Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 900 – Sunday 7th August to Saturday 13th August 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 900 – Sunday 7th August to Saturday 13th August 2016

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MIS ONLINE – The Madness Information Service Online Newsletter
Issue Number: 900 – Sunday 7th August to Saturday 13th August 2016
Web: www.mis-online.net | Twitter: @MIS_Online | iOS: https://goo.gl/7goj5z LinkedIn: Click here


Hello and welcome to week 900 of the Madness Information Service Online News Fanzine.

From wonderful beginnings reporting on the band’s first comeback material, we happily find some 900 weeks later that you can’t touch Madness now as they approach the release of their fifth album since their 90’s reformation.  And the next Madness Single?  The band’s 40th. (Yes, other counting methods are available on that stat!)

Stand up…  Mr Apples.

Suggs, in Scotland, this week announced the tune (recently aired at Glastonbury) as the band’s next single.  We understand that Charlie Andrew, producer of many tracks on the last Madness album, has prepared a single mix, from the band’s work in Toe Rag studios for the new album.  It’s a great song and a great choice.  Madness have now been playing it in the encore at recent gigs. The Apple en-Core that is. Get it!  We think this track has strong A-Peel, too.  Will we get an apple shaped picture disc though?  We’d love one.  (Would The Beatles or Steve Jobs estate even allow such a thing!)

Issue 900 seems blessed as we’ve two more singles, announced this week by their bands, to tell you about.  The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra unveiled links for a September 2nd drop of the Luke Solomon mix of track “Feel a little Better”, penned by Andy Neal from the band and sung by Lee Thompson.  We’ve heard a mix and review it in this issue. You can Pre Order Now.   We also continue our series of interviews with the band in our “Bullet Points” feature in this issue as we talk to Drummer Mez and Trumpet brassman Steve “Chalky” White.

While thirdly The Clang Group have announced their album called “Practice” (and there is a limited EP,) with the first single from it called “Acer Lane”.

Clive Langer’s new rock band also features Suggs appearing somewhere on the album.

Is that enough new music for you?

No?  OK. Well, Madness at Glastonbury feature a live track on a new charity album. Suggs wants to talk to you about Van Morrison’s Music.  Rhoda’s EP is funded!

We’ve got Lee Thompson himself reviewing the experience of Madness gigs in Edinburgh, with set lists. The Specialized Dance Crazy album is here.

And we’ve even some cow punk music to announce for our Dublin Castle event!  Phew! You can find information on all of the above in this very issue

Before we let you crack on with the issue we’d like to give a very big thank you ti anyone and everyone who helped us out of the past 900 issues. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Enjoy the read of the rest of this one!

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.




Thursday 11th – Cropredy Festival, Oxfordshire. First day headliner

Saturday 13th – Boom Town Fair – Winchester

Friday 19th – Cyfartha Castle, Merthyr Tydfil

Saturday 20th – Titanic Belfast, Belsonic

Monday 29th – House of Common, Clapham Common
More info at: http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/


Sunday 3rd – Crammerock Festival, Belgium

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

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/



Saturday 27th – Bangor, Northern Ireland – Talking Musical Revolutions. Part of the “Open House Festival”


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra


Thursday 18th, Newham Free Festival

Thursday 25th – Album Launch Party – Bite The Bullet – 100 Club Oxford Street London

Sunday 28th – DJ set @ Commoners Against Cancer – Dublin Castle.  Noon


House of Fun Weekender


Near Jazz Experience


Tuesday 9th, Indo 133 Whitechapel Road, London  E1 1DT – 8.30pm FREE


Rhoda Dakar

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

Also appearing at The House of Fun Weekender this year.




Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now – Pre Order  – October 21st

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  – August 25th (available Signed from the 100 club launch on the 25th) 

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) ** New **

“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



Dance Crazy – The Best of Specialized Ska Live ** Now Shipping Orders **

Our copy of Dance Crazy, arrived with us this week. It’s a lovely looking CD that manages to feel like a link between Specialized’s own covers albums of Specialized, Beat Teenage Cancer, Mad not Cancer & Combat Cancer. (And it brings together some bands from those albums too Live) At the same time of course it looks like a perfect tribute to Dance Craze 35 years on from that original 2tone film soundtrack album linked together music by Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners and The Body-snatchers, The Selecter. and The Beat.

