It’s less than a month to go until Butlins Minehead once again plays host to the now legendary Madness Weekender.
Earlier in October, a post over on the House of Fun Weekender Facebook page stated that for the band’s first set of the weekend on the Friday night “Madness presents JAMBOREE BAG! An assortment of sweet b-sides, delicious covers, juicy ol’ chestnuts and finger licking rarities!”.
Unfortunately, this is all we have to go on at the moment, but if we do receive any further information we’ll be sure to let you know.
Back to this week’s issue, and it’s another meaty one. We have news in from subscriber David Gilabert, who tells us that Suggs will be performing his One Man Show in Barcelona on Friday October 27th. Check out our “Showtimes” section for more information.
This week is a rather special issue as we bring you not one, not two but three MIS Features. With the recent Voice of The Beehive gigs now done and dusted there’s lots to cover and our roving reporter, Jonathan Young has put together three massive write-ups.
So, without further ado, let’s get the issue off the starting blocks.
17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead
My Life Story Plus Live Show ** New **
Barcelona based fans of Madness will be very lucky next week with the premiere of musical film My Life Story, based on the autobiography show of Graham “Suggs” McPherson (from legendary pop/ska band Madness) inside the prestigious Inedit Musical-Film Festival. The British singer will offer after the film, an exclusive set for the In-Edit Festival and a chat with film director Julien Temple. An exclusive night with music, irony and madness!
Friday October 27th, 8 pm, Sala Teatre del CCCB (Barcelona). Price: 25 euros. More info at http://es.in-edit.org
Our thanks go to David Gilabert for the English translation and for sending in the above. What a King CNUT Tour 2018 ** New **
A life in the realm of Madness.
Wed January 31 2018 – SWINDON Wyvern Theatre
Thu February 01 2018 – ST ALBANS Alban Arena
Fri February 02 2018 – GUILDFORD G Live
Sat February 03 2018 – SALISBURY City Hall
Sun February 04 2018 – CHATHAM Central Theatre
Tue February 06 2018 – SOUTHEND Palace Theatre
Wed February 07 2018 – BASINGSTOKE Anvil
Thu February 08 2018 – LEICESTER De Montfort Hall
Fri February 09 2018 – COVENTRY Arts Centre
Sun February 11 2018 – HASTINGS White Rock Theatre
Tue February 13 2018 – SALFORD Lowry
Wed February 14 2018 – BUXTON Opera House
Thu February 15 2018 – LEEDS Town Hall
Fri February 16 2018 – STOCKTON Princess Alexandra Auditorium
Sun February 18 2018 – BRIGHTON Theatre Royal
Tue February 27 2018 – MERSEYSIDE Floral Theatre
Thu March 01 2018 – GLASGOW Pavilion
Sat March 03 2018 – HULL City Hall
Sun March 04 2018 – YORK Opera House
Tue March 06 2018 – PRESTON Guild Hall
Wed March 07 2018 – NORTHAMPTON Royal and Derngate
Hi everyone, thanks so much for your support – it’s great to have finally reached the target and get to 100%. We’re keeping the store open for a few more weeks whilst we get all the production in place, we’ll have another update for you soon with dates for when you can expect your goodies.
Available to Pre Order now from Madness.co.uk & Pledge music.
Welcome to Full House – The Very Best Of Madness, a brand new compilation from the UK’s favourite band.
Encompassing the length and breadth of their stellar career, ‘Full House’ captures the legendary British pop band’s much-loved recorded output to date. Since the release of their last best-of in 2012, Madness’ phenomenal career has continued to go from strength-to-strength with the release of the critically acclaimed, top 5 album ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ and the top 10 charting, gold selling ‘Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da’. Containing hit singles from both of those albums, and unfolding largely in chronological order, ‘Full House’ is a best of and then some, featuring 42 of the songs that have made Madness one of the nation’s best loved bands. Kicking off with 1979’s ‘The Prince’ and wrapping with 2017’s ‘Another Version Of Me’, the album takes in bona-fide classics such as ‘Our House’, ‘Night Boat To Cairo’, ‘It Must Be Love’ and ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ along the way.
