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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 905 – Sunday 11th September to Saturday 17th September 2016

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MIS ONLINE – The Madness Information Service Online Newsletter
Issue Number: 905 – Sunday 11th September to Saturday 17th September 2016
Web: www.mis-online.net | Twitter: @MIS_Online



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 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



The Silencerz

Saturday 17th September, Chandos Arms – FREE!

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


The Near Jazz Experience 


Tuesday 13th – Indo, Whitechapel Road ** New **

Thursday 15th – Tongue and Groove, a podcast about musicians with musicians

Featuring Rhoda Dakar  & Steve from Alabama Three – Kino Theatre  St Lenoards. **New**




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

You can get it for free as an instant download when you pre-order the album. If you already have done check your email folders for an Untouchable Madhead email notification with link. The sinful double life of the latest Madness song character laid bare.


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

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

Confirmed Track listing: 16 songs.  (As shown as the download album on i tunes and Amazon,)

These 16 should also be the CD album in full. Chris Foreman has mentioned that not all 16 fit on the vinyl release much like

the vinyl edition of The Liberry of Norton Folgate which was the select shortened track listing.  He comments that this was ALL the songs, which may made the boxset second disc is made up of versions and demos of these songs.


  1.   Can’t Touch Us Now
  2.   Good Times
  3.   Mr. Apples
  4.   I Believe
  5.   Grandslam
  6.   Blackbird
  7.   You are My Everything
  8.   Another Version of Me
  9.   Mumbo Jumbo
  10. Herbert
  11.  Don’t Leave The Past Behind You
  12. (Don’t Let Them) Catch You Crying
  13. Pam The Hawk
  14. Given The Opportunity
  15. Soul Denying
  16. Whistle In The Dark


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 ** Pre Order 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                               

Mr. Apples Video


The video takes us on a journey through two-worlds; one of a Sunday-devout religious man, the other being a pious, small-time gambler on the perennial search of a good night out.

“Mr Apples never stops. By day, a pillar of society. Very clear on how people should behave. Strict, moralistic, judgemental,” explains Suggs. “But, when that old sun goes down, he’s heading off up the wrong side of town. Exhausting. We worry for him. He’s a very naughty boy.”

Recorded at Toe Rag Studios in east London, the album Can’t Touch Us Now is the follow-up to 2012’s Top 10 album Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da, and was produced by Clive Langer and Liam Watson, Recorded in less than three weeks, its songs, including Mr Apples, Mumbo Jumbo, Blackbird (which references Amy Winehouse) and the title track Can’t Touch Us Now, capture the band’s inimitable combination of pop, reggae and soul influences.


Madness From Birmingham (eh?! Ed)


The Birmingham band have never been afraid of treating serious topics – or serious people – with humour and it makes for the catchy, enjoyable hits we’ve grown to love them for.


Channel Four Speaks to Lee Thompson Following the Passing of Prince Buster





Commoners Against Cancer.  The Full Recount. 

“Sh*t It’s all going wrong,” It’s 2am in Camden and myself and Owen are searching for the Marathon Bar for a late night kebab after a gig at the Magic Garden in south London. The food place is closed. But that’s not what has me perplexed. Tomorrow we’ve  around 200 people due to our event at The Dublin Castle and I’ve just got an email from the head sound engineer to say Saturday Night’s enthusiastic band have trashed the house drum kit. The one all 6 of my bands are due to play on starting in about 10 hours’ time.

6 months of planning and just when you think you’ve got everything in place, sh*t hits the kit!

“Sh*t, this is real annoying!”. “I know” said Owen. “I really wanted a Kebab.”


