Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online newsletter.
With the UK and many other counties under some form of lockdown in response to Covid-19 outbreak you won’t be surprised to learn that there has been next to no news crop-up relating to our favourite band in the past seven days.
The only item we can report is that the “Before we was we” special Q&A and signing session at Camden’s Dublin Castle, which was due to take place on the 7th April, has now been postponed.
With the US dates getting ever closer and the country enforcing greater restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19 we wonder how long it will be until we see the Stateside gigs either cancelled or postponed until further notice.
In June the band are booked to perform three UK gigs before jetting off to sunny Spain. With the number of deaths steadily increasing in both countries it’s possible that restrictions will still be in place by then forcing these concerts to also be cancelled or moved.
We’re in for an unprecedented year, and it’s not for the right reasons. Naturally, as soon as we hear anything about forthcoming gigs being cancelled or rescheduled, we’ll be sure to let you know.
This is a new half-speed master exclusively for RSD and part of the Two Tone Records 40th Anniversary celebrations. This is a soundtrack to the live movie of the same name featuring exclusive live recordings by The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers. This is also first vinyl repress since its original release in 1981.
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 828 – Sunday 22nd March to Saturday 28th March 2015
This issue got underway with news in from subscriber Mark Doherty who got in touch to tell us that the Grandslam tour had now been promoted by the band who had named a horse race after the tour.
The 17:30 race at Chelmsford race course was named the “Madness Grandslam Tour 3rd June Handicap”.
Next, and it was exciting news for collectors as we reported that a 1,000 copy limited edition 7” vinyl release of Lovestruck would be seeing the light of day as part of this year’s Record Store Day. This had never previously been available on vinyl and was backed with “Le Grabd Pantalon”; best known for its use in a 2011 Kronenbourg TV advert. Lovestruck had been re-mastered for its vinyl debut from the original tapes.
Not only that, but the release also came bundled with a unique ‘Madness Presents’ 3D ‘Love Struck’ Toy Theatre; a replica of a classic Punch & Judy puppet theatre.
Our MIS Feature this week reported on the new crowd funded movie project which promised an appearance within the production by the one and only Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.
Entitled “Womble the Movie”, the team had set up a fundraiser on the gofundme web site and were asking for your contributions.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that this week the Dublin Castle Facebook page seemed to suggest there would be a Ska Orchestra matinee show in the back band room, as they asked… “Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra, to The DC for a Sunday matinee show April 19th… if your ska band fancies taking to the stage after El Thommo and co that evening when the Ancestral Seat Of Madness is packed to the rafters with eager skanking nutty boys n gals drop Bug Bear an email here email@example.com”
Comedically or confusingly, Lee Thompson himself wrote. “Oh Really? I’m at the sea side with my grandkids that day. Will try to get along. If not, have a great time.”, suggesting this early mention of a gig was perhaps not as concrete as even a sandcastle! We will therefore left it out of the gig diary for now!
10 years ago…
Issue Number 568 – Sunday 21st March – Saturday 27th March 2010
We were only a few days away from the 10th anniversary of the sad passing of Ian Dury, who lost his battle with cancer on the 27th March 2000.
This hadn’t gone unnoticed by the BBC as both Radio 6 and Radio 2 were about to air programmes to commemorate the life of the musical genius. Radio 6 had The Blockheads in session, while Radio 2 would be airing “Reasons to be Cheerful”, a documentary narrated by Andy Serkis, who had played Ian in the film “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”. These two shows looked to be essential listening for any self respecting Dury fan.
Moving on, and it seemed as if a week wouldn’t go by without yet another Madness related Facebook group cropping up. This week was no different as it saw the creation of a “Bring Our House Musical Back to the West End”. With 18 members subscribed we were uncertain as to how much influence this group would have on bringing the show back to the capital, but we could hope.
Next, it was over to subscriber ‘Spike’, who reported that his Mad Inc YouTube channel was playing host to more Lee Thompson tributes to the late, great Ian Dury, and that further videos would be uploaded soon.
We brought this issue to a close with a few words from Chris. Chris had heard that one of Madness’ old managers, Matthew Stzumpf, had suffered a brain tumour, and we were all asked to spare him a thought.
15 years ago…
Issue number 306 – Sunday 20th March to Saturday 26th March 2005
This pre-Easter edition of the MIS saw the editorial team away from their keyboards, and instead, out and about, making the most of the fantastic weather the weekend was kind enough to dish out.
However, between soaking up the rays, the team still found time to put together this week’s edition of the MIS.
Before we got the issue underway, we had a few words from Carl, which would have been of interest to those who were still waiting for the next Madness single box set to appear;
“Owing to issues of pressing costs at the factory this box set was delayed. The cause for delay is no longer an issue, but Virgin Records wish to talk with V2 so that the release can benefit both parties…as of course we are now signed to V2”.
