Last Sunday Woody, Suggs and Mike appeared at Spiritland, Kings Cross for what was probably the worst Madness ticket deal in decades. A whipping £35 quid to witness a 7 song DJ set talked over. If that wasn’t enough it was streamed over the internet for free!
If you weren’t able or willing to attend, we have the full lowdown of the session in this issue’s Live and Intensified.
Also, this week, Iain Mason has been kind enough to tells us more about his recently launched Seven Ragged Men web site. If you’ve yet to check out Seven Ragged Men then you really need to pop over for a visit.
Before you do that, however, we have another packed issue for you. So, sit back and enjoy the read,
As we recently mentioned, Thommo’s film project “One Man’s Madness, A RockuMockuDocumentary”, is now live on Pledge Music
Lee Thompson’s comedy life story film, featuring multiple mad Lee performances, and starring all of Madness and many more well known voices, is nearly complete and coming out this year. All that remains to make this possible if for your to pledge and help complete the project as planned.
11. Oranges And Lemons Again – Jools Holland & Suggs
12. No More Alcohol
13. Blue Day (feat. The Chelsea Team) [Stamford Bridge Mix] – Suggs And Co
14. I Feel Good
It collects all 8 of his top 40 singles, adding to that the original “Alcohol” and what was arguably the most like second single, if three pyramids had reached that stage, in “So Tired”
Adding 3 b-sides, the obscure “Same again” to two covers, “I feel good” (James Brown) and “Alright” by Supergrass, to no doubt try and encourage the casual music fan to buy this budget priced release.
Finally, it pulls the two tracks from Jools Holland and Friends albums. The near single “Oranges and Lemon’s Again” and the more forgotten bouncy “Jack of the Green.”
This new CD is out now and has started shipping to fans. The sleeve features a new cover design, based on a photo taken recently for Suggs Live show.
Fans have reported that “The Tune” is the instrumental version from the Cecillia CD Single, rather than the vocal album mix.
Can’t Touch Us Now – Limited Double Vinyl Edition.
2xLP ** New **
All 16 tracks. A new half speed master in gatefold.
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Limited & Numbered of 2,000
The inner sleeves inside the gatefold outer cover features “Hong Kong” and “Australian” versions of the albums cover art, no doubt used in some function on the recent tour. So, we’re treated to Hong Kong’s Tian Tan Buddha statue and Sydney Opera House replacing St. Paul’s, for example. There are also a number of other country references mixed in. We noticed Dame Edna! on the front of the Australian one.
MIS Feature – The Making of Madness – Seven Ragged Men
The idea for Seven Ragged Men began in 1997 when I was working at News International. They had a fantastic digital database of newspapers and magazines. At the same time I was reading Anthology, which is just John, Paul, George and Ringo talking through the history of The Beatles in chronological order. It was such a great book and I thought something similar would be perfect for Madness. So I started stockpiling print interviews, with a vague notion that something could be done. Exactly what, I had no idea.
As the years rumbled on, I kept adding bits and bobs, but was never really sure what I was going to do with it all. Jermaine from Tour Madness was a great help, and his meticulous grand written notes, sent from the Netherlands every month or so, helped fill in the blanks and give things some structure.
(‘Hand written’ obv)
So by 2015 I had a rough collection of quotes in reasonable order, culled from press and magazine interviews. I then saw the rather brilliant Madness In Quotes FB page, got in touch and donated some of the material I’d been sitting on all this time. If you like I thought of it like The Specials/Madness in 1979
– two people doing the same thing separately and unaware of each other.
So, now came the light bulb moment: I should really do something with all these quotes, because the book I wanted to read about Madness was obviously never going to happen.
So, as well as all the press and magazine interviews, I widened the net and started collating anything and everything I could find. YouTube was a godsend, with countless interviews and TV appearances to glean content from. The idea was to gather together all the disparate quotes, interviews, clips and soundbites, then add them to the mix, with dates as milestones along the way.
So from a single quote to things like Young Guns or the Radio 2 documentary, it was all dissected and put in the right order.
