Hello, and welcome to this latest edition of the MIS Online Newsletter.
With the Madness Weekender currently in full swing, it’s likely that many of you won’t be reading this until Monday evening at the very earliest.
On the subject of the weekend we must say that we’ve been enjoying the constant stream of photos and video clips taken and subsequently uploaded during the event.
Special mentions must go to the group of fans trespassing/posing on the Minehead sign, Lyn Lawlor’s drinks fridge photos, and Adam Nicholls, who, during the course of the weekend, seemed to be slowly going through the band and getting a photo with each.
Naturally, as the event is still going on, and with a large chunk of the fanbase still down there you’ll have to wait until next week for the full lowdown. Don’t fret. We still have enough to keep you going in this issue.
Finally, before we get this underway, you may be interested to learn that even before Minehead 2017 had got off the starting blocks, tickets for 2018’s event were already on sale. Dates for that are Friday 30th November to Monday 3rd December 2018.
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.
Full House – The New Madness Best of Album – Review
Available to order now from Madness.co.uk & Pledge music. Out now!
2 CD’s and 4 LP’s make up a house full of Madness hits as the new best of reaches it’s Pledge shipping date, to be store available later too. But my house is already full of Madness Hit’s albums! is the shout of many fans that prefer a lesser milking of the back catalogue. So apart from Complete, Utter, It’s, It’s too, Divine, Divine, Divine, Heavy Hits, The Business, Our House the original songs, The incomplete digital singles collection, Total, Ultimate, Total Olympics, A Guided Tour, The Very best of, imports, The Ska Collection, The Take It or Leave It out not again soundtrack and Chris Foreman sings the hits LP, what has Full House ever done for us?
Yes, This is the best of with added CTUN & OUI OUI. Maybe it will settle pub arguments as to what counts as the singles from those last two albums now. Maybe it will start even more arguments.
So given the truth that ” Hit’s happen ” lets leave that fact to one side now, and address the fact that this isn’t Madness the complete singles. Though it nearly is. It’s 42 tracks neatly split into 21 each CD or set of LP’s. That includes the biggest singles and songs of the FULL band era on Full House part one. Then Mike leaves home. Uncle Sam starts part two which brings us up to carl-less date with the band still making great music in a house occasionally with someone who’s not home today. In fact the CD mirrors this fact slightly, a beautiful cover bulging with multiple mad men all together in our full house of fun then opens up on the CD version to reveal just Woody inside another version of the house on the inner image, where the full band are driving away in their car, and a business man runs for the buss. The Vinyl is even more stunning, housing a black and white checkered floor and an upstanding 3D pop up design of the full house cover.
Most singles are present, mostly in chronological order, of course lets not forget to say pretty much all of this music is bloody brilliant. 42 career spanning tracks does stand up very well in quality of tuneage being consistent and delightful at least 95% of the time. As a best of it really does give a very long and satisfying listen. Certainly for the general music listener who is often the consideration with these things.
Lets nitpick this apart then, fans size-ably probably wanted a complete chronological singles collection. Where does this house fall down? Missing is “Sorry” (perhaps a blessing!) Live Harder They Come (It’s self a live oddity in the UK singles line) Sweetest Girl (Maligned not Mad) and most Scandalously perhaps Shame and Scandal being out leaves only a Girl to represent the danger covers, a shame that. These tunes feeling a little less than Full Madness be it for live, production sound or reasons of writing or reaction perhaps ultimate explains why this album is aiming to slightly distance its self from being The Full Singles Collection and instead live next door to that idea.
There are other arguments of omission like double A sides, Herbert’s or promoted tracks or pressings of various kind’s. Consider too many of those and you unbalance the album and overshoot the maximum CD or Vinyl time slots. I feel I would have possibly finished with slow trousers down as a Grand ending though, as version of me would have been propped up by another version of Baggy Pantalons echoing earlier days.
