MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 31.7.1996

Eternal are the cover stars of this week’s Smash Hits, described as being “Now with added bounce”.

There is an Oasis column, keeping us up to date with Gallagher (and Arthurs, McGuigan, White) related news, Noel Gallagher told Tom Cruise at the premiere of Mission Impossible that he’d be a great James Bond.

There is a look at the headlines that have surrounded Jarvis Cocker this year, and Smash Hits assess their credibility.

Eternal are interviewed as they indulge in activities they find fun, such as rollerblading, going to the gym, and bowling.

In competitions, you could win the chance to meet Michael Jackson.

There is a three page feature on Suede, making a comeback and being described as “The Kings Of Pop”.

Bon Jovi’s website gets reviewed as is recommended to visit.

Dodgy are this week’s Singles Reviewers, unsurprisingly, give their own single Good Enough the award for Best Single.

Suggs takes questions from a biscuit tin, appropriately getting involved in the Digestives v Rich Tea debate, stating that Digestives are better.

The magazine ends with an interview with Mike Flowers.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 20.11.1985

George Michael is the cover star of Smash Hits, as Wham! are once again riding high in the charts.

1985 was the year of Live Aid, and the Fashion industry joined in with Fashion Aid, an event attended by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Suggs and Boy George.

Feargal Sharkey is interviewed, where he reveals he doesn’t like Ginger Nuts and isn’t very good at sports.

Wham! get a four page feature, where they reveal that their new single I’m Your Man is about sex.

In ads, there is an advert for a new single called West End Girls by an unknown band called Pet Shop Boys.

Also getting interviewed this week is the band Mai Tai.

Paul Hardcastle is subject to a Q and A. It wasn’t N-n-n-n-n-n-nineteen questions long, but he did reveal that Joan Collins is his favourite actress.

Concert Reviews sees Smash Hits head to Glasgow for Midge Ure doing a hometown show at Barrowlands Ballroom.

There’s no guest reviewer for Singles, as In Embrace got voted Best Single.

New products on the markets were Popic Watches, watches with the image of your favourite pop band on them.

Enjoying a good review were Jesus and Mary Chain, whose new album got awarded 9 and a half out of 10.

MADNESS – LIVE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELSONIC) 20.8.2016

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a Summer of Madness in Northern Ireland. Normally when you hear such a description, you’re expecting non stop riots. This is a good Madness, and Northern Ireland Madheads had three opportunities to indulge in their favourite band this summer.

In July, the musical Our House had a run at Grand Opera House, while Belsonic offered fans the chance to experience the real thing.

It was the second time that Madness had headlined Belsonic, having appeared at Custom House Square in 2012. Like in 2016, a few days later they were followed by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

There is a tenuous link between Madness and Noel Gallagher, as it was an inebriated Madness (who had just come off stage after performing) who replaced Oasis at short notice in 2009 at the French music festival where a backstage spat resulted in Oasis split.

Madness are always a popular booking at festivals, having done the afternoon legends slot at Glastonbury. Quite impressive for a band in their 50s, as most who get that slot are at an advanced age people watching on TV had thought they were dead.

Madness aren’t dead, but they are down a member, with Chas Smash leaving in 2014.

That loss is evident in the opening song, as he would traditionally kick off a Madness gig with his intro to One Step Beyond, their signature tune. One of many, you could say.

It was Madness first gig in Belfast since December 2014. They have been touring a lot since then. A tour in the summer of 2015 of small to medium sized stadiums missed Belfast, making the delays of the Windsor Park redevelopment even worse. There was Ravenhill as well they could have used.

Madness have been gigging in Belfast since 1979, playing in what Suggs described as “What was left of” The Europa Hotel.

They entered the stage to House Of Fun, before Suggs apologised to those in the audience who were expecting to see Westlife’s comeback tour, before advising those in the audience on medication or of a nervous disposition to look away as Lee Thompson did a saxophone solo during their debut single The Prince, a song which Suggs introduce by pretending he was presenting Top Of The Pops, describing them as “A bunch of hermits from North London”.

Something threw a bra at Lee Thompson. Not the first time that’s happened in Belfast either.

Naturally, there was a lot of dad dancing. Most of it in the crowd. If you can’t be silly at a Madness gig, when can you be silly?

