Another issue lands in your mailbox, and with it are details of yet more gigs for 2018.
MIS subscribers Jacco van’t Riet and Frank Bentjes have been in touch to point out that we missed one new concert announcement from last week’s bulletin. We have now rectified this omission by adding the details to our regular “Showtimes” , section. For those too lazy to look, the new date is Friday 10th August at Strijp-S, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Also recently announced is the news that on Wednesday 4th July Terry Edwards, author of One Step Beyond 33 & 1/3 book, will be appearing for a Q&A about the album at its home venue of The Dublin Castle, with Mark Bedford as guest from the band. We’re informed that the pair will be accompanied by “musical illustrations” fro. DJ Tony Bugbear.
Come and meet Terry (Ex Higson, who played with Madness many times in many guises from TV appearances, the Wonderful album, full tours, the Ska Orchestra, the Near Jazz Experience, the Allstars , and beyond).
Fans of Madness have been requesting a vinyl release of their B-sides for some time now. ‘I Do Like To Be B-Side The A-Side’ contains the B-sides for the first eleven Madness 7 singles.
Collated on a 12 LP on heavyweight black vinyl, the album’s packaging has been designed by long-time Madness collaborator Paul Agar and features a wonderfully surreal black and white image of the band on a diving board at a holiday camp, 1950s style.
Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for MY LIFE STORY where Suggs, takes a hilarious, yet moving, look back at his life in a musical form.
Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? Or a music hall dream? Whatever it is hold on to your seats as Suggs goes on to stumble and plummet through the trap door of failure; then trampoline back up to catch the passing trapeze of show business success.
£9.95. Limited to 250 copies. A5 paperback photo-zine. 36 pages.
Hanging Around Books’ tenth release (HA010), “Kimono Our House: Madness In Japan 1982” features rare and previously unseen photographs of the Nutty Boys taken by Andre Csillag at various locations during the band’s 1982 tour of Japan.
As Andre writes:
“In May 1982 I was asked by the manager of Madness, the late and sadly missed Matthew Sztumpf, to accompany the band on their first Japanese tour. These shots were taken over a period of a week in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya and on bullet trains inbetween.”
“It was an intense week of gigging, travelling, promotional work and making history. While in Japan, the band had their first number one on the UK singles chart and were filmed live via satellite from Tokyo introducing the video for that week’s chart topper, “House Of Fun” — a first for the BBC and Top of The Pops.”
“Thanks to Graham “Suggs” McPherson, Cathal Smyth, Lee Thompson, Chris Foreman, Mike Barson, Mark Bedford and Dan “Woody” Woodgate for their time and the enjoyable madness.”
Andre Csillag, February 2018.
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 723 – Sunday 17th March – Saturday 23rd March 2013
This issue kicked off with the news that the forthcoming Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra single would be the Desmond Dekker classic Fu Man Chu. It would feature a guest vocalist, and was due to air on David Roddigan’s Radio One Extra show next week.
So, who was the guest vocalist? Non other than British/Jamaican reggae artist Bitty Mclean; a talented and well respected figure in reggae circles.
On to more solemn news, and we reported that Wilko Johnson had given his final ever performance in London last night (11.03.13).
The guitarist – a founding member of Dr. Feelgood and former member of The Blockheads – was retiring from the spotlight after being diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the pancreas last year and being given only months to live.
Wilko had organised a mini tour to say farewell to his fans, which concluded at Koko, London, last night.
Thankfully, against all odds, Wilko would make a full recovery, and at the time of typing, is very much alive today.
It was back to Madness next, as news had come in reporting that the band would be headlining the Saturday night of brand new music festival “The Bolton Street Festival”. This would be the first time Madness had performed in the county of Waterford. With a capacity of only 2,000, it was expected that tickets would sell out fast.
We continued with Madness news as Vici Lee informed us that Madness would be supporting German band Die Toten Hosen, at the Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf on the 12th October 2013.
We went back in time next, as subscriber Dan Fossard, inspired by Mick & Ruth Jenner’s Madness video locations documentary, decided to put together a short photos documentary of some key shots from Take it or Leave it taken back then and how they look now.
If Dan received enough positive feedback we were hoping he’d consider adding to this collection using locations from other parts of the film.
