We begin on a non Madness note as news recently came out via Horace that a Specials album is in the works with a possible release date of the first quarter of next year. Paul, here at MIS has heard 3 tracks and says the work is sounding great, adding that it’s 2018 and so don’t expect to hear 1979.
While the band are both sadly and notedly not the full original line up, expect more news as the remaining members gear up for their 40th year plans next year.
Continuing on a non Madness note, and this week we hand the baton of our MIS Feature over to Mick Jenner who’s sent in a detailed review of the Skapones’ debut album “Cradle to Grave”.
Speaking of contributions, we’re always on the lookout for reader submissions. If there’s something you think others would find interesting then please send it in. We’ll be only too happy to print it.
1st – Suggs & Friends – Porchester Hall, London. Annual Charity show for Pancreatic Cancer UK
2nd Kings Lynn, Corn Exchange
3rd Crawley, The Hawk Theatre
4th Bury St Edmunds, Apex
5th Stafford, Gatehouse Theatre
7th Glasgow, Pavillion – rescheduled date
Lee Thompson in Conversation
Sunday November 11th – The Big One 7 – Parkdean Sandford Dorset
“Meet the Legendary Sax man” at this QnA musical career discussion event.
Near Jazz Experience
The NJE on tour supporting The Nightingales (plus Stew Lee. Cambridge, Birmingham and London dates with 15 minutes of 80s comedy material )
25th – Soup kitchen – Manchester
26th – stereo cafe – Glasgow
27th – Opium – Edinburgh
28th – Central bar – Gateshead
29th – The lantern – Halifax
30th – Greystones – Sheffield
2nd – Hare & Hounds – Birmingham
3rd – Moth club – London
4th – Portland arms – Cambridge
5th – Canalhouse – Nottingham
20th – London Bush Hall
21st and 22nd. – Liverpool Everyman Theatre
Saturday 22nd December, The Dublin Castle, Camden. No Lee, as this is the date of the Brighton Madness gig.
Suggs My Life Story DVD
“After a bit of messing about…”, says the new advert for Suggs Movie DVD of his One Man Show, which now has a new release date of November 2018. This opening line is the admission that a delayed March release, a lack of updates before August 10th, and a rejig of both the pledge campaign account and the team behind the release have all taken place.
Now that the Pledge is relaunched though with a new release date of November, and with a fresh launch event to take place at the Pleasance Theatre in London we feel that now is the time to add this back in to our regular “Buy It” section.
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
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: 748 – Sunday 8th September to Saturday 14th September 2013
In last week’s issue it was nothing more than a rumour. A week on and (thanks to a heads-up from Vince Carden) we were able to confirm that Madness would be performing at the Dublin City New Year’s Eve Festival in December.
Moving on, and with the launch of the his autobiography fast approaching, followed shortly after by a string of December dates in his long running “My Life Story” stand-up tour, we learned that Suggs had been busy working with his new web team in an effort to expand his online presence.
You could now find Suggs on the official Madness site, YouTube, his own web site, Facebook and Twitter. His management were certainly keen for him to get around.
At present there was only a landing page on the Official Suggs web site, but even that looked really stylish. We were hopeful that the quality of the underlying pages, once the site opened, was just as high.
Our MIS Feature this week came courtesy of our one and only Jonathan. As this coming Friday would see the tentative beginnings of Cathal Mo Chroi as he played at festival Number 6, Jonathan took a look at what we could expect from his solo work.
We brought this issue to a close with a reminder that our “Name the Elephant Competition” was coming to an end. All you had to do was name the elephant proudly displayed on each and every bottle of Gladness ale. Bedders would be deciding on the winning entry, and the winner would receive bottles of Gladness, a Gladness promo t-short signed by Suggs, Chas, Bedders and Woody and a Gladness pump clip signed by Suggs, Chas, Bedders, Woody and Lee. Very nice!
10 years ago…
Issue Number: 488 – Sunday 7th September to Saturday 13th September 2008
Well, this was it. We’d been waiting weeks, nay, months, for this, and it was finally here.
What were we talking about? The lovingly crafted Madchart, of course! Over the previous 3 or 4 months the votes had been flooding in to the mailbox of the one and only Paul Muscat, and he’d been busy not just collating the results, but compiling various facts and figures about each of your chosen tracks, too.
The man had gone above and beyond the call of duty, and so much of this issue was devoted to the first part of the countdown. We kicked things off with a massive intro from Paul, and then scattered countdowns for positions 100 – 91, 90 – 81, 80 – 71 and tracks 70 – 61 throughout the issue. There was a heck of a lot to read through, and the countdown was chock full of wonderful facts and stats about each track.
In non Madchart related news we spent time covering the launch of Nutty Radio. Following a successful test show it was all systems go for the fledgling web station, and we had a report from the MIS’ Jon Young and Nutty Radio’s Adam Nicholls covering the story.
In competition news we featured an update on the recent quiz we set giving you the chance to win a doctored version of Scootering magazine. To win we asked for you to title a song as if Madness had written it about Scooters.
We had numerous entries in but there could only be one winner and that was Denise Young of Kent who titled her imagined Madness song ‘Scootling Through London’.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that following Chrissy Boy’s blessing, The Madness Trading Ring web site were hoping to catalogue the lyrics to all released and unreleased Madness tracks. Exciting stuff.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 226 – Sunday 7th September to Saturday 13th September 2003
This week news was so thin on the ground that the issue had to rank as one of the shortest editions of the MIS we’ve ever produced.
We started off the issue with a final set of reminders to those booked in to attend the Madness Weekender at Great Yarmouth on the 26th and 27th of September.
The hotel where the event would take place was the Burlington Hotel, just north of the ‘Odeon cinema’. This is where Madness stayed on the ‘Out in the Sticks’ tour 1980.
