Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 910 – Sunday 16th October to Saturday 22nd October 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 910 – Sunday 16th October to Saturday 22nd October 2016

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This week Madness previewed yet another studio track from the forthcoming album – Herbert.

This song has been made available to purchase on iTunes, and Amazon, with those of you who sensibly pre-ordered this album back at the beginning of this sale campaign (gaining untouchable Madhead status in the process) being sent a link to download the song from the album you’ve bought.

Along with the link  came a fun new album artwork puzzle game, (and access to a 5 minute video of a fun interview with Chris and Barso in Sweden that also features the band playing new and old songs at the recent Grona Lund gig.)  The track, Herbert is available to stream on Spotify also now.

You can have a listen to the track right here:


The tune, which debuted at The Grandslam gigs, is the tale of a stern father interfering disapprovingly in his daughter’s love life, and her choice of suitor.  It’s a fun, comedic, character driven tale and a very catchy singalong. The studio version showcases the albums “immediate” feel when it comes to Suggs’ vocal takes of tunes, featuring a no messing about approach.

The arrangement, is delightfully trotting to begin with, but builds to a rousing chorus “chasing me round with his old shotgun”. We urge you all to adopt the  “Herbert Harrumph”  from the song.  It’s a wonderfully Scooby Do like noise that Suggs makes during a section of the tune.  We will be “Herbert Harrumphing ” at HOF, should you bump into us.

A lyrics video of Herbert has been compiled featuring Python-esque animation of flying shotguns and a brick hard looking pater singing behind his stone walling in the Herbert pub. Expect it “sometime later” or as a fitting tour backdrop. It’s nutty.

This week a video was shot for Can’t Touch Us Now, taking the form of an advertisement for the album. It features Thommo dressed as a robber, and you can find photographs of the band performing in front of green screen over on Woody’s Instagram account.

A further song from the album, Blackbird, the swaying lament, again penned by Suggs, about his last meeting with Amy Winehouse, aired this week on Radio Two’s art show with Jonathan Ross, as he spoke to Suggs. You can find links to that below.

As we reach less than two weeks until the official release of the album, we will be focussing more on its arrival. We’ll be bringing you more track reviews and exclusive viewpoints on the latest Madness music.  This week we take a look at the structures seen on the album’s cover, and next week we’ll talk further on the latest tracks.

In other news, some branches of Morrisson’s are stocking a new tube shaped Gladness gift pack with contains the beer and a Madness beers glass inside a presentation box. Look out for them! You may also find that other packs are released in the run-up to Christmas.

Now, before we get this issue off the starting blocks, don’t forget that Madness are on BBC1 tonight at 7:15pm. Why? Well, they’re appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. If it’s not your cup of tea you can always wait until it’d been made available on the iPlayer and fast forward to the relevant bit. Find it here:


Right, let’s get the issue underway.

Enjoy the read!

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.




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 ** Sold Out **

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


November 5th – Finland


House of Fun Weekender


The Silencerz

Saturday, 29th October – Halloween Night! The Bull Theatre, Barnet




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

** Out in two weeks! **

Pre order now


Confirmed Track listing: 16 songs.  (As shown as the download album on iTunes 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 Liberty of Norton Folgate which was the select shortened track listing.  He comments that this was ALL the songs, which may mean 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.


One Heart – Specialized Bob Marley Covers Album ** Out now – featuring Lee Thompson and The Silencerz **


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

You can now 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                               

Suggs on The Art Show

Suggs was the special guest on “The Art Show”, (aired on the 13th) hosted by Jonathan Ross.

Suggs chatted to Jonathan about his favoured cultural treasures, including Peggy Lee’s Is That All There Is?, the poetry of John Betjeman and the life and works of Francis Bacon.

Check it out below…



Listen to the chat on YouTube…


His treasures were:

Song – Peggy Lee – Is that all there is.


Poem – Portrait of a deaf man – John Betjeman


Painting –  Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion c.1944  by Francis Bacon


Suggs spoke about his new songs all being about characters, people he knew or knows, and about the last time he met Amy Winehouse. He talks about his first cheque for £30,000, the Characters from Arlington House. Song writing and more.



Suggs Talks Top of The Pops, 70’s Music and More                    

Here’s what Suggs had to say…

Is it true you were about 16 when you started singing with Madness?

