Hello and a very warm welcome to this latest edition of the MIS Online newsletter.
We trust that those of you who attended yesterday’s Madness XL gig at Kenwood House are still beaming with smiles. While we don’t have any fan reviews of the gig in tonight’s issue we’ve been taking great pleasure in seeing the numerous photos appear on social media. If you’d like to send write ups in we’d love to include them in next week’s MIS. Feel free to make the reviews as long or as short as you wish. We’re keen to read them!
In the meantime, for those who were unable to attend the set list in full was as follows:
• Norton Folgate
• One Step Beyond
• The Prince
• My Girl
• Sun and the Rain
• One Better Day
• Wings of a Dove
• Oh my Love
• Shut up
• In my Street
• Los Palmas 7
• House of Fun
• Baggy Trousers
• Our House
• It Must be Love
• Night Boat to Cairo
On to this week’s issue and it’s a packed one with an MIS Feature, a large dose of Sign of the Times and two gig reviews from subscriber Adrian Beeforth in Live Intensified.
There’s a lot to get through so let’s get this show on the road.
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.
Paul Putner’s Embarrassment
He’s known for a lot of appearances in cult comedy shows. From Fat Gighters in Little Britain, through playing villain “Jelly” Kelly in Only Fools spin off Rock & Chips, to appearances in Spaced, Black Books, and other U.K. shows from Mid Somer Murders to 15 Stories High, as well as being a circuit stand up character comedian.
Now Paul Putner is staging a one man show about his fandom of Madness over the band’s 4 decades and his love of their music. Paul Putner’s Embarrassment – Me and Madness (The band). Something that won’t surprise those fans who have met him at gigs like The House of Fun Weekender and many more over the years.
“It’s Madness’ ruby anniversary and Putner has written a love letter to the legendary band he’s followed since 1979.
An unashamedly nostalgic trip back to his moon-stomping past and beyond!
Enjoy tales of freaky fandom, demented dancing, dodgy haircuts, glorious gigs and maybe a couple of embarrassing moments thrown in too.”
“A story of a young, obsessive, nutty boy who took his passion for Madness one step beyond! Heartfelt and honest, relish some of the embarrassing moments too and discover what happened when he finally met his heroes. ‘
The 55 minute show is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe. The Frankenstein pub hosts the show for a couple of weeks.
Frankenstein Pub, 26 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EN( Bier Keller)
Aug 2-12, 14-25
£10 in advance to guarantee entry or pay what you want at the venue.
“If it goes well, I want to tour a longer version of the show. The band’s team are aware of the show.” Paul tells us.
We will review the show in a later issue.
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: 788 – Sunday 15th June to Saturday 21st June 2014
It may have been a long way off, but if you were planning on attending the House of Fun Weekender in Minehead then you now had five and a half months to get your fancy dress in order for the Saturday night.
This year, the theme was, and could only be… MADHEADs. To take part you needed to pick a person or character you deemed to be a true MADHEAD and take their form for a night.
Over in our “Sign of the Times” section we re-printed an article from the BBC web site who were covering The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Why? Because the band were in the line-up for this year’s forthcoming Glastonbury Festival, that’s why!
Next, and in Specialized news we reported that the new Mad Not Cancer album, was available to pre-order from the 16th June. The album weighed in at a whopping great 4 CD’s, which got you over 70 covers of Madness tracks by bands/artists from all corners of the globe and ran to over 4 hours of music!! All proceeds would go to Teenage Cancer Trust for whom the Specialized project had raised over £50,000 in just over 18 months – this year looked set to blow the doors off!!
Following this we moved on to a non Madness related note as we paid our respects to the legendary comedian Rik Mayall who sadly passed away this week at his home following a regular jogging session.
To many he was a writer, actor and voice over artist, but to many Madness fans it’s most likely he’d be known mostly for his part of Rik in BBC comedy series The Young Ones.
Following his death countless articles appeared online, detailing the history of the comedian, and we’ve linked a few in this very issue. Very sad indeed.
On a more jollier note we were into the group rounds of the Mad Header World Cup competition. Judge Fredd was announced winner of the first group A prize Draw. Winning a vintage Peel Sessions CD, and a brand new Crunch! polo shirt, thanks to Swanny runner of the Crunch! facebook page.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Woody would be appearing on Croydon Radio on Monday night talking about the early days of the band. He was joined by by friend of MIS and long term follower of the band Lynn Lawlor, who talked about the times she witnessed.
