night was even written so the future is bright, and doesn’t need to be rushed. The crowd have been very well fed, and will want to partake again in a little over 4 months, the reggae is still hot. Instrumentals from the absent mr Bedford, Louis vause and seamus are all still underwrapps from the album sessions, and more is to be heard.
Lee Thompsons Ska Orchestra – Garage songs played (rough list not full order)
Am I King
Feel A Little Better
Sit and Wonder
Cry To Me
Step It up sister
Western standard time
Soon You’ll be gone
No, No, No
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Fu Man Chu
Darren Fordham. “Massive and sincere thanks to all of you that came to the Garage last night and made it such a fabulous night. I do hope that you enjoyed the new songs.”
Tracey Jenner “Awesome gig chalks…they just get better & better. Can’t wait for the 2nd album xx”
Paul Underwood “Shit hot night Darren, your egg shaking was fabulous”
Elaine Prior ” Fantastic night. Loved the new songs. Sounded great. Can’t wait for the next one”
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra return to the Jazz Cafe Camden – January 15th 2016.
GLADNESS IN IRELAND
News has just reached us detailing a list of venues in Ireland that are now selling Madness Beers.
Check them out below…
Vineyard Off Sales – Belfast
Balmoral Hotel – Warrenpoint
Centra Off Sales – Larne
Cheers Off License – Limavady
Emersons Wine Stores – Armagh
JD Tiplers – Portadown
Lough Inn – Enniskillen
Mulhollands Off Sales – Castlewellan
Mullaghans Bar – Rasharkin
Roundhouse Bar – Enniskillen
Royal Portrush Gold Club – Portrush
Bulls Eye Bar – Coleraine
Lough & Quay Bar – Warrenpoint
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 589 – Sunday 15th August – Saturday 21st August 2010
Those of you with cable TV subscriptions couldn’t have failed to notice that UK Gold were still featuring Madness very heavily in their “Summer Madness” TV scheduling.
It was fantastic promotion for both UK Gold and the band alike. The TV station had a collection of really eye-catching idents at their disposal, while the band were advertised every 20 minutes or so.
We hoped that this coverage had generated many more sales for the band, and whoever had managed to get this whole thing arranged should’ve been congratulated, as the band are getting absolutely stacks of promotion.
On to our articles, and these got underway with a transcription from the XpatLoop.com web site, who were reviewing Madness’ appearance at the first day of the Budapest Sziget Festival.
“The stunning ska and reggae atmosphere of day zero was there on the first official festival day, too: the headliner of the evening, the British band Madness happen to be one of the most outstanding acts of the ska scene – well, of course, if this odd, 30 year-old mixture of pop, musical, 2Tone ska and Monty Python can be referred to as ska at all”
Next, it was on to the ViewFromPublishing web site, and reviewed Madness’ recent appearance at the “Glastonbury Extravaganza” festival. Not to be mistaken with the Glastonbury Festival, this event had taken place in the town since 1996.
Following this we went over to the Birmingham Post, who were interviewing Woody about his plans to run the next London Marathon faster than he’d ever run it before. Not bad when you consider he’d be reaching the big five-oh in October.
“I did my first London marathon two years ago in three hours 42 minutes. Last year I knocked five minutes off my time, three hours 37 minutes, and I’m determined to do it in three minutes 30, absolutely determined.
I’ll be 50 for the next marathon so it will be quite good. I keep saying to people ‘when I hit 50 I’ll be the youngest in the 50+ category’. At 49, I’m the oldest at the moment.”
We brought this week’s issue to a close with the news that on 20th August a one hour showing of Madness’ performance at Scotland’s T in the Park would be airing on BBC4. Time to get those recorders at the ready.
10 years ago…
Issue number 327 – Sunday 14th August to Saturday 20th August 2005
We started off with news in from MIS subscriber Suggsylia, who reported that on September 1st Madness would be appearing on German TV comedy/talk show `TV Total`. For you non German TV viewers, Suggsylia told us that the host was a guy who takes himself very seriously, but takes the mickey out of everyone else.
From Europe to the USA, and Kevin Tizzard posted news this week on the MTR from V2 (USA). As well as the KROQ gig on the 17th September at Hyundai Pavilion, which the band were now at contract stage with, it looked like the lads forthcoming visit to the US was gathering momentum.
Jimmy Kimmel(LA tv show) and Letterman (New York) were rumoured to be in the planning stages, with other live dates to be announced. This news was backed up by Adele over on the Smash Forum who has said the US dates would be added to the Diary section as soon as they were confirmed.
On to this week’s collection of articles, and we started off with a transcription of a Suggs interview carried out by ireland.com. In it he spoke of the early days of Madness, and also about the new album, The Dangermen sessions.
Next-up, and with “The Israelites” appearing on the new Dangermen album, Jon Young thought it would be amusing to dig around the net and list some of the more hilarious mis-heard versions of the song.
After much digging, Jonathan declared the following lyrics to be the absolute worst:
“Get up in the morning shaving me head sir
Sold out to every monk and beefhead…
Ooh ooh me ear’s are alight…
Why fine your kids when they pack up and a leave you?
