Hello and a very, very warm welcome to this 20th anniversary edition of the MIS Online Newsletter. That’s something surely no one expected to read in the years to come when the first issue of the weekly fanzine email newsletter blasted out across the internet on the 23rd May 1999.
Aside from a few gremlins which have seen the odd issue go out late, we’ve not missed a week yet! This has been the biggest surprise for the MIS team who put the issue together, that in 20 years there’s always been something Madness related to include in an issue to make it worthwhile sending out. Sure, we’ve had some lean weeks where additional content has been minimal, but on the whole these have been small exceptions in an otherwise newsworthy two decades.
To celebrate this amazing landmark we’ve given our regular “Showtimes” section a shove further down the contents listing, and for one week only we begin with news of the “MIS XX Readers’ Competition”. It does require a little bit of work for you to enter, but if you read the article in full you may well discover that a fair number of you have unwittingly completely the work already. Yes, we kid you not. Some of you only need to perform the most simplest of tasks of sending an email and you’ll be in with a chance of winning. Jonathan will explain the details in full shortly.
In the meantime, we’d just like to say a very, very big thank you to everyone who has supported the MIS over the past 20 years. Whether it’s been forwarding news articles, reviewing gigs, providing competition prizes or simply being a reader we really, really appreciate everything you’ve done. You make it all worthwhile.
Will the MIS still be going in another five years? Who can tell. A quarter century old email newsletter would be quite the milestone!
In the meantime, enjoy the issue, and enjoy the first of our “I Remember Way Back When” sections featuring four look-backs per issue. We feel old!
We’ve a couple of very cool Madness prizes to give away to readers of this twenty year MIS issue. If you’re lucky they just might be given to YOU!
But we aren’t going to tell YOU what they are today. Regular readers will find out later in this XL Madness year.
In order to win these mystery prizes YOU have to register after reading this week’s twenty year issue.
Looking ahead and later this XL Madness year there are even more things that will be happening with Madness. YOU could be a part of attending something with us. Something that we’re very much looking forward to seeing take place. Yes. It could be YOU with us at this mad event.
Looking back also at 40 years of Madness, and we’ve a couple of exclusive items from the long past to gift to readers too. All are worthy of celebrations for this XL year, and also in marking over half that time that we’ve spent in the service of mad fanzine work. It could be YOU that gets this exclusive item or items from us.
In order to win any of these Mystery Madness prizes YOU need to first register that you’ve read this issue, by simply emailing your name to:
Registration then ends when Kenwood House Madness ends in 3 weeks time.
What you then need to do is read in future issues where details of the prizes will be announced. Remember that only those readers who have registered for the competition over the next 3 weeks can then apply to win them, later this year.
Lastly, during this summer (Before House of Common ends in August) we need a second email from you. Just anything with a Madness news item in, your opinion or your writing on Madness’ 40 year life, a gig review etc. Failing that, an archive Madness related link or submission will also be considered. Anything at all you fancy sending us for submission to our pages (that occasionally but rarely include pictures too) is fair game.
Now, the good news is that if you’ve ever contributed to the MIS at all over the past 20 years we will automatically class that as entry into the prize draw when you apply. Just briefly explain what it was you submitted and a rough idea when and that will be good enough. If you previously participated in our film and event or mad meet work then that automatically gains you entry, also.
This band’s fanzine has always included and welcomed the submissions of fans. We still do! It’s YOU that makes these pages what they are. Staff@mis-online.net is where to send these submissions any week. We want to say “Thank You” for your twenty years of contributions.
For two decades this online weekly email has done the job of a covering the void left by the official MIS magazine, and has been the unofficial fanzine about the band. It’s taken the weekly news announced by the band, or from the many media sources, or from the discussions fans have busy talking about all week and it’s given readers a place to catch up with their Madness hobby of following the band in a more casual diary way than seeking it all out in their own time, simply if they wished to be a reader. That’s a mad manifesto that Robert who started this all, wrote in issue 1, and it’s true today, alongside many other great fan based alternatives that have come and gone over the years, and many strong and brilliant ones still with us. It’s been something regular, like putting on a lovely battered nutty old bowler hat.
The most important part of it has always been YOU. Reader. So Thank YOU.
See below for all forthcoming Madness and Madness related gigs and events. If there’s something we’ve missed off or you feel should be added then please let us know.
26th – Tunes in the Dunes, Peranporth Beach, Cornwall. (Madness appear tonight)
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 (Suppt: The Lightning Seeds and Chris Difford)
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
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, 10, 15 and 20 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number: 785 – Sunday 25th May to Saturday 31st May 2014
Our intro text described this as a landmark issue of the MIS as we’d notched up an impressive 15 years of issues. Little did we know that 5 years later we’d still be going and celebrating two decades of publication!
