If you were hoping to get along to the gig but were stuck for someone to look after the kids, this may have helped you solve the problem, and at the same time give your little ‘uns a fantastic day out.
Next weekend sees the latest all-day festival, House of Common take place in the capital. If you do manage to get along then please send us a review of the day. We’ll be more than happy to print it.
Before that, though, there’s this week’s issue to get through.
September 5th – Indo – Whitechapel Road, London ** New **
Album launch – Afloat
Afloat – the debut album from The NJE is launched at the band’s spiritual home in the East End. It’s already garnering rave reviews from Jazz In Europe, Evening Standard, Louder Than War etc and receiving great airplay on BBC 6Music!! Support and DJ set as usual.
Lee Thompson Needs you to Pledge and Share Now
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.
** NEW EXCLUSIVE ITEMS **
Exclusive Baggy Trousers video prints available now
Unearthed from the archives are four never before seen prints from the video shoot for the iconic Madness Baggy Trousers video, featuring Lee Thompson flying above the fields of Islip Street School.
Numbered and signed by Lee, these hand printed photographs are limited to a run of only 2…
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.
Cant Touch Us Now – Limited Double Vinyl Edition.
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.
Ahead of Dawn Penn’s appearance at House of Common next bank holiday weekend, we look back at the making of the seminal tune “No, No, No, You Don’t Love Me”, courtesy of an old Guardian piecee by Dave Simpson. A much loved hit tune in Madness circles these days, since the live cover by The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra has proved a live spine tingling moment in some venues in the last couple of years, now the song is set to appear as a Madness support song.
I grew up in Jamaica, near Studio One, the famous recording studio in Kingston. It became a second home, especially on Sundays, when they would hold auditions. I was barely into my mid-teens when I got a chance to sing for the legendary producer “Sir Coxsone” Dodd. It was 1967, the early days of rocksteady, and he liked my voice.
You Don’t Love Me (No No No) was our first recording and I remember standing next to Jackie Mittoo, the keyboard player from the Skatalites, following his chords as I sang about lost love. In church, we used to sing this old gospel thing, “Yes, yes, yes, Jesus loves me”, so I sang, “No, no, no.” People said: “It’s too negative. It’ll never sell.” But it was a big hit in Jamaica.
I made more records, but never saw any money for them, and in 1970 left Jamaica to trace my family ancestry. This took me to Pennsylvania and the British Virgin Islands. After 17 years, I came back to Jamaica and found the island alive with dancehall. I was asked to rerecord the song for Studio One’s 35th anniversary. They made it a bit more dancehall, then Atlantic picked it up and it became a global smash.
The moment that happened, eight different people claimed they wrote it. Eventually, it was decided that some of my lyrics were similar to Willie Cobbs’ 1961 blues song You Don’t Love Me, which itself was similar to Bo Diddley’s 1955 track She’s Fine, She’s Mine. This was the first I’d heard these records, but the royalties were split three ways and some of my payments are still held up today.
It’s been a rough ride at times, but I was nominated for a Grammy and now everyone wants to sing the song: Beyoncé, Lily Allen, Rihanna, even the Wu-Tang Clan. I’ve never earned enough to buy myself an aeroplane or anything, but I’ve made seven albums and people all over the world still want to hear me sing my signature song.
Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne, producer
I used to play the original version of You Don’t Love Me so much, I wore a hole in the vinyl. Then, in 1992, Dawn Penn came to our studio, trying to sell a tape. I couldn’t believe it was her. When I told Steely [fellow producer Wycliffe Johnson], it was like telling a child that Santa Claus was outside. We told her we’d love to re-record You Don’t Love Me.
The vocal on the single is actually the demo: the first take, recorded just to help us lay down the track. Dawn’s voice was so perfect that we didn’t have to do any equalisation or anything, which amazed me. When she sang it again, it wasn’t the same. As they say, sometimes the first cut is the deepest.
A great song is always a great song, but we gave it some new clothes. The sample at the beginning is from U-Roy: “Wake up the town and tell the people.” Great sample! We were still just learning the business: I didn’t think about copyright and eventually had to pay for it. Steely’s keyboard created a smooth, deep bass, like the old sound system recordings. We couldn’t find the trumpeter from the original record, so David Madden, who was Bob Marley’s trumpeter, did a great job. Sometimes when you work on a record, you get a feeling it is going to be a hit, but we had no idea how big. We made it timeless, a bridge between the old and new.
