Hello and a very warm welcome to this latest issue of the MIS Online Newsletter.
In last week’s MIS Feature we reported that a new Facebook Group had been set up with the aim of pulling together as many Madness contributors to the Discogs web site as possible. The plan was to encourage contributors to work together to help rid the site of incorrect entries relating to our favourite band and their offshoots.
The Facebook Group has been a hive of activity over the past seven days, with the response from individuals being so great that the group has now gone private so that those enlisted can now concentrate on collaborating with each other in an effort to rid Discogs of spurious information. We applaud the efforts of those involved as in the long run it’s the Madness fanbase who will benefit from all this hard work.
On to this issue now, and earlier this week we were contacted by the one and only Nick Woodgate of the JoJo Man Band. Nick tells us that the band’s latest album “Wow!” has now been released. Check it out over on Spotify at the following link https://spoti.fi/39evdKU and if you like what you hear do let Nick know.
Moving on, and while comedian Dave Gorman has been unable to perform any stage shows due to the pandemic he’s been keeping himself busy creating and submitting crosswords to several UK publications. What does this have to do with Madness, you may ask? Find out in this this weeks’ “MIS Feature”.
In “Sign of the Times” we point you in the direction of a recent interview with the Farm’s singer / songwriter Peter Hooton and their producer; the one and only Suggs. The two discuss the making of the band’s single “All Together Now”.
In the same section subscriber Andre Claus gives us his recommendation of a Ska podcast he thinks we should all have a listen to.
If that wasn’t enough, just before we wind things up for the week our outro has some further viewing for you.
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.
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 872 – Sunday 24th January to Saturday 30th January 2016
This week we began with news from The Ska Orchestra’s one and only Darren Fordham, who reported that “Thommo would today choose the final track listing for Bite The Bullet”.
With a provisional release date of the first day in April, it sounded as though plans were hotting-up in preparation for the band’s second album.
In true MIS style we promised to bring you further news on this as and when it appeared.
Also this week, Madness fan Andrew Green got in touch to tell us “This weeks vintage edition of Top of the Pops showed the video for Los Palmas 7, but, strangely, some of the clips were edited out, namely the clips from Star Wars, which I presume were removed due to rights issues.”
Over in “Live and Intensified” and we reprinted comments from subscriber Rob Price, who felt that Lee and the Ska Orchestra had outgrown the Camden Jazz Cafe as he and his party found the venue struggled to house the crowd who turned up to see the performance. It meant that “… a very good evening was spoilt by being overcrowded”.
On to “Sign of the Times” we linked to you the recent Radio 2 Johnnie Walker Show where Lee was special guest. Lee Chatted with Johnnie Walker about starting Madness and avoiding a life of petty crime, how he started on brass instrument of choice and how it was “ahem, acquired. He also spoke about loving songs with quirky lyrics, and his meeting with David Bowie (including Lee’s impression of the guy)
This issue came to a close with a heads-up for readers in the Halifax area, letting them know that Specials and Madness tribute outfit “Special Kinda Madness” would be performing at the Marlborough Hall on Saturday 20th Feb.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 611 – Sunday 23rd January – Saturday 29th January 2011
Issue 611 got underway with Owen Collin and Jonathan Young, who were kind enough to review Chris’ recent appearance on the Insanity FM Radio Station.
Jon was also kind enough to make the show available for download, and as luck would have it, it’s still there! If you’d like to have a listen, simply point your web browser over to:
As many of you would have known, the 13th of January saw our very own Suggs reach the ripe old age of 50. To celebrate, a private party was held at Wilton’s Music Hall, London.
At the end of the show Suggs was videod by a guest performing a version of the classic ‘Maybe it’s Because I’m a Londoner’, which you can still watch by going to the following YouTube link:
Next, it was over to Mr. Paul Rodgers, for another one of his stat round-ups. This was a lengthy report, and one stuffed to the rafters with tidbits of interesting and amusing information.
Here’s just a short snippet from the massive report;
“With year end figures having recently been released for 2010, it transpires that the ongoing re-release programme made it a record breaking year for Madness in the album charts.
Despite only spending a total of 10 weeks in the top 200 (using charts dated 9 January 2010 to 1 January 2011 as is apparently the rules when looking at chart stats- I don’t make the rules, but you’ve got to have a system) Madness managed to be joint fifth in the list of artists with most albums charting in that period. They achieved this with 7 albums: Absolutely, 7, Ultimate Madness, The Rise And Fall, Keep Moving, Wonderful and Mad Not Mad.
Only Michael Jackson (11), The Beatles (9), Mister Blobby and The Rolling Stones (both 8) had more albums chart in 2010. Madness are on a par with such chart legends as AC/DC, Elvis Presley and (ahem) The Glee Cast. Despite Bez rejoining their line up Take That could only muster 6 albums. Mind you one of them sold 1.84 million copies, so I guess they can live with being in Madness’s shadow”
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs and Lee would be performing a Deaf School song at the opening of the Deaf School tour on the 28th January. The gig would be held at the Relentless Garage, Islington.