Madness say: ‘‘It’s nearly that time of year but Wot no Madness Xmas tour?! We wouldn’t want you or your loved ones to miss out on your yearly fix so here’s our promise to you -Full House, 42 of our greatest hits to fill those stockings with this festive season.’’
The Nutty Boys’ huge appeal continues to cut across the generations, with new fans discovering their life-affirming back catalogue all the time. ‘House of Common’, their annual family-friendly alternative to Carnival is fast establishing itself as a must on the festival circuit, their legendary ‘House Of Fun’ Weekender (November 17-20th) goes from strength-to-strength and recent knock-out performances everywhere from Glastonbury to Boomtown, V Festival to Bestival reinforce their unrivalled reputation as one of Britain’s greatest and most enduring live acts.
Artwork for ‘Full House’ is by the inimitable Paul Agar, whose cut-and-paste collage style has become synonymous with Madness’ recent work and will be instantly recognisable from his work on ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ and ‘The Liberty Of Norton Folgate’. The 4LP version also features a special pop-up gatefold mechanism that’s sure to make it a must have for fans and collectors alike.
A comprehensive compilation that perfectly captures the national treasures’ career to date, ‘Full House’ will appeal to fans old and new as Madness prepare to embark on the next stage of a career that has rewritten the rulebook and continually defied all preconceptions.
Full House will be released on November 17.
Please note: Orders are not part shipped so if wish to order catalogue music and you would like it shipped before 17th November we recommend you place separate orders. Unfortunately this item cannot be shipped to North America
1. The Prince
2. One Step Beyond
3. My Girl
4. Bed And Breakfast Man
5. Night Boat To Cairo
7. Baggy Trousers
9. The Return Of The Los Palmas 7
10. Grey Day
11. Shut Up
12. It Must Be Love
13. Cardiac Arrest
14. House Of Fun
15. Driving In My Car
16. Our House
17. Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)
18. Wings Of A Dove
19. The Sun And The Rain
20. Michael Caine
21. One Better Day
22. Uncle Sam
23. Yesterday’s Men
24. (Waiting For) The Ghost Train
25. Sarah’s Song
27. Johnny The Horse
28. Drip Fed Fred
29. Simple Equation
30. Girl Why Don’t You
32. Dust Devil
33. Forever Young
34. Sugar And Spice
35. My Girl 2
36. Never Knew Your Name
37. How Can I Tell You?
39. La Luna
40. Mr. Apples
41. Can’t Touch Us Now
42. Another Version Of Me
The Beeunion – Part 1 – To Bee or Not to Bee
The Return of The Voice Of The Beehive was something I had given up hope on. It would never happen. This band meant a little something to me. I wouldn’t class myself as one of their hard-core fans, or “bees” as they seem to refer to themselves as, they were never my number 1 sound, but I was a genuine first time round fan of their singles, back in the day when I listened to Radio One as a teenager.
I bought the album “Honey Lingers” (think about that title for a minute!) on the strength of “Perfect Place” and “Monsters and Angels” two massive radio play hits that I loved to loop when cruising around town in first cars at the legal age of passing a driving test. Also, the cover version single “I Think I love you” too, (which they seem less keen on these days as it was a commercial push too far that lacked enough rock backbone, credibility, or their usual witty penned personal lyrics). I played that album, and found it a strong collection of pop music, that fits together well, with echoes of bands like Blondie, The Bangles, and a few other female fronted bands that are pleasing on the ear. This band rocked a little more than just plastic pop though and had a bit more to say under the sheen of early 90’s production sounds. It was enough to take them to heart amongst an early music collection, a year or so before I really started to devour every Madness tune I could seek out at record fairs. Totally unaware of any slight connection in personnel between the acts. Which was something I didn’t discover until Record Collector magazine brought out articles highlighting this to me a while later.
