Following our twentieth anniversary issue and accompanying competition last week it looks like we may have just held the most entered competition in MIS history such has been the response rate so far.
If you’ve not taken part then don’t panic as there’s still time. We’re accepting entries until the end of the Kenwood House gig in two week’s time. Check out the next section; “MIS XX Reader’s Competition” for all the information you need to be able to take part.
Before we get on with the issue you may be interested to learn that the last remaining House of Common tickets priced at the introductory level of £35 are still on sale.
With the event getting nearer the early discount will begin to be removed in stages. This price increase begins tomorrow (Monday 3rd June) so get in quickly if you’ve been holding off purchasing tickets. The event features Jimmy Cliff, David Rodigan’s second stage, Ziggy Marley, Craig Charles Funk & Soul and more.
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 2 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 2 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.
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: 786 – Sunday 1st June to Saturday 7th June 2014
With the 3-disc “Suggs Selection” compilation available to buy online and in the shops from tomorrow (Monday 2nd June) we were pleased to reveal that you could win your very own copy by taking part in the competition we had detailed elsewhere in this very issue.
The promotion for this triple disc pack featuring some of Suggs’ favourite songs had been given a rather stylish TV commercial, and you could catch it on YouTube if you’d not seen it already.
Over in “Sign of the Times” Carl provided us with an update on his forthcoming album by revealing that the album tracks had just been mastered and that Tim at Metropolis Music had done a fantastic job. The next step was to work on the running order of 12 tracks in total.
Our MIS Feature this week took a look at the bizarre Koast Train release of “Let’s Skank for England”, an attempt at a World Cup anthem track using a kazoo. We kid you not. While the track was made for fun the thinking behind it was quite serious, with all monies raised going towards raising vital funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs had just appeared on BBC 4 earlier in the evening taking about his book “That Close”, and that if you still hadn’t added the book to your collection it was now available in paperback form.
10 years ago…
Issue 526 – Sunday 31st May to Saturday 6th June 2009
He’d been part of the editorial team for roughly eight years, and without a doubt the hardest working member of the MIS for all of that time.
We were referring to the one and only Jonathan Young, who would be departing to pastures new, following the mailout of this very issue.
Working as hard as Jonathan had, it came as no surprise when he told us that he needed to take a sabbatical, and concentrate on other things rather than spend so much time on the weekly MIS newsletters and podcasts.
The amount of time, effort and money Jon had put into the MIS over the years had been staggering, and we’re certain it wouldn’t have remained a weekly publication had he not been around. We thanked Jon for being a complete and utter legend.
Jonathan hadn’t ruled-out returning to the MIS at some point in the future, but did warn that it could be months or even years away if he did.
On to the articles, and these kicked off with the news that The Blockheads would be supporting Madness at their forthcoming Madstock 5 concert. Having already supported the band at Madstocks 1 and 2, the majority of fans were extremely happy with the news.
Continuing with Blockheads news, and we reported that the band were asking fans to appear in a concert scene for the forthcoming Dury movie “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”. The band were looking for around 250 people, and you’d be required to be there from 9:30am until 7:00pm.
Suggs news next, and despite already seeing Madness umpteen times that week Jonathan manages to catch Suggs and his DJ set at The Reggae Roast, held at The Big Chill House.
Although commenting that “The man can’t mix for toffee”, he did follow up by saying that he knew how to work the crowd.
BBC news next, and the organisation were reporting that Suggs and Rod Stewart would be helping to launch a charity busking campaign on HMS Belfast.
Suggs was due to perform on the ship, which was moored on the banks of the River Thames near Tower Bridge, on 20th of June. Other acts would also perform including Skye Edwards (Ex-Morcheba), Zarif a soul singer who toured with Beyonce, The Charile Rivers band and an unsigned band from UBR would also perform short sets.
Busking Cancer aimed to get musicians raising money for Cancer Research UK. Singer Rod Stewart, who had survived thyroid cancer and would attend the launch but not perform, said: “Busking is what music is all about – just getting out there and singing or playing for the sheer joy of it.”
Moving on, and it was over to Jon Young, who gave the lowdown on and a download link to the latest MIS podcast, which this time covered events surrounding the launch of the new album. Numerous people are interviewed including sound engineers, historians, roadies, cocknies and even the Madness Trading Ring’s Kevin Tizzard.
Next, we had exciting news for Australian Madness fans, as news in from MIS subscriber Warren Moyle reported that The Liberty of Norton Folgate was going to be screened at The Melbourne Film Festival, which was due to take place later in the year.
Did we detect the potential opportunity for an Australian Madmeet?
A week or so back Jonathan Young submitted a post to the Madness Central Forums, announcing the MIS’ 10th birthday. This kick started a 4 page thread, full of congratulations, thanks, and very nice comments at our reaching this milestone.
We decided to print just a few of those posts that made us smile.
On to ticket news, and since last week’s issue we’d contacted AEG in an effort to find out just what was the situation with regards to Madstock tickets. Although we were still waiting for a proper reply their automated response system informed us that tickets would be honoureed, and would be delivered in 4 to 5 weeks.
