As this issue of the MIS winds its way across the vast expanse of the internet Minehead will be playing host to hundreds of tired but very happy fans as this year’s Madness Weekender draws to a close.
All being well, we’ll have reviews and coverage of what went on during the course of the weekend in next week’s issue. In the meantime you may want to check out the official House of Fun Weekender Facebook page over at https://www.facebook.com/houseoffunweekender/ where you can view masses of photos taken from over the weekend.
Talking of weekends, and before this year’s House of Fun Weekender had even got off the starting blocks fans were already booking themselves in for the 2020 weekend! Entitled “The Final Curtain! Madness a Delirious Decade”, the tenth and final event will run from the 20th to the 23rd November 2020. Check out www.bigweekends.com for more information.
This wasn’t the only gig to be announced this week, as Suggs revealed that he’d be back on the road towards the latter quarter of 2020 with more “What a King Cnut” touring. Check out our “Showtimes” section for a list of all dates and venues.
If that wasn’t enough news reached us that Madness would be appearing at the York Festival on Friday 19th June next year, and in the run-up to the this month’s UK general election, the band had digitally released a new single; “Bullingdon Boys”.
The 40th anniversary of our favourite band may be drawing to a close, but there looks to be lot more to come as we move into the next decade.
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 812 – Sunday 30th November to Saturday 6th December 2014
“Don’t feel down that the best weekend of the year is over”, we urged.
The Invaders and the Dangermen had indeed departed, but the was still excitement to be had because The Madhead Tour was now upon us!
Over the past week we’d had a few emails in from Maddies asking where their Madhead Tour tickets were. If you were still waiting for yours to arrive in the post we suggested you contacted either the venue or the ticket agency, depending on where you’d purchased your tickets from.
While 2014 was drawing to a close, the band had already announced their first gig of 2015. This was the next Madness Weekender in Minehead which was due to take place on the 20th – 23rd November. Not only that but tickets were already on sale!
With this year’s Madness Weekender still fresh in the minds of those who attended, the majority of this issue covered each day in Jonathan Young’s MIS Diary. This thing was huge and it must have taken him hours to put together. It’s an amazing document of just what went on at the 2014 event.
Over on Twitter Suggs commented about the event saying “Yes once again, sir billy butlins #houseoffunweekender went off like a packet of crackers! Much thanks to all who got involved. X”
We brought this issue to a close by congratulating Union Square Music and Mdness for racking up combined sales of 500,000 for Complete Madness, Total Madness, Universal Madness and Forever Young. The band were handed their awards at the House of Fun Weekender.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 552 – Sunday 29th November – Saturday 5th December 2009
If Christmas and the forthcoming tour weren’t draining your pockets enough, this week the band announced that the next single release, Forever Young, was now available to pre-order. Consisting of a CD single, limited edition gatefold 7″ and two mp3 files.
Are you From Another World is a song by The Madness that failed to see an official release, and Jonathan had been trying to crack the lyrics since MIS issue 372 was blasted out across the internet. This week Jonathan got back in touch after he noticed yet another namecheck for an area of London in a Madness song.
Jonathan commented at the time;
“Are You From Another World? It definitely comes from that period of The Madness as it’s from a tape of sessions that also included the early version of Beat The Bride, too. The song was on Carl’s Website first in 2006 and you’ll find it currently in the download section on Madness Central, although we’ve never quite got all of the words, and haven’t yet put a version up in the excellent Lyrics Archive.
This last week though, I’ve cracked the meaning of the song a little more than I had before, thanks to a theory that then helped spot yet another London place name in a song by the boys. Add to that long list of name checks for “Camden”, “Tottenham” and “Folgate” etc. “Belgravia”.
Belgravia is not that far from Knightsbridge, Sloane Square, and it’s south west of Buckingham Palace. Quite close to Mayfair, which everyone knows from Monopoly, is the expensive one.”
Following this Jonathan sent us his newly deciphered lyrics.
Next, and on Friday 27th November the BBC’s One Show ran a small segment devoted to the classic Madness track “Our House”, and interviewing both Suggs and Carl.
Although we had an iPlayer link to the segment itself, we also included a full transcript for those unable or unwilling to view the clip.
