You may notice to a slight tweak to our banner this week. This cartoon addition comes courtesy Ardy Beld who was kind enough to draw the image you see at the top of the email and give us the all-clear use it.
The new imagery also appears as part of the banner on the MIS web site.
Next, and the band’s list of gig dates for 2018 continues to grow. This week, announcements went out revealing performance bookings for June 29th where they’ll be appearing at the Provinssi Festival, Finland, and on August 11th where they’ll be at the Nostalgie Beach Festival, Belgium.
You can find the full list of forthcoming Madness and Madness off shoot gigs in our regular “Showtimes” section.
Moving on and this coming Saturday Daley Thompson launches his band’s debut album as The Silencerz play at The Bull theatre in Barnet.
You can get gig tickets here…
Tickets for The Album Launch Party – £12.50 adv £15 door.
Important – The release date for this disc was 2nd March 2018, and copies have not yet been shipped. If you’ve yet to place an order we recommend you hold off parting with your money until news of copies arriving with those who’ve already ordered start to surface.
Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for MY LIFE STORY where Suggs, takes a hilarious, yet moving, look back at his life in a musical form.
Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? Or a music hall dream? Whatever it is hold on to your seats as Suggs goes on to stumble and plummet through the trap door of failure; then trampoline back up to catch the passing trapeze of show business success.
£9.95. Limited to 250 copies. A5 paperback photo-zine. 36 pages.
Hanging Around Books’ tenth release (HA010), “Kimono Our House: Madness In Japan 1982” features rare and previously unseen photographs of the Nutty Boys taken by Andre Csillag at various locations during the band’s 1982 tour of Japan.
As Andre writes:
“In May 1982 I was asked by the manager of Madness, the late and sadly missed Matthew Sztumpf, to accompany the band on their first Japanese tour. These shots were taken over a period of a week in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya and on bullet trains inbetween.”
“It was an intense week of gigging, travelling, promotional work and making history. While in Japan, the band had their first number one on the UK singles chart and were filmed live via satellite from Tokyo introducing the video for that week’s chart topper, “House Of Fun” — a first for the BBC and Top of The Pops.”
“Thanks to Graham “Suggs” McPherson, Cathal Smyth, Lee Thompson, Chris Foreman, Mike Barson, Mark Bedford and Dan “Woody” Woodgate for their time and the enjoyable madness.”
Andre Csillag, February 2018.
The Silencerz Album Review (With Songwriter Comments)
The Silencerz album showcases chip off the Kix block Daley Thompson as a front man who now confidently follows in his old man’s foothops, but also clearly grew up watching Suggs in action. He’s a fine front man now in his own mode with a voice fresh and softly eloquent to deliver a set of songs with sharp tunes and lyrical tales all written by the bands guitarist Nick Godwin who turns out a talented scribe. Its a match made in the heaven of a dodgy north London pub for the next generation of pop lovers. Brass, guitars and keys meld the beat of ska and reggae influenced tunes that follow many influences from Paul Simon to the Beatles and many multiple Jamaican Vibes.
This is a modern British pop groove that is nutty enough to follow in the traditions of great bands from Madness to Squeeze and beyond, and it’s glove fits (leaving no fingerprints) for the occasional guest backing vocals and sax liftoffs of the nutty father Thommo to hop on and off of as he pleases featuring on this album. The 7 tunes on this debut slice, range from ice cream holidays, gangsters, street fights, crimes, slippery characters with emotional reactions a plenty and dramatic tales that make them all stand out and unique songs.
Always upbeat and tuneful, I’ve watched these songs emerge from a cool local covers band into being a mini set of their own devices and rather than pale into the dull moment between playing other peoples hits. These songs have all delighted me into wanting to hear repeat performances, thus over four years of their live gigs this album has become and much wished for item, now it’s here the verdict is not diminished by the final recordings, but utter delight that nothings been lost in a captured set of mixes that delight me.
Even with a slightly different approach on one song, this Better Days album is definitive version now of these songs, the only shame is 7 isn’t quite long enough an album. I guess I can wish for another day to join it in a future I hope continues but for now, I’m delighted more fans can hear these tunes, be that the album or The House of Fun 2018 Sunday showcase you wont want to miss.
TUNE BY TUNE – with comments from Nick Godwin.