We brought this issue to a close by announcing that MadBoo was the luck winner of our recent “Bingo” competition, and would be the recipient of a special one-off edition of the Folgate box set, which as well as the standard goodies contained numerous other disks, singles and merchandise. Very nice!
15 years ago…
Issue 264 – Sunday 30th May – Saturday 5th June 2004
We started off this week’s issue by explaining that this was the first issue of the MIS where part of it had actually been compiled in non other than The Dublin Castle, with both editors (Rob and Jon) making notes for this issue.
Yes, this was just an excuse for more beer in our weekend but we still felt this issue came right from the heart of Madness land.
Over the years we’ve come to realise that many of you are real die-hard Madness collectors who are always on the lookout for that unusual item to add to your collection.
Well, for those of you keen to add a real one-off to your stash, you could have done a lot worse than popping over to Ebay, and getting yourself bidding on the following auction:
Item number 3817740249 was described as `MADNESS CHAS SMASH ORIGINAL GENUINE GIG SUIT (1992)`, and was being sold off by Madness fan and Madness Unsugged editor Vince Carden.
Here was the description for the item:
“Back in 1992 the week before Madstock (the legendary comeback gig), Madness played a warm up gig to a small and lucky audience in a club. It was to be the first time all original 7 members of the band stood together on one stage in more than 8 years.
Available now on Ebay is the purple Chas Smash suit that the Madness vocalist and trumpet player, Chas Smash wore on one of those legendary nights!
Would look great with a bowler!”
Digging back through his archives the legendary Mr. G informed us that this suit was won by Vince at the famous CancerBacup auction in the DC backroom, with a winning bid of £175.
At the time of typing, the suit had received 9 bids and was at £102. A real bargain for any Madness fan.
It’s always nice to read about the experiences of fellow fans, and one Steve Ward didn’t let us down. Regaling us with a lengthy piece, detailing his Saturday gig in London to see the band in the back room of The Dublin Castle, it turned out that Mr. G, Wee Stoo, and himself had done things on the cheap, and hadn’t booked a hotel. This resulted in the three of them being up for a whopping 27 hours straight.
Here’s what Steve said at the time:
“After a night bus, a coach, a plane and the car again I got home about 8:30am Sunday morning. I’d been on the go for 27 straight hours and I was absolutely knackered, so a quick cup of T and a kiss for the weans and the wife and off to bed for a well deserved kip.
Was it all worth it?
Always on the sniff for more information, Jermaine of Tour Madness contacted us in an effort to get you, the readers, to supply him with yet more information.
This time Jermaine was after details of all the known Nutty Boys and Crunch gigs (minus TV and radio performances). Jermaine had already put together a hugely comprehensive list, but was after any missing dates, and further information on what he’d already listed.
If a gig takes place, you can be sure that one Jonathan Young will provide a blow by blow account of proceedings as soon as he gets back in front of a computer keyboard, and for the Saturday leg of the Dangermen gigs, he didn’t let us down. Detailing the run up to the gig, the gig itself, and the morning after, his review captured much of the excitement and merriment that took place over that weekend.
20 years ago…
Issue 2 – Sunday 30th May – Saturday 5th June 1999
Following the initial mail out of issue 1 the week before I was inundated with supportive emails (and even phone calls!) from online enabled Maddies who seemed to like the idea of what I was doing, and were keen to see more.
A few people contacted me and asked if I thought it was actually possible to keep something like this going on a weekly basis. At the time I replied with
“Well, we’ll see how things develop. If the flow of news and information slows down somewhat, then maybe this will be a bi-weekly bulletin. In the meantime, there’s loads of news and information coming my way so let’s make the most of it and keep this as a weekly news-bite!”
Had the staff at over at The Total Madness Mailing List bitten off more than they and their subscribers could chew? Quite possibly. With a whopping 4 separate prize-winning competitions and games running at the same time, it came down to ever-reliable and informative, Steve Bringe to pull in the reigns and give everyone the lowdown. In a lengthy email (which became a standalone article in this issue of the MIS) to the TMML, Steve listed the competitions, rules and the prizes up for grabs, which were various items of memorabilia from the recent Universal Madness album release. All goodies had been kindly donated by those lovely people at Goldenvoice.
With Madness’ appearance at the Party in The Park concert fast approaching, MTR subscribers Adele and John decided that this was a perfect opportunity to get another Madmeet organised. Well, two, actually. There would be an initial Madmeet taking place on the Saturday for all those with Party in The Park tickets, and the another on the Sunday for those who wished to take part in a guided tour of Camden Town.
Since the initial article in last week’s MIS, and a number of mails to the TMML, I’d received a number of emails from subscribers asking for the contact details of Nut Inc editor, Stuart Wright, as they were all keen to subscribe. Being the kind soul that I am, I was only too happy to oblige.
Always one to try and keep the fans up-to-date with the goings on in the band, Bedders contacted us with various bits and pieces of information. First-up was the news that the concert dates had changed from Saturday/Sunday 21st/22nd of August, so Friday 20th August, with a possible date on the Thursday, as well. Maddies were urged to alter their flights/time of work accordingly.