Fair enough then if because of things like all this, you don’t want to live here. I hope it sells well though and lands in many houses across the country. Firstly cus this music sounds great, secondly the album looks great. Paul agar once again achieve a great cover montage, using images that recall, One Step Beyond, Seven, Cant Touch us Now, Driving in my Car, Oui, Oui boxset, and some recent tours like Madhead & before. There are some neat art touches. My favourite is Lee Thompson, known for a nudey moment or two, depicted on the cover as Twickenham 1974 Michael OBrien, the famous England vs france Rugby streaker with policeman’s helmet cover up. Priceless scene stealing again! Bedders top hat chimney pop up is nice too and really sweet in the lucky dog looking up at the classic black and white photo on the inner sleeve of the boys during house of fun days, and the nod to the newly installed heritage plaque status of Madness.
Even if it’s far too standard for fans not completist enough to give a home to the hits yet yet yet yet yet yet yet yet yet again, this album’s biggest plus points (beyond looking and sounding good) is its chance to get some of the second part of Madness’s career into the homes of people only likely to listen to Divine or Total in the past.
This will bring the rare overlooked Sarah’s song and Simple Equation into the ears of even people who never saw a version of the musical and are unlikely to buy wonderful. Promote interest in Cant Touch us Now, Oui, Oui and Folgate even further, and most criminally the single Drip Fed Fred brings this Ian Dury featuring tune to the most prominent position it’s ever had. It seems crazy that despite listing so many hits albums, it’s only the poor selling Guided Tour that has ever hosted this track in a hits collection before despite being released 17 years ago. Here is a chance to get that track across again to the masses and then please bring it back for the Full house tour 2018 Christmas? You are a bonafide two CD’s hits album band now Madness. Quality 21 song sets, in two eras of Madness for the masses, music from the very best band, no wonder at gig’s the house is always full. Madness Pale Ale, Tin and Pint Glass Set
Product description: Ladies and Gentleman, for your drinking pleasure Madness bring you one of the fines beers to ever pass your lips. An idea born in the Dublin Castle (the very pub where we played our first gigs), Madness Beers go one step beyond with flavour and style.
ABV 4.2%, Units 2.1
Deaf School New Album and No. 2 in Japanese Chart
Deaf School (including Madness producer Clive Langer, of course) are about to release their first full studio album for 39 years! The 11-track album entitled Let’s Do This Again Next Week… was recorded at the legendary Sawmills studio in Cornwall this summer and is being released in both the UK and Japan, where the band is ever-popular! And the album is launched with gigs in Brighton, London and Liverpool in early December.
Clive tells us: “It’s been two years since we last showed our faces and we’re coming back as a rejuvenated combo with new material from a new LP. Of course we’ll be playing the old faves but it feels like a 3rd Coming!”
Very much a return to the band’s roots with the Second Honeymoon album, the record features songs written by most of the band, including Clive, Enrico Cadillac Jr, Steve ‘Average’ Lindsey, Miss Bette Bright (sometimes known as Mrs McPherson) and The Reverend Max Ripple.
In Japan, the chosen single is Bed & Breakfast – sung by Bette Bright, it reached No 2 in the Japanese ‘Old Rock’ chart shortly after its release earlier this month!
You can read more about the album and pre-order it on vinyl at www.deafschoolmusic.com, where there are also click-through links to tickets for the December shows. The album will be available on CD, vinyl and download from 1 December.
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 706 – Sunday 18th November – Saturday 24th November 2012
For those of you who’d booked-in to this coming weekend’s Madness Weekender at Butlins Minhead, your waiting was almost over, and three days of partying could then commence.
Madness were due to play a new album set on the Friday night, and a more general tour set on the Saturday Night. They were rumoured to be performing on the Sunday, but this was now not happening. You still got two of their gigs that weekend.
On the subject of the Madness Weekender, this was the week where we were asking you to arm yourself with any soft weapon you could get your hands on as on the a Charge of the Mad Brigade was planned for the Saturday afternoon of the event. Unfortunately, this battle would fail to take place as the weather on the Saturday would be so bad that it would be called off.
Continuing on a Madness Weekender related note, we reminded you that the dress code for the Saturday night of the event was “Circus Freaks”. How you interpreted that was up to you.
It was over to the Daily Star newspaper next, and they were reporting that Suggs had told them he felt it was now time for Madness to be given a Brit Award. At the time of typing, we’re still waiting!
