Hello and a very warm welcome to this week’s issue of the MIS.
Well, that’s it. It’s been one heck of a year, but the stream of gigs organised to coincide with Madness’ 40th anniversary came to a resounding climax this week as the band performed for three nights at the legendary Roundhouse in London’s Camden Town.
It’s been a manic 12 months for band members and fans alike, and one that will stick in the minds of many for years to come. If you’ve got a memorable Madness related tale to tell from the past year then please do put it together and send it in. We’d love to include it in a future issue of the MIS.
Although the 40th anniversary celebrations have now come to the end, and the band have gone into a much-deserved hibernation state fans won’t have to wait long to see them back on the road again as on the 5th Match they’ll be appearing on Dubai.
In the meantime, we have a fantastic MIS Feature which this week features a round-up of some of the best Madness related YouTube clips recorded over the past 12 months. Jonathan, Andy Stav Davarias, Sharon Staite, Adam Nichols, Duff Kelly, Hazel Foster, Automorph and Maz Delaney have done a great job of making this footage available to the masses. There’ a LOT of footage here for you to plough through and it’ll keep you occupied while you give yourself a break from the relatives over the forthcoming festive period!
Our Live and Intensified section meanwhile features Amsterdam and Roundhouse gig reviews from MIS subscriber Andre Claus, and a massive lookback at the Roundhouse gigs from Jonathan Young.
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 815 – Sunday 21st December to Saturday 27th December 2014
After touring the length and breadth of the United Kingdom over the past month the band brought their tour to a close on the 20th at London’s O2 Arena.
This meant that by the time this issue of the MIS newsletter landed in your mailbox this year’s “All for the Madhead Tour” would be nothing more than a collection of fading memories, blog posts, Tweets and photos.
Clearly well rehearsed and enjoying themselves, the band (minus Carl) performed a blinding set. Lee seemed to have been brought closer to the front of the stage to stand alongside Suggs and Chris, and for much of the performance our favourite saxophonist stole the limelight with his costume changes, random wanderings around the stage, playing up to the crowd, and clearly having the time of his life.
The atmosphere in the Arena was one of a massive Christmas party. Those who attended and were in the standing sections were, at different points during the evening, showered with paper love hearts, fake snow, and treated to the ultimate game of crowd volleyball when umpteen inflatable balls were hurdled into the crowd.
The section of songs, ranging from the new, not so new and even One Step Beyond album tracks ensured fans were treated to a show that took a decent trek through the entire musical history of the band, and with only one false start the group were sounding tighter than ever.
At this final show the band demonstrated that that the remaining six could pull out all the stops and put on a show where you’d be extremely hard pressed to notice that the line-up wasn’t complete.
Over in “Sign of the Times” we featured numerous gig reviews of the recent tour which we’d spotted in the press. There were so many that rather than copy and paste the reviews we simply linked to the articles so you could read them at your leisure.
In our “Live and Intensified” section we featured our own reviews of gigs from the 15th to the 18th December.
The “MIS Feature” meanwhile covered a brand new song by the one and only Chas Smash. Entitled “I Wish I Could Wake up”, you could download it from Carl’s own Facebook page.
We brought this issue to a close with the latest roundup of tweets in “Tweets of a Dove” before wishing our readers a merry Christmas in our “Time” sign-out section.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 555 – Sunday 20th December – Saturday 26th December 2009
For 35 Madness fans, Christmas came early, as on Friday they became guests of the band when they boarded the ‘Total Madness’ tour bus.
This bus took them on a journey, from The Dublin Castle to the O2 Arena, where the band were performing that night.
Setting off at approximately 2:30pm, the hour long journey took them across London, while on board Total Madness hits and videos were be playing.
With such short notice and limited numbers, it wasn’t possible for many fans to participate in such a fantastic event. However, Chris Carter-Pegg (who was unable to attend, but phoned someone on the bus) and Patrick Clifford, submitted their reviews of the afternoon, which were published on the Madness Central forums.
This week our articles kicked-off with an interview Venue magazine conducted with Mike. While it wasn’t a lengthy interview by any means it still proved to be an interesting and light-hearted read, thanks to the transcription efforts of MIS Map Man David Moody.
We moved on to “special deal” news next, as Retro Madness announced their special deal for MIS readers. This week they actually had two deals, not one. The first was for the original black and white enamel MIS fan club badge from the early 1980s. Some eBay sellers were flogging this for £24.99. Retro Madness were selling off their limited stash for a mere £4.99 a pop!
