Good evening and a very warm welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online Newsletter.
You may recall in last week’s issue that our roving Mexico reporter Domingo Munoz reported on the announcement and then confusion as to whether our favourite band would be appearing in Mexico this year.
While there’s still nothing listed on the official Madness web site the Pulso GNP web site does indeed have the band advertised; https://pulsognp.com.mx
Naturally, as soon as this is officially announced we’ll be sure to let you know.
Also this week, our “Buy it” section has been updated with news of the latest forthcoming offerings from The JoJo Man Band. Check it out!
16th – The Courtyard, Herefordshire’s Centre for the Arts
17th – Bristol, Royal Redgrave Theatre
19th – Exeter, Corn Exchange
20th – Westlands, Yeovil
21st – Aldershot, Princes Hall
22nd – Hertford Theatre
23rd – Forum Theatre (Malvern Theatres)
24th – Warrington, Pyramind and Parr Hall
25th – Lythan St. Annes, Lowther Pavilion
27th – Hexham, Queens Hall Arts Centre
28th – Dundee Rep Theatrre
29th – Aberdeen Music Hall
30th – Edinburgh, The Queen’s Hall
Forthcoming EP/Mixtape From The JoJo Man Band ** new **
News in from Nick Woodgate is that on Friday 28th February he’ll have a bran new EP/Mixtape coming out. Featuring 8 songs from The JoJo Man Band, the release will also be accompanied by 3 new videos also released on the same day.
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 824 – Sunday 22nd February to Saturday 28th February 2015
Went the sound this week as Madness news got busy. News of The Grandslam finally arrived.
“Madheads flock to pastures green…” proclaimed the new tour poster. Elsewhere in mailouts, media posts, videos and multiple news articles in national and local press, 18 new Summer gigs were announced in a flurry of well coordinated Madnews.
Pre sales began on Tuesday for tickets for those fans signed up to Grandslam Madness, official news or web media. In previous issues of the MIS we urged you to sign up as that’s where you needed to be for pole position on the grand slam grid.
Remember the London festival we said you should keep an eye out for? That was also announced this week, and confirmed as On Blackheath in South London, a relatively new festival, now in its second year. Madness were due to headline the Sunday with Kelis as support act and various other bands including members of Squeeze.
From May to September, from Lincoln to Durham, this was the biggest ever outdoor tour by the band. It was truly grand.
Naturally, with such a newsworthy intro it would come as no surprise to learn that our “Showtimes” section was absolutely stacked with details of all the recently announced gigs.
On to our “MIS Feature”, and we covered the forthcoming Record Store Day. Why? Well, Salvo had teamed up with Madness as part of the 2015 event to release a 1,000 copy limited edition 7” of Lovestruck which had never been available on vinyl, backed with with ‘Le Grand Pantalon’, best known for its use in a 2011 Kronenbourg TV ad, and which was also making its vinyl debut.
With such a limited release we were certain there would be many unhappy collectors who would be unable to get themselves a copy.
Moving on to “Live and Intensified”, and we dedicated many, many bytes to The Skiff Skas; the Hillbilly band John Hasler joined after leaving Madness. Why? Well, last month they returned to London having not played for 29 years!
Next, it was on to “Tweets of a Dove” where we featured a really bizarre item; a live Twitter question and answer session held between Suggs and The Daily Mirror Celeb Channel. If you’d missed it, we featured the full transcript.
We brought this issue to a close by advising you to ignore reports of Madness gigs in Germany and the USA. We believed that these weren’t related to our favourite band but local DJs named similarly to our favourite band.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 564 – Sunday 21st February – Saturday 27th February 2010
The band may have been keeping things rather low-key at the moment, but there seemed to still be lots going on in the world of Madness.
The biggest item of news this week had to be the announcement the band made, revealing that they’d be performing at York Racecourse on Friday the 23rd of July. You could find all the information on the event, including booking information, elsewhere in this very issue.
Retro Madness were back with yet another one of their amazing offers. As a further clearance offer, the price of the UK 1 track promo CDs for the past 5x Madness singles had been reduced to just £6.99, or £29.99 for all 5 including postage and packing. Bargain!
We took a wander back in time next, as JP of the French MIS regaled us with his experiences of seeing Madness at Printemps De Bourges in France, on the 6th April 1986.
Along with a write-up of the event JP pointed us in the direction of a French-MIS Bourges 86 bundle which included :
– Some photos ge took
– The concert recorded by Lord Magic Nutcase
– A soundcheck featuring Woody and Mark playing “Natural Act”
– 3 songs (audio recordings) recorded from the TV broadcast “The Best Of Printemps de Bourges 1986”
– The interview he recorded
– Some press about this show.
