We begin this latest issue of the MIS with the sad news that on Friday 11th September the legendary Toots Hibbert, frontman of the legendary “Toots and the Maytals”, passed away at the age of 77.
Madness fans were clearly upset at learning the news, with many either re-posting obituaries or detailing the occasions they were lucky enough to catch him performing in the UK.
If you’ve not had read it, you may be interested to learn that the BBC have put together a detailed obituary on their news site, which you can find at the following link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-54129368. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time.
Our thoughts are with Toots’ family and friends at this difficult time.
On to jollier news now, and in this weeks’ issue we are pleased to announce that our Lee Thomson signed Benny Bullfrog lyrics fundraiser is now up and running. Check out our “MIS Feature” and place a bid. You’ve got two weeks to do it!
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 – Dance Craze 40th Anniversary Edition
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 853 – Sunday 13th September to Saturday 19th September 2015
The day before this issue went out across the internet, Madness performed at the County Ground in Bristol. The excellent September weather played host to what was the band’s first concert in the city since the 1980s.
Naturally, Lee was his usual energetic self, and while the costume changes were absent he was continually larking around on stage, and moving from the far left to the far right, ensuring that as many people could see him perform as possible. He stood on speaker stacks, made funny jokes to members of the audience who were smoking some of the strongest weed you’ve likely ever smelled, and at one point even pretended to pee on one of the security staff. He did this by filling his mouth full of water, standing on a speaker stack above the staff member, un-zipping his trousers, and then dribbling water on the head of the man below. All this was much to the amusement of those watching on.
Much of the audience seemed to be made up of people who’d never seen the band live before (you could tell this as during the well known songs they don’t sing along). This was most apparent with Chris’ legendary showtime, which on this evening was Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. Regulars took this as was meant – firmly tongue in cheek. Others looked on blankly, and some even booed! If further evidence was needed to show that this was lost on people, one or two even took to the Madness Facebook page to ask what it was all about.
In the run-up to the gig Suggs spoke to the Bristol Evening Post newspaper where he discussed the lasting appeal of the band and how Ian Dury and Ray Davies of The Kinks both had an influence and impact on some of the band’s hits.
The band also took time out of their busy UK touring schedule to pop over to Gibraltar where they performed a full set. The crowd here were also treated to Bon Jovi for Chris’ Showtime segment. Hopefully it went down better than it did in Bristol.
Our “MIS Feature” this week was entitled “It Must be Wet”, and reported that he guitar from the It Must be Love video was up for sale on Ebay. The slighty battered guitar with chipping paint was said be playable despite its underwater miming sequences on screen in the famous vid. While we didn’t 100% know for sure if it was the genuine deal, the seller had near 500 positive feeback for their ebay sales. They also presented the following story as to how it was obtained from Stiff Record press agent Nigel Dick…
Here’s a question for you. If you were a young Press Agent, working with the likes of Madness at Stiff Records 30 odd years ago, who then went on to become a famous video director and you saw a guitar lying around the office, what would you do? I’ll tell you because after I bought this guitar, I contacted a fella called Nigel Dick, by email, who has since had a rather marvellous career directing the original Band Aid video, Guns and Roses, Oasis, etc, etc. check out his Wikipedia entry, it’s pretty impressive. Here’s what he replied to me, (copy of email will be included in the sale).
“The Strat was used in the Madness video. I was working at Stiff at the time and when it came back from the shoot (it was played under water in a swimming pool) there was still water inside the guitar. Consequently the rental house refused to take the guitar back and the label was forced to buy the guitar.
At that point the guitar lingered in a cupboard for months if not years. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask if I could use it and was told I could keep it.
The email goes on to explain how the wood was cracking and being a Rory Gallagher fan he decided to whack it with a hammer to try and get a Rory effect!
So there you have it and amazingly the guitar still plays really well!
It’s got fantastic provenance so I’m guessing it should be a pretty good investment.
Chris Foreman said at the time:
“It could be real but I don’t know where all the damage came from. During the video the guitar kept pulling me up (as it’s wooden), so I put two lead weights from the diving kit in my back pockets. These however, nearly dragged me under. I wasn’t going to go in the pool but we thought it would look good. Dave Robinson and I tried to dry it with a hair dryer. The neck was really bent and Stiff had to buy it. The guitar subsequently appeared in a lot of Stiff videos with other acts and also on Top of The Pops.”
