The first House of Fun Weekender line-up poster for 2018 is up, showcasing most of the entertainment for this year.
Headline artists, as well as two Madness gigs, include Chris Difford from Squeeze, Mungo Jerry, David Rodigan, Geno Washinton, Dennis Bovell, Janet Kay, Horace Andy, Dub Asante, Christopher Ellis, Carol Thompson, Rowetta and Bez DJing from The Happy Mondays. Huey Morgan from The Fun Loving Criminals, Adrian Sherwood and The Heatwave also DJ and Oh My God It’s The Church return to cleanse more sinners down in Minehead.
The Inflatables and Chainska Brassica are bands that have pleased many a Madness fans before now, and need no introduction, while The Simmertones are back with a brand new album to take a bigger main stage crowd to their hearts. Skatones also play, marking plenty of live ska.
Youngsters Saults bring some Rock funk, while Dublin based Eskies bring raucous Gypsy folk tunes. Our top tip from our friends at Retro Madness are Tankus the Henge. Walk yourself a musical tight-rope from Lionel Barts consider yourself (Oliver) to any hit piano Madness tune, via a bouncing happy circus trick to dazzle and you’ll have a good time here. So plenty of hot live bands to discover this year.
Earl Gateshead, Comedian hosts Eddie Nestor and Robbie Gee, veteran Madness DJ Darren Bennett, Madame Scorcher, King Rebska and Mr Happy are all in place again, with Richard Cordell and newcomer Lionel Vinyl.
The event always has to have that extra Thompson band to feel complete, so wonderfully The Silencerz join the ranks of Sunday asides, as son Daley takes to the mic for reggae, pop, and self penned band hits from Nick Godwin. Check them out. Daley is a front man following in his Dad’s footsteps and a guest spot is likely from the ska father.
Madheads got talent is back, as is the pool party. Musical Bingo, Karaoke Rumble, a House Party is promised, and the usual comedy line up is still to be announced.
The Saturday night Fancy Dress theme is Super Heroes and Super Villains. So get your thinking caps on, and your pants over your trousers!
Our MIS Presents Show this years moves back to Jaks but on Friday Night from 10pm post Madness. DJ Swanny from our DC and 100 club gigs, will be playing host in the room with top tunes nutty, crunchy and beyond. The Launchers perform their debut album release at Midnight, they went down well last year so be sure to join us by 11 if you want to catch them again before the nightclub is full. We’ve a new ska band in the form of local west country act D.M. Street, and their keyboard player Andy “keys” Clark will be familiar to those who saw our first show some years ago, or listen to Koast Radio, perhaps. We will spin a few of his solo tunes as well as welcoming the full band to open our show. After a few final tunes from Swanny theres a hijack from Mandy “Boybandy” Raymond in the small hours to play Take That and the like for the girls. Somehow mistyped as Randy on the current poster by the way, whoops, too much Brandy? All this and Sooty.
All that at this years House of Fun, available to book at Butlins website. Eight Ball. Back pocket.
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.
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 733 – Sunday 26th May – Saturday 1st June 2013
Our Live and Intensified section brought with it news of two new Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra dates; May 28th at The Dublin Castle and July 20th at Rockwell Park. The May 28th Dublin Castle event actually featured two gigs that evening – 6:00pm and 9:00pm. The 6:00pm press event had sold out, but tickets for the later session were still available. No doubt these would go quickly.
In our Buy it section, we were keen to highlight that the Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius by the Ska Orchestra was out on the 3rd of June. Not long to go!
Over in Sign of the Times, we reported on the Ska Orchestra in Newcastle, how Suggs couldn’t wait to bring some Madness back to Loch Ness, and how Suggs turned up unannounced to watch Noddy Holder in conversation with Mark Radcliffe.
In Tweets of a Dove Mark posted that he didn’t play double bass on the forthcoming Ska Orchestra album, and that he was off to Bristol to play with the band at The Fleece.
Our feature this week was the very Fleece Bristol gig Mark mentioned in one of his tweets. We featured several reviews from fans who attended the evening, and all were glowing.
We brought this issue to a close with the heads-up that a re-issue of the legendary John Peel “Peel Sessions” was now ready to order on 12”. This would be limited to 275 hand numbered copies.
10 years ago…
Issue 473 – Sunday 25th May to Saturday 31st May 2008
This issue got underway with the news that The Dance Brigade had finally uploaded another track for fans to download. Entitled “Don’t Judge”, the band were keen to hear your thoughts on their latest creation.
Next, it was over to Looby who was here to tell us about the “In Print” section of The Madness Trading Ring web site. A mass of articles from over the years had been painstakingly typed-in and uploaded, and were ready for you to browse and digest.
Moving on, we reported that former X Factor winner, Steve Brookstein spoke to the BBC Breakfast team about his role in the forthcoming ‘Our House’ musical tour.
