MIS Bulletin #717 Sun 3rd Feb – Sat 9th February 2013
1 – THIS IS WHERE THE MADNESS BEGINS – The obligatory intro.
2 – DIAL M FOR MADNIFICO – In a musical age seemingly over-populated
by tribute bands and TV talent show cover versions, Madness have
no need for one or the other, and remain as sweet on the ear as
when they were still wearing …erm, baggy trousers. Written by
3 – THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS – This week MIS co-editor, Rob Hazelby
goes back 5 years to issue number 457, and the week of Sunday 3rd
February to Saturday 9th February 2008, and then back 10 years
to issue number 195 and the week of Sunday 2nd February to
Saturday 8th February 2003.
4 – SUPPORT THE DUBLIN CASTLE – A QUICK UPDATE – You may remember that
in last week’s issue we reported on The Dublin Castle’s campaign
to have their opening hours increased to 3am, from their current
2am late licence. Rob Hazelby reveals how things are progressing.
5 – EXAMPLE, MADNESS, GOULDING AND JAXX FOR ROCKNESS – Dance-rap act
Example, singer Ellie Goulding, Basement Jaxx and Madness are to
play at this year’s RockNess music festival. From bbc.co.uk
6 – PAUL RODGERS MADNESS STATS, FACTS AND FIGURES – Ok. So, yeah. Last
week’s chart saw Madness create their own little bit of history.
Ten studio albums released and only one, One Step Beyond…, had
ever had two spells in the top 40. Not even Absolutely. That had
one long run in the top 40. One Step Beyond… had three spells
in the top 40. The first commenced on 3 November 1979, the second
on 9 August 1980 and the third on 14 February 1981. Here’s Paul
7 – THAT’S YER LOT – A few last minute words before we finish for the
 – THIS IS WHERE THE MADNESS BEGINS
Sneaking out tomorrow onto a French release version of Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da, is “Crying”, a version of the Thommo penned track about the dog who cries wolf, in a new studio version.
This latest appearance of this little doggie is due to a redistribution of the album in France. The Andy Weatherall remix of Death of a Rude Boy, previously a bonus track here on the UK preview-single-thingy-download, has been added, as well as Crying, to sweeten and bump up the deal for the TV promoted push of the album in France, just after their Midem appearance and before March in Paris.
No income tax, Arthur. The track sounds very demo-y and you can hear why it didn’t make the full album release earlier last year. It sounds very like a land somewhere between the theme tune of Only Fools and Horses and Minder, especially with “Cock a deafen” being a cockney phrase meaning not listening.
And… “Waterloo, Pall Mall and The East of Mayfair, St James park”
all join the London landmarks in a released Madness song. “Huh”
noises, reminiscent of Sam Cooke’s, “Working on the Chaingang” join the sour-flat chorus that we’ve previously stated in live reviews, making this a hard song to listen to at times.
Suggs’ voice cracks on this recording like he’s got a little bit of a sore throat during the sessions, but weirdly it fits this song, and sounds a little more Dury in a couple of parts. It’s a nice effort, and his voice is treated a bit on the rock and roll quote of Be-bop-a-lula, a nod to the great Gene Vincent. It’s the kind of eccentric song its writer Thommo can perhaps give more gusto.
PIERROT ET LE LOUP
Although the tale held high in question is a pooch, the “But Nobody’s Listening” is really about the character no one bothers to tune into because the words have been heard too often. Perversely, at this point in time, the only ones who can listen are the French.
From today, via download, you can hear a preview of the track here on Amazon France: http://tinyurl.com/d7u56ew
In summarry, while we are overjoyed to hear another Thommo track from this album’s sessions, given we only got one on the first album. The real meat we think, is being kept for the Deluxe tin. With marrowbone.
This one’s not the most essential of vitamins.
Enjoy the read!
Jonathan Young, Liz Maher, Simon Roberts, Rob Hazelby
Email us at: jonathan, liz, simon, robert @mis-online.net
 – DIAL M FOR MADNIFICO
Published: January 30th 2013
Written by: Malcolm Wyatt
In a musical age seemingly over-populated by tribute bands and TV talent show cover versions, Madness have no need for one or the other, and remain as sweet on the ear as when they were still wearing …erm, baggy trousers.
