We begin this week’s edition of the MIS with news from Pledge Music and the One Man’s Madness DVD, as the following press release landed online a day or so back;
“Fair tidings good people of Pledge. We herald the arrival of the One Man’s Madness DVD to berth on our shores next week. Mr Lee “Kix” Thompson is sharpening his quill in preparation to adorn his autograph upon them, after which our friendly dispatchers shall scurry them to your doors.
Your patience, support and love will soon be rewarded.
One Man’s Madness shall soon be with you!
Jeff & Lee”.
All being well, those of you who ordered this umpteen years ago will soon find that your patience will be rewarded and a DVD will be landing on your doormat shortly.
In other news, and this weekend the MIS took over room 2 of Specialized Reading. This was our second year appearing at the event, and all being well we should have detailed write up in next week’s issue.
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 729 – Sunday 4th May – Saturday 10th May 2013
Following last week’s initial Rich Text mail out, and the absence of subscribers complaining that it had caused them problems, we continued to press ahead with the new issue format. If you did encounter issues, we did ask that you let us know, however.
Sign of the Times, this week, gave you a pointer to the Magic Brothers web site where you could find two tracks that wouldn’t be appearing on their forthcoming album.
Also, in the same section was an interview with Carl, where he described the band as the working Man’s Pink Floyd, and said that putting together The Liberty of Norton Folgate was a really enjoyable experience.
Sign of the Times also featured interviews with Woody from Rock Sucker.co.uk and Lee Thompson who’d been interviewed by Record Collector magazine.
Moving on to our new Tweets of a Dove section, and Woody admitted that this Twittering malarkey was all very new to him, but he was getting there. This was followed-up by; “Album artwork for The Magic Line is almost there. It looks great!”
On to our MIS Feature, and it was over to Mark “Chigs” Charlesworth, who reviewed a selection of recently released Madness, which appeared as part of the Oui, Oui Special Edition album.
Mark commented at the time “Out of all the demo’s the one that gets most play is kitchen floor or I Got You…was so glad that we got the magic brothers demo…I really do like the production and formation of this track and think that Nick Woodgate is a very clever writer.”
We brought this issue to a close with a heads-up to let you know that five new Madness vinyl re-issues would be going on sale from tomorrow. These were:
LETV072LP – One Step Beyond
LETV073LP – Absolutely
LETV074LP – 7
LETV075LP – The Rise and Fall
LETV076LP – Keep Moving
Time to empty the piggy banks!
10 years ago…
Issue 470 – Sunday 4th May to Saturday 10th May 2008
Once upon a time a box of rare and magical work in progress tapes belonging to Chas Smash, fell off the back of a problematic landlord, and after bouncing into the hands of Ninjinski a number of CD releases appeared.
Beginning with First Step Beyond, and then The Lost, these CD’s were highly priced and highly sought after amongst the Madness fanbase.
Thankfully, one Chas Smash declared them free to all, and this week the announcement went out revealing that the MIS and Madness Trading Ring sites would be offering all tracks for free download.
For diehard Madness fans, this was a dream come true.
Elsewhere in this issue we reported that the official Madness MySpace page were offering a pair of tickets to see the band at the forthcoming O2 gig in December. All you had to do was log in and submit your details to be in with a chance of winning.
In new website news we looked into the brand new Madness Trading Ring site. Whilst we were extremely impressed with this new corner of the internet, we were told that what was there was actually a holding site, and that the all singing all dancing version would surface in he next couple of weeks. Exciting times!
Moving on and last week saw a rare UK Baggy Trousers 7″ appear on Ebay. The standard UK 7″ issues of Baggy Trousers had green labels, repressed with blue labels once the initial batch had sold out. In addition, but harder to find, Stiff also pressed a version which had green labels with ‘Stiff Records’ written in their early white bubble writing, the same as the labels used for their Irish pressings.
The standard UK versions incorrectly all credited Mike Barson as being one of the writers of Baggy Trousers along with Suggs and Chrissy Boy. However, it appears that for the very final few copies of the blue label version to be pressed, this error was corrected (presumably following complaints from Suggs and Chris!) and ‘M. Barson’ was removed from the writing credits on the centre label.
Baggy Trousers sold 500,000 copies in the UK, but only a tiny number of these have the corrected writing credit. So hard to find are these amended versions, that collectors now rank them in the super league of Madness UK 7” rarities, along with other gems such as the My Girl ‘A’ Label promo, the picture disc test pressings, the My Girl Ballad hard vinyl 7” and the Two Tone 7” TTP1 which included One Step Beyond!