Following our end of issue thank you and well wishes we signed off with the lyrics to the new Madness track, My Girl 2. These had been kindly typed up by Looby Loo and Graham Yates.
15 years ago…
Issue number 351 – Sunday 22nd January to Saturday 28th January 2006
As it was still only being aired in the London area, we started off this week’s issue with a full and detailed lowdown of Suggs’s current TV series ‘Disappearing London’.
The first half of the episode focused on the history of the welsh immigrants in London’s past. Showing how many settled in the dairy industry, of which only one firm seemed to still be in business today.
Welsh Churches were visited, and so were church properties that were now in other use, were closed down or even one that was now an Australian night club. Something Suggs called “a den of sin”. This became even more ironic when the 2nd half of the show, showed how pubs were now converted into flats. We just needed someone to convert a flat into a church and we’d be full circle!
London Red Telephone boxes were looked at in detail, showing you how to spot a K2 from a K6 and lamenting the new BT plastic design as something that will never get put on a tourist postcard.
And the designer of these boxes was looked at in more detail, visiting his power station buildings around london, including battersea power station.
It was over to the official Madness messageboard next, as we reported on a fan who had posted a message, asking if a video for Girl, Why Don’t You had every been produced.
Thommo explained that;
“Much to my disappointment at V2 H.Q. It was decided not to make a promotional video for the ‘Girl’ single as our previous effort for ‘Shame & Scandal cost the marketing man his job…..almost”
It was back to Suggs’ current TV show, Disappearing London, again for the next slot, as we featured a transcript of Suggs talking about Camden Town pubs, and of course, The Dublin Castle. Suggs was seen chatting to owners Peggy and the late Alo, about the early days of Madness and of how things had changed over the years.
Alo explained the importance of pubs to the local community, by commenting that;
“All these pubs are in the hub of our communities and many people still use them as their meeting places, for their weddings, their parties, their 21st, their 18th birthday parties. Their wakes. Ultimately”.
On to the Official Madness Messageboard for the next article, when promoted by a fan asking if The Camden Cowboys had disbanded, Lee explained that;
“The Camden Cowboys have disbanded. It was always their intention to form & disband on the same day, breaking a previous record with my band ‘Mr.Wheeze’, who split shortly after midnight, & after a single performance at the ‘Old Bull’ in May 99′, But, in the right climate, I can’t see why either of these two bands can’t get up to more mischief. It can be fun, can’t it?”
We finished off this issue with the news that BBC Radio Coventry would be running a series of events and shows in celebration of the famous 2-tone movement that began in the area.
As well as Tony Tye’s black and white photo exhibition, there was also a live concert and a number or radio shows in the pipeline.
The festival would run from the 30th of January to the 5th of February.
20 years ago…
Issue number 89 – Sunday 21st January to Saturday 27th January 2001
In an effort to keep up-to-date with the latest in internet technology, and to give himself some much needed coding practice, MIS Online subscriber, Simon Roberts had developed what was believed to be the first Madness related WAP website.
Although designed for mobile phone users with WAP access, the site could also be viewed from the comfort of your computer desktop.
Simon pointed out at the time that although the pages looked crude, you had to remember that they were designed for mobile phone users and not your standard web browsers.
At the time of announcement there was very little on the site apart from a Madness logo and a few simple `under construction` pages. Over time Simon hoped to be make a number of major uploads to the site, but pointed out that coding was going slowly but surely because if there is so much as one html tag or script out of place, the page refused to load.
Next, we had the news that issue 6 of the excellent Madness Unsugged fanzine was going to be delayed. The hope was that the issue would appear in the early part of the new year, but this would now not happen.
Here’s what Vince had to say at the time;
“Dear Unsugged readers, As some of you may know, I was planning to have issue 6 of Unsugged out in early February.
Unfortunately, I have decided to put my career before my pastimes for once and have decided to delay this issue until September as I have final exams to do then. It’s a bit of a pity because I had so much material for it.”
Naturally, we all wished Vince well for the coming months, and the best of luck for his exams.
Moving on, and we passed the reigns over to subscriber Rod Warne, who emailed-in asking if any MIS subscribers were considering going to the `Sounds of the 80’s` weekend at Butlins. The event was due to take place at Bognor Regis over the weekend of 9th – 12th March.
Complete Madness, Bad Manners, More Specials were in the line-up together with tribute bands for Human League, UB40 and Aswad.
The price of the weekend (3 nights), was £169, and that included holiday cancellation insurance.
On the subject of weekends away. The following article announced that the Blackpool weekend was go! Chris Mountain (and assistants) had been hard at work, and were pleased to reveal that the 2001 Madness weekend would take place on Friday June 29th – Sunday 1st July.
