Country Dirt on Radio Joy tonight

November 22nd, 2009

Wow, far as I’m concerned, Country Dirt’s arrived – on Radio Joy! Right now they’re playing PussyWhip – earlier it was Sadie & Black Velvet Heart. I’m so psyched. Thanks a trill, Johny Brown & Inga
Back in london on Madness bus

We’re doing Children in Need on Friday, Catherine Saint???? on Sunday The Big Issue – tunes at the Folgate

No clue what we’re doing with the Big Issue

What’s the complication w Madness

Roddick seen some guy got out of prison in NYC when he first sold it. He was saying that he got oout of prison it was only like a one off one or 2 pages – som ebody got Dickensian about it. Something like he reminds me of a Clerkenwell broker. I bought a tale of two cities recently. I was staying in this hotel and I was reading a couple of pages of it. Paper money and willy nilly and the man was held hostage in l.ondon and whoring and sleeping on the streets. Just before ai rang I was thinking nothing’s changed really since then. Poverty exists within the working classes. People shrug it off.

Fantastic year for Madness – 1st decade of the 21st C who woulda thought it

I’d put money on it being a fantastic year for Madness. The fact that we’re still alive as a band and still operating, says it all really. Crosby said, If you ‘re alive when you’re 50 and you’re still playing, it’s a done deal then. People come and go….

If I’d have put money on it, yes I would. When we played Benny???? Castle a few years ago. Getting messages from my jewellers? and their mates that they really dug it. We’ve got a good bunch of songs we’re a good live act, and just like in Chess, if you make the right moves, you’re in. If you make the right moves to get in front of the public, then it’s their choice. b ut with a bunch of songs like ours and still the sort of quirky, proverbial passion that we’ve got
Stage presence – story behind that – Chris Foreman out of the band any tensions within the band you keep together.
It’s a quirky thing. Mark has decided that he wants to quit the tour and have a rest. There’s a space for him to do that and there’s a mutual respect and love for him to do that. And also a concern that he’s OK. We’re friends first Political tensions are always there. It doesnt’ seem to ther’s some underlying respect there, and that’s part of a sort of checks and balances, I suppose. Chris drives me nuts and viceversa, but at the same time there’s a mutual passion underlying our beliefs.
We look like a band mostly, but sometimes we look like a bunch of people in group therapy and as in all familiies some people evolve, some don’t and some are in the process of it. I can always fall back on. With art there’s always going to be some kind of conflict, there has to be and with 7 people in our band there are 21 decisions to be made. In that environment, there’s an air of compromise – we have to give space to each other. I’m quite tense about going into rehearsals over 2 particular band members that’s OK, fIf yhou go into the boxing ring too cocky you get knocked out. I don’t mind that tensikon it comes with the package and it keeps you on your toes keeps you aware. It’s a a funny, strange beast – a band – you know

Were the roles that you play quite defined, when you were a bass player in the Invaders?

Peoples’ natures are all part of the alchemical process of what adds up to a band. From my band members’ commitment and determination to detail have been great.

Encouraging turning up to rehearsals and arrangements of songs

Timelined account

In the beginning it was very ganglike in the band -with seven members a similar dynamic to The Spice Girls. The A&R boss and soap opera beginning, the gang sort of thing – very similar to their situation or The Osmonds or The Partridge Family. It was a bit of gang before it became a band – each person had their own sort of tags.
Liberty in Folgate in long gestation – decades old some of the songs. Great songs, moves story along. Title track journey