Over the years since then I would occasionally give that album a listen, and I got hold of their first album, “Let It Bee”, in that completist way that you do. It rocks more and they tend to prefer to play those early tracks live, but to be honest I didn’t play it that much after purchase. No real reason, it just wasn’t my current thing at the time. I looked up their history when the internet burst onto the scene filling our lives with more information on everything, and discovered a bit more about how the band had formed when two American sisters relocated to London seeking to form a band, which coincided of course with a story we are more familiar with around here, of Madness jettisoning Woody and Bedders and splitting around a similar timescale into an offshoot with an added THE. Chart success for THE Beehive followed, but by the time of reading about them online it seemed they had faded, been dropped and disintegrated, and the singing sisters that fronted the band had done the difficult third album solo, and returned to American shores indefinitely to different pursuits in life outside of music, the boys joining or rejoining other bands. I saw there had been a 2003 tour, but without Woody, I had missed this by the time I was a regular gig goer out and about at concerts. Then all news seemed to dry up completely over more years, maybe that was all done then and over. Real life not pop dreams. Worse than that, next time I checked in on them it was rock n roll cliche’ of a visible spat of bitter disagreement, misunderstanding, and desire to play, between parts of the band online over any future airing of the music taking place unless it was the full and correct band and that wasn’t going to happen now. Fans of whatever level taking any interest now in the websites were resigned to believe this was a split that would now remain, the hive would always be empty.
Maybe some kept some faith, certainly you can always keep the music to play, and while websites are forgotten to the buzzy collective experience of social bee-dia “I love voice of the beehive” a dedicated small but passionate fan group continued to enthuse and some band members popped in to answer questions and relive the good times on occasion in pride now.
Then this year, it turns out Honey does Linger after all. Thanks to some four years of inquiries by Grant Holby who runs the Indie Daze festival. With an offer to co-headline an all-day event on the table, in a venue in London familiar to them, as The Forum was once called The Town and Country club where they played a TV concert back in the heyday of NW5 and Camden being stomping grounds for the bands beat. Woody then saying yes to the idea and returning this time around for 2017, caused Tracey (guitar, lead vocals) to also commit with a clear calendar of possibility, and the buzz was be allowed to resound, the rest of the already keen band still up for it. Being the class act they are, they let their biggest fan announce the news on the “I love voice of the beehive” group page, so a queen bee by the name of April told us all the amazing news. They would play again.
It was a game-changing day for us fans there. Gigs! Really?! Dis-Bee-lief.
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 702 – Sunday 21st October – Saturday 27th October 2012
With the 10th studio album due for release on the 29th of October it was possible that by the time you’d set eyes on the next issue of the MIS the album would have been delivered to you early, (Amazon and Play sometimes did this) and you’d be enjoying the fantastic new tunes.
With promo versions of the album already landing on door mats across the globe we’d decided to pepper this issue with reviews from some of those who had been lucky enough to hear the album in full already.
We advised those who’d rather wait until they’d heard the album themselves to take a look at the contents listing so they knew what sections to skip past.
The articles began with news from the French MIS, reporting that a free private Madness concert was to take place on November 13th in Paris, and would be broadcast on Our FM. While the 120 seats were invite only, the show would be blasted out across French airwaves for fans to soak up.
Next, it was over to Darren Dixon, Aka Dicka, with his thoughts on the new Madness album. After attending the Camden Playback party we declared that Darren was the best pronouncer of the album title on the planet, but originally the worst speller of it.
Darren rounded off his praise filled review by commenting;
“My biggest criticism with the album is why have two versions of “My Girl 2” on it, for me this does not work at all especially if you are going to put the album on repeat, it’s made even worse when you know that there are still some excellent songs that could of been on the album.”
Further on, and it was over to Trevor McMadnut who gave us a very brief track by track review of each tune on the new album. There were no praises or grumblings here, just simply a brief lowdown summarising each track.
Moving on, and Jonathan Young was kind enough to list all of the band’s TV appearances over the past week along with a selection of YouTube links for many of the clips. If you’d missed something then there was a good chance someone had ripped the footage and uploaded it to the video streaming site,
Elsewhere, we passed the baton of to a certain Vince of Foley, who was kind enough to give us track by track opinions of the forthcoming new album.
Vince closed his review by commenting;
“Overall there are some fine moments on this tenth studio album.
Lyrically it might carry lesser weight that its predecessor, yet it boasts a good range of differing styles and standout tracks, while the production is perhaps the best yet. It may not be a ‘One Step Beyond’ or a ‘Rise and Fall’, but it’s no ‘Mad not Mad’ nor ‘Dangermen Sessions’ either. The album sits comfortably in between the likes of ‘Keep Moving’ and ‘7’ and is an essential partner to any Madness collection.
