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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 897 – Sunday 17th July to Saturday 23rd July 2016

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MIS ONLINE – The Madness Information Service Online Newsletter
Issue Number: 897 – Sunday 17th July to Saturday 23rd July 2016
Web: www.mis-online.net | Twitter: @MIS_Online | iOS: https://goo.gl/7goj5z LinkedIn: Click here


Have you been watching ITV this week? Most Madness fans with good eyesight have noticed Lee Thompson and his Ska Orchestra popping up in that 30 second advert for Boots discrete hearing aids that we told you about a couple of issues ago.

We could do a million easy jokes at this point, but as Boots are highlighting quite maturely the benefits of hearing aids for those of us in later life that have spent a little too much time around the speaker stacks, we will just applaud its non ageist, no shame in it, respectful tone. It’s a worthy and professional approach, still managing to capture on screen some humour amongst the band’s characters, especially in the longer version found online.

Watch it here – https://youtu.be/CVPunmPs1m8

If you’ve been even more eagle eyed to over the past week you may have spotted some particular posts popping up on social media, and you’ll have learnt there is some future ITV viewing to bookmark as well. Why? Well, Madness have been in Spain, filming for ITV show Benidorm. This is an appearance set to rank alongside many great appearances by the band on British comedy shows over the years. The band were seen playing in the show’s Spanish holiday resort called Neptune’s bar.

We won’t go into any more than that, as we’d like to save the rest of the comedy and surprise for January when the next series is due on air.

Now, switch on, turn it up, and enjoy the rest of this week’s issue which includes more on the new album from Mojo and more.

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.




Saturday 30th – Kendal Calling, Penrith http://www.kendalcalling.co.uk/information/ticket-info/

Sunday 31st – Y Not Festival, Matlock


Thursday 4th – Edinburgh Corn Exchange * Sold Out *
More info at: http://m.whatsoninedinburgh.co.uk/event/028964-madness/

Friday 5th – Edinburgh Corn Exchange
More info at: http://m.whatsoninedinburgh.co.uk/event/028964-madness/

Saturday 6th –Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness, Scotland (headliners)
More info at www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

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


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/



Thursday 21st – Guildford Glive

Friday 22nd – Guildford Glive

Saturday 23rd – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (Rescheduled)


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


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra


Friday 22nd, Hampton Pool Picnic, Supporting The Selecter * Sold Out *


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


The Near Jazz Experience

July 12th, Indo, Whitechapel, London




Saturday 23rd, The Dublin Castle Camden London.

Sunday 24th, 02 Academy Liverpool  LIMFestival.com




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 £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.


Dance Crazy – The Best of Specialized Ska Live

A little nod and appreciation as we at Specialized celebrate the 35th birthday in 2016 of the 2Tone movie & soundtrack “Dance Craze”

This album Features original acts & covers bands paying respects to the Dance Craze phenomenon.

All recorded live.

The same songs as Dance Craze by new bands 35 years on. (Including live covers of Madness) pre order now £10 (£2.50 p&p)



Trembling Earth – A Scottish Ska Collection

(F&J Records SHaG036/SHaG036CD)

Release: July 25, 2016 – 2-disc CD, + iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc

For the first time, TREMBLING EARTH collects tracks from right across this energetic and independent scene – 33 songs on a double-disc set, from 16 bands representing the past, present and future of Scottish ska – Bombskare, The Amphetameanies, Esperanza, Victorian Trout Conspiracy, Root System, The Cut Throat Razors, Big Hand, Bis, The Newtown Grunts, Big Fat Panda, Sea Bass Kid, The Skarsoles, Urang Matang, Capone and the Bullets, Joe Viterbo and The Cherry Reds.

There are earworms, wit and virtuosity aplenty here, but true to its roots, this collection’s main aim is to make people dance. We hope that it works for you.