Last month In MIS 559 we brought you the tracklisting news of the re-issues of Absolutely and Seven from Union Square Music. In this issue we brought you news on the sleeve notes and packaging.
Carrying on the digipack format set with the re-release of One Step Beyond we noticed that the spines of these CD’s were indeed marked 2 and 3 as predicted in the series. We also noticed that the (M) at the top of the spine was now (A) and (D) so we were guessing this would eventually turn out to be be…
(N) Presents The Rise & Fall
(E) Keep Moving
(S) The Madness
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Andy Serkis, the actor who played Ian Dury in the film “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”, was being nominated for a BAFTA the very evening this issue was going out.
15 years ago…
Issue number 302 – Sunday 20th February to Saturday 26th February 2005
Following last weeks massive MIS (mainly due to Jonathan donning his reviewers cap and travelling the length and breadth of the country for purely `research purposes`) we were back to a more slimline issue this week.
Things had been fairly quiet over the past seven days, and the articles reflected this. However, it was nice to see that the band had been having a bit of a spring clean of the old web site. Old items of news had been removed, and a whole host of additions had appeared behind a number of band members’ doors. You could find out just what had been added to the site by reading section two of this very MIS.
Could we expect a Madstock 5 this year? If you believed some of the rumours running over on the Official Chas Smash Forums then it the answer was a ‘yes’. However, before you started booking days off work to ensure you’d be at the show, we advised you to read section three first.
Elsewhere on the Chas Smash Forums a release date for the Dangermen album had also been flashed around. As with the Madstock 5 rumour, we advised you to not believe everything you read or heard. Section four had words from the man himself, Carl Smyth, on the very subject.
20 years ago…
Issue 40 – Sunday 20th February to Saturday 26th February 2000
The `Drip Fed Fred` bandwagon continued to rocket along, with news just in that the boys were to perform on ITV’s `This Morning` with Richard and Judy on Monday 28th of Feb, with new video being aired on CD:UK on Saturday 26th.
Elsewhere, Madness fans had been taking to the streets with their own DFF advertising campaign. A certain MIS Online subscriber who we assumed wished to remain nameless told us that `somehow`, the main Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall, London had decided to help the boys out by displaying 4 posters announcing `Vote for Fred…. It’s Madness`, in their windows. What sort of person would do something like that?! Information continued to flood in and it was revealed that not only were the posters being displayed in the MOD, but one of the posters was almost opposite Downing Street!!! Could old Tony Blair have caught sight of these banners as he was whisked to and from meetings? A nation needed to know!!
Continuing with the ever-growing Madness campaign, and on Wednesday 16th, approximately 25 Maddies met up in Camden Town for a `Drip fed Fred` poster blitz and advertising campaign. Total Madness Mailing List subscriber, Chris Mountain reported that “457 million (a possible exaggeration?) `Vote For Fred` flyers were stuck all over the place, whilst `Fred` sandwich boards were lofted above the heads of a number of people. Apparently spirits got a little out of hand at one point and the local police made a brief appearance due to the gathering behaving a little `too naughty`!
A certain Mr Chas Smash appeared later on and handed Adele Hargreaves a gift to say `Thank you` for helping to organise the DFF rendezvous whilst everyone else was treated to a free drink. Bedders also managed to pop along and various photo opportunities and chats got underway. Chas then proceeded to phone his manager and a few members of the lucky party were put on the TFI guest list for last Friday’s show.
To finish off the week, Madness were once again present on Chris Evan’s Channel Four show, `TFI Friday` where they were of course performing the forthcoming single, `Drip Fed Fred`. Here’s Jerney with a lowdown of what went on;
“All of the guys were there, except Lee who went on holiday with his family, so that is the reason why he wasn’t at the recording of the show.
They were really nice and they all gave us the chance to get as many autographs and photographs as we liked. Chrissy Boy even posed in front of a nice green bush for us and the pics turned out beautiful!
Their gig was superb, wasn’t it?! I even think Suggs recognised me from December, because when he took his pic with me he looked at me and said “hey ya?! How are you, are you ok?”
What I found a bit sad was that (I think!) Mike came all the way from Amsterdam in the morning and he had quite some trouble finding a parking place with his (rented????) Vauxhall car. Then, when he finally found a place and he went inside to do the show he wasn’t shown on TV at all, not once!
Don’t you think that is a bit unfair? They might have saved him the trouble of coming all the way over for just one song and then not being on TV at all, they could have got another keyboard player instead, to play in his place, like they did with Lee.
But there you go, people who work for TV just don’t think!”