It sounds wonderful. A very clean production for an album made of so many bands and recorded live you wouldn’t know it sometimes on the tracks, as the audience aren’t annoyingly present over the music and the instruments and notes are very clear.

There is a version of One Step Beyond here that favours the trumpet in the band Skapital. The Prince live cover has the wonderful intro of “Do you want to be on an album in Europe? Well sing up you will be.” While Swan Lake, we can tell you, was recorded live in Ireland, as The Service features our friend Vince Foley. He tells us they did it on St Patrick’s Day.


It’s a party and a celebration of long lived music, and of current Skabands on the scene that followed stepping like a large boot in a very long cast black and white shadow.  No it’s not essential in terms of musical content, and yes some of the Ska and approach is somewhat tribute band predictable in its approach, when faced with the notion that some of these songs were already covers in the early 80’s when the original was made stretches this point only further that this is no reinvention. But it is NOW, and it has a sense of community about it, that is already pushing this limited release towards sell out and a profit for the charity. It’s about where you are now, but will later been seen as a little snapshot of a time. Are you going out Tonight?.   I’m off to dance in the Nite Club with Special Kinda Madness. Track 11. See you there.




SIGN OF THE TIMES                               

Suggs – Belfast Telegraph


He isn’t even sure what Paris buns are, but Suggs, the charismatic frontman of the hugely popular hit-makers Madness, bursts into song about the Belfast delicacies at the drop of a pork-pie hat, which used to be his band’s trademark.

And in a Belfast accent, the English singer-songwriter, radio personality, actor and TV presenter also belts out a line or two about “cleaning the fanlights inside-out” as he re-visits one of his favourite songs, Cleaning Windows by his hero Van Morrison  (Note: article features band history and comments on van morrison songs)

As well as Cleaning Windows, Van’s song In The Garden is another stand-out track for Suggs, who laughs: “If you are with a bird and you put that song on, you’re away.

“And another song, Professional Jealousy, hits the nail on the head about the music business. It’s about lies and propaganda, but Van’s message is that the only requirement you need is to be the best at delivering the product on time.”

Suggs would love to find the time to do a tour in Belfast of Morrison’s old haunts that he has immortalised in his songs like Cyprus Avenue, scene of his 70th birthday concert almost a year ago.

“A friend has brought me a book which makes references to the places in Van’s songs. It would be great to see them in real life.”

Madness concerts and their regular appearances at their own festivals, like Madstock and the imminent House of Common on Clapham Common, are invariably sing-a-long parties, but the band are currently recording a new album, which Suggs says has “re-energised” them all.

“The album is going great,” says Suggs. “I think it is one of the best we have ever made – but I would say that, wouldn’t I? However, we really didn’t want to get sucked into the black hole of ’80s revivals. Obviously, we know that, at our gigs, people want to hear all the hits, but we also want to make something fresh.

It makes for the best of both worlds.”


Live album –  Oxfam presents: Stand As One – Live at Glastonbury 2016


It’s the first live Glastonbury album of its kind. A host of world-famous musicians and the world’s best-loved festival stand as one with people forced to flee conflict, disaster and poverty.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Jo Cox, MP, a former Oxfam activist, who campaigned tirelessly for refugees.

Acts including Madness, Coldplay, Muse, Foals, Sigur Rós and The Last Shadow Puppets have dedicated a song from their Glastonbury set for a special live album in support of Oxfam’s work with refugees worldwide. Released 5 August (digital) and 19 August (CD) on Parlophone.

Features Madness – My Girl Live Glastonbury 2016.


The Clang Album – Practice – Out September 30th


Recorded at Iguana Studio in Brixton with musician mates and long-time cohorts (including Suggs and Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay), Practice is jagged, melodious, ingenious, impulsive and exhilarating. Usually all the same time. Driven by a frantic and restless energy, it’s exactly the kind of record you’d hope someone would make if they woke up aged 60 thinking, “Fuck it, I’m going to start a rock’n’roll band.” Yes, that good.

