The year is rapidly drawing to a close, and in fact, next Friday 20th, should have played host to the tenth and final House of Fun Weekender in Minehead.
While gig after gig was cancelled during 2020 the HOF event continued to be listed, but even that was finally knocked on the head towards the back end of the Summer. With the UK currently in full lockdown it’s shown that band, management and Butlins definitely made the right choice to delay for 12 months.
So, what now? Is the final month and a half going to be devoid of any live Madness? Well, yes and no. While we’ve not heard of the band readying themselves for live performance streaming for December you’ll discover in this weeks’ “MIS Feature” that there’s a lot of live online broadcasting planned next week courtesy of the Madness fanbase.
Next, and early on Saturday evening Lee Thompson and Pauline Black teamed up to appear on the BBC TV quiz show “Celebrity Pointless”. If you failed to catch the show you can find the link to the iPlayer stream over in our “Sign of the Times” section. While you’re reading through that don’t forget to check out the link to the latest entry in the wonderful “Stateside Madness” blog. In this latest post regular MIS contributor Donald Trull gives an account of the band’s 1984 appearance on the legendary U.S. comedy and variety series, including their brush with a hamburger advertising icon and the show’s impact as America’s first big opportunity to see Madness “live”.
Finally, if the above wasn’t enough for you we have details of re-printed T-shirts available in the Madstore in our “Buy it” section, while our outro points you in the direction of some further listening once you’ve finished with this issue of the MIS.
Further items have now been added to the web site including the classic “ransom note” one from 1992 which spells “Madness” by using lettering from various famous logos, and a lovely “Wings of a Dove” t-shirt.
This album was previously available as a pop-up 4 disc gatefold LP priced at around £50. The 4-disc release is now sold out on vinyl.
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 862 – Sunday 15th November to Saturday 21st November 2015
Here we were; the last issue to go out before the 2015 Madness Weekender in Minehead was due to take place. And what an issue it was. It was absolutely huge. If you were to print it out it would have taken up 28 sides of A4 paper.
We began our HOF coverage with the full lowdown of all the event times for the weekend. If you wanted to know what was going on and where over the course of the three day event then this would have been of real interest to you.
Moving on, and in our “MIS Feature” we had a go at deciphering the lyrics to the newly heard track “Mumbo Jumbo”. We fully admitted that with Lee’s clever poetical intertwining of words and images in his lyrics it was never going to be an easy task, but the results of our efforts were lyrics that we believed were at least 90% correct.
Next, and it was back to the forthcoming House of Fun Weekender again as we revealed the MIS “Punch and Judy Prize Draw”. You had to register to be in with a chance of winning and had to be present for the draw which took place at Jaks’ on the Sunday of the Madness Weekender, but it was worth it as the prizes were superb. We had the Lovestruck pop-up theatre, t-shirts, beer, pump clips and much more besides.
Further on, and we moved on to our next (yes, we had more than one) “MIS Feature”. In this section we took a look at Amphetameanies, a band from Glasgow, who were bringing their brand of Ska to the Minehead weekend. We finished our article by saying; “The Amphetameanies are playing Saturday night in Reds, at 10.15pm. The Madness Saturday night show is scheduled to finish in the Skyline Pavilion at 10pm, a five minute walk away. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to get served at the bar. You do the sums”.
Elsewhere, we revealed the name of the lucky person who’d won the second copy of the Madstock CD/DVD combo, courtesy of Holly Barringer at BMG. We had so many great entries in that in the end we assigned each entry a number and then we asked someone not affiliated with the MIS to pick a number at random.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Retro Madness would be brining a mountain of discounted stock along to the Madness Weekender for you to spend your hard earned cash on, and that Paul Tadman posted on Twitter that 25 years ago this week (at the time it was originally posted) “The Nutty Boys” first stepped on stage at the Fleece & Firkin, Bristol. How time flies”.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 601 – Sunday 14th November – Saturday 20th November 2010
A really, really short intro got this week’s issue of the MIS off the starting blocks, and it was straight into “Bedders, Bowie, The Beatles and Beyond”.
