It seems like Christmas was only a few days ago, yet we’re already rocketing towards the end of the first month of 2021.
This week just gone Suggs celebrated his 60th birthday. Over on the various Madness fan Facebook groups it was really nice to see people posting up well-wishes, photos from their own collections and their own personal Suggs memories.
Following the recent lull in Madness related news we are pleased to report that we have a little more (and it is only a ‘little’ more!) to pass on to you this week.
On the 4th January the one and only Mark Bedford guested on Rhoda Dakar’s “Pork Pie & Mash Up” podcast. The show runs for just under 2 hours and features a great selection of tunes plus some lovely chit-chat between Mark and Rhoda. Do check out our “Sign of the Times” section for further details and a link to the podcast itself.
Meanwhile, last Thursday (14th) Suggs was the special guest on Sarah Champion’s show on radio station “Absolute Eighties”. You find details of that in our “Sign of the Times” section, too.
Elsewhere in this issue Chris Carter-Pegg has details of a new project created with the plan to clean up the Madness entries on music web site Discogs. If you’d like to assist then please check out our “MIS Feature”.
We’ve got our fingers and toes crossed that this week is the start of Madness related news picking up for the year ahead. We can but 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.
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 871 – Sunday 17th January to Saturday 23rd January 2016
The Northern Hemisphere were still in the deepest darkest depths of winter, but the band and their management were definitely looking towards the warmer summer months, as this week another date was added to the forthcoming summer gig line-up. On Thursday 11th August Madness were now booked as first-day headliners at the Cropredy Festival in Oxfordshire.
With two dates already booked for May, the spring and summer months were slowly starting to populate with gigs. Hopefully, details of further performances would surface in the not too distant future.
Moving on, and in “Sign of the Times” we pointed you in the direction of the BBC iPlayer as the recent Johnnie Walker radio show which had the one and only Lee Thompson as special guest was now available to stream.
Next, it was over to “Live and Intensified” and our one and only Jonathan Young who gave us a detailed review of the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig which took place at the Camden Jazz Cafe on Friday 15th January. Jonathan rounded-off his interview by telling us “Book your next ticket for the bullet as its about to fire the band into even more popularity once [the] new tunes reach wider ears”.
Following this we were in “Tweets of a Dove” territory, where both Suggs and Chris tweeted words of condolence following the sad passing of Specials drummer John Bradbury.
The footage was from the previous Friday night’s Ska Orchestra gig, which had been kindly uploaded by Maria Ashe.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 610 – Sunday 16th January – Saturday 22nd January 2011
This issue of the MIS got off the starting blocks with the news that a recent interview Owen Collins carried out with Chrissy Boy, would soon be apearing on Insanity FM.
We were told to expect questions about Showtime, Cheese, New Songs, Koala Bears, Worst moments in Madness, Politics, Students, Who’s the laziest band member, Power Rangers, Tour Busses, Woody’s bacon & Toblerones and more.
Next, we moved on to Deaf School news, where we reported that the band were about to release a 5 track EP album, before kicking off their “Listen and Learn” tour on the 28th of the month.
Following this it was over to “Scootering” magazine, with their review of the new Madness book “House of Fun: The Madness Story”.
“As someone who is both a fan of madness from my school days to today, as well as knowing some of the band and indeed the Nutty Boys set up too, I found this book to be more enlightening that I could have hoped. It charts their beginning, rise and fall, ups and downs, the intricacies of record deals and touring, as well as fall outs both outside and within the band. I could have done with a little less background about non-band members maybe, and possibly Norton-Folgate was investigated a bit much, but the former helps build pictures while the latter is far easier to research than the making of One Step Beyond. Yes there are a couple of questions unanswered maybe (and I’m sure others will have different ones). but until all seven publish collective biographies this will remain the most complete story of Madness to be published yet.”
We brought this week’s issue to a close with the news that the tenor sax used in the past two Madness albums was now up on Ebay. If you had a good £2200 to pay then Steve Turner’s auction may have been of interest to you.
Time to start saving!
