The MIS team are DJing at Specialized “The Big One 8”, which takes place this weekend.
In the Q&A held at the event, Thommo commented that he’d recorded a track with Paul Weller, which he describes as sounding rather Supertramps. Weller apparently likes what Lee came up with on the track.
Naturally we’ll pass on any news relating to this production as soon as further information surfaces.
Moving on to some sad news now, and after almost 40 years in business the legendary “Escapade” joke shop has finally shut up shop for good. This was the establishment that appeared in the “House of Fun” video, and has been a regular haunt for both Madness and fans alike.
Check out this week’s “MIS Feature” for more information on the closure of this much-loved joke shop.
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.
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 809 – Sunday 9th November to Saturday 15th November 2014
This year’s Madness Weekender in Minehead was getting ever closer. There were only two weeks left to go until one of the most anticipated weekends of the year for Madness fans finally arrived!
Over in Sign of the Times we reprinted several articles which reported that Suggs had once again returned to the role of producer as “The Farm” were about to release a re-recording of their hit “All Together Now”, for charity. The song would mark 100 years since the Christmas Day truce in the trenches, with Holly Johnson, The Proclaimers and John Power lending support so far.
Next, and had you worked out what Madhead you were planning to dress up as on the Saturday night of the Madness Weekender? The grand prices for the best costume was a Madhead golden ticket! To enter to win all you had to do was take a photo of yourself dressed up and post it on Instagram using a specific hashtag. Your photo would then appear automatically at mad-head.co.uk. The community would then vote on the best one.
Also in “Sigh of the Times” we reported that the band were looking for fans with Madness tattoos. They wanted to feature some of the best in the forthcoming Madhead Tour programme.
Moving on, and it was over to our “MIS Feature” where we looked at “The Songs of the Dangermen”. Why? Because after nearly a decade The Dangermen were due to take to the stage at Minehead to do battle with The Invaders on The Friday Night. Here we looked at the history and songbook of The Dangermen.
On to “Tweets of a Dove”, and the Madness Facebook group posted that The Dublin Castle was the first pub in Camden to stock all 3 of the Madness beers. Gladness, Night Boat and Lovestruck were now available at the bar.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that polling had now closed on the Mad Chart 2014, with the results currently being tallied and collated. Once the counting was complete the top 40 was to be DJ’d during The Mad Chart Show at The Big One 3 and at The House of Fun Weekenders in just two and three weeks time, respectively.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 549 – Sunday 8th November – Saturday 14th November 2009
We had a packed issue for you this week, and a good chunk of that was down to the efforts of Jonathan who had managed to translate (and then have a good go at cleaning up) a recent German interview with the band. This proved to be an excellent read, and while still not a 100% perfect translation you could easily get a good idea of what was being discussed.
Over to Paul Rodgers, and this week he explained that there was less good news to report and that some of it was actually plain bad.
Total Madness slipped out of the top 40 albums, dipping to number 50 in its 7th week on the indie album chart, and number 60 on the main album chart. One Step Beyond fell from 6 to 15 on the Indie chart, meaning it was likely to fall outside the top 100 on the main charts.
The day after this issue of the MIS was due to go out, the Silver Edition of The Libery of Norton Folgate would be released. Would this see the album go top 10 again? According to Paul there was “Not a cat in hell’s chance”. Would it make the top 40? It was “possible”, commented Paul.
Regarding the re-release of Folgate Paul stated;
“Incidentally at the time of release there was some understandable criticism that a few of the lyrics were incorrect in Norton Folgate’s booklet. You may be pleased to know that the booklet has been completely re-printed for the standard CD version, with corrected lyrics, a better lay out and the park photograph enlarged. This makes the standard version (which is definitely available in HMV) worth buying again for completists.”
On to Madness off-shoots, and we passed proceedings over to ‘Spike’, who was kind enough to upload of Like Father Like Son performing The Kinks classic – You Really Got Me.
Next we reported on The Pet Shop Boys. Why? Well, it turned out that the due would be releasing a 5-track EP which included their take on the early Madness track My Girl, which they originally performed with Suggs and Carl at a charity event the previous year.
Tribute news next, and it was pleasing to see that the Madness 30th Anniversary Tribute Album was now available to purchase from the official Madness online store. Priced at £10, this was an absolute bargain.
We brought this issue to a close with a fantastic piece of work by Madness fan Mick Jenner – his self-produced version of a video for the b-side Seven Year Scratch.