Tracklisting: Concertina / Acre Lane / Amsterdam / I’m Sorry / Bike / Had A Nice Night / Heaven Calls Another Name / Picture Postcard Paradise / Knock Me Off / Out Of Time




With the imminent release of the Bite the Bullet LP by The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra we continue our series of interviews with the band…

This week it’s the turn of Drummer Mez.

  1. How was the recording sessions for you?


  1. Which song/s did you write and what was your approach?

Step It Up Sister. The chorus just popped into my head one day when I was messing about on the piano. Didn’t take long really, once I’d found a few words that rhymed with “sister”. When I was writing it, I was trying to imagine Mr Thompson singing it which helped things along. 

  1. Which cover version did you choose for the album or which did you have the most hand in collaboration to how it turned out?

Probably ‘Cry to Me’. We had a few discussions about the beat – tried a few different things and in the end we settled on a shuffle groove, along the lines of ‘Millie Girl’ by Owen Grey. 

  1. Which track is your favourite on the album, and why?

I’d say the title track ‘Bite the Bullet’ written by Mr Bedford. I like the minor key and it has a cinematic quality to it….I can hear it as the theme to a detective show, like a Jamaican version of Columbo. ‘Colum-BO!’

  1. Which tune has been the best to play live from this album?

Tough one…’Western Standard Time’ always gets the Ska juices flowing nicely…yee-haw!

  1. If you had 1 bullet to sort a problem who or what would you shoot?

I’d probably accidentally shoot myself in the foot….I’m good at that

  1. Bite the Bullet means to “take action now.” What do you need to bite the bullet on next?

Finishing answering your questions 

  1. What’s been the best moment of being in the lee thompson ska orchestra so far for you?

Playing at Glastonbury was a proud moment. That whole Summer was a real beauty.

  1. Who is a big inspiration from Ska or beyond?

Buster. He sold the heat you know.

  1. What’s the best scene from the movies featuring a bullet?

The end of Jaws when Chief Brody blows the shark up “Smile you son-of-a…”

  1. Which music genre/style do you like most apart from Ska

Rock (Roll is good too)

12 Which Ska song or song to Ska up, do you think should be on album 3?

I love the Doo Wops, so maybe a Ska version of ‘Sincerely’ by the Moonglows.

Bonus Bulle Question:. Which song from the first album Sister Mary, still wows you after years of hearing it?

‘Guns Fever’. It’s a great opener.




Feel a little better, The Luke Solomon Single Mix is out September 2nd, the 4th single by The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. We have to confess upfront we haven’t heard

this unique mix that’s been prepared for Radio. So whatever spin or tricks the DJ/Producer Luke Solomon has added into the party, are not yet available for our comment, remaining in the tight maverick grip of Dave Robinson and ready to surprise us all as have past remixes.

Luke comes with a great CV though that beyond his own music includes remixes for the likes of Alison Limerick, Pulp, Damon Alban, Kasabian, The Streets & Duran Duran.

We can say though that it’s worth buying to be completest as it won’t match the pressed album mix by the sounds of things. You’ll have to download (or hunt for a promo CD with the jumping festival girl on the cover) to get it. You can pre order now on iTunes and Amazon.

What we do have to review today is an earlier mix. It’s possibly the one on the album, or may not be that final pressed mix, but it is a complete studio take we are listening to. Now, I don’t think the song is instant on the ear, in this form it doesn’t sound like a hit to me either, but it is a very quick grower. It’s a lovely lilting reggae take very well written and executed by the band. Andy Neal Guitarist is behind this one showing how the band have both changed in personnel and progressed since their full covers album The benevolence of Sister Mary. The sweet sultry backing humming of Sumudu is another example of a great addition, so delightful to hear here it’s a sublime blending of vocals that lullaby you into yes feeling better about your day excuse such obvious parallel but it’s true it’s one of those songs that warms you or soothes.

