Madpost November 1997
It’s The November 1997
Month in View
Hello, good evening and welcome to another issue of the Mailing List Madpost.
Many of you still seem in a state of shock after receiving the news that it’s pretty likely that Madness will not be staging a Madstock 4 next year in Finsbury Park, and that it looks like there’s little chance of any new Madness material ever getting released. Surely this wasn’t totally unexpected though. The lads had only been getting together to see if they could still write and play songs. As far as I know, each and every member of the band has other commitments and re-forming Madness certainly seems a rather risky and perhaps tired idea – at least for the moment.
Still, on a slightly jollier note we have a full review of the recent “Terry Edwards” gig at Camden Town’s “Dingwalls” so you can find out exactly what happened. As well as that you can find all the usual gossip, webpage updates and more.
And finally, for all you nutties who were planning to come over to the UK next year. Keep your fingers crossed, because we may be organising one or two BIG Madness-related ‘things’ in the summer and next Christmas. More news as and when it happens.
Right, without further ado, I’ll let you don your reading glasses and leave you to dissect the latest issue of the Madpost – enjoy!
 – SKA FEST3 – A review of the “Terry Edwards” gig staged on 23rd October in Camden’s Dingwalls comedy club.
 – A NEW MADNESS SITE – Lars has recently set up his own little bit of Madness on the internet. Read the article and then take a look at his efforts.
 – CD ARCHIVES – Ok, so you can already play audio CD’s on your Mac, but wouldn’t it be nice to have an album name and entire track listing appear when you put the album in?
 – MADNESS ADVERTS ON UK TV – Simon Roberts and Colin Robertson prove to the nation that they watch far too much television and far too many commercials.
 – ONE STEP BEHIND – Dominc Kearney with the contact details for Madness cover-band – “One Step Behind”. If you’ve got enough money to hire them, then here’s who you contact.
 – 1000 MAKERS OF MUSIC – Chris Byrne has stumbled across the Madness entry in the Sunday Times’ “1000 Makers of Music”.
 – SIMON’S POST-MEET STATISTICS – Another opportunity for Mr. Roberts to dig the dirt with regards to everyone’s antics down at the ‘Terry Edwards’ gig.
 – MAD FOR IT – Madness article from London’s “Time Out” gig listing magazine. Article kindly provided by a certain Mr. Bedford.
 – HOUSE OF FUN – Some of you may remeber that a fw years back Gremlin Graphics had a Madness computer game on the cards. OK, so it didn’t actually surface in the end, but here’s a magazine preview so you can get some idea of what it might have been like.
 – SITTING, BY THE FIRE – Closing words and thanks.
Here, as promised, is a review of the gig:
Thursday October 23rd, 1997.
After travelling all day, blah, blah, etc….. me, Jo and 2 of her skinhead friends (?!) finally got to Dingwalls at about 8.45pm….. walked in the wrong door and wondered where the hell we were….then finally found the right place….!!!!
We wandered in and found the rest of the Maddies: Rob, eD, Chris, Simon, Kev, Stuart (Wright – he of Nut Inc. fame), Gaz and Nathan (I hope I haven’t missed anyone out!), bought drinks then found a place to hover at the side of the stage.
I seem to remember a few of us wandering over to the DJ equipment at some point and finding the Set List…..then Rob lost his camera and spent ages looking for it – sadly in vain. (I wonder what happened to it – no-one except us Madfolk knew it was there?!)
The (excuse for a) support band came onstage, to which we all voiced our disapproval, but while everyone else was watching them, I had my eye on the door beside the stage which led through to the dressing room and loos…. someone came through the doors wearing a hat, a hat which I recognised, a black leather hat with a brim…. “IT’S CHRISSY BOY!!!!” I shouted and grabbed Chris’ arm. “Where? Are you sure?” he replied. “YES!”
I screamed and we both legged it to the other side of the room to behold the site that was Chrissy Boy, the great man himself. He walked to the bar and we followed in awe, asking him to sign copies of Divine Madness. He obliged, and I zoomed off to get my camera and find the other Maddies, who were nowhere to be seen. Back at the bar, I found Chrissy Boy surrounded by the Maddies (that’s where they’d got to!), and he posed for photos with all of us, albeit a little unenthusiatically!
