Next Saturday, the 40th anniversary tour returns from its short break with a much anticipated gig at Newbury Racecourse. With the UK currently experiencing some really grotty weather at present, let’s hope things improve in time for next weekend!
On the subject of 40th anniversaries, yesterday (10th August) saw the band’s first single The Prince reach the big four-o. The single was originally released on the legendary 2 Tone label way back on the 10th August 1979, and launched the careers of a certain much-loved band.
Celebrating this milestone was one Lee Thompson, who yesterday descended on what used to be Holts Shoe Shop in Camden for a signing session plus meet and greet. Looking at photos that have since emerged online, it seems as this was followed by a mini pub crawl around one or two of the drinking establishments in the area.
On to this week’s issue, and if you check out our “Buy it” section you’ll see we have news regarding the latest developments relating to Nick Woodgate’s album which finally saw a release this Friday just gone. For you collectors out there this may be the news you’ve been waiting for.
Also this week our MIS Feature comes courtesy of our very own Mr. Young, and takes a look at Paul Putner’s “Madness, Embarrassment and Me” comedy.
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
The Near Jazz Experience
August 13th, Chat’s Palace, 42-44 Brooksbys Walk, E9 6DF, London
“The Music”; the new Album From Nick Woodgate ** new details **
Nick’s album finally saw release on Friday 9th of August, with much excitement from the online Madness fan base if Facebook is anything to go by.
The album was initially released on Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, iTunes and Amazon Music. Following this, Nick posted in an update that he’d removed the tracks from these sites and that he now plans to go the whole hog and release the album on CD!
The other great news is that Nick has continued to make the album available for your listening pleasure on his web site while he investigates going down the CD route.
You can find Nick on Twitter at @nick_woodgate, so if you like what you hear then please let him know.
The Simmertones’ new Album – “Ten Feet Tall”
As we await the next Madness album (whenever that may be!), we’ve been on the lookout for something to keep us going during this lean period. Thankfully, MIS subscriber and Simmertones bassist, Del Anning kindly sent us a promo copy of the new Simmertones album “Ten Feet Tall”, which came out last Friday; 9th August.
Featuring a whopping 13 tracks, it’s 46 glorious minutes of Summer on a disc. The album’s so much fun to listen to that you’ll have a massive smile on your face as you go through each track.
We’ve been listening to the album regularly for the past few weeks, and our personal favourite tracks are:
Travelling Man – A bouncy ska/pop track about the joys of being on the road
Stand Firm – Jump-up Ska which bounces its way through a message to anyone who’s been through dark times.
The Place That I Know – A lookback on childhood with a catchy chorus and a cool groove.
Do yourself a favour and get this added to your music like library. You won’t regret it.
If you need further persuading of the band’s musical pedigree…
Between 2016-2018 The Simmertones’ performed at numerous events including The London International Ska Festival, The Looe Music Festival, Bestival, Camp Bestival and Madness’ House of Fun Weekender (twice!!).
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 796 – Sunday 10th August to Saturday 16th August 2014
Our very own Paul Willo let out a huge sigh of relief earlier this week as on the 7th, a massive pallet of CD’s arrived at his place. Yes, the long awaited Specialized Mad Not Cancer album was here!
This week we continued our reviews of the 74 cover versions on the 4CD album. If you were yet to place an order we urged you to do it sooner rather than later as more than half of the stock had already been sold.
Elsewhere, and following a recent Crunch! gig, our very own Jonathan Young had written a “War and Peace” style review of the day leading up to the performance and the gig itself. Not only that, but he’d even provided YouTube links to footage of the various songs performed on the night. How was that for service?
Further on, and we featured a link to a vide of MIS subscriber Gary Brownjohn showing off his restored Madness fruit machine. The video ran for around five minutes and demonstrated the machine in action.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that this week we’d learned that “Cathal Smyth” would be the name that Carl had choosen to go under for his solo album. He’d recently removed all Cathal Mo Chroi accounts and was re-launching the pages under his own real birth name, as previously used as credit on The Madness.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 536 – Sunday 9th August – Saturday 15th August 2009
This past week had been a bit of a frustrating one for Madness fans, as many reported numerous problems when trying to download the new Sugar and Spice single and b-sides.