10 years ago…
Issue 528 – Sunday 14th June – Saturday 20th June 2009
We began this week’s issue a little differently, with a whole host of chart placing information courtesy of the one and only Paul Rodgers.
Paul told us that The Liberty of Norton Folgate has slipped down from 22 in the UK album charts, and was now sitting at number 40. Meanwhile, Complete Madness had actually climbed from 75, from it’s previous week’s placing of 77.
Things didn’t look quite so bad for Folgate in the Indie charts, where the album was sat at a very respectable 4.
Our articles began with a promotional spiel from the Norfolk Showground, where Madness had been booked to perform the day before this issue went out. Featuring quotes from Suggs himself it was a nicely written piece, but featured little MIS subscribers didn’t already know.
It’d been more than 10 years since subscriber Luke Roberts had last submitted anything for the MIS, but he broke his silence with a detailed review of the recent appearance by the band at the 40th Dutch Pinkpop Festival. Luke’s write-up of the performance was extremely favourable, with the only negative being that the band came off far too early for his liking.
Next, we took a look at the Madness Central web site, and their announcement that they were planning to update some of the site features along with creating a host of new ones to go alongside them. Updates included a MadQuiz, image galleries and a chat room.
We asked, and she obliged. Who? MIS subscriber Vicki Lee, and her write up for the recent Madness gig in Berlin, which featured in this issue. Vicki’s lengthy review finished by saying;
“Even after two encores of Madness and Night Boat To Cairo followed by Pigbag, the crowd were still cheering for more and seemed bemused when they didn’t reappear for a third encore”
Our review coverage continued with our next article, which covered the band’s recent performance at the Lisbon Calling Festival on Tuesday. Although written in Dutch, subscriber Ricardo had been kind enough to re-write it in English for us. What a gent.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that tickets to see Madness perform at the Spledour Festival in Nottingham this coming Sunday, were a mere £15! What a bargain.
15 years ago…
Issue 266 – Sunday 13th June – Saturday 19th June 2004
Although only a week or two had gone by since Madness appeared for a 4-day stint at The Dublin Castle, fans were already starting to ask for information regarding the Christmas tour.
Many subscribers pointed out that nothing had been announced as yet, with Madness Trading Ring member Mr. G commenting;
“Last years Xmas tour wasn’t announced until July 1st. So if there is to be one, I don’t expect to hear anything for a few weeks anyway. I reckon best bet is festivals”.
Moving on, and we temporarily went off the subject of Madness, with a news snippet in from Rob Wardlaw, who was obviously trying to get us all excited with the following;
“The rumours about The Specials re-forming have surfaced again on the Specials web-site forum …..so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a BIG 2-tone re-union (I know it’s a long shot, but we can hope !!!) & after seeing the show Neville Staple put on last week, I really do hope it happens – that man is a legend (hope his back is OK !) & to see them playing with Madness would be the ultimate”.
Next-up, and those of you who wanted to start writing-up your Christmas wish list were advised to get underway, as Chrissy Boy had posted on the Official Madness Forum, with a tentative release date for The Singles Box Set Volume 2 as sometime in December.
Further on in this week’s issue, and we were treated to a detailed lowdown of TV programme, “Hell’s Kitchen”. Why? Well, it turned out that Suggs was one of the celebrities on there, and as Graham Whitfield had been watching the show, he felt it was his duty to report on just what went on. We discover that this detailed report turned out to be the product of a rather odd dream Graham had experienced, and we never did find out what the outcome was.
We finished off this issue with a transcription of an article that’d been passed to us by ‘Chiggs’ during a recent Dangermen gig. Printed in a recent issue of ‘The Camden New Journal News’, Suggs was reported as saying that he would take the job as Camden’s Musical Czar, if the post was created.
20 years ago…
Issue number 4 – Sunday 13th June – Saturday 19th June 1999
One minute news was a mere trickle, whilst the next, an absolute avalanche, and that was reflected in this absolutely packed issue.
We started this issue off by thanking Alan Redpath, who phoned up The Hackney Empire. It seemed that instead of one or two gigs being staged to celebrate the 20 Years of Madness, there may actually be an entire week’s worth of shows, which would run from August 16th through to the 21st.
