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.
One Step Beyond Live – At The Dublin Castle
18th February 2018 – Special Kinda (Just) Madness Show.
The back room of The Dublin Castle is widely regarded as where Madness really caught a groove in the early development of their music.
This is where it first took off live, the Nutty sound really starting to catch on to a repeated gathering of fans, as the band honed a repeated set of early tunes over a few night’s residency across a few months way back in 1979, which they then laid down as their debut album which is now almost four decades olds. A scene captured in Take it Or Leave it depicts those early times. That album, One Step Beyond, is painted on this pub’s walls these days It’s that iconic. A literal tribute to that past now part of the building. Even the book written about the album by Terry Edwards is due to be discussed here in July. I can’t really think of a better place to hear this Madness debut album performed in full.
One of Madness’s many 2 tone clones is Special Kind Madness, reviewed with praise before now in the pages of MIS, and while their usual show mixes Madness hits with Specials tunes, hence their name, they now also have a new Madness only show, and it includes a performance of this debut Madness album in full. The delights and validity of tribute acts though isn’t the discussion of today’s review, thats been the focus in previous reviews before now after all, today instead it’s the feeling and experience of that music in this original setting. What a spine tingling delight it is for anyone with a touch of fantasy to their brain to time warp on music back to when this live music began and to dwell in its imagined hey day. You’ve got to ignore the mobile phones present in the air, be aware perhaps even that these rooms have been through a few changes in four decades and the tribal shout out’s today are hilariously about social media usage rather than skins vs mods etc gang cults of the 70’s! But it’s same pub and the same songs.
Given that Yes it was well performed by this tribute band, we enjoyed the show, how does the early nutty sound album stand up to a live outing in a sequential play in small venue. It’s hard to remember Night Boat is such an early track in the set. Chip Monks as an ending is a tribal chant and an afterthought, it’s the band title track of Madness that brings home this set of tunes fittingly.
Rocking in Ab is probably the highlight though in a full venue, harking back to Teddy Boy Madness more than the singles or ska classics within this album. The dirty comedic sing a long of In The Middle of the night brings home how much we all love these cheeky early tunes though. It’s ska it’s 2tone but really it’s a pub rock album too and so it rocks a pub.
Hearing the album performed here just proves that there is life in this album as a whole yet. I dream that for the 40th Madness realise that Chas even guesting for a summer week of shows here next year would be a fitting moment to hear this album in full and in order, something that even their Butlins Absolutely/Beyond show failed to do in full and in order, brilliant and loved though that near complete outing was for these songs it wasn’t quite One Step Beyond in Full, or coming home.
“Come on down the youth club and see whats new, come on come on come on, lets have some fun tonight.”
Special Kinda Madness play this all Madness show again at the 100club, another legendary venue in early July.
While the first half is the whole of One Step Beyond, the second half includes Madness singles and more even including things like Misery and Mr Apples. Look for Tickets and more information here.
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: 737 – Sunday 23rd June to Saturday 29th June 2013
We’d seen Lee Thompson get up to some unusual things during his time, but what he’d got up to this week was certainly up there with the most bizarre of them all.
Performing at the Barnet Church as part of the Barnet Music Festival, Lee took to the top of the Barnet Church Tower to blow out a few ditties to the appreciative crowd below. Sure, the weather was pretty grotty, but it was nice to see people out supporting him. Take a look and listen for yourself by going to:
Moving on, and while our Buy It section detailed how you could purchase the download of the Misery single, we felt that fans would be more interested in the getting hold of the 1 truck promo CD that was now reportedly doing the rounds. Definitely one for the collectors.
With the number of Madness gigs now ramping-up we decided to begin an irregular section entitled “Live and Intensified”.
If it was fan gig reviews you were after, then this was the section you’d want to read.
We asked that those of you who got along to any future gigs to please knock up a review and send it.
This week Darren West was kind enough to review both Chepstow and Newark gigs which had recently taken place.
On to Sign of the Times, and thanks to Mr Scurf and Darren Dicka, we were able to point you in the direction of a recording of Woody’s fascinating interview on Mr Scurf’s Koast Train this week. During the interview he spoke of old rare bands, Magic Brothers songs, and more. MIS helped write the questions and we even asked the tee total member of the band about Gladness!!!
Meanwhile in Sign of the Times, Bedders revealed he’d had his first tuba lesson in ready for his grade one charity fundraiser, and Madness fan Paul Littlewood explained that he’d been in touch with the brewery who produce Gladness, who told him that they’d begin bottling in about 4 weeks time, and that you could pre-order a case now.
Our feature article this week was the news that Specialized II was all-systems go!
“We are very pleased and honoured that this week we are launching “Specialized- Beat teenage cancer”. In the same vein as the first album, this time we are basing the whole project around another of the UK ska and 2-Tone legends ,of course ,it’s THE BEAT. As is the norm with Specialized, all money raised goes to Teenage Cancer Trust.”
In our outro we mentioned that in next week’s issue we hoped to bring you a full review from the Barnet Music festival gig, where band whore Lee Thompson formed yet another unique line up. This time The Reverend Green, formed from local musicians to take over Barnet Church, including players previously in Like Father Like son, The Dance Brigade and some current Ska Orchestra players.