It’s March 2016 and Madness were about to announce a massive concert in London for August but this time in the South? Battersea? We didn’t know where yet, we just knew it wasn’t Camden and it was on a Monday. Seemed a strange day for a party that, but then it was a bank holiday. We just knew some fans would travle for this one as it was going to be something big like a Madstock type day or that Ally Pally style event that Madness had done. We needed to make this a Weekender then I thought not a one dayer. MIS sprang into action announcing an event in a similar secret way to how our heroes were announced their massive festival, with teaser operation rooms style poster pictures.  Then we began recruiting common souls as it was announced Madness were heading to Clapham Common to establish a new modern Madness festival.

We grew our ranks into Operation MIS a team bigger than any previous event from us, with some of our greatest old friends in tow and some new ideas too. Henry agreed to give us the DC and Specialized were delight we wanted to do it in their name, and raise money for Teenage Cancer.

“Mez and the Fezzez”, Now I had wanted to see them for some time, and to bring them closer to Mad fans was my next goal and so Mez was the first to join Operations. Dave Roy Smith, was next I was gutted that Home Town HIFI had split since our last MIS Presents show at the House of Fun, and I wanted Dave back on the horse, the Trojan horse!! so we invented “Camden Town High Five” as a stop gap band name for him to get another group together. “Indeed” were coming over, great to get them back, Tony once again inflated the oxford bouncy ones for us, and Even Stewart Rennie noticed our first poster and offered up Offbeat Offensive into operations, our gig idea was turning into an all dayer already. I wanted The Silencerz who fittingly were also due to record for Specialized. But Daley Thompson was in Magaluf with Darren Fordham! so thats that sketch knackered for two of Lee’s bands.  Little chance of Crunch!

But with the date of “Bite the bullet” release also moving to two days before our event that seemed fitting enough a reason. Mr Thompson would DJ and we would paly his new album back at start the day and get him away early to Madness duties. It was all slotting nicely into place. And when Robert Smith of the now defunct Skiff Skatt’s said he was chucking out his old T-shirt stash from his attic we dragged the now solicitor back to his banjo for just one more time and completed an amazing all day bill of mad related and fan bands.

100% this was going to be good.


And now it’s the morning of the gig.

Myself and Owen are setting up. It’s 11am and the cleaner is mopping the floors for Peggy the landlady, cus she’ knows 2 of Madness are in today. She’s public house proud. The cleaner is happily telling us about the time Suggs did a photo shoot at the DC. and he’s describing the racks of clothing they had for him, and how he stole the cleaners pint for a particular shot the magazine wanted.

We are smiling, but inside praying that the bands got our scrabbled 3am messages about the need for kick drums now. Fans

as pilling in too early through the band door. As no one is controlling who is in a band to set up and who is the audience for the gig. We sit them in the un opened bar.  My Swedish friends waiting across the road as we apologise for saying 11.30 the pub runner today is saying 12.00 opening and not before.  The pub opens at 12 to for wristband collection. We still don’t have a show though we need the amps man to arrive and what are we going to do with no drum kit. I had seen a busker playing a plastic bucket this morning in Camden high street and I’m about to go and offer him £50 to come and join all our bands for the day!!

Mez arrives and saves the day with a 22″ spare kick drum skin he gives to the DC for free. What a saint. This circular gift might as well have been a hallo it looks so beautiful to me at this point in proceedings. And they repair the drum kit.  I breathe out. We are back on tracks. But where is Mr. Thompson?


It’s just gone Noon, (and a half) and the reason we always made the first slot so long is that we never imagined Lee Thompson would actually turn up on time! After asking for 12 noon start, we find him sending us newspaper clippings for MIS  use, things written about bite the bullet, from his home by email as late are 12.15 in the day. We politely remind him in reply that there is a pub full of people, some nursing their suitcases, to eagerly catch Lee’s set before checking in from their travels to hotels, and so we start the day with his great new solo album playing to itself. Allie Mayor has made a fantastic painting of Lee manifest large on canvas and with The Dublin Castle’s band room now nicely set up with soft lights, by our great soundman known only as “Fuzz”, this picture is now put in charge DJing Lee’s album in his fashionable absence. You can buy this very painting, our event backdrop, in a forthcoming Specialized auction! It was Signed on the day by Lee, it looks amazing, send us your bids and we will pass them onto Paul Willo for The Big one 5 weekender in November.