A week on from a host of promo appearances celebrating the release of the second single from Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da, I felt it time to finally give my considered thoughts on that latest album here, having purposefully lived a while with the latest Nutty Boy waxings before delivering a verdict.
And while maybe in parts it’s not quite up there with the beyond-compare Wonderful and The Liberty of Norton Folgate, I’d certainly put it alongside Keep Moving and Mad Not Mad … and that’s high praise indeed from my point of view.
“I’m in love, but you drive me mad, be so sad to be losing you”
From the off, the band take a pearler of a shot at classic pop with two Mike Barson singles, the first, My Girl 2, a touch of chirpy ’60s soul and town hall pop worthy of a Motown Chartbusters compilation, shades of Can I Get A Witness or even Tainted Love juxtaposed with all the fun of the fair, and proof that for all their acquired sophistication, they can still write perfect three-minute hits.
“It was very late in the discotheque, I was feeling blue as I sometimes do”
If track one is My Girl 2, Never Knew Your Name is Embarrassment 2, with all the charm of an early Maddy Mob hit coupled with the feel of an European art-house film soundtrack, complete with treasured staples like Barzo’s trademark piano and Lee Thompson’s underlying saxophonics, transporting their brand of ’80s romance 30 years into the present.
“Just faint wafts of nostalgia blowing gently on the breeze”
If that suggests a retrospective album, Suggs and Chrissy Boy’s La Luna El Mariachi moves us towards the era of The Pogues’ Fiesta or Kirsty MacColl’s Tropical Brainstorm, but with unmistakeable Camden-bred quirks among the Latino/Spanish theme. In fact, all that’s missing from this musical smorgasbord is a guest narration from late great Ian Dury.
“Make a stand for what is true, try to be decent in all that you do”
Taking us on to the mid-80s incarnation of the band’s output, Suggs and Cathal’s How Can I Tell You offers something of the feel of Wings of a Dove or It Must Be Love, although in this case Labi Siffre’s message gets a 21st-century lift, and you half expect the curtain to rise at the back of the stage to see the London Gospel Community Choir giving it their all.
“Sometimes you’ll feel so low, you know you’re losing your mind”
Every Madness album needs less euphoric moments to truly make it real, and the mood changes on Woody’s Kitchen Floor, with something of a Terry Hall presence detected, though perhaps without that added Jerry Dammers’ sense of menace – even their down moments ultimately joyous and life-affirming these days, the Grey Days behind them.
“If you keep misery as your company then you might as well be dead”
For all the after-show lows experienced in past days, there’s an overwhelming need from the band to promote survival and the positive touch now, and that’s nicely illustrated on Cathal’s Misery, a 50-years-on twist on Prince Buster’s classic ska version of Enjoy Yourself, augmented by elements of music hall singalong.
“Dreams of life beyond the gates and far from this town”
Monsieur Barso’s tinkling beat returns on Woody’s Leon, inspiring further echoes of the Madness of yore in a song reminiscent of the band’s portrait of park and street life on One Better Day, poignant lyrics complementing pensive strings and joyous harmonies, with an added Beatlesome finish.
“Look at the debris and what we have become”
The big sound returns for Lee and Woody’s Circus Freaks, as multi-faceted as the band themselves, with more than a whiff of the new-found worldliness of Keep Moving and Mad Not Mad, and much of the accomplishment that followed in the 1999 reformation.
“Once in every lifetime you get the chance to take a star from up above”
Yet Madness didn’t get to that stage without keeping their finger on the pulse of dynamic 45s, and Cathal’s So Alive is just the latest superb example – a stick of (pop) rock with ‘hit’ written all the way through, at least it would be in a perfect world. I for one see a busy dance hall, and the label of a Trojan single rotating on the turntable. In fact, uplifting’s too weak a word here, Suggs and Cathal’s glorious twin assault on the vocal duties underpinned by gorgeous brass and harmonies. And if that searing chorus twist doesn’t grab you by the tear ducts, perhaps nothing will.
“Deserted streets, and burning cars, familiar shops I know so well”
Just in case you’re getting carried away at that stage (like me), Woody’s Small World takes you back down a peg, its bitter-sweet sentiments perhaps serving as a window on the August 2011 Riots, in what appears to be a Ghost Town for today’s Britain, again perfectly paced, and this time with sensuous backing vocals from Siobhan Fitzpatrick.