Of the song, MIS subscriber Darren Fordham told us;
“I was a fan of the song long before we got to work with Dawn, and singing it with her at Glastonbury and on Jools Holland’s Hootananny are definitely two of my highlights with the LTSO.”
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 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 693 – Sunday 19th August – Saturday 25th August 2012
Madness certainly did well at promoting themselves the previous weekend, as their Olympics closing ceremony appearance was watched by an average audience of 26.2 million on UK TV, and an estimated 750 million worldwide.
With a surge in Madness sales following their appearance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee seeing an increase in chart activity, we could only hope that this would have a similar effect.
The band’s management were certainly keen to jump on this amazing opportunity (and who could blame them?), as the Total Madness reissue was now available to buy.
Moving away from re-issues, and we were pleased to report that the NEW Madness album was now available to pre order on Amazon and Play. The release date was pencilled in as the 29th October. Just two months to wait!
Having seen the Suggs solo show (again!) in the week just gone, MIS co-editor, Jon Young was seen to give us a mini review in the form of an update. This update detailed changes to the running, and also comments on how relaxed Suggs now seemed to be on stage.
Going back to those recent Jubilee and Olympic appearances by our favourite band. How had those helped album and single sales? The one and only Paul Rodgers was here to tell all in his much-loved Madness Chart Stats, Facts and Figures articles.
Things didn’t seem to have gone quite as well as expected…
“I’ll start this week with a catch up of the chart issued the week before the Olympic closing ceremony.
Madness’ chart action was greatly reduced that week, with Complete Madness dropping from 120 to 126 to be Madness’ only album in the top 200. This was only the second week since the Forever Young compilation had been released back in April that Madness only had one album in the top 200.
On the indie chart Madness had more to shout about with Complete at 17 and Ultimate at 28 (as reported in my last update) and Forever Young at 46.
Fast forward a week to the chart issued a couple of hours before Madness took to the stage to perform their re-recorded part-live version of Our House and once again Madness only had one entry in the top 200 with Complete Madness plummeting to number 158.
The indie charts looked pretty similar to the previous week with Complete dropping to 20, Ultimate dipping to 29 and Forever Young dropping to 50.
These figures may or may not have been affected by stores preparing to stock and supply the reissued version of Total Madness, which was to be TV advertised….”
Paul returned later in the issue with a massive review of the reissued Total Madness compilation. After going into much detail on this new release, Paul finished by telling us;
“This is a cracking compilation album and Madness are a cracking band.
Do yourself a favour, if you’re new to this band as a result of the jubilympics buy this, buy yourself some of their back catalogue and keep your eyes and ears open for the release of their brand new album”
Later still, Paul returned TWICE MORE, and this time it was with further Madness stats, facts and figures. Total Madness was now at number 13 in the album charts, with the Our House single just outside the top 100 in the Indie singles charts. Not bad at all!
We brought this week’s issue to a close with a short report stating that Madness played a storming set at this weekend’s V Festival, and that a selection of Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra videos taken at the Reggae Sun Ska Festival in France, had now surfaced online.
10 years ago…
Issue number 433 – Sunday 19th August – Saturday 25th August 2007
This issue began with the news that the Bizarre section in the 16th Aug Sun newspaper reported on Radio 1’s 40th. anniversary plans. They were to have 40 present-day artistes re-record a hit song from each of their 40 years of existence.
1992, rather bizarrely, would be represented by the Madness re-release of “It must be Love”, re-recorded by Paolo Nutini.
It was car news next, as the MSN news web site were reporting that Suggs had seen his beloved Rolls Royce end up in a swimming pool after losing a bet.
Fellow Virgin Radio DJ Christian O’Connell challenged Suggs over which of them could down the most pints of Guinness in one weekend, our favourite frontman was apparently so certain of winning that he put his prized Roller up for a bet.
But O’Connell won – and added insult to injury by dumping the car in a pool at the V Festival site in Chelmsford, Essex.
Moving on, and a few issues back we quite savagely mouthed off opinions about the Mad Art competition. Now it was your chance to redeem yourselves, as the band were asking you to send in pictures that you felt were suitable to be used as profile pictures for the Madspace MySpace site.
Jonathan commented at the time:
“An excellent idea. While the madspace picture is nice and iconic, it’s a 6 member pose from 1986, missing the mighty Barson.
Let’s get some great pictures up on the site for everyone to enjoy, and get a good selection of photos that can really represent the whole band on MySpace, with a great group shot”.