Feel a little better then is very indicative of the album Bite the Bullet in terms of songs like Wickerman, I am king, and fairly close to Cuss Cuss, or The Beatles “I’ll be back again” covers, so a good showroom piece for the whole ticket. From the batch I preferred Step it up sister’s instant dance-ability or bombastic Western Standard times brass blasting cowboy pomp, though those standalone a bit more amongst the album or showcase the instrumental side of the LP only. The band may have wanted to show depth of songwriting and a genetler poppy tune.  Lyrically the track paints a picture of a man seeking solace in his bar tender plying him with drink while he pours out the old “Her family think this of me” story. We’ve no idea how autobiographical or imagined is the inspiration for this. The quite intricate lyrics sometimes sound a little auto cue in pronunciation, but that may be specific to this mix/take, or maybe charactorial. The drunk in the song resolves to sort it all out in the way that alcohol gives resolve to risk, action and looser lipped telling it like it is.

Get this downloaded in September, pour yourself a drink, and sink into this song and see what the remix brings too,  you’ll probably sing along concluding that it’s a little belter.




Edinburgh Madness Set List – First Night 


The Prince


My Girl

My Girl II

Take It Or Leave It

Wings Of A Dove

Can’t Touch Us Now

The Sun and The Rain

Don’t Leave The Past Behind

Iron Shirt

Bed & Breakfast Man

Shut Up

Girl (Why Don’t You)

(Show time)

One Step Beyond

House Of Fun

Baggy Trousers

Our House

It Must Be Love


Mr Apples


Night Boat To Cairo


The Edinburgh Reporter says …


Suggs and co belted out all the old favourites such as Embarrassment, One Step Beyond, My Girl, Our House, Baggy Trousers and lots more as well as some more recent numbers such as Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da. The finale included this reporter’s favourite, It Must Be Love, Bed & Breakfast Man and the sublime Night Boat to Cairo which thrilled the many Madness devotees who purchased a fez for the evening

It was a great night – a word, too about the support act The Computers, whose thirty-minute set was mightily impressive.

I last saw Madness in Glasgow at The Hydro and that was also a great night albeit we were seated. At Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange, it was standing – and dancing – room only and this made for an absolutely fantastic gig.

Madness on tour – it will be difficult to find one better day….


Michael Gleeson says…

I attended the Corn Exchange gig on Thursday and it was excellent. A combination of the venue (hot and sweaty and sold out) and a hard core audience which had evidently snapped up the tickets very early, helped generate a particularly energetic performance. Set list (from memory and not necessarily in order), Embarrassment, The Prince, NW5, My Girl, My Girl 2, Don’t Leave the Past Behind, Wings of a Dove, Sun and the Rain, Girl, Take it or Leave It, Iron Shirt, Shut Up, You Can’t Touch Us Now (which received a very positive reception), B&B Man, showtime, OSB, House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House, It Must be Love, Mr Apples (which Suggs claimed was a new single), Madness, Night Boat. Fabulous show left us all dripping with sweat. One of the stewards on seeing all the faces leaving the venue commented “I’ve never seen so many happy faces!”. Indeed, no one can touch them now!

Anyway, you probably already know the set list but I also managed to catch Madness on TV last night. BBC Alba (the Scottish Gaelic channel available on freeview, certainly in Scotland at least) broadcast from the Belladrum festival over several hours. This included an interview with Suggs (in English, of course!) and the following was also broadcast – The Prince, My Girl, OSB, HoF, BT, OH, IMBL, plus Madness with Wilco and Norman Watts (who were also appearing at Belladrum). Night Boat didn’t make the broadcast, possibly because the broadcast was running over time. The good news is that this is now available via the BBC I-player (along with some other bands, including some Wilco/Watts). I don’t know if this is available throughout the UK but it certainly is in Scotland today. Would be interesting to know if folk in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and perhaps elsewhere can view this via I-player. The presenters also said further footage (from the whole festival) will become available later in the year, so perhaps more Madness to come.

Thanks for the weekly newsletters, keep up the good work!

best wishes.



