We trust that those of you based in the UK are enjoying the feeling a bank holiday weekend brings with it.
The year seems to be racing away with us. We’re getting ever closer to mid May, and with it the Aintree Racecourse gig which takes place on the 17th of this month.
The Aintree gig is a special one in as much as it marks the first in a long string of gigs celebrating the band’s 40th year. Sure, there may have been a hiatus or two during the four decades, but who’s counting?
Coming back to the here and now, and this evening Suggs took to the stage in his second outing at Hoxton Hall. We spotted a couple of group photos on Facebook of fans readying themselves for the performance, and we’re sure they ended up having a fantastic night.
In this issue we’ve re-printed several reviews of those lucky enough to attend the first performance last week. If you’ve been unable to get along to either of these shows then these will at least give you a rough idea as to what you’d missed.
26th – Tunes in the Dunes, Peranporth Beach, Cornwall. (Madness appear on the Sunday.)
31st – Docklands, Limerick, Ireland
1st – Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Dublin, Ireland
2nd – Waterford, Day Tripper Festival, Ireland
7th – Market Rasen Racecourse, Lincolnshire
8th – Chepstow racecourse, Monmouthshire
15th – Kenwood House, Hampstead. This Massive North London home coming gig for Madness XL features a full scale orchestra with the band. ** SOLD OUT ** If you’re planning to travel from Hertfordshire check out this link for coach travel info: https://zeelo.co/interest/16097
16th – Isle of Wight Festival
21st – New Market Racecourse, Suffolk
22nd – Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey
28th – Franklin Gardens, Northampton (Suppt: The Lightning Seeds)
29th – Newcastle Racecourse, Newcastle
4th – Noches del Botanico, Madrid, Spain
5th – Port America, Galicia, Spain
6th – Vida Festival, Barcelona, Spain
12th- Vivary Park, Taunton
19th – Open Air Theatre, Scarborough (Suppt: The Pigeon Detectives)
20th – Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster
21st – Bitts Park, Carlisle (Suppt: Bootleg Beatles & Chris Difford) Orig date 9/6/19
24th – Sanddown Park Racecourse, Esher
17th – Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire
18th – Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland
20th – Custom House Square, Belfast
23rd – Northern Meeting Park, Inverness
24th – East Links, Montrose
26th – Clapham Common, XL South London festival. With “Special” Guests.
30th – Wolverhampton Racecourse, Wolverhampton
31st – Winter Gardens, Margate
1st – The Downs, Bristol, (Suppt: David Rodigan)
Friday 29th – Monday 2nd December – House of Fun Weekender 2019
12th – AFAS Live, Amsterdam Dave Robinson
16th – An Evening With Dave Robinson, Mirth, Marvel and Maud, 186 Hoe Street, London, EC17 4QH https://bit.ly/2VIZJGH ** new **
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…
Issue782 – Sunday 4th May to Saturday 10th May 2014
This week we had a whopping two updates from the one and only Carl Smyth. In the first update Carl apologised for the his silence, and explained that time seemed to be running away from him at times as he tended to get distracted with writing and life in general.
Carl explained that he’d been busy writing new songs and as ever, was looking forward to performing with the band. In closing, Carl commented; “Its 35 years since we released One Step Beyond and I hope to be able write some new songs with equal energy and spirit for our next album”.
In Carl’s second update he revealed what had been going on with his solo work, how he’d been keeping busy and that the results would be revealed in time.
“This weekend I will be in London working on the final track for the album. A recently written song and one i felt should be included. I will be adding a string quartet and a choir to it this weekend with the help of Joe Duddell who has written the arrangement for the strings and organised the choir. other than that I might tidy up a vocal here and there and then Alan Winstanley will be mixing the tracks. I have worked with Alan over the years and feel very happy to have him mixing. So by mid May the music will be as they say in the can”.
Next it was on to our “MIS Feature”, which this week took a look at Clive Langer’s new band. The name of this line-up was CLANGERATTI! The line-up of this new outfit consisted of Deaf School’s very own Max Ripple (de-frocked for the night – just the way he likes it), along with Thundering Gregg Braden, from The Holloways and erstwhile Deaf’s guest fiddler in a top hat Robb Skipper – and last but very much not least Clive’s special guest the wonderfully slim, slick and suave Mr Eugene McGuinness!
In “Live and Intensified” Daren West provided us with the lowdown of the fifth and final gig of the Magic Brothers’ residency at the legendary Dublin Castle. After a glowing review Daren finished off with these closing words;
“We both agreed that last time out was the best and that tonight was nearly as good and also how great it would be if Magic
Brothers management could get this wonderful bunch of musicians together for more gigs please!”