No firm release date had been given, but Cathal continued by saying:
“It will be released and most probably this year”.
As always, we promised to let the MIS readership know more about this as soon as we heard anything further.
Moving on to this week’s collection of articles, and Graham Whitfield emailed in to report that Suggs had made an appearance on Radio 2’s Lee Mack Show.
Graham pointed out that the chat was obviously pre-arranged, but it turned out to be a very amusing conversation with a mix of Madness history, and some terrible jokes thrown in for good measure.
Ever since the events at Madstock 1992, there have been many Madness fans who have enjoyed mocking the one and only Mozza. Well, according to a certain Jonathan Young, it would seem that an entire DVD devoted to mocking the Morrissey fanbase was now available to purchase.
“My Life With Morrissey” was a dark comedy that chronicled the adventures of an off-kilter officer girl whose life unravelled when she met her idol, Morrissey, and sets off on a journey of obsessive self delusion.
Since MIS co-editor, Jonathan Young, started his truly terrible Madness pundown on the MIS forum following the announcement of the 2005 Forest Tour, a number of subscribers had entered into the spirit of things by submitting a few crap entries themselves. While for most people it was something they’d only spend a minute or two on at most, it seemed that MOT drummer, Dan Fossard had a little more spare time on his hands, as his slew of puns clearly showed.
We finished off this week’s issue advising you all to get over to the JAG web site where the band had made a studio recording of one of their songs available for download. Entitled “Sister Josephine”, it was classic Britpop.
20 years ago…
Issue number 44 – Sunday 19th March to Saturday 25th March 2000
Another week had gone by and yet the Madness internet community still seemed to be alight with chat relating to the recent chart position of ‘Drip Fed Fred’, and to a lesser extent, last year’s album.
So the releases didn’t get to number one, but did fans honestly expect them to? The charts were currently full to bursting with mind-numbing boy and girl bands with massive PR companies all trying to knock one another off the top spot by ploughing in huge sums of cash for advertising. OK, so ‘our’ band never had this kind of marketing muscle made available to them, but what they lacked there, they more than made up for in the quality of tracks lovingly placed on the album.
We advised you to sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that whilst there was all this rubbish in the charts you could simply put on the new Madness CD and listen to some quality music!!
Following the band’s appearance on TFI Friday and The National Lottery, Simon Roberts had been busy encoding the video footage, ready for the rest of us to download. Weighing in at just over two megabytes each, the clips weren’t brilliant quality, but for many who were still on dial-up at the time, they wouldn’t take too long to download or stream.
Elsewhere, Vincent Carden reported that a number of CDR acetates were currently doing the rounds. The discs featured the following tracks:
– Drip Fed Fred (Conspiracy mix)
– We want Freddie
– Light of the way
The above could be picked up for the small sum of £20. Very little, for those hardcore collectors used to paying a small fortune for such things to add to their ever-growing Madness library.
Moving on, and the TMML’s Scatty reported that in a recent email from Virgin it stated that a re-mastered version of Divine Madness was on its way, and that it may have the new singles on it, too.
And, for those keen to embrace the new DVD technology it looked as if a DVD release was on the cards.
On a sad note, `Total Madness Mailing List` maintainer, Jenny Payne revealed that The Magnificent Seven’s plans to play on Spanish soil had now been halted. No further news was available at the time of this issue being released, but if we heard anything, we’d let you know.
Onto this issue now, and as usual it was full to bursting. The latest catalogue from Madness mail order giant, PLR Madmail had recently been released. If you weren’t subscribed to their mailing list or you’d not had the pleasure of ordering from them in the past, perhaps the article in this issue would change all that.
Staying with you record collectors out there. We suggested you plan your trips to Camden by making sure they co-incide with one of their famous record fairs.
Further on, and `Uncle Mart` gave us his views on the whole Madness comeback saga. If you were of a nervous disposition, we suggested you may have wanted to skip this one!
If you were one of those people whose idea of heaven would include numerous pints of beer and lots of irrelevant Madness chat, then Mr. G’s announcement that the `Mc Madmeet 2` was in the planning stages would obviously be of interest to you. Thanks to Mr. G, we had dates and contact addresses. All you had to do was sign up.
Peter Gardner of the TMML told us that the re-mastered version of `Divine Madness` was already receiving varying release dates depending on what website you visited. Our suggestion was that you got the diary out and penciled-in multiple reminders over the course of a couple of months!
And finally, thanks to Claire Keegan, we had the most up-to-date gig listing for the excellent Madness tribute band, `Complete Madness`.
With a gig listing this large, there was no excuse for not seeing them play live at least once!
You’ve reached the end of this weekend’s lean edition of the MIS. We’ll be back next week, but with current venue closures and restrictions of gatherings in place it could be another slim issue.
If you you hear of anything newsworthy related to our favourite band then please send it in. We’ll be only too happy to include it.