Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online Newsletter.
You can tell that we’re in the traditionally news sparse summer months at the moment, as Madness related articles landing in the MIS mailbox have slowed to a trickle.
Even the band themselves will be taking time out to relax, as after two gigs on the 10th and 11th of August, this is the last time Madness will be due to perform in public until the Madness Weekender in Minehead on the 30th November.
While the band are slowly crossing off their remaining gigs for 2018, this week we learned of three new performances booked for that legendary of outfits; Deaf School. The band have just booked themselves in for one night at the Bush Hall, London, on September 20th, and then two further dates on the 21st and 22nd at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.
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 & Madshorts ** new **
Further New T-shirts are now in stock for the summer. Including Madness Shorts as this hot weather continues to encourage getting your legs out. The recent Stately Holmes tour T-shirt is now in stock on line. A rather fetching Lady Killers poster of the old Ealing comedy about a gang of roguish bank robbers, re done with Madness heads taken from old shut up artwork and repurposed nicely in this fitting parody. 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! Check out the Madstore now.
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: 743 – Sunday 4th August to Saturday 10th August 2013
We began this issue with a comprehensive review of the recent Lee Thompson gig at the Secret Garden Party event, courtesy of our one and only Jonathan Young.
Jonathan commented at the time;
“What a pleasure to see a Lee band play something like this festival. I’ve followed these bands a long time, but it’s pretty much always been pubs and clubs, and concert venues. Once a wedding reception at a boxing club, and just recently a church, but the only outdoor festivals I’ve ever got to before have been free council based ones, like big extended fun fair day outs. SGP, this was something different to witness. It’s a fine and tight run through all the songs, the tent was the oddball dance hall by the first couple of tracks and a packed out ska time was had by all.”
Our main feature this week was our in-depth review of the new Magic Brothers single – You Don’t Have to Hide Your Love Away. This write-up came courtesy of ex-MIS editor Looby Loo, and it was nice to have her back on board for a one-off article.
Looby wound up her glowing review by saying;
“If this song is the prelude of what’s to come on the album then I think I can say with some certainty that I will be buying it. Madness fan or not, the magic Woodgate brothers are versatile, original and will appeal to everyone. I eagerly await the train on The Magic Line and recommend that you do the same.”
We brought this issue to a close with a review of issue 14 of Ian Taylor’s excellent Mad Not Mad fanzine. Weighing in at a whopping seventy pages and costing a mere £5 delivered, this was an absolute bargain and was not to be missed.
10 years ago…
Issue 483 – Sunday 3rd August to Saturday 9th August 2008
We had yet another packed issue this week, and one that would take subscribers a fair old while to plough through if they decided to read through everything we’d put together.
This week we had a really nice MIS exclusive for you, featuring an interview with Diane Dole, one of the Pearley Princesses, who appeared at the recent string of gigs at The Hackney Empire. Diane kindly revealed what it was like to take part in the gig, as well as what it was like to work with the band. We were certain you’d find it a fascinating read.
Our main article this week was the news that a number of artists including Suggs, would be taking part in a nationwide busking event, all in aid of Cancer Research UK. With it being such a worthwhile cause we decided to give it lead article status.
Elsewhere in this issue we reprinted the Madness Trading Ring challenge which asked forum members to guess the songwriters behind the tracks on the Norton Folgate album, a collection of Fossard and Young puns for the new album and full lyrics to the Liberty of Norton Folgate track.
If that wasn’t enough we featured a full transcript of Suggs’ appearance on a recent episode of Something for the Weekend, and gave fans a heads-up on footage of Madness at The Peppermint Lounge, 1981, which had recently surfaced on YouTube.
15 years ago…
Issue 221 – Sunday 3rd August to Saturday 9th August 2003
Unlike now where the Madness related news seems to be a constant stream, things were somewhat different a decade ago, and a mixture of little band activity and fantastic weather meant that news was rather thin on the ground.