We brought this issue to a close by pointing yo to a YouTube video compilation of wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who, during a recent series of Winterwatch managed to sneak the names of a whopping 22 Madness singles into his script. You can still check it out at https://youtu.be/eYA0XholjPg
10 years ago…
Issue Number 593 – Sunday 23rd September – Saturday 18th September 2010
This issue got off the starting blocks with an update from the one and only Paul Rodgers, who had this to report;
“Wonderful has just entered the independent albums chart at number 16, which suggests a placing somewhere between 175 and 200 in the main albums chart (I get to see the top 200 on Wednesday evenings). Another good showing for a reissued album, especially one that has cult appeal having obviously not been released in the 80s.
Here’s hoping Mad Not Mad follows in its wake in a few weeks (although it appears to have been put back a week in the schedules for a 4 October release date)”.
No doubt Paul would have further chart and/or Mad Not Mad release date news for us over the coming weeks.
Our articles got underway thanks to subscriber Christian Munk, who was here to give his thoughts and opinions on the recent swathe of Madness re-issues. While he was happy that these albums were being re-released, the one thing he wasn’t happy were some of the “re-mastered” tracks;
“I order all of the CD’s – not for the albums, as previous re-issues already sound perfectly good, but for the 12″ mixes, direct from tape.
Alas, I am in for a big surprise: A number of the 12-inches are vinyls transferred and “digitally remastered”, as it says on the CDs. Some of these are Tomorrow’s Just Another Day (the worst-sounding), Wings Of A Dove, and Michael Caine.
On these tracks, vinyl artifacts such as vinyl rumble, high-frequency distortion and even a few crackles are clearly audible. I “re-mastered” these tracks from vinyl years ago, manually removing rumble and crackles to a higher degree than what has been released now, but the distortion was unavoidable, and so my wish for true tape-to-CD re-releases remained”
Next we moved on to something that would no doubt interest the collectors out there, as we published the latest offer from those nice people over at Retro Madness. Deleted for the past five years, RM had a small batch of “The Business”, which they were selling for £29.99 including UK p+p. With Ebay and Amazon listing the album for as much as £60 the RM asking price was nothing short of a bargain.
Moving on, and it was on to Ian Dury news as the cast had finally been revealed for Reasons to be Cheerful, the London production of the Dury themed stage show.
The show was due to feature Nadia Albina, Stephen Collins, Stephen Lloyd, Daniel McGowan, Garry Robson and Karen Spicer, who would be backed by a six-piece band.
Further on it was over to Jonathan Young who gave those of you who’d recently purchased the recent Wonderful re-issue access to an audio Easter egg. All you had to do was go to a particular page in the album’s booklet, find a certain word and then use that word as part of an MP3 URL.
Cancellation news next, as the band announced that they would not be appearing in Scarborough on the 18th September as advertised. This was, apparently, down to a number of issues with the promoter, which made it impossible for the show to go ahead.
The band had spoken directly with the venue, and anyone who had bought a ticket was advised to contact the point of purchase for a full refund.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Jean Pierre Boutellier of the French MIS had uploaded an in-depth review and selection of photos from Madness’ performance at the 2010 Festival of Humanity.
15 years ago…
Issue 332 – Sunday 11th September to Saturday 17th September 2005
We started off this week’s issue by reminding readers that this would be the last MIS before the US tour got into full swing on Sunday the 17th of September, at the Inland Invasion.
We were sure that reports of the gigs would be landing on the various Madness related news lists and web sites as soon as the fans returned to their homes – tired, weary and the music still buzzing in their ears.
We would of course be printing a selection of the best reviews in subsequent issues of the MIS, and many of these would also be appearing in Jermaine’s excellent Tour Madness publication.
In last week’s edition of the MIS the lack of Chas Smash at one or two of the recent gigs was given a brief mention by a couple of our subscribers. Keen to keep us all informed as to exactly why Mr. Smyth had been absent during these shows, subscriber Pauline Maddocks contacted us with an explanation.
It turned out that back in August Carl unfortunately took a turn for the worst, and it was discovered that he’d suffered a ruptured appendix. Since then he’d received surgery over in the USA, and at present remained there while he recovered.
It was unknown at this point if he’d be able to perform with the rest of the band whilst they undertook their Stateside tour, but we would of course keep you posted.
On to this week’s collection of articles, and we started these off by passing the reigns over to one Paul Muscat, who revealed that ‘The Dangermen Sessions Volume One’ had been a complete hit with the customers frequenting his coffee house.
“These two sisters (Alice 75 and Joan 73) were there sipping their large lattes with whipped cream (steamed to 200 degrees F!) when ‘You keep Me Hanging On’ comes on, and Alice leans over to Joan and goes ‘Wasn’t this used to be done by Diana Ross?’ hahahahahah Cool ladies indeed!”