The event would cost a mere £50 per person, for two nights bed and breakfast, and the whole hotel was being made available for those Madness fans attending.
The Third Machart continued in our next article, which this week covered positions 59 to 31. As with the previous parts, we were treated to chart stats, track trivia and much, much more. All this came courtesy of the one and only Andrew Langmead.
It was one for Ian Dury fans next, as news reached us that Ian Dury list members were in the process of organising an Ian Dury night at the Dublin Castle on 24th March, and wanted to know if any MIS readers were interested in attending.
The evening would consist of an Ian Dury and The Blockheads tribute band and DJ spinning Dury all night long with some Madness etc.
Money raised from the event would go to Cancerbacup fund.
Atari’s classic arcade title ‘Asteroids’ was next in this issue of the MIS. Why? Well, in a lengthy post from Chas himself, he revealed his two player match on the game with the one and only Paul McCartney.
Unfortunately, Carl’s skills were too much for Paul’s, and so Paul decided to throw in the towel, but not before giving Mr. Smash the trademark thumbs-up.
We finished off this week’s edition of the MIS with the latest stats of Madness greyhound Nutty Boy, who made his recent debut at the Walthamstow dog track.
‘Nutty Boy’ did ‘The Business’ in the seventh race (20.51) at Walthamstow
1st NUTTY BOY (Trap 2) Price- 11-4F Time – 5.04 (bumped& led1)
2nd SHOW BUSINESS (Trap 6) 7-2
3rd CORMACS LADO (Trap 3) 3-1
4th BLUE ADDER (Trap 4) 3-1
5th POLLIN STORM (Trap 1) 8-1
If you were thinking of putting your house on his next race, and throw caution to the wind; Nutty Boy came LAST in his inaugural race at Walthamstow on the 6th Jan 2001. In the fifth race, he was HEAVILY backed ( Chrissy Boy/Suggs putting a few pence on ??;) ), odds at 6/4 Favourite! (X 1.5 your stake).
Sign of the Times
How we made: All Together Now by the Farm
The Guardian interviews the Farm’s singer / songwriter Peter Hooton and their producer; the one and only Suggs.
Thank you for the tip of Rhoda Dakar’s podcast. I like listening to podcasts when I work and anything about music and ska is appreciated.
I also have a tip, if you haven’t heard about it yet. There is an American podcast called Ska-Boom, an America Ska & Reggae podcast, hosted by Marc Wasserman.
Marc discusses America Ska and how it grew from the late 70’s to now. The Specials are a red line in the podcast as an influential ska band. It’s mostly about American bands but the Specials, The Beat and Madness are also discussed, as are Bad manners and the Selector.
Two segments are dedicated to an interview with Lynval Golding, one on Dance Craze, Madness single ‘It must be love’ and Ranking Roger. Very entertaining and refreshing to see an American view of Ska. He also discusses an MTV special about Ska, Skaturday, which was aired on 28th of June 1997. I actually found a clip of it on youtube. Terrible. The bands were great but the setting was so MTV American, so pushed.
All and all a great podcast about American ska with a big dose of English ska. It can be found on all podcast app’s.
Paul, Punk, Dada, Mara, Mudd, Bluth and Django together at last…
From the Dave Gorman email newsletter…
Blimey, these are odd times. Whatever your circumstances, I do hope that you’re finding ways of coping.
The last time I sent you an email – which was many moons ago – I mentioned that I had started setting the occasional crossword for the Independent using the pen name, Bluth. I continue to set for the Independent – 12 so far – and have another one in on Saturday (I think). I’ve even had to get another pen name for another title too: I’m occasionally Django in the Telegraph. I say occasionally… I’ve had two in, so far.
I mention all of this because there is a crossword related event coming up that I think will probably appeal to some of you, whether you’re a seasoned solver or merely crossword-curious.
In February I’ll be joining the incredible John Halpern for a zoom event, raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital in memory of a dear friend. John is probably best known as Paul – his nom-de-puzzle in the Guardian, but he’s also Mudd in the FT, Dada in The Telegraph, Mara in The Times and Punk in the Independent. He’s been doing it for ages and is surely the world’s number one setter. Quite why he’s allowing a newbie like me to stand in his shadow is anyone’s guess.
Anyway… on the evening of February 12th, the two of us – and you if you want to – will be setting a themed crossword together on zoom on the topic of Madness. (The band, not the current malaise)
If that sounds like your sort of thing, you can sign up for it here:
We bring this edition of the MIS to a close with some further viewing for you.
Thanks to the efforts of subscriber Michael Cowan you can now view the Madness footage from the Princes Trust concert in 1982.
Michael told us; “I bought a Laserdisc player and wanted to play about with a few different leads and then copy it from laserdisc to my HD player – but it has suddenly stopped working.
So instead I just played it on the laserdisc player while recording the TV image to my mobile phone so it is not the best quality – there is some silence at the very beginning but all that’s missing is background noise”.