News in from MOT drummer, Dan Fossard was that the band were about to perform at Sound (formerly The Sound Republic), on Leicester Square, on the 7th of August. Not only was it a major venue to play at, but it was a showcase night where record company bosses turned up to see who’s good enough to sign.
With it being such an important gig for the band Dan was emailing to ask if as many Maddies as possible could get themselves along to show their support.
In other news `Tour Madness` editor Jermaine contacted us to say that due to various reasons the September release deadline will now not be met, but there is something planned for a few weeks time. All Jermaine could tell us is that he hopes to have the next update out before Christmas.
Moving on, and Jonathan reported on some direct mail that landed on his door mat, advertising numerous Madness releases at discount prices. However, Jon was quick to point out that even with postage and packing added on, Amazon were still cheaper.
Next up was subscriber Juliet Bulmer, who reported on One Step Below’s late July gig at the Ashton Court Festival in Bristol. Juliet gave the band a rave review, and finished off by saying;
“The set was 30mins long, too short, but fantastic. They ended with Night boat and then Madness and bowed as the crowed sung “oh lay oh lay oh lay oh lay Madness, Madness” Then they all floated off stage”.
We’re wondering if perhaps Juliet may have been on the pop when she wrote that last bit.
Rounding off this week’s issue was a plea from ourselves (on behalf of Chris Mountain), urging those who had shown an interest in going to the forthcoming Madness weekender to pay up! The hotel had been booked, but unless more people stumped up the cash the weekend wouldn’t be taking place.
Thankfully the announcement that Lee would be attending the weekend was enough to encourage people to get their money in.
Sign of the Times
The Immortal Jukebox Talks to Bedders
I am delighted today to feature Mark Bedford, the Bass Player for Madness, in the ‘Jukebox Jive With … ‘ series.
It was a pleasure to converse with such a patient, thoughtful and generous interviewee. I would award Mark the high Jukebox accolade of RGB (Right Good Bloke) which in my estimation far outranks the OBE and such beribboned gongs handed out by the Queen.
Naturally Mark has insights into Madness in all their dimensions denied to the outside observer. So, it as a genuine privilege to prompt his thoughts in our interview.
IJ – Was there a musician who inspired you to want to be a musician yourself?
MB- Well, indirectly, it was Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople.
I had seen them on Top of the Pops. I liked their songs and I liked the way he sang – ’And you look like a star but you’re still on the dole’, from, ‘All the way from Memphis’ was really intriguing.
I found out he had a book out so I went to Compendium Books in Camden Town and bought ‘Diary of A Rock ’n’ Roll Star
I read it and thought this is what I want to do. Unfortunately I was only 14, so I practised the bass and had to wait for a couple of years.
As far as playing Bass goes I, like everyone, adored Motown’s James Jamerson.
David Hayes, long time Bass Player with Van Morrison was an important influence
IJ – What was the first record you just couldn’t stop playing?
MB – Technically, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.
Given my age I straddled Punk, so there were key records pre and post.
At school I listened to Steely Dan, Neil Young (‘After the Goldrush’ is still one of my favourite records) and Little Feat.
Once Punk erupted I was a massive Clash fan and listened to a lot more reggae.
I also couldn’t stop playing Elvis Costello’s first album.
IJ – Was there a radio station/radio show/live venue that was important in introducing you to the music you love?
MB –My first radio memory: Eating breakfast, before going to school and listening to Tony Blackburn play Motown records on Radio One.
Of course, if you were a music fan listening to John Peel was compulsory.
Things were a bit more lax in the 70s. When we were in our teens, me and a group of friends used to sneak into pubs and listen to music.
At the time it seemed that every pub in North London had a back room with a band playing in it. I soaked up a lot of musical education in the Hope & Anchor, Dingwalls and The Carnarvon Castle.
We widened our repertoire and then started going to the Sunday concerts at The Roundhouse. These were amazing.
IJ – What was the first record you heard by one of your contemporaries that made you think – ‘Wow .. they’ve really got it!’
MB – ‘Ghost Town’, The Specials. A giant step forward. We felt this really raised the bar for our generation of bands. It was addictively listenable while putting over a strong political message. .