Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 904 – Sunday 4th September to Saturday 10th September 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 904 – Sunday 4th September to Saturday 10th September 2016

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter
Issue Number: 904 – Sunday 4th September to Saturday 10th September 2016
Web: www.mis-online.net | Twitter: @MIS_Online | iOS: https://goo.gl/7goj5z LinkedIn: Click here


Hello, and welcome!

For those of you who attended the House of Common Festival held this Bank Holiday Monday just gone, we hope that you’ve successfully recovered and have been able to use this weekend to get your strength back.

This week, after launching Bite the Bullet, popping on a Fez in Camden and blasting out Mr. Apples at The House of Common, we’ve the gig diary of Lee Thompson to tell all.

We’d also like to extend a massive thank you to absolutely everyone who came, helped and enjoyed out Dublin Castle all-dayer event for Specialized. We’ve the first review of the event in this issue, courtesy of Darren West. Not only that but we also feature his brief gig guide, too.

Jon promises to feature a review of the event in a future issue, but a combination of him having to work and still needing to recover mean that it won’t feature in this issue.

And with that, let’s get on with the issue!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams




See below for all forthcoming Madness and Madness related gigs and events. If there’s something we’ve missed off or you feel should be added then please let us know.




Sunday 4th – Jersey Live Festival, Jersey

Sunday 11th – Hyde Park. Radio 2’s Festival in a Day

Friday 30th – Sweden, Grona Lund Amusement Park


Saturday 1st – Norway – Rockefeller Music Hall

If you’re attending the above gig you can find info relating to the pre and post gig parties here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1696784610576985/

Monday 3rd – Germany – Berlin – Tempodrom

Tuesday 4th – Germany – Bochum – Ruhrcongress

Thursday 6th – Dubai, Duty Free Tennis Stadium, UAE


Friday 18th – Monday 21st – Madness Weekender 6, Minehead


Thursday 1st – Bournemouth – Can’t Touch us Now

Friday 2nd – Cardiff – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 3rd – Brighton – Matinee – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 3rd – Brighton – Can’t Touch us Now ** Sold Out **

Monday 5th – Groningen, The Netherlands ** Sold Out **

Tuesday 6th – Tilburg, The Netherlands

Thursday 8th – Newcastle – Can’t Touch us Now

Friday 9th – Sheffield – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 10th – London – Can’t Touch us Now

Monday 12th – Nottingham – Can’t Touch us Now

Tuesday 13th – Bridlington – Can’t Touch us Now

Thursday 15th – Glasgow – Can’t Touch us Now

Friday 16th – Manchester – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 17th – Birmingham – Can’t Touch us Now

Can’t Touch us Now tickets from: http://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/madness/


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra


House of Fun Weekender


Rhoda Dakar

Saturday 10th September –  The Lo Tek EP Vol 1. launch party at the Official Trojan Records Club Night at The Social in London

Also appearing at The House of Fun Weekender this year.


The Silencerz

Saturday 17th September, Chandos Arms – FREE!

Sunday 18th September, Camden NHS Fun Day, Pancrease Road, NW1 1UL (by St Pancreas Hospital)




Madness – New Single – Mr. Apples ** New **

Falling not far from the tree very soon. Hear it on BBC Radio 2 from 9:30am, Tuesday 6th September!


Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now – Pre Order  – October 28th

Pre order now – and get “Untouchable Madhead” Status.

Potential Tracks, Based on last year’s House of Fun set, Glastonbury, and Mojo –  Grandslam, I Believe, Soul Denying, Mumbo Jumbo. Where Did All The Good Times Go, Herbet, Mr Apples, Blackbird On The Wing, Dont Leave The Past Behind You, Whistling In The Dark, Can’t Touch Us Now, Given The Opportunity, Another Version of Me. Kooks. Pam The Hawk


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Bite The Bullet ** Out Now **

Vinyl £13.55  (Includes free mp3 version)

CD £11.37 (includes free mp3 version)

Mp3 album also available on its own for £7.99

Tracks – Based on Amazon – Step It Up Sister, Bite The Bullet, Western Standard Time, Cuss Cuss, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Feel a Little Better, Hongry, The Wickerman, 30,60,90 , I am King, Cry To Me, I’ll be back again.