Bedders informed us that the album release date was now set as Monday the 4th of October, with a single pencilled in for Monday the 19th of July. At that time he commented that he realised that the release dates were a fair way away, but the tracks were still being mixed and cleaned-up.
Mark wasn’t able to reveal what track would be appearing as the first single, but he said that it was likely to be one of the new tracks which were previewed at the US shows. These were – `Johnny The Horse`, `Drip Fed Fred`, `Lovestruck` and `The Communicator`.
A number of posts had been bouncing around the TMML saying that the likely release would be `Lovestruck`, but until an official announcement had been made, we’d just have to keep guessing!
Following on from last week’s Nut Inc coverage, this week we turned our attention to Ian Taylor’s “Mad Not Mad” fanzine, which had recently landed on my door mat.
Although entitled `Mad Not Mad`, the zine wasn’t purely dedicated to Madness, but rather the ever-growing underground Ska-scene that seemed to be sweeping the country. However, with Madness being Ian’s number one love, the band did feature far more than other bands, so even if you weren’t interested in the all-round ska-scene, you were still encouraged to pick this up.
We finished this week’s issue with news in from Brendan of Madness tribute ‘One Step Behind’, who passed over details of the band’s 2009 summer tour. 15 years on, and the band are still playing to packed venues up and down the country.
One Step Behind Tour Down Under
The UK’s longest running Madness tribute band are setting their sights down under as later this year they’ll be leaving UK shores and heading for Australia and New Zealand.
With those fans based in Oz and the land of the Kiwi starved of official Madness tours in their corner of the globe, OSB will fill the nutty gap perfectly.
If you manage to get along to any of the above then please send in a review.
Sign of the Times
Suggs’ Love Letters to London
Just a reminder that the last part of the series Suggs’ Love Letters to London is on this Wednesday (5th June) at 11.30am on Radio 4.
I have found this a completely fascinating series with Suggs on a fine form. Funny stories, unusual song choices plus celebrity guests including Paul Weller, Boy George and Jazzie B.
I was lucky enough to get free tickets to the recording of episodes 3 & 4 at the Hoxton Hall and I can certainly say it was an amazing experience to be in such an intimate and beautiful venue with our hero!
Anyone who hasn’t listened to these yet, all 3 past episodes are still available on the BBC iPlayer radio app, don’t miss them!
To celebrate this latest gig we decided to ask him about some of his previous visits to Edinburgh, and his stories were hilarious, as you can probably imagine they would be.
Here’s what he had to say to us during our chat:
Hi Suggs, how are you getting on?
Good thanks! We’re all looking forward to the tour. One of the great things about the band is that we’re all friends, and if we want we can take a bit of time off, then get things going again.
Tell us a bit about your first-ever gig in Edinburgh
Tiffany’s in 1979 – November – it was the Two Tone Tour, we were on with The Specials and The Selecter. I remember that there were lots of undernourished looking kids outside when we got there standing in the rain, just wearing T-shirts.
The minute we saw them we could tell that they were all under 18. We said ‘they’re not allowed in’ so we decided to do a matinee performance instead, and let them all in. They were steaming from the cold.
It’s so weird thinking how that was actually 40 years ago now; we were literally teenagers ourselves, couldn’t have imagined we’d still be going strong four decades later.
Do you have any other stand-out memories of performing in Edinburgh?
Our Hogmanay gig ten years ago at Edinburgh Castle was great. It was sullied a bit though by the fact it was being broadcast live by Radio 2 and they’d specifically asked us not to swear. I walked straight out on stage and immediately said “f*** me it’s cold.”
It was great apart from that, though. I remember we were in the hotel before heading to the castle, there was this big crowd of Brazilians, who said ‘there’s no better place to be on New Years Eve’, they were right.
There were people there from all over the world, it was amazing. And apart from my swearing we had a great time and really availed ourselves of the Edinburgh hospitality.
Are you looking forward to playing in Edinburgh again this August?
Absolutely, yeah, the Summer Sessions. Let’s hope the sun will shine on Edinburgh and that it won’t be as cold as it was that New Year’s Eve at the Castle!
I love Scotland, I’m not going to go all Rod Stewart on your a*** but it’s a fantastic place, looking forward to being back.
And finally, this is a bit random, but is it true you recently had cheese made out of your…face?
Oh yes, the cheese- yes I did, it’s ‘human cheese’, currently on display at the V&A Museum in London. Basically, a friend of my daughter’s asked if I wanted to have cheddar made out of the bacteria in my head (as part of research into microbes).
I actually misheard and they were going to made a sculpture of my head out of cheese, but it was definitely interesting.
Funnily enough, I just came out of the V&A – they’ve done a Madness thing in the theatrical section and put a few cases of my suits on display, so I’ve got the rare honour of being featured at the V&A in two different departments at the same time.
Suggs from Madness always remembers best advice he was given when he’s in minicab