Darren Bennett takes over the decks shortly to start the properly manned DJing with some Classic Reggae sounds, The original version of Cuss Cuss now airs in nice contrast to bite the bullet having been played, Kathy starts the dance floor skanking in true skinhead girl style, and around 1pm or so Mr Thompson enigmatically enters the building. He is carrying his saxophone bag. Ah Yes, He knows far more about how he is going to entertain the gathered masses today than anyone else really does. A guest spot in the offing here? Fans are like bar flys around a legend holding a pint glass and holding court too from this point on and for the rest of the day, having a whale of a time with him retelling stories of mad escapades and mad antics. Lee takes to the decks then for a restless sanctuary for just a couple of tunes. Before Darren Dicka gets the Specialized photography started. Lee at the One Step Beyond Mural etc. Getting him to wear a House of Common T-shirt to promo the fresh new Merchandise due for tomorrows big event linking us nicely to being the warm up of a two day fun event for most of us in London now.  Lee dons the T-shirt in the bar, and after a skinhead slap of bellys with a bare shirted ska loving friend, he proceeds to wear it the rest of the day, in fact departing in it early evening! We really cant claim theft of a raffle prize here though, as he is both the Specialized ambassador on our team and in Madness itself so it’s surely only 1 count of  “Reclaimaition!” which ever way you look at it. What an absolute star he was giving his time to everyone, for much longer than planned on the billing. But unexpectedly we were to be getting a full on band appearance next. Unbilled. Unadvertised. Thommo was to be a Full Fezz. Wow. What a day this was going to be.


Owen hosts the event with plenty of abuse given to people who need to buy raffle tickets, and then the live music begins.

A storming set from Mez & The Fezzez with guests Lee Thompson and Mark Bedford making it more a super version of Mez and the Fez Invaders really. Hearing “I’m walking”, “Rock around the clock”, & “See you later alligator” made this a flashback to the 70’s teddy boy boom, a rock-in little hop of a gig, coming from the inspiration of the same retro love of music that Madness first started playing here at a Dublin Castle residence years ago, and revisited a couple of Butlin’s gigs ago.  Not the much trodden ska Madness that 2tone bore in black and white, the but the Chuck Berry bobbing band of Fat’s Dominio stealing 50’s throw back vibe was here in spirit glorious to witness. Amazing. The girls, Vicki, Sarah and Leah bobbing around their suitcases now like handbag dancing mad-ette’s. Daddio. It’s Jack Rabbit Slims,  pulp fictions tunes are kicking  our day off nicely.

This has all been Mezzez plan. I had booked only HIS band. I liked their traditional Fez look, not just a nod to Madness, but a tradition of Tommy Cooper humour, back to a fitting ballroom combo bands ethos of times long past, they are no Madness tribute band, lets get this straight for any regualar gig go-er unfamiliar with this new band, they are a 50’s R n B, rock and roll band, like you might find backing Marty McFly in back to the future part one, a showband, Mez describes his bands music as “Future Vintage”. A video of “Last Night” by the Marques was my favourite of their online postings (you might know it as the theme from Bottom!) which they sadly dont get around to playing at the DC gig. But that’s the band I booked for involvement, and still wish to see again some day, But for Specailized Mez has gone the extra mile and Madded up his band, to include the Madness men from The Ska Orchestra, and made the day legendarily unique as a result. It’s probably my third favourite ever day now in this hallowed hall after The Dangermen & the Sister Mary Launch day gigs.

