Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online Newsletter.
In this issue, we report on yet another Suggs “best of” album. If, for some reason you feel the need to add further duplicate tracks to your collection then hop along to our Buy It section for more information including a full track listing and release date.
This coming Friday sees the long-awaited and much grumbled about Eden Project take place. It’s long-awaited, as many fans have looked forward to the prospect of the band playing this unique venue. It’s also much-grumbled about, as the majority of tickets weren’t available to the general public. Instead, these were available to those members of the Eden Project events subscription list. The rest of the general public didn’t really get much of a chance to bag a ticket.
Thankfully, tickets for the August gigs still seem to be plentiful, so there’s still chance for you to catch the band perform outside this Summer.
11. Oranges And Lemons Again – Jools Holland & Suggs
12. No More Alcohol
13. Blue Day (feat. The Chelsea Team) [Stamford Bridge Mix] – Suggs And Co
14. I Feel Good
It collects all 8 of his top 40 singles, adding to that the original “Alcohol” and what was arguably the most like second single, if three pyramids had reached that stage, in “So Tired”
Adding 3 b-sides, the obscure “Same again” to two covers, “I feel good” (James Brown) and “Alright” by Supergrass, to no doubt try and encourage the casual music fan to buy this budget-priced release.
Finally, it pulls the two tracks from Jools Holland and Friends albums. The near single “Oranges and Lemon’s Again” and the more forgotten bouncy “Jack of the Green.”
If you’ve never ventured into Suggs’ solo catalogue it’s got the basics and some flourishes, and it may be a cheap way to pick up on CD some scattered tunes at only a fiver.
I’s the replacement for the deleted Platinum Collection (2007), a compilation that use to house a selection of 20 tracks covering his two albums and is now deleted.
The fact that it appears on the Unassigned label perhaps means Cherry Red aren’t continuing with Suggs after the Lone Ranger 2CD (2016), which could drive people insane with 9 mixes of Cecilia. So, the Six Pyramids Club is perhaps now unlikely to join the 2 CD collections we’ve already got. If you’re a regular fan or collector of Suggs there isn’t much to be excited about with this release, coming as it does in a very plain yellow lettered cover.
HISTORY in the U.K. has commissioned WW2 Treasure Hunters (working title), a brand-new series from Emporium Productions, featuring Suggs, the frontman of British ska band Madness.
The 8×1-hour series will premiere on HISTORY in the U.K. later this year. WW2 Treasure Hunters will see Suggs and WW2 militaria expert Stephen Taylor bring forgotten stories of World War II back to life by unearthing artifacts from former military sites across the U.K. They will use state-of-the-art technology and original WWII archives and maps to dig at forgotten sites, including former military bases, airfields, POW camps and barracks. Suggs and Taylor will then share the stories and people behind the artifacts they uncover, meeting with survivors, experts and historians to understand what happened at each of the locations.
WW2 Treasure Hunters reveals evidence of the hidden history of long forgotten military sites that were vital in that struggle, as well as the people who worked so hard for victory.”
The nation’s favourite Nutty Boys released their 11th studio album ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ back in October 2016, so delivered a hugely entertaining set that pulled material from the burgeoning greatest hits to bang up to date; from the reggae infused skank of ‘One Step Beyond’, via ‘Our House’ to the poignant Amy Winehouse inspired ‘Blackbird’ – for a band renowned for their tomfoolery their set was delivered with a level of solemnity, perhaps tinged by events in Manchester – that said Lee Thompson perfectly played the maturing class clown, at times matched by Suggs who took to wearing a drag queen wig; Suggs has never been to strongest vocalist, but where Madness excel is crafting material that plays to their strengths, when Suggs can’t quite reach a higher pitch, the brass section step in to add colour; tracks including ‘The Sun & The Rain’, ‘Wings of a Dove’, and ‘My Girl’ all had the audience singing along for 90minutes forgetting the pressures of world; a flotilla of beach balls was launched into the crowd as the set built to its peak, across the back of the blue colour washed stage the huge illuminated backdrop proclaimed Madness before an arsenal of confetti, streamers and ice were launched skywards from cannons stage front, as they fluttered to the ground the night sky being illuminated by a huge firework display – a fitting end to Madness’ set and the conclusion to the Bearded Theory birthday bash!
Phil Newall, 4th June 2017
Madness Feature – The Edge of Love DVD Review
Nearly a decade after it’s 2008 theatrical cinema release and long after we checked out it’s Suggs appearing soundtrack contribution (and gave that a thumbs up), we stumbled across The Edge of Love movie in a 50p bargain bin. At that price we thought it worthy of a Friday Night watch.
This Keira Knightley film didn’t set the box office alight, but it’s really not so bad if you caught it say on the BBC. It is after all a BBC film amongst it’s production partners.
A wartime setting, the story tells of a love quadrangle between poet Dylan Thomas, his wife, and also his childhood sweethEart (played by Knightley) who is waiting for her solider husband to return from fighting. It’s a fine wartime period piece, and a complicated love story, that flits between many moments of shared comradeship, mutual respect and many love conflicts. As a film it focusses perhaps a bit too much on Keira’s character as the films star name of the time, when Dylan Thomas is the famous poet here, but overall portrays a believable environment and situation, if the odd bit of welsh sounds a little bit wavering in some of the accents.