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Feel a Little Better (Luke Solomon Radio Single) ** Out Now **

“Pre order our lead single from Bite The Bullet. It’s a radio mix of Feel A Little Better, and at 99p it’s a bargain! Buy NOW!!” Fordie



One Hear – Specialized Bob Marley Covers Album ** Out Now **


Yes, at last here it is – what you’ve been waiting for!

You can now pre-order the Specialized 5 – One Heart tribute to Bob Marley & The Wailers the 2016 Specialized theme.

67 tracks from over 70 contributing artists –  4 CD’s in a boxset

Specialized do it again with help from some of the finest musicians about



SIGN OF THE TIMES                               

Julien Temple to direct film musical of Suggs’ My Life Story

Madness singer Suggs is having his autobiographical stage show, My Life Story, turned into a film musical directed by Julien Temple, according to Screen Daily.

Suggs, real name Graham McPherson, has been performing his stage show since 2012. Incorporating speech, standup and excerpts of songs by Madness and their contemporaries, it tells the story of Suggs struggling to find meaning in life as he enters his 50s.



Madness and Co Show Why There is Still Love for the Old School



Many reggae heads will have passed up on this festival in favour of the more traditional Notting Hill Carnival, but that was a mistake as Clapham Common witnessed a homage to the old school on Bank Holiday Monday.

Madness may have been top of the bill but a rare performance by Toots & The Maytals stole the show. Fans bounced along to classics like “Pressure Drop”“Louie Louie” and “Monkey Man”, hanging onto every word of the charismatic and ever-so-slightly lascivious frontman Toots Hibbert.


House of Common, review: Madness miss their chance

Madness’s status as a great British band is assured. Their last two albums have been as strong as ever and the north Londoners still have the commercial clout to headline their own festival south of the river.

All the same, last night they squandered a chance to remind us why they’re so beloved. Recent departure Chas Smash was the spirit of Madness and they miss him more than they must have feared: they’ve suddenly grown old. A disastrous early cameo from reggae legend Toots Hibbert on The Prince set the tone. Usually super-smart and super-wry, singer Suggs was curiously disconnected, whether rambling “I feel like we’re all in the priority queue for easyJet; you just wait longer on the staircase” as introduction to Wings Of A Dove, impersonating Jarvis Cocker and lurching into Respect during Take It Or Leave It, or fluffing the opening to Bed & Breakfast Man.



House of Common TNT Review


One of the most striking things about Madness is how the music – basically black Jamaican ska – has attracted such a white, modish following. Somehow the music encapsulates the enigma of London – ageing skins and mods mingle freely with rastas – even the Pearly King and Queen blessed us with their attendance.

Not quite an earthquake this time round, but after a day enjoying the sun, nobody was left complaining.

Read more: House of Common Review – TNT Magazine

[MIS Note: How ironic that TNT magazine wrote that Ms Dynamite has lost her bang!] 




Darren West reviews some of our Commoners Against Cancer event, Including Lee Thompson and Mark Bedford in Mez & The Fezzez

On Sunday 28 August, bookended by TLTSO album launch at the 100 Club and Madness headlining their own House Of Common event, is a part 2 of 3 days of Madness related gigs.

MIS Presents Commoners Against Cancer at the Dublin Castle promises DJ sets & live bands throughout the day, a perfect warm up for a fast approaching Madness gig. It’s a fan meet with lots of entertainment laid on for us all. The security wristbands are proudly emblazoned with  “Specialized – Commoners Against Cancer – Madmeet” and in smaller lettering immediately beneath “If I am found drunk in Camden Monday morning please take me to the Clapham Common Madness gig”. Could come in handy!!

The starting DJ set has a certain Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson behind the decks spinning some choice cuts to ease our way in to the event.

