Earlier this year, we heard snippets of a new song on the teaser adverts for the Past Present Future gigs at the Camden roundhouse. This track is the title of the book. Mike Barson revealed publicly at The Cheltenham Literary festival last Tuesday, that the song would appear at the end of the Before We was We audio book. Mark Bedford added that the audio book contained audio snippets of the band rehearsing in the dentist’s basement back in the late 70s. Mike described it like a radio play of us reading our parts. Suggs called the book the band as individuals all telling what they felt about things back then.
On the subject of further Madness music, Suggs then joked that they have a couple more songs done and he hoped they would be released sometime before he was dead.
Chris appeared to be the one tasked with working further on the live release of Kenwood Orchestrated Madness as well. It was said he had been hard at work on it for six months.
TWO TONE RECORDS was created in 1979 by The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The label spawned a youth movement and a number of well-known artists and singles through its tenure including the aforementioned Specials with key singles ‘Gangsters’, the UK Number singles ‘Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Ghost Town’. They also helped launch the careers of Madness with ‘The Prince’, The Beat with ‘Tears of A Clown’, The Selecter with ‘On My Radio’ and The Bodysnatchers with ‘Let’s Do Rocksteady’ (The Bodysnatchers). The label ended its chart run of singles with ‘Nelson Mandela’ by The Special AKA.
This 40th Anniversary 7” Collection has been curated by Jerry Dammers, selecting his favourite 12 singles released on the label between 1979 and 1984.
– Presented with their original sleeve designs in a bespoke 1960’s style carry case
– A Bespoke Two Tone 7” slip mat
– 7” Art Card signed by Jerry Dammers.
Nick Woodgate’s “The Music” CD Album
Due to popular demand Nick’s new album is now available to purchase on CD. Priced at a mere £5 including U.K. shipping, this is an absolute bargain!
Celebrating 40 Years Of Madness – The 1979 Retro Range (Plus new T-shirts)
This Limited Edition MADNESS XL 40th Anniversary TOOTAL Scarf is now available @ The MADSTORE!
When Madness decided to celebrate their 40th Anniversary of entertaining the British Public, by launching a Strictly Limited-Edition Silk Scarf, teaming up with iconic British Accessories brand Tootal was the obvious choice.
Using Tootal’s centuries of Silk Scarf expertise and heritage within the Ska scene, the Band was instrumental in the design process, incorporating the unmistakable Madness logo with a nod to their truly outstanding 40th Anniversary.
Taking inspiration from their archives, Tootal took vintage styling and added Madness’ flamboyance into the Design.
This unique collaboration piece by Tootal for Madness is made from luxurious pure silk.
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.
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 805 – Sunday 12th October to Saturday 11th October 2014
This issue we reviewed the long anticipated “A Comfortable Man” live solo shows with Cathal Smyth performing to standing ovation crowds at Wilton’s musical hall.
Cathal’s album was on sale at the gigs, and we were told that it would soon be more widely available from his online Emporium.
Back with Madness and some exciting news arrived on Twitter. If we were reading things correctly it could have meant that recording may have already been underway on the next album. Why did we think this? Well, Woody commented; “off to the studio. Suggs and Mike have come up with a cracking new tune”. He later tweeted, that drums were completed on this unnamed track.
Elsewhere, and Bedders mentioned “Off to Konk studios”. While Lee said on facebook “In Kinks studio Hornsey doing ‘Our Version’ of ‘Steptoe & Son’”, which made it all sound more an Invaders-like mission, as the band said of the Nutty Sounds/Theme that they once used to do Steptoe and Son theme live before it.
Exciting developments! We’d have to keep an eye and what happened next.
On to the articles, and while much of this issue was devoted to Carl’s recent live performances Jonathan Young and Daren West spent considerable time documenting the recent Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig which took place on the 2nd October at the Camden Jazz Cafe. “Everyone enjoys a bit of TLC but sometimes a bit LTSO is all you need” commented the article.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Madness fans had been sending in questions to Q magazine, so expect those to appear along with the answers in next issue’s Cash for Questions segment.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 545 – Sunday 11th October – Saturday 17th October 2009
This past week had been one of announcements and surprises. Not only had the band added a performance date at this year’s Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations on December the 31st, but after a break of around 25 years, they’d also brought back the matinee shows for younger fans.
The band continued to surprise us, and rumours were already circulating that they were starting to make bookings for 2010. However, before we looked towards next year there was a Christmas tour on the horizon, and tickets were selling extremely quickly, with venues already selling out.
On the 30th September Suggs was guest on Lincs FM where he promoted Total Madness and the forthcoming Christmas tour. Thanks for the fantastic typing efforts of subscriber Craig Taylor, we were able to include the complete transcript.
