Hello, and a warm welcome to this egg-cellent Easter Day issue of the MIS Online newsletter.
Earlier today, we stumbled upon some important information for anyone who is attending the July Stately Homes tour concerts. As well as checking if you need car parking tickets, which are on sale separately, we urge you to read our feature which highlights some new changes to entry criteria. It’s important you read and follow the revised instructions. Failure to do so could mean you are refused entry and your tickets invalidated if you don’t comply.
Moving on, and if you’ve yet to take part in our “I do like to be b-side the a-side”, prize winning competition, then don’t despair. It’s still running, and we have the details in our second of two of this week’s features.
Now, sit back, break off a chunk of Easter egg, and enjoy the read,
1st – Suggs & Friends – Porchester Hall, London. Annual Charity show for Pancreatic Cancer UK
Terry Edwards / Mark Bedford
Wednesday 4th July, Dublin Castle. Q&A & music from Tony Bugbear
Near Jazz Experience
Friday 20th April – The Prince Albert, on stage at 8:00pm ** new **
Saturday 21st April – Vinyl Frontier, record store day. Appearance and gig at the store in Eastbourne
Friday 11th May – The garage Islington (Supporting – Adrian Sherwood)
Wednesday 8th August – Varanger Festival – Norway
Madness “I do Like to be B-Side the A-Side”
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.
Important Further Changes to the Stately Homes Tour – Please Read
The four forthcoming concerts by Madness, billed as The stately homes tour are taking place in July ….
If you have booked tickets we have noticed there have been some new entry changes stipulated online for all of these gigs.
You may be aware that these concerts were first advertised as fully seated gigs by the promoters and went on sale as such. Generally, in the past, Madness have not favoured golden circle or elevated prices for front stage views at their gigs, and tend to prefer a mix of standing and side/back seating options at most concerts. So it was not surprising that firstly some fans, earlier in the year, vocally spoke out against this factor, preferring to dance front of a gig that’s general access.
Then, shortly afterwards, the band corrected this situation inline with their more regular policy anyway and the concerts were converted to standing tickets concerts by the promoters, which is what the gigs are now. Messages were sent to fans saying it was in response to overwhelming fan demands. So they should have updated your tickets/refunded you any due amounts if that was needed if you had purchased at the higher price.
This was widely pleasing for many fans who could now dance the night away as wished and this sorted their previous concerns. However, it still managed sadly to annoy some further fans already happy with their previously guaranteed seated positions, having differing concerns and opinions on the matter. That’s genuinely a shame that it’s occurred that way.
It seems now, and separately, further changes have occurred that perhaps could be seen as an adequate comprise and its something that will effect all fans who don’t arrive early enough and present their tickets at entrances A or F. If you look at the new terms and conditions that are online it states standing entry will only be granted to anyone arriving at these points before 4pm.
Looking into the why, it seems it’s probably due to the English heritage bylaws of stately homes, and the premises and gardens upkeep sections of that government legislation. It seems the numbers of fully standing crowds previously planned are not quite permitted to the full levels first thought. So they have had to find a away around this in managing the crowd numbers.
The newly added T&C’s have been put in place to reduce the number of standing feet that are present on the grounds during the day and they state that…
“On entry after 4pm you agree to the terms that you will remove one shoe.”
It is hoped that this will satisfy the environmental impact on the grounds of these grade 1st listed buildings. The terms continue that…
“You may proceed to the general standing area of the concert, but will be asked to do so on one leg.”, outlines the new policy.
Madness were once hailed as the maverick band that introduced the matinee concert into the pantheon of gig goer attendance trends in the 80s and so we are delighted that on this day it’s come to light that they are the pioneers of Hopping Mad concerts and that this may be the idea that not only suits all kinds of fans equally but is also truly the way forward at live events in halving the increasing concern over carbon footprints.
Please get to the gigs early or be ready to hand in one of your fashionable dr martins inline with this request.
After all as Madness sang in The Prince…
” you’ve got to help us with your feet”
Article by Long Jon Silver
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 725 – Sunday 31st March – Saturday 6th April 2013
We got this issue off to an April Fools related start with a daft story explaining that the “How Can I Tell You” video had been banned, and the video that was now available for viewing online was the quickly knocked together replacement.
Our article came to an end by asking MIS readers to film themselves putting an ice cream on their faces.
Moving on and with the band having appeared or lining up to appear on TV and radio, we thought it would be useful to provide a brief lowdown of some of these appearances along with relevant links.
Here we had details of the band’s appearance on the BBC for Goodbye Television Centre, This Morning and forthcoming Alan Carr’s Grand National Spectacular, While on radio it’s Wave 105, Absolute radio sessions and Weekend Wogan acoustic tune time.
Further on, and it was over to Ian Dury related news as we featured an interview (courtesy of Wales Online) with Jemima Dury, Ian’s daughter.
Following this, we moved to Suggs, who, prior to his “My Life Story” appearance in Portsmouth, was being interviewed by the Portsmouth.co.uk web site.