So, what of the numerous Forever Young releases we mentioned at the start of this segment? Well, elsewhere in this week’s issue we took a look at the CD single, 7” and MP3 download. The whole lot could be purchased for £9, and this is what your pennies would have got you;
1. Melt Music radio edit
2. Future Cut remix
3. J Star Mr Wallace Dub
4. Live from Later with Jools at BBC
5. Love Really Hurts
Limited Edition Gatefold 7″:
J Star Mr Wallace Dub
1. Melt Music Radio Edit
2. J Star Late Night Taxi Remix (Exclusive to this Bundle)
We brought this issue to a close with the news that following discussions with the band’s management we could confirm that the forthcoming b-side “Love Really Hurts” was a cover of the Billy Ocean song “Love Really Hurts Without You”.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 290 – Sunday 28th November – Saturday 4th December 2004
Due to a news drought we had a really short issue for readers this week.
Try as we might to find newsworthy items to place in the weekly Madness news bulletin, there’d been nothing to put in it. Well, almost nothing.
News had reached us revealing that Channel Four were planning to air a one hour documentary dedicated to the 2-Tone movement. What limited information we could find on this was simply the blurb from the Channel Four we site, detailing a short snippet of background information, and a broadcast date and time of Monday 29th November at 11:00pm.
Following on from last week’s news that the latest version of Jermaine’s Madness Bible, Tour Madness had finally arrived, we gave you a brief lowdown (not easy when the full thing spanned 139 pages!) on this fantastic piece of nutty literature.
This version spanned a total of 27 years, and featured the following sections:
– 1976-79: United Kingdom
– 1979: Pre-‘2-Tone- Tour
– 1979-80: ‘One Step Beyond’ Tour
– 1980: ‘Nightboat to Cairo’ Tour
‘Madness Monster Tour’
– 1981: ‘Absolutely One Step Beyond Far East’ Tour
‘Nuts in May’ Tour
– 1982: ‘Complete Madness’ Tour
– 1983: ‘Rise and Fall’ Tour
– 1984: ‘Keep Moving’ Tour
– 1985-86: ‘Mad Not Mad’ Tour
– 1986: Europe
– 1988: The Madness
– 1991-92: The Nutty Boys on Tour
– 1992: ‘Madstock on Christmas’ Tour
– 1993: ‘Man in the Madsuit’ Tour
– 1995: ‘Crunch on Tour’
‘Mad Dogs’ Tour
– 1998: ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ Tour
– 1999: ‘Universal Madness’ Tour
‘The Maddest Show on Earth’
– 2002: ‘Don’t Watch That, Watch This’
– 2003: ‘Wonderful World of Madness’ Tour
Just before this issue of the MIS went to press we received a brief text message from MOT drummer, Dan Fossard:
“Evening. Have you heard anything about Lee Thompson playing at a Ska fest tonight in Islington? Cos, I just got a phone call from someone saying I’m on the guest list”.
This was the first we’d heard of Lee Thompson due to be playing any gigs in the foreseeable future. It looked like this one slipped us and the rest of the Madness online community down, as there’d been no mention of this on any of the forums.
Hopefully Dan would be able to tell us more in time for next week’s issue.
20 years ago…
Issue number 28 – Sunday 28th November – Saturday 4th December 1999
We started off this issue with the news that Madness had once again got their feet in the advertising door, with a new batch of TV Christmas commercials for high street food retailer, Iceland. Although not appearing in it themselves, the band were providing the backing music in the form of the classic “It Must be Love”.
This wasn’t the first time the band had found their tunes used for television commercials, but it was one of the first we could recall that actually left in their voices instead of replacing them with some poor session artists.
Towards the start of last week we received an e-mail from a Sheila Titley asking us if the Dublin gig at The Point had been cancelled.
She was concerned because not only had she won tickets to the show, she’d also won backstage passes to meet the band afterwards. At that time we assumed she had misheard or misread something, but as the week went on, the number of irate e-mails from Irish Madness fans started to pile up in the MIS mailbox. For reasons unknown to us, the lads were now not visiting Ireland as part of their `Maddest Show on Earth` tour. Perhaps ticket sales were low? One thing was certain was that posters advertising the gig only went up the day before the show was cancelled! Madness!!!
In an unusual twist of fate, the cancellation of the Dublin gig seemed to have lead to the addition of a NEW date on Monday 13th December at The Stratford Rex in London. Whilst the new date wouldn’t be any consolation to the Irish Mads, it would at least give the UK-based Maddies another opportunity to catch a glimpse of `The Maddest Show on Earth`.
