Since last week’s MIS was blasted out across the internet the main topic of conversation on Facebook between Madness fans seems to have been the release of the “Before we was we” audio book. If you’d like to find out more about this release before deciding to part with your cash then check out our MIS Feature elsewhere in this very issue.
This week, the band were spotted in the Dublin Castle pub for a photoshoot. They were also seen popping into what was Holts boot shop. So, keep and eye out for those pictures being used somewhere soon.
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 806 – Sunday 19th October to Saturday 25th October 2014
As One Step Beyond’s new CD/DVD combo started to arrive with fans during the course of this week, a new archive of downloads was also released from the Fab Toones 1979 Rehearsal tape. This added new cover versions and alternate early written Madness songs into the band’s cannon of releases.
The exclusive tracks were split across several online retailers. iTunes had “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me” and “Shop Around” while Amazon had “Swan Lake” and “Rockin’ in Ab”. Meanwhile madness.co.uk had “Madness” and “My Mates” available. Phew!
Our MIS Feature this week looked at the Fab Toones 1979 rehearsal CD which came bundled with the One Step Beyond 35th anniversary edition, and which could be enhanced by a further six tracks by adding those from he above sites.
Over into Live and Intensified and it was here subscriber Daren West gave us an in-depth write-up on the recent Silencerz gig which took place at Chandos, Collindale on the 5th October. Daren finished his review by commenting; “It’s a great gig and I’m left wondering…could there be a slot for The Silencerz at the House of Fun Weekender?”
Next, and we reported that at the forthcoming Specialized Big One 3 weekender Woody would be appearing for a signing session on Saturday 15th October whole Lee would be appearing the following day to do the same. The sad news was that the previously booked in Magic Brothers would not be appearing at the event as previously advertised. The MIS, having spoken to with the Magic Brothers Team discovered that a second album was no longer planned.
We brought this issue to a close by handing the outro over to the one and only Paul Rodgers for a mammoth Madness Stats, Facts and Figures.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 546 – Sunday 18th October – Saturday 24th October 2009
We got this issue of the MIS off to a flying start with the news that The Liberty of Norton Folgate Silver Edition, including DVD would be out on the 9th of November.
The DVD was rather special, including director Julien Temple’s film adaption of The Liberty of Norton Folgate, shot in part at the band’s first live performance of the new material at London’s Hackney Empire. Between songs, Suggs and Chas Smash would take you the viewer on a delightful theatrical jaunt through the underbelly of London’s past. This was much more than a mere Gig Film… it was the perfect visual embodiment of the album.
Moving on, and those of you visiting his cupboard over the previous week or two may have spotted this gem, but for those who didn’t we included a transcription of Chrissy Boy explaining the origins of his “showtime” catchphrase.
“The Showtime thing..oh dearie me. What happened was, we did a gig last year and I was a bit ‘refreshed’. I looked at the set list and something occurred to me which was related to the Matrix film. We went to see the first one in New York in 1999 and there was this guy sitting in front of us with his girlfriend and he was quite excited and animated. [us being Suggs, Chas, Thommo and me].
During the scene when they ask for ‘guns lots of guns’ this bloke was rubbing his hands with glee and anticipation and he turned to his date and said quite matter of fact, calmly, with no shouting, ‘showtime’.
Meaning some a** was about to be quite righteously kicked. Which of course it was, he was totally right.
So back to the gig, I thought this is the last part of the set here, it’s all killer, no filler, all thriller, just House of Fun, Wings of a Dove..er…and ..er.. what’s some of all the other big hits what we have had? Baggy Trousers etc..in other words……SHOWTIME!!!!
Suggs always makes me do it and the brass boys seem to be quite amused by it. I ask Suggs not to give me the mike but he always does.
PS I think the gig where I had this epiphany was the O2 in 2008.
Next it was over to Paul Rodgers with another one of his Madness chart lowdowns. This week Paul revealed that the album had been in the top 100 for 13 weeks, making it only 6 weeks behind 1984’s Keep Moving.
Paul also brought us news for Total Madness, which was now sitting at number 27 in the album charts after entering at 11, then going to 15 for two weeks before dropping to its current position.
Following Paul’s updates we jumped across the Channel and over to Jean-Pierre Boutellier who, with Madness travelling to Paris this coming week, revealed that the band would be performing Dust Devil on French TV and radio, along with an un-named Kinks cover.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that the November issue of Revolver magazine had given Total Madness a three out of five rating.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 284 – Sunday 17th October – Saturday 23rd October 2004
We started off this week’s issue with a heads-up to those readers who were fans of both Madness and No Doubt, as the No Doubt track “Everything in Time (London)”, which featured Mike Barson on keyboards, was now available to download from iTunes. Weighing in at 99 cents, this was the cheapest (legal) way for those interested in hearing the track to finally get hold of it.