15 years ago…
Issue number 287 – Sunday 7th November to Saturday 13th November 2004
The biggest item of news in this week’s issue had to be the story revealing that Suggs had been approached by the team behind TV series “I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here”. This was the show where a number of `stars` (we use that term loosely) were plonked into the jungle, and were then forced to not only survive, but to also get on with each other.
Whilst the first series was without a doubt completely dire, and up there with the truly terrible `Big Brother` it did however rejuvenate the flagging careers of Johnny Rotten and Peter Andre (thanks go to Andrew Langmead for reminding us!). Whilst Suggs was still very much in the public eye with regular TV and radio appearances, we felt that it could certainly give him some exposure in time for the release of the new Madness covers album early in 2005.
With Madness in the studio busily preparing their exciting new album, we all needed to find our fix elsewhere this year. The good news for readers in the north east of England was that there would be a special clinic held at Newcastle City Hall on the evening of Saturday 18th December, hosted by The Gangsters of Ska.
With the Gangsters of Ska including a healthy dose of Madness covers in their set, as well as songs by The Specials, Bad Manners, and a sprinkling of other classics, all served up with a generous dash of good humour, those attending would be in for one memorable night.
If you’d not been over to the official Madness web site recently we suggested that you took a look behind Bedders’ door. Like many of us Mark had found that over the course of time his hair had upped and gone. However, rather than ignore the fact and go for the bald denial look, he decided to keep his hair trimmed short.
At this point in time Mark’s full head of hair days were well and truly behind him. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology Mark was asking the fans to come and give him a hair makeover by adding the hair using their favourite imaging packages.
A number of fans had already taken up the hair-drawing challenge, but Mark was on the lookout for yet more. All you had to do was take the template image found at the bottom of his page and then get editing.
We finished off this week’s issue with a detailed heads up on the release of the ‘Our House’ musical DVD, which had now seen the light of day. With an RRP of a wallet busting £19.99, we quickly tracked down a number of outlets selling the production at far less than that. Yet another disc to add to the collection, eh?
20 years ago…
Issue number 25 – Sunday 7th November – Saturday 13th November 1999
Just missing the last issue was the woeful news that Johnny The Horse entered the charts at a pitiful 44. We had to admit that we weren’t exactly surprised though.
Venturing into a number of music stockists in the week running up to and after the release of the new single we managed to find a massive zero items promoting the single in any way, shape or form. What happened to some nice window posters or boards? We recalled an excellent selection of advertising bits and pieces used in store displays for the release of `The Heavy, Heavy Hits`, so why wasn’t something like that used here? If the public weren’t aware that something was going to or had been released, how did the record companies expect them to buy it?
This week witnessed the release of the first `proper` Madness album since 1985. Was there a massive advertising blitz? Did we see `Divine Madness` style adverts on our television sets as witnessed way back in 1992? Nope, we had nothing like that. Did Virgin choose to allocate the same amount of money to Madness for advertising as Suggs was allotted for his `Three Pyramids Club` release? Judging from what the MIS team and everyone else has witnessed – it looked like it.
The majority of us had managed to keep an eye on the ever changing release dates and had picked up copies of the new single and of course the new album. We knew that these were fantastic releases, but getting the general record buying public to part with their hard earned cash was going to be that little bit harder.
Perhaps we’d all got the wrong end of the stick. Maybe we shouldn’t have paid any interest to how far the new album or single climbed up the UK charts. One person who had this opinion was Total Madness Mailing List subscriber, Iain Mason who in this issue put a totally different perspective on everything.
Moving on to release dates and news in from subscriber Ed Stebbing-Allen was that after asking around a number of music and video suppliers, the DVD release of Madstock 4 would be Monday the 6th of December – just in time for Christmas.
News also reached us revealing the release date for the Madness box set. Entitled ‘The Lot’, the release of this multi-disc compilation had moved from Monday the 8th of November to Monday 22nd of November.
On to the forthcoming Christmas tour, and we’d been receiving a number of emails from subscribers, keen to know who would be supporting the band during the month of December. There had been no mention of supports during recent low-key plugging of the event. Carl subsequently revealed that the support bands had not yet been selected, but stated that “I am sure it will be someone interesting”.
On to the articles, and with the release of “Wonderful” it should come as no surprise to find that this issue featured reviews from a number of magazines and music papers. The Evening Telegraph gave the new release a very respectable 4/5, as did pop paper Melody Maker and Tory newspaper The Mail on Sunday.
This week the band staged a competition that would surely get most fans entering. Simply answer 7 questions, and you could have been in line for 7 prizes – one from each member of the band.