At 2pm Mez and The Fezzez are on stage. Mez is TLTSO drummer and although he fronts his own band, he stands at the back of the stage at his scaled down drum kit leading his band through each song. And what a band he has assembled for today! Their lead guitarist is highly skilled playing all those great twangy sounds you hear on great rock n roll and surf tunes of the ‘50s and ‘60s. We also can add trumpet accompaniment that is also of the highest order from Joe Auckland. Their bass player is skillfully keeping the beat in time so the songs sound top quality. Step forward Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford who impresses the crowd with  his supreme bass playing. Alongside Bedders, we also have  Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson taking on sax, some vocal and some percussive duties in this high octane retro beat combo of the very highest order.

The opening track is (I think!!) a Dick Dale number used by Tarantino in one his movies…it’s that really fast twangy guitar surf sound that I mentioned a moment ago and I think might be called  “Misirlou”. This band are chucking in 100% and the combination of guitar, trumpet, drum beats and bass sounds is perfect to kick start todays live music.

Bill Haley & The Comets are often cited as a main player in the very beginnings of rock n roll and Rock Around The Clock is another brilliant choice as we dance our way through this iconic tune. Lee is punching his sax sound at the appropriate moments to elevate this further still.

Another great tune is picked – a Twix is on offer from Mez to whoever knows who sang it. My shout of Nappy Brown turns out to be wrong and the Twix is thrown(!) elsewhere. Bad Manners covered this old Louis Prima number Buona Sera and goes down a treat. Someone has earnt the Twix, while everyone else is doing the Twist!!

The mood is lightened to almost cabaret effect as again a choice selection of the mellow classic Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White wafts it’s sound into the dingy Dublin Castle air. It’s another belter as we get a chance to catch our breath.

“Why did the Mexican throw his wife off the cliff?” asks Mez. The music then starts as we get the instrumental answer….yeah that’s right – everyone shout the chorus answer of  “Tequila!”.

When Madness were cutting their teeth, rock n roll covers were a standard staple to rehearse to and get to learn their craft. Must’ve been brilliant to have been there for any of that; the film Take It Or Leave It gave a taster of just what that might have been like. Today we are really privileged to hear (at least) 2 tracks lifted from those early gigs and rehearsals. Fats Domino with the gentle mid-paced I’m Walkin’ and another Bill Haley track See You Later Alligator. As each song is being played the Madness link is not lost on me and the enjoyment of the entire band is a sight to be behold as these musicians play their way through this amazing set.

Indeed are a band who I saw at Minehead for a House Of Fun weekender and musically offer a gentle, mellow style. This French band are apparently playing their first ever London gig and amongst their set, cover a Bob Marley tune called Crisis. I’m not familiar with the original however what I do know is that Specialized will bringing out a CD soon with a plethora of Bob Marley covers to raise funds for their amazing charity. Based on their previous CD issues I will be buying this years one too.

Indeed are here to showcase their rather delightful versions of 2 Madness tracks. Taken from the Mad Not Mad album, Burning The Boats, this is slowed right down and is sung beautifully so you can hear the words at a pace where the songs message isn’t lost. To hear any Madness single played live from this era is  highly unusual let alone an album track. Indeed do justice to this song.

Their other cover is The Sun & The Rain; usually a Madness stomp fest. Here, again, the arrangement is slowed down to match how Indeed approach their songs. Once more singer Emilee and her band have put their own leisurely take on a great Madness song and made it their own this afternoon.  The end their set, which contained some original songs too, such as Ciel Blue, My eye, & one which proclaims “Sorry may contain nuts”, with a final cover taken from Grease. Oh Yes indeed. You’re the one that I want.

3 ska bands ended the evening concert, with the inflatables returning after, Offbeat Offensive, and The launchers, I was too merry from a great day to take in much detail at this point however. As a whole, the event was really well organised and was highly enjoyable. Well done to everyone who was involved in getting this event together.

Having since been the House Of Common event the next day, I noticed the programme stated ‘see you next year’ suggesting we may have another  House Of Common to look forward to in 2017. If so, perhaps we can also look forward to another “Specialized – Commoners Against Cancer – Madmeet” tagged in next August…   [MIS Reply:  It’s early Darren but we’ve decided no all-dayer should House of common go ahead next year. Other style of events in Camden possible too soon to give shape.]