Problems seemed to have begun when those who pre-ordered the single from the Madness section of the Recordstore web site received notifications stating that track 1 was ready for download, but track two wasn’t. A day later and the problem remained.
After speaking to staff at Recordstore, Madness fan Paul Rodgers was informed that staff thought the issue affected all those who pre-ordered or were going to order the download from them, and that they hoped to resolve the problem in 1-2 days.
Our news articles got underway with a snippet from the NME web site which revealed that;
“Pete Doherty, The Small Faces and Madness singer Suggs are among the musicians whose lyrics have been selected to appear on special edition mugs from Transport For London (TFL).
A range of mugs and T-shirts featuring lyrics relating to London and stations have been put on sale at Shop.tfl.gov.uk.“
News in from the official Madness email list was that all 500 of the Madstock USB audio sticks had now sold out. If you hadn’t picked one up all was not lost as the recording of the concert was now being made available as an MP3 download instead.
Continuing on a Madstock 5 related note, with the mass of YouTube video clips of the event now being hosted on the video streaming web site, we devoted an article to detailing a comprehensive list of some of the best videos taken on the day.
In chart news Paul Rodgers reported that The Liberty of Norton Folgate had fallen from 7 to 9 in the Indie chart, and had dipped out of the top 75 album chart. With regards to the Sugar and Spice single, it held achieved the rare distinction of charting nowhere. Not in the main or indie singles charts.
Paul Rodgers brought this issue of the MIS to a close with the news that EMI had licensed a number of lyrics from their catalogue of tracks to be used on t-shirts to be sold in branches of River Island. Baggy Trousers was amongst the collection of songs, so you could expect to see this in stores as part of the deal.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 274 – Sunday 8th August – Saturday 14th August 2004
With the MIS list server outages still continuing we were starting to get used to sending out the bulletins via our own PCs, in an effort to keep the Madness fanbase up-to-date with all things Madness.
The list server playing up brought with it other problems, too. Those who wanted to change email address or (heaven forbid!) unsubscribe, were also unable to do so while the service had gone temporarily belly-up.
Subscribers were assured that we were still looking into the problem but we had no idea how long it would go on for.
On to the issue itself, and on the Monday after the last MIS had gone out the latest edition of “Comedy Connections” was shown. This documentary series charted the careers of actors, comedians, writers and producers in connection with one famous seminal TV show.
Monday’s edition was “The Young Ones”, and a chance to catch up with the TV careers of Rik Mayal, Ade Edmondson, Nigel Planner, Chris Ryan, Alexi Sayle, writer Ben Elton and Producer Paul Jackson. All were reliving some anarchic violent moments of off the wall humour from this sitcom about students that changed the face of TV comedy and set the trend for the 80’s
The programme spoke about how the show had been classed as a variety show in order to get a bigger budget and this is how a band ended up as being a part of every show. Clips of the bands were shown which included Madness doing House of Fun.
Following this Suggs was interviewed:
“We were singing I think in the Kebab and Calculator, pub and then I uttered the immortal line……..
“you hum it….. and I’ll smash your face in!”
“People still come up to me in the street and say that to me.”
“I was looking at stand up comedy a while back and I think that if I had done it that would have been something that could have been a catchphrase I think.”
In this much packed show there wasn’t time to mention that Ben Elton had once attempted to write a show about Madness after their 2 appearances on The Young Ones. But it was nice that the band’s input into the series was noted in this small section of the programme.
Moving on, and Bedders announced (via the official Madness web site) that the Dangermen tickets competition was entering its last few days.
The competition itself had already ended, and the band were shuffling through the entries. Once a winner had been announced they’d be given two free tickets to the next Dangermen gig, plus something from Bedders’ kit bag. What the ‘something’ was we still don’t know!