Cathal was giving away his stage suit Suggs – his bowler hat, Lee – the plastic sax he used in many videos, Mark – had made a one off sample of ‘wonderful’ featuring different artwork to the commercial release, Woody – had signed some used drum sticks, Chris – was giving away a pack of signed guitar strings, Mike – a pair of Dr. Martins
The seven questions were found on 7 different web sites, so you had to put in a bit of work to get your answers.
With the band as a whole receiving masses of coverage following the release of the new album and recent singles it was a nice surprise when subscriber Paul Wassell announced that he’d opened the doors to www.suggs.co.uk – Suggs Online.
We finished off this issue with a request from the BBC, who were looking for Madness fans to interview as part of a 40 minute documentary entitled “Young Guns Go For it”. Sadly, with the short notice and the fact that you had to get to London on a Thursday morning, meant that only a limited number were able to take part.
Not a Joker’s Shop
Escapade in Camden has finally closed to “maybe” become a chemist (Or something else less fun). The fancy dress and joke shop brand that partly inspired House of Fun in some ways, has shut up shop.
The branch that had appeared in Madness’ video had already relocated from Parkway to nearer the Mararhon bar Chalk Farm many years ago. But now the bottom has fallen out of the joke dog poo business. The band alway appeared on data run in this shop and I have happy memories filming there for “Happy Returns”, a film I made for HOF, or buying fezzes for Mez and the fezzez HOF show. I bought my girlfriend a dead Halloween black rose from there only last weekend gone, it now seems so fitting. It’s sadly time that the chattering teeth stop clacking and laughing. Rest In peace. I doff my goggly eyes on spring to you.
One Man’s Madness Film Plus Q&A With Lee Thompson – 20th November
As a celebration to mark 40 years since the release of their first single, we are pleased to welcome Madness saxophonist and songwriter Lee Thompson to the BME. During this special event, we will be showing the film ‘One Man’s Madness’, a fresh, disorienting, quirky, slapstick romp through the history of Madness, accompanied by Lee himself. The film will be followed by an in-conversation with Lee and film writer/director, Jeff Baynes. During the evening there will be an opportunity to purchase DVDs, CDs and signed t-shirts.
One Man’s Madness
Directed by Jeff Baynes and starring all members of Madness as well as Neville Staple, Lynval Golding, Norman Cook and others, the film takes its cue from the Ealing comedies of the 40s and 50s, music hall and famous BBC arts documentaries, with a nod to those great British comics down the years such as Max Wall, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Morecambe and Wise and Spike Milligan.
“The whole experience in the making of this Mocu has been a sheer joy,” says Lee. “Miming along to all the characters was slightly tongue-twisting. However, with the director’s patience and perseverance we got there eventually. Jeff makes a fantastic Cappuccino and his wife was most patient with my array of props, wigs and slap. Thank you to all involved, you’ve made a happy man very old!”
‘One Man’s Madness is an affectionate, revealing and often very funny look at the story of one of the UK’s greatest pop bands, Madness from the perspective of their charismatic saxophone player Lee Thompson.
While many band biopics become mired in the telling the story of a group as a whole, One Man’s Madness takes the bold step of looking at the story of Madness through the life of just one of its members; Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson. With contributions from all of the members of Madness, as well as family, colleagues and fans, it is a documentary as compelling and unconventional as its subject. A must see for any fan of Madness.’ Phill Jupitus
One Man’s Madness Film Plus Q&A With Lee Thompson – 22nd December
A fresh, disorienting, quirky, slapstick romp through the history of Madness, accompanied by their irrepressible, flying saxophonist, Lee Thompson …. And it is probably mostly true.
No reverent interviews, no backslapping endorsements, no hero worship and definitely no guitar solos. But slapstick tales of questionable behaviour, musical tomfoolery and the mayhem of actually being in a band, all told with the verve and inventiveness which made the original Madness videos so beloved.
This is Spinal Tap remade as an Ealing comedy, complete with Lee Thompson who is a wickedly gifted mimic of his close associates, his wife, sister, Suggs’ mum and even renowned scholar Neil Brand.
Unlike anything else, unless you have seen Thom Yorke dress up as his mum (unlikely) and tell tales of dodging the long arm of the law or planning what to drop in the Queen’s lap at the Olympic ceremony.
One thing you can be sure of is you will never be bored. Or want to watch a standard rock biography ever again. For which you will be very grateful. And very amused.
That’s just about it for this week’s issue of the MIS.
Next Sunday sees the band return to Camden’s Electric Ballroom where they’ll play their sell-out gig. If you were lucky enough to bag a ticket then please knock-up a review and send it in. We’d love to hear how the gig went as would our subscribers.