This issue marks the calm before the storm as tomorrow sees our favourite band land in Clapham Common for the much-anticipated bank holiday Monday XL South London Festival.
We’ve seen several members of the Madness fanbase submit photos via Facebook already, showing that festivities at Camden’s Dublin Castle pub are already well and truly underway. With a hot day forecast tomorrow make sure you drink plenty of water!
Aside from the Clapham Common gig only three further Summer concerts remain before the long wait until The House of Fun Weekender which kicks off on Friday 29th November.
26th – Clapham Common, XL South London festival. With “Special” Guests.
30th – Wolverhampton Racecourse, Wolverhampton
31st – Winter Gardens, Margate
1st – The Downs, Bristol, (Suppt: David Rodigan)
Friday 29th – Monday 2nd December – House of Fun Weekender 2019
12th – AFAS Live, Amsterdam
“The Music”; the new Album From Nick Woodgate
Nick’s album finally saw release on Friday 9th of August, with much excitement from the online Madness fan base if Facebook is anything to go by.
The album was initially released on Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, iTunes and Amazon Music. Following this, Nick posted in an update that he’d removed the tracks from these sites and that he now plans to go the whole hog and release the album on CD!
The other great news is that Nick has continued to make the album available for your listening pleasure on his web site while he investigates going down the CD route.
You can find Nick on Twitter at @nick_woodgate, so if you like what you hear then please let him know.
The Simmertones’ new Album – “Ten Feet Tall”
As we await the next Madness album (whenever that may be!), we’ve been on the lookout for something to keep us going during this lean period. Thankfully, MIS subscriber and Simmertones bassist, Del Anning kindly sent us a promo copy of the new Simmertones album “Ten Feet Tall”, which came out last Friday; 9th August.
Featuring a whopping 13 tracks, it’s 46 glorious minutes of Summer on a disc. The album’s so much fun to listen to that you’ll have a massive smile on your face as you go through each track.
We’ve been listening to the album regularly for the past few weeks, and our personal favourite tracks are:
Travelling Man – A bouncy ska/pop track about the joys of being on the road
Stand Firm – Jump-up Ska which bounces its way through a message to anyone who’s been through dark times.
The Place That I Know – A lookback on childhood with a catchy chorus and a cool groove.
Do yourself a favour and get this added to your music like library. You won’t regret it.
If you need further persuading of the band’s musical pedigree…
Between 2016-2018 The Simmertones’ performed at numerous events including The London International Ska Festival, The Looe Music Festival, Bestival, Camp Bestival and Madness’ House of Fun Weekender (twice!!).
Before We Was We: The Making of Madness by Madness
The band’s first official book.
The story of how they became them. It’s a journey full of luck, skill and charm, as they duck and dive by day and make the name in London’s exploding music scene by night, zipping around the capital in their Morris Minor vans. Their formative years, 1970-79.
This is the riotous coming-of-age tale of seven unique individuals, whose collective graft, energy and talent took them from the sweaty depths of the Hope and Anchor basement to the Top of the Pops studio. In their own words, they each look back on their past and how during those shared adventures, they formed a bond that’s lasted forty years. Before We Was We is irreverent, funny and full of character. Just like them.
This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 798 – Sunday 24th August to Saturday 30th August 2014
We began this issue with some non Madness news, but news that we were certain would be of interest to many.
Web site classicrock.teamrock.com reported earlier in the week that Edsel Records would be releasing “Ian Dury: The Vinyl Collection” on October 27th. Featuring all of Ian’s albums released between 1977 to 1997, under his own name and with The Blockheads and The Music Students, this 180g vinyl pack would be also released alongside a CD version entitled “Ian Dury: The Studio Collection”.
The albums in this pack were planned to be:
Ian Dury – New Boots and Panties (1977)
Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Do it Yourself (1979)
Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Laughter (1980)
Ian Dury – Lord Upminster (1981)
Ian Dury & The Music Students – 4,000 Weeks Holiday (1984)
Ian Dury – Apples (1989)
Ian Dury – The Bus Driver’s Prayer and Other Stories (1992)
Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Mr. Lovepants (1997)
Bonus Disc (CD version only)
Moving on, and into our “Buy it” section our new addition this week was that you could now pre-order the 35th anniversary edition of One Step Beyond CD.
