Hello, and welcome to this latest issue of the MIS Online email newsletter.
As we wave goodbye to November Christmas is now just around the corner. If you’re struggling to think of items to add to your Amazon Wish List you could certainly do a lot worse than add the “Absolutely” vinyl edition which was released on Friday to your list.
Moving on, an we have news of another release as this Friday just gone Nick Woodgate and his JoJo Man Band released their latest single on Spotify. Titled “Trippy”, you can take a listen by going to: https://bit.ly/2JmSFeH
If you like what you hear then please drop Nick a message via the JoJo Man Band web site at thejojomanband.com.
On to this issue, and it’s a rather lean one this week as news has been very thin on the ground. While in previous years we’d be talking about the recent Butlins Weekender or the forthcoming Christmas Tour the pandemic has sadly knocked those on the head.
Still, there’s always next year, and all being well the Madness events we’ve been sorely missing in 2020 will finally resume. We can hope!
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 864 – Sunday 29th November to Saturday 5th December 2015
This last week our MIS DJing line up of Jonathan & Owen, (with help from Gary Saunders & Mark Bowen), embarked on a second tie up tour of the Big one 4 weekender and The House of Fun Madness weekender. We called the trip our Grandspam. (S.P.A.M = SPecials And Madness you see!)
We gave our thanks to Paul Willo for a second inclusion in his Specialized charity money raising event. A great friendly weekender packed with live bands and DJ’s, our highlights were seeing stiff artist Jona Lewie (in the kitchen and then the lounge!) and watching Paul’s own band The Skapones rock the house with a special guest spot from Lynval Golding who had earlier in the weekender tributed Rico Rodrigues in such a heartfelt manner, and also told a story about Lee Thompson setting off a hotel fire alarm! Great Music, Tears and Laughter The big one has it all. Our MIS tour raised £435 for teenage cancer and the event ended the year with a clash band stage invasion.
The House of Fun Madness weekender was the subject of this issue’s in-depth review. From brand new & rarely heard live Madness songs, to a ton of linked solo band performances that saw Suggs sing a Clive Langer tune, the mighty return of a full Crunch! line up, Woody Woodgate unveil a new band to play his solo albums, John Hasler DJing, and a nutty Thommo surprise film, it was the most “Madnessy” weekender ever held.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 603 – Sunday 28th November – Saturday 4th December 2010
Things were pretty quiet this week, but with the Christmas tour now well and truly underway, we were sure that a steady stream of gig reviews would crop up over the next few weeks.
This week we learned that a number of new songs had been aired on the tour already. At the Blackpool gig these were “Blue and Black” written by Mike, and “Big Time Sister” written by Thompson/Foreman. Meanwhile, for Glasgow fans were treated to “My Girl Part 2” and “La Luna”.
Moving on, and with Christmas just around the corner we reminded you to treat a loved one (or yourself) to the 4 DVD box set – Gogglebox. Due for release in late November / early December, the set would cost £50.
Next, and for those of you who’d had their Big 10 appetites whetted following Mick Jenner’s recent review, may have been interested to learn that the band’s next gig was to be on Saturday 11th December at the Loaded Dog. Not only that, but we were told that it would be Dan, the drummer’s birthday, so absolute silliness was guaranteed.
We brought this issue of the MIS to a close, with a YouTube link showing the band recording footage for one of the UK Gold TV trailers which were aired back in the Summer.
15 years ago…
Issue 343 – Sunday 27th November to Saturday 3rd December 2005
We were hoping the list server outages we all experienced last week had now sorted themselves out, and this issue of the MIS would land in your mailboxes around its usual time.
Those of you who had now taken advantage of our RSS feed (see last issue) would from now on be able to get hold of the latest issue of the MIS via the feed regardless of whether the list server was playing proverbial silly buggers or not.
We were always trying to add more features to the site, so if there was something you felt we should have made available, we asked that you got in touch and let us know.
This week one of the main topics of conversation on the Madness Trading Ring seemed to have been about the forthcoming single, ‘Girl’, which we thought was due out tomorrow (28th), but as the date has been changed so many times we’d lost track.
The general view seemed to be that it would sink without a trace.
MTR subscriber Ged Hartnett commented at the time that;
“No TV appearances or radio air-play! It seems hardly worth releasing it”.
Whilst another subscriber replied saying;
“As it stands, there is no point releasing it whatsoever. What makes it all the more frustrating is there’s not even anything on it to make the real fans (such as us) buy it, as the B sides are a live recording most of us probably have anyway, and a dub”.
Here at MIS Online we hoped the single made its mark on the UK music charts, but we wouldn’t be holding our breath.