Corn exchange was a blast yesterday. No cans were thrown, however I managed to demolish x2 ceiling tiles with my head, by jumping up on the speakers & not judging the height & measurement.

Some of the loyal Mad/Scorch fans came back to the Hotel & joined me in a White Russian & dark rum & coke into the wee hours. I was invited out to a cozy piano bar with a 5am licence but opted to sit out on the decking with B&B Man himself ‘Rockin’ Billy Whizz.It’s Good To Talk. Joe Bloggs signed the bar bill…….Suggs owes me biggest of times!!!

Thanks gents



Edinburgh Madness Set List – Second Night


The Prince


My Girl

Mumbo Jumbo

Tomorrow’s Just Another Day

Take It Or Leave It

Wings Of A Dove

Can’t Touch Us Now

The Sun and The Rain

Don’t Leave The Past Behind

Grey Day

Bed & Breakfast Man

Shut Up


(Show time)

One Step Beyond

House Of Fun

Baggy Trousers

Our House

It Must Be Love


Mr Apples


Night Boat To Cairo


The Edinburgh News Scotsman paper Says 


JUDGING by the Sta Press trousers, Harrington jackets and pork pie hats on show, no-one was likely to confuse the main attraction at the Corn Exchange with a Fringe show, but for the avoidance of doubt, Suggs made it clear from the start: “For those of you have come for the avant garde mime festival… that’s not us. This is Madness.”

“Edinburger… it’s nice to see you,” said Suggs, “all shapes, all sizes, all ages.” Spot on. A line in Embarrassment about “feeling twice as older” became “three, four, five times older” but the trick Madness pull off is to make us all feel so much younger again. Genius.

Only Chas Smash – now Cathal Smyth – was absent, and I shouldn’t be harsh, but he was always the spare part. That’s not to say he wasn’t missed, especially on One Step Beyond, which arrived without his trademark ‘hey you, don’t watch that”



Same venue, much more boisterous & sweaty crowd. I’ve not played a gig as hot as this since Dangermouse sessions at DC.

Came off for encore & kept running out the exit doors where, a chap was having a nose bleed due to the compact sweaty bouncing bodies.

I gave him my handkerchief & jogged back to stage, with Apples, Madness, Night Boats & much Love. A Stonker!

Fired up Toms. just another day, Grey Day, Mumbo & Herbert to replace-, Iron Shirt, Girl(why don’t you?) & My girl 2

From previous night.

Crowd screamed out on intro to YCTUNow thinking it was It must be love!…

Hotel Bar was much livelier than Thurs but no Rockin Billy (…lightest of weightiest!!!)

On chuff chuffer to Inverness.


P.S ceiling tiles still not replaced.


Belladrum waiting for the ghost piper?  Lee Thompson Says…

The accommodation we stayed in was reminiscent of Victor Lown’s gaff, where we shot the Our House video. I think it was haunted.

I was being chased scantily dressed by a Scotish Piper, in full regalia across red hot coals in high winds…then I woke to pipes in full swing.

The piper does this every day out on the green at the same time. Fantastic, but not when I’m trying to ‘re charge my batteries for the evening performance at Belladrum.

The sash windows creaked at will and at breakfast, the following morning the doors to the lawn burst open, with a mighty crash, directly behind Barzo, myself, Woody and a few crew!

Even though the rain fell relentlessly, the band played on! at Belladrum,Wilco played a rockin’set prior & later came on for our encore to play Madness, Thundering bass from Stormin’ Norman.

Another excellent performance from the dripping crowd. Of the new tunes played again, Apples and Can’t touch us now went down a ‘Storm’.

High winds now keep us at Inverness airport where there are NO FLIGHTS until further notice….

I’m off to the Airport Chapel for a chant.

Best, LT


Catch the Belladrum Madness Concert on the iPlayer

Thanks for the wonders of modern technology, you can catch Friday’s Belladrum concert via the iPlayer, courtesy of BBC Alba.

Point your web browsers over to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07nlqzt

Wilko Johnson and Norman Watt Roy joined the band for the song  “Madness”.  Suggs lovingly welcomed them to the stage describing them as The Near Death Escape Twins.