Classic quote from Chris (Byrne) after Chrissy Boy had signed autographs with his biro: “If anyone asks, this pen’s run out! Unless we meet someone else from the band…..”
After all that, we returned to our hoverable place beside the stage… a while later I had an idea: “Why don’t we wait by the dressing room door for the band, so we can see Bedders before he goes onstage?” I said to eD and Chris. “Cool idea!” came the reply, so off we trotted… a few minutes later someone pointed out that the band don’t actually leave the dressing room to get onstage… while we were stood there thinking maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all, the dressing room door opened and who should appear? None other than the almighty Mark Bedford!!!! I think we were all in awe for a minute, then various people got chatting to him. Bedders was lovely, really friendly, despite being ill with the ‘flu. He signed autographs, posed for photos, shook hands with everyone and chatted to us all. He told us that Lee was on his motorbike somewhere in France, trying to make it back for the gig, but obviously failing to do so! He chatted about this and other stuff for a while, then realised that the band were “On in about 10 minutes” and decided he’d better get changed, so said his goodbyes and disappeared back into the dressing room.
Star-struck, we all stumbled back to our place and waited for the band…… another quote from Chris: “This pen’s being framed in my room!” and from eD: “Whoa f**king YESSSSSS!!!!! I can’t believe it!”.
The band came onstage to tremendous applause, and played their set of old ska hits. I got a bit snap-happy and spent most of the gig running round taking pictures of Chris and Bedders, temporarily blinding them with camera flashes…oops…. but got some pretty decent photos!
Bedders played bass in his distinctive style, wearing his original ‘Madstock’ hat, and Chrissy Boy played guitar with cigarette in mouth.
The band finished playing at about 11.20pm, at which point I had to leave with Jo in order to get the last tube back to Putney Bridge – the band played their encore as we left….
A few others who were staying at varying at various priced acommodation in the general area stayed on. After the gig Mark came up to the bar and started chatting with one or two. Questions were passed to-and-fro. Mark stayed for about 20 minutes after the gig but said that he’d have to go as he was feeling under the weather with ‘the lurgey.’
Friday 24th October, 1997.
Arranged to meet eD and Stuart (Wright, he of Nut Inc. fame) by the Madness CD section in Tower Records…. we spent ages in there looking for stuff…. finally left and tried to phone Simon but got the answerphone thingamy for the umpteenth time…. gave up and headed towards Camden Town, hypothesising that the others would be in the Dublin Castle….
Wandered into an almost empty Dublin Castle and found three dodgy looking characters lurking at a table…. “There you are!” we said to Simon, Rob and Chris….
Loitered in there for a bit, all parties present zombified from too much drink and not enough sleep…. found out what happened after I’d left.
Eventually decided we were hungry enough for lunch, so wandered over to the Spread Eagle…. afterwards Simon and Stuart (who was on a mission to get plastered again!) returned to the Dublin Castle and the rest of us decided to mooch around Camden Town for a bit.
At about 3.15ish eD and Chris decided they’d better get back, so Rob and I returned to the Dublin Castle for a bit to join Simon and Stuart.
I left at about 3.50, and guess who I saw as I wandered to Camden Town Underground Station? Chrissy Boy! He was walking in the opposite direction, on the other side of the road, and gave me a funny sort of smile as if to say “It’s that girl who kept blinding me with camera flashes at the gig last night” – what an end to my trip to Camden!
 A NEW MADNESS SITE
Hi all Maddies!
If you like, you can check out my new Madness-Site, at:
By the way, it would be fantastic to hear MR.Sinatra sing “One Better Day”.
I’ve just been using a very cool program that saves a lot of time & tested it for Madness stuff. It’s called inCDius and is for people who listen to C.D.s on their computer while they work.
Since C.D.’s do not carry the titles of tracks digitally it is necessary to enter them manually in the computer’s track listings if you want the computer to know which track is which by name. The computer then remembers them by the C.D.’s unique id. number for the next time you put it in.
The problem is, such data entry is too time-consuming to be worth it. Enter inCDius… this program connects over the net (you must be on-line while you do this) to servers around the world to find the tracks and label them. It takes about 5 seconds per c.d on a 14.4 modem!
