Christmas is just around the corner, and this means that last posting dates are starting to rear their ugly heads.
If you’re thinking of ordering something from the Official Madness web store and want to get it in time for the big day then please check out the Christmas Order Dates section of the store before you part with your cash. Some last order dates have already been and gone, so please do have a read prior to ordering:
Next, and on Monday 30th November Suggs was the special guest on Gorgeous FM’s Drive Time Show. If you didn’t catch the live broadcast then fear not, you can listen on demand. Simply point your browser over to: https://www.gorgeousfm.com/radioplayer/od/
On to this weeks’ issue and yes, it’s another lean one, unfortunately. There simply isn’t much to report on at the moment so you’ll have to be patient during this lean news period. As always, we ask that if you spot anything newsworthy then do please send it in.
Description (from Lee!): It starts with my humble beginnings in NW5, on to petty criminality in N6, then onto the wide open spaces of 681, Hitchin Road, Stopsley, Luton and all the Shenanigans in between.
And Parking up on that mental bus – The 2Tone Tour in October of 1979, the first 22 Years.
Further items have now been added to the web site including the classic “ransom note” one from 1992 which spells “Madness” by using lettering from various famous logos, and a lovely “Wings of a Dove” t-shirt.
This album was previously available as a pop-up 4 disc gatefold LP priced at around £50. The 4-disc release is now sold out on vinyl.
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, 10, 15 and 20 years ago this week.
5 years ago…
Issue Number 865 – Sunday 6th December to Saturday 12th December 2015
With Christmas just around the corner, and the Madness Weekender now a dim and distant memory, it would likely come as no surprise to learn that this week had been rather lean on the news front.
This week we kept the Weekender memories alive just that bit longer, as we took a look at some of the best photo and video uploads from the event. We had numerous links, and split everything out into day and band sections, so you should have been able to find the goodies with ease.
Also this week, a number of Terry Edwards gigs had been added to our “Showtimes” section, and details of a forthcoming single release from the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra could also be found in our “Buy it” section.
We brought this issue to a close with the heads-up that currently available for streaming on the BBC web site was an episode of Top of The Pops from 11th December 1980. Bands appearing in this episode included Adam and The Ants, Stray Cats, Status Quo, Abba, The Police and of course, Madness.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 604 – Sunday 5th December – Saturday 11th December 2010
We kicked this issue off by thanking Jonathan Young for spending what must have been hours and hours supplying material for this MIS. It was absolutely packed!
Our articles got underway with a review of the recent Madness gig in Leicester, courtesy of Richard Stinson. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite according to plan;
“Unfortunately there was quite a nasty incident to the night. Lee had quite a bad accident whilst on stage (or should I say off stage) and had to be taken to hospital. I didn’t see the incident but two of my good friends were right in front as it happened. About three tracks in he apparently attempted one of his famous stand on the speaker tricks. As he was climbing up though, he grabbed hold of the lighting rig which came away in his hand. He fell the entire way to the floor, below the stage! He never made it back and was taken to hospital.
This obviously sent Madness into some confusion, juggling tracks around whilst hoping he would still make it back. But in the end the other saxophonist (Steve I think his name is) stood in for him and normal service was resumed. Ok, he can’t take the place of Lee but hedid a fantastic job, especially having no notice of course”
It was over to Jonathan next, who reported that so far five brand new Madness songs had so far been aired on the current tour. Black and Blue debuted at Blackpool, as did Big Time Sister and So E La Luna. Meanwhile, My Girl II aired at Glasgow, and Kitchen Floor/I got You aired at the Glasgow matinee.
Unfortunately, along with Lee being taken to hospital, the tour experienced a few weather related problems, with both the Sheffield and Hull gigs being postponed until later dates due to heavy snow brining the road and rail networks to an almost halt.
An explanation of the Sheffield cancellation was announced on the official Madness web site with the following message:
“Dear Madness Fan
Due to some of the nuttiest weather conditions we have encountered on a UK tour the show at 02 in Sheffield was postponed. We had been talking with the local authorities since we arrived in Sheffield, the show was all set up and ready to go and we didn’t want to let anyone down before we had confirmation that it would be impossible for the show to go ahead.