Over in the regular “Showtimes” section we were both surprised and very pleased to see that the sold out Brighton Centre gig on Saturday 6th December had been joined by a brand new Matinee gig for the very same day. This would be a perfect chance for younger fans to get along and see their idols in the flesh.
Moving on, and “Sign of the Times” was dominated by Suggs related articles. Not too surprising when the great man was full-swing into his My Life Story Stage Show.
Next, it was straight into “Tweets of a Dove”, which was a packed one. We had a stream of tweets from the Official Madness News account keeping us up-to-date on all things related to the forthcoming Christmas tour, while Bedders informed us from his account that he’d been in the studio with the Near Jazz Experience, using the Marxophone. Suggs, meanwhile, told us that the “My Life Story” wagon was drawing towards the final staging post.
On to “Live Intensified” and it was a lengthy one. This section was dedicated to the recent opening of Harry Wandsworth’s “Nutty Bar”, with the soft opening playing host to Rhoda Dakar on the 4th April, and Lee Thompson arriving for the official opening on the 12th.
We brought this issue to a close with a heads-up regarding the London O2 Christmas gig. With tickets no longer available via See Tickets or the Madness web site links we urged you to pick them up from the O2 web site as soon as possible as it was looking like a sell out. The MIS team were planning to meet up outside the O2 bars.
10 years ago…
Issue 525 – Sunday 24th May to Saturday 30th May 2009
We got this issue off to a roaring start with the news that a number of you had emailed us saying that you’d bought tickets via Trinity Street, but had yet to receive the confirmation email telling you not to panic, and that you will get your tickets on time.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to provide any further information, and could only tell people not to get too worried. Something we realised was easier said than done.
Next, and we reported that on the Bank holiday Monday Suggs would be headlining a DJ set at the Reggae Roast, King’s Cross. If you were in the vicinity we urged you to get yourself down there.
Elsewhere we reported that the band were currently part of “The Tracks Of My Years” segment on the Ken Bruce Show on Radio 2, while on Tuesday the 26th May the band were due to appear on ITV’s This Morning, at 10.30am.
On Wednesday 27th Suggs was due to appear on the panel of Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, but we had reasons to believe that this may have been cancelled.
In chart news, the new album was currently sitting at number 5 in the midweek charts, and we were also told that a 2 CD deluxe version of the One Step Beyond album was due for release in October.
More chart news, and on Sunday the Dust Devil single reached 64 in the charts, number 1 in the indie chart, with a number 9 position in the physical format, based on HMV chart.
On to the articles, and these got underway with Jonathan Young recounting the recent album launch where only a lucky few were present. We reported on a terrible article from the Sun newspaper, which reported on Suggs, but at the time the events were meant to be taking place outside a venue, Suggs was already inside.
With The Liberty of Norton Folgate now available on CD and iTunes, Jonathan Young thought it was about time he took a look at all the various versions of the album that were now doing the rounds.
Naturally, with the album only recently seeing the light of day, much of the issue was taken up with transcripts of reviews taken from various newspaper and online sources. Thankfully, the majority of the write-ups were extremely positive, reflecting the views and opinions of the fans closely.
Elsewhere we featured coverage of the recent free HMV gig taken by Chris’ one and only Axecam, and included a transcript of an interview with Suggs that had recently featured on Ceefax. Remember that?
We brought this issue to a close with news in from Chris Carter-Pegg, who reported that on the Friday before the issue had gone to press Madness had retained a number 5 position in the music industry charts. Could they hope to keep that position come Sunday?
15 years ago…
Issue 263 – Sunday 23rd May to Saturday 29th May 2004
The day before this issue of the MIS went out was a truly memorable occasion. No, not because Madness (as The Dangermen) played their last in a short string of gigs at Camden’s Dublin Castle, but because after almost five years of co-editing, the MIS editors, Jonathan Young and Robert Hazelby finally met.
Many of our friends thought it amusing that after producing 260-odd issues of the weekly MIS our paths had never crossed. Once or twice we’d even been in the same building, but fate ensured that we were never able to meet face-to-face, until this weekend just gone.
With a weekend spent in a number of Camden’s watering holes many were expecting the MIS to go out on the Monday as mentioned in the previous issue. However, all the stops were pulled out, and the MIS went out in it’s usual Sunday night slot.
Naturally, with the band just completing a four day stint at The Dublin Castle this MIS was packed with detailed reviews of those week that shook the DC, with various members of the fanbase contributing to reviews of each night.
