Over the last few months we’ve seen the gradual decimation of Madness’ tour schedule for the remainder of 2021 unfold as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take hold and lockdown restrictions remain in place.
Eagle-eyed readers will have no doubt noticed that Suggs’ own tour dates have remained in place. That was until this week.
Half of the Suggs King Cnut 2020 tour has now been postponed until 2021. You’ll find details of these new dates in our regular “Showtimes” section further on in this issue.
The Scottish dates have now moved to March 2021 while over 10 UK dates have moved to April and May 2021 of next year.
Chelmsford Theatre have suspended sales and announced their show as “on hold” so expect that it’s likely the remaining 12 dates in October 2020 may also move at some future point. If they do we’ll update you in a future issue. Both local councils who administer local venues and theatre sales level differ across the tour. Added to this, the later scheduling of some of the dates means not all decisions can be processed as immediately as others.
On a jollier note, this week saw the release of the Madheads version of the legendary “Our House” video, which was uploaded to the official Madness YouTube account. We all need something to cheer us up in this interesting times, and watching this be certain to raise a smile.
Description: 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 throughout its tenure including the aforementioned Specials.
This 40th Anniversary 8-CD Collection contains the first 8 albums released on the label, with offerings by The Specials, The Selecter and Rico, along with the sought-after live concert album ‘Dance Craze’ and the ‘This Are Two Tone’ which includes a host of non-album releases.
Record Store Day – Work Rest and Play ** confirmed release date **
Release date: 29th August
Format: Double 7″ single
Cat No. BMGCAT430DSV
Fortieth anniversary re-issue of Madness’ “Work Rest & Play EP” – the follow-up to their debut album, 1979’s “One Step Beyond…”
Limited edition Record Store Day 2020 release on double 7” format with a triple gatefold sleeve including photos from the time of the original release.
Night Boat To Cairo
Deceives The Eye
The Young And The Old
Don’t Quote Me On That
Record Store Day – Dance Craze 40th Anniversary Edition ** confirmed release date **
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.
Mirror in the Bathroom
Lip up Fatty
Razor Blade Alley
Three Minute Hero
One Step Beyond
Man at C&A
Inner London Violence
Night Boat to Cairo
Too Much Pressure
I Remember Way Back When
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 844 – Sunday 12th July to Saturday 18th July 2015
We hoped you’d enjoyed the Grandslam so far, and continued to enjoy further dates on this UK-wide run of gigs. For now, though, the Grandslam took a Summer break, until September when the concerts were due to kick off once again.
With the absence of Madness gigs during July and August we suggested that you may have wanted to check out The Ska Orchestra in Wales or London where they’d be airing a selection of new tunes that would feature on their forthcoming “Bite the Bullet” album.
Over in our regular “Sign of the Times” section we were pleased to see that the Daily Mirror had given Woody’s new album “In Your Mind” a very respectable four out of five, declaring it “surprisingly psychedelic, harmony soaked and life affirming”.
In this section we also included a link to an interview Woody gave to pointfm where he spoke about the Grandslam tour, the set and touring in small doses.
Next, and in “Live and Intensified” we featured a review of the recent Montrose Grandslam gig which had bee penned by reporter Graeme Strachan. The review was glowing, and made special mention of the audience being made up of all ages.
Also in this section we had reviews of the Haycock gig courtesy of Chris Walker, Rob Wardlaw and Nicky Evans, and a lengthy Carlisle write up from Paul McWatt.
We brought this issue to a close by mentioning that at one of the recent Grandslam gigs the MIS had managed to have a quick chat with a certain Mark Bedford. Mark confirmed that the Ska Orchestra’s second KO was nearly completed with possibly one more session of overdubs required to take place.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 584 – Sunday 11th July – Saturday 17th July 2010
We kicked this issue off with a very brief intro, before starting with our first article of the week.
Speaking to The Herald Scotland, Suggs described One Step Beyond as “A Clarion Call”, and said this of their forthcoming T in the Park gig;
“We’re very much looking forward to it, and we know people will want to hear the big hits. No-one goes to hear Stevie Wonder play his new concept album when he could be doing Superstition. We’ll still be jumping, but maybe not quite so high, and Lee is still flying now and again. We still all get that competitive feeling on stage.”
Next, we took a look at the band Sore Throat, where band member Uncle Matt explained that members of Madness used to come and see them play during 1977 and 1978. In March 1978 he gave Madness their big break when he asked them to support Sore Throat at The Music Machine (later to be called the Camden Palais) in Camden Town. It was the first name they performed under the name Madness.
Back to the present, and it was over to Retro Madness for details of their latest offer. This week they’d reduced the price of the 1998 USA live album “Universal Madness” from £14.99 to £9.99, including postage and packing. Bargain!