My Girl was performed as a slow ballad, with Suggs over dramatically pretending to cry, before the song was performed as the way we all know and love it.

As is now tradition, we were treated to a Chris Foreman, billed as the best guitarist in Madness, karaoke set. He said he had taken requests from people, and had to disappoint them, that he would continue his karaoke.

Foreman recalled a walk around Belfast earlier that day when he asked what the name of the boat parked at the docks was. When told it was Bryan, he replied “like Bryan Ferry?”

The boat parked could be seen from the stage. It was a night boat to Scotland, rather than going to Cairo.

Fans were treated to Foreman singing his own version of Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.

When performing The Sun and the Rain, the weather obliged. Sort of. We got rain, but no sun.

It was a hit filled show, One Step Beyond was snuck in mid show, alongside Embarrassment, Wings Of A Dove, Shut Up, Our House and It Must Be Love, while Madness and Night Boat To Cairo were performed in the encore.

It typical Madness fashion, it was utterly unpredictable.

Suggs will be in Northern Ireland next Saturday, heading to Bangor to talk about his career as part of Open House Festival.

If their live shows follow the current pattern (Madness last three Belfast gigs have been 2012, 2014 and now 2016) we can expect to see them back in 2018.

Can’t wait.

Photo Album

See Also

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014

Madness live at The Odyssey 2014 Photo Album

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012

Madness live at Custom House Square 2012 Photo Album

MADNESS – LIVE AT THE ODYSSEY 15.12.2014

Fez sales experienced a boost in Belfast on Monday night, which could only mean one thing – Madness were in town.

It was their first Belfast gig since Belsonic in 2012. It was the only time i’d seen Madness play live, a life ambition realised.

They were no strangers to The Odyssey, having played there in 2007 and 2009. For varying reasons, I missed both gigs. I’m already making up for lost Madness time having not been born/been a baby during their original chart run.

Fittingly, in East Belfast, with the Titanic Shipyards nearby, the gig got off to a maritime start, with the band opening with Night Boat To Cairo, and the end of which Suggs commented “Thank you Belfast, you’ve been wonderful. Good night”. Thankfully, he was only joking.

Madness went through their back catalogue, obviously playing hits such as Embarrassment, Sun and the Rain, The Prince, Bed and Breakfast Man, Shut Up, My Girl, House Of Fun, Baggy Trousers and It Must Be Love, and modern classics such as Lovestruck, My Girl II and NW5.

Lovestruck is one of my favourite songs, their 1999 comeback single, which reached top ten. I loved that I got to see Madness on Top Of The Pops, and in the charts as a teenager.

Suggs stepped aside for Return Of The Las Palmas Seven, letting Lee Thompson (Saxophone) and Chris Foreman (Guitar) take the limelight. Big mistake, once they got a taste of it, they never let it go.

Thompson was acting the fool, trying to swing his microphone, and continually missing, before jokingly strangling himself, while Foreman got behind the mic to sing his own version of Hey Big Spender.

One young fan, Johnny Campbell, got a special treat, when he joined the band on stage to play Saxophone with them. He came on unnoticed, and it took a while for the audience to realise that there was a kid at primary school age performing with the band.

Before he left the stage (you know, bedtime, school in the morning), Suggs gave him some fatherly advice (although he may be old enough to be his grandfather, albeit a very young grandfather) that he should “stay in school and get an education ……… because you don’t want to end up like Lee Thompson”

During the performance of Our House, the LED Screens in the background showed images of houses in Belfast, and various other landmarks in the city.

One noticable absence, was Chas Smash. I didn’t know he’d left the band until last night (confirming his departure in this Guardian interview)

That would explain why they didn’t open with One Step Beyond.

They did perform One Step Beyond, in the encore, with Suggs just shouting “ONE …… STEP ….. BEYOND!!!” instead of Smash’s “HEY YOU!!! DON’T WATCH THAT!!! WATCH THIS!!!!” intro.

They finished with another Prince Buster cover, Madness, the song that gave them their name, with Suggs signing off by telling the crowd to eat as much as they want over Christmas as they’d had a good aerobic workout from all the dancing.

Madness still proving that they are the nuttiest sound around.

