Welcome to this week’s issue of the MIS, and the last one before Christmas.
Madness news continues to be thin on the ground. Where we’d normally be talking about recent Christmas gigs, the Madness Weekender or what gigs we’re looking forward to over the next 12 months we’re now all uncertain as to what 2021 will bring.
While there is a distinct lack of Madness related news at present the fanbase continues to be extremely active especially on Facebook where fans discuss their favourite band.
If you’ve not yet joined it then we can heartily recommend the “Completist Madness” group over on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/groups/completistmadness. Here, fans meet to discuss and display the unusual and rare items they have in their collection, and quite often bits come up for sale, too. If you’re into collecting Madness memorabilia then you should really take a look.
Next, and it’s a plug for “Le French Madness Information Service” Facebook group over at https://www.facebook.com/groups/frenchmis. Posts submitted can be in French or English. There’s a good mix of both languages, so don’t panic if French or English isn’t your first language.
So, while the majority of us are still under some form of lockdown, there’s still ample opportunity to meet up (albeit virtually) with other Madness fans. OK, so it’s no substitute for a Madmeet, but it’s the best we have at the moment.
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 867 – Sunday 20th December to Saturday 26th December 2015
Here it was, our final issue of the MIS before Christmas landed.
On to this week’s Madness news, and it was less than ten minutes after sending out the previous issue that subscriber Frank Beentjes got in touch with us to report that it had just been announced that Madness had been booked to headline the Daupop Festival.
Taking place on Saturday 28th May 2016, this Netherlands based festival would see the band take the headline slot.
The Daupop web site claimed that this would be the only performance in the Netherlands for Madness in 2016. With us still firmly rooted in 2015 at the time we felt that was a rather lofty claim to make with a full year stretching out before us.
Also this week, and The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra were guests on the Robert Elms show on the Tuesday before this issue went out. Thommo (who was late to the interview due to a last minute toilet break) aired the band’s new single, out on Christmas Day, called “It May be Winter Outside (but in my Heart it’s Spring)”.
This song formed our “MIS Feature” as we included a transcription of the full lyrics to this new track.
Over in “Sign of the Times” we pointed you in the direction of the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra interview on the Robert Elms Show. If you missed it (or just wanted to listen again) then this would surely be of interest to you. If you didn’t have the time or inclination to listen to it we’d even included a brief synopsis of the show for you to read through instead!
Continuing in this section, and we reported that on Christmas Eve Radio 4 would be airing a slightly dramatised version of Suggs’ “One Man Show”. Running for 45 minutes, the show was adapted for radio by Owen Lewis from the stage play “My Life In Words And Music”.
We brought this issue to a close by wishing you a fantastic and nutty Christmas and that you received everything you’d asked for.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 606 – Sunday 19th December – Saturday 25th December 2010
With it now done and dusted, we could now look back at the recent Christmas tour as one of the most troubled in the band’s history, and that was all thanks to the weather.
With the Hull and Sheffield gigs cancelled, it was starting to look like the Earl’s Court gig on Friday would also be going the same way.
Keeping up-to-date with fans via Facebook we were reading tales of long treks in the snow, fans unable to get to the gig, and partial cancellation of the public transport network.
Thankfully the gig did go ahead, bringing the tour to a close on Friday the 17th of December.
It would certainly be a memorable one, not just for the fans, but also for the band, who, as mentioned an issue or two back, had to fulfill the cancelled gigs on the 5th (Hull) and 6th (Sheffield) of February 2011.
The recent Christmas tour was already a set of fading memories for many, but thanks to the generosity of Anglo Management you could relive segments of one or more of the gigs in the comfort of your own home. How? Well, Anglo had kindly made available an album’s worth of live tracks from the recent tour. Not only that, but they were free to download. A very nice early Christmas present for fans.
Was a family matinee really the place to throw your knickers on stage? That was the question asked as one fan recounted his experience of a woman appearing from the crowds and roping in a member of barrier security to throw some red knickers in Carl’s general direction.
“She handed him them, and kept saying “Carl” in the kind of voice I’ve come to know well from female fans of the band! I kind of felt sorry for the guy who made a noble attempt having been bizarrely roped into her passion mission. He rolled them up and chucked his best, they went sailing over the couple of heads, the barrier and the security pit, only to run out of velocity due to their light weight nature, and parachute gently just short of the stage, totally un-noticed by her aimed love target, as Carl continued to sing and beam out at the crowd”.
We brought this issue to a close by pointing you in the direction of a selection of some stunning photos that had been taken at the recent Cardiff gig, and that were now available for your viewing pleasure.
15 years ago…
Issue 346 – Sunday 18th December to Saturday 24th December 20050
In the rush to get last week’s MIS out we forgot to mention a number of updates to the site, as well as thank those who have helped with these new additions.
We had a number of additions to the ‘videos’ section, which were all down to Michael Gleeson, and the photo gallery had also received numerous new photos. Graham and Kim Smith had passed over some truly cracking photos of the ‘Scala’ and ‘Move’ gigs, whilst subscriber Kevin Dolby had sent over a varied selection of photos.
On to the articles, and we kicked things off with news that Madness (well, Suggs had been interviewed by The Camden Chronicle) had been out celebrating 100 years of the Arlington House hostel.
The hostel opened in 1905 and had since provided shelter for the homeless, and at the time was housing 400 men.
A £31 million redevelopment of Arlington House was due to be completed by 2008.
On to blogs next, and news had reached us indicating that Phil McGuirk of North London band MOT, had recently set up a blog. The idea being that whenever he had something interesting to say he’d post it there.
Next, we moved over to the one and only Chris Foreman, who, in answering a fan’s questions explained that around the time of the first Madstock Chris was despatched to the archives, only to discover that some of the master tapes had deteriorated so much that they started to crack up and the oxide had come off on the tape heads.
It was back to Arlington House next, as we featured the Camden New Journal’s coverage of the 100 years of the famous hostel. The article finished by saying;
A council press officer confirmed “numbers will reduce significantly” at Arlington House, but added “a new 48-room Salvation Army hostel isopening in Judd Street in August 2006 that will cater for people preparing themselves for independent living”.
Moving on, and in what promised to be one of MOT’s best gigs to date, the band had secured a whopping two hour slot at The Dublin Castle, on the 27th of December. What’s more, entry would cost a mere fiver, and that included a ska/Motown DJ.
We’d been waiting for months, and finally they’d arrived. What are we on about? The Dangermen picture discs! With one Jonathan Young finally getting his paws on this much coveted release, we let him round off this week’s MIS with a full lowdown of this shiny new release.
20 years ago…
Issue number 84 – Sunday 17th December to Saturday 23rd December 2000
We started off this issue with something that would be of interest to subscribers of the excellent `Madness Unsugged` fanzine. The editor, Vince Carden told us that if all went according to plan, the next issue would see the light of day sometime towards the end of January. He also mentioned the possibility of a Madmeet in Camden on New Year’s Eve.
Following last week’s announcement that The Selecter would be playing at The Dome, Whitley Bay, Jeff Sharp has been in touch to tell us that the date was then changed from the 15th to 16th. If you were one of the many who went along on the 15th only to find the Selecter playing the following evening, we suggested you directed your moans to The Dome by giving them a call.
With two weeks to go before the close of the `Madness Top Tens` Poll, chief statistician, Andrew Langmead was already up to 37 entries (just one less than the total received last time). If you had still yet to vote for your top ten, we asked you to contact Andrew with your top 10 suggestions.
Last week we reported that American rapper, Eminem had put together a song entitled `Our House`. One part in his version was in dispute as a number of people suggested that it may be a Madness sample featuring in the track. Since then, Phil Smash and Mark Adamson had been rooting around, and had revealed that it is none other than `Limp Bizkit` providing the Our House lyrics. So, you could all relax, safe in the knowledge that the our boys had not featured on this track either in person or sample form.
Phil Smash also reported that last Wednesday morning Channel Four’s `Big Breakfast` show featured a DJ who was setting up an office party with presenter Richard Bacon. Richard asked him what celebrities he had DJ’d for, to which he replied “I did a party for Suggs’ daughter, Cecilia, and we had to play Cecilia, and that was a little odd`. As Phil rightly pointed out “He doesn’t have a daughter called Cecilia, so what the hell that DJ was talking about, we didn’t know”. Most bizarre!!
Finally, before we got underway with this weeks issue, the TMML’s Graham Hewson told us that this month’s `Front` magazine had a small snippet regarding the legendary Suggs pulling pints for the locals a month or so back. Graham also pointed out that there was a picture of the man in action. Probably not worth buying the mag just for that unless you were a die-hard-collect-everything type fan. Ah, that was pretty much all of you anyway, isn’t it?
On to the articles, and it was over to Mike Hearne, who gave us the lowdown on his recent night out to see tribute band Badness. After a detailed review, he finished off by saying that “If you get the chance to see Badness at a venue near you my advice is DO NOT miss it!”
DVD was still fairly new technology in the home some 10 years ago, so we often posted-up any Madness related DVD bargains as soon as they cropped-up. This was one of those occasions, as author George Marshall emailed in to tell us that the Pulped web site were currently selling the Madstock 4 DVD for a mere £8.00 including delivery.
It was over to Jon Young next, who revealed who the four winners were to the recent Fink Brothers competition he’d been running on his web site. The lucky people had been contacted via email, and Jon finished by saying that he may hold another competition in the new year.
Some sad news from ‘Bucket’ of US based MoonSka Records, was next in this issue, as he revealed that due to changing market trends, and reduced revenue, the long running MoonSka Records would be winding up and closing down.
We finished off on a jollier note, with some Bob The Builder news courtesy of Andrew Langmead. Here’s what he had to say at the time;
“If you’ve seen the video for Bob’s excellent new single ‘Can We Fix It?’ you may have noticed the little builder dressed in fully nutty gear! Yes, that’s right, Bob is dressed in Black Suit, Pork Pie Hat and Shades, and he even recreates the Nutty Walk in one scene!!”
Absolutely Vinyl Winner
Last week we announced that we had one copy of the vinyl re-issue of Absolutely up for grabs and to be in with a chance of winning this all you needed to do is answer the following question:
What is the first track on side one of the album?
We had absolutely loads of entries. We didn’t receive any wrong answers, either! Thank you to everyone who took part.
There can only be one winner, and this time it’s Alisa Hunt who correctly identified that the first track on side one of the album is indeed Baggy Trousers. We’ll get the vinyl sent off to you early in the new year!
Before we bring this issue to a close we want to give you a heads-up on a forthcoming January release which may interest some of you.
Nick Woodgate has been in touch to tell us that “The Jojo Man Band are releasing a cover song on the 8th Jan 2021. It’s a cover of the song ‘She’ by Charles Aznavour”.