This week the band were after your help. All you had to do was send in a JPG of yourself, and at some point in the not too distant future it would be uploaded to the Madness Photo Album section of the official web site. The winner would appear on the news page of the news page of the site for one glorious week, and the rest would appear elsewhere on the site.
Finally recovered from the Dangermen gig which took place at The DC on the 25th of July, MOT Drummer, Dan Fossard finally got around to knocking up a detailed review for publication in this week’s MIS.
Dan’s lengthy write-up by revealing that he’d heard that future Dangermen gigs would be taking place in the future. However, he did point out that these were only rumours.
20 years ago…
Issue number 12 – Sunday 8th August – Saturday 14th August 1999
After the recent hectic round of promotion that saw the band appear on pretty much every TV channel, music paper and music review, the lads were now enjoying a bit of a breather before things would pick up again for the second single and the forthcoming album, `Wonderful`.
The second single had just been announced as being `Johnny The Horse`, and this was pencilled in with a second week of September release date.
The album artwork was currently being worked on, and Bedders told us that it would be a nice package. After the excellent gatefold CD single release, who were we to disagree?
Mark had obviously been keeping himself busy over the last couple of weeks and months as Stuart Wright (editor of the Madness fanzine, `Nut Inc`) informed us that Mark was responsible for the sleeve of a recently released `Terry Edwards` CD which Terry himself sent to Stuart for review. Stuart told us that the design was very impressive and hopefully we’d be able to see a picture of it in the next issue of the zine which was due for release towards the end of the month.
Elsewhere on the fanzine front, and Ska-Mad editor, Juliet Carter emailed in to tell us that issue 7 of the `zine would be released shortly.
On to the articles in this week’s issue, and subscriber ‘Gaz’ pulled out all stops with an absolutely massive transcript of an interview Suggs and Woody gave on Top of The Pops Radio on the 1st of August.
It’s still a great read 10 years later.
Moving on, and we gave a good plug to David Wassell, and his new ‘Bedazzled’ web site, which was totally dedicated to the one and only Suggs. Featuring a discography, videography, midi file section, and more, this was a site that clearly had received many hours of care an attention to get it up to its current state, and was clearly one to watch.
With the deadline for Stateside Maddies to get their orders in for the VH1 Madness Day video tapes now passed, duplicating organiser Elizabeth Raskin was finally able to reveal what these tapes would contain. Running at around the 4 hour mark, the contents were:
– Madstock 4 and festivities
– VH1 to 1 interview
– “Take It Or Leave It”
– Suggs 10 of the Best
– “Lovestruck” video
– TOTP appearance
Next, we had a transcript by Richard Huggins of an article found in the September edition of “Later”, the magazine for the “older man”.
As the article was so big, Richard opted to transcribe it in chunks.
In ‘chunk number one’ the band spoke about their school days.
Finally, we finished off this week’s issue with a fantastic piece of writing from Vince Foley who commemorated 7 years since the first ever Madstock, and what the atmosphere was like at that first ever Madstock back in 1992.
It’s still a wonderful read.
Paul Putner Madness, Embarrasment and Me – Comedy Review
Time for an evening’s comedy at the Hen & Chickens in Highbury. A show with laughs, some heart, and Madness as its theme.
40 years ago near here, a band called Madness started out just past The hope and anchor pub, in Si Birdsall’s back garden. Fair to say since that day they have changed the lives of many an avid fan. One such person is Paul Putner.
Paul is an actor and comedian, known on the stand up circuit for many years, on TV in many supporting roles such as Gelly Kelly in Only Fools and Horses spin off Rock & Chips, and Fat fighters sketches in Little Britain, along with a whole host of others shows, regular uk comedy watchers will know such as Simon Pegg’s seminal sitcom Spaced.
He’s also clearly and deeply a Madness fan. I first met Paul in 2009 at a Madness gig during the band’s 30th anniversary and it was clear to me even then that I had heard of him by reputation and that he was a fan long standing well into the band.
