Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS.
Last week we smashed through the 1,000 issues barrier, and we now begin our massive climb towards the surely unreachable 2,000. Well, we’ve got to aim high!
In this issue MIS subscriber Alisa Hunt talks a walk down memory lane, and reveals what went on the day she met up with the band following her winning the top prize in a competition published in Jackie magazine, and how the local press reported her story.
As well as that we have our usual Showtimes, Buy It and That was the Week That was sections, so there should be something to hold your attention this week.
With the band still in a state of touring, we ask that if you attend any of these gigs, please knock up a review and send it in. We’ll be only too happy to include it.
Available only for the next couple of weeks. These official Madness T-shirt’s feature lyrics from the Magnum Opus song The Liberty of Norton Folgate. They will be shipped on July 20th, available only for this limited time period.
Available in 3 sizes, the profit is going to the Music Venture Trust.
Lee Thompson’s One Man’s Madness DVD & CD Soundtrack
Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson is a most unlikely character. Early career choices had him spend a year in Borstal. He still hasn’t found the receipt for his first saxophone. Luckily, he met two other unlikely characters: Mike ‘Barso’ Barson and ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman, who shared his interests of graffiti, train hopping and music.
One Man’s Madness, a feature length rocku-docu-mockumentary directed by Jeff Baynes, tells the story of Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson, told by Lee and his fellow Madness band mates, his family, friends and musicologists, who strangely all look a little like him! From meeting Barso and Chrissy Boy, and later Suggs, Chas, Woody and Bedders, to becoming one of Britain’s most iconic and successful bands, this joyous and light-hearted film follows the path of Lee’s life through his lyrics and songs, including such Madness classics as The Prince, Embarrassment, House Of Fun, Lovestruck and NW5.
Two CD set. Original soundtrack to the 2018 documentary about Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson. Includes tracks from Madness, Crunch, ‘Thommosina Leigh’, Ian Dury, and the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Including Hidden Tracks.
New Mad store T-shirts
New T-shirts are now in stock for the summer gigs. They including a fetching Morris Minor car picture harking back to Driving in My Car video and the Mad 7 number plate, with the paraphrase lyrics From Muswell Hill to Selsey Bill!
Danceable and delightful, this debut album of the band’s much loved original songs pushes on through, breaking the mould of standard ska cover band. Catchy tunes and powerful brass and rhythm section make this a must-listen. Featuring Lee Thompson.
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: 740 – Sunday 14th July to Saturday 20th July 2013
We started off this issue with some vinyl news, and if you were on Facebook you may have already spotted people posting up photos of their Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius LPs, which must have landed on their doormats over the past few days.
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra weren’t the only ones to have finally got their vinyl into the hands of fans, as this week Maddies started to receive their Madness vinyl re-issues.
If you were one of the many who’d placed an order for any of these releases and were still waiting to get them in your dirty mitts, we expected them to arrive shortly.
Subscriber Daren West once again donned his reporting hat, as this time he supplied a detailed and lengthy review of Madness who’d performed in Carlisle at the Godiva Festival.
Daren commented at the time;
“Madness are in cracking form and now the ‘tour muscles’ are firmly in place the band have upped the ante yet again. The crowd sing along throughout, even to all the new songs and it’s a superb atmosphere. Never Knew Your Name, How Can I Tell You and Leon all particularly sound great tonight. When Misery gets played a young lad perhaps only 6 or 7 years old is on his parents shoulders, dressed in Madness gear topped with a pork pie hat and has grabbed the attention of all us in that area of the crowd. This Nutty Kid aka ‘mini Suggs’ sings the entire song not fluffing a single line! You just can’t knock good parenting!”
Our MIS feature detailed not one, not two but three MIS events coming up! On Saturday 28th September a Madmeet with Music and Mirth was planned in the back room of the Dublin Castle. Hosted by Jonathan Young and Owen Collins, this promised to be rather special. Then, on the 31st, The Ska Orchestra would be performing at the legendary Jazz Cafe in Camden. Prior to that, Young and Collins would be in the DC all afternoon where they’d be playing spooky tunes, ghost Ska, Mad Rarities and Mummy’s Boy with bandages.
Finally, on the Sunday afternoon of the Madness Weekender in Minehead Young and Collins would be joined by Patric Clifford and Mr Scurf or a love Koat Radio broadcast and a selection of small sets from live bands.
Moving on, and in our “That Facebook” section Mr. Smash, Bedders and Woody had lots to tell us. Carl commented at the time;
“We’ve been having a pretty darn tootin time here in France. We played in a Roman amphitheatre in Lyon which was such a beautiful setting. It really lifts the spirits when you play some where special. Im a big fan of ancient history so loved touching Roman columns….the tales they could tell?”
While Woody told us that Chris’ Showtime was the funniest thing to happen to the band on stage, and Bedders Tweeted some French.
Finally, in our outdo we reported that the Ska Orchestra had a new web site, but it was currently under construction, and that Ian Taylor had been in touch to tell us that the next issue of the Mad Not Mad fanzine would be going out to subscribers very shortly.
10 years ago…
Issue 480 – Sunday 13th July to Saturday 19th July 2008
We got this issue underway with a report from Jonathan and Mikel Echeberria Munagorri, who had both managed to meet the band when the group flew to Spain for a rather special performance.
Next-up, and it was back to more familiar territory as we reported that The Camden Cowboys would be performing at The Event, an, umm, event held annually by the local council of Bermondsey.