The Jaguar and the Thunderbird was delightful number, a rapidly sung solo tune from Thommo. Lee Swandale pointing out it’s all very Fireball XL5 in rhythm. He manages the whole tune without crib sheets, dropping only a few lines from the end verse. This displayed not only the secret rehearsals Lee and Mez had kept underwrapps from everyone, but the true love of this music MR Thompson exudes during this set. Bedders is much lesser known for wearing a fez than some of Madness, and you can see the joy on his face taking him back a few years as he pins down the bass during all the tunes, like it was the early days of loving music. With Joe Auckland’s great trumpet solo’s we are treated to a fine ensemble.  Al Cherry, is the only one of the 5 here never to play with Madness, but he was central to a lot of the tunes played today and really carried the sound beautifully, rock and roll is a guitar picking bobbing music often and from the first pulp fiction known opening instrumental he is king of the sounds powering out of this band.

Mez sits perched behind his drum kits like a thin spritely attentive figure, on watch, peering out and bantering to the crowd. Singing a lot of the numbers, and offering up a twix between tunes as a quiz prize, on banter often involving Take That. The best front man, who isnt at the front, in the business. Swing your pants. Twist that fez. Eat that twix.

See you Later Alligator


I’m Walking


Rock around The Clock


The Jaguar And The Thunderbird



You Never Can Tell


Woo Hoo


Roll Over Beethoven


When a day starts this well, you feel like you’ve already won, for all the people who’ve come along. Though we’ve still a mass of alternative entertainment and a tripple bill of ska bands to present to everyone. Owen thanks Mez the only way you can thank a Fez, we gave him a Pez!


Inevitably the satisfied audience thins out of the band room and splits across the pub bar, and some happily to the sunny smokers bench for the rest of the day.

“It was a sell out gig, but there was plenty of room when we played” joke’s Robert Smith.

Inevitable after Lee’s fronting had stolen the show, the next couple of bands, so much lesser known, play to a more happy handful of interested viewers. Still fun though, as a hoe down is once again in the offing. Alan and co all doing the country dancing. Though Owen introducing the next act, stumbles when Country Western isnt a tag they like, demanding Skiffle instead. “I didnt say which country,  quips Owen. It’s always west somewhere in the world!”

The Skiff Skats, were the hillbilly styled punk skiffle band that Madness ran away to play with in the late 80’s, they did their final gig with MIS back in Januray 2015. It was a lot of fun back then, and Suggs even heckled, we dragged the lead man of Skiff back, (with his guitarist friend in tow from that final line up) and we’ve paired him up with Mr Auckland de-fezzed now, who once gave The House of Fun The Wagontales banjo band. Joe is providing a little percussion until surprise finale’s duet on strings.  We get treated to “Rock this joint” and “Split Personality” a tune they didnt manage last time out from the Skiff Skat’s only LP.  And the band have jokingly terms themselves The Skiff Skraps for this short 4 song set thats a lot of fun.

The Skiff Skraps vs a One wheeled wagon tale then. A brillaint Duel of Banjo’s between two lost bands from the very edge of the world of Mad bands. Twang!!!



I danced to magic carpet for a moment and had my first drink of day (cant have too many) , happy with how well the day was all going. Swanny ended up doing his set at least twice, as sadly we had to drop Madame scorcher and Darren from any further sets in the day as travle was a big concern for them during a very busy long weekend of festivals they were appearing at. Massive thanks to them for starting things off and to all our DJ’s it may seem like filling in at times, but we couldn’t keep the vibe going with out you all there spinning some discs.


Next up we had a band from the forthcoming One Heart album, linking us nicely to Specailized in 2016.  Indeed had triumphed in the past with compliments from Madness over their Sun and The Rain cover, and had deligthed with us at the third Butlins weekender by burning boats. Both of these tunes go down well and cause sing-a-long moments to the small gathered crowd. Even if their version of sun and the rain didnt normally have “Do do do’s” it did this night!

Burning the Boats – Live.


