Last week our big news was the mass upheaval of Suggs gigs which saw many of the planned autumn performances move into next year.
This week there’s nothing like that to report. In fact, there’s very little to report on at all as it’s been such a lean seven days for Madness and Madness related news. These lulls in band activity are to be expected now that almost every gig has moved into 2021.
As we have mentioned previously. If the news slows to a trickle for a length of time we may decide to move the MIS to a fortnightly release schedule until things pick up. The MIS has been weekly for 21 years, so hopefully it won’t come to this.
On to what little news we do have, and this week we were pleased to see UK bargain web site Hot UK Deals feature a Madness bargain that was well worth snapping up. The offer announced that you could purchase the ebook version of Madness’ autobiography “Before we was we” for a mere 99 pence! We kid you not. Check out our “Buy it” section for more details.
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 845 – Sunday 19th July to Saturday 25th July 2015
The issue got underway with us directing you to a YouTube video of Suggs singing “London Calling” by the Clash at a recent event hosted by Jools Holland. Suggs’ performance was in aid of the Joe Strummer Foundation charity, and it can still be viewed by going to: https://youtu.be/-uupu_pe9Jo
The previous week we’d mentioned that the band had got on board the new Periscope platform, and this week we commented that it was nice to see the Madness fanbase having a go at hosting their very own Periscope video feeds. At the time the issue went out we’d not actually managed to catch any of these streams as we were busy when they’d aired.
“Keep the Periscope broadcasts coming”, we said. We thought it could prove to be a fun way for Madness fans to share experiences.
On to “Sign of the Times”, and with the summer tour continuing this weeks’ content had a good smattering of Rhyl coverage as the band had recently performed there. A couple of reviews were present, and both gave the gig a resounding thumbs up.
“It was a fantastic night and it showed the potential of a fantastic town with fantastic people. For that reason alone it will live long in the memory.”
This section also featured two segments covering our favourite drummer, Woody. in the first we pointed you in the direction of an audio recording of Woody’s interview with phoenixFM while in the second we urged you to check out a link to BBC Radio Suffolk where Woody could be heard talking about his first, his last, his everything.
Further on, we passed the baton over to subscriber Rob Wardlaw who continued giving us the lowdown of his Grandslam weekend. In the last issue he attended Haydock, and wondered what the Scottish might make of the supporting intro. This week he was onto Carlisle, the most northern English gig, and Montrose the Scottish date.
Following this we moved into our “MIS Feature” where we reported that recently uploaded to the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra web site music player was a new, unheard dub mix of “Soul Serenade”.
We rounded off this issue with news in from Daren West who reported that Madness would be appearing on Top of the Pops 1980 on BBC 4. We had a strong hunch it would be the band performing Night Boat to Cairo, but we couldn’t be certain.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 585 – Sunday 18th July – Saturday 24th July 2010
Here at MIS Online we always enjoyed the video clips produced and uploaded to video sharing web site, YouTube. They’ve made us laugh, or at the very least, have brought a smile to our faces.
Well, it turned out that Mick Jenner had been hard at work in his editing suite/back bedroom, and had now released what was without a doubt his most impressive piece of work to date.
Weighing in at just over 5 minutes in length was the professional looking “Madness… Camden Video Locations” video, which, as the title suggested, detailed various places in and around Camden where Madness video shoots or performances took place.
Unless you saw it you couldn’t begin to appreciate just how much time and effort had gone into this. We were treated to a lovely animated London Underground tube/street map, which explained how to get to each location, a great voice-over by Rudie Ruthie, and, something that musthave taken an age to do – wonderful transitions from video footage of each location today, fading gradually into the footage from the original.
On to comedy next, and this week we discovered that UKTV’s Gold channel had turned to Suggs and the rest of Madness to promote their Summer schedule.
The campaign was due to revolve around the Madness song ‘House of Fun’ which would be the theme for all of Gold’s summer promos and branding elements from the Friday following this issue of the MIS going out until the end of August.
A spokesman for UKTV said the campaign was borne out of the idea that the behaviour of Brits during the summer is “Madness” as the British public get out their bad tattoos, wear socks with sandals and men take their tops off at any opportunity.