As for Madness, I have been able to stump it with the Nutty Boy’s “Policeman”, but it certainly found all of the Madness C.D.’s, the Madness, and even Suggs’ singles! Very cool!
p.s. This program is shareware & for Macintosh only.
A quick echo-blast of info from resident nutty – Simon Roberts, who, by the look of things, spends more time watching the ad’s than the programmes themselves…
“Return of the Los Palmas 7” is played all the way through an Irish Whisky advert.
Also, Suggs does the voice-over for a new Mars-Bars ad. It’s something to do with a scratch card promo. He does a pretty good job as well!!!
Looks like there’s no stopping the lads from popping up on the box whenever they get the chance!
Just a quick snippet from Dominic Kearney, who stumbled across the website to Madness cover band – “One Step Behind”.
I’ve just been to the One Step Behind web site:
ONE STEP BEHIND
C/O Head On Management
88 Lewisham Way
London SE14 6NY
Tel. 0181 469 2576
Fax. 0181 244 0878
 1000 MAKERS OF MUSIC
Hiya all. Just thought I’d drop you a line with a little snippet I came across recently from last weeks Sunday Times’ “1000 Makers of Music” supplement. It reads as follows:
British, 1978 – 86, pop group
Madness were never a band to change the face of pop, but they cheered people up whenever they played. Their records, too, have worn well compared with those of more po-faced contemporaries.
A seven-man gang of skinheads and pub rockers, Madness emerged at first as a lightweight version of The Specials, their seniors in the 2-Tone label’s ska revival of 1979. Their zany pop videos rank among the most stylish; their many hit singles showed a progression from knockabout North London reggae (One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers) to wittily constructed nuggets (Our House, House of Fun) that placed them in the Ray Davies tradition of updated music-hall.
In performance, Madness were a living cartoon of a pop group, who would “nutty dance” in a single file, led by singer Suggs. Later their capers gave way to darker meditations (Yesterday’s Men, One Better Day). They reconvene for the occasional, nostalgic knees-up – an outdorr show in Finsbury Park in North London was christened “Madstock” – and they will always find a welcome. Beloved entertainers to the end.
Keywork: Our House (1982)
 SIMON’S POST GIG STATISTICS
I’m still pissed, my head hurts, my stomach is still churning (due to a 2 day diet of Camden take-away food).
Oh well.. here we go..
In no particular order:
Latest Maddie: Ed (Again with nowhere to stay)
Lost Madness member: Lee Thompson (he’s in France riding his motorbike!)
Most drunk: (my bookmakers have laid off all bets, I have been advised to use sub-categories)
-Pissed and daft with it: Mr. Hazelby.
Longest time to find a hotel in London, being gullible tourists and paying � for a room: 5 hours- Me, Chris & Robert.
Stolen Items: My glasses, Rob’s Camera.
Most predictable thing, but in reverse order: Nathan going to two parties BEFORE the gig.
Turnout at Dingwalls: 300 approx.
Worst beer competition: Lager at the ‘Spread Eagle’
The all-time Camden Town persistence award: The Jamaican guy outside Camden tube station who has been selling hot-dogs there for 39 years. (so he says)
Top food commendation: The hot dogs- Jamaican style!! (see above)
Top tracks of the gig: ‘Madness’ (opened and encored with it), Liquidator.
Fluke meet: Mark Bedford (outside the dressing room) – ‘Mark- hold on!’ – ‘I’ll be here in 5mins’ – 30 turned up later!
Most famous person who I was talking to for 5 minutes, without realizing it: Chrissy Boy’s girlfriend. (well Chris was stood next to her!)
Next mailing list meet: In (wait for it) at least 4 months time.- NO Xmas Meet- I repeat – NO meet.- mind the gap. -Hey you! Yes you! put that fag out.
Most happiest smiling, friendly, baseball cap wearing member of Madness at the gig: Mark Bedford
Things NOT to buy next year: Madstock 4 tickets.
Mysterious entity feature: Mark’s ‘Magical’ cap (as worn in Madstock ).It helps him to remember to play!