Colin Ross’ public videos on facebook….

Mez and the Fezzez – I’m Walking sung by Lee Thompson


Mez and The Fezzez – 10 minute gig montage.


indeed – Crisis – (Bob Marley cover from the forthcoming One Heart album – dedicated to recent troubles in France at live music)



The Common Thread of Concerts – A Week in London With Madness and Loosely Related Bands

By Jonathan Young

Bite The Bullet Launched on Thursday 

Thursday night was a sell-out success of the longest set I’ve seen the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra perform as a band without, repeating songs. They mixed up album 1 and 2 together with tracks they only play live into two 45 minute sets.

The absence of Fordie was met with a mocking version of Cry to Me, that had us in tears of laughter as Thommo camped it up or played up struggling to get through notes Fordie effortlessly sails through on the recorded version. Sumudu played the part of sidekick then tonight and there was much grinning between the pair, and banter, especially when she upstaged Lee on a few songs with her sweet voice.

New T-shirts with the bullet end design were available, album cover stickers, badges and the embossed new albums given out end of the night to wristband owners by Debbie. Cuss Cuss owned the night for me the same way it did in my recent album review. But every track hit home in London 100 club venue. Including Sit and Wonder getting the same kind of crowd sing a long reaction that No No No normally courts. Seamus was absent too, and Steve Hamilton wasn’t in the brass, But Frankie, Trevor, and Garry all stood in as excellent on form Dep players. Mark Bedford resplendent in a sailors cap, could be seen getting in the moment several times pulling faces of delighted muso in love with the moment of the music.

Mez reminded the crowd that Feel and Little Better is the bands single. While a drunk Wendy May appeared side of stage briefly before being removed! Broadway jungle had us all dancing away, for some of us in the knowledge we would get to hear Toots do this one later in our weekend. A night as good as this with the LTSO and they didn’t even reach for Fu man Chu. Bite the bullet is now out there for you to discover. The second firing will be at The House of Fun.

Goodnight Folgate wandering on Friday

Myself and Mr Bowen took a wander to the water poet in Norton Folgate to visit the album cover of that album and take a few photo’s of the newly arrived House of Common T-shirts that we would be giving away Sunday in our warm up event, they were sky blue with the lake scene from the poster nicely incorporated, and we had a promo task to perform with them, where better than in the land of a Madness album. We wandered the narrow cobbled streets on Friday together, so sad to see the light bar all boarded over ready for destruction, oh how I wish Folgate really had a ducket’s passage style walk into it’s past era’s like in Goodnight Sweetheart.

Gorgeous George go out on Saturday

Saturday night we go out in Battersea. Gorgeous George are back with a couple of new songs. Much dancing and Overtime Wesley is still stuck in my head from their great set at The magic garden, a slightly run down pub with beautiful red velvet curtains backdrop on their stage. This band you might know from House of Fun, or Chrissy Boy being in their video. We enjoyed them as the new Chas and Dave meets the street kind of a band. really they are well worth checking out on Spotify or at a venue in London soon.

All Day Dublin Castle on Sunday 

A packed out successful all dayer, hosted by operation MIS at The Dublin Castle for Specialized. Early vibes from Darren Bennett and Mr. Thompson. The original version of Cuss Cuss now airs.

A storming set from Mez & The Fezzez with guests Lee Thompson and Mark Bedford making it more a Mez and the Invaders

kind of a day. The Jaguar and the thunderbird was delight. Lee Swandale our crunchy DJ pointing out it’s all very Fireball XL5 in rhythm

The Skiff Skraps on a banjo busk vs One wheeled wagon tale Joe Auckland draws a much smaller crowd but really appreciated alternative moments. Indeed gave me chills (multiplied) by performing Crisis from the One Heart album and finishing with grease the one i want, Emille confidently reinterpreting both John and Oliva, while Fred took his bass into the crowd.