Music piracy was all over the news back in 2004, and this issue we covered the latest story, which revealed how the British Phonographic Industry was suing 28 people who it claimed were illegally swapping music over the Internet. This was the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.
“These are not people casually downloading the odd track. They are uploading music on a massive scale, in effect stealing the livelihood of thousands of artists and the people who invest in them.’ ‘said BPI’s chairman, Peter Jamieson.
Further on in the issue we published details of Camden’s second Youth Question time, which was due to take place on the 18th of October. Hosted by Suggs, the event would give young people a chance to question local politicians about the issues most important to them.
Moving on to something a little sedate now, and we had some exciting news relating to a new three-piece outfit going by the name of ‘Jag’.
Jag were due to play at the famous Bull and Gate, Kentish Town, on 14th November at 8:00pm. Why were we reporting on this unknown band? Well, it turned out that the band were being minded by the almighty Lee Thompson, and lead singer Dan was in `Like Father Like Son`.
Naturally, we hoped to have more information about this startup in the coming weeks and months.
It’d been a while since we last checked the messageboard over on the official Madness web site, so this issue saw some of the best messages posted to the site re-printed in the MIS. Simon Roberts enquired as to the possibility of some ‘Perfect Place’ samples, whilst another fan wanted to know if a Madness calendar 2005 was in the pipeline.
Chris was non committal to the ‘Perfect Place’ samples, and explained that the calendar had not been approved by the band, and was subsequently withdrawn.
Elsewhere, and following last weeks’ review of legal Madness music downloads from Apple’s iTunes service, this week we looked at Napster, with again some reference to the Madness Music that could be downloaded from the service. Selling around 75% of the current Madness back catalogue, we gave Napster a thumbs-up.
20 years ago…
Issue Number 22 – Sunday 17th October to Saturday 23rd October 1999
As we got ever closer to the release date of `Wonderful`, further snippets of information seemed to be springing up left, right and centre. This week’s news is that Madness would be releasing the new album on not just CD and cassette, but also mini disc (remember those!).
However, before Wonderful hit the shelves of music stores up and down the country Monday would play host to the second single from the forthcoming album – `Johhny The Horse`, a sad tale about a down and out mourning the loss of his dear old friend.
Meanwhile, promo copies of the new album were continuing to land on the desks of those in the music industry, and this week Capital FM gave the album a thorough going over. After a lengthy review it rounded off with;
“if you’ve ever found yourself tapping your foot along with ‘It Must Be Love’ or singing ‘House Of Fun’ to yourself as your wander into work, then ‘Wonderful’ won’t disappoint”.
Subscriber Suzanne Gilmour continued to keep herself busy, as this issue featured part 2 of her radio transcription of a recent Radio Two interview. With part 3 due to appear in the next issue, we were sure Suzanne could finally see light at the end of her typing tunnel!
These days our favourite band have a number of DVDs for sale online and in the shops, but fifteen years ago things were much different.
None of the Madness back catalogue was available on the VHS killing format. However, that was all due to change, as on Monday the 18th of October would see the release of the first ever Madness DVD. The release would be “Madness at Madstock”, recorded from the previous year’s Finsbury Park concert. Weighing in at a whopping £18.37 (RRP), it would be a few years before discs would drop to more sensible prices.
We Said – The Madness Audio Book and new Song
Following the release last week of the 70s autobiography of the band, Before We Was We, now comes the audio book. Available from talking book website “Audible”
Firstly, there was a file upload error so if your file doesn’t contain music delete and re-download. As the problem has been corrected now and we can all enjoy a new song in the 40th year.
The talking book brings the band’s story to life with all seven of the band uniting and reading aloud their parts. Yes even Chas, not presently in the band musically or live, but brand new contribution here. His voice is recorded too, fully apart of this biography
Having heard all the band’s voice work on this audio book, in tones I’ve concluded
Bedders should get more work narrating BBC four music documentaries. Chris should be a regular talking head on a best of UK Gold clip show. Woody should narrate more magical children’s books like Roald Dahl. Mike should narrate Mr Men cartoons.
Yes, Suggs will definitely get even more advert work from anyone paying. Carl should narrate the audio book version of the long good Friday or Indian guru retreat literature.
Thommo meanwhile sounds like he is explaining on a tape in a police interview room, in school detention or at best narrating an unreliable DIY instruction manual, that you really shouldn’t follow!!!
