We being this week’s issue by sending a huge thank you to Chrissy Boy for 2 hours of lockdown HOFhole chat to fans on zoom this weekend.
Thanks also go to Steve Jacob with Owen Collins, plus Leah Rix and others who hosted four fan Zoom calls for “MIS Presents” to chat HOF memories. Chris attended the full Saturday afternoon Zoom, even treating fans to the news that Madness has purchased a rehearsal space and have been working on a streaming concert idea that includes new songs. (It’s too early to reveal where and when in the shifting climate).
We were then treated via a prompt from Lee Thompson, to hear a new demo version of a 1986 unreleased song “It’s for the best”. The Barso-leaving Madness tune has been heard only through leaked demos previously from the 80s. But now Lee and Chris have a new demo structured between them ready to be considered for the next album!
Praising the quality of all the other song writers in the band, Chris aired some more demo music including confessing he had once ripped off the theme from TV detective show Bergerac when writing music for Madness. Plus, he’d penned two new songs lyrically. One that sounds fascinating is a tune about the band’s past. Another is said to be about wandering the world. He did have some hopes that next years’ HOF would happen and include maybe this new album’s ideas as a rough new show. This would be like HOF 1 had been for what became the Oui Oui album. Here’s hoping. Thanks Chris!
Next, and we can report that Lee Thompson’s solo autobiography is now due for release on April 22nd.
The autobiography is currently titled “Growing out of it” and subtitled “Machinations before Madness”.
The book covers the first 22 years of Lee’s life, right up to the two tone tour. Here’s a word from the man himself.
“I’m trying to finish off this Autobiography, that I have been working on with Ian Snowball, for Christ knows how long!
It starts with my humble beginnings in NW5, on to petty criminality in N6, then onto the wide open spaces of 681, Hitchin Road, Stopsley, Luton and all the Shenanigans in between.
And Parking up on that mental bus – The 2Tone Tour in October of 1979, the first 22 Years…. “
Description (from Lee!): It starts with my humble beginnings in NW5, on to petty criminality in N6, then onto the wide open spaces of 681, Hitchin Road, Stopsley, Luton and all the Shenanigans in between.
And Parking up on that mental bus – The 2Tone Tour in October of 1979, the first 22 Years.
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 863 – Sunday 22nd November to Saturday 28th November 2015
At the time this issue went out the Madness Weekender wasn’t quite over, and we were certain that a great many of you were still there, making the most of the final night in a long weekend of drinking, partying and great music.
On to next year’s event. Yes, seriously! With the weekend barely begun we were already receiving reports from those who’d just arrived, telling us that bookings for the Madness Weekender 2016 were already being taken!
Friday 18th – Monday 21st November 2016 were the dates for Weekender number 6, which would once again be held in Minehead. We knew some of you had already booked your places after taking photos of your booking forms and uploading them to Facebook. That’s dedication for you.
For those of you who were unable to get along to the event this issue featured Madness’ set lists from both the Friday and Saturday night gigs, plus one from the Crunch! gig which took place on the Sunday afternoon.
A whole swathe of new Madness songs were aired in public for the first time, and we featured a few fan reactions plus mini reviews.
Going back to the subject of 2016 for a moment, and it wasn’t just Madness who were announcing performances for next year. This week also saw Suggs add a mass of tour dates for his One Man Show, which currently spanned April and May of 2016.
2015 may have been coming to an end, but it seemed that there was already lots to look forward to for the year ahead. We urged you to check out our Showtimes section for all the details.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 602 – Sunday 21st November – Saturday 27th November 2010
Those of you who’d pre-ordered your “House of Fun – The Story of Madness” books would no doubt be pleased to learn that it’d finally been released. All being well, your copy would arrive shortly.
On to the articles, and we started by passing the reporting baton over to Mick Jenner, who gave us the heads-up on a 2Ton Trail, which could be found in Coventry.
“On a recent trip to Coventry, I was pleased to find out that local journalist and 2Tone obsessive Pete Chambers had spent the last few years putting together a ‘2Tone Trail’.
With official support from local authorities, Pete has highlighted several places around the City that were influential in the birth of the 2Tone movement. From the youth club were many of The Selecter and The Specials would hang out as teenagers to Horizon Studios were a majority of the 2Tone music was recorded.