Hi everyone!

“You did it – we’re funded! Thank you so much! When embarking on a project like this, you always hope it will go well and you’ll achieve your target and be able to deliver. However, nothing is guaranteed! Releasing music through crowdfunding really does depend on the belief of you, the fans, that we will not let you down. It’s a very different model and, I think, strengthens the relationship between us, the music makers, and you, the music audience. The truth is, these roles are interchangeable and some of you are music makers too and we, of course, are part of a wider music audience.

We’re halfway there with the recording. All the backing tracks were laid down on Tuesday and are sounding brilliant. Even if I say so myself! We were very, very lucky to have the chance to use Paul Weller’s Black Barn Studio! I asked the engineer to leave a little magic lying around, so we could brush our fingers through it before we started. I think it worked! As expected, the acoustics were brilliant and the engineer, Charles, aside from being a top, top chap, was a true craftsman and a gifted people manager. It was clear this was a place of hard work, but great benevolence, shaped by those who usually ply their trade therein. What a great day!

Now it’s down to me. I need to match those tracks with the best vocal performances I can muster. Wish me luck!

Take care all, ”

Rhoda x


All the details of what it’s about here…





Next up is the bite the bullet album’s trumpet player Steve “Chalky” White.

  1. How was the recording sessions for you


2 Which song/s did you write and what was your approach?

Three songs of mine were put forward. One from 30 years ago, another I wrote last year about Alan Turing, and Lee put a file forward with several on with one of which I had written for The Dance Brigade project . On this occasion none of these were chosen …. No none of us are slugabeds 😊

  1. Which track is your favourite on the album, and why?

My favourite is probably Feel A little better . I think it suits Lee’s style , voice and personality 

  1. Which tune has been the best to play live from this album?

They are all nice to play live it’s great to play fresh stuff . I guess I’d say Feel a little better and Western standard time , as you may remember from the dance brigade track “3 sides” I do like a hint of that classic cowboy film sound now and again . 

5 Bite the Bullet means to “take action now.” What do you need to bite the bullet on next?

The next thing I need to bite the bullet with is probably my-self employment bookwork

6 What’s been the best moment of being in the Lee Thompson Ska orchestra so far for you?

My best moment so far with the Skorc so far is probably Glastonbury. First time I went was as a punter in 86 . Then I roadied there in the late 90’s and  in 2014 we performed there . Both my sons were there , it was great . “From the Prince Albert in Brighton to Glastonbury festival”! 

  1. Who is a big inspiration from Ska or beyond?

People that I have found inspirational have included my Dad (2 degrees at Oxford university in chemistry and played football at wembley) , Robert Trunz who owned B&w loud speakers and melt2000 record company , Dave Robinson and I have to say Lee (may be more so after becoming friends )

  1. What’s the best scene from the movies featuring a bullet?

Clint Eastwood …… In all this excitement.  [Note The famous Dirty Harry Magnum scene how many bullets were fired etc a classic]  

  1. Which music genre/style do you like most apart from Ska

New wave (late 70s early 80s) 60s soul , rock and roll , punk swaying towards the like of the damned and stiff little fingers

  1. Which song from the first album sister mary, still wows you after years of hearing?

I still like the feeling when we start a gig and the train starts rolling …… As it’s normally Guns fever , then that’s the song that I’d have to pick. 




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 639 – Sunday 7th August – Saturday 13th August 2011

Towards the end of July Suggs made a secret DJ appearance at the Port

Elliot Festival.

Unfortunately, it was revealed during one of his recent ‘tweets; that he’d injured his ankle at the event.

Having visibly limped his way through the Norwich gig the week prior to this issue going out, and while still putting on a great show, he regrettably had to cancel his solo performance at the Lollibop Festival, which was announced on the festival web site on Friday.

Despite his injury it didn’t stop him taking part in vocal duties for a unique supergroup though. We’ll explain…

Andy Mackay, the sax player from Roxy Music arranged a charity gig in Devon featuring himself and fellow Roxy legends Phil Manzanera (guitar) and Paul Thompson (drums) along with Deaf School legends Miss Bette Bright, Enrico Cadillac Jr and Sir Clive Langer.