As the show is postponed your ticket remains valid and news of a rematch will be released with in 7 days (of Wednesday’s concert.)
Do Not Adjust your nut
Moving on, and you’d seen him on the official website, being the teaser for the tour dates. You’d seen him wearing a bowler hat urging you to send in photos for the It Must Be Love Visuals. And he’x been seen dancing on the backdrop tour visuals too, during the song Wings of a dove.
This week we gave you step by step instructions detailing how to make your very own Nutty the Nut.
After this it was over to Chris Carter-Pegg of Retro Madness. Chris has carried out a bit of research and had discovered that the Madness classic Tarzan’s Nuts, had originally been recorded by Marty Manning and The Heetahs for a US TV show.
Elsewhere, and we reported that Madness were kindly dishing out early Christmas presents in the form of free live MP3 downloads of the current tour. Tracks available so far were:
Glasgow: One Step Beyond
Newcastle: Forever Young & Madness
Manchester: Shut Up & Clerkenwell Polka
We were also promised more to come as the tour continued.
This issue came to a close with news that a great quality live recording of Black and Blue had been uploaded to the web site, and if that wasn’t enough we had the full lyrics to the Thompson/Foreman track Big Time Sister.
15 years ago…
Issue 344 – Sunday 4th December to Saturday 10th December 2005
With the entire MIS team having spent the last day or so in London (all in the name of research, of course) this issue of the bulletin landed in readers’ mailboxes slightly later than usual.
Why, well Madness were booked to play London’s famous Astoria, and it’d have been rude to have missed it, right?
We started off this week’s collection of articles by covering the release of Girl, which finally saw the light of day the previous Monday.
However, it wasn’t the influence of an advertising and promotional campaign that made fans wander into their local music shop to check if the single was in stock. Instead, they were merely there in passing, as the release date had been put back so many times.
At MIS Online, we were still a little puzzled at why V2 were even bothering to release this. With no airplay, and no mailshot from the official Madness web site announcing the new single would be available to buy it left us wondering just many sales V2 thought they could get.
This grumbling wasn’t just limited to us miserable buggers at the MIS. In fact, there were a whole host of devoted Maddies all a little disappointed, to say the least, and a few of their grumbles were re-printed in this issue.
With Christmas just around the corner our next article was from Warrior Clothing, who were reminding us all that the last day for orders made to reach your house in time for Christmas was the 17th of December. Not only that, but their biggest ever sale would begin on the 24th of December.
News of a new Madness tribute band was the order of the day in our next article, when we learned of a new Scottish act by the name of ‘Saggy Trousers’. We had little information to go on apart from that they were a 7-piece act, and that they seemed to be based in Stirling, Scotland.
It was on to The Specials next, when we re-printed an article from a recent copy of The Sun newspaper, where Suggs had revealed that he wanted The Specials to get back together, as he loved the idea of things coming full circle and touring with The Specials again.
We moved back to Madness for the next article, when we gave an in-depth review of the London Astoria gig, which we declared was a storming set at a grotty venue.
We rounded off this week’s issue with competition news. Chas had decided to raise money for communities in Northern Mozambique to help them gain access to safe drinking water. To help out you needed to enter a competition by donating £1.50. If you were the proud winner, you’d then be in with a chance of Carl writing a song for you.
Not a bad prize at all!
20 years ago…
Issue number 82 – Sunday 3rd December to Saturday 9th December 2000
Following last week where we had a shortage of news to relay, this week seemed to have been quite the opposite, with lots of Madness related bits and pieces happening on and off the internet.
MIS Online subscriber, Mike Jackson reported that on the new Eminem album there was a track called “Our House”. If you listened to this song, you shouldn’t have been surprised to hear a sample from the Madness song of the same name. The track could be found on Napster by typing in “Our House”. Remember, this was in the days before the Napster copyright clampdown.
Following on from his recent bout of voice-overs for Fairy Liquid adverts, the legendary Suggs returned to advertising in the all-new Worthingtons beer ad. Chris Mountain told us that the Madness front man was there for all to see selling ice creams and pints.