The second offer followed a recent deal they’d manage to strike with Ber Muirhead, author of the highlighy acclaimed Stiff Records books “The Story of a Record Label”, published in 1983. The cheapest copy on Amazon was selling for £44.50. Retro Madness were selling their copies for £13.50 including postage and packing in the UK. Bargain!
This week saw us publish part 1 of our lookback at 2009, which we took a quick look at the highs and lows that took place in the first half of the year. With so much having gone on it proved difficult to keep the article short and concise.
Moving on, and it was over to the News of The World, and a report from our very own Iain Mason. Iain reviewed the recent O2 gig at the Glasgow Academy, giving the concert a whopping 5/5.
Elsewhere in the issue we reported on Like Father Like Son and their performance of the song “No Lights on the Christmas Tree”, which was originally by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Docked out in a Jailhouse Rock prisoner shirt as Lee often was at solo gigs, it was a dark rock song played for fun.
We brought this issue to a close with a brief write-up of Madness’ forthcoming appearance on the Catherine Tate show, due to be aired on BBC1 on Christmas Day, reported on Chris’ recent Axe Cam exploits, and got the fanbase a little excited when we passed on a snippet from Rob Wardlaw, who informed us that he’d heard that Langer and Winstanley had been booked early next year for some new tracks.
We could only hope.
15 years ago…
Issue number 293 – Sunday 19th December to Saturday 25th December 2004
We started off this issue with news, courtesy of Rich over at remembertheeighties.com, who emailed in to tell us that Duran Duran, The Cure, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, MADNESS, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Human League, Madonna and New Order were among artists short listed for the ‘100 Greatest Albums’ list being compiled by UK TV station Channel 4. A panel of music industry professionals had drawn up a short list of 125 records and were now collecting votes from the public to decide the final top ten.
Naturally, we were hoping that MIS readers would vote for Madness and their debut album “One Step Beyond”, so pointed fellow fans directly to the voting link in the hope that their clicks would see our favourite band climb up the charts.
How did they get on? Only time would tell.
Moving on, and it was straight into part one of the 2004 lookback. In this first part we looked at the first 6 months of the year, and attempted to refresh those ageing memories with a collection of Madness related highs and lows. Part two would follow next week.
For those of you who somehow had some spare pennies kicking around in your bank accounts, even after all that present buying, we gave the heads-up on the latest sale being held over at the Warrior Clothing web site. Items included Harrington jackets for an amazing £19.95, Lambretta t-shirts for £17.95, and desert boots for £15.95. Time to get that credit/debit card warmed-up!
Another avenue to spend your money was with Chris Carter-Pegg, who had decided to take advantage of the recent free listing day on Ebay, and had uploaded a mountain of rare Madness items. This ‘mountain’ consisted over over 350 items!
20 years ago…
Issue number 31 – Sunday 19th December to Saturday 25th December 1999
As this issue hit the net ‘The Maddest Show on Earth’ tour was in full swing. Our advice to those still waiting to get along to one of the shows and were hoping to buy all available merchandise was that you needed to take over £100 (remember, this is 10 years ago!) with you as there was so much to buy, and some items were certainly on the expensive side. If we only know what we know now!
Those unable to get along to one of the shows were told not to panic too much, as we had news later in this issue indicating that Finsbury Park may once again be filled with 35,000 Madness fans shouting and singing along to some of their favourite songs.
Onto this issue, and Vince Foley made a welcome return to the MIS with a cracking article from the MUSIC365 website, whilst subscriber Fiona Linnell had kindly typed up an interview with Mr. Smash from a recent edition of The Southampton Daily Echo.
As well as that we also had the lowdown on the two Madmeets planned for Wembley in the coming week whilst elsewhere we had a vintage article from none other than Peter Gardner. If that wasn’t enough, Vince Foley was back with some news surrounding `Madstock 2000`.
What was Vince’s Madstock 2000 news? Well, it turned out that he’d received a phone call to tell him that Madness were now refunding those who had bought tickets for the ill-fated Point gig. Not only were you going to get the cash back, but also a FREE ticket would be sent to you for Madstock 5/2000.
Only time would tell if these tickets would actually arrive.
Madness XL Xmas 40th Year Rewatch
Some videos to watch back 2019 Madness highlights. Wow what a year.
