We begin this week’s issue with the news that this week Suggs has been speaking to the Daily Star newspaper. In the interview Suggs mentioned the possibility of yet more concerts to be added to an already impressive 40th anniversary schedule.
There was also mention of a potential return to the West End of the much-loved but short-lived (in its original incarnation) “Our House Musical”.
With a massive tour already planned, two London celebratory concerts and a forthcoming book, this is going to be one packed year for the band.
Friday 29th – Monday 2nd December – House of Fun Weekender 2019 Miscellaneous
Wednesday 27th – Rock ‘n Roll Book Club at The Union – Madness: One Step Beyond, The Union Club, London. Featuring Terry Edwards and Bedders
One Step Beyond 40th Anniversary Single
Special release as part of 2019’s Record Store Day
Format: Shaped picture disc single
Release date: 13th April 2019
More Info: 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Madness, one of the most successful and best loved British bands of all time. Formed in Camden Town, North London, in 1976 they have gone onto to release dozens of massive hit singles and albums, selling millions of records in a career that spans five decades and is still going strong. To celebrate their “XL” year, the band are reissuing their first Top 10 hit, ‘ One Step Beyond’ .
As well as the original 7″ single and 2009 remastered version of the album track, this release also contains both the Italian and the Spanish version of the song. The single is presented as a very special, limited-edition shaped picture disc with the A side image of the band performing their iconic “Nutty Train” dance.
For more information and to find a participating store go to:
Before We Was We: The Making of Madness by Madness
The band’s first official book.
The story of how they became them. It’s a journey full of luck, skill and charm, as they duck and dive by day and make the name in London’s exploding music scene by night, zipping around the capital in their Morris Minor vans. Their formative years, 1970-79.
This is the riotous coming-of-age tale of seven unique individuals, whose collective graft, energy and talent took them from the sweaty depths of the Hope and Anchor basement to the Top of the Pops studio. In their own words, they each look back on their past and how during those shared adventures, they formed a bond that’s lasted forty years. Before We Was We is irreverent, funny and full of character. Just like them.
You can now buy a range of classic album design T shirts.
Absolutely returns to the official T shirt store since first appearing a decade ago as merchandise. Seven now joins the albums T-shirts range, only previously a promotional shirt. For the first time Rise & Fall (Following last year’s triumphant return of this album’s title track on tour) joins official shirt range.
Best of all, 10 years on from its box set release, The Liberty of Norton Folgate is purchasable. We are having a little bit of that!
Complete Madness. Total Madness hits albums join the range.
This range is also certainly a reaction to the continuing bullshit of bootleggers targeting social media with non licensed product not endorsed by the band and illegal.
Don’t be an idiot and buy from badly photoshopped pictures of Suggs holding a shirt up etc. Those are fake. The Madstore and official band website and gigs merchandise stands are all run by the same company with the band’s legal backing. You will only find a small number of charity shirts or some One Step Beyond shirts outside of buying from the official online store. Don’t give your money to the bootleggers exploiting you.
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: 775 – Sunday 16th March to Saturday 22nd March 2014
The last great Madness gig, Folgate Friday, was some four months ago now, but we could now bring you an exclusive video of “Africa”, the one and only time Madness had performed this track live from The Liberty Of Norton Folgate. Africa was the track Iain Horne once told us was his favourite from the album.
On to gig news, and there was an urgent official announcement for French Madness fans;
“It has come to our attention that 3 French festivals (Beauregard, Musilac and Carcassone) have incorrectly announced on their festival websites that we would be playing there this year. This is not the case. If you have bought tickets for these shows in the hope of seeing us, please ask for a refund at your point of sale.”
Continuing with gig news, and this week we were pleased to learn of two new gigs. First-up the Lee Thompson band; Lee’s other band with son Daley would be performing at the Hop Poles, Enfield on the 25th April. Next, and the legendary Deaf School had revealed that they’d be performing at the Rebellion Festival, Blackpool on the 10th August.
Moving on to our MIS feature for this week and it was good news for you real ale drinkers out there. Why? Well, the band had just revealed their third new ale. Entitled “Night Boat”, this was actually a stout, weighing in at 4.2%abv.
The advertising blurb informed us that this was a limited edition stout that would only be available on traditional hand pump. Naturally, Camden’s Dublin Castle had recently added it to their ale line up.