Indeed strip down Madness tunes to a lighter, more continental laid back almost acoustic feel at times. Fredd presses keys more lightly and sparingly than Barson/Beaghean but with the same love. Emile a cardigan’s-eque beauty in voice, and Alex and Nico bring precise guitars and percussive backing. During their own songs such as Breathing louder, and Ciel Blue, they bring a new wave sound somewhere between Blondie and modern day singers like Ellie Goulding. They have a playful side though, with a song about Record Collectors verses made up almost entirely from singing the run out groove messages of Madness records. Sorry May Contain nuts!

Banter is advanced written and pithy, managing to love to England despite brexit! and pay tributes to Madness, Bob Marley and the recent terrorist attacks in France with equal measure. Crisis will be a great track to add into their cannon of known numbers, and you can buy this cover on the next specialized album, I made a point of pointing this out with my T-shirt,  a subtle plug as a subtle as a brick, during this songs airing, by standing front of stage.

Indeed then gave me chills (multiplied) by finishing this time with Grease, The one I want, Emile confidently reinterpreting both John and Oliva, while Fred took his bass into the crowd to mingle and jam an end to the joy of playing The Dublin Castle. The band’s guitarist goes on to Meet Mark Bedford and can be seen grinning to have played the same stage as a hero on the same day in such a legendary venue. Yes, Mr Bedford warmed the crowd up nicely for you, ohhh honey, oh yes Indeed. ;-)


After a quick stage turnover, to get us back on schedule, some cheese burgers to stop us flailing from the job of organising the day, Owen once again beats the crowd into submission towards the raffle ticket selling Alan & Bev team.

The launchers then launched with Jim Sole a great reggae vocalist, from Skaelctrix, at the helm, and our man Smudge delighting with his sax and moves on tracks like The Prince and The Harder They Come familiar to Madness fans. The room is now packed again with ska and reggae fans into the music they really love and have been waiting for. This will warm up for Madness and Toots for sure.   I can see my friends dancing away happily the mood and the vibes have stayed high, and Mr Thompson is still in the bar on his 57th great story.

007 Shanty Town


Reggea Got Soul


You’re Wondering Now


54 – 46 Was my Number


The Harder They Come / Johnny Too Bad


A great bond theme riffing into 007 Shanty Town could be heard. There is some real thought put in by this band into how they stage and cover songs, not just a carbon copy, when copying. Their own material will be coming soon. While the launchers may have now launched. If you were there, I’m sure you’ve witnessed at least the beginning of a five year mission to seek out new gigs, and boldly go beyond.  Catch them next at Halloween in Hoxton…


The scene stealing moment of the day though came from impromptu busking by our solo sax man Phillip Toogood brought down with the remit of busking the que to get in, or at the smokers bench etc. with a few impromptu Madness riffs to add a little extra something. With Mr Happy Bar DJing crowding pleasing tunes from 5pm the two conspired to great lengths. Goading the brass section from The Launchers and Mr. Thompson himself into their drunken bar busk antics. Incredibly the video of which has reached over 40 thousand views online since Monday’s Madness gig two weeks ago!

The bar busk beyond Featuring Lee Thompson (New angle)


I go back into the band room to DJ, and Nicki and Andy are heckling each other as door staff, Andy wearing the flashing door policeman’s helmet and standing on the bench to see the next band. My big thanks to Mark Bryant for keeping everyone in line at the door, and all the helpers from the day.


Original and surreally good ska from Offbeat Offensive gives us the meat in our evenings ska sandwich. It’s a harder job to make people dance to songs they don’t know, and in that respect this band do the best job of they day in showcasing their forth coming debut album. Having previously released the EP Man up and Jump online for free.

Seize The Day


What hits your feet though, is the days first triple brass section. They are more upbeat than the violin monkeys, they are practically jogging the set in fact, as they bounce in time. This ensures a great reception and a packed out room of happy dancers. The youthful singer is styled more towards modern times than being a ska throwback skinhead or suited look of any past era, and therefore contrasts nicely different to our other ska bands tonight.  A baseball cap matched with a sincere almost rappy style of lyrics, makes Offbeat Offensive more akin to being beyond third wave bands like the bosstones or even look a little skater style , well perhaps just a touch more modern street focus, I don’t know, but they certainly make you sit up and take notice.   They finish with Nite Klub.