The four ads, which were made by Red Bee media, featured Suggs and Madness in front of a graphic of the Gold mind map and featured the new tagline “Stick Something Funny On”.
On the weekend of the 9th to the 11th July the annual T in the Park concert took place at Balado, Kinross-shire. This week, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we were pleased to announced that the BBC had made 11 minutes of Madness’ performance available for viewing online.
House of Fun seemed to be the highlighted track on the BBC web site, but you could also listen to NW5, Forever Young and It Must be Love.
Both picture and sound quality were excellent, making watching/listening to this footage well worth your time.
We brought this issue to a close with a review of the T in the Park gig from the Herald Scotland web site, and news in from subscriber ‘”Gordy”, who revealed;
“There was a wee BBC crew following the chaps about for a separate documentary thingy, which will also surface on BBC3/4 in the autumn.”
15 years ago…
Issue number 323 – Sunday 17th July to Saturday 23rd July 2005
We started off this week’s issue with a rather pointless silly space filling interview from the latest edition of the NME. Apparently, NME writer Peter Robinson took this kind of approach with most pop people he ends up interviewing. Once you’d wasted your time reading that piffle we recommended you went out and bought MOJO magazine. It proved to be a far more interesting read.
Next-up was Jon Young, with his review of the recent Rise Festival, an anti racism event, which played host to such artists as Suggs, Carl and Billy Bragg.
With plenty of reggae music being played on the main stage and records by the Specials early on, Jon Young commented at the time that it felt like it was early in the day at a Madstock concert.
Suggs and Carl played a short set, which consisted of:
1. My Girl
2. So Much Trouble in the world
3. It Must Be Love
4. One Love (Drop the Debt).
Jon Young’s reporting coverage continued in the next article, where he gave us a hazy review of a recent Crunch! gig (with JAG on support) where he’d had far too much cider for his own good.
The 19 track gig featured the following tracks:
1. Pop My Top
2. Here He Comes
3. Birthday Girl
4. Can’t Keep a Good Thing Down
5. Going Solo
7. Boy In The Box
8. Fur Elise
9. Always (The Innocent)
10. Saving for a rainy day
14. Tap Dance
15. It’s OK I’m a Policeman
16. Saints and sinners
18. You Got It
19. Magic Carpet
There was even more gig reviewing goodness from Jon Young in the next article (does this man sleep?!), where he reviewed the third and final Dangermen gig at The Scala, which took place on July 12th.
Jon noted that this gig saw a slight drop in numbers, ad this was probably down to the recent London bombing troubles and related transport problems the tragedies had caused.
The band managed to knock out the following 16 tracks during the course of the evening:
1 Danger man (High wire)
2 It Mek
3 Shame and Scandal
4 You Keep me hanging on
5 Girl (why don’t you answer to your name)
8 Lose a Good Thing
9 The Prince
11 So Much Trouble
12 The Israelites
13 John Jones
14 Chase The Devil
15 Night Boat To Cairo
16 Papas got a Brand new Pig Bag
Jon commented at the time;
“There has been a small amount of shouting for “Madness songs” at these Dangermen gigs. The odd shout for One Step beyond, Sun and the Rain and even Night boat to Cairo even just after they had already played it! But most bizarrely tonight were the shouts for “Blue Day” I can only think there was a party of Chelsea fans in.”
With the promotional bandwagon now in full swing, we took a look at what TV and radio appearances the band had lined-up over the coming weeks. Coupled with a number of magazine appearances, the new album was certainly getting a fair old push!
We finished off this week’s edition of the MIS with the sad note that on Sunday 17th July, the ‘Godfather of Ska’, Laurel Aitken, died of a heart attack at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.
Aitken was born in Cuba on April 22, 1927 and moved to his father’s homeland of Jamaica in 1938. In 1957 he began his recording career with the single “Roll Jordan Roll.” The double A-side “Little Sheila” / “Boogie in my Bones” was the first single released on Chris Blackwell’s Island Records, one of the first ever ska records, and the first Jamaican recording ever released in England. Aitken relocated to the U.K. and recorded numerous hits throughout the 60s.
He was later acknowledged as “an elder statesman to the Two Tone ska revival movement of the punk era” (AllMusic).