Over in our regular Live Intensified section Darren West emailed in with a short review of the Magic Brothers gig which took place on Tuesday night, while Jonathan Young and Sharon Staite gave us a lengthy write up of the recent Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig held at Dingwalls.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that yet another Madness greatest hits album was on its way. Entitled “The Very Best of Madness”, this was due for release on the 7th April. If you shopped around this could be added to your collection for as little as £4.50.
Oh to be one day be woken with news of a genuine rarities disc of any kind.
For those of you who were in the least bit interested, the tracklisting was as follows:
One Step Beyond, It Must Be Love, Shame And Scandal, House Of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Death Of A Rude Boy, Our House, Grey Day, The Sun & The Rain, Madness, Michael Caine, Bed & Breakfast Man
Shut Up, On The Beat Pete, Take It Or Leave It, Swan Lake
Night Boat To Cairo, Embarrassment, The Prince, The Opium Eaters, Lovestruck, The Communicator
Wings Of A Dove, Forever Young, Cardiac Arrest, In The Rain, Calling Cards, Sign Of The Times
Tomorrows Dream, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Deceives The Eye, In The City
We had a feeling this compilation wouldn’t be setting the world or the album charts alight.
10 years ago…
Issue 515 – Sunday 15th March to Saturday 21st March 2009
Following last weekend’s Saturday release, we were now back to our regular Sunday slot once more, and unless we had something special to announce, we’d be staying with the Sunday release dates for the foreseeable future.
The new look, leather bound official Madness website opened it’s desk this week so we took the opportunity to give you a descriptive tour of the new sections, including a mood board where you could hear 32 seconds of one of the band’s forthcoming tracks, “The Hunchback of Torriano”.
After his lengthy write-up, Jonathan finished off his review of the new site by commenting;
“All in all it’s a stylish new classic look for the official site, that was well over due, and is nicely executed. We look forward to visiting it, and as always we’ll keep you updated by email of when the site has updates”.
Moving on, and as we’d always been strong supporters of North London band MOT, not only because one or two of their number are subscribed to the MIS, but also because their gigs felt exactly like how we assume the early Madness gigs were like, back in the late 1970’s, we urged you to vote for them in a Band Hacker web site competition.
The winners of the compo would be given a recording contract with a major record producer.
Well, what were you waiting for?
“Let’s Dance For Comic Relief” aired on BBC1 on Saturday March 7th, raising money for the charity of the same name. Suggs and Zoe Ball appeared as the third act on the show to recreate the iconic dance scene featured in seminal Tarantino movie “Pulp Fiction.”
The duo did well, but sadly crashed out in fifth place.
It was on to Man Like Me news next, as we reported that the band had been booked to support Madness at their forthcoming Madstock 5 festival. For many this would be the first opportunity they’d have to see the band perform live.
Madness Central news next, and following the 30 second upload to the Official Madness web site of “The Hunchback of Torriano”, Steve Bringe had spoken to Chris over the phone about the track, and kindly shared a number of tidbits with the rest of us.
One of the snippets was that Chris had based the guitar on the style of Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor.
Madness weren’t the only people relaunching their website this week, as Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley’s site has had a similar new look applied, which included an rss feed blog of news.
They were reporting that their involvement on Folgate was finished, after 3 years of work. Madness were also going to be mentioned in the biography, which is an extract of a forthcoming book called “Producers on Producing”.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that the Liberty of Norton Folgate had received a delay in being shipped. The waiting continued.
15 years ago…
Issue 253 – Sunday 14th February to Saturday 20th March 2004
The day after the previous issue of the MIS blasted forth across the internet a small snippet appeared on the Sun web site, and was kindly passed over to us by subscriber, Stav.
The snippet (along with Chas’ response, which appeared on his own web site) read:
“THE original seven members of MADNESS are set to sign a record deal for the band in the next fortnight.
SUGGS and the rest of the baggy trousers gang plan an album of new tunes”.
Chas was quick to respond with:
We are in rehearsals……the Sun has not got a clue what we are up to…….
For those of us eagerly anticipating new Madness material, it now looked as if the wait would be that bit longer.
Moving on, and after much badgering of our subscribers we were pleasantly surprised when subscriber Celia Moore revealed that she’d taken our advice and had managed to see MOT at Kentish Town’s Bull and Gate.
At the time Celia commented that:
“M.O.T. went down a storm at the Bull and Gate on Saturday, playing some old and some new songs, they are by far the best up and coming group around with a sound all their own but with hints of various groups especially Madness.