After a well-earned break, it looked like the BBC’s resident Madness fan was back in the driving seat once more. The ever-helpful Simsey informed us that on the BBC’s consumer affairs programme, Watchdog on Thursday there was an article about the appalling state of the railways. The background music used was none other than the 1986 hit (Waiting for) The Ghost Train.
Following Chris Mountain’s news regarding the Suggs appearance in the latest run of Worthingtons adverts, he returned with details regarding a major 2-Tone reunion gig. This was due to take place at Highfield Stadium, Coventry. The stadium belonged to Coventry Football Club. The bands featured would be The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter. This sounded like a gig well worth getting yourselves along to.
On to the articles, and we kicked off with an article from non other than Carl himself. In it he explained that there was currently no activity in the Madness camp, and that the situation looked unlikely to change in the near future.
Carl went on to say that while it was impossible for him to fill the vacuum left by Madness, he would be dumping all his enthusiasm into ChasSmash.com, and would be getting his new music on to the site as soon as he could.
Next, and as the year was drawing to a close Andrew Langmead decided that now was the time to give Madness fans a chance to vote for their favourite Madness tracks. As with all competitions, this came with its own set of rules and regulations, and we were told that Crunch/Nutty Boys, Suggs solo, Velvet Ghost, Voice of the Beehive or Feargal Sharkey nominations would not be counted.
Moving on, and we passed you over to subscriber Lee Evans (not the comedian), who explained that he’d set up new web site entitled ‘Nutty Gear’. The idea of this new web site was to be the place where Madness and ska fans across the globe to buy, sell and be able to swap records, CDs and general music merchandise.
We rounded off this week’s issue with a prize giveaway competition run by the one and only Jon Young. All you had to do was to tell him
1. Which two members of Madness comprise the Fink Brothers?
2. What is the name used in 2000ad to refer to the Fink Brothers family?
If you were lucky enough to be pulled out of the proverbial hat you stood to win:
1. A copy of the Fink Brothers record on 7″, and 2000AD Prog 403
(the issue the record was launched in, it has the same cover.)
2. A copy of Judge Dredd the Mega History, plus a Dredd Graphic novel
3. 2000ad prog 193-196 Featuring “The Fink”, Plus some extra Progs
When “My Girl” hit the charts, Madness earned their first wave of devoted young female admirers, who dragged them unwillingly into teen idol territory. And Stateside Madness has dug up the evidence to prove it. Star signs, heights, weights, turn-ons, turn-offs… Get ready to swoon!
An anthology of Blockhead Chaz Jankel’s four solo albums cut for the A&M label in the 1980s, with a bonus disc of single edits, remixes and unreleased material…LTW’s Ian Canty meets the other half of one of the UK’s finest songwriting teams ever…
Though Chaz Jankel will always be associated with his fruitful partnership with Ian Dury, he did notch up a decent solo career away from Blockhead activities. Even so, to a certain extent his highly tasty musical concoctions have taken the backseat to Ian’s expert wordplay. Jankel had been part of psych/soul band Byzantium in the early 1970s and became a big fan of US funk music in his youth. This sound clearly made a lasting impression on the young man.
The influence of that music would show up strongly in his biggest successes later on in the decade. After leaving Byzantium, he first encountered Ian Dury when he was hired as a keyboardist for one of the final Kilburn & The High Roads line-ups. From there, he linked up with Dury to co-write and arrange the songs for Ian’s first solo album New Boots And Panties. This was, of course, was a phenomenal success and became regarded as a one of the classic LPs of the 1970s. Hit singles followed and by the end of the decade Ian Dury & The Blockheads were one of the biggest acts in the country.
Though Chaz left The Blockheads in late 1979 (he was replaced by Wilko Johnson), in his solo works he still called on his sparring partner Dury often to provide lyrics. After his exit from The Blockheads, Jankel was quickly signed up by Byzantium’s old label A&M and released his self-titled debut album, credited as Chas Jankel, in 1980.