Achievement award: Kevin Tizzard – 40th gig!- (Yes!- TEAS- does class as a Madness gig)
Most best member of Madness to meet on the night: ‘Suggs’ himself!!! – he bought us all a drink!! -nahh! not really it was Mark. (Before Suggsylia has a heart attack- He wasn’t there!- he was sat at home watching Chelsea on TV)
Autographs/ Hands shook: All. done, dusted, including Phil.(Phhwrr!)
Weirdest grin: I said to Chris, ‘You must get pissed off with this, everyone hassling you’ – Chris Foreman grins.
My Best moment: Me shouting ‘Chris – play the f*cking thing!’, after the next number he looked up to me and said: ‘Was that better? I said ‘Yes!!’ (he grins AGAIN)- swigs his bottle of lager, lights up a fag, and turns down his amp! (monitor amp)
Catchphrase of our meeting: ‘What’s the problem Robert?’ (said in an Irish accent)
Being ripped off like f%ck award: Rob. Chris and myself. 1 mile ‘Joe Taxi’ ride to Hampstead and being charged �50- ‘Hey mate- are you on the clock or on the meter-??’ (Referring to taxi fare pricing ) his reply- ’24 hours!’ – Arrrrgg! you and many others are just as confused as we were!!!
Things that still make us laugh in Camden: Otafuku Japanese restaurant. (I ought to one day.)
Missing things in Camden: Obviously ‘Rock-on’- now a rave thingy do-dah.
The ‘Camden Parkway’ neon sign its now ‘Odeon’.
Most barracked DJ: Phil Jupiteous. (PHIL! MADNESS!!)
My head hurts even more! I’m surprised I remembered so much!
Obituary:The ghost train will rumble no more. Thank you Madness, it’s time you rested forever. Gone, but never forgotten. Let’s keep the Madness spirit alive.
A certain Mr. Mark Bedford of Camden Town, North London, sent me the following article that was featured in a recent issue of London’s “Time Out” magazine.
Mad For it … and Spyder doesn’t mean Oasis. Instead he checks out the baggy trousers of Madness’s supper-nutty site.
Opening your website with a spoof of the old TV test card (who IS that in drag?) is typical of Camden’s very own merry pranksters MADNESS. And when the web-master is the band’s bass-player (give us a twirl Mark Bedford) you know that the content is going to be ‘on the one’. Providing links to the ‘Unnoficial’ Madness websites further enhances the band’s affable, eccentric and cuddly reputation.
In common with so many British bands who developed from an art college background, Madness display a keen appreciation of aesthetics along with their famous ‘nuttiness’ – both of which are used to fine effect in this utterly charming site.
The pages open with a brief history of the band taken from ‘The Big Book of Pop Music’ by Dr Eugene Trump. The band formed way back in 1979 and notched up an impressive 22 top 20 hits between 1979 and 1987; Not short of a bob or two then. It continues; They have recently re-formed to play some gigs and record some new songs.
‘Our aim’, states the intro, ‘is to show the unshown and the untold. You can start by delving into CHRIS’S CUPBOARD’. Okay then. The cupboard in question has been created by guitarist Christopher ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman. I wonder if it’s full of old socks, discarded plectrums and well thumbed issues of Penthouse? ‘Hello, I’m Chris…’ writes the Madness axeman below a wonderfully daft photo of himself. ‘Would you like to rummage through my drawers?’ Yes Chris, we would.
The cupboard is a rather baroque affair, the sort of thing you’d find in Camden Market. Clicking on NUTTY gives me the answer to one of the greatest questions of our times; where did the ‘Nutty Train’ walk originate? Well, it was based on a sketch by the Two Ronnies and, according to Chris, when they recreated it for the cover of their first album, ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘We were actually holding a wooden bar which was then surgically removed by the Stiff Records art department!’ Now THAT’S what I call trivia.
Clicking on to pics of Suggs, Chris and Mark, gives you cute little soundbites and THE MADNESS MAILING LIST is a forum and information update for the fans. For instance, ‘Welcome to the House of Fun’ started life as a song called ‘The Chemist Facade’. When the band played the demo to Stiff Records boss Dave Robinson he said ‘Great Song – but where’s the chorus?’. Thus another Madness classic was born.