Moving on, and we featured a number of Suggs related snippets, which detailed a whole range of things including the landlord of The Dublin Castle pub nominating Suggs as his first choice of a “Music Czar” for Camden.
We also printed a heart-warming thank you message from subscriber Chris Wardell who reported that he’d recently had a tumour removed, and was now starting his chemotherapy course.
Horn player and record producer, Dick Cuthell, discusses the instruments that have influenced his life in music
When I was a kid, I was left some money in a will by some old ladies from church and bought a trumpet but, eventually, I thought: ‘I’m fed up of this trumpet. It’s too sharp, too brash’, so I got rid of it. I couldn’t afford the trumpet that I really wanted, but then I fell in love with a flugelhorn, a beautiful French one, and I didn’t bother with the trumpet anymore.
Eventually, it got trashed when I was touring with The Specials in Japan and the crowd rushed the stage. People let off fire extinguishers and we were choking, coughing our guts up. Afterwards, I remember the stage manager taking me backstage where my horn was lying in pieces under a blanket like a dead body.
In 1970 musicians started asking me for more of a bright brass sound [on their records]; I went out and bought this Vincent Bach Stradivarius cornet. I’ve played this on lots and lots of stuff: Eurythmics, Madness and The Specials – this is ‘Ghost Town’, right here.
This cornet sounds totally different; it has got character to it, with it being old. It’s not really perfect, like the intonation is with new instruments, so you know, it might sound a bit wonky here and there. But that’s the instrument.
Dick Cuthell is a British horn player and record producer who has worked with The Specials, Bob Marley and Rico Rodriguez. This article is taken from PORT issue 19, out now.
Wings of a Mosquito… Madness star Suggs visits de Havilland Aircraft Museum
Madness enjoyed a top two hit single in 1983 with Wings of a Dove but it was more wings of a Mosquito when Suggs visited Hertfordshire for a TV programme.
While Hatfield’s famous aircraft factory did manufacture a short-haul airliner called the DH.104 Dove, Madness frontman Suggs was more interested in the DH.98 Mosquito when he visited the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.
The Our House and Baggy Trousers singer was the star visitor to the London Colney museum when he arrived at Salisbury Hall with a television film crew to record another episode for the WW2 Treasure Hunters series he is hosting for the History Channel.
Suggs, aka Graham McPherson, and the film crew from Emporium Productions came to the Hertfordshire museum specially to film a Mosquito.
The museum has three of the multi-role World War Two ‘Wooden Wonders’ on display at the site where the aircraft was designed during the war.
Suggs and a metal detectorist have been looking at Little Staughton airfield in Bedfordshire for a future programme, as this was the base for a Mosquito Pathfinder squadron during the war.
We were just white scumbags. And we had our eyes opened.
Black kids and white kids. Revolution”
The Skapones – ”Cradle To Grave” Review
What do you get when a bunch of middle aged men release their first ska album? Well, pretty much, the complete article.
As much as the rawness and naivety of those debut albums by the 2 Tone bands of ’79 were a large part of their appeal (a movement which heavily influenced The Skapones) I always felt those early songs were done much better as live performances. Indeed, when Dance Craze was released, I seldom played ”The Specials” or ”One Step Beyond” much after that. Subsequent studio albums would prove to be much more accomplished musically.
Having progressed from accomplished 2 Tone covers band, The Skapones have put together a polished album of twelve original songs. A high octane dancefest of three minute, generic, ska dance numbers would have been, relatively, easy to achieve. But this is a collection of ska, reggae, dub and even a movie score vibe. With several tracks coming in at well over four minutes, three minute heroes theses boys ain’t!
Here’s my brief synopsis, track by track;
01 The Rolling Years. Cracking start. An upbeat reminder of how old some of us are and a list of all the things you’d forgotten from you childhood.
02 Betrayal Of Trust. Great guitar riff which will be your earworm of the day. Can we trust anybody in these strange times?
03 Benefit Street. Haunting offbeat sound about the scapegoating of people on benefits being to blame for the ills in our society while the fat cats get fatter.
04 Masque of Anarchy. Upbeat ska, heavy on the horns, Shelley read by Corbyn. Goosbumps at the finish.
05. My Lady. Offbeat rhythm tells us about the perils of the ”free” market. Great sax solo.
06 Cradle To Grave. Rip Roaring title track. Full on dance ska. 2Tone till I die.
07 JB’s Body. Harmonica, bugle, marching drums and Roddy Byer’s guitar. An epic ska tale of American Civil war.
08 The Girl Inside. Personal tale of living with other’s drug addiction juxtaposed
with the catchiest intro on the album.
09 Redhead Girl. A jaunty tale of those fiery red heads out there and suitable trombone solo ta boot.
10 T.O.R.Y. Picking up the political mantle from The Specials. An upbeat critique of the ruling classes in 2018
11 .Captain Cutlass. Epic sound track, at home in the best 1960s Espionage thriller. With Hartlepool rap. North East Gangster meets The Krays.
12. Skapones A Go Go. Cracking song to end on. Full on sing along ska.
And holding all these tracks together is the vocal of Paul Willo (who knew?)
With truly amazing production from Paul Ayriss this really is a complete work.
The twelve individual songs go really well together as a complete work that the band should be proud of. In fact, it could almost be a concept album for 2018.
With a full colour booklet containing all the lyrics, you can play this at home and sing along at the top of your voice with headphones on while in the bath,,,, or is that just me?
If I can sum up by borrowing the catalogue number sequencing from the Madness vinyl releases…… BUYIT !!!!
That’s just about it for this week’s edition of the MIS.
If you were lucky enough to catch Suggs at Festival No:6 in Portmeirion then please send in a write-up. We’d love to know what went on.