We continued with Suggs, who, in an article with The Guardian, had told the press that he loved a really good greasy spoon. Well, don’t we all?
Next, it was on to gaming. Why? Well, it turned out that Madness’ label, Union Square Music, would soon be releasing a web based shoot-em-up, which was in a similar style to Taito’s arcade hit Operation Wolf. Those who played would be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Total Madness and a signed poster.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Madness would be appearing at the Midem Festival on January 26th at Cannes, and Paul Rodgers reported that the Oui, Oui album had finally dipped out of the top 40.
10 years ago…
Issue number 446 – Sunday 18th November – Saturday 24th November 2007
This week our quarter of a century Our House lookback took us back to the sadly short-lived musical, live and mimed performances of the song down the years, and details of how the song was starting to crop up in various forms on video sharing web site YouTube.
We also took a look at some of the occasions Our House had been used by advertising agencies to help promote their products, and how, in 25 years, not a single mainstream band had covered the track.
If that wasn’t enough we revealed just a little of what went on during the filming of the video, and how a small terraced house, built in 1889 was now fetching a small fortune on the housing market.
15 years ago…
Issue number 184 – Sunday 17th November – Saturday 23rd November 2002
Following a number of extremely packed issues (due mostly to the coverage the ‘Our House’ was receiving at the time), this week seemed to be a fair bit slimmer than those of recent weeks.
The MIS team had been keeping themselves busy moving the MIS web site over to the new web space, and remarkably, things seemed to have gone smoothly, with the site now up and running from its new location.
Channel Four were once again running another one of their overly long ‘100 Greatest…’ programmes this week, and whilst Madness failed to get any of their back catalogue in the list, Carl and Suggs were guests, commenting on a number of tracks in the top 100.
With news a little thin on the ground this week we decided to rummage through the Madness bible that is ‘Tour Madness’, and look back to November 1985, where the band were well underway with their ‘Mad Not Mad’ tour.
Christmas was only just around the corner, so to celebrate the fact the Chas Smash web site announced that they’d soon be uploading a rather special Christmas calendar, to help count down to the big day.
Debate also cropped-up on the MIS this week with a certain Vince Foley ranting about Madness’ recent performance on the BBC’s Children in Need’ show, claiming that it was the worst televised performance of Madness he had ever seen.
Long time subscriber, Andrew Langmead was quick to look at the event from the opposite perspective, claiming that whilst it wasn’t live, it was a three minute slot at five to one in the morning, and surely any Madness is better than no Madness.
We have a feeling Vince remained unconvinced on this one.
The issue finished off with a last minute email from Wee Stoo, reminding those attending the Glasgow concert on the 15th that a MacMadmeet would be taking place before and after the event.
It was a Proper Party
First off last Monday – Madness in my former hometown of Enschede; who would’ve thought. I jumped on the tickets as soon as they were available, as they played a small venue.
Ticket sales apparently didn’t go that fast; but the turn up was rather good. Having some space to move around in, is not half bad.
The support act was a very nice act; we bought an album off them to listen to them more.
On came Madness; it being somewhat of a CTUN tour, I still expected a Greatest Hits set – and it sort of was; but played in a good way. Cardiac Arrest was a nice to hear and to hear Poison Ivy by then was also a tune fit for the band. With the inclusion of Mr Apples, Herbert, Blackbird and Mumbo Jumbo there was still a lot of CTUN to be heard. Suggs seemed to be missing the lyric sheet of NW5 though, but it only added to the fun. The temperature and moods were rising and -as Suggs always seems to mention- it was a proper party.
Utrecht was a slightly bigger venue, but absolutely packed. Everyone was in a very good mood. Here I was surprised loads of people sang along with the old ánd the new tracks and the real treat was Madness is all in the mind. One of my favourites, but it was well received (and -at least where I was standing- people were singing along). Vietnam was the other change in the setlist; it was very nice to hear that one played as well. Suggs still hadn’t found his words for NW5, and the lyrics for Mumbo Jumbo were also stolen – but it was solved with some scatting and, of course, humour. The crowd here was amazing – it was a great night – and a proper last leg of their European holiday.