There is still every chance though that one of these rarities could be stashed away in your own collection unbeknown to you. Check it out – if you have a version with blue labels but with ‘M.Barson’ removed from the writing credit, it’s quite a valuable item!
Other stories covered in this issue included a 2005 SkaDanceCraze interview with Chris Foreman, who revealed about “The one that got away”, while Jonathan took time out to review the third and final “Lost” Madness CD, which was stuffed full of demos and instrumentals.
15 years ago…
Issue 208 – Sunday 4th May to Saturday 10th May 2003.
With co-editor, Jonathan, continuing his stint over in the United States, it was down to myself to compile and edit the issue. This issue was also a slightly delayed one, as with mine and Jonathan’s holidays overlapping, it meant that no one was around to send the issue out on its usual Sunday slot.
Messages continued to flood into the message boards over on the official Madness web site, and it was nice to see that a certain “Graham” had decided to help Chris out by replying to a mass of questions sent in by fans.
Some of his answers were completely weird, but others were of real interest. Suggs confirmed that his current stint at appearing in the `Our House` musical was not 10 weeks as previously mentioned in various sources on the net (including the MIS, we might add), but a mere 5.
However, the answer given by Suggs was so confusing that the person asking the question wrote back in for further confirmation. Suggs then replied that he had 6 weeks of his run left to perform.
With so much appearing on the messageboards, a good chunk of the issue was set aside for publishing some of the best and more interesting messages that had cropped-up on there over the past few weeks.
News also filtered in to us, revealing that Voice of The Beehive would be supporting forthcoming gigs by The Wonderstuff. However, we urged fans not to get too excited, as Tom Fenner would be taking over drums from Woody, whose Madness obligations prevented him from joining in.
We’re not sure how he did it, but somehow Madness Trading Ring co maintainer, Steve Bringe managed to get hold of a massive batch of 1999 Stateside tour t-shirts, and not only that, but was offering them to fans at dirt cheap prices. Keen to ensure that the shirts went to fans rather than people who were going to sell them on at vastly inflated prices, Steve requested that people were not allowed to order mass quantities.
Elsewhere in the issue, we reported on the list of festivals the band had been booked to play over the coming months. These dates would see the group perform in Bonn on the 4th of July, and Guildford on the 5th.
Moving on, we looked into Suggs’ appearance on Jools Holland’s Spring Hootenanny where he performed a song specially written with Jools. Also present was Prince Buster, who performed ‘Madness’ and ‘Enjoy Yourself’.
We finished off this issue with news that Suggs’ version of I’m Only Sleeping had been voted the 8th worst version of I’m Only Sleeping on an online BBC poll.
Sign of the Times
“I cried when Suggs got married”: Gwen Stefani reveals her obsession with Madness
The popstar said she was obsessed with the “Nutty Boys” when growing up in Anaheim, California, in the 1980s
Gwen Stefani has admitted she is nuts about Madness – and cried when frontman Suggs got married.
The popstar said she was obsessed with the “Nutty Boys” growing up in Anaheim, California, in the 1980s.
The No Doubt singer, who is a judge on The Voice US, was so besotted with Suggs she started to make music.
Asked about her inspiration as a kid, Gwen, 48 said: “When I discovered music and thought ‘this represents me’, it was this band called Madness.
For us, it was exciting to find a band that wasn’t popular, that was underground.
“They talked about Camden Town in London and it was all this cultural stuff.
“And it was the scene of anti-racism. We thought the whole ska scene and reggae was just cool. So we just started a band.
“We were obsessed. I cried when Suggs got married. I was crying in the couch.Asked if she had told him, Gwen admitted: “He does know that.” She added that country music star fiance Blake Shelton, 41, is not a huge fan of the group. But she added: “He did tell me he once dated a girl who had my face plastered all over her bedroom. So that is kind of weird.”
Suggs, 57, married singer Bette Bright in 1981.
That’s almost it for this early May Bank Holiday edition of the MIS Online Newsletter
Before you switch your computer off we urge you to pop over to the Seven Ragged Men web site, where a massive collection of fan’s Madstock Memories have now been uploaded.
Whether you made it along to those two legendary gigs in 1992 or not, the entries make for a fascinating read.