There was a lot of repetition – particularly over the major events like playing at Dave Robinson’s wedding, writing Baggy Trousers or Mike leaving. So it was a case of editing out the duplicate content and trying to make it all flow – I wanted it to sound like a proper conversation, not just a random load of quotes strung together. I also wanted to give each band member a strong presence – Suggs does most of the interviews, but I didn’t want it to be just him talking. So I’ve trimmed his stuff down and tried to give everyone a fair crack of the whip. I’ve also not used much from That Close for the same reason – what would be the point? Ditto the John Reed biography from a few years back. I’ve used them both more as markers to make sure I’ve got dates and facts right (although Suggs isn’t the most reliable when it comes to dates!)
Also, it’s not meant to be the definitive history of the band – if they haven’t talked about it, it’s not in 7RM. I expect a lot of it will already be known to devoted Maddies, but hopefully there’s enough new things that haven’t been seen before. From a personal point of view, I’ve learned lots of stuff I didn’t really know before, mainly about the early days and influences. It’s been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – a couple of lines from Chris in Q magazine, a soundbite from a radio interview with Suggs, and a fanzine interview with Carl, all talking about the same thing but from a different standpoint, and suddenly the bigger picture emerges. A good example would be when they’re talking about the gig at The Friars in Aylesbury in 1979 when Carl is late, and arrives to a hero’s welcome. What you see about it on 7RM has been pulled together from about seven or eight different sources, said at different times, yet stitch them together the right way and suddenly you get a more rounded view of events. It’s been a long job, and there’s still 30+ years to go, but I’m loving it.
I know there will probably be errors, whether it’s dates or chart placings etc, so I really want people to let me know if there’s a blunder. And ditto, if there’s an article or interview that has been overlooked, I’m always looking for new content to get that jigsaw filled in.
The response so far has been fantastic – very encouraging and positive – which makes all the typing worthwhile.
1982 is imminent and what a year it is – currently tidying and checking but it should go live soon.
This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 687 – Sunday 8th July – Saturday 14th July 2012
Over the previous week the UK and much of Europe had continued to suffer unseasonably wet weather.
This was traditionally festival season, but with storm after storm battering the country many venues had found that the ground was simply unable to drain any further water.
Many events had been cancelled, and unfortunately our favourite band had been unable to completely escape this. The following was posted up on the official Madness web site on July 6th, and quickly re-sent across the internet via email, Facebook and Twitter.
“We are devastated to announce that this weekend’s gigs at Haydock Park and Carlisle have had to be cancelled due to unprecedented heavy rainfall. Here’s the statement from the Organisers:
“Following over 27mm of rain since 8am this morning (Friday) at Haydock Park and a similar story in Carlisle, event organisers have admitted defeat in staging this weekend’s race meetings and concerts by Madness.
Due to health and safety concerns with additional rain forecast, the racecourses were left with no alternative other than to abandon the fixture.”
All ticket holders will automatically receive a full refund”.
The freak weather didn’t just impact Madness, as Lee Thompson’s Ska Orchestra were meant to be playing (8th July) at day two of MFest.
The full statement from the shows’ organisers was as follows:
“It is with our deepest regret that due to the adverse weather conditions leading up to this event in conjunction with the extreme weather warning as issued by the met office for the weekend, we were left with no other decision than to abandon this weekends’ MFEST.
This was a joint decision made between the promoter, the production team, health and safety and Harewood House.
We sought advice from a number of agencies including Leeds City Council before making the decision.
The publics’ health and safety is of paramount concern, therefore it would be irresponsible to continue however disappointed we all are.
Information on ticket refunds will be issued on Monday 9th July.”
Meanwhile, Lee Tweeted;
“Should be at the M fest, not at ‘home in me vest!”
Elsewhere, and the Digital Spy web site reported that Suggs had to be escorted away by security after he invited the stage at a Sting gig.
Apparently, he drunkenly made his way on to the stage while Sting was performing, and wouldn’t leave.
Suggs’s wife, Bette Bright, denied that he was drunk when he stepped on stage, saying: “I wasn’t with him. But he wasn’t really drunk because he knew he had to go to Stuttgart today. He just got on stage, which he always does, and said how much he loved Sting. That was about it. I don’t think he was dragged off by security. It’s just been wildly exaggerated.”
Moving on, and it was over to Paul Rodgers for another one of his Madness Stats, Facts and Figures articles. This past week saw Complete Madness sat at position 138 and Ultimate Madness at 159.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Coventry’s 2-Tone mecca – “2-Tone Central”, was about to get even bigger and better.