Over the past few days subscribers to the Total Madness Mailing List would have noticed that list-traffic was almost non-existent. This was not due to the lack of interest on the part of the subscribers but rather the list server was having problems of one kind or another. In an effort to keep as many people informed as possible, list maintainer, Jenny Payne manually e-mailed as many people she knew were subscribed to the list. Thankfully the outage only lasted a few days, any by the time this issue went out it was back up and running once more.
News in from Bedders was that the current batch of Madness tour goodies were in the deign and production stages. The band were currently toying with a number of T-shirt design ideas, and we were told that a number of classic shirts from yesteryear may be on sale at the forthcoming concerts.
Onto the articles in this issue, and a quick look at the contents revealed that this was a fanzine special. For months on end nothing arrived through our letterbox, and then all of a sudden we received the November edition of Ska Mad, issue 2 of `Madness Unsugged`, and issue 14 of the classic `Nut Inc`. All three contained some classic stuff and you could read more about them in this very issue.
We also had details of where you could order yourself a copy of the recently released `Sonic Sessions` CD featuring a track from the Madness unplugged performance in Philadelphia, details of a new Madness video offer, and some interesting snippets concerning Uncle Ian Dury and his small tour.
Sign of the Times
Madness take barbed swipe at Boris Johnson on first new song in three years
“The Eton Boys are undefiled/ The Bullingdon Boys, running wild”
By Will Lavin
Madness have released ‘Bullingdon Boys’, their first new song in three years – and it features lyrics aimed at Boris Johnson and his Eton cohorts.
The pioneering ska band’s snap release is a “barbed swipe at the charlatans, rotters and chancers at the top of the tree who have done their best to take the shine off 2019,” according to a press release.
Inspired by the fact that 19 of the 54 UK Prime Ministers have come from Eton, the new song takes aim at Johnson, who was educated at Eton College before going on to study at Oxford, and his peers with anti-Tory lyrics.
“The Eton boys are undefiled/ The Bullingdon Boys, running wild,” Suggs sings on the chorus. “And England slides into the mist/ No hope they’ll cease nor desist.”
Other lyrics include: “They’re making England Great Again/ But make way for the bagmen/ When everything’s been sold and bought/ We’ll soon be off the life support.”
The song’s artwork features what is assumed to be a group of Eton students donning a variety of masks, including Halloween villain Michael Myers and Porky Pig. It includes the tagline: “Don’t get bullied by the Bully Boys.”
Accompanied by a supercut video that features scenes from Clockwork Orange, the Batman TV series and The Riot Club, you can listen to ‘Bullingdon Boys’ below:
Earlier this month, Madness performed a show in London where fans were given the chance to pay the same entry price as they did 40 years ago.
The Camden Town legends played the Electric Ballroom on November 17 – 40 years to the day since they launched the legendary Two Tone Tour at the very same venue. Tickets were just £2.50 (plus booking fees).
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has received a backlash for declaring that he’s a fan of The Clash.
The revelation came from a new general election campaign video in which the Prime Minister is seen walking around the Conservative Party headquarters answering questions.
Since 1979 – Madness at the Electric Ballroom
Of all the gigs in the fortieth year of Madness the Electric Ballroom was something special. When a year is offering up stuff as amazing as a full orchestra and movie making at Kenwood, and buddying up in huge summer concert, with Jimmy Cliff, Lynval and Weller etc… when regular touring was wide spread in the UK, and brought back “One Better Day” as a classic tune into the set, and future expanding the range with new songs “Bullingdon Boys”, and “In My Street”… well things are more than regular and rosy enough in Mad-land then it would seem, befitting of a birthday celebration or two. Then the Ballroom happened. Hugely grabbing all the attention.
Beyond a frenzy around ticketing, the £2.50 gesture and billboard ideas further spread out a wide message of Camden homecoming for XL. Only a month before this teasing had begun by including a wandering video documentary, and 3 nights sold out for the year end roundhouse in a Camden campaign, that also included a photoshoot at the DC, and a mural in the Camden press too. We believe sky arts secured a broadcast that hopefully adds wider joy to the ballroom experience, more than youtube delights to those not in attendance on the night.
Then, “That” set list.
It was a reboot. It was a concert presenting the very beginning.
But also was the technical set up was retro too. 1979 equipment, Amps, lightings, some instruments or sound settings, and a backdrop clearly stating, Since 1979, on a date that echoed one from 40 years ago, no flourish of strings or brass sections. The 6 musicians tonight, as they were, as a band. Four decades back.