Andy Stav Davarias / Sharon Staite / Adam Nichols / Duff Kelly / Hazel Foster / Automorph / Maz Delaney
Live and Intensified
Amsterdam. 12th December 2019 and the Sunday Night Roundhouse gig
Here is my report from Amsterdam, The gig at Afas 12 December 2019. Also known as the only 40 year celebration gig outside the UK. (There were 40th anniversary gigs in Spain earlier this year – MIS)
The day started fairly early as I was nervous as hell. I was promised a meet & greet which makes this fanboy nervous for some reason. I know they are really nice lads and I have met them in the past, but still it makes me nervous.
The door opened at 19:00, but I wanted to be there around 16:00. The last time I was allowed in at the soundcheck that was around 16:00. I left The Hague around 14:30 and arrived in Amsterdam Afas area at 16:00. I tried to call the road manager Jim and he was too busy to properly answer my questions. That made me even more nervous. Don’t get me wrong I see the meet and greet as a gift not a must. But still I didn’t want to piss off the road manager.
Right in front of the venue there is a Lounge bar and that is were I met my Madness friends, Ronnie the Prince of Holland being one of them. Actually I only knew most of them from facebook, the official Dutch Madness fan club FB page. I clicked with everyone, that’s madness for you. I finally got an app from Jim and he explained that the band came in late so there was no time for a meet&greet. For some reason this brought peace in my mind. I could now concentrate on the gig. I saw a tweet from Mr Barson so I answered ‘shouldn’t you be sound checking’, he replied ‘sound checking is for amateurs André’. Ah he mentioned my name….I told you I’m a fan boy.
So we finally go in and it got full fairly quick. Sold out. The support act Mr Wallace were good in getting the spirits up. And after a half hour finally there they were, Madness. Suggs screams out ‘hey you’ and we all kick in with ‘don’t watch that watch this this is the heavy heavy monster sound’ then One Step Beyond starts kicking in, followed by Embarrassment. We all join in the song. Suggs was in top form and Lee as always was doing his thing. They played a great set of oldies and ‘The Bullingdon Boys’, which is quit funny when you think about it. The election was that day. At the end I jumped my way forward and danced in the melee which we always get with Night Boat to Cairo. I made eye contact with Lee and Chris and got a fist bump gesture from Chris and a thumps up from Lee. I was in fanboy heaven.
Madness was as great as ever. I heard later that there were two women who started a fight because people were dancing around them. Eh, excuse me the seats are in the back if you want to just watch them. In front it’s ‘shut up, listen and dance’ (taken from Don’t quote me on that). Does my Madness story end here….no.
On Sunday morning at 05:00 I woke up to take my dog for a walk (same routine as my trip to HoF 2019) and I leave the house to catch my plan to Gatwick. I’m of to Camden to see the first Roundhouse gig, 15th December. I meet my mate Floor at Schiphol and we fly of to Gatwick. We get to Camden fairly quick. Floor was staying at St Christopher Inn and I was sharing a room with my mate Ronnie the Prince of Holland at Hotel Britannia, close to Primrose Hill (The Rise and Fall came to my mind). We agreed to meet Floor at Dublin Castle. Ronnie was coming later as he was waiting for some Madness merchandise.
Dublin Castle was nicely packed with Madness fans. I got an app from Ron where he said that a Paul was in DC to buy an extra ticket he had. I start screaming Paul and low and behold he stood behind me. The time moved on and Ron still didn’t arrive so I sold my ticket to Paul and asked Ron to give me the extra one. Paul and his mates were like ‘do you trust him’, I’m like he better have my ticket or else…;). Of course Ron had my ticket and after waiting for 40 minutes outside the Roundhouse we went in. I was cold, tired and not in form for another gig, my age was kicking in. ;p But as soon as I walked into the venue I was happy to be there. Madness came up in a set which looked like Dublin Castle and they were dressed like it was 40 years ago.
They played some really old songs, I hope someone else can say which, as my Madness mind is a bit muddled up with seeing them three times in 2 weeks. And then they walk back. 10 minutes later we get to see them as we now know them and they gave a great gig. All the great songs and a different set then at Afas and HoF. I mean they start with One Step Beyond and end with Night Boat, but they still had some different songs in there. My mate Floor who always get’s a set list can agree on that. But again my apologies, I couldn’t tell which songs were different.