Elsewhere, we passed the baton of the MIS over to the one and only Paul Rodgers, who was here with the news that Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da had gone gold. Only 5 months after release 100,000 copies had been shipped to retailers. This did not yet mean that album sales had definitely passed 100,000, however.
We followed this with some sad news from The Daily Echo newspaper. The publication revealed that Wilko Johnson, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, had to cancel his final two gigs in Canvey Island, and that he would never play again. Thankfully, Wilko would go on to make a full recovery, and is still performing today.
Bringing this issue to an end, we pointed you in the direction of a fantastic Mike Barson masterclass, where in a 6-minute long video, our favourite keyboardist demonstrated how to play the classic “My Girl”.
10 years ago…
Issue number 465 – Sunday 30th March – Saturday 5th April 2008
This week we discovered that after years of speculation and rumour, the Our House musical was to FINALLY go UK-wide! Not only that, but thanks to subscriber ‘Dicka’, we had details of the first batch of dates, too!
Elsewhere we had news of two new Madness gigs for the summer months, which would see the band performing at Newbury and Newmarket racecourses. If the previous week’s news revealing that Madness were to perform at Sandown Park Racecourse on Thursday 7 August wasn’t enough, these two new gigs should certainly have made you happy.
If that lot wasn’t enough Chris Carter-Pegg was here with a report explaining that the legendary Bull and Gate was now under threat, whilst a certain Fred Boeuf seemed to have dug up something Beatle and Madness related from the archives. Recorded a mere two days before John Lennon’s death, it was the last interview he made with the BBC, and in it he sings a small snippet of One Step Beyond.
Here’s a short excerpt from the article….
“I’m a champion of it now, I like it, you know, I mean look when they catch up to the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono band, then let him ask me that question again, they haven’t reached that yet, So that’s the answer to that, and anybody who thinks, dumb old Lennon just got stuck in the 60’s to do “Starting over” & “Losing You”, you can hear it all there.. I’m aware of the B 52’s and Madness…”
John goes into a mock impression praising the intro of One Step Beyond, which is wonderfully halfway between Chas Smash and a Monty Python Gumby voice “Don’t do That, Do This… I think that is the most original thing, actually because It’s so peculiar.”
He returns to his normal voice. “You know, out of all that mob that was one of the most original sounds, very good drumming, very good bass and all that.”
15 years ago…
Issue number 203 – Sunday 30th March – Saturday 5th April 2003
Following Suggs’ week-long stint at the Cambridge Theatre the previous week, the MIS featured a round up (courtesy of Chris Carter-Pegg) of press reviews reporting on Mr McPherson’s appearance in the musical.
As well as that, MIS subscriber Jipster kindly put together a cracking review of one of Suggs’ performances upon her return from the show.
No sooner had Suggs finished appearing in the Our House musical, he was back on Radio 4 for a brand new series of comedy show “I Think I’ve Got a Problem”.
We’d heard some weird and wonderful (no pun intended!) stories in our time, but one announcing that Steven Spielberg was interested in converting the `Our House` musical into a fully-fledged film must surely take the biscuit. With quotes from the man himself it had to be non other than our usual April Fool’s joke.
With many recovering from the antics of Madness’ gig at The Royal Albert Hall (was it really half a decade ago?!), we featured an massive lowdown of the pre concert meet, as well as the gig itself.
For those unable to get there, or who were too plastered to remember what exactly went on, this was essential reading.
And finally, with many now recovering from the antics of the RAH concert we now all looked forward to the next Madness gig, as on Friday 4th July Madness were booked to play at the Museumszeile in Bonn, Germany! Thanks to Madness Trading Ring co-maintainer, Steve Bringe we had all the information you needed to get yourself hold of a ticket.
Beside the B-Side Competition
Last week, the new B-sides album, “I do like to be b-side the a-side”, arrived at MIS Towers. A lovely looking thing it is too, reminding us slightly of the rise and Fall for its sepia toned images. We particularly like the solitary diving penguin on the inner sleeve, peering down from the diving board and kind of feel it’s sat there looking down at Madness who have all dived into the pool already. Well done Paul Agar again on the art.
Having admired the vinyl album that’s arriving April 21st for Record Store Day in stores on the event day, the good news is we are now giving it away early. Possibly to you dear reader. So you can admire it next and sit home playing it rather than braving those queues for a copy. Here’s how to pick up this penguin…
You must have a UK address we can send it to you at.
If we judge it to be the best picture of You Beside a B-side, you are the winner.
Here’s what your picture needs to be…
You, (the named competition entrant) stood next to a “thing”, with you holding a sign upon which you have written the title of a Madness B side. Amuse us with your fitting juxtaposition and land B-side up at the top of our list.
So let’s give an example. You write “Riding on my Bike” clearly readable and visible on a piece of paper, hold it up, and stand next to a bike and someone takes your picture. You email us the picture. That’s a suitable B-side picture. Just think of a better one now and you might win. Send it in.