Does it get a Yes or a No? Surely it has to be a ‘Oui Oui, Si Si’
Ya Ya? Da Dah!”
Further on, we paused for a transcript, as we’d managed to get hold of the lyrics to “Leon”; track 7 on the new Madness album.
With that pause out of the way it was on to Judge Fredd who gave us his thoughts on the new album. Was he happy with the new album? “Oui Oui Si Si Ja JA Da Da.”
If all of this wasn’t enough we then moved over to Paul Rodgers and another one of his informatics Madness Stats, Facts and Figures articles.
With so much album promotion going on at the moment this was an absolutely packed article. Amazon had the forthcoming album at number 14 in the preorder chart with the Play preorder chart listing them at 27.
Paul also reminded us that;
“Madness release their 37th single tomorrow. It’s called My Girl 2. Available for about 3 weeks on download already, it is now officially released. Latest charts show that it hasn’t bothered the top 100 airplay chart, the top 100 singles or the top 40 indie singles, here’s hoping everyone is saving their money for the album…”
We brought this issue to a close with an album review from subscriber Mikel Echeberria Munagorri, who commented that the album featured the classic Madness sound and that “How Can I Tell You” was beautiful, featured sophisticated arrangements and had immaculate production.
10 years ago…
Issue number 442 – Sunday 21st October – Saturday 27th October 2007
It looked as if the band would shortly be jetting off to sunnier climes before the hard slog of a UK Christmas tour got underway, as this week news broadcast to all those subscribed to the Madness email list revealed that on Friday 26th of October the band would be appearing at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
Also, rumours had reached us detailing that the UK release of the NW5 single was due for Monday 17th of December. We weren’t able to confirm this as 100% , so when if we heard anything further we promised to make sure it appeared in a subsequent issue.
On to the articles, and last week we reported on a new best of album featuring Jools Holland’s best collaborations from his 6 albums of artistic get togethers, from Rhino Records.
Called Best Of Friends, we’d managed to get hold of a copy, and could tell you that the DVD that came with the CD had extras. One of these was a video of the Suggs collaboration song “Oranges and Lemons again”.
Moving on, and we reported that Suggs had upped the stakes in his public practical joke war with Virgin Radio DJ Christian O’Connell, plastering Soho with “massage” cards bearing Christian’s face on a hunky body, complete with his personal mobile phone number.
Suggs finally got his own back on Christian after he famously dumped Suggs’ beloved Rolls Royce in a swimming pool at the summer’s V Festival.
After the latest joke, Suggs said: “Revenge is a dish best served cold and I shall be dining out on this one for a long time. I think it’s fair to say when Christian returns from holiday, his messages will be livelier than usual!”
Next, and in last week’s issue we revealed how Steve Coogan’s DVD commentary announced that Madness were rubbish and the music was just “Oi! music for idiots”. Well, it seems that had caused a few readers to react.
Here at MIS we’ve had a female senior legal officer put off her lunch by the article! She wrote in to tell us that she found Steve boring and monotonous. She also wrote that:
“Once he has been around professionally for 30 years and achieved the success, respect and accolade that Madness have then, and only just then might he have a right to comment!”
One Australian reader went on to give us a quote proving that even people within the same city culturally don’t always get on anyway. “Just remind yourself what Peter Hook said about Coogan regarding his role as Tony Wilson in 24 hour party people.”
“The biggest tw*t from Manchester being portrayed by the second biggest tw*t from Manchester.”
Elsewhere, and while those who attended the recent Blackpool Madness weekend had a fantastic time, we all felt that the hotel was the worst one we had ever stayed in. Little did we know of what went on a week or two beforehand.
From The Burton Mail…
ADULT DANCER IN HOTEL DEATH
by ANDY DONE-JOHNSON
A FORMER member of adult dance troupe the Dreamboys collapsed and died moments after an impromptu performance for a hen party in the lobby of a Blackpool hotel.
Former Paget High School pupil Stephen Ford, 35, had moved to the resort a month earlier, in a bid to rebuild his showbiz career after the break-up of his three-year marriage to his GP wife, Rachael.
