With the majority of this years’ Madness concerts moving to next year, 2020 looked to be rather lean on the old gig front. Thankfully, the Sky Arts channel came to our aid last night (Saturday 19th September) by screening an evening of Madness and Madness related programs.
For those of you who missed it, we were first treated to “Madness, Before and After”; a documentary celebrating the 40th anniversary of the band. The program captured three performances at The Roundhouse in Camden and another at the Electric Ballroom. Music was interspersed with interviews and snippets from the rehearsal sessions. The whole production was really well put together and well worth a watch.
In anticipation of the screening Madness fan Adam Nicholls hit the nail on the head when he commented “Hyped for the first Madness ‘gig’ of the year on Sky Arts. Truly the closest any of of us will get this year sadly”.
Following this, Sky Arts screened the Lee Thompson documentary “One Man’s Madness”; an amusing look at the life of a certain saxophonist. Very amusing and perfect Saturday night viewing fodder.
On to this issue, and over in “Showtimes” we have details of several October 2020 gigs of Suggs’ being moved to 2021, plus one cancellation. Meanwhile, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, our “Buy it” segment has the heads-up of new items for sale in the official Madstore.
Elsewhere, we have the latest news roundup from Chris’ Cupboard, and details of an interview with Clive Langer, where he discusses the 1983 US album “Madness”.
And finally, this is our second and final week of the Benny Bullfrog signed box canvas lyric auction. If you’ve not yet placed a bid then please check out our “MIS Feature”.
This is a new half-speed master exclusively for RSD and part of the Two Tone Records 40th Anniversary celebrations. This is a soundtrack to the live movie of the same name featuring exclusive live recordings by The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers. This is also first vinyl repress since its original release in 1981.
Mirror in the Bathroom
Lip up Fatty
Razor Blade Alley
Three Minute Hero
One Step Beyond
Man at C&A
Inner London Violence
Night Boat to Cairo
Too Much Pressure
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 854 – Sunday 20th September to Saturday 26th September
This week the Grandslam pulled into the station for the final time as the band were due to play at Chester-le-Street, Durham County Cricket Club, on Saturday 26th.
With this chapter of live Madness performances out of the way all eyes would now turn to November’s House of Fun Weekender, which in the latest Madness email news shot revealed sneaky tidbits relating to the band’s Friday night performance.
“We like to make the Friday night set different and unique at The House of Fun Weekender. This year, we present…
Mumbo Jumbo… something new, something old, something borrowed… and all of you!”
Over in “Live and Intensified” we continued on a Grandslam related note with a detailed review of the recent Blackheath gig, courtesy of MIS regular Daren West.
The Grandslam Tour theme filtered down into our “Sign of the Times” segment with interviews from Chronicle Live, Kent Online and goldgiving.com, the latter reporting that Suggs had donated 2 pairs of tickets to the Wolverhampton Racecourse gig on the 25th September as raffle prizes for the Central Youth Theatre charity, of which he is a patron.
Next, it was our “MIS Feature”, and this week we took a look at Rhoda Dakar; charting her music history from The Bodysnatchers and the Special AKA, right up to the present day. Filled with numerous YouTube links it was a real interactive journey though the years, and must have taken MIS co-ed Jonathan Young hours to put together.
We brought this issue to a close by pointing you in the direction of a recent interview Suggs gave to Marbella TV while the band were over in Gibraltar.
10 years ago…
Issue Number 594 – Sunday 19th September – Saturday 25th September 2010
The Wonderful album re-issue pack was now available to purchase. We hoped that it was either already on your shelf or would be making its way there shortly.
To make things more interesting for you Jonathan Young had created another on of his Easter eggs. All you had to do was type in a URL, then go to a specific word on a specific page of the Wonderful linear notes. This would then give you the filename of at the end of the link.
What was it? Well, all Jonathan would tell us was;
“Listen to a song from this seminal album’s era as you’ve never heard it before. An acoustic performance from the early 90’s that is very different and yet recognisable roots for a song later released”
This week we (well, subscriber Mick Jenner, at least!) revealed that “It was here”, as 2-Tone Central opened its doors to the public for the first time. Not only that, but to help them do it non other than Neville Staple and his band with very special guests Pauline Black and Ranking Roger would be performing at the venue.