F&J Records, Glasgow




SIGN OF THE TIMES                               

Artist Playlist – Ska For The Summer by Madness’ Lee Thompson  (From Q Magazine)

While his day job put the final touches to a new album Madness’ saxophone-wielder-chief Lee Thompson is releasing a new album, Bite The Bullet, with his Ska Orchestra next month (26 August). In the meantime he’s made Q a playlist of summer ska.

Bob Marley – Natural Mystic

“I originally got this phenomena on cassette whilst travelling in Cornwall on Hols. It stayed in the car cassette player for all that summer & beyond. No filler, all winner. Every song made the open road less monotonous. The intro to Natural Mystic drives with the listener. I played this on vinyl comfortably loud today, it pounds you into rhythmic submission. It’s not one to listen to digitally, I personally feel. Bob Marley’s finest production hands down.”

Desmond Decker – Israelites 

“And the Aces. on Pyramid.Could not understand a word but the almost Doo Wop backing & guitar plucking got my pocket money that week end. Great production by Dacres Kong.This was the first reggae single I purchased &,I used a neighbours record deck to play it on initially.I think this may well have been the first time I had heard a Reggae tune over the air waves.”

Lee Perry aka Leader – Return Of Django

“The Man who wrote the reggae bible. He played Jazz Cafe recently. Fit as a fiddle. I’ll have a pint of what he is on please. His production is quite simply-‘Out there’ The first sax solo I ever learnt when acquiring one. I travelled far & wide for this… Acton in fact on a 70 bus, red rover. There are classic cock up’s in the recording but, he soldiers on, time is money etc. There is a rather squeaky sax solo that is priceless to me. On trying to get that squeak, it nearly cost my mum & dad our council house prior to the noise pollution act.”

Jimmy Cliff – Wonderful World, Beautiful People

“Optimistically titled, not a favourite but this hop scotches along in the park. A cautious message that we should all club together. It’s timeless, just change the names of the leaders of the day, in the case Wilson, Nixon & Pompidou & every little bit helps. He is a unique lyricist, the best with, I might add, The Order of Merit.”

Borris Gardener – Soul Serenade

“Simply The Best reggae instrumental cover ever, a song for sun drenched lovers, sipping in the shade of an old palm tree. Written by the late great King Curtis, who played many sessions with The Coasters, a massive influence on my style.”

Prince Buster – Too Hot

“Found this track in the basement of a Islington junk shop on upper street… On FAB label for 5p,I believe. The Specials played this on the 2Tone tour in 1979. They did a version that speeded up into a frenzy for what seemed a very long time and that the crowd danced crazily along to. I found this to be the most economic way of keeping warm in those Thatcher years.”

Max Romeo – Wet Dream

“Listen to the intro to this track it’s the best rim shot ‘thwackety thwack’ in snare drum history. Only a second in length, but raised the hair on the back of my neck(s). Banned by the BBC after a few plays, it went on to become Pama Records biggest selling track (250K) Give the Crumpet to big foot Joe? There was Outrage when the fuddy duddies at broadcasting house let this slip through the net. It made the top 10 & you were able to get it via radio Luxemburg 208 on a Solid State Transistor Radio. Titter Ye’ Not!”

Toots & the Metals – Take Me Home Country Roads  (MIS editor note. We dont think the Maytals are a metal band!) 

“Soulful intro. This is the voice & what a voice for such a little bloke. I met him at a gig I did in Finsbury Park he asked me for a cup of water for his daughter, who was his backing vocalist then. He thought I was security I think. I thought ‘On the contrary’. I asked for a few tips and he mumbled something about, feeling it, the pressure and Do the Reggae within your Jeggae. Toots is the dulcet tones, his music is all Summer, & year round period.”

Bobby Blooms – Montego Bay

“Freddie & The Blue Notes’ cover of this had summer written all over it however, Bobby Blooms cut tips the scales for me in the soulful vocal & tempo department. Close your eyes & he could be a native Jamaican singer. Check out the video for BB’s Montego Bay on the tube.”