What was this about? Well, after two nights of bass playing Mark Bedford was kind enough to tell us about his recent bass adventures. What were these adventures? Two nights of gigs playing alongside Terry Edwards and Green Gartside, all in aid of the Medicine Sans Frontieres charity. A very worthy cause indeed.
We rounded off this article with news of Bedders’ next musical outing, which would be at the Indo Bar, Whitechapel Road, on the 7th of December, as part of the Near Jazz Experience.
Moving on, and over the past few weeks visitors to the MadTube section of YouTube had been treated to rehearsals of a brand new Madness track. One that we hoped would be previewed on the forthcoming Christmas tour.
In this article we passed on the links to four video clips. The first captured the raw excitement and intensity of a Madness rehearsal, where you could witness the songwriting process in a day by day guide. This clip demonstrated the loops.
Clip two showed the recording process coming along. All the boys had to do was point the song in the right direction and it was surely another hit. Here, the band were practicing the intro with military precision.
Following this the band decided to tackle the first verse. You would have noticed that the band were going for something close to a Northern Soul sound. Finally, we brought you the chorus of the track. With this done and dusted, surely the band were on the home straight.
Only time would tell.
Book news next, and Jonathan took a look at a new book – Mad Bad and Dangerous, which featured numerous famous drummers. Yes, our very own Woody made an appearance!
“During this books’ look at the lives of drummers, about 40 drummers are spoken to. Woody is one of seven that are mentioned on the back cover. He appears, as far as I can see, three times in the text.
During a chapter about adversity, he talks about being extremely ill playing a belfast gig, and in relation to stamina a whole couple of pages is given over to the “oasis” double gig incident.
He pops up again with a couple of points during chapters about the cognitive process of memory and drumming, using a Baggy Trousers drum fill as his example, and talking about Bowie lifting my girl’s drumming. And in the drugs chapter he tells of a little San Francisco spaced out gig.”i
We brought this issue to a close with the new that The Skatalites would be performing in Bristol on the 26th of November, and that Catherine Tate’s previous year’s Christmas special, featuring Madness, would soon be available to purchase on DVD.
15 years ago…
Issue 341 – Sunday 13th November to Saturday 19th November 2005
We were pleased to hear that everyone was enjoying everything we’d been putting up in the MIS downloads section, but we’d forgotten one important thing to put in the MIS last week. Our thanks had go to Rob Wheeler who provided the majority of the files in our latest update.
Without his help the availability of much of the new material you saw there just wouldn’t have been possible.
Now it was our turn to request something from you. Our backlog of material to upload to the MIS downloads section was starting to run dry. So, if you had any non commercial audio or video you’d like to share with others we wanted to hear from you.
If the downloads section was to grow then we needed your help.
On to the articles, and we kicked-off with some fundraising news from Philly based Maddie, Joe Schipsi. Joe reported that as part of the VH1Classic Drive to raise money for the Hurricane Relief Fund they were asking US based viewers to make a donation and submit a song request from their online list.
Deciding that he couldn’t have just one video, he made donations for a whopping 8!
Five decades of Radio One was being celebrated on the station’s “Colin and Edith” this week. It included a quiz of the same name where the callers battled it out in a 10 question spot on their favourite band from radio ones last 50 years.
Since the middle of the week the reigning champion of these battles had been a Madness fan.
It was a big well done to Scott Williams from Port Talbot (Working for Kwik Fit Mobil in Bristol), who was not only a big fan since the age of 4 but also the Suggs-a-like in the tribute band Baggy Trousers, from Wales.
On the first day Scott Knocked out raining champion, a Kaiser Chief fan who had been on top for four days. He only got 5 out of 10, Scott managed 7 out of 10, answering nine questions.
By Friday, the questions were getting tougher, and tougher, and unfortunately Scott could only manage four correct answers. With his opponent racking-up more points it meant that sadly Scott’s run was over.