Our Man Suggs, of course doesn’t last many minutes of screen time as a dancehall crooner in the mode of the era’s Al Bowly. He gets a full-screen closeup as he starts the liltingly delightfully “Hang out the stars in Indiana” love song, resplendent in white suit and a little stage mascara, before fading into the scene’s background, occasionally glimpsed, as Knightley continues to court her solider husband to be. A bomb devastates the theatre cutting Suggs’ song short and giving way to darkness and screams.
Torchlight reveals the dead bodies on the floor under chandelier shards and shows the crooner amongst them. He will be singing no more. Fleeing from the carnage and leaving the bodies behind, Knightley breaks down at the terror and asks here husband to love her, herself then finishing the incomplete song softly through her scared tears.
Over on the commentary track, it’s amusing to hear Matthew Rhys (Dylan Thomas) launch into Baggy Trousers as Suggs appears on screen, compliment his performance and moments later ask “is that dead Suggs?” as the torchlight reveals him.
It’s worth 50p should you ever find a similar bargain bin or catch the movie on TV someday.
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 683 – Sunday 10th June – Saturday 16th June 2012
In the run-up to this issue going out across the internet the band featured in a mass of on and offline media reports following their two song stint on the top of Buckingham Palace the previous weekend.
There was so much Madness coverage doing the rounds that we hoped readers felt that we managed to pull together a decent chunk of the articles that had cropped up.
With so much Madness / Jubilee coverage we couldn’t have hoped to have captured everything in the issue. With that in mind, we asked readers to send in details of anything we’d missed covering the band’s performance.
We didn’t have to pull everything from the national press, though, as Lee Thompson was kind enough to give us all his hilarious insider’s tale of the event. It was a name-dropping unbelievable read.
The band even managed to mention from BBC tech corespondent Rory Cellan-Jones, who explained how the front of Buckingham Palace was animated during the band’s performance. It was certainly impressive!
Away from the Jubilee, and we reported that The Telegraph newspaper had ranked Madness in the top 100 selling singles chart. Madness came in at number 41. Ahead of bands such as The Police, Duran Duran and The Pet Shop Boys.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that according to the Official Madness Facebook page, a number of new items had been added to the band’s web site. Unfortunately, when we had a look we were unable to work out which ones were brand new and which had been there for months!
10 years ago…
Issue Number 423 – Sunday 10th June – Saturday 16th June 2007
This hayfever induced issue of the MIS bulletin kicked off with the news that Madness performed a blinder at The Peel Bay Festival on the Isle of Man.
According to Suggs, the band were on the last day of their World tour of The Isle of Man.
Wet weather could have turned the Sunday into a washout, but thankfully the band got the 7,000 plus crowd up and dancing into the night right from the opening blast of One Step Beyond.
Moving on, and courtesy of The Independent fans were informed that Suggs had reinvented himself as a broadcaster, proponent of long lunches and lover of exotic teas.
Ian Burrell met our favourite frontman where they talked about booze, tea, his stint on Virgin Radio and his winning of the Royal Television Society “Presenter of The Year” award last year.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that the band would be performing at the Rock Zottegem Festival, Belgium, on Friday 6th July and on Saturday 16th June in Athens at Ejekt 2007.
15 years ago…
Issue Number 161 – Sunday 9th – Saturday 15th June 2002
We started off the issue with the news that Carl’s World Cup anthem “We’re Coming Over” entered the UK music charts at a non too impressive 67. Still, at least he tried, and looking back, the poor chart placing certainly couldn’t be attributed to a lack of effort when it came to promotion.
Although sales of Carl’s single were less than staggering, sales of the Christmas tour tickets were going remarkably well indeed. So much so that a few enterprising individuals were already attempting to offload standing tickets at vastly inflated prices. Our advice to MIS subscribers was to give these vultures the middle finger, and continue to by tickets from the venues and official ticket outlets as they were still available to purchase from there.
On a more wallet-friendly note, a horde of Madness fans were made extremely happy when some kind individual uploaded a batch of 30 copies of George Marshall’s excellent ‘Total Madness’ book. Starting at a mere £3, we’re sure that all were snapped-up.
With news being especially thin on the ground this week we took a look back to June 1996, and re-lived the excitement of Euro ’96 and the legendary Madstock 3 concert, all courtesy of Tour Madness editor, Jermaine.
Elsewhere, and MIS subscriber Chris Carter-Pegg decided to give his extensive Madness collection a slight trimming-down by uploading over 200 items up on to Ebay for fellow Madness fans to bid against each other on. There were some real rarities and unusual items up for grabs, as well as masses of cheap and cheerful memorabilia, meaning there was something for everyone.
We finished the issue off with news in from Vince Foley reporting that the boys seemed to be going up in the world, as not only did Suggs feature in a two page interview in The Times, but the paper also sported a full-colour advert promoting the forthcoming Christmas tour.
That’s almost it for this week’s issue of the MIS Online Bulletin.
If you’re out and about in Camden Town on Sunday, August 27th (the day before House of Common gig), and planning to come along to The Dublin Castle, please be aware that there are just 30 tickets left IF you wish to see “Special Kinda Madness” perform two sets of Madness & Specials covers from 4pm.
The MIS team have added Mr. Happy as DJ for the event after the show. So, join the party. All are welcome, but be aware that this WILL sell out before August.
We’ve have had to suspend listing any more names attending for the rest of our Madness pub crawl event throughout the Sunday as we have reached our limit and have a full reserve list at present. As private function rooms are involved we have no more space. Please, just go to The Dublin Castle if you are Camden.