Next it was on to “Tweets of a Dove” where Bedders commented with the pun-tactic; “Currently working on a film script about racing dustcarts – Chariots of Mire”, while Chris lamented the recent passing of the much loved Bob Hoskins; “Bob Hoskins 1942-2014. Much respect. CB”
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Brendan Phipps of Madness tribute outfit One Step Behind had been in touch to tell us that the band were 21 years old this week. A Facebook group had been set up to commemorate this amazing landmark.
10 years ago…
Issue 522 – Sunday 3rd May to Saturday 9th May 2009
Unlike most Bank Holiday issues we’d ran in the past this one was absolutely packed. So, if the weather did take a turn for the worse where you were, you at least had a cracking issue to plough through.
Before we’d let you get on with this week’s collection of articles, we had a request for your help. We believed that a TV advert to promote the album has recently been recorded by the band. If you spotted this on TV we asked if you’d be so kind as to email us with the details, and if you were really tech-savvy, to upload the clip to YouTube.
Our articles kicked-off with an amazing exclusive from Madness Central, who had managed to interview the one and only Clive Langer. Being the nice people they are, they’d given the MIS the thumbs up to publish the review in the weekly bulletin.
Madness Central weren’t the only ones out there interviewing, as this week also saw the French MIS team speak to Suggs and Chris.
Elsewhere, and in house moving news, The Mail Online reported that both of Suggs’ daughters were about to move out and that dad was helping them out with deposits.
‘I’m helping them find a deposit because it is a good time for them to get on the ladder,’ said the 48-year-old, who is now thinking of selling the family home and buying a flat on the Thames.
Moving on, and up til now we’d only read glowing reviews of the Liberty of Norton Folgate album. Well, things were about to get nasty as we published a review from Adelaide Now, who were less than complimentary.
Unfortunately, Suggs and Co’s glory days are behind them and only their back catalogue will keep their aura alive.
Towards the end of the issue we went back to The Mail Online, who were interviewing Suggs on health related questions, and advised those with access to the M section of the Madness web site to log in, as Chris had recently uploaded some new Axecam footage.
15 years ago…
Issue 260 – Sunday 2nd May to Saturday 8th May 2004
We started off this issue of the MIS with an apology for just how short on news it was. Much like this very issue, number 260 was also suffering from the Bank Holiday Weekend news shortage, meaning that the reader base would be able to plough through the whole bulletin in almost record time.
With little to report on, Jonathan Young kindly typed-up a partial extract of Bedders’ forward to “Sent From Coventry”, The Chequered Past of Two Tone.
Always one to keep us up-to-date with the more unusual Madness collectible, Chris Carter-Pegg contacted us with a heads-up on the latest item – the publication of “The Hand that changed its Mind”, which included the sheet music for “Oranges and Lemons Again”, written with Suggs.
The book was priced £14.99 and Jools was spotted signing copies of it on the 26th April, in Chappells of Bond Street, London.
Moving on, and we took a look at Warrior Clothing’s belated Easter offers, and were pleased to learn that the guys and girls there had not only got the UK site to a look and feel they’d been striving for, but their German site was now also undergoing a revamp.
We finished off this issue by advising our readers to not bother downloading the 30 second clip of One Step Beyond, from the Royal Albert Hall. Well, unless you were happy to put up with really distorted sound and almost completely black video footage.
The Skapones Support The Specials
Paul Williams has been an honourable member of MIS circles since the charity Specialized teamed up with us during the Mad not Cancer campaign. Today, his band The Skapones support The Specials in Middlesbrough and then Scarborough tomorrow…
“ I couldn’t sleep so I’m up. Well, here we are. Sunday.
Busy 2 days commences – it may be “just a gig” to people but to me..Nah. This is different.
I remember daydreaming and looking out of the Mr Doss’ physics classroom window in 1980 at Beckfield Lane Secondary. The lesson was about oscilloscopes-bored me daft.- was even sunny out I recall. I knew The Specials were on tour and playing Leeds and living in York it was only 25 mins away by road. I spent most of the lesson trying to work out how I could get there. Never happened. Was well cheesed off. Also remember buying the NME/Sounds/Record Mirror and looking at the gigs page and seeing ads for my favourite bands and their supports.
Fast forward 40 years..40 Years!!!! where did the time go? The affair that started in 1979 still burns bright. My parents weren’t worldly wise people and so guidance came in the form of music with great lyrics – to me more important than just a good tune – I had enough brain power to understand what was being said and work it out all for myself- might sound poncey & overstated but its a truth.
Today starts a 2 day stint playing as support in a band that work so hard to The Specials on their 40th anniversary tour, celebrating their No.1 album and we celebrate our own good selling album – History right there. Part of my own and that of the Specials sort of entwined loosely.
All of this means nothing to anyone really but myself but hey there you have it but none of it would be done without support from Ruth. None. So babe – Thank you
Son – you’re excused physics today you’re going on the ride of your life.
