You can certainly tell that the better weather is finally here for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, as over the past week the amount of Madness news has slowed to a mere trickle.
Italian Madness fans do have a chance to rejoice however, as this week the band added the GuiVillage Festival, Turin, Italy to their forthcoming gig line-up. The band will be performing there on Saturday 19th July. Our thanks go to subscriber Alex Baiardi for the heads-up on this one.
In other news, and it’s clear that last weekend’s bank holiday sunshine and fresh air got to us. Why? Well, the email subject of the issue stated it was 991, but the header of the issue itself proclaimed it was 992. To confirm, this last issue was 991. This is issue 992.
Confused? You should be!
Our MIS Feature this week has details on the release of the forthcoming One Man’s Madness DVD. If you’ve already placed or are considering placing an order for this, you’ll definitely want to check this out.
So, without further ado, let’s get the show on the road.
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.
Important – The release date for this disc was 2nd March 2018, and copies have not yet been shipped. If you’ve yet to place an order we recommend you hold off parting with your money until news of copies arriving with those who’ve already ordered start to surface.
Suggs Tour Merchandise
Tour merchandise has now been added to Suggs’ online store.
£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 731 – Sunday 12th May – Saturday 18th May 2013
It’d been a long time in the making, but after much hard work by the band and much anticipation from ourselves, we’d finally got ourselves the finished Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra album, The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius.
Although the album wasn’t due for release until June we’d managed to get hold of a copy early, and you could find a track-by-track lowdown of the The Ska Orchestra’s production in this very issue.
If that didn’t whet your appetite for it, we weren’t sure what would.
In this week’s Sign of the Times we pointed you towards a streaming link for the Lee Thompson’s Ska Orchestra interview on the Robert Elms Radio Show. If you’d missed it subscriber Darren Dixon had kindly made it available for the rest of us.
Further on, we reported that in a blog post to the Magic Brothers web site Woody mentioned a few of the forthcoming tracks on the album. These included:
Always Be With You
You Don’t Have to Hide Your Love Away
In our semi-regular Tweets of a Dove section Mark Bedford was asked “Who was the guy in bed in the One Step Beyond video?”
Mark replied by saying, “What I do know is that he followed the band everywhere in the early days.”
So there you go.
We brought this issue to a close with a heads-up France revealing that the Madness gig in Paris would be streamed by RTL2.fr
We asked that you didn’t get too excited as the gig wasn’t due to yake place until September 16th, so you had a bit of waiting to go yet.
10 years ago…
Issue 471 – Sunday 11th May to Saturday 17th May 2008
This issue got off the starting blocks thanks to Looby, who kindly gave us an in-depth review of the recent Crunch! gig, held in Brighton on the 4th of May.
“I’ve never been to a Crunch! gig before, so this was a whole new experience for me. I was trying to keep an open mind about what to expect and not let what I’d heard and read about previous gigs cloud my judgment. Not only was I concerned about the band’s lack of rehearsal time, I’d also noticed a recent bulletin on Myspace posted by Chrissy Boy himself stating that the band’s saxophone player (Sexy) Steve Annan had gone ‘AWOL’. Despite all this I was still excited to hear the band play live and I hoped and prayed all would go well and that plenty of people would turn up and support them”.
Thankfully, all went to plan, and all enjoyed a fantastic gig. For those wondering whether any further Crunch! gigs would take place, towards the end of the evening Lee was heard to say “I really enjoyed that, I think I’ll do it again sometime.”.
For the anoraks out there our next article came courtesy of Darren Dicka, and simply gave a lowdown of the cast list for those performing the latest run of the Our House musical.
Next, it was over to The Pet Shop Boys. Why? Well, the duo recently performed at London night club Heaven, as part of the “Can You Bear it?” benefit night for the family of Dainton Connell, who was tragically killed in a car accident. What did this have to do with Madness? Well, Suggs and Carl took to the stage to perform a chaotic version of My Girl alongside The Pet Shop Boys.
We moved on to the subject of concept albums for the next article, as Jonathan Young decided that whatever the weather we’d have this July, August and September you could make yourself a Madness album to be the soundtrack of the summer.
Entitled “The Weather Album”, the tracklisting was as follows:
1. Forecast (Michael Fish)
2. Wonderful Summer
3. White Heat
4. Summer in London
5. (Hear the) Sunshine Boys
6. Patience (vocal mix)
7. Grey Day
8. (In the…) Rain
9. The Coldest day
10. Thunder and Lightning
11. The Sun and the Rain 12″
We brought this issue to a close with a selection of short fan reviews of The Pet Shop Boys demo of “My Girl”.
Chris Carter-Pegg commented; “It’s not bad but slightly disappointing – not the best PSB track I’ve ever heard, a bit of a half-hearted effort… I think I’ll stick with Tracey Ullman’s version!”
Meanwhile, Paul Rodgers was certainly less favourable;
“God this Pet Shop Boys version is awful and I say that despite not being averse to all things Pet Shop. Horrendous, quite possibly the worst cover I’ve heard including some of those on the Madland cassette from the 80s, even people on X Factor are better than that.”