Alongside that little lot was an appearance from Madness legend Suggs. That’s a lot of legends!

Sir Clive commented: “Half of Deaf School play with half of Roxy Music plus the added bonus of Suggs from Madness. It’s a dream come true for us to be playing with our heroes, and probably the single most influential band in the formative years of DS!”.

In our latest roundup of news from the Ska Orchestra a certain Darren Dicka was kind enough to give us the lowdown on how to purchase tickets to the band’s next gig in Newcastle. We also featured a review of the band’s recent performance in Belfast courtesy of the Belfast Telegraph.

We brought this slim edition of the MIS to a close with the news that earlier in the week emails went out to all those subscribed to the official Madness web site, announcing that the ‘Madness: A Guided Tour” box set was now available to order.

We’d hoped to include full details in this very issue of the MIS, but when we clicked on the link it took an age to load, and then the resulting page was missing all formatting and imagery. So much for go-live testing!

10 years ago…

Issue 379 – Sunday 6th August to Saturday 12th August 2006

We got this issue underway with news of a forthcoming Spanish Madmeet organised by MIS subscriber Mikel Echeberria. If you were able to get yourselves along, we guaranteed that Mikel would be the ultimate in tour guides, although we expected him to be rather the worse for wear after numerous bottles of San Miguel had passed his lips.

To be fair, that probably didn’t bother those of you planning to attend the meet as you’d no doubt be in a similar state.

Next, we had an update from comedian Dave Gorman, who we were pleased to announce completed his London to Brighton charity bike ride (in aid of the British Heart Foundation), which a number of MIS subscribers made a donation.

Moving on, and the next section was a transcription of an article about Madness which originally appeared on the English Network web site. Written by John Hurd, this short write-up was a well written review of the recent Museumsplatz gig.

Further on, and we gave readers a heads-up on a YouTube link, which was originally posted over on the Chas Smash Forum.

It showed Mark Bedford and the Blockheads jamming with Japanese band kiyoshiro imawano and the razor sharps, on a track called Chopped Tomato Puree. Near the beginning Mark did a minute long bass solo that was a treat for any Madness fan to see.

The link still works, and can be found here:


To bring the issue to a close we took a look at the Official Madness Messageboard, and featured some of the more interesting exchanges that had taken place over the past few weeks

15 years ago…

Issue 117 – Sunday 5th August to Saturday 11th August 2001

We began this issue with news from Chris Carter-Pegg, who reported that there was an East Central One promo video doing the rounds, which featured Suggs and The Blockheads performing `My Old Man` at the previous year’s tribute gig.

We advised you to keep your eyes peeled at future record fairs!

Next-up it was on to Madness tribute bands, where we featured a full roundup of tribute outfit gigs for the month of August. Complete Madness seemed to be the busiest of all groups with 17 gigs planned for the month.

Now, many of you already had your copy of the News of The World Madness Weekender special. The TMML was brimming with praise for it and we joined the ranks of people who had laughed their backsides off at a piece of fan memorabilia. A true FAN-zine. A 20 page souvenir of the Blackpool mad meet that had solved the problem most people had of suffering post Blackpool blues and filled in many a memory lapse. For those who didn’t go it had shown the full scale of the jolly up they missed, and was a great advert for subsequent year’s bash.

We went back in time for the next article, where we re-published an excerpt from that Madness bible, Tour Madness. In this we looked at the 1st of August 1993, where the band were playing at the Semple Stadium, Tipperary, Ireland. Madness performed on the third day of the festival along with  Paul Brady, Bronte Bros, Cooney & Begley,

Indigo Girls, Aztec Camera, Sultans of Ping, Squeeze, Inner Circle, Christie Hennessy, Bjorn Again, Mary Black, and Chris de Burgh.