Following this, we passed things over to to Jonathan Young and Dan Fossard, who provided us with a detailed lowdown of the previous week’s Madness performance at Ascot Racecourse. The two of them had hoped to get the write up into the previous week’s issue, but the two of them were feeling too delicate to get it done in time.
Still, it was worth the wait, and the write up proved to be an excellent summing up of just what went on.
We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with a look at some of the recent posts that had appeared on the official Madness message board. This latest roundup of postings covered fan feedback from the band’s performance at Sziget, Hungary, on the 13th of August.
15 years ago…
Issue number 171 – Sunday 18th August – Saturday 24th August 2002
We started this edition of the MIS off by apologising for the slightly slimmer issue this week than of late.
Not only did we have the traditional Summer news drought to contend with, but Jonathan found himself on a course, meaning that the MIS editorial team was basically down to half power.
It would seem that here at the MIS, we weren’t the only ones experiencing problems. News in from The Total Madness Mailing List was that the admin had decided to extend the deadline of their prize winning “We’re Coming Over” competition due to continued problems with their mailing list server.
With the forthcoming Madness musical getting ever closer, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to organise a Madmeet to coincide with one of the performances. That someone turned out to be one Chris Mountain, who announced in this issue that the meet would take place on Saturday 7th of October, at non other than Camden’s Dublin Castle pub.
Things seemed to have gone rather quiet with regards to the re-release of the Butterfield 8 album, so MIS subscriber Joost, dropped Terry Edwards an email in an effort to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Terry promptly replied, explaining that the production of the 10” vinyl had encountered some problems. The issues had now been resolved, and this had now put the release back of the vinyl and CD to some time in October.
Next, it was back to the subject of the much anticipated Madness musical, where we had been contacted by Sarah Beaumont of web site whatsonstage.com. It turned out that the web site were running a small question and answer session with Suggs and Carl, which would take place after one of the shows.
Only 100 tickets were available for this session, so fans were advised to contact the web site as soon as possible, so they could secure a place.
Further on in this issue, and we revealed that ST Publishing (publishers of the excellent ‘Total Madness’ book, had recently got themselves a presence on the web. Probably of more interest to fans, though, was that you could now buy the book online for a mere £9.99.
Lee Thompson DJ Set – MIS Special Discount Offer
Half Priced Tickets to MIS Readers for Lee Thompson DJ Set
Come along and have a double header afternoon of Fun with Thommo and Looney Toonz Frontman Rev Toon as the pop up Nutty Bar hits town on the Saturday before House of Common.
The Social in the West End is the venue for an afternoon of fun as Harry Wandsworth brings his Nutty Bar to London for a one off event on the bank holiday weekend from 2pm.
And anyone who wants to be in with a chance to win a Nutty Bar Polo signed by all seven members of the band can also purchase raffle tickets at 2 pounds each with the winner being drawn by Thommo himself!
All proceeds go to help out the brilliant museum at the 2Tone Village in Coventry!
With everything from tasselled jumpsuits, wrestling belts and breakdance, The Cuban Brothers gave a memorable performance, leaving the audience happily bewildered as they rattled off funky beats and pumped the crowd for the headliners.
All of the acts were brilliant, with a real effort been made to keep it local and fun, with bands from Maidstone and mentions of Canterbury and Whitstable.
As well as the music, the one-day festival boasted a range of food stands, two fairground rides and a wide selection of Madness merchandise, including branded fezzes.
Suggs, whose family have a beach hut in Whitstable, poured all of his energy into the performance, with his vocals echoing across the masses.
Even though they’ve been going a while, their music and their stage presence hasn’t aged at all.
If you think you might not know any Madness songs, you’d be surprised – it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll find yourself singing along.
Madness go One Step Beyond for Alex’s James’ Big Feastival
Blur would have been nothing without us,” jokes Suggs as he talks about the immeasurable influence of Madness.
Then, remembering that he and the rest of the band will take to the stage for the Big Feastival at former Blur-guitarist Alex James’s farm later this month, he asks if I can not mention that bit until after the event.
This is Suggs. He, like Madness, is funny, irreverent, energetic and quintessentially English.
Firing on all cylinders as he excitedly talks about the upcoming Feastival, a delicious merger of food and music, Suggs talks about how the festival scene has evolved since he and Madness first performed as teenagers.
“The whole festival thing has changed beyond all recognition,” he says.
“I’ve been around for 400 years so I’ve seen the development. When we started there was just about two. Now there’s all sorts of amazing things going on all over the place – which is great for us because we enjoy playing live.”
