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 870 – Sunday 10th January to Saturday 16th January 2016
The big news this week was that this coming Friday Lee Thompson would be bringing his Ska Orchestra back to the Camden Jazz Cafe for another sell-out gig. Band member Seamus had penned a mystery song which would be aired at the gig and an Madmeet was planned for the Dublin Castle.
A review of the gig was promised for the subsequent issue of the MIS.
Over in “Sign of the Times”, and we reported that following the sad passing of Specials Drummer John Bradbury, subscriber Mick Jenner had put together a video tribute in memory of the great man. Running at just under five minutes, the tributes included classic footage plus interviews. If you missed this production the first time around then don’t panic. We’ve checked YouTube and it’s still available for your viewing pleasure. Simply point your web browser over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOAw3emSpv0
Staying in this section for a while longer, and MIS regular Paul Rodgers reported that fellow Madness fans would find plenty to love in the brand new issue of the Viz comic (number 252) as Suggs got to edit two pages.
It turned out that this was a spoof. Every couple of issues the comic would produce a page of themed letters that were a pun on a celebrity host’s name. Paul told us at the time;
“This issue includes Suggs on Slugs. (A previous issue had one claiming deceased drummer Keith moon was mad on button moon)
It comprises of an intro allegedly by Suggs, filled with song title puns, (worth a read if only for their description of the nutty train) which then claims he is bonkers about slugs, then a themed page of usual humorous Viz letters appears themed on the topic”
Next, and it was in to our “MIS Feature” where subscriber Stav told us all about his Madness themed version of Monopoly entitled “Madopoly”.
“I have used singles as the streets. The way I have worked this out is by going by chart positions that they reached. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of the later singles aren’t included due to poor chart positionings. For example, Old Kent Road is Shame and Scandal (this had the lowest chart position from all the songs selected to fit in the board) and Mayfair is House of Fun (as it was the band’s number 1 hit)
Also, a couple of the well known singles haven’t been included as the streets as they are mentioned in the Take It and Leave It cards.
We are in the process of getting a prototype board designed and player pieces.
Once these have been completed I will contact Hasbro as they are now the makers of Monopoly and see if this project can become a reality. Hasbro may not go with the name Madopoly as all the other versions of the game have kept the Monopoly name”.
It would be interesting to find out how far this project progressed.
Following this we ran our second and final part of our “Lookback at 2015”, which this week covered the final half of the year, charting the high and low points of the year just gone.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Lee would be interviewed live on the BBC Radio 2 Johnny Walker Show between 3pm and 5pm this coming Sunday.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 609 – Sunday 9th January – Saturday 15th January 2011
“We were all young once”, says Suggs at numerous Madness gigs, and on the 13th our favourite frontman hit the ripe old age of 50. We were certain he’d be celebrating his landmark age in style, and we wished him all the very best at reaching the big five-o.
On to the articles, and we kicked off with a report from the This is Hull and East Riding web site, where they reported that East Yorkshire based Madness fans were left disappointed in December as the band were forced to cancel their Hull gig due to bad weather.
The article continued with a short interview with the band, and finished off by detailing the new date, which would be Saturday 5th February at 7:30pm.
As we were still only just into the new year, with continued with part 3/4 of our lookback at the previous year. This issue we wandered back from July to September 2010, and detailed some of the highs and lows from the third quarter of the year.
Next, we moved on to Madmeets, as Tony Bass and Looby sent us details of the forthcoming Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig, which was due to take place on the 16th April in Oxford. We were promised that hotels and B&B info would follow.
Elsewhere we reported on a new album. No, not from Madness but from Keith Finch, the brains behind the Dance Brigade. He was due to release a new album from his band JA13, on iTunes this coming week.
The album was titled ‘Puff and Stuff Vol.1’ and featured major contributions on several tracks from Lee Thompson, along with a track and additional vocals from fellow Dance Brigade members Jennie Matthias and Debra Barker.
To bring this issue to a close we finished off with part 4/4 of our lookback of the previous year. Here we ran through October to December 2010.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 349 – Sunday 8th January to Saturday 14th January 2006
Following a packed New Year’s Day issue, we started putting this week’s edition of the MIS together, and were initially worried that we were going to be short of material to send out. Thankfully this was quickly replaced with surprise when we discovered that after a small amount of rummaging around we had a more than ample stash of bits and pieces for you this week.
We had news of how you could take home a piece of Suggs-penned artwork (and at the same time do your bit for charity), as our favourite front man had donated a self portrait of himself to the 21st Century Leaders charity project.