The launchers launched with Jim Sole great reggae vocalist at the helm, and our man Smudge delighting with his sax and moves on tracks like The Prince and The Harder They Come.  Original and surreally good ska from Offbeat offensive, and the night rounded out stage invaded  with the trust-able Inflatables, for Night Buss To Clapham.

The scene stealing moment though came from impromptu busking by sax man Phillip Toogood and DJ Mr. Happy, goading the brass section from The Launchers and Mr Thompson himself into the drunken bar busk.  And incredible video of which has reached over

20k views online since Monday’s Madness gig.!!!

The bar busk beyond.


(A more detailed review of  Commoners against cancer to appear in a future edition of the MIS)

Bank Holiday Monday Madness

Toots charmed the masses, how can you not love the man, and he didn’t look any older to me than when I saw him at a Madstock.

Mr. Charles got the vibes going in the big top style our house stage, later to be seen wandering around with the Hot 8 brass band following him in a nice crowd moment.  Lee Scratch Perry bemused but ticked a box for old school fans of reggae music, and Madness delivered with pyros & fireworks ending a great summers day out.  Mr. apples blasting out confidently across the crowd during the encore pipped all other moments, announced as the next single for me it was the moment of highlight as I stood next to the gladness buss. Toasting a great week of gigs.




Thursday 25th August: 100 Club album launch

When you are in the eye of the storm you can’t really tell what’s going on around you. I saw a lot of giggly bodies & smiles with bursts of laughter here & there so for me although disappointed at several members not being able to move things for the album launch, I had done my job. Three fantastic DJ’s Wendy, Madame Scorcher & the Hen Pecked Darren Bennett (only joking).  A full house, at a historic venue, with reasonably priced drinks at the bar, not that I actually bought one, but I’m told this was the case. Curfew was strict however it was a Thursday so people who have proper job’s/commitments had to be away. I will get them next, But sounds a good a place as any to have a lock in!

Who’s got my signed Sister Ignatius albums?!


Friday 26th /Sat 27th August : Madness Rehearsal for Clapham Common & Fez’s for Teenage Cancer Trust 


Sunday 28th August: Dublin Castle for Specialive / Operation MIS  – Teenage Cancer Trust 

It really was worth it, FUN… Both Bedders & myself thoroughly enjoyed jumping up for Mez & the Fez’s even though I’d learnt Tequila a semi-tone out (what’s new?) The Highlight being the x3 tenor’s & x1 trumpet rendition of one Step Beyond….Novel. I Told a bunch of tourist my Dougie Trendal story of when we were escorted off the Jazz Cafe premises from a Lee Perry gig. Apparently Lee Perry is God father to Dougie.

I know I had to be carried out of DC by a couple of hefty Scottish geezers who, I’d like to say dropped me home with the wife….Thank you.


Monday 29th August: Madness –  Clapham House of Common

Eyes, ears, nose & throat review from a performers point of view……..

How I got through Clapham set I don’t know. You just go into auto pilot.

I should have just left DC, its hard though once you get the flavour…

I awoke semi clothed in Marty’s bed (my French Bulldog) on the Bank Holiday Monday, with what must have been a hangover running through over & into every molecule of my being. Not big, clever or professional, as I had something pressing to do that day, that my bank manager says YES to & my whole living existence says NO….!

What an absolute glorious day for a knees up in Clapham.

A Rainbow 6 seater arrived to take me to Clapham at 1.30pm, Madness were not on until 9pm however & did want to catch Lee Perry & most definitely Toots. I certainly didn’t want to be sat backstage surrounded by an Boozers dream- A never ending tap of free alcohol & twiglets. I opted to soak up 3-4 hours at Alexandra Palace’s World Food Festival. Ray O’Brian of the Black Horse was going along to pick up some custom & shake a few hands of suppliers.

Guess where I had to meet him at High Noon? The Black Horse! Ding Dong round 2!!

Something to take the edge of sir, courtesy of the management?