15 years ago…
Issue Number 350 – Sunday 15th January to Saturday 21st January 2006
We started off this week’s issue by lamenting the fact that the new series of Disappearing London (featuring Suggs) was only available to South East England based viewers. Normally we’d have logged on to TV program downloading site UKNOVA and download the cap.
Unfortunately, those normally on the ball had failed to record and make this available.
On to the articles, and Jon Young decided to report on the BBC who were continuing their search for evidence proving the earliest usage of words, to form part of Balderdash & Piffle, a major new series for BBC TWO.
Jonathan reported that thanks to a wordhunter who sent in a clipping from the New York Times, the earliest date for the phrase ‘bomber jacket’ had been pushed back from 1973 to 1946.
But other mysteries remained: despite the best efforts of the British public, the Wordhunt team still needed help with ten key words.
One of these words was Ska.
Back to the first episode of Disappearing London now, and despite the MIS team grumbling that the show wasn’t aired in their neck of the woods, a fair few lucky fans did catch the first episode, and were more than willing to give a lowdown to the rest of us.
Patrick Clifford produced a detailed review of episode one, and was clearly looking forward to part two, due to be aired the following week.
In last week’s edition of the MIS we took you on a brief virtual tour of two of Camden’s famous Madness related haunts.
This week, we’d been scouring the net in an effort to bring you something different, and after a bit of searching we’d struck gold.
We all knew Camden Town was famous for over the years being the regular haunt of Madness, but how much did you know about the history of the area?
Well, thanks to the wonderful www.camden.tv web site you could sit through a high-speed (3 minute long) documentary about the birth and growth of North London’s famous borough. Entitled ‘The Birth of Camden Town’, the 4.8 megabyte documentary charted the days when the area that was to become Camden was merely farm land, to the arrival of the canal, the railways, and much more.
If you wanted to find out more about Camden Town, then this 3 minute programme was well worth a download.
He’d obviously had a few weeks to recover, as Lee Hookway finally got around to reviewing the recent MOT gig which took place at The Dublin Castle on the 27th December.
After a detailed and glowing review, Lee finished off by urging us to;
“Make M.O.T Your NEW Years REVELATION And come along to a gig, I promise you won’t regret it.”
We finished off this week’s issue by reporting that we’d been contacted by a Vikcy McGurk. Vicky had contacted us earlier in the week explaining that she was considering selling her framed ‘Complete Madness’ disc, presented to recognise sales of over 300,000, of the joint number 1 album and single (House of Fun).
Vicky told us that the framed set was presented to her husband as a leaving present from the printing firm Madness presented it to, as they used to print their album covers. If you liked to discuss prices with Vicky, or wanted her to send you a photo of the set, we urged you to contact her.
20 years ago…
Issue number 88 – Sunday 14th January to Saturday 20th January 2001
With the second working week of January passed, the Christmas and New Year celebrations already seemed like a lifetime away. With most of us enduring poor weather, and temperatures which rarely made it into double figures, it was easy to get yourself down in the dumps.
Well, you had no need to. Already this year was shaping up to be very exciting indeed. On the 20th January the legendary Crunch were due to appear in Brighton, whilst Chris Mountain and the famous Scatty were busy making plans for the Madness weekend in Blackpool that Summer.
Always at the forefront of Madness information, Skanews editor Jean-Pierre Boutellier told us that a new band by the name of “Pama” was currently up and running. Featuring the bass player from Steel Pulse, Kevin Flowerdew and the legendary Lee Thompson, this sounded like a band well worth looking into.
As mentioned in last week’s edition of the MIS, the legendary Suggs celebrated his 40th birthday. If what we’d been told was true a large party was held in the re-furbished Dublin Castle to signify this momentous event.
Continuing with the birthday theme and Paul Muscat pointed out that the 14th was the turn of none other than Cathal Smyth to celebrate another year. As Paul rightfully said “Three cheers to one and all!”.
On to the articles, and the big, big news this week was that the unofficial Madness rarities compilation ‘The Lost’ would no longer be seeing the light of day. There seemed to be a differing of opinions between the distributor and Carl, as to who had the legal rights to what, and as such the album was withdrawn from sale.
