Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online Newsletter.
Following the cancellation of several of Suggs “One Man Show” performances due to snow, we learned this week that the dates have already been re-scheduled. The revised dates are Sat March 24 2018 – Dunfermaline, Sun March 25 2018 – Glasgow and Mon March 26 2018 – Newcastle.
Suggs has also continued to increase the length of his tour, and has now announced that he’ll be at Festival No. 6, Portmeirion on 6th – 9th September.
The other big news this week has been the reveal of Madness’ release as part of the forthcoming Record Store Day. Entitled “I do Like to be B-Side the A-Side”, this 12” will be available in very limited quantities from selected record stores on Record Day, which this year takes place on the 21st April. Check out our “Buy it” section for details of the tracklisting.
Expect to see copies of this to appear on Ebay almost instantly and at vastly inflated prices.
Madness “I do Like to be B-Side the A-Side” ** new **
Out for Record Store Day 2018; 21st April
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 722 – Sunday 10th March – Saturday 16th March 2013
We began with what we dubbed a “Big Time Special Edition Teaser Track”, as we exclusively brought you 45 seconds of new track “Big Time Sister”. This was one of the new studio tracks from disc 2 of the forthcoming special edition.
Moving on, and it was time to catch up with the second phased in the Specialized Project, which this year was aimed to raise much needed funds with a project covering songs by The Beat.
Specialized first came about in September 2011 after its creator Paul Williams, an admin at The Specials fansite saw a TV programme about the care of young people on the NHS. The Specials themselves had played a prestigious gig at The Royal Albert Hall in aid of the charity Teenage Cancer Trust so Paul put his love of 2-Tone and The Specials together with the idea of somehow doing a charity project to raise money for TCT, and the project of a charity album of Specials covers by modern day artists, not just ska bands but from all differing genres was born as “Specialized – A Modern take on Specials classics”.
Yes, the Specialized with a “Z”, it was an intentional spelling – it simply was more striking cosmetically!
It was over to Lee Thompson next, as we reported that during a recent appearance on Stimp Radio, Lee had announced that the next Ska Orhestra would be out in May.
On to the Independent newspaper next, as they reported that Suggs would be performing in a star-studded evening of music to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.
An Evening With Suggs And Friends, at The Porchester Hall in London, on March 14, would also feature a live house band including former Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh.
It was back to Madness news next, as Paul Rodgers returned for another one of his Madness Stats, Facts and Figures articles.
Paul commented at the time;
“Last week’s chart saw both of the Madness’ recent charting albums outside the top 100. Complete Madness fell from 143 to 166 and to number 24 on the indie chart. This in week 95 on the top 200, including a current unbroken run of 50 weeks.
Meanwhile Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da fell from 83 to 147 in week 17 of its top 200 career. It also fell from 9 to 21 on the indie chart.
This week both albums remain outside the top 100, with only their indie chart positions giving a clue that they remain in the top 200.
Complete climbs once more to 22, whilst Oui Oui slips in behind it at number 23. I’d be really quite annoyed if Complete Madness did not manage to achieve 52 straight weeks on the chart next week, especially as Madness promotion and airplay will gradually start to ramp up now in the lead up to the BBC TV Centre gig and the releases of the deluxe album and the new single.“
We brought this week’s issue to a close with the reminder that the Oui, Our 4-disc special edition was now ready to pre-order.
10 years ago…
Issue number 462 – Sunday 9th March to Saturday 15th March 2008
We began this issue with an article from Brand Republic, who revealed that Suggs was making a return to promoting Birds Eye productions, as part of its “Good Man Food” advertising campaign.
The campaign, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, commenced airing on March 3rd, and would include TV, radio and print.
It followed on from Birds Eye’s sponsorship of ITV1’s ‘Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’, which started on February 16th.
The 40-second TV ad showed Suggs explaining that freezing locks in the natural goodness in Birds Eye food, while its “great tasting” range of products ensured good moods all round at teatime.
Next, it was over to Paul Rodgers, who, following on from the Brand Republic article was giving us his views on Suggs appearing on prime time TV, during Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway TV series.
Paul commented at the time;
“This means between 4 and 8 MILLION people will hear a bit of Madness every Saturday night subliminally (if you don’t believe me Google these words: UK viewing figures Ant Dec)”
Paul continued his reporting stint with a transcription of an NW5 review from the BT Yahoo web site. Although containing one or two mistakes, it was generally well written and surely any publicity was good publicity, right?