Chas and Dave were a firm favourite round these parts, but on one particular evening recently a brand new line up of the Camden Cowboys for this event brought the first live taste of Dance Brigade and some Crunch, Madness and Dury songs.
Moving on, and it was straight into reviews as we featured a lengthy article from The Glasgow Herald, who reported on the Our House Musical. Speaking of the new tour Suggs commented at the time;
“We wanted to keep the West End feel of the show, but there were still things we had to change to take it on tour. So it had to be re-written slightly, but there’s still a car onstage and everything. It’s not like we’re doing it on the cheap.”
It was off to “Madness in Print” next, as we listed the latest editions to the online archive site of Madness press articles from down the years. If you had any articles to add to the collection and were happy to type them up you were asked to get sending them in.
Next we went for a gig review, kindly typed-up by Macca of The Nutty Forum. Reviewing the band at the recent Montreux Jazz Festival he rounded off his review by commenting;
“The crowd were fantastic although they didn’t know the new ones (Not even NW5) but that gave me a feel good factor of being one of the very few to sing along!
All in All it was fantastic, great crowd great set despite the mistakes and doing Taller surprised me”
Calling all collectors – a New one track promo title of Norton Folgate was now doing the rounds. Given away in press packs at the recent Hackney Empire shows, a few had since appeared on Ebay, and we gave you a brief lowdown on the release, as well as links to the actions.
It was time to hop across The Channel next, as we gave the heads-up on the plans for a forthcoming Madness tribute album. Organiser Jean-Pierre Boutellier was after two things – bands to cover Embarrassment, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love, and tracks from Keep Moving or Mad not Mad, and also a “mighty band” from the UK to put together a special tribute track.
All being well, the album would be out in Spring 2009.
And finally, one of the most exciting things to come from this week’s MIS was an update from the one and only Chrissy Boy, informing us that Julian Temple had been filming the recent Hackney gigs, and that we could expect to see the film on TV in the next couple of months.
15 years ago…
Issue 218 – Sunday 13th July to Saturday 19th July 2003
Those who went along to last week’s Guildfest couldn’t have failed to notice that the band once again played another ‘greatest hits’ selection, and it seemed that a number of fans were now after a bit of variety. A number of fans commented that what future performances needed was a mixture of singles, but a sprinkling of classic album tracks, too. In a nice twist, Becky Lane kindly passed all comments over to Lee Thompson. Lee even replied, with a short;
“I’ve passed this on to the responsible parties”
Whilst some people grumbled, there were also one or two very happy fans indeed. Andy Thomas sent in an excellent review, complete with photos, and declared that it was “A bloody marvellous weekend”.
Seeing as it was 21 years since the release of the wonderful House of Fun, the Madness Weekender was back, and would this time be held at the one and only Great Yarmouth.
As before, the weekend would be organised by Chris and Cheryl, but now with some extra help from Vince Carden. All profits would go to the CancerBACUP charity.
This coming week saw Radio 2 feature It Must be Love as their Sold on Song feature.
Views on the song were submitted by Dave Robinson, Mike Barson, Labi Siffre and Richard Allinson, along with a whole host of background info about this much-loved track.
Andy Thomas had been a busy boy this week. Not only did he find time to attend and review Guildfest, but he’d also managed to get along and see Los Palmas 6 in Bristol, and knock up a review for that, too!
Driving in Madness’ Car When I was 16
I managed to win a competition in teen magazine Jackie in 1982..
It was to make a readers dream come true , so I asked to meet madness whom I had been following since 1979.
I was sixteen, so it really was dream come true when I was taken to Madness headquarters at Stiff Records and I spent some time there with Bedders and Chris. They stocked me up with all sorts of Madness material, records, photos, badges… but the best surprise was when they took me to an area where the Maddie Mobile was being stored for filming and I got a spin in it, the classic white Morris Minor that is seen in the Driving in my Car Video. I was given the number plate!… Mad 7.
I was told rest of band were in the recording studio… I was desperate to meet Suggs!… a short trip to the studios where the rest of the band were, plus a meet with their producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley…lots of knobs and buttons but no Suggs!.
Until he came in offering me a cup of tea!?… I was for once that day speechless… he gave me his signed hat used in DIMC video, photos and a tour of recording studio… it really was an amazing day for a lovestruck teenager.
Of course I’ve kept the magazine.
When I got home, my mum had phoned the local paper to see if they were interested and a reporter came round… I gave an interview of my day with Madness, he took this photo and I was featured in the Ilford recorder as the Nutty girl mad on Madness! Heady days of fame!.
I’m a complete mess at Madness concerts these days, it just takes me back every time to my first one at dominion theatre 1983 was 17… Joe boxers were supporting… I ended up following them, and saw them at [the] Electric Ballroom Camden where King were supporting them!
Great days… bands weren’t as accessible as they are today, none of the social media etc… I spent all my youth traipsing round on London Red Bus rovers and London Underground searching for them !… I often found them at a radio station or football match!
Getting a little too old now to stomp about, but I have a good try!.
Alisa Hunt.age 53.
That’s almost it for this week, but before we go…
A Remixer / DJ going under the very 80s styled name of The Rflex has revealed he is currently working on an officially licensed remix of a classic 80s era Madness hit.
While he can’t say currently which tune or what the project is for, we are assuming it’s some way off yet reaching it’s final edit. Whether that’s for a TV, advert project
or other of it’s something for part of any future music release of any kind going into the 40th, we just don’t know.
We wait to see what emerges as it’s far too early to speculate on it’s worth or quality until the final product is presented in its intended form.
We’ll have more news on this as and when we have it.