Each location has an official plaque on the wall, much like the familiar Blue Plaques we know and love, except these are black and white. Each unveiling of the past years has had a 2Tone presence from Pauline Black to Buster Bloodvessel.
As a fan of all things 2Tone, this was a fascinating tour around Coventry. An official 2Tone Tour leaflet is available and I clutched mine with great anticipation as I did the walk. I wasn’t disappointed.
I saw a few places where Madness played in those early 2Tone days too and just tried to imagine what it must have been like more than thirty years ago..
Having made a small video back in the summer tracing some ‘Madness Video Locations’ around Camden, it seemed obvious to make The 2Tone Trail as a sequel. I learned a lot from this small tour and hope that other 2Tone fans may enjoy it too.
Back on to more Madness related subject matter, and we re-printed an article which had originally appeared on the Hebden Bridge Times webs site.
Calder Valley Youth Theatre had received what the paper described as the ultimate seal of approval – a letter from Suggs, wishing the group good luck with their current production of Our House. The letter, which was handwritten, was read out to all cast members, and was greeted with cheers from all.
We continued with our press re-prints with an article from the Yorkshire Post web site, where, in an interview with Suggs, our favourite frontman spoke of the previous 35 years, and on putting together the band’s first new album in around a decade.
Elsewhere, we featured an interview with John Reed, the author of the new House of Fun book. Regular readers would recall that a few weeks prior we ran a competition for a signed copy of John’s new book. To be in the running, all you had to do was send in some questions for John to answer. And in this issue John did just that.
Were you one of those people who still hadn’t ordered tickets for the forthcoming Christmas tour? It kicked off on the 26th in Blackpool, so you really needed to get your skates on. This week we featured contact details for each venue, so if you wanted to get hold of tickets you just needed to pick up the phone and be armed with your debit card.
Next, we featured a short interview with Daryl Smith of Size 12 Records. Size 12 had recently re-issued the first 3 Madness albums on vinyl, and they’d now launched a web site for mail order sales.
Albums currently available to order on vinyl were One Step Beyond, Absolutely and 7.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs was planning to use a bran new Romany caravan when touring the following Summer. Very nice!
15 years ago…
Issue 342 – Sunday 20th November to Saturday 26th November 2005
In last week’s edition of the MIS Stateside subscriber Joe Schipsi emailed us with details of the “VH1 Classic for Pay to Play for Hurricane Relief” campaign, and the line-up of classic tracks he’d made donations to have played.
With the campaign still in full swing, Joe had since been back in touch to explain how other US Maddies could get some of their favourite tunes aired, and at the same time make a donation to the more than worthy cause.
Moving on, and in an effort to keep the MIS Online web up-to-date with the latest technology we added an optional RSS feed for you to subscribe to. The RSS feed gave subscribers access to the latest (as well as back) issues of the bulletins, as well as information on all site updates as soon as they went live.
There were only a few RSS update links currently on the site, but we hoped that these would grow over the course of time.
Continuing on the subject of the MIS site, and we’d been pleased with the response our request for new material in last week’s issue had had. We’d received a number of offers of new material and whilst some of these we unfortunately were unable to accept due to copyright reasons, subscriber Michael Gleeson was currently packing up a whole batch of tapes for us to encode and make available to all of you.
We were still on the lookout for yet more material, so asked you to dig through your archive of aging videotapes, and see if there was something there that we were currently missing from the web site.
On to charity news now, and Madness turned out for a charity fundraising event in Wrexham, Wales, on Friday night as part of the BBC’s annual Children in Need Appeal.
Madness appeared in full caps, wooly hats and buttoned up coats mode, in order to cope with the descending british temperature, though sunglasses still also very much evident.
“It’s a lovely isn’t it boys and girls, so hot” quipped Suggs.
The small set consisted of:
You Keep me hanging on
Chase the Devil
It must be love
Next it was over to the Hendon and Finchley Times, which featured a lengthy interview with the one and only Lee Thompson. The interview finished off with a reminder that the next Lee Thompson and The Camden Cowboys gig would take place this coming Saturday.
Moving on, and we focussed on the messageboard over on the official Madness web site. Lee and Chris had both answered a number of questions over the past week or so, and we decided to re-print the most interesting ones for your reading pleasure.