Myself and Suggs spent many years talking about London and burning down/ scrubbing lONdon called “Vanishing London”. We were in the Crown and Goose in Camden talking about this book “The Worse Street in North London”. It dates back to when they were buildin the Roundhouse in London and when George Bernard Shaw was putting the first public toilet in Parkway and we came across the Liberty ?????? judges ?????that was just really interesting that there could have been an environment in London which drew artists to it, and once there a summons couldn’t even have been served on you. You were outside the law. That time would be a great thing to place with Madness. There’s an expression “Act global, think local” and the songs sort of evolve from that interest. A matter that we were passionate about and interested in. The songs evolve from a piece that Suggs had, and he’d worked with a piece from Mike and I’d brought in some music for the blackheads. So it sort of grew. The whole record took awhile because we never move very quickly. There are 2 batches of songs – the current stuff and the ones that we’ve had for awhile, which was Clive Langor produced and we just wanted to clear the decks you know? The whole process was about 2 or 3 years. 18 months it sort of grew.
The fear of the immigrant at the end – was derived from being in London and being Irish – you know “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish”. Through travelling, and seeing the perpetual scapegoat in every society, you develop an understanding that here’s always someone to blame whether it’s the Americans blaming the Pollocks or the Dutch blaming the Belgians. There’s always someone doing it. Heard a conversation a few years ago. Someone was discussing where would London be in 50 years, a few years ago. The guy said, I’m from Trinidad, but London’s a melting pot. I don’t want to bring my culture here. I want my culture to be assimilated here. I found that really interesting. The plight of the “immigrant” is a contemporary issue – whether it’s the Northern Ireland situation or in London or the Somalians,and feeling the basis of a lot of things like racism and violence etc
Another song – been to Ibitha advent of actual fascists in Britain in political power – you’ve experienced on a street level

It’s back to the fear thing – 79 was the recession and here we are again – people fighting for their future and want comforting. There’s a crack for the ne’er do wells and the fascist idiots to play on people’s fears. They’ve been doing it for years – taking our jobs our homes our countries. It’s v strange because on the one side the government encourages influx of cheap labour and yet they do nothing to protect people from the hatred it brings. People come here from Somalia, yet they’re reducing services that those people might need to survive. It’s the same with the old Italiam lombards – when things are tough this is when they recruit these people. I’ve always been more wary of those in the background – the faceless ones in drawing rooms and nice offices who are actually carrying that sort of hate.

The mad in madness – I always thought of myself as embodying the spirit of Madness. Me and Suggs share a bit of that. It’s a great privilege bein in the band and I don’t know where we’re heading or if age is taking over. One thinks abnout age and youth and I feel I was much more radical when I was younger – involved in the CND and Greenpeace and it’s funny how things change. I think that many of these things are designed to distract the populace from what they reallay should be worrying about. I don’t know if I’m radical anymore, I’m more family orientated. I mean you can’t even smoke in your house anymore. I worry about our liberty bein taken away. TAking liberties.

Pricing out ?????? The train takes you from one terminal to the other – they call it a free service but they defo charge.
Lee’s a bit of a poet. He works alot with Mike and Mike creates the lyrics for many of the songs.

Mrs Hutchinson is about Mike’s mum’s battle with Cancer. I felt a sort of pathos for Lee, looking at him when he was young. It always comes through in the songs. He’s a natural actor. I always thought he should have been an actor. I think he’s got it.

Many moons ago when we reformed back in ????? people asked if we thought we could pull it off. I always believed we’d be fine. We’re a band that cares and we’re a really good live band. We give a lot. I’ll be 52 this time. It’s something I’m prepared to do. It’s part of the show. We played at the Lee fest in Australia and a coupla bands like Elbow and ?????? watched from the side of the stage. From the day we supported the Pretenders at the Lyceum and blew them off the stage and we’re still feelin now 30 years later and we’re playing to 100s of 1,000s of people in Australia, it’s good to have that feeling – makes you work harder. It’s born of a very old fashioned band We’re a livin cliche – we hired a van and toured to the North to Manchester and didin’t have a record deal. We just did it ourselves Like a comedian in a working man’s club, it’s a bit of a baptism of fire.

BAss player to dancer to shouter to horn player…. – It’s partly a well-oiled machine – every gig we do we have a chat about what worked and what didn’t in the set We’ve never lost that attitude. Yes it has grown – like a family vibe where you can be yourself to an extent.
I loved that gig with Oasis in France. We’d had for a couple of months – Oasis didn’t want to follow us on the mainstage, so we endured playing the second stage. We just said, “Fuck it, we don’t care”, then Oasis split up. The promoter came up to us and said, “Will you play? We’ve got no one, we’ve got no one” and we said, “Of course we’ll play”. We did 3 nights at Whiskey-a-go-go in LA 2 shows a night. That feeling of the underdog was very motivating – it was a real buzz – and it made us better. I think Madness feeds off of that energy.

If you’re not there today, try later on the archives

Twin powers ACTIVATE!

Twin powers ACTIVATE!

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