The fitness fanatic, formerly of Doveridge Road, in Brizlincote Valley, Stapenhill, had been recognised by one of the women from his glory days – which had seen him appear with The Spice Girls, Cliff Richard and Dame Edna Everage – and had asked him to do a quick routine for the bride-to-be.
Following the performance, at the Royal Windsor Hotel on September 15, Mr Ford had gone upstairs to his room and collapsed on the floor.
On a jollier note, and we reported that Suggs visited Pentonville Prison this week and revealed how his love of music helped keep him out of jail.
Suggs, who revealed that a relative of one of his musicians was enjoying a stay at Pentonville, said: “I didn’t do well at school. Lots of paths were opened to me but creativity is something that stopped me from ending up in a place like this. Music has been my life.”
He added: “In the background I came from there was sport, music or crime, that’s the way it is.”
We brought this issue to a close by recommending that you visited the official Madness Weekender MySpace page, as a mass of photos had been uploaded. Hopefully this would prove to be a great visual aid to those people too drunk to remember just what went on.
15 years ago…
Issue number 180 – Sunday 20th October – Saturday 26th October 2002
Following the debut performance of the ‘Our House’ musical, news continued to flood into the MIS mailbox, meaning that this was yet another packed issue. Dotted throughout the issue was a
With the Christmas tour still some way off, we decided to take a look at forthcoming gigs for other bands, including Arthur Kay & The Originals and the legendary Desmond Dekker.
Last week the Madness Trading Ring’s Birchy pointed out that the BBC were going to be featuring Madness on one of their many airings of classic live concerts from over the past 30 years. Thanks to JP of France based Skanews (http://skanews.net) we now discovered that this would merely be `Madness – Live at Madstock 98`. Great, for those five people who had yet to see it.
Numerous write-ups started to appear on the TMML from those people who had managed to see the show, and it was proving tricky for us to publish these in the MIS without spoiling the experience for fans who were yet to get themselves along. Thankfully, the TMML’s Alan was kind enough to review the performance without giving too much away.
News in from a certain Steve Turner of tribute band ‘The Los Palmas 7’ was that the band were in search of a talented keyboard player. Those who fancied themselves as an emulated Mike Barson were urged to give Steve a shout, and try out for the band.
Continuing on a tribute band theme, we were contacted by Tony Clark, an MIS subscriber who was a member of ‘The Blox’, a tribute outfit to the legendary Ian Dury and The Blockheads. We’d asked Tony to provide us with more information about the band, and he was only too pleased to oblige.
Elsewhere, and three winners were announced for the latest competition held on the Chas Smash web site. Two winners of the Our House CD album were from the UK, with a third winner from the United States.
The Beeunion – Part 2 – The Lexington
Tickets for the teased warm up show on Wednesday October 4th sold out almost instantly in a frustrating batch of minutes, in both pre sale, and general sale. Fans clamouring to get to see the band’s solo show ahead of this booked festival slot. With plenty of advance statements of photo ID requirements needed and more, that aided a well policed approach to this show going only to genuine excited fans and not being snatched up to inflated prices and then appearing in resale. I was lucky enough to get a pair of tickets and invited fellow fan Daren West.
We held a Bee meet at The Angel pub, where a handful of fans gathered for a pre gig chat about the band, having seen them live before or not in various cases. Shout out to Mark who arrived on crutches still determined to see the show, despite a twisted ankle and a big thank you to Paul who came with a spare ticket for Andy Shoults. It was a fun afternoon chatting excitedly until a suspect package alert nearby in a phone box saw police cars arrive and the pub shut down. We evacuated, though it was thankfully no real incident and as hyper as ever we headed up to the venue.
Daren West arrived and is sadly currently afflicted with an injury requiring a leg long medical boot, we manage to get him up the spiral staircase and into the venue. Thankfully the venue could not have been more helpful as they had arranged a whole L shaped sofa area to be advance reserved for him by the sound desk so he could rest his whole leg aloft and with a great view of the stage and they were totally friendly on arrival allowing us into the venue first.
Both our crutch carrying fans were then an amusing sight for Bass player Martin Brett as he witnessed them gathered in a difficult trip to the toilets and knowingly lamented of this latter years period of the beehive band “Is this what our fans have become?”, ha ha. All said with a knowing warm affection and humour.