Moving on to Bang! Showbiz, and the publication reported that Suggs would be featuring on a new Keira Knightly soundtrack to her upcoming Dylan Thomas movie ‘The Edge of Love’.
‘The Edge of Reason’, which was written by Keira’s mother Sharman Macdonald, starred Matthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas, Kiera as the wordsmith’s childhood friend Vera Phillips, and Sienna Miller as his wife Caitlin MacNamara.
Next, it was over to Jonathan Young who, after compiling reports of new Madness offshoot Damaged Goods, the previous week, he was now able to report on a DG himself after seeing them in Barnet.
Available at the Damaged Goods gig was a limited edition CD featuring music from the night’s acts. Two of the tracks were unique Lee Thompson tracks.
Having picked up a spare copy of this 9-track release Jonathan kindly ran a competition so that readers of the MIS could be in with a chance of winning a copy. All you had to do was complete the following sentence;
“Oh Boy, I’m so glad my CD wasn’t Damaged by…”
We brought this week’s issue of the MIS to a close with the news that the Crunch! gig at the Koko this coming Wednesday (12th) had been cancelled. Pama International had cancelled the show, and Crunch! were due to be special guests.
15 years ago…
Issue number 200 – Sunday 9th March to Saturday 15th March 2003
Our two hundredth edition of the MIS kicked off without celebration or trumpet blowing, and instead, went straight into the news.
We started off with a short snippet from the legendary Terry Edwards, who took time out of his busy schedule to let us know that he was primed and ready for his reserve saxophonist position at the forthcoming Royal Albert Hall gig. Terry told us that “I have my number 12 shirt on ready for the Albert Hall, but I think Lee may yet turn up for it!”.
Carl also contacted the online Madness fanbase, and informed us that Lee had changed his mind, and would indeed be performing at the RAH.
Those of you with a fair bit of spare cash, and a penchant for fine food and wine were in for a real treat this issue, when the news came in detailing a five course gourmet dinner on Friday 30th May with special guest Carl Smyth. Held at the Newbury Manor Hotel, the night promised to be something really special, providing you could afford to go!
Continuing on a Carl related theme, and earlier in the week the Chas Smash Forum burst into chaos when Mr Smash himself made an appearance. Like the excellent web chats that were set up a few weeks back the forum suffered a little from the same fate whereby loads of fans bombard Carl with question after question.
To be fair, Mr Smith did a super job of keeping things in order as much as possible. Instead of reply to each question individually he waited until a certain number of postings had been made before posting one reply with all the answers to the questions and general comments to the previous postings.
It also seemed that the forums were becoming a victim of their own success. The forums, hosted by Brinkster allowed a 500 megabyte per day transfer limit, but with the additional traffic being generated following the Chas Smash visit this was quickly being used up, and many visitors were facing a ‘This forum has closed for the day’ message.
After much organising, emailing and texting, 18 Maddies descended on The Cambridge Theatre to see the Our House musical. Starting the day with the obligatory Dublin Castle meet-up, the day was a chance for old Madness friends to catch up, socialise, and enjoy this tragically short lived musical.
Sign of the Times
Suggs “My Life Story DVD Update”
To all customers,
We have been informed today by the company behind My Life Story: The Movie that there’s a delay in the production of the DVD. As yet, we haven’t been given a new release date, but are expecting more information and a update on when they’ll start sending the DVDs out to you within a couple of weeks.
We apologise for the delay and you not receiving your DVD on the expected date of release. If you would rather not wait for the DVD’s release, please contact Customer Services for a refund.
Most people will recognise Suggs as the front man of the popular 80s band Madness, and for his entertaining antics and personality. His career has spanned over three decades, in which he has been a musician and songwriter, an actor and a radio personality.
This year he returns to the stage solo for his one man show, ‘Suggs: What a King Cnut – A Life in the Realm of Madness’. It’s not the first time Suggs has taken to the stage solo. His previous one man tour ‘Suggs: My Life Story in Words and Music’ was a smash hit with rave reviews. Over 34 dates between January and March, Suggs uses this tour to reflect on the surprises that awaited him throughout the last.Suggs is very honest about his experiences with fame. Madness were an iconic group in the 80s, having supported the likes of David Bowie, won handfuls of awards for their musical talent and work, and achieving 15 top ten UK singles.
Speaking about the pitfalls of fame, he says “fame is a dangerous substance. You know, it’s great, it’s fantastic, I’m not complaining in any way. But a lot of people got very damaged by it and I certainly flew quite close to the flame on a number of occasions myself.”