Tickets were available for a mere £15.
Next, and although it wasn’t Madness we knew that many of you would be interested. Remember The Eighties.com revealed that Squeeze would be releasing a new album, entitled “Spot The Difference”, on October 11th. The release would be a collection of 14 new versions of their best loved hits.
Finally, we brought this issue to a close with an auction heads-up from subscriber John Reed;
“I’m auctioning my copy of The Writing On The Wall, with photos of graffiti by Lee and Mike, on eBay.
It’s quite a rarity and I lucked upon it but we’re moving house soon and everything must go, as they say. The Auction has just started and runs for 10 days”
15 years ago…
Issue 333 – Sunday 18th September to Saturday 24th September 2005
Here at MIS Online we could recall the days when almost every week a new Madness site would pop up. Over the course of time, many of the web sites had either disappeared or had sat and stagnated due to various commitments people now had.
Originally announced many months ago, `Behind The Eight Ball` was going to be the latest web site creation from non other than Kevin Tizzard.
At the time of typing the site was still not online (although there was a nice animated splash screen up), and a few members of the Madness Trading Ring had even started a tongue-in-cheek petition encouraging Kev to get the site online.
From his previous works we knew that he wasn’t someone to release something before it was finished. The reason it wasn’t online yet was because Kev wasn’t 100% happy with what was there.
Although Mr. Tizzard’s site had yet to make an appearance, he was still busy, what with co-maintaining the Madness Trading Ring, and also creating a little something. All was revealed in section 5 of this very issue.
Before we got on to Kevin’s site, we started off the issue by welcoming back Chris Wardell to the MIS readership, where he was
kind enough to give us all a lowdown on the German ska scene.
Not only that, but he revealed that he’d been touring with Bad Manners, and assured us that Buster was doing well.
Remember in last week’s issue we encouraged you to take part in the latest ‘Madchart’? Well, it would seem as if our request had not fallen on deaf ears, as to date, Paul had received a whopping 130 lists!!!
Chart compiler, Paul Muscat, revealed that he’d so far tallied up the points, but still had a lot of work putting together the stats, facts and figures about each submission.
Although he was still beavering away on his forthcoming Behind The Eight Ball web site, Kevin had taken time out of web site creation to put together a new Windows screensaver. This simple but effective piece of work saw 15 spotlights bounce around the screen, revealing the famous Shut Up single cover.
Next it was over to Birchy, who explained that the Dangermen picture disc had been delayed. Jump Up Records USA explained that this was down to pressing plant issues that were out of their control, and shipping would now commence from October 10th.
On Saturday 17th September Suggs took part in an interview for Today FM, which was hosted by lifelong Madness fan Ann-Marie Kelly.
Some VERY interesting tidbits cropped up during this question and answer session, which were brought to our attention by MIS subscriber Birchy.
Three statements from Suggs were of MAJOR interest to any self respecting Madness fan. These were;
1) The group were writing and planning a new album.
2) The forthcoming Christmas tour would see a mixture of Madness and Dangermen tracks being played.
3) Mike Barson would be heading off for four years to join a Buddhist retreat.
In the early hours of Sunday morning we received a few text messages from our travelling co-editor, Jonathan Young, eager to send us the track listing for the Inland Invasion gig.
Unfortunately, limited to around 120 characters per text message it wasn’t exactly easy for him to get much more than a brief rundown of what tracks were played that night. However, Jon did managed to tell us that `The gig rocked`. Thankfully, for all of you waiting for a review of the gig MTR co-editor Steve Bringe managed to fire off a full lowdown of the show.
Before you switched your computer off and went to do something else, we urged you to take a quick look at the official Madness web site, where a certain Mark Bedford had updated his page.
As MTR subscriber Steve Saunders (who dug out the link for us) rightly said at the time, it’s `More “high-brow” musings from Mark!`.
20 years ago…
Issue number 71 – Sunday 17th September to Saturday 23rd September 2000
The big announcement this week was that tickets for the next Crunch gig had now gone on sale. The date of the concert was Saturday 14th October 2000 at 7:30 pm. The venue was The Garage (Highbury). With ticket prices a very reasonable £7.00.