“He had his own kind of flavour, He walked like a stepping razor”
Like the band at their potent best, Cathal’s Death of a Rude Boy takes a while to grab you but slowly gets under your skin, again showing many of the elements already mentioned, from Dammers and Dury to a Blue Beat and Two Tone rhythm. And I guarantee this is the one you’ll still be singing around the house the next day. Natty.
“Our pop star friends have all gone home, or maybe just out and about”
While Mike and Suggs’ Powder Blue is listed as an extra track here, it follows on perfectly, and is another song that brings Mad Not Mad back to mind, and showing us perhaps where the band are at this point in time – lifting the lid on the reality of London life that Madness have so beautifully chronicled these past three and a half decades.
“Free falling through the years, but I’m still on my feet”
And what with that, the following statement of intent that is Mike’s ska-driven Black and Blue and the closing Clanger-Winstanley mix of opener My Girl 2 – complete with oodles of wonderful brass and organ, North London’s finest are away again. But as the back page of the CD booklet implies … this is a musical adventure ‘to be continued’.
And I’ll say yes in many languages to that.
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da by Madness is on Lucky Seven Records and available from all good record stores and online, as you might have already guessed.
 – THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS
This week MIS co-editor, Rob Hazelby goes back 5 years to issue number 457, and the week of Sunday 3rd February to Saturday 9th February 2008, and then back 10 years to issue number 195 and the week of Sunday 2nd February to Saturday 8th February 2003.
5 years ago…
Issue number 457 – Sunday 3rd February – Saturday 9th February 2008
We got this issue off to a flying start with the news that NW5 had managed to hold on for a second week in the UK music charts. Sure, it was way down at number 48, but it was still there.
In the indie charts meanwhile, the single had only dropped two positions to number three, much to the confusion of subscriber Andrew Langmead;
“Can anyone explain this conundrum…
Madness drop to No. 3 on the ‘Indie’ chart, but
Radiohead remain at No. 2. However, on the proper
singles chart, Madness drop to 48 but Radiohead
drop to 60.
If Radiohead had fewer second week sales than
Madness, how can they still be ahead on the indie
Makes no sense to me.”
On to the articles, and in this week’s issue we featured a lowdown on the latest episode of Suggs’ “Survivors” series. Here, Suggs visited a lift testing tower in Northampton, a specially designed house, a west end swimming pool and a restored biker’s cafe.
We also had some crushing news, which revealed that contrary to the rumours that the band would be performing at this year’s Coachella Festival, the band currently had no plans to come to the US.
This issue also featured a fantastic article from the March 2008 edition of Uncut magazine, where members of the band looked back on their albums to date. It was a lengthy article, but really well worth a read.
10 years ago…
Issue number 195 – Sunday 2nd February – Saturday 8th February 2003
Following last week’s report where Madness fans were complaining that they were unable to purchase Christmas tour merchandise online Chris Carter-Pegg decided to make further enquiries, and somehow managed to get through to the person in charge of stock at Bluegrape, the company in charge of the band’s surplus stock. The reason for the delay in making stock available to eager fans was apparently down to the staff trying to work out how much stock was left, and what, if any items needed to be re-printed. We were assured that stock would be available to purchase very soon.
Although the primary use of the MIS bulletins is to pass news on to the masses, it’s also a great place for fans to let off some steam, and this is exactly what Graham Whitfield did in his ‘Mis use of Madness’ article. This article in question was actually an amusing tongue in cheek rant at the apparent mis-use of ‘House of Fun’ as background music for one of those ladette documentaries Channels Four and Five are so fond of airing.
Award news in from Chris Carter-Pegg revealed that Musical Stages magazine were predicting that the Our House musical would be the big winner at this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards to be held at the Lyceum Theatre on Friday 14th February.
Following the nominations for the awards, with Our House have been nominated in 3 categories, Musical Stages have placed their own predication on the winner of each category and also indicated their own preferred choice.
Musical Stages predicted that Our House will would in all three nominated categories and they also list them as their preferred choice for each award.
Following last week’s transcription of the Ska Patrol interview with Lee Thompson at The Cardiff International Arena we continue with Ska Patrol’s wonderful question and answer session with Mike Barson, from the same gig. I the interview Mike spoke of moving over to Holland, his recent work with Ian Dury, and how the band were keen to put together an album of covers.