One Step Beyond and The Prince, were performed by Lee’s son Daley as front man, along with a third of Lee’s current solo album being performed alongside the Ian Dury cover Clever Trevor.
10 years ago…
Issue 477 – Sunday 22nd June to Saturday 29th June 2008
Over the past couple of years select Madness performances had been made available on compact disc for purchase after the show, and during that time we were pretty certain that not one single person complained that they were unable to wear the recording on their arm.
Well, thanks to the wonders of modern technology you’d soon be able to pre-order USB wristbands for collection before or after the forthcoming Hackney gigs. Those unable to attend would have been pleased to learn that a limited number of wristbands would also be made available in the online Madstore. Thank heavens for that!
With news of that technological marvel out of the way we went back to more traditional subject matter as we re-printed a review of the recent Belfast gig (including setlist) from Nutty forum member Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker wound up his glowing review by commenting;
“This was definitely the best I have seen Madness, they were on absolute top form. The new songs are sounding amazing, and I hope whoever is going to the Hackney Empire gigs loves them as much as I did”
Moving on, and it was interview time as we featured a transcript of an interview with Only Fools and Horses star Gwyneth Strong, who played Kath Casey in the much loved but prematurely cancelled Madness music.
It turned out that Gwyneth had been a fan of our favourite band for many years, and she commented that;
“When I was 16 I was in the front row when Madness played to 200 fans at The Nashville Rooms in London, long before they hit the big time. I had the Madness look – the pork pie hat and Two Tone black and white checked skirt. I thought they were fantastic.”
We moved back on to reviews for the next article as MIS subscriber Lee Buckley gave us an in-depth review of the recent Aintree Racecourse gig, which took place on Friday 13th of June.
Although the experience was marred by an over-enthusiastic Madness fan, the night was alright in the end as Lee and her daughter were given the all-clear to stand at the side of the stage away from the main crowd. While visibility was limited Chris, Carl and Suggs all took time out to check they were OK during the performance.
The night got even better for the duo when Lee’s daughter was invited on stage for the final Night Boat segment, where she danced her heart away to the final number.
It was history time next as we reported on what we believed to be the earliest known recording of NW5. Recorded way back in 2006, it sounds rather rough, but it certainly a piece of Madness history worth watching and hearing.
Thankfully, the YouTube link for this still works, and you can check this out for yourselves at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxr1lGyGaz8
Beyond the song it’s fun to see Toe rag studios with it’s old equipment, the piano that The prince was recorded on and Liam Watson at the helm in the studio.
It was over to Anrew Langmead next, who revealed that Suggs has recently been a guest on Steve Wright’s Radio 2 show, and that Norton Folgate had received its first radio play in part. The show quoted the album as being ready for release in September. Time to start saving those pennies.
We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with two interviews. The first with Woody and Suggs, who appeared on BBC News 24, talking about being ready to release their first studio album in a decade. The second was with Suggs, chatting to Manchester guitar indie band The Charlatans on his chat show. The topics flowed nicely between Madness and Charlatans related experiences, and made for an interesting read.
15 years ago…
Issue 215 – Sunday 22nd June to Saturday 29th June 2003
We started this week’s edition of the MIS with news that both Complete Madness and Utter Madness would be receiving the re-release treatment.
However, we were promised that both would not only be digitally remastered, but would also feature updated artwork and a full discography.
With Madness’ 1984 album, Keep Moving having already undergone the revamp treatment, it came down to Chris Carter-Pegg to fill us in on this new release.
With the Party in The Park gig getting ever closer, and there still no announcement of Madness making an appearance, it was looking less and less likely that all the rumours would amount to any truth whatsoever.
The big shocker to land on our desks this week was the news in from the What’s on Stage web site, which announced that the Our House musical would play it’s last performance on the 16th of August.
Commenting on the closure, Tiger Aspect chairman and show producer Peter Bennett-Jones said: “The decision was taken with a heavy heart.
It is a terrific show, which well deserved its prestigious Olivier award. It continues to generate a great response from audiences who love this entertaining and engaging show, but these are difficult times, politically and economically, and we are among the casualties.
We hope those who have not yet marvelled at seeing Our House will grab the opportunity to do so during the coming weeks.”
In a statement, Madness added: “We’d like to express our immense respect and gratitude to everyone who took part in the creation and production of the show. It has been an amazing experience working alongside so many talented and passionate people. The belief and commitment from all at Tiger Aspect, the creative team, the exceptional cast right through to the staff at the Cambridge has been total. We thank you all and wish you well in the future.”
Sign of the Times
Lee Thompson on Robert Elms
You can listen to Lee talking about the Silencerz album launch at the following link:
News for German fans, the two films Der Wixxer & Neues Vom Wixxer starring national comedian Oliver Kalkofe are now available on the German Netflix service.
Both movies featured Madness music, the first had Right Said Fred covering The wizard. While the sequel featured a cameo from Madness performing It must be love alongside a single release from the soundtrack of NW5 with a Wixxer tie in video.
Following the films arrival for streaming it has been announced that there is a Series in development with episodes likely to be streamed on the service. Working title is The Wixx Files (Rough translation The wank files!) a parody title of the x files the films parody old German Edgar Wallace British detective stories. It’s not know yet if any Madness music would appear in the series but it seems so likely London would again feature and the comedians favourite London band seems likely for a return.