Wise words indeed!
Well, with all the various bits and pieces that had been going on over the past week, we had a truly bumper issue of the MIS. First up was Brendan Phipps with the latest batch of tour dates from the excellent Madness tribute band, `One Step Behind`. Mark Bedford had kindly been typing away in the effort to give us all a swift beginners course in record producing by explaining how and why the Madness single and album release dates have been changing.
Further on in, and Peter Gardner and Chris Carter-Pegg had managed to get their hands on the promo and single releases of `Drip Fed Fred`. In this issue you could read just what they thought of the tracks and what we had to look forward to.
Vince Foley returned with a superb track-by-track review of the recently released rarities CD, `Nutty Sounds 4, Wozza was here with news that blockheads.co.uk had finally been awarded the accolade of `Official Ian Dury Fansite`. And if all that wasn’t enough, Wee Stoo was here with a blow-by-blow account of the first ever Scottish Madmeet!!
“I saw him a few times” says Woody. “The most memorable was at the Rainbow Theatre in 77.”
I lived in a hippie household as a kid and from a very early age I loved prog rock. I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and progressed onto Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea and Return To Forever. John McLaughlin was one of my all-time favourite guitar heroes to begin with, then I discovered and absolutely fell in love with Steve Hillage. His stuff had amazing time signatures, linked in with bleepy keyboard stuff and superb guitar solos. My best mate and his family introduced me to Gong and Hillage when I was about 14. I was immediately captivated by him.”
I saw him quite a few times; the most memorable was at the Rainbow Theatre in ’77. He’d just brought out Motivation Radio and was playing with Joe Blocker, who set his drum kit up side-on so you could see the drumming from a different angle. It was an extraordinary gig, he was at his peak, his pomp.
“I left Hillage behind after Open, his System 7 stuff wasn’t for me. But I did see Gong when they played The Forum in Kentish Town in 2009. I went to school with Chris Taylor – the most extraordinary left-handed drummer I’ve ever known who went on to play with Roachford – and I heard he was in Gong. I contacted him and he invited me along to their show. So then I got to meet my all-time hero! It was really lovely, Steve was such a gentle man… what struck me was how soft his hands were. That sounds mad! Miquette Giraudy was thrilled to bits to find that me and my life-long best mate Johnny Rutter had been at that ’77 Rainbow gig, she remembered it well as a really good gig. She was touched that there were still some people out there who had seen them play at the Rainbow.
Meeting a hero can be disappointing. But I’ve had some retweets from him on Twitter and it makes me go all goosebumpy, but I wouldn’t tell him that! It would be a dream come true to play with him but he’d have to be gentle with me. It would make a very happy man old, ha ha! He’s under appreciated and such a talent.”
‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ – The Blockheads announce Concorde 2 gig
After the resounding success of their sold out appearance last June at The Old Market in Hove The Blockheads have announced a welcome return to these here parts. They will be rocking up at the popular Concorde 2 on Saturday 21st November.
Formed in 1977 to promote Ian Durys’ album ‘New Boots and Panties’ on the first Stiff Records tour of the U.K. – Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, Charlie Charles, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher – became known as The Blockheads.
As Ian Dury & The Blockheads they went back out on tour, and in 1978 released ‘What A Waste’ a single that reached No.5 in the U.K. charts. They were then joined by saxophonist Davey Payne and toured the U.S.A supporting Lou Reed across the U.S.A.
In 1979 ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ (No.1 in the UK charts) and ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3’ (No.3 in the UK charts) were released along with the classic ‘Do It Yourself’ LP.
In 1982 Ian Dury & The Blockheads disbanded until the early 1990’s when they reformed to perform at the ‘Madstock’ festival in Finsbury Park headlined by Madness.
We bring this issue of the MIS to a close with details of a new song, which you may or may not think is in the style of Madness. We’ll let you decide.
An email landed in our mailbox a week or so back from Pam Pearson, who messaged us with the following;
“Hi I wondered if you might be interested in a song my husband has written as we feel it’s very much in the vein of Madness?
We are musicians and in the 90s we recorded at RAK studios with Mickie Most for 3 years writing and recording John’s original songs some of which are published by RAK.
We are now living in the mountains of south east Spain between Valencia and Alicante, working regularly in the bars and restaurants in the villages and towns”.
Intrigued, we asked Pam to send us more details. She quickly responded by sending us the following link https://youtu.be/lykdK2dX4qg and commenting that “[it was a] very amateur video just to reiterate the sentiment which is to do with bad politics and the climate crisis”.
Have a listen and, as we said, we’ll let you decide whether you think it’s in the style of Madness or not.