Next-up was Birchy, who had managed to get his hands on scans of the forthcoming Dangermen picture disc, which you could now view in full on his web site. Birchy had been hard at work securing copies of this limited edition LP for fans, and would be sending them out in the coming weeks.
With those nights drawing in, and no doubt many of you already finding yourselves stuck with something to do on an evening, we decided to give you the full lowdown of Madness tribute band ‘One Step Behind’ had lined-up from between now and Christmas. As always, we asked that if you did manage to get along, to knock-up a review and send it in.
Moving on, and we (courtesy of North London based ‘Jag’) gave MIS readers the chance to win one of 10 free tickets to their next gig.
All you had to do was be amongst the first 10 to drop the band an email.
Next, we reported that further European tour dates were now planned, and the dates made public. The band would be performing The Dangermen Sessions at The Circus Royal, Brussels, Belgium on the 16th of October, The Olympia Hall, Paris on the 17th, and at the Heineken Music Hall, Holland on the 18th.
We finished off this week’s issue by explaining to our readers that over on The Madness Trading Ring mailing list, the latest ‘Mad Chart’ was in full swing, and nominations for your favourite Madness tracks were now being taken.
The submissions and chart creation was being organised by MTR subscriber Paul Muscat, who had the mind-numbing task of collating all these results, and trying to make sense of them.
This week we were contacted by Paul, who asked if MIS Online subscribers would also like to take part. Well, it’d be rude not to, right?
20 years ago…
Issue number 70 – Sunday 10th September to Saturday 16th September 2000
You may recall a few months back Madness Unsugged editor, Vince Carden set-up a competition to name the new album by Cathal Smyth’s new band `Velvet Ghost`. Well, Vince had since been in touch to tell us that the winner(s) should be announced soon, but he was just waiting for the all-clear from Cathal. As soon as anything was revealed, it would printed in the subsequent edition of the MIS.
Did you fancy getting together with a few like-minded people for some food, drink and a variety of good music? If so, we suggested you get yourself along to The TMML’s September Mini Madmeet. The plan was to meet up in Camden Town on Saturday 30th September from 1pm onwards.
If rumours and emails we’d been ready were correct, then Wednesday 27th of September could finally be the day we’d all been waiting a long time for, as the Madness edition of `Young Guns` finally aired on BBC2. Time to get those blank tapes at the ready!
Onto some `zine related news, and `Madness Unsugged` fanzine editor, Vincent Carden reported that he’d soon be doing an interview with a Blockhead and wanted you to ask some of the questions being fired at him. If you had a burning question, query or general poser, we suggested you sent Vince an email.
`Madness Unsugged` issue 5 would be out at the end of September.
Issues were usually 32 pages long, but this one would be a one-off 48 page special with a large dollop of Upminster in it to commemorate the recent passing of a certain Blockhead.
It’d been a few months since the Ian Dury Tribute concert which was held in London’s Brixton Academy, but TMML subscriber, Simsey had finally got round to developing the film, scanning in the pics, and making them available for online viewing;
“They’re not brilliant because the camera was held above my head in a dark, sweaty, smoky auditorium. But, you can make out Suggs, Kathy Burke, Wreckless Eric, Humphrey Ocean (the Kilburner who drew the picture on the cover of Baggy Trousers), Kix, Gilad Atzmon and Saffron”.
We were told to keep your eyes on Simsey’s site, because if went according to plan, there would be a selection of shots taken from the Crunch gig on 17th July available shortly.
We brought this issue to a close with an article from Lois Wilson of Mojo Magazine, where he went back to September 1st 1979 – the date when the 2 Tone craze swept Britain.
Benny Bullfrog Auction
Here at MIS we don’t just run the MIS but also websites like the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.
We do have costs to cover so we have a signed copy of the ‘Benny Bullfrog’ lyrics on two canvases by Lee Thompson to offer at silent auction.
We’d like to make it clear we are a non-profit making organisation and all the monies go back into the Madness community; in fact we had a fundraiser a few years ago.
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of one of the UK’s most successful and popular bands, this intimate portrait of Madness was captured in 2019 as the group play three homecoming shows at Camden’s Roundhouse and a unique show at the Electric Ballroom.
Available 19 September, Sky Arts 9:00pm
We’re almost done for this week, but before we go we have a quick request from the one and only Nick Woodgate.
“Can everybody do me a great favour and download my FREE track on the link below.
It will help me if enough people do, as it might get me some airplay in the long run.
It’s absolutely free, just click the blue download button that the link will show you to.