This Anniversary edition had been digitally remastered from the original 1⁄4 inch tapes by Tim Turan, and was planned to come with recently unearthed rehearsal recordings from 1979, including two songs that had never appeared anywhere before; “Lost my head” and “Sunshine Voice”. It was also very interesting to see Absolutely album track “You Said” on the rehearsal tape and Grey Day B-side “Memories” as well as hearing versions of tracks that made the album some 5 months before the debut LP was recorded.
Next, and we had a packed “Live and Intensified” section this week thanks to a huge write-up of the recent Madness Ibiza Rocks appearance. This was followed by Daren West’s detailed synopsis of the Deaf School gig at The Rebellion Punk Festival.
Elsewhere, we reported on the Specialized 3 Mad Note Cancer Podcast where episode 305 of the Go Feet Radio saw Paul Willo talking about the album and airing a number of tracks.
Continuing on a Specialized theme, Graham Yates returned to the bits and bytes of the MIS to bring us the final 17 reviews from the Specialized Mad Not Cancer album.
We brought this issue to a close by pointing you towards the All Things Madness Facebook group Specialized 35th Anniversary competition, and provided detail of how you could be in with winning the forthcoming 35th anniversary edition of the One Step Beyond album by making a £2 charity donation.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 538 – Sunday 23rd August – Saturday 29th August 2009
This week we were pleased to bid a welcome return to the one and only Paul Rodgers, who kicked off the issue with news of Norton Folgate finally leaving the top 100 albums chart, the Sugar and Spice radio playlist status, and how Suggs’ new book was proving to be rather popular and was now ranking at number 22 in Amazon’s “History” section.
News in, courtesy of The Hackney Gazette, was that Shoreditch’s Light Bar had been saved from the bulldozers, and would now be incorporated into a new Hackney regeneration scheme.
The former Victorian railway power station stood in the way of controversial plans to build a 51-storey skyscraper including offices, homes and a hotel.
However, thanks to the efforts of campaigners such as artist Tracey Emin, and our very own Suggs, the building would now be saved.
On to fundraising news, and we reported (via a reprint of an article on the parkinsons.org web site) that Tim Andrews, from Milford in Surrey, stood on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London on Saturday 15 August 2009, as part of the Antony Gormley project ‘One & Other’.
Tim took part in the project as part of a new found determination to live life to the full since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005, at the age of 54.
Despite being afraid of heights, Tim stood on the Fourth Plinth for the full hour.
Tim played tracks from the album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate by one of his favourite bands, Madness, who gave their permission for it to be played. Tim chose the album because the lyrics recount various stories about the city of his birth, London, which he adores.
Tim raised over £2,500 for the Parkinson’s Disease Society in donations from friends and family, many of whom watched Tim dance on the plinth on the day.
We brought this short issue to a close with the new that it’d been a couple of years in the making, but ‘it’ was almost here.
What where we on about? Jean-Pierre Boutellier’s 30th Anniversary Madness Tribute album, that’s what. Thanks to the powers of technology we’d seen a photo of the finished CD, and were hoping to review the disc very soon.
15 years ago…
Issue number 276 – Sunday 22nd August – Saturday 28th August 2004
Finally, after much waiting we were now up and running on the new mailing list server, which meant we could finally stop having to email out each issue to every subscriber directly.
It’d been a quiet week in the world of Madness, which was reflected in this slim edition of the MIS. After all, if there’s nothing going on then it’s tricky to put news in!
In the previous issue of the MIS we ran an article detailing a forthcoming special edition of `Q` and `Mojo`, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of 2-Tone Records with The Specials, Madness, The Beat, The Selecter and more…
Well, it looked like this had finally made it into the shops as Craig from the Madness Trading Ring reported…
“Even though the front page has The Specials on it there is quite a lot dedicated to Madness. There’s an 8 page bit on them. There’s also a 4 page bit with a big picture of them as the Danger Men.
There’s bits and pieces throughout so it is well worth getting. Its only £5.99 so get ya skates on down to Smiths or wherever and get yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed!”