By the end of the gig during Night Boat I see Floor being pulled up on stage by Lee. So I dance myself forward and get my phone out to film this and yes she dances to the end tune of Night Boat. She get’s a hug by Suggs (she’s a big fan of Suggs), thanks Bedders and walks off. We meet later on and I see that she is literally shaking with emotions.Who wouldn’t be. I later heard from my mate Ronnie that he got a set list from…..Suggs’s wife. I actually met Ms Bettsy from the Skatonics. She recognized me and used me as a beacon to find her mates. I was the tallest there, I think at least a head taller then everyone else so yeah I stood out a bit.
After the gig we all went of to the Dublin Castle for an after party. Woody’s daughter was DJ’ing. She got my tired feet to shuffle on the dance floor. Bumped into Kye and Daryl, Lee’s sons. After many pints and laughs we left at closing time. This was a great end to two weeks of Madness.
40 year s of Madness, who would have known 40 years ago that 6 of the 7 would still be together. We are so lucky to have that. Hopefully we at least get another 10 years.
I would like to thank Madness and everyone I met at the three venues. More then anything the fans make it all worthy to see them so many times. It’s always a party.
The Dutchman (André Claus)
Kind regards MIS
Madness – Past, Present, Future.
This 40th year of Madness gigs ended in style. A Whopping twenty seven tracks over two sets in one evening. This is possibly a record. A near two hour long performance of Madness, as the band took up residency in Camden’s Roundhouse for three nights. Here’s the set list.
Steppin’ Into Line
Land of Hope & Glory
The Young & The Old
Bed & Breakfast Man
One Step Beyond
Drip Fed Fred
Before We Was We
Wings of a Dove
In My Street
House Of Fun
It Must Be Love
Night Boat To Cairo
On Monday: Sugar & Spice
On Tuesday: Never Knew Your Name
(These songs being aired in the spot Ghost Train aired in on the first night.)
Three evenings packed with lesser heard tracks from the bands past. 1979 was a featured opening section, then followed a full gig with an array of career spanning singles mixed with a couple of future album tunes, and the debut of a song gifted recently as a present in the “Before we was we” audio book. A perfect present. Just what I wanted. Thank you Santa.
The Ballroom & HOF gigs recently loaded the band up with these tunes and ideas in three special sets in November, that were now here woven together into a unique presentation for Camden visiting public to pop along to and enjoy. With a new cherry on top. Past, Present, Future, then was a joyous omnibus in a very special year.
A touch of the Dickensian perhaps as Chrissy boy explains in a free newspaper, The Daily Madness, that was given away to passers by in the entrance to the roundhouse. (Which was also occupied by pearly queen’s raffling a one step beyond painting.) The newspaper featured a poster, a nutty crossword and an explanatory introduction from Chris. Katy one of the bands managers had suggested the Christmas past present future idea, for these December gigs, he tells us. The band seemed to turn this great title into a more retro themed explanation that these gigs would straddle their extensive musical catalogue back to 1979 and across the years, including something a little new too. But like the ghosts of Christmas Carol, they would indeed begin by revisiting the heady early days of Madness’s first Christmas Past…
A Dublin Castle set appeared therefore on stage, as time’s clock was wound back, to a time when Madness could play the small back room of the DC where they cut their teeth. A replica set of doors were the bands entrance stage right. A curtain showed the back band room wall (amusingly the photograph included posters that show Special Kinda Madness play there now! Such is the band future influence then!) The amps are retro, and the intro was a radio dial turning of soundbites from the year 1979 mingling together, including “Ring my Bell”, and songs of an early influence, with DJ’s and radio interference crackling and buzzing. The band are dressed down in casual clothes, Lee sporting a wig and vest in a comedically misguided attempt to capture his youthful vigour. He will throw his wig, James Bond style, onto a stage prop hatstand on the second and third nights (we dared him!) after mistakenly throwing it into the crowd on the first evening and needing to retrieve it! Suggs is in denim and a cravat. The whole of the band placed near to stage front. Just the six of them. Rattling through the early album and B side tracks, like a fresh rock and roll pub band with a touch of becoming a ska band. Opening with Nutty Theme. The years fall away as they clearly do it just for the fun of it. It’s a joy to watch them having fun, like kids in the moment again.
As Suggs’ banter alludes to, the joke is the band are supporting themselves tonight. The email claiming the 8.30 start and uniqueness to the beginning of their set is to assure this part of the night isn’t missed. It’s a hit of an idea. The curtain and stage front appearance, after just a little nerves, presents the joy of a Madness that then was. Just as we became we, as they might say. There is enough with “Swan Lake”, “The Prince” and “Bed and Breakfast man” here to keep casual’s awake, while “The Young and the old”, Stepping into line etc thrill old school devotees. Only a tiny shame that “Deceives the eye” didn’t make it from the ballroom to this short set.