Photo Album

Madness Live At Custom House Square 2012

Madness Live At Custom House Square 2012 Photo Album

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JAN 10 – JAN 16

We begin this week with John Peel playing Mandolin and Football at the same time. I imagine you’ve already guessed who turned 69 this week.

Like Top Of The Pops, Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies was born in 1964. It took him 30 years, but eventually he got to appear on Top Of The Pops.

Also celebrating a birthday on 10th January is Vicky Peterson of The Bangles. One of their biggest hits was written by a gentleman called Christopher Nevermind. Who? I hear you ask. It was Prince under an assumed name.

Fast forwarding to more recent times, Jamelia turns 33 this week. Here she is performing Superstar in 2004

And now, rewind to 1991, Roxette (It’s Per Gessle’s birthday) performing Joyride. Remember, we are all magic friends.

Incidentally, that was the year Pixie Lott was born, and in a tenuous link that any TOTP presenter would be proud of …….

This week is the 11th anniversary of the death of Maurice Gibb. Born on Isle Of Man and growing up Manchester made the Bee Gees Manx Mancs.

53 this week, Suggs might be known to some as the guy from Night Fever, but to many more, he’ll be known as the guy from Madness.

He was also one of the captains on A Question Of Pop, a music version of a Question Of Sport. 13 years on, we’re still waiting for a second series.

He also had a briefly successful solo career you know.

Meanwhile, someone has went to the effort of doing a montage of all of Madness TOTP appearances.

Madness split up before I started school, so imagine how excited I was when they made a comeback in 1999. The lead single of their comeback, Lovestruck is fantastic, classic Madness.

Remember Calvin and Frankie from S Club Juniors? Well, you’ll never guess what Frankie did next …..

Meanwhile, Aaliyah would have been 35 this week. Here she is performing Try Again a year before her death.

Another singer born this week in history is Preston, erm, from The Ordinary Boys. I used to like them before he went on Big Brother.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.3.2013

1. Stereophonics – Dakota
2. Simple Minds – Broken Glass Park
3. Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier
4. David Bowie – These Stars (Are Out Tonight)
5. Nina Nesbitt – Boy

It’s International Women’s Day, you quite fancy a chart for the women whose music we have enjoyed, and inspired.

FIVE SONGS BY FEMALE SINGERS

1. Stevie Nicks – Edge Of Seventeen
2. Dusty Springfield – Sone Of A Preacher Man
3. Madonna – Rain
4. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
5. Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. The Bangles – Manic Monday
2. The Ronettes – Be My Baby
3. Girls Aloud – The Promise
4. Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
5. The Pipettes – Pull Shapes

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRLS NAMES

1. The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
2. Dion – Runaround Sue
3. Glasvegas – Geraldine
4. The Who- Pictures Of Lily
5. Suggs -Cecilia

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL/WOMAN IN THE TITLE

1. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
2. White Town – Your Woman
3. Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
4. Cliff Richard – Devil Woman
5. Garbage – Stupid Girl

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – JANUARY 1990

The first Q of a new decade, looking back at the last decade, as the cover has a montage of 1980s icons Madonna, U2, Bob Geldof, Mark Knopfler, George Michael with the headline “THE 80s : HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?”

For me, not bad. I missed the first three years, but I spent the rest of the decade crapping my nappy then watching Ghostbusters cartoons. Good times.

Gary Glitter is the subject of Q’s “Who the hell does ……..” feature. The answer we now know, is a big fat fuck paedophile.

In news, Terence Trent D’Arby suffered a humiliating episode at the hands of an autograph hunter, who asked him which one of Mili Vanilla he was.

In Adwatch, you could get a free chart album with 50 Budweiser ringpulls or a chart album for £2 with 18.

Considering the charts were dominated by Sonia, Jive Bunny, Jason Donovan and Reynolds Girls, you’d need to drink about 50 tins of Budweiser to want to listen to any of them.

The 1980s gets reviewed with a Q and A with a headline act from each year such as Suggs (1980) Human League (1981) Culture Club (1982) and so forth.

An advert in the magazine promotes that Queen were selling their Budapest concert available on CD Video, an early version of the DVD.

The 50 Best Albums Of 1989 looks back at the best albums of the year, featuring Stone Roses debut album, still lauded by music writers 22 years on.