(Please let us know who sent in the above so we can credit you next week! – Ed)
One Man’s Madness Part Deux
Yesterday (14th November) Madness played at Tivoli Utrecht and here is my part of the story.
As I mentioned earlier I have a bit part in One Man’s Madness. When it was filmed I was hoping to see Lee but that didn’t work out. I was promised to see him before or after the gig last night.
The venue opened at 20:00, I live in The Hague and the venue was in Utrecht, total travel time about an hour with the train. I was given the name and number of the tour manager Jim and was told to contact him on the day of the gig. I did in the morning and then at 14:30. I’m still at home thinking it’s going to be a meet and greet right before or after the gig.
At 15:45 I get an SMS asking if I want to be at the soundcheck and meet the boys. The soundcheck will start at 16:15 There I am in my underwear an hours drive away. I called a cab, dressed up and dashed to Utreccht.
After a nerve racking hour racing through commuters traffic I make it to Utrecht. I get in and they just start with the soundcheck. Lucky me. I get a personal soundcheck or so it feels,
After they finish I shake Chris, Suggs and Lee’s hand and Suggs asks if we can pose and I get all 6 of them and me on camera. I’m invited backstage, have dinner with Lee and Mike and Mark. I have a great conversation with Lee about life in general. After about an hour or so Lee had to leave, Mike and Mark had already gone. Suggs, Chris and Woody had dinner somewhere else I guess because I didn’t see them in the cafetaria.
Jim, the road manager took me to the coach they had rented and showed me how they were traveling. In style I may say. At one point I left Jim and went back to the entrance of the venue. I found out that I had lost my entrance ticket in the back area, but at the ticket counter I was told that I was on the guest list – another surprise.
The place was sold out and getting quite full by the time I went in. Usually I try to get up front but now I thought, nah, I have had my great moment today.
Chainska Brassika was the first act and did a great set and without me really noticing I nudged my way up front of the stage again. This time around I went alone to Madness, but as you might well know, you’re never alone at a Madness gig. I made some friends on the spot. We talked about our Madness experience going back to 1982. By the way, lots of young and old at the gig.
Madness finally came on stage and did one of their best gigs to date, which I have attended. Lee was totally into it, Suggs as always is the frontman, Chris was entertaining his part of the stage, Woody and Mark were strong as the rhythm section and Mike was hammering away on keys. The horn section was as strong as a rock.
They played old and new stuff and didn’t have the usual ‘showtime’ section, which was nice and refreshing. After the gig I went backstage as I had a VIP card. Jim had told me that it could be that they didn’t want to see anyone. Well I thought I’d take a chance. Only saw them from a distance, I thanked Chainska Brassika for a great set and had a chat with Lee’s son, Kyle, who is working as a roadie. I used to help bands out in my youth on a much smaller scale, but still I didn’t want to leave yet, I was having too much fun. I helped a bit with the clearing up of stuff and then, after seeing Suggs looking a bit strange at me, I thought it was time to go home.
All in all a great experience and a lot of fun.
I thought I would share my link on FB about the whole evening.
Madness Weekender – Friday Night – Butlins – 17th November 2017
In the City
A Place in the Sun
Benny Bull Frog
When Dawn Arrives
Never Ask Twice
Madness is all in the Mind
Oh my Love
House of Fun
Our thanks go to Brendan Phipps for making the above list available.
Madness Producers Win Top Award
It was announced this week, by the Music Producers Guild, that Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, who together produced so many of Madness’ albums, are to receive the MPG’s top gong – the Award for Outstanding Contribution to UK Music – at their annual awards event next March. You can read all about it at https://www.mpg.org.uk/news/langer-winstanley
The award reflects Clive and Alan’s work over several decades with Madness, Morrissey, Elvis Costello, Bush, Dexys Midnight Runners and many more.
Thoroughly well deserved – congratulations to them both!
That’s just about it for this week’s edition of the MIS.
Next week, once the Madness fanbase have recovered and returned home, we expect a reviews and write ups of the Minehead Weekender to land in our mailboxes and subsequently appear in issue 968.