How wonderful then on the turn of the band’s 40th year that his Edinburgh fringe destined comedy stand up show this year revolves around what the band has meant to him, in memoir.
It’s a show of the story of a fan. What Madness means in our lives, we all have stories like this don’t we? How we got into this music, tales of brushing alongside or meeting our heroes and what the break up of the band in the 80’s or the 90’s comebacks and beyond have meant to us. This show is what they mean to Paul.
It’s also a story of pop music, growing up in the later 70’s, discos and holidays. A time when records were treasured more than tunes are perhaps today.
My favourite funniest bits were Paul’s own descriptions of what Madness video dance moves were. That he then would copy and make a show of during teenage disco years. Of which I will only spoil one. The Chas based dance seen on TOTP’s Prince, he describes as a grinning velociraptor stepping on hot coals. This neatly describes that whole body swagger Chas bought to the early band. There were at least 7 more of these descriptions, some aimed too at Suggs, and I will never be able to watch the videos again with out now seeing them through Paul’s eyes. I shall be chuckling eternally then.
Much like Suggs My Life Story, the role Madness music played in helping Paul through difficult family times, and other growing pains, shows us the place we mend in our hearts using the joy this music brings, when it is always there for us.
The show is interspersed with moments of Madness music, comedically presented nutty dancing, and backdrop video inserts to enhance moments of Paul’s story alongside following his hero’s rise, decline and rise again.
Paul’s Ian Dury Impression is transporting when he bring’s the blockheads front man into the story, he brings him in character back to life.
Overall you wont learn that much of the Madness story in this 1 hour, and if you already know that story anyway then you’ll be just nodding during a few of the more explanatory moments meant for the lesser aware music fan who may be watching,. Paul himself often points out the dated references that any younger people in wont get either. But you will learn just how much Madness mean to fans like Paul, and probably share that warmth, while having a few laughs along the way in total agreement that nutty passions run so deep. Embarrassment this show is not. It’s a house of funny, and it’s from the heart of a true Madness fan, so it must be love story.
Sign of the Times
Madness to celebrate 40 years at Newbury Racecourse
Dedicated in their selfless quest to have the nation singing, dancing and making merry through the last four decades, Madness are celebrating their 40th birthday as a band at Newbury races.
The ska outfit have seen off eight prime ministers, 12 England managers and a nasty bout of lumbago.
But, it’s not the endless achievements, not the unforgettable memories, it’s the fact they’re even still alive! (and miraculously in the rudest of health, thanks for asking.)
As Suggs said: “I think the reason we endure is that we genuinely do enjoy ourselves. From the very beginning you could see the joy in the early videos we made and hear it in the records.
“The fact that we were friends before this band started is key. I genuinely think the whole spark or art of craft and creativity was a by-product of our friendship. I think that’s what people feel. It’s a genuine experience. It’s not manufactured.
“It’s been very flattering and marvellous to see so many different age groups enjoying the band.”
The singer has a secret weapon for keeping it lively on stage.
“It’s like preparing for war, a war of fun y’know? A war of fun and frolics but, unlike the Romans, we are going to unleash heaven. I have a suspicion that if I didn’t have a few tequila shots before I went onstage I wouldn’t be quite as lubricated in the joints. Tequila and orange juice is the secret of keeping those limbs loose!”
The band members avoid too much touring in order to keep the act fresh.
“Traditionally, we don’t tour for months and months –we gave up on America and they probably gave up on us. Each tour we do we try and make unique – and special.
“We can change the setlist nightly if we wish. The main thing is to keep it exciting for yourself, that’s the way to ensure the audience is kept excited too.
Racecourses are great we’ve played a few in the past where there have been a few races and then you get a bit of Madness. It’s an unbeatable combination.”
For more details and tickets visit newburyracecourse.co.uk or call 01635 40015.
Following this week’s MIS Feature, Paul Putner has been in touch with us to say..
“The show is really shaping up now. Getting tighter and loosening up, if you know what I mean?”