Deaf School news next, and Duff Kelly reported that the band had announced two new gigs for August. The band would be playing at The Dublin Castle on Thursday and Friday 5th and 6th, before playing at the Newmarket Festival on the 7th.
We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with another one of Paul Rodgers’ stat-filled article. This week he reported that;
“Last week the The Rise And Fall and Keep Moving made their official debuts on the chart dated 10 July 2010 (minus the sales that generated the indie chart placings of the previous week). They were placed thusly:
The Rise And Fall 169 (new entry on the main album chart) and climbing to 17 on the indie chart
Keep Moving 196 (new entry on the main album chart) and climbing to 20 on the indie chart
Meanwhile Ultimate Madness fell to 191 on its fourth week on the main chart and number 19 on the indie chart, making the filling in a sandwich made of your finest Rise And Fall and Keep Moving bread!”
15 years ago…
Issue number 322 – Sunday 10th July to Saturday 16th July 2005
We started off this week’s issue of the MIS on a sombre note, but also one of coming together, following the bombings which took place in London this Thursday just gone.
The support from other Madness fans across the globe was been nothing short of staggering. Almost as soon as the incidents took place a number of French Madness fans sent messages to the Madness Trading Ring offering their best wishes, followed by emails from the US and more from France which were either posted on the MTR or sent to us directly.
Madness fan and MOT drummer Dan Fossard was a mere two streets away when the bus bomb went off. We understand that Chris Carter-Pegg was on the tube when the tube bomb went off, and part of the MIS editorial team (Jonathan Young) were staying in a hotel in Kings Cross at the time.
For those of you who lived, worked or had friends who lived or worked in London we passed on our support and well wishes as many others had already done.
Those of who were planning to see The Dangermen on Tuesday at The Scala needed to be aware that at the time of typing the only tube line in action at Kings Cross Station was The Metropolitan, so you were advised to plan your journey accordingly.
Moving on to less serious and more Madness related things, we started off the issue with a review of June 28th Dangerman gig at The Scala, which had been taken from the Independant Newspaper. The reviewer gave the gig a glowing write-up, and finished off by handing out a very respectable 4 out of 5 stars.
Next-up was Jon Young’s “The North London Stage Invaders” article, which took a look at the three types of stage invading Madness fan.
1 – The startled drunk fan.
2 – The little excited kid.
3 – The big old boots and braces aging skin head.
Further on, and we passed the issue over to the Orange Street boys, who gave us an update on what they were doing, and where you could next see them live. With gigs ranging from small pubs to massive festivals, we all had a good chance of catching them on stage.
Passing the MIS baton back to Jon Young, it was time for a history lesson, as our co-editor took a look at the history of the track “Shame and Scandal”, which the band were currently airing in their live sets.
Jonathan’s research revealed that the earliest known version of the song “Shame and Scandal” featured in the RKO-film “I Walked With A Zombie.” (Black and white 1943).
Next we had Kev Tizzard, who kindly gave us all a heads-up on a Capital Gold interview Mike and Suggs gave on Saturday 9th July.
Being the kind soul that he is, he’d even managed to capture the audio, and make it available for the rest of us to download or stream.
Chris Carter-Pegg took over proceedings for the next article, where he reported on the August edition of Mojo magazine, which featured a massive 7 page article on Madness, together with an additional page to feature their recent Hall of Fame award.
Across the channel was our next port of call, where French MIS editor, Jean-Pierre Boutellier put together a short but excited article announcing that Madness had a single (Shame and Scandal) at number 26 and an album (The Dangermen Sessions) at number 39 in the French music charts.
Apparently this was the first time Madness have been in the top 40 French album charts since 1981!
We finished off this issue with a massive review from Jonathan Young, who had returned from The 10th South Cotswold Beer Festival where he’d seen North London band MOT play their biggest gig to date. The band went down so well, that they played 25 minutes past the end of the music licence!
5 years later, drummer Dan Fossard, would return to The South Cotswold Beer Festival with one of his new bands (the other being “Big 10”), Jason and The Skagonaughts, to bring the proverbial house down.
20 years ago…
Issue number 61 – Sunday 9th July to Saturday 15th July 2000
Since last week, rumours had been flying left, right and center with regards to the unofficial announcement that the Christmas tour for this year was a no goer. Well, we could can safely reveal that if a Christmas tour did go ahead it would be a near miracle. The problem was that half of the band were keen to take part in an end of year tour of the UK, but the other half of Madness wanted to give it a miss this year and get on with their own things. We had extract of a recent interview with Cathal Smyth from France-based Skanews later in this issue, and you could find out just what Cathal has to say on the matter there.
Still, it wasn’t all doom and gloom though as top tribute bands, One Step Behind had an avalanche of tour dates planned over the coming months and you could find them in this very issue.
News reached us this week, courtesy of the NME, that last month’s Ian Dury tribute gig at the Brixton Academy, which saw artists such as Robbie Williams and Madness take to the stage, raised a whopping £61,761 for the Cancer Bacup charity.