With tickets for the forthcoming Christmas tour already selling out, and new dates towards the end of December recently announced, we decided it was about time we re-visited the dates, listed which ones were now full, and detailed how you could get tickets to those venues that still had some left.
At the time of typing the gigs at The Plymouth Pavillions, Southend Cliffs, Swindon Oasis, Leeds O2 Academy, Newcastle O2 Academy and Glasgow O2 Academy had already sold out.
Elsewhere in this issue Paul Rogers gave us an update on all things chart releated for Madness, with data hot off the press. Total Madness continued to shine in the album charts, climbing from 3 to 2 in the indie charts and remaining static at number 15 in both the albums top 75 and the combined albums top 75.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that the legendary Deaf School were booked to play at the 100 Club on the 11th December. This would be a warm-up gig for their 20th December gig at the Liverpool O2 Academy.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 283 – Sunday 10th October – Saturday 16th October 2004
In the wake of the UK music industry deciding to take a large number of illegal uploaders and downloaders to court, we decided to take a look at how you could legally download your favourite Madness tracks, what was on offer, and who we thought would actually be interested in using the service.
In the first of a series of articles, co-editor Jonathan Young took a look at Apple’s iTunes service. Articles in subsequent issues of the MIS would look at Napster and Napster Light – re-launched as a legal service earlier in the year.
In the previous week we published an email from subscriber Alex Griffin, who was attempting to track down more information on his imported CD version of ‘Keep Moving’, which was released way back in 1984. Alex was confused as to why this version had never been listed in discographies.
Always keen to help a fellow Maddie in distress, Paul Rodgers contacted us and explained that the reason the album didn’t show up in any discographies was because it was a German release, licensed to Teldec.
Here’s what Paul said at the time;
“Unless anyone knows better, I’ll state it was the first ever Madness CD. I can’t remember when I bought my first copy, but it was certainly before Mad Not Mad was released on CD in the UK (the first CD release in the UK to come out at the same time as the LP and cassette).
Initially this version of Keep Moving was very hard to find, I believe I got mine from the legendary Adrians Records in Wickford, Essex, which was one of the places you had to go before Nutty Discs, PLRMadmail and eBay. It certainly wasn’t available over here when Keep Moving came out on vinyl, but it was one of the first CDs I ever bought”
Remember the Madness Singles Box Set volume two? Well, in an effort to find out what the situation was regarding this, Madness Trading Ring co-maintainer, Steve Bringe, decided to contact Chrissy Boy for a bit of an update.
Replying with a short “Er..I think “some time next year”…maybe April”, the whole release seemed to us fans to be very much in limbo.
The wait continued.
20 years ago…
Issue Number 21 – Sunday 10th October to Saturday 16th October 1999
We started off this week’s issue with an apology for our actions the week before. Due to a couple of niggles with the list server it seemed as if the issue was sent out but didn’t reach any of the subscriber list. Worrying that we’d have hundreds of readers without their weekly dose of Madness news we sent out the MIS again, and then discovered that both postings eventually made their way out, resulting in everyone receiving two duplicate issues. Whoops!
Moving swiftly onto more Madness related info, and after reporting in last week’s bulletin that `Wonderful` had been put back to November 1st (for the UK), the Madness box-set, entitled `The Lot` had been moved from its November 1st release to Monday, November 9th!!! So, readers now had two Monday’s in a row where they’d be rushing down to their local music store to pick up the latest Madness release!
Over the past week, the Virgin website designers had their noses to the grindstone to bring you a number of exciting updates to the official Madness website at: http://www.madness.co.uk
There was just too much new material available on the site to list in this issue, so we urged you to at least check out the `Johnny The Horse` video clip, a candid camera view of the DM Boot signing and
Electric Ballroom gig.
Those still on dial-up connections were urged to hold-out for and tune in to VH1, as we’d just received news revealing that the promo video for Johnny The Horse would be aired from Monday onwards.
Moving on to this week’s articles, and we re-printed a review of The Lot from Eden Music’s web site, where they gave that and the new Wonderful album very positive goings-over indeed.
Elsewhere, Chris Carter-Pegg was on another one of his Madness clear out sessions, which this time saw him selling the 7″ of Never Ask Twice, the On Step Beyond 12″, and some rare versions of the Grey Day 12″, plus others.
News in from the US-based Complete and Utter Madness web site reported that the Doctor Martin’s book was not being handed-out to Stateside customers. After some investigative work the site discovered that the books were being given to outlets, but they were returning them to distributors. The reason being? Well, one or two of the photos displayed imagery of young children ‘giving the finger’, and they felt that the content was harmful to minors. The bottom line was they didn’t want any lawsuits from the parents or any bad press. As most people wouldn’t be aware that there is a free book to be given away with the boots they would be none the wiser.