On a jollier note now, and it was pleasing to see the new Divine Madness CD/DVD box set receiving a decent amount of coverage on UK commercial TV channels. Hopefully this would give the album a high number of sales and at the same time get a few more people into the band.
On to this week’s collection of articles, and we started off with a transcript of an article from the latest issue of BBC News Magazine which revealed the story of how the classic Madness track, ‘Embarrassment’ came to be.
The article went down so well with the readers, and generated such a positive response, that many of the replies were also featured in this issue of the MIS.
Moving on, and we reported on a current prize winning competition currently being run by Record Collector Magazine. Up for grabs were 10 copies of the CD/DVD combo pack of the Divine Madness re-release, and you could be in with a chance of winning a copy by answering the question “Which London hill did madness drive up?”.
It was over to the DotMusic web site, next, as we re-printed a short and to the point review of the forthcoming ‘Girl, Why Don’t You’ single. No star rating was given, but the review was certainly a positive one.
We moved away from Madness for our next article where we reported that North London band, and friends of the MIS, M.O.T, had a two hour long gig planned at the Dublin Castle for the 27th of December.
Tickets were a mere fiver, and as well as MOT you’d be treated to a mod/motown/reggae disco afterwards.
We rounded off this issue by giving readers a quick heads-up, and explaining that the next MIS wouldn’t be out until Monday the 5th of December, as the editorial team would all be in London for the Astoria gig.
20 years ago…
Issue number 81 – Sunday 26th November to Saturday 3rd December 2000
Did you fancy joining a few like-minded fans in a pre-gig drink before the Blockheads/Phil Jupitus gig on Monday 4th December at Camden’s Dingwalls? If so, we suggested you got in touch with one of the moderators of the Ian Dury Mailing List for further details. The plan was to meet in Dingwalls Riva Bar (upstairs) from 6pm.
Next, we had some interesting news for German speaking Madness fans. Deciding that as there were so many English Madness sites, Lars Vogelgesang set up his German language Madness web site, Mad Not Mad.
On to this week’s articles, and we got things underway with a review by Andy Clayden of Mark Lamarr’s reggae show “A Beginners Guide to Reggae”. Suggs was the special guest, but unfortunately, as he didn’t bother to take along any records from his own collection they had to pick from Lamarr’s selection instead.
At the end Lamarr asked him what was happening musically, and Suggs said he’s thinking of doing some more solo stuff in a reggae style.
Suggs concluded by saying that Cecilia had killed the Lone Ranger off as it had too much candy floss on it.
Moving on, and in last week’s MIS we reported that subscriber and music teacher Suzie Wilkins was currently teaching her school recorder group to play the classic “March of The Gherkins”. Well, this week she’d sent us an update.
Although she was unable to be present at the first rehearsal, she told us that the tune was very close to the original, but she had to change the key up one semitone and some portions of the piece had to be changed. Apart from that we were assured that it was very close to the original.
With any luck the song would have its first public airing at The Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival.
We finished off this issue with a transcript of an Adrian Thrills interview from many years ago. Conducted with the band following one of their matinee gigs, we found out what music the band listened to, how many gigs they’d played, what jobs they’d like to do if they weren’t in Madness, and much, much more.
Sign of the Times
Suggs Guests on Gorgeous FM Drive Time Show
Our favourite frontman will be special guest on Gorgeous FM’s Drive Time Show, tomorrow (Monday 30th November) from 4pm – 7pm.
Hosted by presenter Adam Craig, you can listen over at https://www.gorgeousfm.com/. If you’d like to message the show text “GFM” to 81400.
‘Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight to helm TV series about ’80s Two Tone music scene
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is developing a TV series set against the backdrop of the Two Tone music scene.
Emerging in the UK throughout the early 1980s, the movement fused Jamaican ska with punk rock and new wave, and saw the rise of acts including The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter.
The series is set to be produced by Kudos, who released Tin Star and The Tunnel, in association with Kudos North, and Matthew James Wilkinson and Nick Angel who produced Yesterday.
Per Deadline, the series will “use the music of Two Tone as its heartbeat to tell the story of how the scene exploded out of Coventry and Birmingham helping to unify black, white and Asian youth groups amid racism and political injustice.”
Describing the project, Knight said: “This will be a project very close to my heart, since this is home territory geographically and personally. I grew up with this music and the people who loved it.
“It was a soundtrack that perfectly fitted the mood of the times, on the streets, in clubs and on the football terraces. Birmingham and Coventry were the places where Two Tone was born and we will chart its progress through the important years.”
We bring this issue to a close with a suggestion that if you’re not part of the “Completist Madness” group on Facebook then you should really sign-up. There’s been a selection of fantastic items posted up there recently from official calendars down the years, multiple paper label editions of “The Prince” and even official band tea!