“I was about 17, I think. I went to The Roxy club in Covent when I was 16 and I remember there was a band who were 14 years old and I thought ‘if these can do it then why can’t I?’ By the time I was 18 I was on Top Of The Pops. My daughters look back now and say that I look so little; we were kids, really.”

How have things changed for young musicians, do you think?

“It’s a lot more difficult for bands now. When we were starting out in Camden Town there were probably 20 Irish pubs that had function rooms where you could gig. But now you have to pay to a gig in a London pub – kids have to pay like 200 quid”

You can read the full interview at: http://whatson.ae/dubai/2016/10/interview-madness-suggs-talks-top-pops-70s-music-scene-ski-dubai/


Madness at The BBC

Madness were on BBC4 for Friday’s TOTP, May 1982. Nicole & Adam Ant were on, so we know where we are heading in the coming weeks! Regarding this episode, it was the video as opposed to a studio appearance.

Which brings us to the TOTP editions later this week – we are on both Thursday 13th and Friday 14th. If memory serves me right, the week we got to #1 Madness were on a Japanese airport runway sending a video message back to the TOTP studio thanking the fans and wishing they could be in UK to celebrate top spot!


Daren West


Q Magazine and Rock Magazine

The latest issues of Q magazine and Rock magazine both feature 4-page articles on Madness. Get yourselves down to WHSmith’s right away!




Londoners may be familiar with the landscape architecture featuring on the front cover of the new Madness album.

Here’s a run-down of the buildings involved in “Can’t Touch Us Now’s” pictorial coverings featuring in not just the front cover of the one CD edition, but also in online art work variations of the new album images.

These are the institutions and walls that can’t touch the might of Madness.

  1. St. Paul’s Cathedral.   EC4

Sir Christopher Wren designed the central building featured in full on the front of the new Madness album.  St Paul’s is from the 17th century and stands its dome at the highest city point in London. The head place of worship for the Anglican church and the HQ of the Bishop of London.  It was once touched by Kitten Kong in The Goodies. It can’t touch Madness’ soul.

It’s mentioned directly in the new song, I Believe; “Well come and watch me jump up over St Paul’s at Noon”

  1. Wormwood Scrubs Prison. W12

A category B, Men’s prison, 19th century building designed by Major General Edmund Du Cane, featured to the right on the album cover. Its walls were once touched by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones (from his time spent inside).  They can’t touch Madness’ record now.

It’s mentioned previously in Big Time Sister; “They’re unlocking the doors to Wormwood Scrubs, take heed”

  1. The Tower of London. EC3  (The White Tower) 

Constructed for William The conqueror from 1078. A royal residence in London, and a prison also in its lifetime. It’s on the far right of the CD cover.  The walls were once touched by sir Walter Raleigh, the grounds are touched always by six Ravens, that’s one of each of Madness now. If they fly away the kingdom of will fall.  The Beefeater guards can’t touch Woody’s dinner.

Mentioned in Can’t Touch Us Now; “Two condemned lovers, torn from the big book and thrown to the tower”

  1. Bedford Music Hall Camden (before it was destroyed) NW1

Where would Madness music be without both Camden and the music hall traditions.  Featured in black and white with the street sign indication to the left of the album cover, it’s the only building that, as at 2016, you genuinely can’t touch.  It was demolished in 1969.  93 -95 Camden High Street where it once stood, is now Oxfam and Job Centre plus. Wouldn’t look as good on the cover those would they!!!  Dan Leno once touched it’s walls before they fell, and Madness can’t touch the champagne that used to be sang about here.

  1. The Royal Exchange EC3 

From the 16th century this was the commerce centre of London. William Tite designed the building in the18 hundreds and it’s seen mistily among the fog, in the left background of the cover. Queen Victoria once touched its walls. You can’t touch Madness’s Bank account there, as it’s now more offices and a luxury shopping centre inside.

  1. Trellick Tower Flats. W10

Ah, I’ve been expecting you Mr Grandslam. As Erno Goldfinger is the architect who designed this block of flats that can be glimpsed at the back right corner of the album.  Sound familiar? Well it he was an inspiration for Ian Fleming at one point to, when he wasn’t designing social council housing for London. Though they are tall flats,  Madness can still touch the highs and lows of life on the bottom rung, should the good times go.