Racing forward, our driver is a professional blagger. He claims to be the winner of Master Chef 2010 & is working on on Mai Thai kitchen, one of the pop up tents on site (a saving of £15 pp). As we walk in a man runs up to give us wrist bands that entitle us to a 25% discount on everything. An Argentinian mixed grill, home-made sausage roll, Duck wraps & Mexican chilli burger, washed down with a Pink Gin Cocktail in Coconut water, x2 pints of Doombar, half of strawberry cider & x2 shots of raspberry vodka & something else… I was back in the running, Super Duper, Indestructible, unpredictable, phenomenal & now on stage at CC in 5 hours.

Must pace myself don’t peak too soon, steady as she blows.

We hit the Southampton Arms to pick up an old pal Mr. Patrick McCarneicus who has somehow locked himself in the pubs toilet & not really in the mood for a chauffeur driven day out, all inclusive, AAA to see some great bands & DJ’s. F*ck You Patrick. In future use a toilet, without your mates Super Gluing you in! I’d hate to meet your enemies!!!

So….Here we are. I make my way to the side of stage Dave Rodigan’s on soon after Toot’s.

Toots has them in the palm of his hand. It’s hot,  its sweaty, it’s a dust bowl of toing & froing on a sweltering afternoon, hopefully sun blocked up ,the crowd looked very red faced. A 74 year young fireball pitting out molten lava in all directions, the voice of Reggae music holds court & his band are joyous too, all on the same page, same paragraph, that’s gospel.

There’s a new intro tune for Madness to enter stage, The Beatles’ Because (the world is round) followed by various sounds of life in the big city & culminating in a tremendous thunder. We walk to the front of stage, as per Madstock 92′ not quite feeling that same feeling as Finsbury Park on Aug 7th ’92 & rightly so, history should never repeat. And they’re off, House Of Clapham opens this time holding a little back so to get second wind, for Embarrassment & of course The Prince solo & to keep an eye out for Toots’ vocal direction that ends up lasting about 20 seconds!! He was supposed to vocal on Madness but that was too far into the set & Toots had his mind set on some Hot Honey & Lemon. Even so, he’s still got it & now we have some work to do now. Wood as tight as ever keeping time like  GMT, Bedders as always popping out Bass notes as smooth as velvet. Chris, kept everyone sweet with some unusual guitar riffs throughout the whole set. When he’s on fire don’t stand too close, today he is solid as a stick of Rock & Bon Jovi running all the way through him, for the Show time spectacular. We are 50mins in, at least, maybe 60! Oh please where is that F*cking light at the end of this tunnel…?  My throat is burning, my thighs cramping up, arms like lead, just breath, breath & stretch, tense the thighs & try not to think about keeling over, Tommy Cooper crosses my thoughts in one of the songs, so I grab the mic stand for support, not now, not here……

One Step Beyond, I move to front of stage to blast a few bars of the solo when suddenly I’m in Hell’s Kitchen with singed F*cking eye brows! Completely forgetting about the pyrotechnics. Thank god I never jumped down to the next level of the stage for a Real Ring Of Fire!!! Will this nightmare ever end? No, It must not, not at least until, until It Must Be Love….

I can’t really remember playing the next 2 tunes Baggy & Our House. Just Suggs’ saying ‘Go to School Or you will end up like this, no good for nothing light weight boozer’ as I casually bite my nails to hide the shaking. There’s the light, that wonderful glow to the opening piano chords of IMBL. Oh Mr Barson you sweet & giving fruit cake, bring me the soothing comfort of a Slumberland King Size, yes, do Bed Knobs & Broomstick me away. I Need juice to replenish and a dash of Vodka & Tequila with ice & a slice to take the sweetness slightly elsewhere. Ding Domg! Round whatever it is, Madness is going out with both barrel’s tonight. We are pretty much home & dry, well dry-ish. M.A.D.N.E not just yet S.S. Let it rip, the Bermuda triangle at the front is absolutely crazy ,I was tempted to stage dive into the middle of it, but I have made certain promises that I cannot break. It looked extremely rough, but fun, if you think you are hard enough, Bumps & Bruises are us.