We finished off this week’s issue with a reminder to those thinking of coming to the Astoria gig that tickets were pretty much sold out anywhere, and the only place currently selling them was Ebay.
Obviously, with only a few tickets up for grabs the asking prices were already start to rocket as demand increased.
20 years ago…
Issue number 80 – Sunday 19th November to Saturday 25th November 2000
Following last week’s lean edition of the MIS, you’d be pleased to know that things seemed to have changed this week with loads of little bits and pieces of info arriving in the MIS mailbox on an almost daily basis.
We were keeping our fingers crossed that this trend continued. If you kept sending the info in we’d keep printing it!
Some of you may recall some mention of a Madness stage show that was currently in the planning stages. Well, things seemed to me moving along if this snippet from the Daily Record was anything to go by;
“EIGHTIES legends Madness are writing a West End musical based on their hits. Singer Suggs met top script writers to come up with a storyline weaved around the band’s hits. But none of the group will appear in the show. A theatrical source said: ‘They want to capture the essence of Madness without it being a story about the band. All the hits will be in there”.
Our thanks went to Iain Mason for digging that out.
Attention all Radio 2 listeners! Andy Clayden reported that the legendary Suggs would be appearing on Mark Lamarr’s Radio 2 show this coming Wednesday at 9pm. For those of you not based in the UK, you should have been able to listen to the show via Real Audio.
The Friday before this issue went out saw the BBC celebrate 21 years of `Children in Need` with its most extravagant show to date. As regular readers of the MIS would no doubt be aware, a special edition of A Question of Sport Meets A Question of Pop was staged. Team captains were Sue Barker (for the Question of Sport Team) and Jamie Theakston (for the Question of Pop) team. The all-famous Suggs was present, but we had no idea how well either of the teams did. If you knew, we asked that you emailed in with the details.
On to this week’s articles, and we reported on the Los Palmas 6 gig which took place on Wednesday 15th November in Brighton. 5 bands were on the bill with the LP6 finishing the evening.
Moving on, and we moved slightly off the subject of Madness, and instead reported on the knighting of Michael Caine, who would now be known as “sir” Michael. One Jonathan Young suggested that a re-mix with the word “sir” in the title should be on the cards.
It was back to Madness next as we announced that a new CD album in conjunction with Channel Five’s “Night Fever” had just been released. The album, entitled `Night Fever`, featured a photo of the legendary Madness front man on the front cover, whilst the back listed a varied selection of karaoke `classics` for you to sing along to over the forthcoming beer-induced festive period and beyond.
Continuing on a CD related theme and Andrew Langmead reported that the Ultimate Band List (www.ubl.com) had the newly released Madness singles album, “Madness – The Ultimate Collection” for sale. UK Maddies could buy the album for $18.94 including delivery, which was approximately £13.50. Andrew told us that this was a much better price than you could get it for from any of the UK sites as an import.
Elsewhere we had a quick rummage on Ebay and dug out a number of goodies that the collectors amongst you would no doubt want to add to your collections (if they weren’t in there already, of course!)
We rounded off this issue with a detailed review from Emma Southerby of the recent Los Palmas gig in Brighton. Despite only having 3 hours sleep we were still treated to a blow-by-blow account of the goings on. How’s that for being above and beyond the call of duty?
House of Fun DJ Sets 2020
A huge thank you to Darren Bennett for making us a DJ set to enjoy and to ensure just a little bit of HOF normality.
Darren has been the main official Madness DJ of many a tour, and all 9 House of Fun weekenders. From playing the main pavilion stage readying the crowd just before and alongside the Maddie boys, to playing his own sets in Reds and Jacks over various line up layouts across the years. Often alongside his partner and fellow DJ Madame Scorcher.
Here’s Darren DJ set live from his Shed this weekend. It’s a belter… sit back and enjoy.
We’re almost done for this week, but before we finish we do have a couple of last minute snippets to pass your way.
Nick Woodgate has been in touch to tell us that the JoJo Man Band’s next single “Trippy” will be released digitally on the 27th November. He also commented in a recent Facebook post that he is in the process of writing songs. We’ll have more news on these as soon as Nick sends us the details.