We are 5 of 7 into our series of Lyrics and song commentaries from Nick. If you missed these in MIS previously, here is a summary, and links to those previous issues. We hope to bring you parts 6 & 7 in future issues. Here also is our track by track review.
1. Invisible Man
Hard not to think of the Suggs track of this name, given its as upbeat, but like that track it evokes images of 70s TV bandages and sunglasses at first but clearly its character isn’t physically missing, just unperceived, here as a break up song says goodbye to liar and self invented fake. Its a fast opener here, but not my favourite tune here.
“oh what lies
What lies the big disguise
Oh what lies
Inside the head of the invisible man”
2 Don Logan
This gangster tune has come out well, with growling Thommo backing vocals. It’s a looper I adore it. Infectious sing a long with a threat of menace once you know its movie story. Second single please!
He’ll offer us a nice job for a gangster on the run
He’ll ask you nicely once but he’s polishing his gun and he’s Don Logan”
“Ben Kingsley’s evil character from the film Sexy Beast, One of my favourite scenes from that film is where Ray Winstone’s character is told Don is flying over from England and the lot of them shift in their seats you can almost smell the sweaty sense of dread in the room. The result was a bit more Freddie and the Dreamers meets
The Barron Knights than I expected but I love it.” Nick Godwin
3 Better Days
The title track is reggae laid back and wistful, a delightful grower. There is a touch of Duane eddy in the guitars.
“Honestly for about 20 years I have wanted to write a song about the seaside with a deckchair in it. In fact, checking dates for this article I rediscovered the sketch of this song I put together for the band, I originally called it Deckchair. Is kind of a lot about when my kids were younger and getting ready for a day out. Later, the lyrics borrow imagery from the film Big (“when Zoltan speaks…”) ” Nick Godwin
5. Cally Road
This tune has a dramatic chorus, and has the brass punch that home. A belter, first tune out the blocks and still running home for gold.
“First song I wrote for the band was Cally Road. The initial sparks came early in 2014 when I was listening to Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp”. A reggae backing and a couple of chords that fitted; then I thought – that could be a brass riff, hmm. How to take it forward? I started thinking about all those classic Madness songs that are iconic and have such a strong visual London element to them. Well, I was raised in Wood Green but lived for a couple of years in Caledonian Road, some of that time above a gentleman’s hairdresser – Harold & Leslie’s. A guy I’d met in Greece a fellow-Londoner once told me the story of how he got beaten up by a local gang round Cally Road; so when I was thinking about where to set the song.” Nick Godwin
“One step ahead with the local Feds, you showed them the contraband
Taking into account the other misdemeanours and the heist already planned
The judge says I’m crazy for loving you, the little gaps between the parts of you, like
The things you say and the things you do, between the devil and the deep blue sea”
“About a jewel thief who falls in love with the intended victim. Another crime caper. First time we played this was at the Bull in June and we were under-rehearsed really. Since then we’ve got Ian in on drums and that’s given us a more rootsy feel. He approached this more as a dance track.” Nick Godwin
7. Last Bus
This reggae tune, takes us home too early, but its a fitting swayer to end with.
Here’s what a couple of other MIS fans thought of the album, some who’ve never seen the band play…
“On the first listen to The Silencerz new album, “Better Days”, my favourite song is “Devil & the Deep Blue Sea” as a good catchy song, closely followed by “Last Bus” which was another foot-tapper and a nice song to finish off the album with. The second song on the album, “Don Logan” was another catchy little ska number that I could easily dance to!
All up, I would have liked a few of the songs to have had a slightly faster tempo as I think they sounded a bit tired but that’s just my personal opinion & taste because it is quite a good ska album that I know will grow on me with a few more listens!”
“Don Logan is a great way to open the gig. My second favourite is Better Days. The Lee Thompson All Stars did an acoustic cover with Daley himself at the 100 Club a couple months ago. So glad I recorded it as I don’t think I’ve ever loved a piece of music so much.”
“The album launch in 2 wks. I was trying not to go cos short of money but listening to the album I not sure I can keep away! The children I look after are dancing to invisible man so it’s a hit! Don makes them dance more.”
