We begin this issue of the MIS on a similar note to many we kicked off with last year – cancellations.
This week we learned that the Madness gig in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 31st May has sadly been moved to the Autumn. A line-up and confirmation as to whether Madness will appear in that line-up has yet to be announced.
The press release from the Punk Rock Bowling web site reads; “Due to the lack of containment of the coronavirus pandemic, Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival will be moved to Fall 2021. We had hoped that the promise of a vaccine release in December would be rolled out quickly, but clearly that’s not happening. The virus has not been contained and the large scale inoculations of the vaccine necessary to allow large gatherings will likely not happen in time for our May date. We are feeling very confident that the new vaccine plan that is being implemented will make it readily available soon.
We are currently nailing down the lineup (with a few changes, but also some great additions!) for the new dates in Fall 2021. On February 16, we will announce the DATES, BANDS and REFUND options. Like you, we are just as anxious as the next Punk to get in the pit, hug our friends, chug some beers and watch some awesome bands, so please bear with us while we navigate through these difficult times”.
Our thanks go to subscriber Kevin McNamara for the heads-up. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the rest of the May leg of the US tour as the dates get nearer. Naturally, we’ll do our best to keep you posted.
In the week we were also informed that the Suggs gig in Norwich at the Theatre Royal on 19th April has been cancelled. No news of a rescheduled date has been published. Our thanks go to subscriber Andy Farr for the news.
We’re certain further gigs will be cancelled before too long, unfortunately.
It’s not all bad news this week, however. Do check out our “Live and Intensified” section for details of the “Pork Pie & Mash Up – Rhoda Dakar With Guest Mark Bedford From Madness – Part Two”. The first part was excellent, and although we’ve not yet had chance to listen to this second part yet, we’re certain it’ll be just as good.
Over in “Live and Intensified” we’ve news of a new 2Tone exhibition where the organisers are on the lookout for items to display, and a heads-up that the forthcoming “More Love Letters to London” radio 4 series starring Suggs begins shortly.
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 874 – Sunday 7th February to Saturday 13th February 2016
It was only February, and the list of dates Madness had got lined-up for 2016 continued to increase. This week it was revealed that Madness had been booked as a headline act for this year’s Boom Town Festival.
The band were booked to play on August 13th, which was the Saturday Night of the Festival. With a capacity across 22 stages of 50,000 party goers. Boom Town featured uniquely contrasted facades, turning the countryside into a pop up town of buildings and sites with its own mayor and passport entry each year, where you become a citizen for the weekend.
On to Ska Orchestra news, and a new date for April had been confirmed for The Docklands area, but at the time this issue of the MIS went out tickets were not yet on sale. Lee had been in touch to say the band returned to the studio for some more overdubs and tweaking to the final cuts of some songs, with the album release date now moving towards June as the latest penciled-in plan.
Over in the Madstore, the band were getting in on the Valentine’s bandwagon, by offering 14% off items in their online store. To coincide with the February 14th the band had released a new “I heart Madness” t-shirt.
Next, and in “Sign of the Times we reported that Suggs would be helping to run a fundraising auction at JoJo’s Restaurant in the seaside resort of Whitstable. The event is the initiative of JoJo’s owner and chef, Nikki Billington, who had been making regular trips to France since the previous autumn with donations of food and other supplies for the Calais camp.
Suggs said he was “really pleased to be able to help”.
He added: “I’ve known Nikki for some time and she’s an amazing woman who’s already doing great things for the many people and children who are trapped in this no-man’s land across the Channel from us.”
The “MIS Feature” this week took a look at Nick Woodgate’s new web site. Nick had been in touch to tell us that he’d created a new web site to cover news detailing his songwriting. You could even preview tracks from his recent album “Morning”, the first album released under the name Nick Woodgate.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs was now doing the voice overs for Walkers Crisps on the snack foods Football Champion League themed tie in promotions. Our thanks went to Adam Nichols for point that one out.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 613 – Sunday 6th February – Saturday 12th February 2011
Being a slow news week, this wasn’t what you’d call a packed issue of the MIS, but we did our best at passing you whatever nutty news had come our way over the past seven days.
We began with the news that Virgin Media had unveiled their new advertising campaign, ‘More Exciting Place to Live’, showcasing the world of digital entertainment at our customers’ fingertips.