Next, it was over to Paul Rodgers for yet another one of his comprehensive Madness Stats, Facts and Figures articles. Paul reported;
“This week’s chart shows nothing in the top 100, but hopefully Complete will have managed its 52nd straight week on the top 200. In the indie chart Complete falls from 22 to 26 and Oui Oui drops from 23 to 29.”
Following this we moved on to the French MIS, who were here with news of six gigs planned for France-based fans. We believed it to be the most gigs Madness had ever held across the Channel in a single year.
We brought this issue to a close with a reminder that Madness would be on BBC1 TV this coming Friday, to commemorate the closure of BBC Television Centre.
10 years ago…
Issue number 463 – Sunday 16th March – Saturday 22nd March 2008
Last week the news broke revealing Madness would be performing at the world famous Royal Albert Hall in April. This week we discovered that on the 20th of June the band had been booked to play The Sonar Festival, Barcelona.
We all hoped that these two gigs were a mere taster of more to come during the forthcoming months of 2008.
Alongside the Albert Hall news we featured the results of last week’s Damaged Goods CD competition, news from French MIS website of Lee Thompson’s appearance on a new track by unsigned ska outfit The Dance Brigade, and details of how you could ask the McPherson daughters a question or two.
As well as that, we had the usual half decade weekly lookback, news of Suggs and Carl appearing at a tribute night for Dainton Connell, and we finished of by reporting that Suggs had been given a mention in the restaurant critic AA Gill’s Column in The Times.
15 years ago…
Issue number 201 – Sunday 16th March – Saturday 22nd March 2003
Another week meant another question and answer session with Chas Smash, over on the Chas Smash Forums. With the turnout of Maddies being much smaller that the previous two meetings (about 20), the pace of proceedings was much more reasonable, with those logged-in giving Chas the chance to get a word in edgeways before the next barrage of questions were submitted.
Continuing on a Smash related note, and thanks to Birchy, we discovered that Carl was not only a member of The Masons, but had taken time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed for The Masons official magazine. In the interview Carl commented that;
“I think it tempers the wild side of me. You know you’ve got to plan ahead to learn your work and that gives me a discipline, and I think it gives you a good sense of succeeding as an individual.
It’s a great to be part of a body of men that you’re growing with, and I think the more you put in the more pleasurable it becomes, you begin to live it.”
We finished off this issue with news that tickets to the forthcoming Royal Albert Hall gig were current up on online auction site, Ebay, for a wallet-busting £115.00 a pair!
Sign of the Times
Suggs in the Metro
Tell us more about the show…
My first one-man show was kind of about how I went from rather humble beginnings to becoming what we now know as ‘Suggs’. This new one is more about when you become famous, the bizarre and the bewildering. I’ll be playing the piano, singing songs and hopefully entertaining.
I hear there’s a story about David Bowie and your underpants…
A friend of mine was working with David Bowie and we got invited to stay in his house. We drove up there in my friend’s Range Rover with our suitcases on the roof, to this secret lair. We heard a loud crunch as all our suitcases got knocked off the roof. And I had the unedifying sight of the coolest man in the world crawling around his driveway picking up my socks. But we gathered our decorum and got our underpants back. He was a very charming man. It’s sad he’s gone now.
Pants host: David Bowie
Did you get star-struck?
Totally, sitting opposite Bowie was probably the most star-struck I’ve ever been. When we appeared at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert, that was a bit of a shocker. I looked and there was Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Lenny Henry, Sir flipping Stevie Wonder — I remember Mike [Barson] in our band going, ‘What the F are we doing here?’ You are constantly feeling you are going to get tapped on the shoulder any minute. It’s like The Matrix except we’ve taken the blue and the red pills, we’re in two parallel realities. To be on the roof of Buckingham Palace is mind-blowing considering where we come from.
I’ve seen you out and about in Soho. What’s your favourite watering hole?
The French House has always been a rock in my family life and it’s still a great pub. Generations of my family have been going there since I was a kid. I really regret the demise of pubs — so many are closing. We got our first gigs in pubs, I met all my mates in pubs. The property price thing is a tragedy and a danger to London. There used to be 20 pubs in Camden Town that had live music, like the Dublin Castle — that’s where we got our first play — but there’s not many left for young bands. In London, property is more valuable than people nowadays. We need to keep some character before it’s washed away.