Nina Simone – Young Gifted & Black

Bob & Marcia gifted this to me, as I roller skated the boards at Ally Pally around 1970. This, I found out recently, was written in 2 days by the great Nina Simone, and Weldon Irvine in 68′. In 2 days! Start to finish. An all-time favourite. Only heard the Nina Simone version recently & also learnt this was a civil rights anthem. Right, where’s those Skates…..

Nicky Thomas – Love Of the Common People

“Tears from your little sister, crying ’cause she doesn’t have a dress without a patch, for the party to wear… Absolutely chokes me up every time I hear Nicky’s version. Excellent string arrangement that gently tugs at the emotion’s.”


MADNESS IN MOJO – One page feature in the latest issues.   In Summary…

The Camden cowboys go backwards to go forwards for album Eleven.

In an interview with Mojo, Mike, Bedders and Suggs are in toe rag studios.  Mike compares the songs to like when they recorded “Absolutely”. The Band aiming to complete an analogue album in three weeks. Suggs singing 6 track in the day Mojo were in the studio.  Asked if Carl, absent from this album, would ever return, Suggs replied in the positive.

Suggs  “8 channel track recording is more exciting than having 72 million and farting around for the rest of your life mixing on computers.”

Fact Sheet: Songs include   Pam the Hawk.


Skad For Life 


LEE THOMPSON is the enigmatic sax man with MADNESS. It’s his horn on tunes like ‘House Of Fun’ but just for fun, our Lee moonlights with his own band, THE LEE THOMPSON SKA ORCHESTRA. It’s a fluid but large ensemble that debuted back in 2013 with ‘The Benevolence Of Sister Mary Ignatius’ which is now followed up with ‘Bite The Bullet’.

Where that collection was a set of ska covers, the new long players consists mainly of originals which Mr T says he “forced” the band to write. Expect plenty of unusual flavours like trombonist Bob Dowell’s ska take on spaghetti western themes, ‘Western Standard Time.’

There are some covers too. The Bond theme ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ gets a makeover; there’s the Beatles’ ‘I’ll Be Back’ as well as twist on the soul standard ‘Cry To me’ featuring vocals from Sumudu Jayatilaka.


Suggs Goes South  / Glastonbury Memories

From the official Madness email list.

In preparation for House Of Common, our very own festival on Clapham Common, Suggs decided to give the journey from Camden to Clapham a trial run.

Watch what happened HERE and guess how long it took him for the chance to win tickets (or a VIP upgrade) for you and 4 of your mates!

We very much enjoyed our return to the Glastonbury Festival Pyramid stage last month… unless you’re a wig connoisseur or an AC/DC fan, we think you’ll enjoy it too!

The whole set is available to watch on the iPlayer (but only for another week or so) HERE

Or, we took some of our own clips which you can watch HERE

Lastly, if you’re coming to the House Of Fun Weekender this year, we can now reveal that the fancy dress theme is… Comedy Greats, get your laughing gear round that!

Thats all… for now.





Ever wondered who won the race on the keep moving album cover?

Surely Mike or Woody were nudging ahead on the race displayed on the cover of that LP, fitting in with the title track but often purported to be a Nike Trainer deal Dave Robinson did.

Well thanks to a photo finish, found in a foreign magazine article from the time we can now declare Lee the winner…

(see the shot on the MIS website)

Here’s Mark Bowen;

“Thommo takes Gold, Chris silver & probably Woody Woodgate bronze.

I  found it in a EBay listing of different Madness magazine clipping from another country. I’ve never seen a different photo to the one on the album front and the individual cut out ones on the back cover and always wanted to know who won. Though they probably went around the track a couple of times.

They’re all in the same clothes as the album cover except Thommo has a black sports jacket on. Looks like they had a piece of string or whatever at the finish line for whoever won to knock down as they do in Olympics”.




Following on from last week’s launch, and publicising of the next music from Rhoda Dakar, the campaign has reached over 84% of the required total with over a month still to go.