The 2-Tone era saw Aitken performing with the English Beat, touring with mod band Secret Affair, and backed by punk/reggae act the Ruts.
In the 80s Aitken regularly toured the U.K. and recording with British act Potato 5. In 1986 appeared in mod film Absolute Beginners alongside David Bowie. Throughout the late 90s he performed with several third-wave ska acts, including the Toasters and the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble. Most recently, 2002 saw the release of Live at Club Ska.
20 years ago…
Issue number 62 – Sunday 16th July to Saturday 22nd July 2010
We’d had Suggs presenting the Channel 5 karaoke show ‘Night Fever’, heading a 3 person team on the BBC’s `A Question of Pop`, and a Christmas or two back the Madness frontman was even mucking in with the animals in `An Animal Adventure`.
Well, it looked like Graham McPherson was once again trying his hand with yet another venture, this time as a presenter of ITV’s `The Real Car Show`.
“The following was taken from the current issue of the Radio Times.
Monday 17th July, 8.00PM ITV The Real Car Show – First of a six part series telling real-life car stories with a twist, presented by Suggs and Julia Bradbury. Including the experience of Charlotte, whose broken down vehicle led to a whirlwind romance with the recovery man and a chat about autos with celebrity guest Toyah Wilcox
The show’s trailers on Tyne Tees also had `Driving In My Car` as the soundtrack”.
Calling all Specials fans. Yes, we knew it wasn’t Madness, but we were certain this would interest more than a few of our readers. The Open University had recently aired a programme about problems faced by residents living in both rural and urban communities. Nothing too exciting about that you may add, apart from the fact it was presented by ex Specials frontman, `Terry Hall`. Since he left the band many years back he’d given Coventry the boot and instead had settled down in the countryside. Apparently the city life was making him very depressed and the escape to the country was just what he needed.
Now he was back in the city in an attempt to persuade his girlfriend (who is about to marry) to move with him out to the countryside to enjoy the way of life he has become familiar with. We didn’t actually see the future Mrs. Hall, but instead a number of university lecturers chatting with Terry and discussing the pros and cons of city and countryside life.
The whole programme was interspersed with clips from classic Specials videos making it a light-hearted but educational 30 minutes. Could we expect to see future `Open University` programmes featuring other well known pop celebrities? We’d have to wait and see.
Next, we passed the MIS reigns over to subscriber Christian Munk, who wanted to know what had happened to the 12″ versions of the songs that were missing from ‘The Business’.
Once Christian had chance to get that off his chest we dived in the latest fanzine round-up, which this week looked at Record Collector’s short but sweet review of Stuart Wright’s fantastic Nut Inc fanzine.
The review didn’t sound very informative, but it did get across a few of the basic contents on offer.
How did the prospect of bagging a fully signed Ian Dury tribute concert programme sound? Well, if you were interested, Cancer Bacup were now taking bids. The auction started at £100. We’d have to wait to find out what the final closing price would be. Those who didn’t have deep pockets to bid on the signed version could instead bag themselves an un-signed one for a mere £5. With all profits going to the extremely worthwhile Cancer Bacup charity, it would have been rude not to.
We finished off this week’s MIS with a short review from subscriber Andy Thomas, of the Crunch! gig which took place at the Camden Underworld on the 14th of July.
Andy told us at the time;
“Crunch! played all kinds of favourites like: Fur Elise, Magic Carpet, People!, Birthday Girl etc.
The gig only lasted for an hour or so, but the atmosphere was very good and the whole audience seemed to want more all the time!
The band was in great form and although Lee didn’t remember all the lines, I think he had some great help from the members of the audience who sang along to most of the songs. Thanks Becky and Madame Barso for your vocal support!”
That’s almost it for this week’s issue of the MIS.
Before we urge you to check out the Completist Madness Facebook group if you haven’t already.
This isn’t a place for general Madness chit-chat, but a group where fans can show off their rare and unusual items and answer questions other members post up in response. There’s been a load of really fascinating bits and pieces posted up there over the past few weeks including a pair of Michael Caine glasses, a Madness clock from Geffen Records, the 1982 Madness / Bow Wow Wow Japanese tour programme and a general admission ticket to see Madness at Whisky A Go Go on 14th March 1980, to mention but a few.