Do you have any recurring dreams?
Yeah, and they more often than not involve the band, which is really annoying seeing as I spend most of my life with them! It’s a really mundane dream about not getting to gigs on time and cars breaking down. Obviously unconsciously I have some fear of this happening, though it hasn’t for a long time. It’s really boring to keep seeing their faces — I’d rather see some 1950s film stars or anybody other than the band.
Shoe fetish: Suggs likes a Tod’s loafer
Do you believe in ghosts?
No. I think life’s magical enough. I don’t understand why you need to think there’s any more than there is.
What were you obsessed with when you were a kid?
I was pretty obsessed with Chelsea Football Club until music came along. I’m pretty good at drawing and painting as well. I’d have liked to go to art college but I didn’t have enough ‘levels’, or whatever they were called. The band came along when I was 17 so off I went.
What’s your favourite way to spend a day?
One of my favourite things is Sunday lunch with all my family and a few waifs and strays. Sitting round the table chatting with people you love and care about and laughing… somebody said one of the greatest gifts we have is hospitality. If you can afford to buy someone a glass of wine and have a nice time then that’s a great thing.
What’s your most glam and least glam moment lately?
I bought a pair of navy blue Tod’s loafers. I don’t normally splash out but I couldn’t resist them. My least glamorous would be probably the dressing room in the last theatre I was in, which shall remain nameless. It was basically an underground bunker. I send my family pictures of my rider, which when I’m with the band, is more of a sort of bar in The Waldorf Hotel. When I’m doing it on my own, it’s a bottle of water, a bottle of Stella and a banana. Any more than that and I start to forget what the hell it is I’m supposed to be doing and talking about.
Suggs’s one-man show, What A King Cnut: A Life In The Realm Of Madness, is on nationwide tour, ending soon.
MIS Feature – UK Gold Orders Young Ones Documentary
New Comedy Docu on its way
The Gold channel has commissioned a major documentary about the impact The Young Ones had on the comedy scene.
” How The Young Ones Changed Comedy ” – will feature archive footage with revelations from the stars and the production team, including Nigel Planer, Alexei Sayle, director Paul Jackson and writer Lise Mayer.
Meanwhile, comedians who followed in its wake, such as David Baddiel, Charlie Higson, Clive Anderson and Richard Herring, will discuss how it influenced them and galvanised the British comedy scene. Joe McVey, who commissioned the show for Gold said: ‘I can think of no other sitcom that has had a larger influence on modern comedy than The Young Ones.
‘And while watching it in glorious HD may not have the same illicit thrill as watching it on some dodgy VHS passed around the playground most fans of the show’s eyesight isn’t what it was so it’s probably for the best.
‘For true fans of the show may I suggest watching it with a youngster and enjoy the repetition of the phrase “so that’s where that comes from”.’
The two-hour documentary will be accompanied by an hour-long clips compilation, The Young Ones’ 20 Greatest Moments, with both airing this spring.
We would be surprised here at MIS if Madness didn’t appear during this retrospective, in some small way what with them being the only band to appear in both series.
News of the two shows comes two days after what would have been Rik Mayall’s 60th birthday.
John Quinn, executive producer of both shows for programme-makers North One, said: ‘Terrifyingly, I am old enough to remember watching the first episode go out as a kid.
‘I had no idea what it was, but the moment Rik Mayall launched into a poetic eulogy to Cliff and Vyvyan made his crashing entrance through the kitchen wall screaming ‘I’ve been down the morgue – I got a leg!’, I knew I would never look at comedy the same way again.
‘It’s a thing of sheer joy to be making this overdue tribute to a genuine game-changer.’ The Young Ones ran on BBC Two for just two series in 1982 and 1984. It also starred Christopher Ryan and Adrian Edmondson, while Ben Elton and Mayall co-wrote it with Meyer.
News from chortle website
That’s just about it for this issue.
Before we go, we’d just like to say how amused we’ve been kept this past week. Whether it was fans modifying movie posters,and replacing parts with photos of Leah “Suggsy” Rix, putting her in various famous landmarks, or simply replacing profile photos en-masse so they’re all terrible Photoshopped versions of Leah, it’s made us smile.
The plans for Leah facemarks being worn at the forthcoming House of Fun Weekender do fill us with horror, however! Won’t somebody think of the children?!