Night Boat to Cairo……..Oh dear, oh deary me….where are my towels? Where are my F*ckin…..Where the F*ck are my F*cking towels…..? No I don’t want a black F*cking handkerchief ,I want a big white F*ck off towel for Night Boat to Cairo, is it that bloody difficult to get a……No I don’t want a white towel now, I want a PINK one, I want that one, PINK!!!…. Then send someone over to Asda…….

I’ve never seen so many spooked members of our team, running around like headless chickens, looking for a decent sized towel that will reflect the light for Suggotollahs ‘traditional wavering towel’ moment. I rarely see Suggs ruffled, it’s not his style. All the pressure building up to this gig, the album (at last in it’s cellophane) the politics of it, the mixes, the chosen one(s), promotion, the solo ventures, the price of a can of ‘Tubourg’ or whatever that shyte lager is called, the Spirit of this band & the fear of what’s to come. Has it all been worth it? Oh, More so than ever. You Can’t Touch Us Now.

Lee x



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 643 – Sunday 4th September – Saturday 10th September 2011

With recent performances at Reading and Leeds, the forthcoming Madness Weekender, a soon to be released ‘Guided Tour’ box set, and mumblings of the next album all rearing their heads over the previous seven days, it would come as little surprise to learn that this issue was a packed one.

As we had so much to cover we kept the intro chat to a minimum and went straight on to the articles. The first of which was ITV, in the shape of superfan Adam Fowler, speaking to Lee and Suggs at the Leeds Festival. It was a great interview. Suggs talked about the new album as did Lee, who even spoke about Crunch! and his desires to do more with that band. Adam really brought a fans’ approach to the interview.

Moving on, and we went over to Q Magazine who conducted a detailed Q & A session with the one and only Suggs.

Following this it was over to the ITN news who had interviewed Suggs prior to his performance at the Reading Festival.

Speaking at the event Suggs revealed that the most rock and roll thing he’d ever done was to have his dirty underwear strewn on David Bowie’s driveway.

“I was driving my car, my small car, up his driveway, I didn’t realise how low his garage roof was and when I tried to park it, he was waving me in. My suitcase got knocked off the roof and all my dirty underwear blew down his driveway” he said.

Now, how did you fancy winning a Guided Tour of Madness box set? Well, all you had to do was answer; “How many Madness songs can you list a lyric from that mention a car”.

Armed with your list you then had to send it in to us and you’d be placed in the draw.

It was over to the Leeds Festival next as Leah Rix kindly reviewed the band’s recent performance at the event.

“The gig was beyond amazing (probably one of the youngest crowds the band had played for in years!) The atmosphere was brilliant and the band played a good set, however there were no new tracks off the upcoming album. All in all, although it was different to normal it was still a quality gig! What more could we expect from the band, eh?”

We brought this issue to a close with a Youtube link (courtesy of Declan Mc Dermott) to an excellent interview with Lee and Suggs, backstage at the Leeds Festival. The video is still available, and can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLrQhHK0hfM

10 years ago…

Issue 383 – Sunday 3rd September to Saturday 9th September 2006

You may have remembered that a couple of issues prior to this one we mentioned a recently uploaded video to YouTube which saw one Madness fan mime his way along to the jolly ‘Camden Town’. Since then we’d swapped a few emails with Adam Nicholls (the performer of this YouTube creation), and we reacted with a mixture of excitement and fear when he told us that his next production was now ready for viewing.

His latest creation was his own version of the classic Yesterday’s Men.

We had absolutely no idea what Adam was going to come up with next, but you could be sure that if he was subjecting us to it, we were going to make sure you lot had the ‘opportunity’ to experience it as well.

On to this week’s collection of articles, and we began with an in-depth review of the recent Monte Carlo gig, courtesy of Marc & Lucy Todd.

The full set list was:


  1. One Step Beyind
  2. Girl
  3. My Girl
  4. Hangin On
  5. Embarrassment
  6. Taller
  7. Sun & Rain
  8. Prince
  9. Shut Up
  10. Iron Shirt
  11. House of Fun
  12. Shame & Scandal
  13. Grey Day
  14. Bed & Breakfast
  15. Baggy Trousers
  16. Our House
  17. It Must Be Love
  18. Madness
  19. Night Boat


  1. Swan Lake
  2. IT MEK
  3. Pig Bag

Next, it was over to Steve Bringe of the Total Madness Mailing List who reported that over in the US the commercials for Old Spice Red Zone Deodorant were being promoted with Suggs’ “I am” as the  background music.