“Oh yes, I feel the re mixes were well worth doing.” Adding “I would have preferred recording drums & Bass on analog tape, but they are hard to come by without traveling & extra cost.” Lee Thompson
“The long awaited debut album of the Silencerz given the tag of killers, no fillers and this album justifies the Killers claim and it features Lee Thompson from Madness. Invisible man kicks the album off with a lively sound. The invisible man getting inside your head what`s inside the mind of the invisible man. This song will definitely get inside your head.
Don Logan is a modern tale of a Gangster on the run. A catchy tune that keeps the album ticking over smoothly.
2 tracks in and I`m definitely warming to it. The title track Better Days has a sound which feels like a squeeze influence. The song believing in miracles and better days definitely a favourite of mine.
I never thought I`d hear a song about Cally Road which was where I grew up so for me that was a great touch. This album certainly catches you in between the devil and the deep blue sea you will either love it or you`ll want to take the last bus home. I love the fact with this album it is all original music. I only wish it was about 4-6 tracks longer but Better days are ahead for the Silencerz with this album.”
Next week we will have more Silencerz reviews and their Barnet Sessions on radio this week with King Rebska, withthanks to Adam Nichols of Madness Bootlegs.
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 735 – Sunday 9th June to Saturday 15th June 2013
This week we began with news of a few changes to the MIS web site.
First of all, the domain name had changed to madness-mis.com. The old mis-online.net site would now point to the new site. The news on the front page would now just show excerpts to make it easier on the eye, with the option, of course, to read more should you wish.
The reasoning behind this was that our site name and domain name (which search engines pick up on) were not very friendly to Madness fans searching the net, plus we were going to archive all the newsletters on the website for people to search and read.
We assured you that our name wasn’t changing. It was still MIS Online (Madness Information Service Online). Our website was massively popular, we were just trying to make it more friendly to the average Maddie on the ‘net.
Archiving of the old bulletins would start soon, starting off with the original monthly ‘Madposts’ that ran from 1996 to 1999 (which were already online). These were a forerunner to the MIS online newsletters as we know them now, and good reading they were too!
The big news this week came courtesy of The Morning Advertiser who revealed that the Growler Brewery and Madness had launched a pale ale. The launch had already taken place, and were were assured that a national advertising campaign would follow.
Suggs commented at the time;
“After many many years spent in a pub discussing and debating what would be our ideal beer we are very proud of our first attempt and we’ve got a great excuse to spend a bit more time in great British Pubs.”
This was also the week that Woody joined Facebook;
“Thanks one and all for welcoming me to this funny old world of Facebook. I’ll do my best to keep up with you. If you want to know what I’m up to check out www.magicbrothers.com “.
It wasn’t just Woody who’d joined Facebook this week, as we discovered that Crunch! had also got on board the social network;
“From Lee, and The official Crunch! Website runner Swanny, and Looby from MIS/ex-Madness Central comes an official face book page for the band Crunch! This comes with a launch message toast video from Lee Thompson himself, and 2 tracks of footage from a new gig from a line up of Crunch! putting a toe back into the water of playing live last weekend in London.”
Next, it was over to Paul Rodgers for another one of his fabled Madness Stats, Facts and Figures articles. The big news from Paul was that;
“The Benevolence Of Sister Mary Ignatius by The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra debuts on the album chart this week at an impressive number 78. The previous week the single Fu Man Chu did absolutely nothing, except garner a few more pre-orders for the album. According to last week’s Music Week number 63 sold 2027 copies, whilst the album at number 134 sold 895. I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch of the imagination to estimate that the LTSO sold somewhere between the two, probably around 1800-1900 copies. A very respectable return. I’d be interested to know if any band’s saxophonist had ever had a higher charting solo album”.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that this week Suggs’ solo tour came to the end of it’s current run having started in Milton Keynes two years prior.
10 years ago…
Issue 475 – Sunday 8th June to Saturday 14th June 2008
We began this week with the news that due to popular demand the band would now be playing at The Hackney Empire on the 24th AND the 25th of June.
On to this issue, and the articles got underway with news in from Darren Balsdon, who reported that Suggs was working on a new TV documentary, which would see the great man traveling around Italy. This production would once again be put together by Wavelength Films.
Moving on, and Jonathan reported that three other London locations were mentioned in the new tune, Sugar and Spice. These were Golders Green, Golders Green Hippodrome and M&S Finchley Road. Accompanied by each entry were small sidbits of info and trivia.