The goal of 21st Century Leaders’ charitable brand was to sell ‘merchandise with a meaning’. All products were manufactured under fair working conditions and were sold to raise funds for charitable causes chosen by each contributing leader.
100% of net profits were donated to charity. The aim was to raise a minimum of $3 million over three years to fund charitable projects in developing countries, contribute to the protection of the environment and other charitable causes.
Moving on, and with many readers unable to make the trek to Camden we decided to bring a number of Camden outlets to them, by highlighting their web sites. We pulled up the web sites of The British Boot Company (formerly Holts Shoe Shop), and Escapade joke shop.
If you knew of any other Madness haunts that had a web presence we asked that you let us know. If the response was good enough we were planning to feature a few more Camden outlets in the not-too-distant future.
On to competition news, and back in issue 347 Madness Trading Ring co-maintainer, Steve Bringe ran a two week long competition for MTR and MIS subscribers. With the deadline passed Steve was back with the answers and details of the lucky winners.
Those lucky people in question were:
First Place – Andy Gleaves
Second Place – Mark Bryant
Third Place – Robert Greenwood
We closed this issue with news in from MIS subscriber ‘Sandra’, who reported on Hamburg based ska band ‘No Life Lost’, who had recently covered the Madness classic ‘Night Boat to Cairo’.
Their new single “Fähre nach Finkenwerder” was a cover of NBTC, except the lyrics were about taking the ferry from the Fish market (fair on Sundays between 6-10 am where you can buy anything you can possibly think of) to Finkenwerder (rural area south of the river Elbe) on a sunny Sunday morning.
20 years ago…
Issue number 87 – Sunday 7th January Saturday 13th January 2000/2001
After the quiet Christmas period it was nice to see the news flowing freely once more. Following the recent lean issues of the MIS, we were pleased to start off 2001 with an edition that was full to bursting. This was all due to the sheer number of people who have contributed this week, and we asked that you please kept it coming.
We started off the issue with some birthday news, as subscriber Dan Fossard reminded us that on the 13th of January Suggs would be celebrating his 40th birthday.
At the time Dan asked if there was anywhere us fans could send Suggs some birthday greetings. We were at a dead end with this one. However, we had heard that a party was organised for the big event.
He may have had a birthday just around the corner, but he was still keeping himself busy. First, he’d been spotted advertising beer, and as well as that, providing voice overs to McDonald’s commercials.
News in from Jonathan Young was that Suggs had made an appearance on the BBC documentary, Top of the Pops the True Story, which as aired mark 40 years of the show.
Suggs appeared in brief interviews on this Celebratory show with clips being aired of Embarrassment and later his solo hit Cecelia. The latter when mainly shown because It helped highlight the Top of the pops show of the mid 90’s when they had guest presenters every week. Famously Chris Eubank the phonetically challenged boxer had to say “At six it’s Suggs with Cecelia”. He was interviewed saying “It was difficult but I think I got it correct” and Suggs memory was “It was difficult trying to Perform with a straight face after that.”
Suggs also told of the eighties TOTP which was very BBC authority run and money conscious. “We were always being blasted and called unprofessional but we were always asked back”.
Subscriber Mikel Echeberria had some exciting news for us this week, as he gave us a track by track lowdown of a new double CD bootleg entitled ‘The Lost’. Spanning a whopping 50 tracks, many of them not heard before, this compilation would become something of a ‘must have’ for any Madness fan.
It was over to Madness tribute outfits next, as the following two articles covered Los Palmas 6 (with a short review of their new year’s gig) and then Complete Madness (with a full lowdown of their January bookings). Although not the real thing, both bands would provide any Madness fan with a fantastic night out.
Following this, it was on to collaboration news, as Chris Carter-Pegg explained what had happened to the tracks worked on between Tricky and Suggs. Tricky responded that he had really enjoyed working with Suggs, that they had done two tracks together, but that he always did many more tracks than actually get put out and was not sure if or when they would see the light of day.
Next, it was over to Andrew Langmead, who revealed that he’d received 106 Madness tracks to tally-up in this latest Madchart, and promised that results would start to appear in the next couple of weeks.
Finally, we rounded off this issue with news in from Chris Mountain, who announced that he’d found a hotel in Blackpool that would be willing to put up between 50 and 100 Madness fans as part of the proposed Madness weekender.
It was now time to set a date.
We’re almost done for this week, but before we go we just wanted to wish Suggs a very happy 60th birthday for this coming Wednesday 13th January.
Obviously, like the rest of us he’ll be celebrating in lockdown style, but we hope he’s able to make the best of things and see his landmark birthday in, in style.