When they leave, the do the honourable job of taking Lee Thompson home, with his wife, and ensure that we aren’t in trouble by making him miss House of Common!


We took near £200 for Specialized merchandise (we’ve a bit more still to pass onto you at House of Fun, a bargain Madness Cover’s album for £8 you cant go wrong)  Bev and Alan were stars, creating some great Canvas art, and unique items to delight raffle winners, Sharon has got us a fully signed Madness photo, we’ve a record store day seven inch thanks to Mark Bryant and at least one T-shirt that Thommo hasn’t gone home in,  and a bottle of Tequilla Kix signed that we definitely checked he hadn’t filled with water!!!  See Mez and the Fezzez played Tequila earlier and now we are giving that drink away. It all ties in!   Plenty of lucky winners are drawn. And far more disgruntled losing tickets are chucked on the floor.  Over £500  More notes brings us just over £1800 to Specialized. Nice one Commoners.


The night rounded out marvelously with the trust-able Inflatables, winning over a few new fans who complimented me afterwards about them, as well as delighting fans who already knew them from the triple bill of Butlins shows we have shared or their own long band history. (Sorry MIS isn’t doing a Butlins stage this year’s house of fun).

While attendance numbers were down now slightly as some people choose the need for an early night ahead of Clapham, and left after Lee had etc, there were people begging on the door to be let in, as last minute tickets. I kept saying no, until the last half hour, aware that our respected paying wristband owners may be out in Camden getting food and might return. But last minute lifestyle Madness fans and just local Camden types too were getting the news of the vibe in the DC and people were lapping up the free bar atmosphere we were providing much like a prince buster sound system affair takeover, and were also very keen to see a live ska band. I turned one guy away 10 times as he kept returning to see if it was still the same person on the doors, each time his shoulders fell as he saw me pop out to guard the entrance with Specialized’s lion sitting on my T-shirt! ready to bite him!

As the applause and cheers continued for the ska, 2tone and reggae The inflatables were providing. I finally threw the door open for the sad faced man, and he ran in like a five year old child hearing an ice cream van coming, to get nearer the live tunes. I let a handful more happy souls in for a few coins donation to catch The Inflatables finish off their set with numbers by The Specials, Bad manners, classic ska and reggae numbers too. The Love of the Common People, being incredibly apt choice I think , linking us all to our future destiny of Monda enjoying what Madness had cooked up on the common.

It Must Be Love


Night Buss To Clapham! Tony Bass bellowed. I dragged Owen our hard working host and entertainment schedule runner, and Mark our vigilant door man team runner, up by their hands and onto the stage, we all deserve a 2tone tour like stage invasion, Mark Bowen is quick to follow of course, and a few more fans pile onto what really is a tiny stage, though I think Madness rags must have gone home by now, cus I would have got him up for a dance at this point. The bands Sax man lays down, wanders the crowd and elongates the boat ride for all it’s worth. Might have been a 10 minute trip this time. We ended with that classic reprise. Thanks everyone good night.

A bit more MR Happy & phillip toogood sax to entertain in the bar while we closed down the band room and everyone drifted off before Midnight, ready to start again at Clapham the next day. A quick game of Basketcase (headgear based basketball that i had brought along to do on stage incase we lost a band! but we didn’t) and a few more pints in the bar to celebrate having done so well.  Then I take Owen off to get that much needed Kebab. (he buys two in fact. One for a kind of breakfast?)


Monday we enjoyed Clapham.  A whole other day of fun in itself.

Then on The Tuesday morning, dragging my bastard squeaky suitcase home, (that I had come to nick name r2d2) across Victoria train station. I bumped into Sarah and Mandy beaming happily, having had a great two days, thanks to our event. They showed me the photos from their successful trip backstage after winning our meet and greet star raffle prize. Their smiles are one part of what this was all about.  Together we all made a bank holiday Monday into a Mad weekender. We gave something to fans. Into that bargain, your generosity once all event related profits for the year are in, we will have given £2,000 to charity. Thank you, for being The Commoners against Cancer.  It was a great day. Now we have the memories.