Meanwhile, subscriber Nigel Ward reported that the release of tickets for the show had been delayed whilst a deal was sorted out for TV coverage.
Moving on, and we were told that Virgin Radio were planning to start giving the new Madness single, Lovestruck, an airing in early July.
Regarding a release date for the single – we didn’t have the information to hand, but it was looking like July the 19th was the most likely date.
Continuing on the subject of Lovestruck, and it seemed as if two different versions of the single were on the cards.
Meanwhile, album rumours continued to surface, with the following tracklisting being detailed by www.bigmouth.co.uk
1. Remembering Oh So Clear
2. You’re Wonderful
3. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
5. Culture Vulture
6. Going To The Top
8. We Are Love
9. Johnny The Horse
10. 4 am (originally recorded by Suggs)
11. Drip Fed Fred (feat. Ian Dury)
News of another exciting release from Virgin Records landed this week when we learned that the company were planning to release a boxed set of all Madness’ studio albums, together with a booklet, and a set of video clips from the recent US and UK performances.
We finished this issue with the first set of full Johnny The Horse lyrics, that had been lovingly transcribed by Total Madness Mailing List co-maintainer, Steve Bringe. How did he manage to work out the lyrics before hearing a full version of the song? By piecing it together from the airing of a BBC2 radio show, and from sneaking a tape recorder in to a few of the recent Stateside gigs.
That’s dedication for you!
Sign of the Times
See These Great Pictures as Madness Steal the Show at Market Rasen Racecourse
From the Lincolnshire Live web site.
Hundreds of race-goers danced like crazy as Madness performed live at Market Rasen Racecourse.
A huge cheer went up as the band took the stage with the biggest cheer saved for when legendary front man Suggs appeared.
Many in the crowd had dressed up for the occasion, wearing pork pie hats and carrying blow-up saxophones, or sporting a red fez as worn by the band in their video for hit single Night Boat to Cairo.
Fans erupted as their heard the first bars of One Step Beyond on Friday night. Undeterred by the wet weather, they danced away to the Madness hits Embarrassment, House of Fun, Our House, It Must Be Love, Driving in My Car and, of course, Baggy Trousers.
Sandra Bainbridge from Lincoln who was at the event with a group of friends, said they were regulars at Madness concerts: “They are always amazing and we love the atmosphere in the crowd. Everybody always dances and we all grew up listening to Madness.
As the crowd shouted for more, the band finished the evening with an encore of their song Madness.
Pretty much everything was perfect tonight; the location on the waterfront, the good-humoured crowd, well run beer stalls, easy access with hassle-free public transport via DART. Add in a June Bank Holiday weekend and you have the makings of a guaranteed, skanking good time. And no better crew than Madness to provide the centrepiece.
Celebrating forty years on the go, Camden Town’s master purveyors of rocksteady, pop, ska and beyond know how to throw a party and a half. The NW5 Nutty Boys offer up a joyous, life-affirming evening by dint of an unmatched back catalogue (21 top 20 hits), a mission to entertain with humility and humour, and stellar musicianship to boot.
Earlier, Lightning Seeds performed a hugely enjoyable set with their sophisticated Brit-pop hits ‘Pure’, ‘Life of Riley’ and ‘Lucky You’ going down well, along with their their terrific take on The Byrds’ ‘You Showed Me’ – a real highlight. Meanwhile, local heroes Something Happens (with Tom Dunne back in the frame following his recent layoff) kicked things off with their usual swagger.
The already healthy crowd had swelled to capacity by 9pm and, to a raucous welcome, no less than ten musicians arrive out on stage: Madness indeed! That big, heavy, heavy, monster sound included a three-man brass section plus the purple-suited, fez-topped tenor sax man Lee Thompson playing foil to frontman Suggs. A man of carefully chosen words Suggs didn’t seem too bothered by the smoke wafting towards the stage or, as he described “a delicious blend of burnt burgers and skunk.”
The hits came one after the other. You forget just how many gems Madness have crafted, until they keep on coming: ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘Embarrassment’, and ‘My Girl’ arrive early in the set with the jerky rhythms of the slightly lesser known ‘Wings Of A Dove’ sounding fresher than ever. Just when you think they might be peaking too early and running out of hits, they grab a handful more out of the bag.