Calling all Terry Edwards fans, Mr G of The Total Madness Mailing List reported that Terry Edwards & the Scapegoats were opening for The Fall and Dick Dale at the Royal Festival Hall for a special John Peel sessions night. Drummer Ian White was unavailable for the gig, so Woody would be joining the band as an honorary Scapegoat!
Other gig news was that Prince Buster would be playing the Forum Kentish Town on October 22nd with the Selecter among the supports and Jerry Dammers DJing.
Also this week UK MIS subscribers had a double-bill of Madness TV coverage. First up, and on Wednesday 20th September at 9:50pm on BBC2 we would finally get the chance to see the eagerly awaited documentary, `Young Guns`, featuring The Magnificent Seven. If that wasn’t enough, BBC2 were also featuring the loveable Chas Smash on Saturday 23rd September 10.00pm as part of the `I Love 1970` series.
This week the show focused on 1979, and Mr. Smash appeared relating his memories of that special year.
With other news thin on the ground we decided to take a look at the latest string of forthcoming record fairs from VIP Events, and we then moved over to Ebay to look at a number of interesting items that were currently up for auction.
Next-up we passed the reigns of the MIS over to author George Marshall, who revealed that his pulped.com web site was now up and running, with over 1000 CDs, books and videos available to purchase. There was loads of Madness stuff too, including Wonderful at £9, The Lot at £21 and The Tribute To Madness compilation at £9.50 for Pulped subscribers.
Moving on, and we were able to announce that after many, many entries, Mr. Cathal Joseph Patrick Smyth had decided that the winning entry for his “name the album” competition was ….
“The Father, The Son And The Velvet Ghost”
Not only that, but as was not originally the plan, Carl has decided to use this as the actual name for the album, which was an added bonus!!!
So, who came up with this? The one and only Steve Chapman, of course.
We finished off this week’s issue with a review of “Three Minute Heroes” from Chris Mountain. Set in Coventry, this was a musical about the 2-tone era.
One interesting snippet in Chris’ write-up was;
“Rumours are about that there are plans or thoughts of a Madness musical. If this is anything to go by, it will be MASSIVE. I do think that if the play had a stint in London with music by Madness/Specials/Beat/Selecter…….etc it would easily match the likes of Mamma Mia that bloody Abba musical”.
Funny how things turn out.
Benny Bullfrog Auction
Here at MIS we don’t just run the MIS but also websites like the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.
We do have costs to cover so we have a signed copy of the ‘Benny Bullfrog’ lyrics on two canvases by Lee Thompson to offer at silent auction.
We’d like to make it clear we are a non-profit making organisation and all the monies go back into the Madness community; in fact we had a fundraiser a few years ago.
We are honoured to bring back producer Clive Langer to discuss the wonderful Madness!
When “Our House” hit big in the states in 1983, the record label released this self-titled compilation to introduce them to the American market and show what Madness was all about. This was also one of the first records Jon ever owned and Madness were instrumental to the young Jon and Jan’s upbringing.
Clive gives us a peak behind the curtain of working with the “Nutty Boys”, the dynamic among the guys, and the stories behind the songs.
Was this album impactful for anyone else?
A Streamed Madness Gig?
Commenting recently in his legendary Cupboard, Chris mentioned the possibility of a streamed Madness gig.
Separately, in reply to other questions he described the Kenwood film as “oven ready”
When asked about the next album, he said “The difficult follow up album has got more difficult.”
He also spoke about what guitars he used on what album;
“First album Telecaster, Fender Twin Reverb, H&H Combo maybe an AC 30.
Second album Fender Stratocaster maybe a Les Paul, same amps really.
Third album same amps plus Boogie and maybe used a Les Paul plus Fenders.
4th Album same as third more or less..er
5th Album yep same old gear might have used a Marshall here and there actually on album 3.
Since then, blimey it’s a right jamboree bag anything that’s around really plus Gretchs SGs
Sorry, you’d think the more recent stuff I’d remember better but it’s the other way round!”
An issue or two back we reported that the band were looking for you to send videos of your kids in for inclusion a new Baggy Trousers Back to School video. We learned this week that due to a lack of videos being submitted this has now been cancelled.
Over on Twitter, Tim’s Listening Party have already hosted listed-along nights covering the One Step Beyond and Absolutely albums. On Friday 2nd October Chris Foreman will once again join in when the latest Listening Party covers the Seven album.