“The first gig I ever went to was at Charlton football ground in 1974. The blokes were [urinating] down each others’ legs. There were no toilets, no food. My mum would certainly have never come to a festival with me. It’s a generational thing.
“We play all sorts of festivals now. There must be a lull in the conversation and somebody says: let’s get those old farts out there.
“It is interesting. People want to go out and congregate with other people and play music. And watching people play live is something you can’t get from a computer. It’s incredible.”
The reignited scene is responsible for reigniting Madness, the band Suggs and his friends started when he was just 16.
Within a couple of years, the ska group from Camden Town were appearing on Top of the Pops, their unique style continuing to capture something of the country’s spirit.
Hits like Baggy Trousers and House of Fun tapped into something that had largely been untapped by other bands. They didn’t take themselves seriously – rather, they wanted to have fun and they wanted their audiences to have fun with them.
However, despite being huge in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, things began to slow down as time went on and, when reaching the ripe old age of 27, Suggs thought it was all over.
But then something happened. Festivals changed. No longer were there just a couple of events a year with limited demographics. The scene, rather, became an industry. Festivals began springing up all around the country, each one offering something different and appealing to far wider audiences than ever before.
Suddenly, festivals weren’t just for a certain age group or type of person. They were for the whole family. Some bands seem to regard this shift with bewilderment or, sometimes, disappointment, but Suggs couldn’t be happier.
“The great thing about festivals is that, when we play a gig, we know the reaction we’re going to get,” he says. “At a festival a lot of people haven’t come to see you.
“It’s good to see young people dancing to music you probably recorded before they were born.”
The Big Feastival, to be held next month on Alex’s Kingham farm, has an appeal beyond the music. It offers another of life’s great joys: food – and lots of it.
Celebrity chefs are on hand to offer live demonstrations and street food appealing to every palate is never too far away.
“I’m really digging the fact that half of it is cookery and the other half is rock & roll, so as well as the really good line-up there’s hopefully some really good food to get my gnashers ‘round,” Suggs continues, his appetite perking up.
“I very much hope that Alex James is going to present us with the finest selection of cheeses known to humanity. What could be better than that?”
Suggs, who lists Montgomery Cheddar and Red Leicester among his favourites, ponders cheese for a moment, before adding: “Alex has got into cheese at the right time because it was on its uppers. I think with cheese we make the mistake of eating it after a meal. We should make it the meal.”
Keen on cooking, though admitting to not quite being as good as his wife, Anne, Suggs says he enjoys making a pheasant stew, which, after jellied eels and bangers and mash, is the exact sort of very British thing you’d imagine Suggs enjoying.
With the conversation returning to Madness and the band’s repeated success, I confront him with the possibility that he and the rest of the band are now national treasures.
As expected, he bats the notion away with a humble humour.
“You never consider yourself a national treasure,” he says. “But there’s an empty plinth in Trafalgar Square and we’re very happy to put ourselves on it for a bit.”
Whether he is or isn’t, the fact is Suggs will never see himself in that light. That’s not why he does it. That’s not why Madness do it. They do it for something altogether simpler.
“You start off and you have a good gig and you’re really happy,” he says. “No one imagines that 40 years on you’re still going to be doing it. I could have easily been sitting on a park bench somewhere – but life just keeps throwing things our way.
“You never know what’s round the next corner. You’re never going to beat being a kid in a band and having birds turning up and everything – but it becomes a blur.
“The whole purpose of what we were doing was to have fun and we still do. It’s more fun now.”
With one question to go, he insists that it be something deep and philosophical. Reeling from the pressure, I say the only thing that comes to mind: How would Suggs like Madness to be remembered when the band is gone?
There’s a momentary pause, allowing time for Suggs to examine and delete the serious answer and replace it with another altogether funnier one.
He tells me that when Madness is gone he’d like the band to be remembered for crashing a bus into a lamppost with Morrissey at the wheel and Barbara Windsor as the ticket inspector.
Then he breaks into song: “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.”
And the madness continues…
Next weekend is the Bank Holiday weekend, and one that plays host to the House of Common all day festival. While the MIS will land in your mailbox on Sunday as usual, at the same day 60 registered MIS members will be wandering Camden for The Rise and Crawl. The upstairs pub bookings and Dublin castle gig are all sold out, so no further spaces are available. Sorry. But we will see those of you there that have already joined up, and we hope you enjoy the day’s activities.
We’ll bring our review of the day and of Monday’s Madness in two weeks time. Once we have recovered!