  1. The Palace of Westminster, (Victoria & Elizabeth Towers) SW1A 

The Mumbo Jumbo song has already seen off Prime Minister Cameron who once touched the walls here, since the song first aired live, but that doesn’t stop the latest government pumping out the gobbledygook. They do so from the palace of Westminster. Their post referendum plans, can’t touch Madness’s joy of touring Europe. The Victoria Tower is where all the mumbo jumbo said, is stored on 12 floors, and it and the top of the Elizabeth Tower known as the clock tower that houses the bell known as big ben, are just visible in the mist on the back right of the album cover.

  1. The Palace of Whitehall  SW1

Just across the road is the building that used to house royalty. But they cant ask madness to touch down on this roof, which features just next to Westminister towers in the mist top right of the album sleeve. The little tower on top of the banqueting room now had only tourists below it, as all the kings and queens have been elsewhere since the 17 hundreds and much of the palace burnt down long ago.

The electric light orchestra once touched the remain banqueting hall during the photo shoot for this own debut album.

  1. The Old Bailey Court House.  EC4M

The central criminal court of England and Wales, where. Were Whigs often blow the whistle. Madness can’t touch Lady Justice who sits on top of the building with her scales.  Cus as they often say there’s no justice, there’s just us. It features to the left of the album cover on the wider versions of the new art…

  1. Battersea Power Station (& nearby Chelsea Bridge)  SW8

…As does our final building and possibly a London bridge.  Battersea power station, can’t touch their dials anymore as they no longer use the listed building as an active power staion.  It’s south London location is near Chelsea Bridge, perhaps that’s what we see at the very edges. You can’t touch the power of Madness.

The back cover of Morrisey’s 1990 album Bona Drag also featured this location. 

Last one out. Turn off the lights.

Jon Young


Towering Info-Erno

Peeking subtly onto the cover of Can’t Touch Us Now, Erno Goldfinger (inspiration for the bond villain of the same name after a falling out with Ian Fleming)‘s Trellick Tower adds another credit to its long list of musical associations.

Originally built as social housing, with grand, futuristic aspirations for a new way of living, it’s now a highly desirable Grade II* Listed modern icon and brutalist masterpiece, following renovation after years of decline. Trellick has long been a source of inspiration to the nation’s songwriters – including the song of the same name by original House of Fun alumnus Baxter Dury on his debut album, Happy Soup. Strengthening the links to Camden’s finest, one-time Bedders collaborators Department S have also shown a fondness for Goldfinger’s megalith, featuring it in the video for ‘I Want’. Damon Albarn, himself no stranger to the quintessential English pop world Madness embody, is a particular fan, using the tower in the video for Gorillaz’ ‘Tomorrow Comes Today’, on the cover of the 7” version of ‘Kingdom Of Doom’ by The Good The Bad & The Queen, and immortalising it in song on Blur’s ‘Best Days’ on The Great Escape – Trellick Tower’s been calling, I know she’ll leave me in the morning…

Trellick Tower’s place in architectural and musical heritage is assured then – it’s not only a recurring image in music videos and album covers, but it’s also the lighthouse around the bottom of which, the waves of the Notting Hill Carnival crash every August. And take a close look into the mist as the Magnificent Seven leave the Venus Restaurant at the climax of the Return Of The Los Palmos 7 video, and you’ll see it’s not even the first time Madness themselves have been drawn to it.

From utopian ideals, to derelict degradation, to 21st century penthouses for the capital’s richest, it’s fitting that a tower block which has reinvented itself so many times since its construction now adorns the album artwork of another much-loved London institution, as they too embark on their latest phase of reinvention and continue to draw new respect and admiration. Like the unaffordable flats in Goldfinger’s  gentrified vision, you can’t touch ‘em now.”

Owen Collins




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 650 – Sunday 16th October – Saturday 22nd October 2011

For those of you who simply couldn’t afford to go, you have been interested to learn that Madness were currently running a competition to give away a pair of tickets for the weekend. Naturally, we had all the details in this very issue.

If you were still looking to purchase tickets, a limited number were still available, but you were advised to be quick!

Moving on, and next weekend we revealed that a Ska Super Sunday would be taking place in North London to coincide with the launch of Jennie Matthias’s album.

As well as record industry types and some special guests in the audience, to assist Jennie, Martin Stewart from Bad Manners would be on keyboards and a certain Chrissy Boy from Madness would be there to support his long-time friend.