Ryan can be delightfully Suggs-like and Danny is a devil on the drums, and with brilliant keyboard and guitar playing by Sam, Ian and Phil, this is the group of the future.
I have seen them several times now and they are getting better every time, anyone who hasn’t seen them yet is missing the best thing since Madness and should get down to their next gig which may well be at the Dublin Castle!”
Elsewhere, and although we’d been promising it for a few weeks, the sheer scale of the project meant that it was taking longer to pull off that we initially expected. What am I on about? The full transcript of Suggs’ recent appearance on Radio 2’s Steve Wright Show.
Unsurprisingly, the fans didn’t learn too much about the band’s future plans, but the interview still proved to be an enjoyable read. Suggs covered such topics as Salvage Squad, his home in Italy, and the fact that the band were extremely pleased with how the Christmas shows went, and were now talking about doing a new recording.
We finished off this issue with an apology, due to the fact that the MIS web site had recently vanished off the face of the earth. No, this time it wasn’t due to me uploading some pages to the wrong section of the site, but down to the server suffering a fatal hard disk error, and our ISP not having a back-up. We kid you not!
Madness are “talking” about bringing back their musical ‘Our House’ as part of their 40th anniversary.
The iconic London ska band’s Olivier Award-winning show, which was co-written by Tim Firth, had a 10-month run at the Cambridge Theatre in the British capital’s theatre district between 2002 and 2003, and it could be returning for the band’s milestone celebrations.
‘Our House’ – which is also the title of the band’s 1982 hit from the ‘Rise & Fall’ album – is also a touring show and Suggs says if it comes back, it will still be the same production but refreshed.
He added: “Now it’s the most popular amateur musical that has been performed.
“There’s probably 40 versions of that show on at any time in England so we are trying to work out a way, not losing the production, but revitalising it.”
Goodbye Water Poet
The Water Poet (9-11 Folgate St, E1 6BX)
“After nearly 20 glorious years, The Water Poet as we know it is closing its doors for the final time on Friday 29th March 2019 due to redevelopment in the area” – The Water Poet.
Those of you who are members of M, (A club consisting of any fan who owns The Liberty of Norton Folgate Box Set) are about to lose your club house.
This pub is where the box set’s booklet urges you to wander down Folgate Street (about all that is left of The Liberty itself) and sup a pint here.
You have a short time now to do so before month end closure and Norton Folgate loses this celebrated drinking hole on March 29th.
You see, it’s just a 60 second walk around the corner to where the Madness album’s cover location for the liberty of norton folgate was photographed around 10 years ago. We have already lost The Light Bar, where Madness live in Norton Folgate took place that appears on the goggle box dvd set.
The redevelopment of the area due shortly to be built on top of The Light Bar area will erode custom to this tradition east end boozer and so another little bit of Folgate sinks into the area’s past.
I raise a glass and a bottle to some of the happy days there in 2009. The public house team will re open elsewhere, but things won’t be the same in terms of it’s reference in the musical history of the band’s greatest album. We wish them all well.
“The perpetual steady echo of the passing beat
A continual dark river of people
In their transience and in its permanence”
“So step for step and both light on our feet
We’ll travel many a long, dim, silent street together”
“Sending half crazed shadows, giants dancing up the brick wall
Of Mr.Truman’s beer factory waving bottles ten feet tall
Whether one calls it Spitalfields, Whitechapel
Tower Hamlets or Bangle Town
We’re all dancing in the moonlight
We’re all on borrowed ground”
And finally, please don’t forget to take up Chrissy Boy’s request originally printed in last week’s MIS…
Do you have personal photographs of Madness or your fan self from 1979? The reason we ask is that earlier in the week we were contacted by Chrissy Boy who asked;
“Can you put out a shout for fan photos taken in 1979 for the Madness book, in this weeks MIS Please?”
Eagle eyed fans may have also noticed that the band have also been asking for submissions via the Madness news Twitter feed.
The official request reads;
“You may think you know us, but did you know us in 1979?
We are looking for your photographs of US or YOU from the year 1979 for inclusion in our book – Before We Was We.”
If you have any post and use the hashtag #BeforeWeWasWe before 15th March.”
So, get scanning those old snaps and photo booth snaps of your nutty selfs and especially any times you snapped the band in the early 2tone days of that first year. (The book’s origin years ends before the 80s begin.)
“Harry Wandsworth sent a picture of Barso and Thommo up the Eiffel Tower.”, Chris tells us.
We can forward any snaps you send to the MIS and we’ll pass on your name and contact details on to the band.