Elsewhere, we reported that a “Suggs in the City” YouTube channel had now sprung up, featuring clips from the TV series. For those outside the London area this may have been the only opportunity you’d have to see any of the programme.
Next it was over to reporter Terry Grimley, who went to see the Our House musical at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Although stating the show was “complete dross”, he admitted that the packed house clearly loved the show.
Towards the end of this issue we detailed the latest updates to the “In Print” section of the Madness Trading Ring web site, and finished off with a transcription of an interview Stuart Maconie held with Carl on the 3rd of June.
15 years ago…
Issue 213 – Sunday 8th June to Saturday 14th June 2003
For this week’s issue at least we were back up to full-power as Jonathan was currently back in the UK and able to contribute to the MIS once again. How long this would last for before his jetting off on some work or leisure related pursuit was anyone’s guess!
Our lead article this week came courtesy of Clive Bulmer. After getting this year’s Madness Injection Weekend off the ground he got back in touch to tell us that the event had been cancelled due to lack of demand.
The event was due to be staged over the August bank holiday weekend spanning 3 days – August 22nd, 23rd and 24th with a cost of £120 per person (this included bed and breakfast for the 3 days).
The weekend promised to be a fantastic event with:
– Disco / Karaoke with Buffet and Madness fancy dress optional
– Charity auction in aid of Ian Dury Cancer Bacup
– Appearances by Badness and One Step Behind
As the event was only announced a month or so back, perhaps the lack of notice was the reason why the event received such a poor response from the fans. Maybe the cost of the weekend was the reason?
Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever know why the fans didn’t take to the event like they did with the original weekend back in 2001.
Moving on, and on Thursday 5th June a number of the band appeared at Tower Records, Piccadilly Circus for a brief signing session. As this was a mid week appearance it did make it rather difficult for many to get along to. Thankfully, a number of those who did get along were kind enough to knock-up reviews of the event, so the rest of us could at least find out what we’d missed out on.
Another Madness related event was an evening with Chas Smash. This took place on Friday 30th May at the Newbury Manor Hotel, Berkshire. Andy Bishop was able to get himself along, and being the nice chap that he is, he’d got back home, put together a detailed lowdown of the evening, and sent it in for us to print.
The issue continued, but on a slightly sad note, when we published a message from Bex, announcing that the members of Like Father, Like Son had all decided to go their separate ways. However, it wasn’t all bad news, as there rumours that Lee would once again be returning to the Crunch! fold.
Win Better Days on CD
We’ve a copy of Better Days CD to give away thanks to Nick from the band.
Title your email “Silencerz make my days better” and answer this question. “Who write the songs on this album?”
The winner will be announced in MIS’ 1000th issue we are calling MIS ‘M’, in early July.
Open to UK residents only.
Songs of the Silencerz Part 6
You got to be cruel
if you want to be kind
It’s over and done,
and you made up your mind
And in a flash you will be enemies
she’ll be left with just the memories
Cup in her hand,
looking out the window,
Stirring her tea,
she’s a girl in limbo,
The man she’s looking for is just a ghost,
And his identity is gone and mostly
just made up, ooh ooooooh
Oh, what lies, what lies
beneath the big disguise
Oh, what lies,
inside the head of The Invisible Man
What can you see,
in a Hall of Mirrors?
Who can you trust
when we all are sinners?
She picks the photograph from off the shelf
And in slow motion it is flying straight across the room, ooooh
(C) Nick Godwin
Recently, we ran a competition to win Lee Thompson’s – One Man’s Madness 2CD album. That competition we said was closed last week. We also said there would be a twist. We can now reveal that the competition prize has now been signed by one of the stars of Lee Thompson One Man’s Madness RockuMockudocumentary.
We can now reveal that if you entered you could be the winner of the first album to our knowledge signed by Debbie Thompson, Lee’s wife! It’s about time she impersonated him back after all!
The lucky winner of this unique item will be announced early July in MIS ‘M’ our 1000th issue.
Additionally to our competition, you can also win the Silencerz album via DJ King Rebska radio show, by emailing email@example.com with the answer to the question “Who played Don Logan in the film Sexy Beast?”.
Then, pick your album up at Saturday’s gig. You can meet the band, too!