The band quickly leave the stage after the 8th song, telling the audience it’s a cost saving measure to be your own support band. Only one fool on Sunday doesn’t get this conceit enough to be a dick shouting out “come back and get on with it” etc, as the band’s roadies work harder to clear the front of stage during this pause in the proceedings.
A small piece of Take it or leave it Film plays on a cinema screen next. The van chase. The band driving from The Hope and Anchor to the second gig of the night! A genius segueway joke. Before a cat burglar Thommo re-appears in Balaclava to blow the opening note of One Step Beyond and the curtain drops revealing that Madness Present is a wonderful thing to behold. So much bigger, better and beyond those early days. The band are now big stars, in smart suits. Madness 2019 it’s got Brass, It’s got Mez, and it’s got huge visual backdrops in contrast to that little pub, of the early days. Tonight it’s playing all the biggest hits for everyone, but remembering rarer singles too. “Uncle Sam.” With Trump bashing banter, and a flag blending visual back drop and a clear crowd buy in to the sing-a-long, shows that its a tune thats been away far too long. We drink in a spray of Champagne from Wonderful’s “Drip Fed Fred.” There are a few Foglate moments. The best of Madness Now, remembering a lot of the era’s they carry with them.
“House of fun” plays, that number one hit, I witness drunk partying lads, trying to hold both their beers and their phones at the same time, wrapped up in their happy end of year partying, failing to capture the moment with eyes, ears, or devices, but in total nutty rapture that these song inject into the masses of gig attendees as they begin. The Madness that this band has become. Which will meld into hugs and warm fuzziness as “It Must Be Love” takes over.
“We love you madness” we all chant. Because in the Madness of the moments. Even more so this year. We do.
“The ring of life”, is that end of gig Monty Python togetherness that increasingly occurs in those of us not quite ready to go home, dancing arm in arm. When we do leave because the present is over, it’s a chance to do that crossword on the tube, with the help of drunk underpants man, a superhero we encounter on his way home.
Madness Future? Madness don’t need to change. They were never Scrooge. Always generous this band. So no Dickensian transformation is needed in this review. Except perhaps to say that if they did drop the ball slightly at HOF 2018. They’ve course corrected perfectly in 2019. Impressively. If some fans do moan set list variety at times. This year they’ve been made happy it seems. Thats lovely. The high praise is deserved. The roundhouse proves that such a show can work to the masses. With the right song choices. The future of live Madness if it retains half of this spirit from a special year, is a bright live future.
And the Future of Madness songs. Three songs in the set at the roundhosue were one’s only just recorded this year, two of them released, one still yet to be. Bullingdon Boy’s had a shaky start in 2018. Now it’s a single, and despite election results, it’s a timely reminder that the future of Madness music continues to include social commentary on every level. The roundhouse shows, showcase the improvements made in “In my street” musically since Kenwood too, and we got a brand new performance of “Be we was we” a fittingly timely reemergence of a song for this moment. Looking back at the book that everyone who hasn’t, should read this Christmas. It’s not a tune for touring in my opinion. Neither do any of these three songs reach the popular height of Mr Apples. There is an album to be worked on, in the coming years, and no rush to get the follow up to Can’t Touch Us Now right. The XL has been the perfect left turn after a triple hit album legacy of the last decade. I’d prefer a Christmas 2020 tour to be in support of a box set including the Kenwood movie even. Rather than a rushed album, but I hope 2020 brings the buds of new tunes for the last HOF. The roundhouse including the future of Madness within it, was important, this band did service to their legacy triumphantly, but they aren’t ready to close the book.
A staff pass was gifted to Mark Glasgow by Chrissy Boy, as a nice moment of these end of year gigs. It showed two whole week’s worth of rehearsal room work put in by the band in order to stage the sets at The Ballroom, The House of Fun & The roundhouse residency. When you consider the time and effort that Kenwood & The House of Common festival took this year, how busy the summer was for gigs in UK & Spain, and that on top of this time was given to a book, a set of billboards, and editing a movie version of Kenwood.
Its time to say.
A very big thank you. And a very merry Christmas to Madness.
That’s just about it for this week’s issue of the MIS.
We’d like to wish all our subscribers a very Merry Christmas. If you celebrate it we trust you have an enjoyable time. If you don’t, we hope you simply enjoy the time off and get chance to relax.