Further on in the issue, and subscriber Andrew Harper was also having a go at selling some of his collection, by listing a mass of goodies ranging from tour programmes and badges, to a Complete Madness mirror, and a selection of sew-on patches. Andrew was also selling a large number of magazines from down the years. Featuring interviews with the band, these were fantastic items for any self-respecting Madness collector.
Next-up, and embarking on a massive transcribing mission was one Suzanne Gilmour, who provided us with part 1 (of 3!) of her transcription of Radio Two’s “Total Madness” programme. Suzanne had taken on a huge project with this, and to this day we wonder if she regretted doing it once she’d got underway.
With the release of the new album (Wonderful) and single (Johnny The Horse) fast approaching, the next two sections of the issue featured the first Wonderful fan review, courtesy of the Complete and Utter Madness web site, and a review of the JTH video, from the one and only Vince Foley. Both writers gave their subject matter glowing reviews, which no doubt served to excite the Madness fan base even more than they already were.
We finished off this issue of the MIS with a lowdown of the latest revision of the Madness tour bible, Tour Madness. New for this issue was that the whole document had now been split into sections, so it made finding what you were after that bit easier.
John Hasler Onboard the Koast Train
John Hasler – Ex Madness, talks about the early days of the band, and what he thinks of the new Madness book Before We was We, which mentions him.
He tells of larks of the early days, and the Bed and Breakfast Man song.
John also talks about his new surf rock guitar band “Crabs”, announcing they are almost set to come to The House of Fun for MIS Presents!
Madness ‘p***ed off’ after finding out David Bowie stole from their track My Girl: ‘He could have asked’
Madness have just gone and dropped their first ever book, Before We Was We, where they spill the tea on their rise to fame. And while chatting about their inspirations; how they earned their nicknames; and their time soaking up the London scene – the boys went and dished up some deets on the late icon, David Bowie. According to the group, the Heroes hitmaker stole the drum riff from their track My Girl when writing his own classic: Ashes To Ashes. Discussing how he felt when finding out the news, drummer Woody Woodgate joked he was ‘p***ed off’, and we don’t blame him! In an extract taken from the band’s memoir, he said: ‘Years later, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley produced Absolute Beginners for David Bowie, and Clive told me a story that Bowie had told him about Ashes to Ashes, which came out only a few months after My Girl.
Bowie had said that he’d been looking for a drummer to do the My Girl beats on Ashes to Ashes and he couldn’t find one that had the same feeling as me. ‘He’d said, “There’s something about the feel that’s really great, and none of the American drummers could do it.” Clive went to me, “Woody, you do realise that if you put Ashes to Ashes up against My Girl, it’s exactly the same?”‘ The star continued: ‘Anyway, it kind of inflated my ego and p***ed me off at the same time. I thought, “David Bowie could have f***ing asked me!”‘ Mike Barson, who plays the keys, chimed in and joked: ‘Well, I don’t want to tell you about what I stole off Bowie!
‘I mean, I think everybody steals a bit. But, in a month of Sundays, you wouldn’t recognise that My Girl influence on Ashes to Ashes. So, job well done, I’d say.’ It’s good they can now see the funny side. Before We Was We takes an in-depth look at the band’s early days, long before fans knew them as Madness. From hilarious anecdotes to tales of luck, skill, and charm, the much-loved musicians tell their personal side to each story and have described it as ‘everything we could remember, in one easy-to-read volume.’
Suggs joined Steve wright for a chat about Before We was We and Madness XL
They spoke about the book, the approach of talking about how different life was in the 70’s and ghost writer Tom Doyle.
The book is deliberately 7 different memories of perspectives on the past. Bunking off school is discussed. The Duke of Hamilton pub. The early days of the Barson brothers playing music.
Steve refers to Suggs as still down to earth. Suggs says he has seen other bands fall out more over money and ego, than most of Madness have.
Cover versions of early music is discussed. “We were doing group therapy as we went along”, said Suggs. The influence of Benny Hill, Tommy Cooper and comedy
upon how Madness performed. “We realised we couldn’t humiliate ourselves more than we already have, so that continues” He chuckles.
Past, Present and Future in Camden, and House of Fun are plugged. Suggs hinted at a further Camden venue for this years XL, beyond the three sold out Roundhouse nights.
“A new record in the not too distance future”, Suggs.
Listen again above.
Our thanks to Bev Kinsella for her report this weekend that she found “Before we was we” in a charity shop in Cheltenham. A bargain for £1.99!!!
This warms our hearts, compared to the idiot who failed to sell a signed limited print one for £950 on eBay. We kid you not!
She happily reported it was sold while she was in the shop. Bev told us that she likes to think a couple attended the literary festival band meet/signing and wanted to only keep one copy of the book between them, so kindly helped the local children’s charity out with their spare unsigned copy of the book.