“The plot-line is there’s a dude who heads into a night club where everyone is boogying down to “I Am”, and when he walks in, the girl next to him makes a sour face and the music stops and everyone stops dancing because he must reek – that’s the implication. Cut to an alternate universe where this time he walks in wearing Old Spice, and the girl smiles at him and the music continues on”.

Moving on, and with the MIS weighing in at a whopping seven years, we thought it was about time we started looking back at issues gone by.

For the first article we took a look at five years ago this week, which was issue 121. With it now being 15 years ago this week, you can read that very article in the next section.

Doesn’t time fly!

We brought this week’s issue to a close with the news that this month’s edition of “Record Collector” magazine featured a Stiff Records 30th Anniversary Celebration article. Amongst other things they looked at Stiff rarities. Madness collectors would be pleased to learn that the ‘Don’t Quote me on That 12”’ and the ‘Grab Bag’ both entered the list.

15 years ago…

Issue 121 – Sunday 2nd September to Saturday 8th September 2001

On a high after the recent Blackpool Madmeet, co-organiser, Chris Mountain managed to get a review of the weekend’s antics into the latest issue of ‘Scootering’ magazine. Chris commented that;

“It’s about 2/3 pages from the back of the magazine. Not bad considering it has NOTHING to do with scooters but the editor was persuaded it would be of interest to its readers.”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Chris was already pushing the following year’s event, taking place in Great Yarmouth. A weekend that would see one third of the MIS editorial team pushing a rather drunken subscriber around a hotel in a wheelchair.

While many were recovering from the Blackpool weekend, around 15 other Maddies descended on the home of Chris Carter-Pegg, to celebrate him moving in to his new home. It turned out to be the hottest weekend of the year, and with the amount of drink consumed almost all attendees found themselves in a VERY delicate state on the Sunday morning.

Also this week, Jonathan Young took a look at episode 3 of Radio 2’s “Ska Train”, which was hosted by non other than Mr. McPherson himself.

The show featured 8 classic 2-tone tracks, but the highlight of the programme was when Suggs revealed the story behind ‘Longshot Kick The Bucket”.

This issue finished off with us apologising for not reviewing issue 2 of the official Crunch fanzine ‘Saints and Sinners’, but unfortunately a delay at the printers meant our copy didn’t arrive in time for that week’s edition of the MIS.

Rob Hazelby




Yes, that’s almost it for this week, but before we go there are a couple of last minute bits and pieces to pass in your general direction.

First-up, we’d like to congratulate Lee Thompson as Bite the Bullet is the second album of his to chart. The newly released Ska Orchestra CD climbs to 97 in an album chart full of compilations, next to The Beatles, and Britney Spears!

Lee replied “Wow! That’s Great!! Nice Sandwich! Mission Accomplished.”

And finally, we’ll leave the last word on last weekend to Duff Kelly…

“MIS did a brilliant job organizing what could easily have been a mess but was a tremendous success at the DC and I only wish I could have stayed longer but Monday made up for it with my first live hearing of Mr. Apples and it is a smash – I had no luck with my signs getting Toots to play Pomps and Pride but I do believe Chrissy Boy saw my Calm Down Mr. Apples or my What’s It All About Mr. Apples sign and gave me the AC/DC salute – more likely he spotted a nice bird in my general direction but I will content myself believing that it was directed at me.!  

Anyway, Here is a vid of Thommo and Fezzters doing “You Never Can Tell”  which I really enjoyed – especially when he goes into his Vic Reeves club singer mode on sticky lyrics… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfHAsLP4KYs 


And with Duff’s words of wisdom done and dusted, this week’s MIS draws to a close.

Have a great week!

All the best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Colin Ross, Darren West, Duff Kelly)

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