This was a celebration of the past, the first, the original step beyond that the band took, to become Madness. The first brick in the work that carried them so far since. Chas-absence aside, it was perfect. The audience, including first timers boisterously up for singing Hey You anyway, an intimate venue full of atmosphere and anticipation.
The enjoyment of the band, clearly running across their faces most of the gig.Lee decked out in a wig, pretending he still had hair. Suggs dragging Jerry Dammers into the gig before The Prince. Who had previously played a great 2tone intro set.
Deceives the eye, and a balladed Tears of a clown, were unique returns for a Work Rest and Play track, and an Invaders era cover. Both brilliant.
The whole of One Step Beyond was here (Lee said Chips Monk’s are go at the end of performing Tarzan’s Nuts, so I’m counting it!) and it worked more magnificently here in this Camden basement hall than it’s HOF split up sets did some years ago now, (And those were great moments, but not as cohesive as this. Singles and album tracks together). It also echoed that HOF invaders set by
including all the early Bsides. The set rattled along at some pace. The songs both short, and joyously played picking up speed. A merry Suggs not, over bantering tonight, but clearly enjoying new moments like the “wo-ah oh” of The Young and the old, as a call and response, with the crowd. He even sang Too much too young, at the end of My Girl. Getting My Girl (Thanks for the dedication to us Thommo) as the third last song in a set, before the encore, equally felt a bizarre experience for regular Madness gig attending fans, this almost reset us all to believing it was early in the gig again! after and hour of music.
The young and the old was Bedder’s first time playing this live since the 80’s too, as it’s previous more recent outing was on a tour Bushers played on. “The bass man sweats, I aint seen that since the 70’s declares Lee, as Bedders grins away.”
22 songs took just over 70 minutes to get through.
Then the crowd stood, and didn’t leave, firm in the belief of a Baggy Trousers, or an It Must be love token hit or such. They left the crowd wanting more. Past was done. That’s it. Catch Madness next year, was the message to the new viewers. It took the lights coming on to persuade them it really was all over for the night.
By the time this review reaches you, reader, the top 40th of Madness will have happened at HOF, and now the last bow is coming of a truly great XL year campaign ends with more Camden takeover billboards.
The Roundhouse awaits. Three night’s of unique sets lists, sold out in London, to mix the past, present and future of Madness songs together. with the promise of each night having a few different tunes. Perhaps the HOF sets, and Ballroom sets will be merged and revolved? It will be a fitting end to a great year, the band are clearly energised.
Fans were heaping Madstock-like praise onto the gig after the set ended, but I will say simply that is was a ball. They made it feel like the first time.
Thank you Madness for making this year the most special one I’ve ever witnessed.
Friday Night House of Fun Minehead Set List
Can’t Touch us Now
Tomorrow’s Just Another Day
The Harder They Come
Los Palmas 7
Drip Fed Fred
The Sun and the Rain
Shame and Scandal
My Girl 2
Driving in my Car
Night Boat to Cairo
Tweets of a Dove
2 Tone Tour, 14 11 79: Pavilion, Ayr, Scotland. The last night of the tour for us as we left it to go to America via The Electric Ballroom. We walked across the stage, as The Specials were playing, dressed in our overcoats, carrying our suitcases – waving our goodbyes
Chrissy Boy (cupboard)
It was very funny. I suggested it. We waited till “Blank Expression” [one of our faves, because it was quite “Nutty”] then we “Nutty trained” it, suitcases in hand, behind Roddy, Neville, Lynval and Horace. They all laughed when they realised we were behind them because the audience were shouting at us haha. I can still remember it so well. Really great times, really fun times. We literally went home that night. Long way though but I’m sure we did..maybe a real train? of course I just looked it up..Glasgow to London 5 hours so maybe we went to Glasgow and came home the next day.
Question – Do you still have the tapes to the album after mad not mad, that was aborted?
Chris – Lost them on a 29 bus in 1987…..Ok there were no tapes (Lost in the Museum).. that became the “Mad Not Mad” album
Question – Will there be a DVD of the Ballroom??
Chris – It was filmed for Sky Arts. We played practically every song we wrote in and before 1979..
Sky Arts filmed the electric Ballroom show for future transmission and they are also filming the Roundhouse.
That’s just about it for this week’s edition of the MIS.
If you attended this year’s penultimate House of Fun Weekender we’d love to hear what you thought of the event. Feel free to send in a review and we’ll print it in next week’s issue.