It was impossible to stand still and copious showers of beer shot skywards during the likes of ‘House of Fun’ and ‘Baggy Trousers’ and, despite the vintage of most of these tunes, there was little sign of going-through-the-motions. Personal highlights came in the shape of the bouncy, Motown-ish ‘The Sun and The Rain’ and the poignant, Kinks-like ‘One Better Day’ – surely their finest hour on record? Crowd favourite was without doubt ‘It Must Be Love’, their better-than-the-original rendition of Labi Siffre’s 1971 folk-pop tune, which must have been heard in Howth, given the massed choir singalong.
“You’re still here?” Suggs declared after a heady run through their theme song, Prince Buster’s ‘Madness (They call it Madness)’. “Does anyone have a Ferry timetable?” he asks, before they bow out with ‘Night Boat To Cairo’, the light summer drizzle which had stayed away ‘till now providing a suitably atmospheric backdrop.
A fine way to end a brilliant night’s music. Give the freedom of the village to these guys.
Ffos Las racecourse near Llanelli in the heart of West Wales Saturday 25th May
This was the 1st gig for us of this very special XL year and the fact that it was being held after the racing had finished at approximately 9.15pm and the band weren’t due on til after that filled us with slight apprehension, as we have absolutely no interest in horse racing and were only there to see the band.
We have attended a few gigs held before at racecourses and the crowd can get a bit rowdy by the time the band come on. No way do I condemn this behaviour, but in no way do I want ours and genuine fans of the bands enjoyment of the gig ruined.
I am pleased to say that my fears were in no way justified with the band winning over the crowd immediately from the moment they took to the stage to rapturous applause and Suggs asking us to ‘ Don’t watch that, watch this – One Step Beyond ‘. My personal highlight was hearing arguably for all time favourite Madness tune – I refer of course to the peerless ‘One Better Day.’
One slight thing we both found about the gig was that Suggs microphone volume could of been a touch higher. This was slightly evident on the 2 new songs they played for us – Bullyingdon Boys and In My Street, but maybe it was because we are as yet not familiar with the words. A sure sign that the gig was enjoyed by the crowd, was when they were greeted back onto the stage to a spine tingling rendition of Hymns and Arias – a sure sign in this part of the world that the crowd were happy with the fayre served up by the band. Chepstow racecourse – Saturday 8th June
Again the band were due on after the last race at 9pm had finished and as before we turned up for the start of the gig at 9.15 approximately. Again I was slightly apprehensive as to how rowdy the crowd would be, having partaken in the consumption of a few ‘cold’ drinks as Suggs said.
We took our normal place to view the gig well back from the stage, as due to me having tinnitus, I have no interest in getting to the barrier and waited for the band to enter the ‘arena’. Once again they were greeted on to rapturous applause from the appreciative crowd. They took us on a wonderful rollercoaster ride for the next 90 minutes or so on the ‘Nutty tunes express train’ and in my opinion the crowd absolutely loved it.
For me personally there were 2 highlights from what was a fabulous gig – they were that the volume of Suggs microphone was sorted. This allowed me to hear the new songs better. They will sound fantastic when they are recorded, as they do exactly what all great Madness songs do and paint a very observant picture of the world we live in nowadays. The other highlight for me was when both Suggs and Lee came down off the stage to the barrier, picked out a young boy in the audience who Lee handed his fez too and did their ‘importance of education or you will end up like him ‘ routine. The young boy then appeared on stage for Night Boat, proving once again that the band I have loved for 40 years are very much adored by as Suggs says all ages, shapes and sizes.
If you are attending any of the upcoming racecourse gigs in the coming weeks I hope you will enjoy, because in my humble if slightly biased opinion the band are well and truly XLing with the show they are putting on for us.
My thoughts now turn to the upcoming XL showpiece gig at KENWOOD’s house this coming Saturday which I am privileged to be going to. Can’t blinking wait ! !
That’s just about it for this week.
As mentioned in our intro, we’re keen to hear what you thought of the Kenwood House gig which took place yesterday. If you’d like to knock up a review of any length and send it in then we’d love to include it.
If you’ve attended other gigs on this 40th anniversary tour we’d like to read what you thought of the shows. Get typing and send your write ups in.