The whole interview lasted around 5 minutes, and included clips from the stage show, details of how he got involved in the new UK tour, as well as (of course!) X Factor.
It wasn’t a must see interview by any means, but if you had a spare 5 minutes to waste you could certainly have done a lot worse than taking a look.
On to something a little radical now, and it was this week that Chrissy Boy revealed that the next Madness album wouldn’t be released in the shops, but instead would come as a covermount CD on a newspaper.
Fan reaction was mixed, many thought it a great way to help spread the nutty word to a wider audience.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Big 8 Records were planning a 30th Anniversary Madness Tribute album featuring bands and artists performing cover versions of classic Madness tracks. If you were interested in being part of this production you were urged to get in touch.
15 years ago…
Issue 211 – Sunday 25th May to Saturday 31st May 2003
We started this issue off with a bit of an apology. It turned out that the frivolities of the bank holiday weekend had taken their toll, meaning that this issue didn’t go out until early on the bank holiday Monday.
Suggs was back on UK TV once more. However, before any excitement kicked in, we had to sadly point out that it was merely for a voice over for a No More Nails commercial.
One of the biggest items, if not the biggest, this week was the news that Suggs, Chris and Car would be appearing at London’s Tower Records on the 5th of June, in an effort to promote the Madness Musical. The info, submitted to the MIS by Duff Kelly, suggested that it would be good to see a large number of Maddies down there, to give the band some support.
Meanwhile, the official press release went as follows:
“Don’t Miss Your chance to Meet Madness. Come and see members of madness in-store at Tower Records, Piccadilly Circus on June 5th 5.30 – 6.30 to celebrate Suggs’ acclaimed performance in Our House The Musical.
Bring in a piece of merchandise for Suggs, Chrissy Boy and Cathal to sign.
Buy and get a signed CD of the Madness Music featured in Our House.”
A snippet in from Madness Trading Ring co-maintainer, Steve Bringe, revealed that he’d received an email from someone at Virgin UK letting him know that there were various projects in the works for future Madness releases. While not going into specifics, the contact did reveal that the 12″ back catalogue was being looked at for a CD release. Half a decade on, and we were still waiting.
On the subject of releases, subscriber Birchy reported that a new Madness at The Royal Albert Hall DVD was doing the rounds. Of course, it was a bootleg, and hence, completely unofficial.
Obviously encountering difficulty moving around his Aladdin’s Cave of Madness goodies, it was once again time for Chris Carter-Pegg to sell off a stash of Madness goodies via ebay. As always, all items would be 100% official.
Moving on to a completely unrelated matter, but one that was also brought to our attention by Chris, and he was advising us all to be extremely careful before bidding on a One Step Beyond gold disc LP that was currently up for grabs on Ebay. Here’s a small snippet of what Chris had to say at the time;
“A similar item was auctioned a few months ago on Ebay and the seller had the audacity to say it was a genuine original. When I emailed him for clarification I was informed it was in fact a genuine reproduction!”
You couldn’t make it up, could you?!
Sign of the Times
Nottingham Showcase Show – One Man’s Madness
20 May 18 words: Ashley Carter
Nottingham Showcase are playing host to ‘rocku-docu-mockumentary’ story of Madness saxophonist Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson this Wednesday…
Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson is a most unlikely character. Early career choices had him spend a year in Borstal.Luckily, he met two other unlikely characters: Mike ‘Barso’ Barson and ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman who shared his interests of graffiti, train hopping and music.
One Man’s Madness, a feature length rocku-docu-mockumentary directed by Jeff Baynes, and screening at Nottingham Showcase Cinema on Wednesday, May 23rd, tells the story of Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson, told by Lee and his fellow Madness band mates, his family, friends and musicologists, who strangely all look a little like him! From meeting Barso and Chrissy Boy, and later Suggs, Chas, Woody and Bedders, to becoming one of Britain’s most iconic and successful bands, the film follows the path of Lee’s life through his lyrics and songs including such Madness classics as House of Fun, Lovestruck and NW5.
Directed by Jeff Baynes, he was first introduced to Lee on the video shoot for Baggy Trousers and later House of Fun, while working as a young cameraman for Stiff Records. Forming a solid friendship over the years, Baynes would later work with Lee and Chrissy Boy on videos for their side project Crunch! “I was always fascinated by Lee’s versatility as an actor and the characters he created in the videos. It has taken three years to make the film, partially down to availability and also fine tuning to tell the tale of the start and development of Madness from their schoolboy friendships to becoming “national treasures”.