The band’s set list for the day was: One Step Beyond / The Prince / Embarassment / My Girl / The Sun and The Rain / Grey Day / It Must be Love / Razorblade Alley / Shut up / Bed and Breakfast Man / House of Fun / Our House / Nightboat to Cairo / Madness.

Back to the present day, Jon Young reviewed the fourth and final part of radio comedy show ‘I Think I’ve got a Problem’.

The songs sung by Suggs in this episode were:

I am a soft fruiterer

Let me take you up the aisle

Selfish bride

I think I’ve got a problem x 2

It was back in time again for our next article, as we re-printed an article from issue 16 of Nut Inc, which originally appeared back in July 1982.

The article began as follows…

“Last Monday Madness headed west to Shepherds Bush for the first of two day’s filming. It’s for the latest in a long line of legendary videos; this time, “Driving in my Car”. The first location was appropriately enough, a garage.

Madness work within a framework of organised chaos – someone sorts out the different locations and props; camera crew, Madness director Dave Robinson     decides what to do after they’ve arrived”.

Following this, we popped over to Ebay where a mint condition inflatable li-lo (as used in swimming pools the world over for lounging about on!) that was produced to promote Suggs’ single I’m Only Sleeping was currently up for sale.

At the time the MIS went out, it was going for a mere £14.

It was over to Chris and Suggs next, who revealed how they wrote the classic ‘in The Middle of The Night’.


“USUALLY lyrics are written out of an experience that’s particularly moving, but in the case of `In The Middle of The Night`, it’s from an exaggerated memory”.

We finished off this issue with a heads-up that “Don’t go Breaking my Heart”, the film starring Suggs, would be airing on Sky Premier and Sky Premier 2 in the coing week. Suggs’ time in the film was very short, so we advised you not to blink, otherwise you’d miss it.

Rob Hazelby




Just before we call Time with some last comments as we have in 900ish MIS so far, we’ve just a tiny little announcement about our sold out Specialized show in the Dublin Castle on August 28th.

Along with Lee Thompson DJing, Our triple bill of evening ska bands, and other Madness related DJ’ with reggae and crunchy! grooves,  we also have In the afternoon some alternative bands.

RnB from Mez and the Fezzez and light new wave sounds from French band Indeed.  It’s into this alternative afternoon slot we are adding some last minute country and banjo.

The cow punk Skiff Skatt’s may have already reformed and disbanded before us at The Dublin Castle in the recent past, but this late 80’s Madness linked country ho down band that was once in the NME betwixt Dexys and the Pogues back in the day, is having a clear out of some old Skiff Skatt Stuff,  Robert Smith the bands leader has a few give away for us, and one of his fellow recent guitarists from their reunion gig will be visiting and they will be performing a couple of numbers together in this duo line up.

That’s not all though as joining this duo will be Joe Auckland from Madness trumpet duty, If you know any more about Joe beyond him being one of the wise Brass Monkeys appearing alongside Madness, then you might know his work with The Wagon Tales, (who performed a ho down of one step beyond at the first house of fun weekender no less), or in The Horne Section (they’ve been seen on C4’s 8 out of 10 cats do countdown! and Radio 4)  both of which line ups have featured his skill on the banjo.  So Banjo Joe will be dueling Banjo’s with the skiff skat banjo man Robert, in a mash up of mad related common cowboy cow punk.  Try saying that with false teeth in!  We are sure Alan Flynn will start the country do-si-do-ing again.




That almost brings our bumper issue 900 to an end.

Before we go we recommend that once you’ve finished reading this MIS you check out the video of The Clang group’s single, “Acer Lane” here… https://youtu.be/NLS9VdTgxNw

Yes, that is Tad on Bass. He gets everywhere. The song reminds us of Deaf School, Squeeze and new wave 80’s bands like Tear Drop Explodes and such that Clive used to produce.

Lastly, if you find yourself in London Saturday August 27th Gorgeous George are playing in Battersea, at The Magic Gardens. They should be airing four new songs.

And with that, we’re done!

All the best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Iain Mason Apple gag writer for the issue and
we love Phillip Morris for the set list info.
Thanks also to Michael Gleeson for the Corn Exchange write-up)

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