Moving on, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology the tracks from the 22nd of May Dangermen gig were now available for fans to download. Featuring 11 tracks, and weighing in at around 50 megs, this was an essential download.
Finding his collection had a number of duplicates in it, Madness Trading Ring co-maintainer, Steve Bringe decided it was time to put a few of these items up for trade. Items up for grabs included the French promotional pack for Wonderful, the UK promotional pack for Wonderful, and the Spanish picture sleeve promotional CD for The Communicator.
20 years ago…
Issue Number 14 – Sunday 22nd August to Saturday 28th August 1999
After a short break we returned to find a whopping 270 emails in our inbox. Did this mean the online Madness community was alive with some fantastic item of news. Well, unfortunately not. Instead, the majorityof emails were duplicates, caused by the mail server provided by our internet service provider throwing a wobbly. Ah well!
Thankfully, not everything we’d received was a duplicate or spam, and amongst the chaff were one or two items of interest which we were able to pass on to you in this week’s issue.
Following on from Richard Huggins’ typing-up of part one of the ‘Later’ article back in issue 12 of the MIS Online Bulletin, Simon Saunders kindly took up the task of typing and continued from where Richard left off, and finished the article.
These days the majority of you probably use iTunes for your MP3 playing needs, but 10 years ago WinAmp was all the rage, so it was nice when we learned that someone had put in the time and effort to produce a Madness themed skin for the application.
Moving on, and we had news in from the Night Fever production team, announcing that the third series of the popular music quiz show would be returning to your screens in December. Not only that, but audience tickets were now available, and could be ordered free of charge from Powerhouse.
It’s always nice when a new Madness web site bounces on the net, so we were pleased when MIS subscriber, Steve Harris, announced that his new site, itsmadness.co.uk was now live and ready for you to visit.
Elsewhere in this issue we had a full lowdown of Juliet Carter’s ‘Ska Mad’ fanzine, which landed on our door mat a week or so back.
After a lengthy review we summed the issue up by saying;
“To sum it all up, the zine really is a nice nugget of information that has clearly been put together from sheer love of Madness and the ska-scene past and present.
Couple this with the smatterings of great photos and neat little items of artwork and you ‘d be daft not to check this out”.
Many Jimmy’s to Cover
Ahead of House of Common, here are the all the Madness related Jimmy Cliff covers we can think of.
1969 – Many Rivers to Cross
This song was covered by The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra live, with Darren Fordham fronting the rendition to Lee’s sax with the band.
1969 – Wonderful World, Beautiful People
Covered by Madness as they embarked on the Dangermen years, this debuted live in the 2003 Christmas Madness tour.
1970 – Vietnam
Madness covered this song, released on The Ska collection and played live a few times, most recently at House of Fun two years ago.
1970 – Wide World
This Cat Stevens song Jimmy turned into Reggae and The Silencerz have covered this one live at a few gigs.
1970 – You can get it if you really want
Again, The Silencerz have covered this one live at a few gigs including the Chandos arms.
1972 – The Harder they come
The most famous link; a live Madness single from Madstock the album. It was first covered by the band in the mid 80s.
1973 – I can see Clearly now
Suggs has DJed Jimmy’s version of this Johnny Nash song at Reggae Roast events. It was quite fitting
Suggs picked The Harder They Come film soundtrack album as one of his favourite compilation LP’s in an article a few years ago. All this surely places the man in a group with Prince Buster and Ian Dury and maybe Roxy Music for the most influences on Madness music. This Monday they team up on the main stage at House of Common.
2012 – World upside down
This Reggae standard was on Jimmy’s Rebirth album. Madness covered it in 2017 at House of fun.
Sign of the Times
Madness at Edinburgh Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens – ‘An absolute joy to behold’
The Camden Two-Tone/Ska legends returned to the Capital on Sunday night to lower the curtain on a hugely successful, if occasionally a slightly damp Edinburgh Summer Sessions.
Pleasingly, they retain six of the seven original members which makes a welcome change from vintage acts touring as an “original” band but only having one member who bought the rights or something. No names…
Given their back catalogue, choosing the setlist must have been a chore, they’ve clocked up 15 top ten UK hits no less, but all the big hits are present and correct kicking off with the Prince Buster classic One Step Beyond from the 1979 album of the same name and follow this with Embarrassment from the following year.