The latest news was that work was underway on a new Rudies Room and a 2-Tone Museum. The cafe and Simmer Down restaurant were already complete. One to add to the ever growing list of places to visit!
10 years ago…
Issue 427 – Sunday 8th July – Saturday 14th July 2007
This time ten years ago we were experiencing a pretty shoddy summer. However, it looked like that whatever the weather, you’d certainly get a day of summer on the 15th of July?
Well, this was the day when some fantastic bands were due to take to the stage at the forthcoming Guildfest, and we reckoned that there was little reason to leave the Radio 2 stage on the Sunday.
As well as Madness headlining the line-up, earlier in the evening Reggae Roots groover Toots and his Maytals would entertain, before them The Dub Pistols were due to bring Special’s legend Terry Hall to the mike, whilst Skaville UK featured ex members of Bad Manners and Selecter would be bringing you some great ska music with Rhoda Dakar as guest during their set.
To make the 1979 line up all the more complete The Beat were the 2nd band on the stage on Sunday. It was almost a full on revival!
We had some interesting news for the book collectors and readers amongst you next, as we printed pricing details, release date and the synopsis for “Suggs: The Autobiography”, which was due for release on the 18th of October… 2008! Only a year and three months to wait!
Moving on, and we didn’t normally run an obituary column in the MIS, but after reading about this guy we felt he seemed to deserver the respect of a few more Madness fans..
“FRIENDS and family of Paul Miles have paid their final respects to a man whose personality could fill a room.
More than 100 people turned out to pay tribute to the lorry driver who died in a road accident on June 23.
As the funeral car pulled up, the sound of Madness’ One Step Beyond filled Kingsdown Crematorium.
During the service Our House by Madness was played. Mr Rowe said this was to reflect Paul’s pride in his home and his family”.
We passed the reigns over to Vince Foley for the next article, as he gave us an in-depth account of Madness live at The Marquee, in his home town of Cork. After an absence of 22 years the band finally returned.
Two weeks prior to this date the band dealt with fire in Athens, the next week it was the earth a Mudstock (Glastonbury), and at this gig it was the wind.
From the day before the band were due to appear there had been severe winds in Cork and The Marquee, which boasted itself as being durable, was under attack. Doors were meant to open at 7:30pm, with the band on at 9:00pm. Unfortunately, with the high winds the doors weren’t opened until 10:00pm, and it wasn’t until 10:30 that the band took to the stage, armed with an extended entertainment licence. New songs “Bingo” and “Let’s go” received airings here;
“Good song, nice piano start and words like “oh this town” ring throughout the chorus. Delighted as we were, we then were treated to another new gem called “Let’s go”. A more strange one. Very deep voice vocals by Suggs, so much so it’s quite difficult to decipher what he says only for ‘well let’s go’. Might work better on a studio version”.
After over six months of talking about it, the Madness Trading Ring finally bagged their interview with Chrissy Boy, and were also kind enough to let us print it in full in this issue.
The majority of questions had been sent in by the Madness fanbase, so many took this opportunity to get those burning questions finally answered by the man himself.
We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with a massive Madness at Glastonbury review by subscriber ‘Kazwid’. Breaking off his self imposed 8 year break from the festival (bad weather and camping just wasn’t for him) and managing to get a ticket in the second round of ticket sales we were treated to a full set list and detailed write up of just what went on.
15 years ago…
Issue 164 – Sunday 7th July – Saturday 13th July 2002
Following a lean issue the previous week it was heartening to discover that this edition of the MIS was far meatier, and this was partly due to subscriber John Thorpe, who not only finished off his Bad Manners discography which he started a couple of issue back, but also popped in to update us us on the recently started Resonance Radio station.
Elsewhere, and Colin Hinchley got in touch with details of the `Essential Festival`, which although not Madness related, consisted of many bands that would have certainly have been of interest to many of you. With no Madstock taking place this year, it was a damned good second best.
Further on, and we had news that the Madness musical had been put back a few days. At the time of this issue going out, we were unsure as to exactly why this delay has occurred.
Meanwhile, Graeme Sharpe had been scouring the internet, and had stumbled upon a recording of the recent Jonathan Ross/Chas Smash interview, recorded for Radio 2 last month. For those people who missed it, this was an ideal opportunity to catch it.