““A must see, a delightful romp through the story of Madness” Phill Jupitus
In a career spanning 40 years, Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson has become a key songwriter in Madness and a firm favourite with fans around the world. The band’s ability to push boundaries with their thrilling and comical videos has become stuff of legend, with Lee taking a firm interest in their exploits on film, including suggesting hanging on a harness from a crane whilst flying through the air in the Baggy Trousers video. This was later re-enacted when Lee took to the air while playing a red, white, and blue-coloured saxophone in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Gaining notoriety as a graffiti artist with future Madness keyboardist Mike Barson in the mid-1970s, Lee formed Madness with Mike Barson and Chris Foreman in 1976, writing the band’s debut single, The Prince, before going on to write and co-write numerous hits for the band including Embarrassment, House of Fun, and Uncle Sam. His experience as a petty criminal and serving time in a youth detention centre inspired his lyrics for Land of Hope and Glory and One’s Second’s Thoughtlessness.
“The whole experience in the making of this Mocu has been a sheer joy. Miming along to all the characters was slightly tongue twisting, however with the director’s patience and perseverance we got there eventually. Casually construed, carefully nurtured, how it should be. Jeff makes a fantastic Cappuccino and his wife was most patient with my array of props, wigs and slap. Thank you to all involved, you’ve made a happy man very old!”, says Lee.
In Conversation With Lee Thompson
Interviewer: You’ve had a remarkable career which most hold a lot of happy memories. Does anything, in particular, stand out?
Lee: Oh, there’s so many. I’d say probably Archway roundabout, going up North, when I was waiting to have the prints put in my hand after our first single had been pressed. It was just such an exciting thing for us. Then I’d say our second bite at the cherry with Madstock. I remember Chrissy Boy promised to buy everyone in the audience a drink, which I’m sure he still hasn’t done. Playing on the roof Buckingham Palace was an experience we’ll never forget, but one of the things I remember most was looking down at the roof and realising that they’d used zinc instead of lead and thinking “fucking cheapskates!” – I had my hammer and saws with me and I was tempted to take some of it home, but I didn’t. It’s an amazing view from up there. Where it’s positioned, Buck Palace, you can see all of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Nelson’s Column really clearly. It was a real moment for us. It was funny though because, at the palace, you’re only allowed a maximum of two people in a lift at any one time, so I decided to climb the spiral stairs instead, and at the top of each floor, there seemed to be the same fella – same haircut, same clothes, and I was told “Not a good sight, walking into the palace with a bottle of Budweiser!
And of course, we mustn’t forget the Olympics. I had to come back from playing in France at the Reggae Sun Ska festival, where I’d been playing with the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra, to try out the harness (NB – Lee replicated his airborne ‘Baggy Trousers‘ role for the event). I said “Can’t we just get Agent 00 Thommo to test it?” but the authorities insisted. And as much as I love doing my own thing with the Ska Orchestra, Madness has, and always will, come first. So this bloke in a limo comes to pick me up, looking like the same bloke I saw at the palace – same hair, same clothes, I remember thinking “is this a joke?” and he takes us all the way back from Bordeaux, off to King’s Cross, then Stratford, wearing a couple of dustbin liners as it was chucking down with rain. He drops me off and says “Thank you Sir” – what a palaver that was! So I go to the rehearsal and put on a kilt, which had the St. George Cross on it, along with my Union Jack underpants, and then I get word from HQ that I can’t wear the George Cross. So the solution was to put a Union Jack over the top one and another Union Jack to cover the bottom one. I didn’t think the George Cross would offend anyone, but there you go – apparently wearing the Union Jack instead was ok.
Interviewer: I guess we ought to talk a little about the DVD and soundtrack, seeing as that was what the interview was meant to be for…
Lee: We were concerned at first that the soundtrack was just going to be yet another compilation of our hits, so we put on a few from the Ska Orchestra on there, a few from Crunch! (Thompson and Chris Foreman’s side project) and a demo version of ‘Drip Fed Fred‘ – which I’m really glad we got on it – amongst others. Originally the artwork looked awful, like it had been done by a little kid, so we had that changed and now it looks like a cross between something from Monty Python and Yellow Submarine. For the film, Jeff Baines approached us and said: “We’re going to film loads of people – professionals, record company producers – that you’ve worked with over the years, and interview them… and then we’re going to get you all to dress up as them and pretend to be them.” I think the lads were extremely suspicious about it at first and only really saw it had legs after Jeff sat down and had a chat with Chris about it. I asked him why I’d been chosen as the main focus of the film and he said it was because I was a bit of a show-off – a Phil Mitchell meets Bob Hoskins type! But it’s come out really well – it was difficult to do Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (infamous Madness production duo) but we got there and we’re really pleased with it.
That’s almost it for this week’s edition of the MIS.
Before we go we just want to remind you that the new album – Lee Thompson One Man’s Madness, comes out Friday.
To celebrate, here’s a video of a rarity. Not on it, but a song that Lee sang last year at Dingwalls when launching the One Man’s Madness movie. Raindance is a tune from the 90s nutty boys era (crunch!) here as a gentle demo.