The small room was packed by 9 o’clock with a truly great crowd of fans, as the full five of the beehive came onto the stage to fitting cheers. Dreams having come true, everyone was well disposed to enjoy the next hour and a half. (Time that Tracey constantly lamented was going too fast.) Sticks at the ready and it’s off into the stomping “Beat of love” a great opener with something of a march to it, and tales of the ups and downs of that topic, which permeate a lot of their songs from a female perspective, unique takes each time.
We were treated to a set of nearly the full first album, all the major singles (avoiding that cover) and a sizeable slice of the second album.The only nod to that third LP being a track that predated back to the full band in writing and first excursion anyway, so doesn’t really count as detached.
Beat of love
Man in the moon
What you have is enough
Just a city
Look at me
Just like you
Monsters and angels
Don’t call me baby
Walk the earth
Barbarian (In the back of my car)
“Trust me” is an equally upbeat and fun second number. “Adonis blue” more a dreamy tune imagining a perfect man, like a sexed up lullaby, equally fairytale and dreamy is “The man in the moon”, the tale of a celestial body that will always be there at night. Beehive songs always have a pathos though that isn’t always evident, or a bitter twist. They know they are deluded in being dreamy behind the painted facade at times. “What you have is enough” takes things up a gear then and contrasts nicely with it’s advice giving words of not wasting time in the worry of what you cant be, when you have the power and assets you need in who you are. With lyrics like this you can see how the band would attract fans with a bleeding soft heart or an underdog spirit capable of cherishing the beauty in life and buffeting the downfalls with poetic humour.
“Playing House” is the first treat for long term fans who know tunes beyond the key two albums. A darker piece of rock that almost brings out the Nirvana like ability of the ensemble guitar players in the band Mike, Tracey and Martin. A dark subject matter of the hell of dull stale domestic relationship living just because thats what your told to aspire to be in your little box.
“It’s Just a City” is affectionately dedicated to London. It really means something to these girls that relocated here as home once, and this come across in a lovely sing a long with the crowd. This was the debut single, a version of which featured Bedders originally too. It comes across as personal and deeply felt as do a few tracks Tracey is resisting with the the odd comment that it’s about/dedicated to “him/them”, not every piece of past is pleasing a memory it seems, neither is the present as they apologise for the current president!
Some 16 years since anything like a live video of this band has existed, of course they all look markedly older, and much is made of comedic banter between songs. “You think we are sweating and rocking down here but it’s the menopause.” Missy is rocking a hand fan stylishly into the stage act, which she later breaks and says she is in trouble for having done so. Eyesight is mocked too as Tracey holds the paper set list up to her eyes between songs. The banter between the songs is otherwise affectionate, this really is a band that is loving reuniting and celebrating their music, all other things about being the beehive have now passed.
Missy has a daughter now and we all have to shout “Hello Glory,” while mother films on her phone, to prove to her offspring she is really a much loved popstar. While at one point when Woody pipes up at the start to a track, Tracey confesses the American/English language divide that exists, “I don’t understand Woody. What he says, but I love him.”
“7 Shocks” is a fan favourite live track from obscure B-side territory, played to delight the hivecore, quite fast and rocky. “Pocketsized” is played later and is another upbeat B-side moment, that is so fast on the drumming Woody is visibly taking a breather at the end, after the impressive flurry of sticks and foot pedal drums.
“Look at me”, is a favourite of mine, it’s a brilliant tune and lyrically it’s before it’s time, the self focussed are mocked, and bit like the phrase “fiddling while Rome burns” in todays social media world of trends over topic and substance this is so more evident than ever. While it’s a delight for me to reconnect with the song “Perfect Place” which is surely the ultimate self aware pop song dreaming of utopia. “I will nurse all of the black and blue babies with their unhappy parents who had unhappy parents.” Generationally taking on more than Michael Jackson’s “Man in the mirror” is that one! but before reaching popstar pomposity of say U2 the song adds the caveat “You might think I give myself too much credit. But I am just dreaming… these are just wishes”
A little later we get the other big single I love from the second LP. “Monsters and Angels” a rumination of our duality, how living with anyone has it’s good and bad sides to be cherished and coped with. Better than many songs, this clearly covers both sides of it’s story, A ying and yang that is missed by many in their subtler songs. Big chorus moment with this one, sway and join in.