Memories of Suggs at Hoxton Hall, Sunday 28th April
Incredible show put on by Suggs at Hoxton Hall last night, one of the best solo events Suggs has ever done. I thought it even better than his two solo tours. So many songs, some never previously performed live by Suggs, great guest (Paul Weller), new anecdotes, it was a real privilege to be there.
However…even though all the tickets for last night’s the show had been reserved, the hall was only half full (only 90 people yet 180 tickets had been reserved). Please, out of consideration to others who might want to attend, if you have reserved tickets for next week’s show but you cannot attend, or if you have reserved too many, please offer them to others either on this page or on any of the other Madness fan facebook pages.
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Had the best time at Hoxton tonight watching Suggs doing the first part of his Radio 4 show Love Letters to London. Unfortunately it over run a bit as they had to keep redoing the bits where Suggs added the odd F word or two. This meant that I missed my last train home so I ended up going back to Purley with Lynn (Lawlor) who then drove me back to Weybridge to get my car, she then drove back to Purley!
Thank you Lynn for being such a good friend and saving me from a night on the station platform…. same again next week?
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I attended Suggs Love Letter to London at Hoxton Hall last night and what an evening it was.
It was a great night and something different. Suggs talked about different characters of Soho and Norton Folgate.
He chatted with Weller and they sang the theme from a show called Budgie, Nobody’s Fool by The Kinks, Paul’s choice.
Suggs also sang Consider Yourself and recited Ian Dury’s The Busman’s Poet as well as a couple of other songs that I didn’t catch the titles.
The absolute highlight was Suggs performing The Liberty of Norton Folgate twice to ensure the best version is used in the final show. The great man also performed Lola. A very funny entertaining evening, some retakes required at the end, especially where Suggs had slipped in expletives that Radio 4 cannot broadcast.
Get along if you have a ticket for 5th May or please pass it on if you cannot make it as whilst all tickets were issued last night, the venue was probably half full, such a shame.
Hoxton Hall 28/04/2019
Wow..start at beginning, when queuing to get in spotting Mr Weller (friendly chappie)
And getting photo opportunity. (a particular bonus for my Weller fan sister).
Beautiful venue. Proper old music hall [with] fixtures and fittings loving restored 10 years ago. Very intimate inside. Proper close…almost touch him distance…out comes Suggs, as ever the showman…perfect setting for this recoded performance of ‘Love Letters to London’..
We are introduced to Owen accompanying Suggs on piano by Richard production manager and are asked to politely clap, applause [and] be enthusiastic throughout..(no need to ask!)
We are treated to one of the best 3 hours of any performance I have ever seen of Suggs.
For me, better than the many ‘My Life story’ tours I saw him in. Perhaps it was the romance of Venue, the intimate setting..the duet and banter with Paul Weller.
The mumbles, fumbles and FFs..throughout the scrip were a delight..and are all part of his charm..he talks about his love affair with London, the sights and sounds of places and people that have influenced and changed his life..the songs that are performed alongside are just joyous..consider yourself at home!, being one of many..
He speaks of the Liberty of Norton Folgate area of London, where he claimed it became a refuse for actors, writers, thinkers, louts, low life’s and libertines..where he added My kind of place.. we are treated to a superb rendition not once but twice..
Thank you for an experience that I will always treasure..especially as I was able to meet the man himself after.
I was privileged to be there..enjoy if you go next week..special guest Boy George..
Sign of the Times
Madness: 40 years later and still one step beyond
From The Independent .ie
Formerly The North London Invaders, Madness formed in 1976 – six teenagers with too much energy who, as Deborah Ross put it in the Independent in 1991, had been “brought together by a north London youth club and a love of Jamaican and jazz music”.
They fused all that and took it one step beyond. They were the nutty boys of Camden Town. More than 40 years later, the nutty boys are no longer boys; the Crombie coats are more to shelter their ageing bones from the cold than as youth culture statements.
That said, the Camden Town tearaways are still one of the most entertaining live acts around. And why wouldn’t they be, when they have 20 top 20 hits to draw on – so expect One Step Beyond, House of Fun and Embarrassment when one of Britain’s finest ever musical ensembles plays Dublin on the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Before we bring this week’s MIS to a close we just wanted to make something clear.
Over the past couple of days we’ve read posts on social media where people have commented that they believe the reason they are not receiving issues of the MIS is because they have been banned. We can confirm 100% that this is not the case. No one is banned from the MIS subscription list. If bulletins are failing to land in your mailbox it’ll be due to one of the following reasons – the emails are landing in your spam folder, your email address has bounced multiple times and so the list server has stopped sending you emails or you’ve not signed-up correctly.
If you believe you’ve signed-up and the bulletins are failing to arrive then please drop us an email and we’ll help you resolve the issue.