(Never again though. DC all dayers are just too mad! That was the one and only from us. Never a whole day again.

Next year, If House of Common continues, and if we are going to be around…….     hmm The Rise and Fall Primrose Hill Picnic???)

Jonathan Young / Videos Cedric Sabor Discos, Sharon Staite, Mez, Adam Nichols, Hazel Foster, Duff Kelly.




On first listen to the track it can be a slight bit confusing as to who or what Mr. Apples is. Is he a scout leader or just a religious man with posh friends in a Rotary Club? Well you would not be wrong to get lost but yet Mr.Apples is all three – scout leader- rotary club member and from what we can gather from the video taking in shots of Mr. Apples (played by Lee ) he is highly religious.

Then it gets dark, and the sun begins setting and the “pillar of community ” totally changes. A man with a kinky side. A man who likes matriarchs (he pays to have the life kicked or beat out of him) and spends time with prostitutes. Or fumbling in his trousers at the thought of it as he wanders the red light district’s glow.

For me, as a song it’s a great piece lyrically that does nothing but get better when the video is watched, a video which brings us through the life of a man with little time to himself as he helps others out, a video which personally reminds me of the Michael Caine video as well as the Wixxer promo NW5 video, (Wixxer of course means something appropriate here in German!!!)  Mr. Apples as a character almost like an older generation of what was perceived in Cardiac Arrest.

But that’s enough about how I feel, what are your thoughts.  There was tons and tons of celebratory love across social media upon seeing the video and hearing the new song on Radio 2.

Declan McDermott: “It’s fantastic for sure. There are elements of so many of their old videos in there, CLASSIC MADNESS at their very, very best”

John Dunn told me “Love it. Old School video like back to the days of Shut up and Cardiac Arrest etc. The song itself has all the charm of bygone days with a hint of newness . Great for them finally to have a single released again.”

When I spoke to Garry Scurfield and asked his opinion on the song and video here’s what he told me “It’s a great story, love Mr Apples double life.  It’s a wonderful addition to many Madness classics.  No mention of meat products though, lack of use of the words “turnip” or “asparagus”. Like Georgie Fame meets Pingu, however Pingu is recovering from a rough night on sloe Gins.”

Jimmy Fairgrieve said “I don’t like the song or video. All getting to be a bit the same. I hope it may grow on me”

Sean Gaskin adds…

“No one has mentioned that the sinful nature of Mr Apples represents Adam & Eve biting into God’s forbidden fruit (most commonly presented as an apple)! There are so many hints of this in the video (the Cross), but in particular, Suggs chomping on down to the core of an apple that he then displays! I love the multiple layers of a Madness story!”

And for those of you who haven’t had chance to see the video here is the link: http://youtu.be/0NKNGKNBYs0

Jonathan Young




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 644 – Sunday 11th September – Saturday 17th September 2011

Were you based around Lowestoft? Did you have a yearning to be the next Chas Smash in a tribute band? If you’d answered yes to these questions you may have been tempted to respond to the classified ad we’d reprinted in this very issue which we’d found on the Join my Band web site.

We continued on a Chas Smash related note as we re-printed an interview with the man himself which originally appeared on the Essential Ibiza web site.

Next, it was over to the one and only Suggs who was being interviewed by music paper NME. Part of the interview consisted of a quiz, which Suggs managed to score 2.5 out of 10 on. This put him at level pegging with John Lydon.

Moving on, and we re-printed a review from the Female First web site, who weren’t impressed with the band’s recent performance at the Leeds Festival;

“…the set as a whole was disappointing considering their undeniable talent and influence on the ska scene.