Myself and my girlfriend have been listening in the car, and giggling at not just the stories and funny quips, but also funny phrases. Check out Woody saying “Hippy Dippy”, Thommo saying “Petting” & Mike saying “do be do be do” (explaining Dianna Ross tunes) moments that all are worthy of being ring tones!
The audio book feels like the definitive version of how to enjoy this book, enhancing the experience with sounds of early rehearsals (Taken from that “Fab toones” bonus tracks from one step beyond 35)
And ending as it does with a finale song.
“Before we was we” is the title song of the book. It’s been around since sessions for the very first house of Fun Weekender. Work may have begun on this track in the studio as far back as 2012, but it’s been completed in this XL year.
It feels very much like an epic last track on album would feel, (a bit like soul denying/powder blue etc). Lengthy, building up, and It contains many references to things mentioned elsewhere in the book. But was written mostly before it. It name checks in fandom many musical artists the band were into in the late seventies. It’s a Barson/Thompson song that may have been enhanced by Suggs and the band further.
Expect a full MIS feature soon on all the varied references.
Such a self referential song is well suited as a bow to this books curtain coming down on the first beginning chapter of the band history. Fondly remembered times, of how it all stared and who inspired them to become a band.
“Highbury corner in 73, Before We was We”
To quote Suggs, quite simply, it’s F**king cool.”
Sign of the Times
Madness Sign New One Step Beyond Artwork at Camden Deli
Madness sign new One Step Beyond artwork at Camden Town deli.
House of Fun band are celebrating 40 years in the business
Madness sign the artwork planned for Albert Street
SKA legends Madness sat down at their favourite Camden Town deli yesterday (Wednesday) where a new artwork is set to help mark their 40 years in the music business.
Suggs and co drank coffee – and caught up with their favourite weekly read (see photo) – at the Ferreira Delicatessen as artist Jason Howarth showed them his new painting.
The signed mural will hang on the side of the popular lunch spot in Albert Street. The picture is part of celebrations marking four decades of music.
Originally called The North London Invaders, the band became Madness in 1979 and began playing gigs at venues like the Dublin Castle in Parkway. Their evergreen hits include Baggy Trousers, House Of Fun and It Must Be Love.
Mr Howarth created an Amy Winehouse mural that was sprayed on the deli’s wall after the Back To Black singer died in 2011.
The new Madness mural, officially launched next month, is due to be fixed to the deli’s wall behind a perspex screen. It recreates the famous bendy knees seen on the cover of One Step Beyond.
Deli manager Victor Correira said the band were regular customers and enjoyed a “nice coffee and a nice pastry”.
Madness Always on Verge of Going to Prison After Lifetime of “Drink, Drugs and Debauchery”
Madness star Suggs has revealed that his group were always on the verge of going to prison after a lifetime of ‘drink, drugs and debauchery’.
The 58-year-old made an appearance at the Q Awards, on Wednesday night, following the release of the band’s memoir.
And while chatting to Metro.co.uk ahead of the event, the Our House hitmaker noted that his early days were quite tame.
Explaining that the rock and roll lifestyle started after 1979 (when the book ends), the father-of-two seemed keen to document his wild days in a Before We Was We 2.0.
And we’d be so there for it.
He told us: ‘Not being too sly, but I did think about the fact that there might be another [book].
‘We also thought that this book was about before we became famous, and that’s been pretty well recorded.
‘We were friends before the band started and we wanted to talk about how that happened and how we became friends.’
When asked whether or not fans will ever find out about the band’s crazy anecdotes, Suggs chuckled: ‘It comes further down the line all the drugs, drink and debauchery, that comes further down the line. This was before the drugs.’
However, he was keen to recall one night that happened close to the Roundhouse, in Camden, where the ceremony was taking place.
Pointing towards the door, he said: ‘There’s a place over there called the Marathon and I remember someone got an acoustic guitar and smashed over their head. I can’t remember who it was, and it wasn’t me.’
He smirked: ‘Our lives were so crazy, we were all on the verge of going to prison pretty much for the whole of our lives.’
But what were the boys doing that meant they faced potential jail time?
‘Things that we shouldn’t have,’ Suggs winked before sneaking off into the awards show.
Before We Was We takes an in-depth look at the band’s early days, long before we 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.’
We’ve previously reported on the song “Let’s go Crazy”; a cover of a Prince song and featuring Suggs. The track features on recently releases album which you can find on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/33NFbwY
Tomorrow, the LP arrives on a limited pressing on vinyl. Check out Radio Riddler’s social media for details of how to get hold of a copy.