Scott was probably not be aware, but news of his appearance on the show quickly reached the subscribers of the Madness Trading Ring, and by Friday’s performance a good chunk of the list were tuning in to see how their ambassador of the nutty word was going. Although his stint on Radio 1 only lasted 3 days, it proved to be a good opportunity at giving the youth of today a chance to hear the sounds of Camden’s finest.
Moving on, and we had to confess that we weren’t 100% certain of the full details in the next interview and article. It’d been through at least 3 translations into French and back again since Suggs and Lee actually spoke.
Their usual use of humour when answering didn’t make the meanings any easier to be exact about here. Nevertheless we gave a big thank you to JP of skanews website for doing the hard work part when translating this.
There were still some interesting and amusing points made in this interview, but we asked you not to take it all as absolute facts, and we had absolutely no idea what Suggs’s third to last comment actually meant. It was totally lost in translation!
Further on, and with this coming Friday (8th) playing host to the annual BBC Children in Need day, we discovered that Madness would be joining a host of other live acts including Goldie Lookin Chain, Texas, former S Club 7 songstress Jo O’Meara, Fame Academy winner Alex Parks, Rhyl boy Andy Scott-Lee, Steve Balsamo’s hotly-tipped new band, The Storys, and Wrexham-based R+B group Fade2, in the evening’s televised antics.
There was still more to come in this issue, as we finished things off by passing things over to Steve Saunders and Jon Young who gave us the lowdown on last night’s ‘Make Poverty History’ charity fundraiser event.
20 years ago…
Issue number 79 – Sunday 12th November to Saturday 18th November 2000
It’d been a bit of a lean week for Madness related news, but the online Madness community had been far from quiet after TMML subscriber, Leese Pearson stumbled across an article entitled “The Death of Pop` taken from The Daily Telegraph, which seemed to ignite views from a large number of subscribers.
We’d not put the article in this weeks edition of the MIS as it wasn’t really Madness related in the slightest. However, we did link to the article in question just in case you fancied a read for yourselves.
On a more Madness related note, news had reached us that on the BBC’s Children in Need Night this coming Friday, there was going to be a `Question of Sport V A Question of Pop Special`. If you couldn’t be bothered to sit through the entire show we suggested you stick a tape in the video recorder and set it to long play. The show was meant to be on around 8pm, but as with all these live events, the schedules never seemed to run according to plan.
You could tell Christmas was fast approaching when the shops in town start blasting out all those Christmas tunes over the tannoy system. Well, in a nice change from all that muzak that most stores are oh so fond of playing, Helen of the TMML told us that on a recent visit to her local chain of Argos, the legendary Suggs was in full swing with the classic `Sleigh Ride`. Ok, so it wasn’t major news, but we did say things were a bit thin on the ground this week!
Some non-Madness related news now, which we thought would be of interest to many of you out there. Simon Roberts reported that the legendary `Bad Manners` would be gracing our TV screens (in the UK) as part of a new advertising scheme for Virgin Finance. We’d not managed to catch the advert ourselves, but Simon Roberts told us that it featured old live footage of the band, and finished with Buster outside `Fatty Towers`, bankrupt.
Continuing on the non-Madness theme and Colin Hinchley told us that after some browsing around the Tickets Online website he’d spotted a gig on Monday 4th December at Camden’s Dingwalls for the legendary Blockheads, as well as top comedian Phil Jupitus. If you were in the area, this looked like something worth getting tickets for.
Before we got on with this weeks’ MIS, Adam Fowler reported that Suggs was no longer doing a slot on London’s XFM radio station. News gleaned by Adam from the XFM offices revealed that Suggs had decided to give it a bit of a rest and instead concentrate on TV and `other stuff`.
On to the articles, and we kicked things off with news on the Total Madness Mailing List web site re-vamp. Jenny, Alan and the rest of the organisers wanted to hear from you with ideas suggesting how the TMML web site could be improved in the forthcoming update.