Moving on, and as Simsey sent us a final report following the recent Rhythmstock, we were able to pass on the news that a presentation cheque had been prepared, and was now available for viewing online.
We were assured that the real cheque would be hand delivered to the Cancer Bacup offices shortly.
Remember a few weeks back we mentioned Wizard’s Inns announcement that they’d be running a competition to name a new Upminster pub?
Naturally, Madness fans were hoping to give it a name to commemorate the late great Ian Dury. Sadly, this week we learned that our campaign had failed, and that the decision had been made. The name of the new drinking establishment would be “The Crumpled Horn”.
Next up was Vince Carden, with news that Carl had given him permission to run a Velvet Ghost related competition. It was a competition to see who could come up with the best name for the Velvet Ghost’s forthcoming album. The winning prize would be a Madness vinyl clock, and, if the suggestion was really good, the name you suggested as the album name.
We finished off this week’s issue with an interview with The Velvet Ghost, courtesy of the excellent Skanews magazine.
Lee Thompson Goes Walkin’ with Weller
Beyond Madness, my second favourite British act of all time is Paul Weller. Relations have been friendly and collegial among them over the decades, dating back to Weller citing “Embarrassment” as an inspiration for the Motown beat of The Jam’s “Town Called Malice.” Of particular note, while working as an early ’90s A&R rep at Go! Discs, Carl Smyth helped Weller launch his solo career. In the past year, Weller joined Madness on stage at House of Common 2019 to great acclaim, and he guested on Suggs’s Love Letters to London BBC Radio 4 series, which saw the pair of them duetting on “Nobody’s Fool” by Ray Davies.
And now Lee Thompson has turned in a guest spot on Weller’s high-profile new album. On Sunset went straight in at #1 in the UK, giving Weller the accomplishment of topping the album chart in five consecutive decades, a feat matched only by Lennon and McCartney. There’s no American angle in reporting this Weller and Thompson collaboration (safe to say On Sunset isn’t making history in the U.S. charts), but when anyone from Madness teams up with one of my other musical heroes, you better believe Stateside Madness will have something to say about it!
Thommo contributes a laid-back sax solo on the Weller-penned track “Walkin’.” Paul has been enthusiastic in his praise for Lee’s work. “I’ve seen Lee playing blinders in recent years, both with Madness and with his Ska Orchestra. He’s a terrific player.”
Have a listen to “Walkin’” (Lee comes in around 1.38)
So what do I think? Honestly, it’s a bit disappointing. The song isn’t the most interesting on the album, and it sounds a lot like a reworking of “Here’s the Good News” from 2005’s As Is Now (which wasn’t one of the most interesting on that album, either). Probably unfairly, I had imagined this would amount to something more like Lee’s brilliant guest sax on The Specials’ “Hey, Little Rich Girl,” where it’s 100% that inimitable Lee Jay Kix Thompson sound, whereas the “Walkin’” solo could be any decent session player.
I believe my reaction to On Sunset has suffered from too much anticipation and advance buildup. This is also the case with the 7-minute opening track “Mirror Ball,” which has been hyped as an epic creative watershed in every Weller article and interview for the past year, but hits me – as much as it pains me to say – as a boring swing and a miss. (Apologies, Paul.)
But new songs do often need to grow on you, and I will say that I’m warming up to “Walkin’” the more I listen to it. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s a nice, breezy, easygoing summer tune. I’m happy Lee Thompson played on it. This partnership between Weller and Thommo gives me hope that someday I’ll get my fantasy wish of hearing Paul belt out a cover of a certain old Madness tune he rated back in the day. That one what Lee wrote.
Sign of the Times
Check out new date to see Madness legend Suggs at New Theatre Royal Lincoln next year
Graham McPherson – aka Suggs – is the legendary frontman of British chart favourites Madness. Due to popular demand following his first tour-de-force, smash hit, sell out tour with My Life Story, Suggs is treading the boards again – and this is a new date for his visit to Lincoln.
If the first show was about how on earth he made it, this one is about the many surprises that awaited him when he did.Vertigo on the roof of Buckingham Palace, nearly blowing the closing ceremony of the Olympics, theembarrassing stuff that happened at Glastonbury.
Things have gone a smidge surreal since the Madness frontman was a 12-year-old in shorts on the tough streets of North London.With help from Deano, his trusty pianist, Suggs tells his story in words and music with the help of some Madness classics and a couple more he wrote himself.
If you still want more, you may be interested to learn that on Friday 7th August Nick Woodgate’s band “The Jojo Man Band” releases their latest single “The Ladykillers” on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
What’s of more immediate interest is that Nick has made it free to listen to and free to download on Bandcamp. Check it out at https://thejojomanband.bandcamp.com and do let Nick what you think of it.