Darling Cheesehead I was a yard too greasy..
Ooh ooh me ear’s are alight.
Shout dum a terror trousers a go
I don’t wanna end up like bunny and Clive.
Oh, oh me ear’s are alight sir”
Moving on to a non Madness related note for the next article, and it was here we gave a gave a heads-up on the new Pama International album, which featured re-recorded or remixed versions of classic Pama tracks, complete with contributions from Lynval Golding and Lee Thompson.
Elsewhere we featured a review of the Dangermen Sessions from the sound.com web site, who gave it a 3 out of 5.
Following that was the album review from the Belfast Telegraph, who were more praising in their review, giving the album a very respectable 4 out of 5, and rounding off with “Twenty-seven years after their first hit, Madness are still very much the entertainers – and long may it continue”.
Things were passed over to Birchy next, who gave us an update on the Dangermen Sessions picture disc he was arranging to ship out to fans who wanted to add this limited (to 1000) edition item to their collections.
We finished off this week’s issue with news that “Almighty” (they had previously remixed Duran Duran’s “Reach up for the Sunrise”) had produced a dance remix of Madness’ version of “It Must be Love”.
At the time we commented: “As dance remixes go it’s fairly faithful to the original song whilst creating it’s own smooth dance track. Not really comparable with what most Madness music is about but if you were p*ssed in a club you’d probably dance to it”
15 years ago…
Issue number 66 – Sunday 13th August to Saturday 19th August 2000
We got this weeks’ issue underway with news in from Total Madness Mailing List subscriber, Chris Mountain who reported that a Two-Tone show would be taking place in Coventry during September.
Next, and as a number of subscribers to the TMML had rightly pointed out, last Thursday (10th August) saw the 21st anniversary of the legendary release of Madness’ first single – `The Prince`. Needing very little excuse to have a few drinks, a small band of Madness fans descended on Camden Town to raise their champagne glasses to help celebrate this momentous day. Want to find out what went on? Scatty revealed all in section 7 of this very issue.
Peter Gardner commented at the time that;
“A certain Mr. Smash has written a wonderful piece regarding this very special anniversary on his website (www.ChasSmash.co.uk). Go to the Sez Smash bit. It’s a great read, as words from the Great Man invariably are!”
Calling all Maddies North of the border. From the tremendous success of the previous two McMadmeets, a third booze-up was currently being planned by Rob Wardlaw. It was hoped that the meet would be sometime in September, with the meeting place in Edinburgh. If you were interested in attending, we urged you to contact Rob as soon as you could.
Continuing on the same note, Wee Stoo told us that;
“Over in Edinburgh I’ve a mate who lives opposite an American bevvy import shop, and amongst other mind bending refreshments, they sell Black Death Vodka.
You know that’s got to be good!”
Perhaps this meet should have had some kind of health warning?!
For all you German/Austrian Maddies out there, you could now view a Madness site in your own language by simply pointing your web browser at http://members.aol.com/vgmadgirlie/home.htm
We had a quick look at the site, and whilst there does seem to be a fair amount of material there we had absolutely no idea what any of it said. Perhaps an English version would follow?
And with that, we moved on to the articles…
Scatty got things off to a good start with an update on his plans for a Madness convention due to take place in August 2001. After speaking to a number of other Madness fans it turned out that Blackpool was the favoured destination for most.
Watch this space, as they say!
Rob Warne continued this week’s flow of articles, with a mini review of the Isle of Wight Radio Cowes Week, which featured a slew of tribute acts, including the much-loved One Step Behind. Rob commented at the time “There were lots of sweaty bodies, fez’s and sore throats at the end of the night so it must have good!”.
Clearly having far too much time on his hands was one Iain Mason, who had been asking fans to email him with their vote for the favourite character or outfit from a Madness video.
Well, there were 28 nominations overall, and the most popular turned out to be Lee as a bumble bee in It Must be Love.
Next-up was the one and only Stuart Wright, who was pleased to announce that issue 16 of Nut Inc had finally come back from the printers, and was ready to be sent out to subscribers. With the sad passing of Ian Dury on the 27th of March, this issue was dedicated to him.
Scatty brought this week’s issue to a close, with his write-up of a Saturday afternoon out at the The Spread Eagle in Camden Town.
This drinking session was accompanied by such luminaries as Stuart Wright, Jerney, and the one and only Lee Thompson. Needless to say, Scatty rather enjoyed himself.
Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a number of Madness endorsed ales appear in pubs and supermarkets up and down the country.
Now, it looks like the legendary Blockheads are having a go with their own Blockhead Ale, which is brewed by the Darkstar Brewery.
Full details here:
You can also find the Dark Star Brewery web site at: http://darkstarbrewing.co.uk/
And finally, we’d just like to echo the sentiment and well wishes from those of the Specials 2 web site, with regards to trombone legend Rico Rodriguez, who is currently in hospital undergoing tests. Get well soon!
Until next week, have a good one!