Next, we took a look at issue 48 of the Ska News fanzine. Armed with our limited grasp of the French language, we gave it a massive thumbs-up, although, aimed at the French speaking market, we only recommended this to those who could speak the language.
We rounded off this weeks’ issue with a look at some of the most interesting Madness related goodies currently up for sale on auction site Ebay.
House of Fun Memories – Online Events
Next Friday, the 20th of November would have been the start of The 10th House of Fun Weekender; an event we can now all look forward to in a years time in 2021 instead. There’s Fun still to come!
With the UK currently in lockdown, holidays aren’t allowed, so regular Weekender attenders can only stay indoors. The virtual online world of Madness fandom though will be undoubtably active next weekend. We urge any of you readers to join in posting/tweeting your memories that weekend. Videos, stories, pictures, time hops, of Madness, the fans and the multitude of other entertainments and acts that have graced the HOF stages from the 9 memorable event stuffed weekenders.
We understand that Mad Chat have activities in mind over at their HQ that may include the Skatonics, Lee Golesworthy, the Madness man, Magician Rikki Mark and other talent plus DJing, happening amongst the mad memory posts there. https://m.facebook.com/madchatgroup/
We expect to see ATM, Invaders and other groups such as the bootlegs group, Completist Madness and Unofficial Madness pages active with house of fun callbacks too during the 3 days.
Here at MIS, we are planning “HOF Memories” running out of the regular MIS presents group page here…
This is where you can post your memories for us to see, and get all the info for getting involved next weekend. Which will include virtual zoom get togethers.
We will be posting our favourite Madness rare song videos, from Friday Nights.
Open to all, Especially if you attended any of the MIS events staged over the 9 years from Miswas films, nutty trains, dwile flanks, pool parties, busks, or multiple band and DJ stage shows from The Inflatables to Mez and the fezzez, and John Haslers Crabs.
On Saturday the 21st we will be debuting online the third comedy fan film, MIS Presents : The Ghost Train Spotter, that aired last year in the HOF cinema. The story of 1986 and obsessional fans losing their favourite band in nutty nightmares from the 80s.
HOUSE OF ZOOM
We’ve 4 special Zoom calls to fill some of the void across the weekend, where regular weekend attenders in our familiar circles can catch up with missing each other a bit…
These are being run by Steve Jacob and Jon Rathe hosting…
Friday 8pm – 10pm
Saturday 3pm – 5pm
Saturday 7pm – 10pm
Sunday 2pm – 4pm
*times may be subject to change
“your photos posted in the group page will be used on this feed for me to share during the calls when you are on, and maybe you can tell a bit more of a story as well?
DJ sets being lined up for Saturday night. Some other ideas may take shape over the next few days, but not to stray too far from the aim of a get-together and a smile or two during these challenging times.
Be good to see you all!” Steve Jacob
As part of all this Madness DJ’s. Darren Bennett, Mr Happy (Ian Hanning), and Mr Scurf. Will spin you some tunes too.
A nutty guest or two isn’t out of the question. Join in the fun. Join the group page for further updates.
Remember we didn’t lose a HOF, it’s merely delayed Madness. We still all have our band, our fandom and each other. So let’s celebrate next weekend 9 rounds of “oh what fun we had”. Together.
In this latest entry to the wonderful “Stateside Madness” blog regular MIS contributor Donald Trull gives an account of the band’s 1984 appearance on the legendary U.S. comedy and variety series, including their brush with a hamburger advertising icon and the show’s impact as America’s first big opportunity to see Madness “live”.
In true MIS style, while we bow out for another week we point you in the direction of further Madness goodness to keep you going until we return.
This week we urge you to check out episode 7 of the Stateside Madness podcast. In this episode Laurie & Poly discuss the 1984 release “Keep Moving” on Geffen Records with special guest Donald, the Creative Director & Blog Editor of the Stateside Madness web site.