Also, there are now some test pressings and tickets to a launch party event added to the options of investment you can make to get hold of the EP and help fund its creation.

Here’s is a reminder of what it’s about…..


Following the critical acclaim of last year’s ’Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers’ album (**** Mojo  **** Rolling Stone  **** Daily Mirror) Rhoda Dakar, former lead singer of 2 Tone’s The Bodysnatchers and The Special AKA, And regular Live Guest Singer with Madness.

She Is set to release a brand new series of recordings, starting with the September 2016 release of The LoTek Four, Vol I.

Each volume of the LoTek Four series takes four beautifully crafted songs and strips them back to their essence.

From there, recorded in the very best of surroundings, different versions can be engineered, versioneered, if you will.

It may be that a Rocksteady version is favoured, or perhaps an almost Acoustic rendering.

The songs draw on Rhoda’s rich and personal musical influences, with Volume I embracing a fantastic array of story tellers and versioneers that include David Bowie, The Slits, Dolly Parton, Aretha, Gram and Emmylou, and her father, famed Jazz musician and entrepreneur

Rudy Evans aka André Dakar.

Alongside Rhoda Dakar on lead vocals, The LoTek Four Vol I features Louis Vause and Paul Tadman (from Crunch aka the Nutty Boys/Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra),

Lenny Bignell (Pama International), Mark Claydon (The Get Up) and saxophonist Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey, The Blockheads, Madness, Tom Waitts, Spiritualized,

Siouxsie, Nick Cave and her old 2Tone label mates The Higsons).


More news when we know the song titles.



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 636 – Sunday 17th July – Saturday 23rd July 2011

This issue featured a real mix of subject matter. Sure, we had the usual Madness coverage, but following a number of performances by The Blockheads over the past few days we decided to pepper the issue with coverage of them amongst the usual nutty fare.

Our articles got underway with an article from edp24, who were announcing that they’d teamed up with a promoter, and were giving away 10 pairs of tickets to see Madness perform at Blickling Hall on the 30the July.

All you had to do was name Madness’ frontman. A question so tough that even today we wonder how such a complex poser could be unleashed upon the general public.

Our next article kicked-off our Blockhead coverage, we we reported that The Blockheads played three shows at The Water Rats in Kings Cross. Not only that, but they were due to play more shows revolving around the whole New Boots Album.

Next, it was over to Suggs who we reported would be performing a one off set at the Lillibop Festival.

The event was due to take place in Regent’s Park on the 5th to the 7th of August. The event blurb read;

“Ex-madness frontman Suggs promises to get the party into full swing when he plays a one off set on Saturday, which is sure to get dads up and dancing too!”

We brought this issue to a close with gig news as we learned this week that the TrianonPalace gig in Paris, scheduled for the 7th October whuch had been postponed had now been re-scheduled for Thursday 26th April 2012. Tickets from the cancelled 2011 gig were still valid, so we urged you to hold on to them.

10 years ago…

Issue 376 – Sunday 16th July to Saturday 22nd July 2006

We began this week’s issue of the MIS with the news that a full UK tour of the ‘Our House’ musical may turn out to be a real possibility.

Here’s what MTR subscriber Dicka had to say at the time;

“I have been contacted today (10th July) as I own the domain name ourhousethemusical.co.uk, and the lady I spoke to says they are currently sorting out dates for the tour, she is going to let me know the dates as soon as they are confirmed. So it’s definitely going to happen.

I’m so excited can’t wait to see it.

I will let you know the dates as soon as I get them.”

Although the UK Christmas tour was still a long way off, you were now able to view the tour poster as MTR co-maintainer Kevin Tizzard had once again come to the rescue of us Maddies, and had kindly made a large-sized version of the poster available on his web space for viewing/download.

On to the articles, and we kicked-off with a review of the recent Madness gig at Ahaus, Germany. Roving reporter Michel Plate, did the MIS proud, with a massive and well written article of the event, but complained that the set was too short (14 tracks), and Lee was absent.