Despite this, the heights of his fame and success are immense. Few people won’t remember the performance by Madness on the roof of Buckingham Palace to close the London Olympics ceremony in 2012.
Reflecting on one his biggest gigs to date, Suggs says: “I don’t know if anyone remembers the closing ceremony of the Olympics, playing on the roof of Buckingham Palace, a couple of small things along the way and yes… not like the Olympics though, trumpets, strings, and I forgot the first f****** line to Our House. Only been singing it for 40 years…”If the last tour and the reaction to it is anything to go by, this one should not be missed. A must for any Madness fan, this show guarantees a hilarious understanding of the ridiculous life of an 80s icon.
Madness frontman Suggs: ‘Thief snorted my cat’s ashes’
The singer says his cremated pet, Voodoo, was in a sealed plastic bag in his car.
The 57-year-old Our House singer believes whoever stole his beloved moggy’s ashes may have mistaken the contents in the bag for drugs.
“One weekend my wife was going away and she gave me three things to do,” said Suggs, speaking during his new one-man show A Life in The Realm of Madness.
“Get our pet cat Voodoo cremated at the vet’s, take a bottle of vodka to the dentist as a present and stay out of trouble.
“I take the cat to the vet’s and go back to collect Voodoo. At the vet’s they give me the ashes in a small, clear plastic bag with a label which says Voodoo.”
But before he delivers the dentist’s present he becomes sidetracked, running into friends near his north London home.
“When I get back to the car I see the boot is open and when I look inside the vodka’s gone and the cat too.
“Someone will have seen the drink and a bag of white powder with the word voodoo on it and probably snorted them,” said the star, who has two daughters with wife Anne. Suggs, real name Graham McPherson, is currently touring his stage show.
His rise to fame saw Madness perform on the roof of Buckingham Palace during The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and at the London Olympic’s closing ceremony in 2012.
Suggs – What a King Cnut, Preston Charter Theatre (Nights at the Theatre, pt.2)
Written by Malcolm Wyatt
Fast forward four nights and I’m closer to home at the Charter Theatre (‘We were so close it was scary, we were that close I couldn’t tell you’). Regarding the venue, in this case we’re barely talking a 45-year history, yet while the adjoining Guild Hall is fairly soulless, there’s a nice feel about the Charter, and it seems the whole building – saved from the chop by Simon Rigby – is back on its uppers, as suggested by some of the events I’ve covered on these pages in recent years from those two venues and its LiVe area (I’ll draw a VeiL over that branding).
As for that night’s two-part act, here was someone integral to the soundtrack of my life since the first Madness album, One Step Beyond, hit the racks in late 1979, eight days before my 12th birthday, the members of the band acting like they were probably the same age around then. I guess I matured with them, the Nutty Boys proving to be far more than a great singles band who staged sharp videos by the time they were making albums like Keep Moving and Mad Not Mad.
Yes, again! Didn’t have a great experience first time round and we were closed down rather unexpectedly! So, we went back to Pledgemusic and they were happy to pick up the campaign and help move us forward. Now, please don’t worry if you’ve already pledged with Indiegogo – all those orders will be honoured. It’s just that the period was so short, loads of people wrote saying they’d missed it! Also, I’m afraid we’re rather behind, due to me, the producer and his children all being ill during flu season! We’re at the mixing stage now, so we will start to move forward. I’ll post updates, so you’ve got a handle on things. The link should go live in a day or so.
We’ve got a couple of shows coming up. The first is at The Slaughterhouse in Berlin next Friday, where I’ll be backed by Magic Touch, and the following weekend I’ll be back with my regular band at the Barbican. We’re playing at a celebration of working class culture called Meat Raffle. There’s a theme here! I don’t know that they’re after replicating that classic of northern working mens clubs, but it’ll be a sight to behold if they do. And yes, I have played a gig which stopped for a meat raffle. I think we got complimentary tickets! Superb!
Here’s the link to my listings page, where you can buy tickets for all upcoming gigs:
And finally, after the latest mass shooting in the US, the surviving schoolchildren have found their collective voices and are calling for gun control to finally be implemented. For the first time I can remember, their campaign has gained traction and the NRA is losing corporate support. More power to them, I say! Anyway, I wasn’t able to follow George and Amal Clooney and donate half a million dollars, but we did record a song for them. Hope it helps! #NeverAgain