Moving on, and we ran a report entitled “Boss Sounds Rehearsals and Idiot News Presenters”. Why? Well, ITV Northeast News got it wrong and announced Madness at the Boss Sounds Festival. This was despite the poster (which was on screen behind them!) showing the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.

We brought this rather lean issue of the MIS to a close with the news that The Simmertones had just released a new album, and it was well worth a listen.

10 years ago…

Issue 389 – Sunday 15th October to Saturday 21st October 2006

It’d only been running a week or so, but already the Madness page over on MySpace was proving to be a big hit with the fans, not only for being so up-to-date with the news, for enabling fans to chat with each other as well as the band, but also for its prize winning competitions, which we’re promised would continue on a weekly basis for the next nine weeks.

Although the majority of the Madness fanbase seemed to be focusing on the new MySpace page, we still recommended you kept popping over to the official web site, as the message board was still being updated by Lee and Chris.

We kicked off this issue with an interview with Suggs, taken from the latest issue of the Chelsea Football Club magazine, and kindly typed up by our very own Liz Maher. It was a lengthy article, but proved to be a very enjoyable read.

Suggs wound up the interview by saying;

‘When I go home after a game, I still feel the same way I always have after watching Chelsea – I love it.’

With Christmas and the end of year Madness tour fast approaching those gigs were now starting to sell out. If you still hadn’t purchased your tickets we advised you to get your skates on!

With the Birmingham, Bournemouth and Brighton gigs already sold out, Wembley only now offering seated tickets, and a new date at the Brixton Academy for the 7th December making a recent appearance, it was clear that demand for tickets was high.

The current line-up of dates (including those sold out) was as follows:

Thursday 7th Brixton Academy

Sunday 10th Dublin The Point

Tuesday 12th Glasgow SECC Hall 4

Wednesday 13th Manchester MEN Arena

Thursday 14th Newcastle Telewest Arena

Saturday 16th Birmingham NEC **SOLD OUT**

Sunday 17th Bournemouth BIC **SOLD OUT**

Tuesday 19th Brighton Centre **SOLD OUT**

Wed 20th Wembley Arena

We brought this week’s issue to a close by pulling out a few of the more interesting items to crop up on the official Madness messageboard over the past few weeks, and issued a reminder to those of you who’d not yet purchased tickets for the forthcoming Christmas tour to get your backsides in gear before they’d all sold out.

15 years ago…

Issue 127 – Sunday 14th October to Saturday 20th October 2001

The big news this week was about WWW.MADNESS.CO.UK. We had an email from Mr Bedford himself telling us that the work on bringing the web site back to greatness was in full flow. We didn’t know when it would be back up but it could be just a few weeks away. We could tell you that it was being put together by a web design company chosen by Madness, and Mark and Chris were working closely with the company about the design of the site. The interesting news being that each of the 7 band members would have their own mini site or page within www.madness.co.uk where they could put whatever they like up on the site, whenever they wanted.

There would also be a guest book involved somewhere for us the fans to scribble on. Mark described the site as being very nutty and strangely humourous and he was happy that it would be the personal site the bands’ internet fans have always deserved. The possibility of merchandise was also being looked into and the band wanted your help in suggesting what they should produce.

Elsewhere in this issue we had two articles from Mr Carden. A classic review of Carl’s 2000 gig from a previous edition of Madness Unsugged as well as news of the latest edition. We also had news of a number of forthcoming record fair news, a round-up of the latest rumours surrounding the next Madstock. Plus a review of the new “Best of the farm” album featuring Suggs produced tracks from the early 90’s.

Rob Hazelby



We bring this issue to a close with an apology.

Our apologies to Peter Clemm for his hard work in producing an article which appeared in a recent issue of the MIS. We not only omitted to credit him but it shouldn’t have actually appeared at this point in time. We have taken note and rectified matters.

Next week, in the last MIS before the release of the 11th Madness album, we feature our review of the EPIC 16 track new masterpiece. This will be accompanied with fan comments and a few words from some of the musicians involved with the creation.

With its bold choices, 8 track recording methods, and extensive range of song styles it’s a new Madness sound that’s where the 6-piece band are now, and where they can’t be touched musically.

We’ll tell you more about it, and why you’ll be wanting to touch that play button over and over again in MIS 911.

See you all then!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Peter Clemm, Daren West, Owen Collins and Adam Nichols)

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