 – SUPPORT THE DUBLIN CASTLE – A QUICK UPDATE
You may remember that in last week’s issue we reported on The Dublin Castle’s campaign to have their opening hours increased to 3am, from their current 2am late licence.
To help promote the cause the pub had set up a Facebook group to spread the word and gain supporters. Since then almost 650 people have signed-up to the group, and many messages of support have been posted.
Here’s some background information detailing the what the pub are trying to achieve;
Since merely applying for a later licence I have received
several objections from residents who have been pretty
silent since 2006 when we received our 2am licence.
In order to “compete” with the other venues and bars
throughout London as well as Camden Town we’ve applied
for a 5am licence. Now, after giving consideration to
residents objections we have reduced this application
We just want a level playing field to compete with other
businesses and to survive where so very many pubs are
Please support and share this page x”
If you’ve yet to sign-up and would like to do so, point your web browsers over to:
Once there you just need to ‘like’ the page, and leave a comment if you wish.
Our thanks go to Henry Conlon for the heads-up.
 – EXAMPLE, MADNESS, GOULDING AND JAXX FOR ROCKNESS
Published: 31st January 2013
Dance-rap act Example, singer Ellie Goulding, Basement Jaxx and Madness are to play at this year’s RockNess music festival.
Other acts confirmed so far include The Vaccines, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Maccabees, Newton Faulkner and Glasgow band Camera Obscura.
Singer Jessie Ware, who performed at MTV’s 2013 Artists to Watch concert in New York, is also to appear.
RockNess will be held at Dores, near Inverness, from 7-9 June.
Festival director Jim King said: “I’m delighted to announce the first names we’re bringing to the party at Loch Ness this summer.
“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring you an eclectic line up of the highest calibre acts for which RockNess is synonymous.”
MIS Edit: Madness will be performing on Sunday 9th June
 – PAUL RODGERS MADNESS STATS, FACTS AND FIGURES
Ok. So, yeah. Last week’s chart saw Madness create their own little bit of history.
Ten studio albums released and only one, One Step Beyond…, had ever had two spells in the top 40. Not even Absolutely. That had one long run in the top 40. One Step Beyond… had three spells in the top 40.
The first commenced on 3 November 1979, the second on 9 August 1980 and the third on 14 February 1981.
As we know Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da entered the top 40 on 10 November
2012 and left again after a two week stay. Having dropped out of the top 200 (and probably a long step beyond…) by the twelfth of January
2013 it looked pretty much dead and buried as the tour promotion was over and it wasn’t exactly featured in many stores’ new year sales.
Salvation came in the form of strong radio support for second (or is it third?) single Never Knew Your Name, which Suggs had regularly confirmed would be the new single at the gigs before Christmas and a repeated TV appearance on the Jonathan Ross TV Show.
Because of the way charts are compiled Sunday through Saturday, the first Jonathan Ross appearance only counted for the next chart for roughly 75 minutes. After that all sales would count for the chart released 8 days later. This led the single to have a steady climb up the charts.
On the indie chart it was a new entry at 30 on 19 January. The following week (including the first JR promotion) it climbed to 14 on the indie chart and entered the main singles chart at 165. Last week with a full week of JR and a repeat it climbed again to 7 on the indie chart and a very impressive 88 on the main chart. All this despite no physical release for us collectors to collect. Unsmiley face.
Meanwhile the album completely took off again. After a week out of the top 200 it re-entered at 186, climbed to 76 and then bounced to 16 in last week’s chart to become Madness’ second studio album to have more than one spell in the top 40.
Is this a flash in the pan? It would seem not. The midweek charts have shown the album to be at 35 (and that was before an appearance on prime time Saturday evening BBC on Brighton’s Dimmest or whatever that programme was called). Another week in the top 40 looks likely this week.
The single has refused to give up. Radio play for the single is up this week after a dip last week. It is number 34 for the year, based on 2674 plays and a perceived audience of 86.37 million in the UK alone. It has stayed all week in the iTunes top 150 and rallied to be in the top 90 on Saturday evening. On Amazon the single remains in their top 60 and has been considerably higher at various stages during the week.
Following the BBC TV appearance the album has also risen in the standings for both iTunes and Amazon. Oddly it would seem people prefer Amazon for the single download and iTunes for the whole album.
The physical album is doing very nicely thank you at Amazon, on CD and on vinyl.
