With Suggs’ “One Man Show” now at an end, and the next Madness gig not taking place until the end of June, things do look like they’re quietening down for a time.
The Near Jazz Experience are keeping things ticking on, however, with gigs in April and May, and don’t forget that on the 21st of this month a new Madness album sees the light of day in the form of “I do Like to be B-Side the A-Side”, released as part of this year’s Record Store Day.
Thankfully, a ton of updates have come in this week following Lee’s appearance on Dave Robinson’s radio show “Free Yourself”. You can hear more about his announced 2 CD best of album, “Lee Thompson’s One Man’s Madness” album due in May and his film project in our feature section.
Lee also announced a seven track album by his son Daley’s band The Silencerz due this Summer. Titled “Better Days”. The album is of the band’s original songs written by guitarist Nick Godwin with the tunes sung by Daley. Lee features upon the album.
If that wasn’t enough, Lee also spoke of new Madness songs, saying Suggs is pumping out lyrics and Mike and Chris are working on music. Lee himself has penned “Wild Card”, a song about an egotistical bully (which he mockingly compared to Dave Robinson himself as he was talking about this track), and another song was mentioned, possibly called or about “British film standards” of broadcasting which he wrote about being surprised by a Channel Four cucumber drama.
There was talk of songs reaching the Stately Homes tour and work in the band ramping up from September in preparation of the band reaching their 40th year on record next year.
You can listen again to the radio show with plenty more laughs and plugs and top tall tales from Thommo here…
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
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.
Rhoda Dakar – A Change Is Gonna Come (Never Again)
Like many of the most powerful creative endeavours, Rhodar Dakar’s haunting rendition of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come came about as an unplanned and spontaneous response to terrible events happening in the world – in this case, the recent massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and the subsequent fearless and proud stance taken by the young survivors of the shooting.
Inspired by the #NeverAgain campaign, and recalling a Billy Bragg gig which Rhoda attended last year, where he paid a musical tribute to Sa ya Khan, the Asian girl who faced down the EDL wearing a Specials t-shirt, Dakar posted a clip of Emma Gonzalez’ speech on social media and the response by her friends hot-wired the hastily arranged recording and release of the track.
As Rhoda explains:“ I had the right song, and just needed to write the necessary lyrics. We recorded it on Friday 2 March at the guitarist/producer’s home studio and mastered it over the weekend. Meanwhile, I had the idea for the video. Once I started looking up school shootings and mass shootings in the US, I was horrified! I used the last 20 to feature in the video. My daughter put it together for me on the Monday, then we released it into the wild.” She adds: “It’s our business, because we can’t pretend the US isn’t part of our world. I have family and friends and their children going to school there. I was encouraging my son to go to university there and realised he wouldn’t be safe.”
A Change is Gonna Come is for sale on Rhoda’s Music Glue site, as well as being available on iTunes, Amazon Music and Spotify, and donations will be made to the March For Our Lives campaign. It has already received a very favourable response at radio, having been played on Gary Crowley’s BBC Radio London show, as well as being aired on Mickey Bradley (Undertones) show on BBC Radio Foyle and Radio Ulster.
A Change is Gonna Come is an anthem which celebrates hope and change, and the profound be- lief that the future might be safe a er all in the hands of its younger citizens.
Rhoda Dakar began her musical career as lead vocalist with all female 2 Tone band, The Bodysnatchers before guesting with the Specials in Europe and the USA, having featured on their second album, ‘More Specials’. After their demise, and before joining Jerry Dammers’ new project, she recorded the Bodysnatchers’ first original song, ‘The Boiler’, a harrowing tale of date rape, which was inevitably banned. The Special AKA spent the next two years recording ‘In the Studio’, spawning a top ten hit with ‘Free Nelson Mandela’.
More recently, she has performed with Madness, is an in-demand DJ and has recorded and performed her own material both in the UK and in Europe.
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 7th April – Saturday 13th April 2013
This issue got off to a stinking start with details of the complete track listing from the debut album by the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Entitled “The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius”, this 12 track release was due out on the 3rd June.
Next, it was over to MIS reader Kristine Burnett, who emailed in with her review of a recent Suggs, My Life Story performance she attended at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, Portsmouth.
“It was truly a great show. He sang “See You Later Alligator”, “Baggy Trousers”, and a few other hits. Suggs made us laugh, feel sad, but not for long as he soon made us a laugh again. With his story of when he was a child, when he joined “The North London Invaders”, why they changed it to “Madness”. He told us about his poor cat Mamba, the questions he asked his mum about his dad. How he met then married Bette Bright. Suggs did a Tommy Cooper trick and everyone laughed. He then ended on “It Must Be Love”, and some lyrics said “It’s 30 years”, smiled and carried on and the audience laughed.