What Madness now call their showtime section, comes at the end of the beehive set. With “Don’t call me baby / I Walk the earth / I Say nothing” a trilogy of first album singles, that all cause the biggest crowd reaction and sing-a-long, what was already a joyous experience reaches it’s zenith here. Tunes that lyrically cover, reunited friendships and relationship statuses, hippy like wandering and getting out there to see the world when it matters to you, and lastly speaking up against what’s wrong painted through the eyes of a song about the sorrow of keeping too quiet, all seem fitting summations now of what Beehive music is all about during this reunion. That and just singing along loud to some much loved pop music with 50’s melodrama routes maybe but turn of the 90’s rocking attitude mixed with those great melody. To hear a band rocking with out reverb or leather jackets as the look is rarer and part of the joy of the beehive is also the inter action of two front vocalists, they are set at sound levels to be heard and thought and not just a wall of noise for cool effect. For this reason, and having visited enough of their b sides on youtube before coming along, I found myself connected to every song and enjoyed the entire gig which is rare for band I’m watching that isn’t my usual Madness obsession. There is normally something I don’t know or don’t like so much somewhere in a set. It was a great gig. It cemented me as a fan of all there music not just their second album. having heard the power of them live.
There is an encore to enjoy though, as we cheer and cheer and demand one. Just Tracey and Missy return for an acoustic soft solo rendition of early B-side “Tattoo song”. Lyrically about loving someone, but wanting a unique reminder of them on your body. It’s a different mood to the rest of the show and a wonderful twist, (what a shame a plan to try and get the band on a radio session was a plan too far, as this might have been the ideal track) before then one last big rock number. It’s clear to fans in the know that there is one album track they love just rocking out to. Barbarian (In the back of my car) is loud, a funny tale of a drunken unrefined male date being difficult to deal with on a night out. The F-word meant this was never a song that held back or was radio friendly but this the band they most like to be I think. This car chase to the finish with this song ends a great night, that was so long waited for and was so good it could only leave you wanting and needing to repeat it.
Thankfully there was Saturday.
Sign of the Times
Being Part of One Man’s Madness
I actually did the big pledge for ‘One Man’s Madness’.
A couple of days afterwards I got a phone call from Tony from Madness Management and after a brief interview Tony got me in contact with Jeff Baynes (the director of One Man’s Madness).
Last week Monday I went over to England (I live in the Netherlands) to Jeff’s house to record my little part in the film.
When I was young Lee inspired me into playing the saxophone. I mentioned that in Dutch so Lee will have to synchronise that in the film.
All in all a great experience as I also finally had a chance to drink a pint in Dublin Castle and wander around Camden.
I had to fly back the same day so I missed seeing Lee (the master himself). I hope to see him when Madness comes to Holland, mid November. I’ve been a fan since 1979 so this opportunity was once in a life time.
Well, that’s my story of One man’s Madness. I’m really curious how it’s all is going to be shown in the final product. I’m not a rich man and maybe this is my mid life crisis kicking in, but I just felt I had to do this.
The Beeunion – Part 3 – Indie Daze
Thank little gods for Saturday. A second slice of Honey. As I don’t think one Beehive gig would ever have felt enough for me now, feeling like I’ve just really “got” how much fun this music is for the first time. I found myself wishing I had got into them enough to have made it to see them in the 90’s. I will have to settle for this second headline gig, and a 90’s T-shirt from the Camden Underworld a really nicely painted “Orgy” scene creative design for a special past concert, purchased from a small pile of vintage T-shirts the band brought along as a treat for this gig only. I put it on and immediately bump into someone else wearing that T-shirt who wants to reminisce about how great that gig was! ha ha. I confess, I sadly wasn’t there, I’m not going to fraud that I was, I am just dreaming of more live gigs.
This long all day Indie Festival up in Kentish Town NW5 to over a thousand 90’s music fans, brings some bouncy euro-discoing from BIS, who were ok, we then skip a few bands drinking in Bull and Gate again, before enjoying the violin/guitar duo of two from The Wonderstuff, then have to seek earplugs due to Crazyheads rocknoise, and are strangely re-invigorated by Apollo Four Forty’s Jungle cross over sounds of dub dance that are not something I would normally seek out, but by the time they finish I find I’m a happy barrier hugger reawakened for the second of the beehives sets, with, Hazel, Andy, Mark, Maria, Owen and Luci joining me at the front for the best views.