An upshot of all of this extended promotion is that the album also entered the top 100 year to date sales chart last week at number 80.
Not bad for an album released last year. Currently silver (on orders by retailers NOT sales) I estimate the album has sold somewhere around
51-53,000 in the UK so far. By so far I mean sales until Saturday 26 January, which count on the chart up to the one dated 2 February 2013.
Spreading the net a little further I am indebted to our cousins, Les Saute Grenouiles, for updating me on various French promotions for the single and album. France went straight for Never Knew Your Name (not bothering with the frankly dreadful Tainted Love 3). It has been in their airplay chart for 15 weeks now. As a result of this and the plays in the UK, the single is now 141 on the European airplay chart and a new entry at 129 on the European digital downloads chart. This suggests that the album is nowhere near finished in the UK or in Europe, especially as the Summer gigs are being promoted as the Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da Summer Tour.
The continued presence of at least 7 of the album tracks in the live set can only be a good thing. As Suggs put it on telly the other day Madness are no longer just an 80s band. Sure they will always play some of the greatest hits, but they could easily please the crowds with seven or eight original hits and fifteen or so songs from the Wonderful era onwards.
The band are probably now at a crossroads. The direction they take now will probably determine their fate. They have two prime candidates for the next single. Both are likely to garner strong radio support. One I love, the other I loathe to a degree I rarely reserve for Madness tracks. But it’s not about me (even if it is my birthday today).
Correctly supported either How Can I Tell You? Or Misery could become Madness’ next big hit. Their first since Lovestruck to sell enough to get in the top 20 (in these days of record sales figures) and their first that’s big enough to genuinely make the album cross over to mainstream. How do I define mainstream? Bought by people who are not in the band’s usual fanbase. Bought by people simply because of that song they heard on the radio the other day, not because it’s by Madness.
I really really hope they pick How Can I Tell You? It would be lovely if they released it in time for Valentine’s Day. Hell they could even release a heart shaped picture disc to please us collectors…
Come on Cooking Vinyl, you know it makes sense. As do the BBC 4 night and the ‘An Audience With…’ that ITV are surely planning. Failing that they could release the utterly utterly marvellous ‘Leon’ and have it undeservedly disappear without trace. They wouldn’t do that would they?
Right, I’m off out for tea with my nephews and my brother and his Mrs.
The rundown of the charts released at 7pm will be covered elsewhere in this issue, either by me or by my trusty manservant Jon Young. No doubt he will be secretly pleased that he hasn’t got to cobble this lot together using copy and paste from all the different places I’ve been posting snippets of chart news on Facebook in recent weeks. I’m a perverse sod. My birthday? Hoovering, updating my catalogue of my Terry Hall collection and writing for the MISOnline. No doubt I’ll be missing in action again next week.
And remember, if you are in a discotheque late at night and get chatting to someone, do ask their name. It’s basic manners. And you ladies, if you are asking for a fella’s name in these circumstances hope it’s not Englebert Humperdink as that is a completely different song…
 – THAT’S YER LOT
Before we finish for this week, we’ve got a couple of last minute bits to pass in your direction.
First-up, and last night Madness appeared on BBC TV programme “Britain’s Brightest”, hosted by sports presenter Clare Balding.
The MIS team haven’t yet had chance to watch this, so we’re unable to tell you if it was any good. However, if you missed the show you can catch it on the BBC’s iPlayer app for the next six days. Simply point your browser over to:
And finally, following from Paul’s article above, here he is with this week’s chart details;
Chart dated 9 February 2013 (i.e. today’s chart):
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da number is now 33 on the main album chart, and number 2 on the indie chart.
Complete Madness is currently sitting at number 96, down from number
90 in the main album chart as it approaches a wonderful milestone.
It’s also number 13 on the indie chart, which is a non-moving week on week 193 of its indie chart career.
Never Knew Your Name has dropped from the top 100, but only just. It is number 12 on the indie chart, down from number 7. The number 9 indie single is in the top 100 at number 91. The number 10 is Pulp’s marvellous single ‘After You’. Living up to its name it lets other songs go before it in the chart and is not in the top 100. I’d guess Never Knew Your Name is about number 120 to 130.
And that brings this week’s MIS to a close.
Until next week, take care,
Rob, Liz, Jon, Simon
(With a special thank you to Paul Rodgers)