What did this have to do with Madness? Well, the ad featured lyrics from the Madness anthem ‘Our House’ narrated over the rousing music of Dan Black’s ‘HYPNTZ’. Giving us a glimpse into every room in the home, we saw people listening to music, watching films, staying in touch, learning, sharing and living in the digital world.
Here at MIS Online, we’d always been staunch supporters of North London band MOT. The band had been hard at work over the previous 10 years, writing news tunes and gigging like you wouldn’t believe. Well, it seemed as if all that hard work had paid off, as the band’s debut single, “Between the Lines” would be available on Spotify and iTunes the day after this issue of the MIS was due to go out. The single also included the two b-sides “Love Don’t Suit Ya” and “Never Ending Dream”.
Moving on, and with the Deaf School “Listen and Learn Tour” now in full swing, Mark Adamson of the official Deaf School web site: www.deafschool.music.com had kindly offered up TWO signed Deaf School CDs for us to give away in a prize winning competition.
All you had to do to be in the running is to answer Mark’s following poser:
“After their UK tour which culminates in Liverpool on 12 February, Deaf School head off to foreign climes. In which city on the other side of the world are they playing two gigs in the middle of this month?”
We promised to put all entries into a virtual hat, and pull out two random winners.
Jon Young brought this issue of the MIS to a close, with the following;
“Kitchen Floor” and “My Girl II” were the songs played at [the re-scheduled] Hull [gig] last night, from those 5 new ones they have been doing.
[The] set list [was] pretty much the same as the tour was, with these last 2 gigs from the rescheduled dates.
There was talk about the song “Can’t keep a good thing down”, which is now in recording stages for the album, but that’s not surfaced live yet, and possibly a further song being worked on by Lee [that] may be called “Man of Steel”. It’s about a solider who’s out of his mind adrenalin junkie.
Chris’s Hull showtime was Louis Armstrong’s “We Have all the Time in the World”, and Suggs wished everyone in Hull “Happy Christmas!!!””
15 years ago…
Issue number 353 – Sunday 5th February to Saturday 11th February 2006
We kicked-off issue 353 of the MIS, with news in from subscriber Graham Whitfield, who explained that he’d been watching a television programme on BBC2 entitled ‘Balderdash and Piffle’. The show aimed to explore the origins of various well-known phrases or words, and tried to find written evidence of their usage which pre-dated the Oxford Dictionary origin.
Great, but what did this have to do with Madness? Well, a word chosen for this particular episode was Ska.
After a very brief history of Ska, where of course Madness and the Specials got a mention, we were taken to Jamaica.
A poet and Ska expert from Birmingham, explored various theories for the origins of the word.
It was possibly derived from the rapid “ska ska ska ska” noise of a guitar playing ska, said one expert, a member of the Skatellites, no less. Or was it from the distinctive ska style dancing that accompanies it, proffered another?
But most persuasive was Prince Buster himself. Interviewed on the corner of Orange Street, he claimed the word as his own creation.
Apparently, it was an abbreviation of the word ‘scat’, itself an abbreviation of the word ‘scatter’, which was a word in use at early Ska gigs.
No concrete evidence, so the official dictionary entry remained as:
“A kind of popular music of Jamaican origin, characterized by a fast tempo and emphasis of the off-beat. Also, a dance to such music.”
It was on to a much more serious note next. Over the past few months Chris Carter-Pegg had noticed the rise in fake Madness autographs cropping-up in auction site Ebay, and had decided that now was the time to warn fellow fans so they could reduce the risk of being ripped-off for a set of scrawlings that had nothing to do with our favourite band.
Following Chris’ detailed article, he finished off by saying that:
“If anyone has any doubt about the authenticity of any item they see please feel free to email me for my opinion before bidding – or ask for advice from any of the Madness mailing lists where I am sure there will be plenty of people happy to help”.
Next it was over to Andrew Langmead who emailed the MIS with the news that Wavelength Films’ ‘Disappearing London’ would be repeated on the Sky Travel Channel, starting on Sunday the 5th of February.
Now, those of a certain age would no doubt remember the much-loved BBC TV series “Jim’ll Fix it”. The show, for those of you not versed in this, saw viewers write in, asking for Jim to grant them their wish.