In sparklier outfits, carrying a bigger fonted cardboard set list of songs (thats the eyesight sorted!) the girls bounce onto the stage. Tracey wearing a famous outfit of plastic doll faces tied across her frock. In fact a fan called Jody has gifted them their own Cindy/barbie type toys in tribute to their return, which they loved getting. Another fan, I think called Eric, has arranged for Balloons which are thrown at the band before being bounced around during the gig. Thus the celebration continues.
It’s a shorter set. Most of those B-sides are gone. Barbarian is played earlier in case some of the crowd are less familiar here. Banter is just as fun and full of shout outs to fans like April and faces they are enjoying seeing again in the crowd, but strictly cut shorter so they can cram the hour slot with as many pleasing tunes as possible. Those big singles end the set in a bigger crowd sing a long and there is a sense of triumph in them. Sadly Perfect Place has been dropped to cram 20 songs into just 15 now. Sorrow Floats remains almost slightly waltzy and Woody’s favourite stated in our recent interview. It precedes the four big singles to end. It’s a rocking set to a balcony and a full room of onlookers, who enjoy those hits at the end the most.
Beat of love
Just a city
Just like you
Man in the moon
Look at me
What you have is enough
Barbarian (In the back of my car)
Don’t call me baby
Walk the earth
Monsters and angels
At this point I’d like to add a few other voices to highlight that this was a much loved reunion for many fans sharing these gigs.
You can listen to some fans here interviewed by Drag queen bee Gwen Ever, along with a great interview with Missy and Tracey, and also Grant Holby and some choice music.
The one last thing I wont forget is the joy in Woody’s face to be playing with his other band again, it was memorable to see, a grin wide in enjoyment, even more so felt after the year he has had, just one of the rewards of recovery.
I hope to see the beehive again. I hope they decide to Bee again. They clearly told fans to enjoy this, and to get to this week of gigs, as there wouldn’t be a tour, and this was billed as the “only” gigs. Just occasionally that “one-off” or “final bow” talk gave through into “maybe something annually” or “could happen again maybe” musings before returning to talk that there really wasn’t any plan beyond these concerts, it’s clear there will never be long tours.
They have repaired so much damage with these gigs, of the disappointing end to things before, feuds forgotten, or just that sense of fizzling out as a band is now refreshed. While this was their second reunion it feels more complete this time, and that satisfying taste for more honey in the mouth must surely be there still, when you’ve actually done it and it’s been successful. Sure, I am just dreaming and these are just wishes, but I would love to see them at House of Common in the afternoon if two drumming sets wasn’t enough for Woody in one day, or a House of Fun appearance in coming years, so that the home Madness crowd could have a one off choice to check out Woody’s other team of great musicians or not, It Must BEE love would happen (sorry is that one pun too far!) for a percentage of fans surely, ones that love melody and not just that ska part or nutty sound, but don’t mind something sweeter on occasion. It’s something that would again incentivise a re-teaming and off the back of which just like “Indie Daze” they would be able to plan a gig of their own alongside for their hardcore of devotee’s who are now re-energised in the love of their music. Equally an EP through Pledge Music in the era where music can be built via laptop and phone lines, or a California trip for the boys to return the favour just given to the UK, this all sounds to me not bee-yond (stop it already with the puns!) a future project for a band now match fit and still so capable but clearly collecting the last pollen of their summer. You might think I overstep the line in calling for such futures, but you see, this band already proved me wrong. I never thought they would reunite again, it took so long to get this far, then we got this the Beeunion, in the city and what a perfect place it was. So now my dreams have happily been moved onwards by all this, and I know that If I saw you again… I’d smile.
We finish this Beehive-tinged edition of the MIS with one final buzz-fueled item which may interest some of our readers.
An auction it taking place for a Voice of the Beehive Crew T shirt, (unused version of the T-shirt used by the band and crew at recent reunion gigs.)
If you’re interested, point your web browser over to: