Here we are with our first full issue of 2021, and we begin with news of not one, not two, but three forthcoming releases from the one and only Nick Woodgate and his JoJo Man Band.
On Sunday 8th January the band will be releasing their next single entitled “She”. This will be followed on Friday 15th with another single, “Bananas”. If that wasn’t enough, on the 22nd the band’s next album, “Wow”, will be launched, then on the 29th the band release their “Remix” EP.
The band are certainly giving us something to look forward to in January with a release every week; something to help keep the January blues away!
Moving on, and if you’ve still got some spare pennies knocking around following the Christmas spending spree you may be interested to learn that the official Madstore are currently offering 30% much of their stock. Check out our regular “Buy it” section for the details.
Just before Christmas GQ Magazine published an excellent interview with Lee and Chris, where they discuss in detail the making of the Absolutely album. The article is well worth your time and you can find all the details in our “Sign of the Times” section.
Finally, this week’s “MIS Feature” takes a look at a newly formed Facebook group which aims to highlight the numerous bootleg Madness items which are either for sale now or have cropped up over the years. If you thought unofficial Madness memorabilia was limited to poor quality T-shirts sold outside gigs then you’re in for a treat!
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.
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 869 – Sunday 3rd January to Saturday 9th January 2016
We began this first full issue of 2016 with some sad news, as on Monday 28th December, Specials drummer John Bradbury passed away aged 62.
Visitors to thespecials.com web site were greeted with the following message:
“It is with deepest regret that we have to announce the very sad news that our much loved husband and father John “Brad” Bradbury passed away on Monday the 28th of December. Brad’s drumming was the powerhouse behind The Specials and it was seen as a key part to the Two Tone sound.
He was much respected in the world of drumming and his style of reggae and ska was seen as genuinely ground breaking when The Specials first hit the charts in 1979. He was an integral part of The Specials reforming in 2008 and toured with them extensively up to the present day.
His contribution to the world of music can not be understated and he will much missed by family, friends and fans alike. It is the families sincerest wish that they are allowed the time to remember him privately”.
Moving on to happier news now, and the first Madness related gig of the year came courtesy of the Ska Orchestra, which was due to take place on the15th of the month at Camden’s Jazz Café.
We were hoping that the band might well air their new single, as it’d still be winter.
The MIS were planning to be there, and you’d be able to find us earlier on that Friday afternoon in The Dublin Castle.
Over in our regular “Sign of the Times” we reprinted an article from the Maldon and Burnham Standard which reported that Lee had spent two hours on the Saint FM Radio Station where he debuted his new song “it may be Winter Outside”. Lee reminisced about his younger life in Camden in the 1970s and amused listeners by retelling tales of other stars.
Next, it was on to the first of our two part lookback at the year just gone. In this issue we covered January to June 2015, and reported on the highs and lows of the first six months of the year.
Following this, we revealed that for the Specialized 5 album, the release would consist of cover versions of Bob Marley and would cover 70 songs over 4 discs! Specialized 5 would be dedicated to the memory of John Bradbury.
We brought this issue to a close by reminding you that next week we’d be covering the final six months in part two of our annual Lookback.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 608 – Sunday 2nd January – Saturday 8th January 2011
In keeping with many of our previous new year editions of the MIS, readers would no doubt have noticed that this was another in a series of extremely lean issues. With the band and their fans taking time out to put their feet up, relax and spend time with friends it wasn’t much of a surprise.
With that in mind, this issue was more of a lookback special than anything else as we took our usual year start jaunt through the the first six months of the previous year.
Yes, at present things were quiet, but with the band currently stating on their web site “Look out for big announcements in 2011”, it seemed as if we were in for an exciting 12 months ahead.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 348 – Sunday 1st January to Saturday 7th January 2006
Still recovering from the previous evening’s new year’s celebrations we decided to keep the intro to this issue short, and instead, dive straight on in to the articles.
Starting off, we got underway with part 2 of our lookback at 2005.
This week we looked at April, May and June, where videos were filmed and tours were staged.
Next it was on to the drinking rules and regulations of Camden Town where it was revealed, thanks to the Camden Gazette, that the new 24 hour drinking laws were being hailed a success by publicans in the area.
The late Henry Conlon, manager of the Dublin Castle, in Parkway, (talking after the first weekend) said: “There’s been such a frenzy in the media about this but don’t forget premises can now be closed down for seven days by the council if it’s causing problems.
There will always be a minority of people who cause problems but now there are new powers for the police, the council and the licensees to deal with it.”
He added: “Camden Town doesn’t suffer the same as somewhere like Cardiff or Bournemouth where all these TV shows are made about people getting drunk – Camden Town doesn’t appear on these shows because it’s a safe place.
I’m glad we’ve finally left the era of pubs closing at 11pm.”
Moving on, and it was on to part 3 of our lookback at 2005, where we covered the highs and lows in the world of Madness between July and September.
Jonathan Young was up next with his review of Madness’ recent appearance at The Rex, which was aired on French and German TV the previous week.
3 tracks were aired from the 8 track set they had played at the gig.
Though Shame and Scandal, Girl and You Keep Me Hanging On had been played during the short set recorded for the Show, no Dangermen tracks were put into the final show, the director choosing Madness classics instead.
Following the review of the set Jonathan was kind enough to include a full transcript of the interview with Suggs and Carl, which followed their performance. When asked by the interviewer as to whether we could expect a ‘Dangermen Sessions 2’ album, Suggs replied by saying “We don’t know. We just did this for fun, for a laugh. We will probably do and album of our own material next, but of course we have left an opportunity to do Dangermen 2. or 3 or 5 or 100….. 1000”.
It was on to the fourth and final part of of our 2005 lookback next, as we took a turbo-charged blast through October, November and December of the last year.
We finished off this issue by hoping that Madness would give themselves a well-deserved rest for the first few months of 2006. Last year proved to be one of their busiest for many, many years, and it was no doubt time that they gave themselves a break from the fast paced life of touring, recording and interviewing.
20 years ago…
Issue number 86 – Sunday 31st December to Saturday 6th January 00/01
Going out on new year’s eve, this final issue of 2000 was sent out mere hours before the new year was being rung in by revellers around the globe.
As I expected, news had been very thin on the ground over the past week, and very little had been sent our way by subscribers. With this in mind it would come as no surprise to many that this issue was a tad on the small side.
With there being little news, we decided that it was time to do a look-back over the past 12 months in the Madness community, in an effort to chart the high’s and low’s of the past year. We were sure that we’d missed one or two significant events that occurred, and we apologised for that.
The only other article we had was courtesy of Andrew Langmead, who thanked all those people who had submitted their top 10 tracks for the new Madchart. The response had been so good that there were over 50% more entries compared to the previous chart.
MIS Feature – Kitsch Madness
Over the years we’ve seen more and more bootleg Madness items crop-up on auction site eBay, and have quickly scrolled-on by.
The situation has clearly got worse as time’s gone on, and during this week just gone Chris Carter-Pegg set up a new Facebook group; “Kitsch Madness”.
Here’s Chris with a brief lowdown detailing why he set the group up…
“In continued dismay at the abundance of horrendous unofficial tasteless bits of tat that are being sold as Madness souvenirs and the vast numbers of people that call themselves fans yet see no problem in covering their walls with this garbage, I have created this group for people to share photographs of some of the worst unofficial Madness items they have seen.
On a serious note I do worry that this plethora of crapness that is being embraced far too readily by too many people, is steadily going to harm to Madness’s credibility, if only people would stop buying the stuff, the people making it would switch their talents to something else.
Please note only photos of unofficial Madness items, Madness tattoo disasters, phoney award discs and fake Madness signatures etc are permitted to be shared in this group. Anyone attempting to share photos of genuine official items will be banned”.
Our favourite items so far have to be the box framed Madness logo with what can only be described as six terribly painted figures posed along the bottom and the terribly stitched bootleg House of Fun Weekender shirts.
An exclusive interview with Madness to mark 40 years of Absolutely
From: GQ Magazine
Published: 24th December 2020
To mark the 40th anniversary of Madness’ sophomore album, Absolutely, Stevie Chick spoke to Chris Foreman and Lee Thompson, who recall their experiences during the making of the record and its significance to the band’s career.
To think of Madness, for most, is to think of the era of Absolutely, their second album, released 40 years ago, which spawned some of their biggest hits including “Baggy Trousers”. Although some critics at the time of release were less than accommodating – Rolling Stone called them “the Blues Brothers with English accents” – the band’s sophomore release deserves to be remembered as a crucial record for the ska revivalism of the time.
To mark four decades since the world learned of “The Return Of The Los Palmas 7”, Stevie Chick spoke to Madness members Chris Foreman and Lee Thompson about recording and releasing the album. Below, in their own words, they share how the album’s mix of Motown, premium bonds and damaged nutsacks made it the record it was.