Whilst songs like ‘Forever Young’ and ‘NW5’ proved that Madness aren’t trying to rely on past successes, this felt too much like a nostalgia act rather than a vibrant and worthy festival show”.

Well, you can’t please them all!

Jonathan Young took the reins for the next article as he reported on what it was like going in to the studio with The Ska Orchestra.

“It takes a long time to go over and over tracks, with take after take, Thommo sits rocking in an easy chair listening to the playback, and there is much discussion. From easy to understand talk, of “that bit is good” to more complex use of language to explain how to play “softer” or with different feeling. Sometimes it’s the engineer looking to get the best clear sound from a performance, often it’s Louis looking for a different approach in style, some times Thommo chips in when it’s a feeling that is off and needs more adding.

Arrangements and mixes are discussed. A mute on Mission Impossible is turned up in the mix. All sounding Amazing.”

We brought this issue to a close with the news that our competition to win a Guided Tour of Madness box set had now ended, and the winner would be revealed in the next issue.

10 years ago…

Issue 384 – Sunday 9th September – Saturday 15th September 2006

As things seemed to be starting to gear-up towards the next album we decided to treat you to an interview (originally from “Sound on Sound Magazine) with Liam Watson of Toe Rag studios – the place where the band were to record their next album. It was a lengthy article, but well worth a read. We hoped it would help to give you some insight into the lengths the band were going to record their next studio release.

Other news this week is was that this coming Saturday, The Communicators would be performing at Camden’s Dublin Castle. You could find all the information you’d need about what promised to be a stunning evening, right here in this issue.

Following its successful initial voyage in last week’s MIS, our time machine was in use once again – this time taking us back to issue 122, which saw Jonathan recovering from a rather heavy night in the company of those Crunch! boys.

If that wasn’t enough, Stav had returned to the bits and bytes of the MIS with the full programme listing of BBC 4’s Stiff tribute weekend, ‘Stiff Nights’.

15 years ago…

Issue 122 – Sunday 9th September – Saturday 15th September 2001

News reached us this week that following a length of inactivity with the whole Velvet Ghost project Chas Smash would be back on stage, performing a short set with Louis Vause, at the Mac Bar on Camden Road.

With no major updates to the Velvet Ghost site in such a long time we were starting to wonder if the whole project had reached the end of its natural life.

As the Christmas concert season was only just around the corner we were pleased to learn that the legendary Blockheads would be holding a Christmas gig on Saturday 22nd December at the Arts Centre, Colchester. Only 400 tickets would be available, and any profits would be going towards the CancerBacup charity.

Jonathan, finally recovered from the Crunch! gig held on the 8th finally had the strength to knock-up a review of the evening, with him finishing his lowdown by commenting that;

“Though it doesn’t stop the fun or the dancing, on some levels you can tell that this small last minute gig is a warm up for next week’s gig at the 100 club where the rumour is that the band have something special planned for the fans”.

With news being a tad lacking this week we took a dive into our archive of Nut Inc fanzines, and printed a transcription of ‘The Madness Flexi Disc Collection’ article, which originally appeared in issue 4. Penned by Nut Inc reader Stephen Fisher, the article took a detailed look at all of the flexi discs the band had released over the years.

If that lot wasn’t enough, Jonathan took time out to review the latest episode of Radio 2’s “Ska Train” programme.

Rob Hazelby




We’re nearly at the end of this issue, and as usual there are one or two last minute bits to fire in your general direction.

This link from Monika Cooper shows Cathal Smyth commenting on the new Mod musical; https://www.facebook.com/rosetheatrekingston/videos/1202157619826180/

While this week Rhoda Dakar also posted..

” I’m sorry to announce that my record release party this coming Saturday, 10th September, has been postponed until later in the year.”

Thankfully, all tickets were validated to be of use again for the rescheduling of the event. When we know what the revised date is, we will advertise it in a future MIS.

And we’re done!

All the best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Shannon McBride, Monika Cooper and Paul Rodgers)

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