We moved on to single news as Jonathan Young and Vicki Lee reported that the latest single, “How can I tell you”, was now available to download, but not only that, a 70 track special edition of the Oui, Oui album was out next week! The online advert is still available for viewing, and can be found here: http://www.madness.co.uk/special-edition/
Next, Vince Carden gave readers a brief history lesson in the track “Oh My Love”, a cover of John Lennon’s track by the same name. Why? Well, although Chrissy Boy had stated back in 2005 that it would probably appear as a b-side, it would now be appearing on the forthcoming Oui, Oui box set.
Away from Madness, we gave a recap of four forthcoming gig dates from The Ska Orchestra. In May, the band would be performing in Chelsea, Bristol, Manchester and Newcastle.
We continued on the non-Madness news for a little longer, and reported on not only forthcoming gig dates for the Near Jazz Experience, but revealed that as part of this year’s Record Store Day celebrations, the band would be releasing a special 7” in a 3D sleeve, complete with 3D glasses!
It was back to Madness next, as we gave you the heads up on an Absolute Radio session, which saw Suggs and Mike play acoustic versions of Never Knew Your Name, How Can I Tell You, Misery and Embarrassment.
Paul Rodgers brought this issue to a close with the news that Total Madness was currently sat at number 117 in the album charts with Oui, Oui at number 60.
10 years ago…
Issue number 466 – Sunday 6th April – Saturday 12th April 2008
Talk about being organised and making your plans early, but it seemed that this week it was exactly what Madness had done, as the news went out that tickets to see Madness at the O2 Arena on Friday 19th of December were now on sale!
We were certain that this was one of if not the earliest date tickets for a Madness Christmas concert had gone on sale.
On to the articles, and we kicked things off with the news that Robert-jan over on the Nutty Forum had unearthed a hidden track, a Suggs sung collaboration with a band called Little Massive, who feature ex-Arnold members.
The video was quite weird and arty. A man was sat in front of a mirror, putting some make-up on and transforming himself into a woman. The on screen text said the song was performed by Little Massive & Suggs.
After further research from the one and only Graham Yates, he was able to confirm that the Suggs track was a hidden track 11 on the Little Massive album “Dog Gone”.
Here’s what Graham had to say at the time;
“It’s a printed CD-R and cover showing that this is obviously an unsigned self released effort. But that doesn’t detract from the fact this was done for the love of the music. And quite good it is too.
Some nice acoustic soft chill out music somewhere between solo Mccartney, country and The Charlatans.
But obviously it’s the Suggs collaboration that interests us here”.
Next-up we passed proceedings over to Steve Bringe of The Madness Trading Ring, who’d managed to bag an interview with The Beat’s Dave Wakeling. Sure, it wasn’t Madness but it proved to be an essential read.
Further on, and we held our hands up and admitted that we’d issued yet another April Fool. This year we’d gone for a Madness interview in a monthly horse-based publication, with the pun title of “Norton Foal Gate”.
Graham Yates immediately emailed us to tell us how terribly weak the idea was and that he’d spotted it straight away. He wasn’t fooled, and no one would be. We were able to inform Graham that by this point we’d had already fooled one of our own editors and a reader who excitedly emailed to tell us of his contacts in IPC media and how he would definitely get hold of a copy of the CD for us!
We brought this issue to a close with the news that as Madness were due to appear at The Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday evening, that as long as Jonathan didn’t drink too much you should expect a review in time for the next issue. That said, we also asked that if you were planning to go along to send us in your reviews of the gig no matter how long or short they were.
15 years ago…
Issue number 204 – Sunday 6th April – Saturday 12th April 2003
Sick with the continued re-re-releases of Madness material, one Madness fan by the name of Matt (we never did find out his surname!) decided to take matters into his own hands. Setting up an online petition (have any of those ever worked?!) he asked fans to put their name to a proposal of a Madness unreleased 12″ album. Five years on, this much anticipated release has got no closer to materialising.
If the recent Madness gig at the Royal Albert Hall had got you yearning for more live music, then the news that Madness spin off Like Father, Like Son, we’re going to be performing at The Hope and Anchor pub on Saturday 19th of April must have been a real blessing to many of you out there.
Always a master at tracking celebrities down for interviews, one Jonathan Young managed to rope Phil Jupitus into answering a whole mass of Madness and Blockhead related questions. Five years on, this is still an extremely enjoyable read.
With the second series of radio comedy ‘I Think I’ve Got a Problem’, now well underway, co-editor, Jonathan Young took time to review the second episode, as well as provide a lowdown of the songs sung during the show.
We finished this issue with news that as Suggs’ one week stint appearing in the Madness musical, Our House, had gone down so well, he would be returning for a massive five week long stretch from Monday 7th of April.