Photoshopping is allowed ( as long as you are seen to be holding the sign in the picture no just writing the title on a picture that already exists please. That will get you rejected.)
Drawing or art of any kind is allowed as part of your picture, but You must be real in the picture and really holding the sign. Your sign must be clearly visible and identifiable.
You can use an actual Madness record held B side to camera as the sign if its really clear what one it is in the picture. ( i.e. not distant from camera or obscure/too generic to notice).
Just standing next a record alone though doesn’t count as your picture.
What’s a B-side?
In this competition, it is a song title that must be released under the artist name of Madness. It must be available on a physical format. It’s not about side two of LPs and albums in this competition. It’s single formats. As a general rule if the song has a video then that’s the a side mate. We don’t mind much about things like a double A-side, 12” bonus tracks and EPs tracks, or flexi discs etc. being considered under the phrase B-sides here. Go ahead. They are fine. If still in doubt, you can email us and ask, we will reply to any rejected pictures anyway. Be Safe taking your pictures. We accept no responsibility for anyone or thing you damage by being too daft. You did that, you nutter.
Have fun and good luck. You have until April 7th. We can’t wait to see your Bsides.
Competition open to anyone to enter, except Jon, Rob, Simon, Paul at MIS.
With thanks to Ian Taylor.
Sign of the Times
Suggs Finds Long-Lost Sister
Now that Suggs King Cnut show has finished it’s first full run of shows, we include this newspaper expose that came about after confessions in his show…
IT MUST BE LOVE Madness singer Suggs reveals he found long-lost sister after she tracked down his mum on Facebook.
He had no idea his mum Edith Bower had given birth to a daughter and put her up for adoption before he was born.
MADNESS star Suggs has revealed that he discovered he had a long-lost sister after she tracked down their mum through Facebook.
The band’s frontman, real name Graham MacPherson, had no idea his mum Edith Bower had given birth to a daughter and put her up for adoption before he was born.
She confessed to the House of Fun singer after she received a friend request from a woman who said: “I think you’re my mum”.
The family met up after his sister, who he doesn’t want to identify, made contact in 2012 and he later learned she had been in the audience for some of his shows.
Suggs, 57, told the Mirror: “It was a marvellous surprise to discover my mum had found her, it was a very miraculous thing for sure.”
He said he was proudly showing his mum his letter inviting Madness to play the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace when she revealed he had a sister.
The singer said: “She put the letter to one side, opens her laptop and says, ‘Look at this’. She had a Facebook friend request from someone she didn’t know saying, ‘I think you are my mum’.”
He has been sharing the story as part of his one-man UK tour, What A King Cnut! A Life in the Realm of Madness.
Earlier this week, Suggs revealed how he played an hilarious prank on his keyboardist after the Beast from the East forced his crew to spend three days in a haunted hotel.
Famed for their British anthems Our House and Baggy Trousers, next year will be 40 years since Madness released first record One Step Beyond.
Suggs joked they’d recognise the milestone with a homecoming gig on the roof of the block of flats he used to live in – and the Royals will be invited.
The band famously played on the roof of Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as well as at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012.
While an invite to play at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding hasn’t arrived just yet, Suggs said he’d be honoured to play for the pair, adding his band is open to wedding gigs and Bar Mitzvahs.
New Film Tells Story of Glastonbury’s Lost Vagueness
The now-defunct area was the festival’s original late night zone
A new film will tell the story of Glastonbury‘s former late night area, Lost Vagueness.
The area was a big part of the festival for two decades, but, after the organiser fell out with Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, it was pulled. It was last a part of the Somerset festival in 2007, and was replaced by Shangri La.
Lost In Vagueness, the first music documentary from director Sofia Olins, will unravel Lost Vagueness’ history, and that of creator Roy Gurvitz. The movie was filmed over 12 years and features guest appearances from Fatboy Slim, Madness frontman Suggs, Keith Allen, Kate Tempest and more.
A synopsis on the film’s official website reads: “It’s a story of the dark, self-destructive side of creative talent and the personal trauma behind it. Anti-hero, Roy, and Glastonbury founder, Michael, became friends in the early 1990s. Through their story, we retrace Britain’s sub-culture history, to see how a band of troublesome new age travellers came together to create Lost Vagueness. It was a place of opulence and decadence, and reminiscent of a permissive 1920s Berlin, but all in a muddy field.”
Olins said of the film: “The story I encountered when filming what eventually became Lost in Vagueness is a near perfect representation of British festival culture in the 21st century. Throughout filming I could see the changing festival scene and I became interested in how the anarchy and DIY culture from the 1980/90’s was becoming monetised. The irony of the sub-culture becoming mainstream was a universal thread and I was interested in sewing it into the story.”
Screenings of Lost In Vagueness will begin across the UK on May 8, and currently run until June 16. Tickets and details can be found at this website.