The mailing list is bulging with contributions from avid Mad-ophiles. You can download the Madness ICQ LIST, which enables you to chat with other ‘Maddies’ in real time, send messages and swap files. You can read the press release informing the world of the band’s demise in ’86, there’s CHAS SMASH’S quirky and witty programme notes to the Mad Dogs Tour of ’95; a poll of FAVE B-SIDES and the lowdown on the fanzine NUT INC.
The MADQUIZ is a weekly teaser and the winner is awarded with the coveted title ‘MADbrain of the month’. The ‘Favourite Madness Tunes of all Time’ finds ‘Baggy Trousers’ at number one (as voted for by the Mailing List members) and ‘Forthcoming Gigs’ tells us about upcoming Madness/Suggs shows.
This along with the Hawkwind’s www.hawkwind.com – is one of the best band sites I’ve come across. Why? Because it’s a genuine interface between the (remaining) band members and their faithful fans, and mixes the unofficial with the official. So many bands put their internet presence in the hands of their record companies, and the sites often come across as a bland, unimaginative marketing exercise. The net thrives on interactivity and people feeling that they belong. It’s about people using technology to communicate with other humans, not selling a few t-shirts. Enjoy a trip down memory lane and take a look into the brains of one of Britain’s most loveable pop sensations. It would be madness not to.
It must be love at:
Seeing as Darren (Bowen) and myself are still adding articles to the ‘Official Nut Inc’ pages, I thought you may like to have a read of one article that appeared way back in issue 5 of the ‘zine.
Named after the Nutty Boys’ only number one, ‘House of Fun’ is a fourteen-stage platformer starring a specially created character called ‘Mr Smash’ based on Carl Smyth the band’s trumpet player. Clad in typical Madness gear – pork pie hat, Ben Sherman shirt, and ten-hole DMs – Smash’s one task in life is to enter the titular House of Fun in search of all the goodies he can find. Using switches to activate platforms and open doors, the basic aim of each level is to locate the exit – with the entrance to Heaven forming the last level. However, the House of Fun has been overrun by all manner of strange creatures, with Mr Smash fending them off by lobbing his collection of silver discs at them!
As of yet, ‘House of Fun’ has yet to receive a release date. But hey, you can guess where you’ll see the first review…
‘House of Fun’ started life as an Amiga platformer called ‘Harlequin’, with Mr Smash replacing the chequered-suited hero of the floppy-based game, and the harlequin’s heart weapon giving way to Smash’s silver discs. The basic mission has remained the same, though, with Smash starting at the entrance to the ‘House of Fun’ – a huge clock tower. Once in, each of the house’s rooms are based on different themes – cars, deserts and a skyscraper(!), for example – with the nasties also changing to suit their environment.
As Smashy goes about his leaping and collecting business, a stream of Madnss’s greatest hits accompany the action. Starting with ‘House of Fun’, other tunes include Megadrive renditions of ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘One Step Beyond’. For the most part, the tunes simply lighten the proceedings up, but the programmers have also tried to match several tunes with the current backdrop. A perfect example of this is the desert level which is accompanied by a tinkly version of ‘Night Boat to Cairo’!
For more articles from ‘Nut Inc’ issues gone-by, call in to the ‘Official Nut Inc Pages’ at: http://www.jabba.demon.co.uk/nutinc/
Well, another issue draws to a close. The nights are still drawing in, and for most of us the days are getting colder. Still, don’t fret. There is something to look forward to. Richard (Pountney) tells me that he’s recently paid a visit to the ‘Tower Records’ website (address anyone?) and on their release listing for November is the new Suggs album!! Usually that means a single release is issued just before the album gets released to drum up some interest. We shall have to wait and see.
One thing you can be sure of, if there’s a new Suggs album on the way, the mailing list is not going to be quiet!
And finally, for all you subscribers to the Madness fanzine – ‘Nut Inc’ – Stuart tells me that you should expect the next issue to arrive on your doormat around the 2nd or 3rd week of November. He’s just holding on a little to include a review of the Dingwalls and poster of the gig in the next issue.
As you can see, the nutty-flame is very much alight!
See you next month,