For those who missed his performances the first time around, this would be an excellent opportunity to catch him treading the boards.
One Man’s Madness – The Soundtrack Album and Film Update
Lee Thompson’s film on DVD, his other pledge merchandise (Tshirts etc) and a newly announced 2CD album are all coming in May. Here is Tony from Lee’s Pledge Campaign Management team with an update…
“Plenty of exciting news regarding One Man’s Madness. We’re pretty close to having the DVD manufactured now. It’s been a massive task but I expect now to have the product this month, and then Lee needs to sign them to send out.
I think we’ll be posting them late April or early May which is exciting.
We’re also producing all the other items now, t-shirts, scripts etc, to post out at the same time. I’m sure you’ve had many people asking questions, the project has been very complex, but it is happening and we’re very close now.
The other news is that there is a soundtrack CD being made. This is currently due for release May 25th, the same date as the DVD goes on general sale. The soundtrack is a great way of showcasing Lee as a songwriter, so it’s really exciting. It’s a double CD set.” Tony
There will be a full announcement of the album with full tracklisting in early May and promotion, with Lee on TV and Radio around the start of next month. Lee described the album on Dave Robinson’s radio show as mostly Madness, tunes but ones he sings on being some of them, and his song writing is surely the main focus. As Ian Dury gets a mention we expect Drip Fed Fred to appear, and tunes like Razor Blade Alley, Whistle in the dark and Embarrassment seem likely from our memory of the movie screenings.
The operatic singer from the film is set to appear with hidden tracks being mentioned by Lee as a feature of the album.
Tracks from The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra, (we can hope at least for the singles that weren’t on the albums might be included here), tunes from Crunch! both also feature and maybe even The Silencerz who now have studio tracks ready. Lee said he hoped we weren’t disappointed and spoke of Rarities wanted among the Madness across to two CD’s.
The promotion and distribution of the album is tied to be available and on display before Fathers Day this June as its peak week, and features a fetching cover showing a Monty python style head filled with the characters Thommo performs in the film.
I do Like to be Beside the B Side Competition Winner…
Our competition to give away a copy of the brand new Madness album on Vinyl is now complete.
“I do like to be B side the A side” – is coming out exclusively in Record Stores in two weeks time on Record Store Day, April 21st featuring the first 11 Madness B sides. Including “Shadow on the House”.
The winning picture of a fan being Beside a B side was sent in by Les McLuckie. Well done Les, your album will be casting a shadow onto your house as the postman arrives with it this coming week. Enjoy. You can see Les and his picture of Shadow on the house on our website banner with this very issue, at www.madness-mis.com from Monday.
There were some truly great efforts, Mr Holt amused us with “That’s the way to do it” stood next to his local B&Q!, while at the seaside Alisa posed with Punch and Judy for a different take on the very same B side. We had “stepping into line” with a middle of the road white line shot of a fan doing a nutty train next to an inlay-ed one step beyond picture, a man standing backwards in his suit holding up the reverse side tune of “house of fun” to camera, and even a man in bed with someone holding “Mistakes” up in comment on his love life! we cant show you that one! Along with a ton of people who just sent in their photo of them with “Madness” and cool though they all were to see the latter ideas weren’t quite fitting the rules of the competition, neither was Dicka’s old photo of him stood with Mr Wheeze from house of fun, having failed to get his desired picture of Chris Foreman’s cowboy like B side “A town with no name” next to a local haunt called “No Place”. No place no album then, Les takes it.
His created picture shows his own Madness fan shadow looming large across a big stately home, Madness appearing jubilant on the roof ready to play to you all this summer. Celebrating both recent Madness Palace triumphs and the current future summer tour, Les is also a sax player clearly inspired by Madness and presumably pictured wandering off to play with his band “Skaledonia” in an imagined summer support slot. It left us thinking “that will look good atop the MIS website” and grinning that Madness do indeed cast their music and joy influence across all of our lives.
We’ve had so much fun with this B side competition that we decided this competition needs a b side added to it as well and so not just one A Winner as previously stated, and so we’ve heard our next competition will be just around the corner with One Man’s Madness and likely coming to an issue of MIS at the end of April.
Therefore, we can add Matt Holt, Micheal Cowan, Alisa Hunt, Ian Taylor & Alan Smithee as our runners up, we liked your input and competition entries very much and so your names will go forward to a B prize draw when we launch our next MIS competition. More on that soon.
This week we bid a fond farewell to the MIS app for iOS. With Apple removing support for 32-bit application, of which our app fell into this category, we can no longer support it.
Head MIS code monkey, Simon Roberts, told;
“Apple now insist on full 64bit apps rather than 32bit ones (or mixed), but a lot of 3rd party code I used was 32bit and couldn’t be converted easily”.