One such lucky child in 1983 was Natasha Fox who sent such a letter to the show, asking for sing with her favourite band, Madness. And so at an age younger than 10 years old she found herself on BBC television playing “Tomorrow’s Just another day” singing live with the band and at least attempting to show off her acoustic guitar skills.
In reality it was clearly a mimed TV piece with only Natasha’s mic being live to add her vocals to the track. An added young female vocal gave something to the song, it certainly wasn’t a mini-pop style disaster as a TV idea.
So, MIS were posing the question “What ever happened to Natasha Fox”? Did you know her? Did you know how we could find her? We were keen to interview her 25 years on and find out what went on during that special day.
It was over to amateur film production for our next article, as a fan of Madness and classic comedy had been in touch to let us know that he was currently in the process of shooting a 5 minute film in Melbourne, for a charity festival in September.
It was to be Called “Yesterday’s men and Tomorrow’s boys” and was a tribute to forgotten (at least in Melbourne) icons. It’s purpose was to pay homage to people like Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett of Steptoe and Son fame. The amateur film would contain Music by Madness.
We finished off this week’s edition of the MIS with the news that on Sunday 12th Feb, North London’s MOT would be on stage at The Barfly.
If you could get along, we asked if you’d be kind enough to knock-up a review.
20 years ago…
Issue number 91 – Sunday 4th February to Saturday 10th February 2001
This was one packed edition of the MIS. First up, and Simon Roberts had some hot news regarding the planned rebuilding of that legendary meeting point, Camden Town Tube Station, and how such famous Madness haunts as the market, what was Rock on, and Holts Shoe Shop could be under threat from town planners.
Following that, Andrew Langmead made a return for the forth week on the trott to complete the fantastic Madchart. This week, entries 15 to 1 were charted, along with a full and in-depth analysis to surprise and intrigue any self-respecting Madness fan.
Moving slightly off topic for a moment, but of obvious interest to the majority of you, we had news that Buster Bloodvessel was taken to hospital in Italy after collapsing onstage. Whilst on a jollier note, Cheryl Barzo was here with some more details surrounding the forthcoming Madness Injection weekend.
MIS online subscriber Simsey has a few bits and pieces he was putting up for sale, and if you were after a slice of live Madness tinged antics, Lee Swandale had news of a forthcoming Crunch gig for later in the month.
Alan Cahill had been digging up news from the Talksport.net website which stated that the legendary Suggs would be answering your questions on sporting passions for a future radio show.
And, if that lot wasn’t enough, Simsey had plans to put together a batch of Madness Injection 2001 t-shirts, and Brendan Phipps was here once again with the latest batch of gigs from the fantastic One Step Behind.
Live and Intensified
Pork Pie & Mash Up – Rhoda Dakar With Guest Mark Bedford From Madness – Part Two
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.
Submissions so far include Roddy Radiation’s pork pie hat, a Fred Perry polo and a Harrington jacket.
A new exhibition in Coventry celebrating 2 Tone music and subculture is seeking contributions from the public.
As part of the exhibition, the museum has called for those who took part in the 2 Tone movement to submit their favourite 2 Tone memories, photos, videos, and memorabilia.
The full article can be found at the above link.
Suggs: More Love Letters to London
Friday 12th Feb, 11:30am, Radio 4
3 stars out of 5
Graham Suggs McPherson, AKA Suggs, was born in Hastings and spent some of his childhood in Wales and Liverpool, yet his music has a very London sound. Suggs likes mooching around the capital’s streets, and knows both the familiar and the obscure byways of the city.
In this new series of his aural portraits of London, he takes us to Oxford Street, tells us some stories about this part of town, and throws in a song or two.
Our thanks go to Stav for the heads-up on this one.
We’re almost done for this week, but before we go we’d just like to report that Nick Woodgate and his JoJo Man Band have been at it again, releasing yet more new music.
I think it’s one of the best tunes I’ve ever done!!”.
And finally, don’t forget that on the 12th February, from 7pm – 9pm you can join John Halpern, the UK’s No 1 crossword setter, and comedian Dave Gorman for a one-off, crossword-creating show to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
You can watch the magic live as John and Dave create a cryptic crossword, start to finish, on Dave’s chosen theme of Madness.