15 years ago…
Issue 209 – Sunday 11th May to Saturday 17th May 2003
We started off this week’s issue by pointing readers in the direction of a site which we declared was full of pages and pages of purile rubbish. The “1000 People More Annoying Than Mick Hucknall” web site contained (as we said at the time);
“some of the most pathetic drivel I have ever had the opportunity to read on the internet. The forums aren’t amusing, they’re just a place where people are openly abusing celebrities. There’s no amusing explanations about why such-and-such a person should be listed. In the case of the Suggs entry it’s just a number of people being down right abusive.
It’s interesting to note that the people providing reasons (usually just saying he’s sh1t, or words to that effect) are the people on there with the poorest grasp of the English language. You’ll also, be pleased to know that the people knocking our Mr McPherson are hideously outnumbered, and people are demanding that Suggs be removed from the list.”
With the ball now rolling on this year’s Madness Weekender, we included an update, which listed the line-up of weekend events, and the price. The very reasonable £120 would get you three days of bed and breakfast, Badness, One Step Behind, a disco, karaoke, a buffet, and a charity auction.
Elsewhere, and many people were having trouble finding new posts submitted to the official Madness messageboard, as posts were appearing randomly, meaning that newly posted items were proving difficult to track down. Thankfully, help was at hand, as members of both the MTR and MIS moderation/editing team had pulled out the new and interesting posts, so that you didn’t have to.
Madness tribute bands – The UK has more than a couple of them up and down the country, and this week we discovered that Wales had also given birth to their own tribute outfit, in the form of ‘Baggy Trousers’.
We finished off this week’s issue with heads-up on forthcoming gigs from two London bands. First-up were MOT, who would be performing at The Cherry Jam on Thursday the 15th of May, and then on the 31st of May the legendary Like Father, Like Son would be appearing at non other than The Dublin Castle, in Camden Town.
One Man’s Madness DVD Shipping Tuesday!
This week coming, (From Tuesday shipping) fans who pledged to help make the film One Mans Madness happen, will finally receive the film on DVD.
It has to be said that early lower than expected levels of fan funding visible on the site, added to production learning curves happening for producers and extra changes made to the movie after test screenings to perfect the final product, has meant that there has been at least 3 delays to the independent project that over all has taken a couple of years to completion, and is just over 6 months beyond its initial projected first mentioned delivery date.
The latest delay surrounded the involvement of BMG joining the project to allow a soundtrack album and general release of the DVD to also now happen from June, this move has allowed a longevity of availability and wider interest in the film beyond those regular and supportive fans, good in the long run for the project, while lengthening the frustration of some fans making expensive and unique purchases.
The last update through the now otherwise closed Pledge page will come on Monday we understand. Pledgers will get the movie this week, 2 weeks in advance of a showcase cinema event day on May 23rd screening the movie, and a general dvd release and album sale taking place in 3 weeks time from June 1st from Amazon/madness.co.uk
Collector and expanded edition DVD orders should be fulfilled in full shipping Tuesday, your orders all signed now by Lee. Thompson.
The small level of film only dvd orders have been upgraded instead to include the extras due to disc authoring issues, and will be sent unsigned to those who pledge that option.
Members of MIS have advised on this issue this week, seeking some revisions, look for any Monday communication on the pledge site should anything arise from that.
Fans have reported the signed scripts have already arrived direct from Lee in hand drawn addressed envelopes with added artwork! Wonderful stuff. We hope the all the other remaining orders are now satisfied before our next issue goes out and fans can enjoy the film and all the items they pledged to buy in support of this project.
But why not give your feedback discussing the film and the project this week here, at the lee Thompson solo fan group…
What we can’t wait for is to hear of the joy and laughter this movie should bring to most Madness fans, and we ourselves thank every fan who has helped a celebrated madness video director and Lee Thompson bring this feature lengthen mockumentarty piece into the hands of fans to enjoy. A unique and comedic take on the life of Lee, his songs, and his role as the flying sax man in Madness, staring the band and a cast of familiar faces. Well kind of familiar faces. Or is it just One Man?
His shops triggered a British style explosion – and he’s idolised by sharp-dressed superstars like Martin Freeman and Paul Weller. Meet John Simons, whose windows are ‘like theatre’
Simons is the subject of A Modernist, a new film that chronicles his rise from Jewish teenager with a passion for fashion in the 1950s to one of UK clothing’s most revered figures, inspiring generations with his succession of pilgrimage-worthy shops. But the film is more than just the tale of one man’s life and work – it’s a celebration of British youth subculture since the mid-1960s.
The documentary – directed by Lee Cogswell and produced by Mark Baxter, the duo behind Peter Blake: Pop Art Life – uses archive footage, evocative imagery and a range of immaculately dressed talking heads, from Paul Weller to Suggs from Madness, DJ Robert Elms to Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners.
The full article can be found at the address found at the top of this article.
That’s just about it for this week’s edition of the MIS.
We’ll back back next Sunday for another issue. In the meantime, if you spot anything Madness related and newsworthy then please send it in.