For most of us it was not only the first time we heard tracks that would soon be appearing on The Dangermen Sessions album, but the first time we’d been able to experience the atmosphere of those early days of the band, when they had a regular slot at the Dublin Castle.
20 years ago…
Issue 1 – Sunday 23rd May – Saturday 29th May 1999
Well, this was it. The first issue of the MIS went out on the evening of Sunday the 23rd of May 1999, with the idea that it would be a weekly digest of all the Madness news collected over the past seven days. It was also decided that if the flow of news slowed, the bulletins would appear less frequently.
Twenty years on, and we’ve not missed an issue (although the odd technical ‘feature’ has meant that the odd bulletin was delayed in arriving).
Content for this issue included a brief heads-up on how to unsubscribe from the MIS if it wasn’t for you, and news that Virgin’s Tony Goodwin had been contacted in an effort to ascertain whether fans would be allowed to upload short 10 second clips of Madness tracks to their web sites. At that moment in time we were waiting for an answer, but promised the readers that we’d let them know as soon as we received a response.
News in from a certain Dan Woodgate, courtesy of Steve Bringe, was that the band now had two more names for songs they were working on. The tracks in question (these are the spellings and names we were given at the time) were: ‘Got no Money’, by Thompson, Woodgate and Nick Woodgate (Woody’s brother), and ‘Alysian’, by Thompson, Woodgate.
Moving on, and we reported on the recent release of issue 14 of the fantastic ‘Nut Inc’ fanzine (remember that? Fantastic fanzine). Issue 14 had masses of features on the Madstock IV weekend, as well as detailing the plans of the band. Start Wright, the editor, told us at the time, that this was the largest issue to date.
With the recent US tour already a fading memory for many, it was nice to see one Alan Redpath not only making his photos available online for everyone else to see, but was asking others to send in theirs for uploading, or for you to add captions and details to the pictures already there.
We finished off this first ever issue of the MIS, with news from a certain Mark Bedford, informing us that arrangements for the August ’20 Years of Madness’ gig at The Hackney Empire were now well underway. 10 songs were planned to be aired, with a lot of other Madness related bits and pieces going on during the show. The date of the gig was pencilled-in as Sunday the 22nd of August, with a possible gig on the 21st also a possibility.
Sign of the Times
Ffos Las Has Gone ‘One Step Beyond’ With Madness Preparations
On the eve of the arrival of Madness at Ffos Las Racecourse, plans are all in place to welcome one of the biggest crowds ever to the venue tomorrow – with tickets still up for grabs and shuttle buses laid on to help visitors get there, hassle-free.
Ska fans are going nutty for Madness tickets, with Suggs and the lads heading to the venue tomorrow (Saturday 25 May) as part of their A Day At The Races and Other Places tour.
Bacteria from Suggs has also been cultivated to make a block of Cheddar.
A group of celebrities including Professor Green and Heston Blumenthal have shown they are full of the milk of human kindness by allowing researchers to produce a selection of “unique” cheeses made with bacteria taken from their own skin.
We’re almost done for this week, but before we finish there are just one or two last minute items to pass your way.
First-up, we’ve learned that the planning and execution work for the sold out Kenwood 40th birthday show is now well underway. Beyond Mez confirming to us he’ll be present in the band line-up at Kenwood, the exciting news we’ve heard is that the wider orchestra contains over 30 players! By our reckoning we should be looking at a 40+ strong musical Madness team for probably the first time ever. (That is unless the brass band collaboration on The Rise and Fall tour exceeded this 40 level.) 40 What could be more XL than that.
We’ve confident hopes that the return of One Better Day is in preparation of its strings being a live feast for the ears. Bedders and the band are busy, involved in the application of Madness arrangements to the various sections. Tickets for the event are now being dispatched!
Next, and this week we were pleased to learn that the Lightning seeds and Chris Difford join the Madness show at Taunton on 12th July. This is a fantastic line-up, and with Madness as headliners, means you’re getting some excellent acts for your ticket price.
Moving on, and Declan Mc Dermott sent us in a short 4-minute interview with Dave Robinson by Tom Robinson for 6 Music. Aired on the 11th May, Dave talked about the production of a brand new Madness song “Oh my Love”.
Dave explained that he mixed the track for the band that he wanted to be released as a single. This is a John Lennon song sung by Madness. The song then aired in full and Dave finished off by saying “It’s a cracker. I really think it should be released as a single, but we’ll see what the group think”.
If you’re after a bit of a bargain you may be interested to learn that The Ticket Factory website is offering a whopping 35% off Madness at the Franklin Gardens Northampton gig. All you need to do is use the code MADNESS35 on their website before Tuesday. Check out the site at www.theticketfactory.com.