It was over to news of Stiff Records next, as the MTR’s Kev reported that the BBC had commissioned a documentary on Stiff Records to be shown on the weekend of September 8-10.

Along with archived footage, we were told that it would include interviews with Jake Riveira, Dave Robinson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Shane Macgowan, Suggs, Captain Sensible, Brian James, Larry Wallis, Wreckless Eric, and Gerry Casale.

At present it was undecided if this would be shown as a single 90 minute programme or two 45 minute episodes.

Next it was on to coverage of top ska tribute outfit, The Communicators, who recently headlined the South Cotswold Beer Festival. So impressed were with with their performance that the review rounded off with;

“This was the first time I’d seen ‘The Communicators’ in action, and I must say that they are one of the finest tribute acts I have ever seen. The band have only been going roughly a year, but yet given their performance you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d      been playing together for years”.

We passed things over to subscriber Fiona Linnel for the next article as she gave us a short review of Madness’ recent performance at the Zitadelle, Berlin, which took place on the 14th of July.

“There was the usual mix of Dangermen songs and hits as reported at previous gigs. The band seem to be enjoying themselves and the crowd too who greeted every song warmly with everyone singing along to Our House and It Must Be Love near the end”.

15 years ago…

Issue 114 – Sunday 15th July to Saturday 21st July 2001.

We started off this issue with news from TMML subscriber Suggsylia, who reported on reports of a rumour that the old Suggster had recently been spotted presenting some of the live acts at the annual Party in The Park gig which was hosted a few weeks back. We’d not heard anything about this, so hoped that one or two readers could provide further information.

Back to this week, and Suggs was finally heard doing his bit in Wednesdays new multi-part Radio 2 comedy, “I Think I’ve Got a Problem” which we were sure a great many of you managed to catch.

On a not quite Madness related note, but still of major interest to a great many of you, Sophie Nicolas reported that Toots and The Maytals were playing at the famous Camden Dingwalls Club on Wednesday 5th September. Tickets were priced at a reasonable 17.50.

One evening in the week saw the legendary Suggs host `The Top 10 of 1981`.  We didn’t manage to catch it, but Philip Pugh told us that Suggs did a good job of presenting the show, but Madness only came in at number 7!

Phil put this down to the `stupid` system the show was using. Still, 7 seemed like an appropriate placing.

Phil Pugh also got this week’s collection of articles underway, with the news that Eaglerock Entertainment were selling the Madstock 4 video and DVD for £11.99 and £16.99 delivered. Prices were normally £14.99 and £19.99 respectively.

It was over to some Ian Dury news next, as Wee Stoo gave us a heads up on the forthcoming final Ian Dury and The Blockheads album.

Entitled Ten More Turnips From The Tip, the album would feature 8 tracks sung by Ian Dury, one by The Blockheads, and One by Robbie Williams

Next, we took a look at the web site for tribute outfit One Step Behind. Their site had just undergone a massive update, and a wave of new gig dates had been made available. With so many dates covering so much of the UK, you had very little excuse no to get along and spend at least one night in their company.

For our next article we featured a list of Madness memorabilia for sale from the Nuttyboys.com web site. As the store was based in the States, all prices were in US dollars – unusual for a Madness stockist, as most were based in the UK.

We brought this issue to a close by asking those of you who ran a Madness or Madness related web site to get in touch. We were in the process of updating the MIS web site, and were looking to get our site links section updated.

Rob Hazelby




That’s just about it for this issue of the MIS.

If you’ve not done so, don’t forget to enter the House of Common competition as detailed in the “Suggs Goes South / Glastonbury Memories” article elsewhere in this issue. A VIP upgrade for you and 4 of your mates isn’t something to be sniffed at!

And finally, we bring this issue to a close with our best wishes to Buster Bloodvessel, who we’ve learned has been taken ill. We hope you make a swift recovery and get back to performing soon.

Until next week,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Mark Bowen)

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