According to ageless frontman Suggs, it’s 40 years to the day that “seven spotty kids” made their debut on the long-gone Top Of The Pops, performing on that day, and next tonight, their dedication to the guy whose single gave them their first big hit, The Prince and then a comparatively recent outing in NW5, a bittersweet paean to lost love in London.
They were never as overtly political as some of their contemporaries like the Specials to take an example but on Bullingdon Boys a wee swipe is taken at the Eton boys running the country, ironically stating that they’re a nice bunch really and One Better Day is prefaced by wondering how homelessness can still exist in this day and age.
The Tory baiting tracks done, it’s a classic-fest all the way to the encore, House of Fun and their Baggy Trousers getting a welcome airing before Labi Siffre’s It Must Be Love closed the main section, although not before bagpiper Johnny Gauld (aka The Caledonian Cowboy) treated us to a rendition of Flower of Scotland. Unsurprisingly, that went down well.
The energy levels these veterans give out on stage is an absolute joy to behold and the crowd respond accordingly, even members of the security staff gleefully dancing along with the punters and having covered all the gigs in the gardens this year, I’ve not seen the place bounce like this nor a band enjoy themselves as much.
Suggs at one point confessed that he can’t believe they get paid to do this. Believe it mate and please carry on, there’s clearly a few more years left in you all. And it’s safe to say the many happy punters out front will still happily pay you.
Madness – 18th August – Princes Street Gardens
6 out of 7 stars
Hear Madness Perform “Our House” on This Day in 1983
As one of the U.K.’s premier ska groups, Madness are just a feel-good band. Whether it’s “One Step Beyond,” “My Girl” or “It Must Be Love,” frontman Suggs and co. have a favorite tune for everyone. Their biggest American hit and only U.S. top 10 single was “Our House,” taken from their 1982 fourth album The Rise & Fall.
“Our House” captures the happy-go-lucky side of suburban life in the U.K., and it resonates just as much in America with its peppy, impossible-to-resist singalong. It’s popped up in countless TV commercials, corny family lip-sync videos and wedding receptions for the past several years.
On this day in 1983, Madness performed their signature hit in New York City at Pier 84, a year after the release of The Rise & Fall. With strings, brass and piano, Madness make this song of domestic life feel like a grand occasion.
Listen to the performance by clicking on the link above!
Music review: Madness, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
“ON THIS very day 40 years, ago seven spotty teenagers turned up at Television Centre to perform on Top of the Pops,” said Suggs, clearly well past the stage where vanity will prevent him from reminiscing about the olden days. “I believe the promoters sold some of you tickets saying they were for the Spice Girls reunion – now, I’m not saying we’re prettier than them…”
Madness, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh ***
For Suggs and the rest of the band, the four intervening decades have passed in a largely unchanging (Suggs’ brief solo career aside) haze of similar banter and laddish camaraderie, and they’re much beloved for it; not just by original fans of the ska-pop sound which they took further into the mainstream than most, but also by younger generations for whom their songs have endured.
With the bustle of the weekend dying down and the Tattoo fireworks taking a break for the evening, there was something about Sunday night’s final Summer Sessions gig of 2019 which felt like a nice way to get over a hangover, with the warmth and familiarity of One Step Beyond, Embarrassment, My Girl and Wings of a Dove seeping once more into the hearts of their fans.
The crescendo arrived at the end – as we knew it would – with a flurry of some of the 1980s’ most universal pop music; House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House and It Must Be Love all in a row, before Madness and Night Boat to Cairo carried the encore on an energetic high. Yet the intervening years have borne much music which hasn’t hit quite such heights, and – as enjoyable as the political elements of The Bullingdon Boys and Mr Apples were – the middle third of the show sagged a little beneath that unfamiliarity.
That’s just about it for this weeks edition of the MIS.
If you’re lucky enough to get along to the Clapham Common or any of the remaining Summer concerts please do knock-up a review and sent it in. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the performance, the venues and supporting acts.