Finally, to round the issue off, we had news in revealing that Madness were to stage a small low-key gig in Spain. Warnings to readers were issued before they went off and booked flights, as this was unfortunately a private gig.
What a shame, eh?
Live and Intensified
Madness at Spiritland
In a hipster cafe in kings cross where a sausage roll no bigger than your finger costs £6, and bar tabs of £23 pound become crossed with other punters tables and you are asked for £91 instead when checking out, causing arguments, comes an evening of Madness. What is probably the worst Madness ticket deal in decades £35 quid to witness a 7 song DJ set talked over! and then find it’s something being streamed for free on the internet.
Seeing Woody walking around after his recent quad bike accident. = Priceless.
He gingerly sits down on one of four stools next to Mike and Suggs and Journalist Miranda Sawyer who is hosting the evening, and beyond a slight wince of spine adjustment, he proceeds to delight the gathered crowd, coming across more fresh fit awake and healthy next to a slightly drawling slightly boozy Suggs and a usual mumbling magic Mike.
Rewatch the streaming broadcast from Madness here to enjoy the full hour and a half.
The evening turned then into a delightful intimate evening listening to records with half the band like you were hanging on with Suggs and a Saturday night round his record player. The bar houses a massive speaker system and heavy turntable prepared for such evenings of this kind.
1 . Have a Cup of Tea – The Kinks
Suggs chose this track for the everyday nature of its lyrics. He Talked about the kinks singing in their own vernacular.
2. White man in Hammersmith Palais – The Clash
Leads to a repetition of the Madness in Policeman uniforms anecdote from Suggs after a discussion of the gig that is described in the lyrics of the song having actually taken place. Don Letts DJing in the early days of this music is discussed. Catch him at the house of fun 2017.
3. Hey Joe – Jimmy Hendrix (Cut from broadcast for rights issues)
The sheer power of Hendrix is cited as Woody’s reason for picking this track.
4. Is That All There Is – Peggy Lee
A Suggs favourite previously on his desert island discs. Once the only tune he had in his jukebox
5. Blue Skinned Beast – Madness
By far the highlight was Mike talking about Lee Thompson constructing this song from The Rise and Fall Album. Fingers crossed they air this at House of Fun now they have remembered it exists. Woody’s confession that he prefers more simple drum patterns now a possible hurdle to such a wish or Suggs complaint that it has so many words!
5b (Feel The Earth Move under my feet – Carol King) Discussion dropped for time.
Woody saying that Tapestry is one of the best albums ever.
6. I don’t want to go to Chelsea – Elvis Costello
Tomorrows just another day gets a mention. Mike joking he sang it better than Suggs. The attractions becoming part of THE Madness is mentioned also as the only people who could help replace Mike. Though the story of Thommo knocking out a member of UB40 got the most reaction.
7. Don’t Let Them Catch you Crying – Madness
Around the time of the last track Suggs held up the new album, in it’s new double vinyl version, and then threw it at the crowd.
Mike talks about the new album starting from rehearsals Chris insisted on. It started in small rehearsals. This track and Mike’s You are My everything were the last two emailed into Suggs after he thought the album was finished.
Clive Langer and Charlie Andrew took to the mic’s to talk about making the new album. Charlie joking that he tidies up Clive’s work like Alan Winstanley used to before he moved abroad. Clive talked about Liam and 8 track recording.
The Q and A descended into in jokes with contributions from our left corner of fans, concerning Mike’s Fingers, Chicken nuggets sauce of choice, Mayoral duties were discussed and an attempt at a serious political question fell flat from someone who had thought it up before it had already been proved wrong in the evenings discussion of deeper meanings in Madness songs.
The final laugh was Woody’s wife telling him off by text saying she had had to make her own cup of tea in his absence.
We grabbed a quick word and wished him well. He said drumming rehearsals were going well and he hoped to return to the kit for Bestival. Great stuff.
Play when you are ready Woody. Otherwise take it one tea cup at a time.
The forthcoming House of Common gig gets ever closer, and this week the band “Slaves” were added the festival line up. With so many artists due to perform the ticket certainly offers value for money.
Finally, and with just two weeks to go until the Silencerz apear at the 100 club, we’ve had word from DJ Swanny, telling us that his playlist is ready to roll. Next week we’ll have the next article from Nick detailing original songs from the band.