Fans responded – many feeling that the asking price was too expensive, but that they’d dearly want to add this material to their collections.
The final words on the subject from subscriber Ruza Foster seemed to sum things up perfectly;
“Much as we are all STILL after so many years eager as all hell to get our hands on new material or previously unreleased material, I think we must respect the guys and let them censor the things that are so personal or as yet unfinished works (of art – I am completely objective…not!), that they have not seen fit to release them!”
On to jollier things, and Chris Mountain was here to reveal the details of the forthcoming Blackpool Madness weekend. Due to take place on Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st of July, the weekend would cost a mere £55 per person. Entertainment would come from the one and only Crunch! as well as a charity auction, karaoke, a quiz, and much more.
Moving on, and we passed things over to Andrew Langmead, who was kind enough to give us tracks 103 to 50 in the Third Annual Madchart.
We had stats, facts, figures and trivia on almost every track, and it was clear that many hours of work had gone in to producing this third lowdown of fans’ favourite tracks.
Next, Jean-Pierre Boutellier reported on a new 5-piece French band called Boy in the Boat. Apparently influenced by Madness, Crunch and Ian Dury, the band would be supporting Bad Manners on the 21st of January. The band were also looking to invite Lee and Carl to appear on their first album.
Elsewhere we urged you to check out the new One Step Behind web site, which listed all gigs the band had planned over the next 12 months, background information, a photo album, and even a guest book. Those of you who had seen the band in action were urged to knock-up a review and send it to the band for displaying on their web site.
We rounded up this issue with details of the next Crunch Madmeet, and a French-tinged Madness ‘did you know’ from JP of Skanews.net.
Sign of the Times
Pork Pie and Mash up – Rhoda Dakar With Special Guest Mark Bedford of Madness
Pork Pie & Mash Up
Monthly, Monday 12-2pm
Reggae, Ska, Pop, World, Interview
Rhoda Dakar began her musical career as lead vocalist with all female 2Tone band, The Bodysnatchers. She went on to record with The Specials and Madness, appearing live with both bands. Recently, she toured with The Selecter on their ’40 Years Of 2Tone’ Tour as DJ and special guest, playing in Mexico, USA, Europe and finally the UK. As a solo artist, she completed her first Australian tour earlier this year.
Rhoda also writes sleeve notes, most recently for the Trojan Records’ release, ‘Love Is All I Bring’, a double album showcasing female vocalists. A campaigner and local activist, she is a patron of the Music Venue Trust and a governor of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
With a base of early Reggae and 2Tone, Pork Pie & Mash Up reflects Rhoda’s eclectic musical taste.
For now, any guests will be virtual; the only requirement being a good sense of humour!
This first show of 2021 features a very special guest; the one and only Mark Bedford. The show runs for two hours and can be found here: https://bit.ly/3sFNCrE
Mark joins Rhoda at 20 minutes into the show.
Suggs on Absolute Radio
On Thursday 14th January Suggs was special guest on Sarah Champion’s show on radio station “Absolute Eighties”.
Thanks to Greg Pilsbury over on the Madness Bootlegs Facebook group who kindly recorded it and uploaded it, you can now listen to it at your leisure.
Originally posted by Chris Carter-Pegg on the Completist Madness Facebook Group.
“Over the next few months a few of us are going to try to remove some of the many errors within the Madness submissions on Discogs.
I’ve created a new group on here called Discogs Madness. If you are an active Discogs user or have a Discogs account, feel free to join this group …it’s merely so that every time we need votes to merge duplicate submissions or delete things that don’t exist we don’t have to bother non-Discogs users.
If you’d like to help with the clean-up project then please join the new group and get stuck in!
That’s almost it for this week, but before we go we have some further listening for you.
While listening to Rhoda’s excellent Pork Pie and Mash up podcast we stumbled upon Dubplate Pearl’s podcast. Her latest podcast was a two part affair which was released over the Christmas period.
Part 1 covers funk, boogie, soul and disco tunes, but it’s the second part we urge you to listen to as it covers, Ska, reggae and rocksteady. The tunes are all played from original vinyl and sound gloriously crackly. They sound beautiful.