Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 913 – Sunday 6th November to Saturday 12th November 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 913 – Sunday 6th November to Saturday 12th November 2016

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It’s been just over a week since the new album was released, and heck of a lot’s gone on since then.

Let’s begin with the stats, courtesy of the one and only Paul Rogers…

The album is currently number 5 in the charts, and at an even more impressive number two in the vinyl charts.

As the album has been released on UMC (a major record label), this album won’t be appearing on the Independent Album Charts.

So, what else can we tell you? Well, this is now the band’s highest chart position for seven years, matching the week one position of The Liberty of Norton Folgate. It’s also their eighth top ten original songs album and tenth top ten album overall (as “best of” albums Divine and Complete have also been top ten).

At this point you’re probably wondering how many copies the album’s sold. In its first week it sold 20,186 copies in the UK across all formats. This compares to 15,968 first week sales for Oui, Oui. We have a feeling that the deluxe edition of the album being released in the same week may be responsible for some of the increase in sales.

As for Mr. Apples. He’s currently number 32 on this week’s Official Airplay Chart. Paul tells us “I have a feeling you’d need to go back to Lovestruck to find such a high placing with a new single in terms of radio exposure for the album campaign.”

Earlier this week Madness climbed aboard a traditional funeral horse and cart, making their way from Camden Town to The Roundhouse nearby. The band, dressed in top hats and funeral director dress decided this was how they were going attend the 2016 Q Awards, which saw them inducted into the Q Hall of Fame.

The band were filmed making their journey down to the venue, with footage streamed live on Facebook for fans to view and comment on. The recording has been kept for posterity, and you can find it by going to the band’s Facebook page. The following link should take you straight there: https://www.facebook.com/madnessofficial/videos/10157777457790624/

Also this week, TV promotion for the new album has been in full swing, as the album commercial has been screened on a number of UK channels.

It’s certainly nice to see the record company getting behind the album, and giving it a real push.

And finally, this week the band announced that The Lightning Seeds are the support band for the entire Can’t Touch us Now tour. So, if you’re going to any of the December gigs you’ll be in for a real treat. Those attending the London show on the 10th are going to be extra spoiled as Clive Langer’s “The Clang Group” are also part of the line-up.

Now, on with the issue…

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams




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




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


Thursday 1st – Bournemouth – Can’t Touch us Now ** All standing gone **

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 ** Contact venue for standing tix **

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

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

Thursday 15th – Glasgow – Can’t Touch us Now ** Only expensive seats left **

Friday 16th – Manchester – Can’t Touch us Now ** All standing gone **

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

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




Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now

** OUT NOW! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl And 30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos)


One Step Beyond Cherry Red Vinyl ** OUT NOW **

One Step Beyond on cherry red vinyl.

At the moment, a limited number are available to pre-order through Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/madness). You can also purchase it from branches of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

If you order through Pledge you’ll be in with a chance of winning some test pressings!


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



Rhoda Dakar – The LoTek Four Volume 1. ** OUT NOW **


  1. Fill The Emptiness (Lovers)
  2. Tears You Can’t Hide
  3. You Talking To Me?
  4. Dolphins
  5. Fill The Emptiness (Reefa)




Win tickets to the tour. Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow. Closes November 7th, registration required to absolute radio site.





The Clang Group Album – Practice is out now, and was launched this week, with a nice launch night in Islington.

We spoke to Clive about recording one track with Suggs,  (that we reviewed 5 issues ago), called “Had a Nice Night.”

“Had a Nice Night started life on the Clive Langer and The Boxes album, Splash. I think we released it in 1980.  Suggs always really liked that song and so when we started The Clang Group,two years ago,I decided to play that song and if Suggs was present I would ask him to sing it. Which he did. 

So when we came to making The Clang album I got Suggs along to adorn the song with his lustrous vocal tones.  The great thing about recording that song was what we thought was a run through,to refresh our ageing brains of the intricacies of the arrangement, was being recorded. In the end we kept it as the finished track, vocals an’ all!!   So very little pain in that one!” 

Clive Langer.




Dermot O’Leary – Radio 2


Madness, in session, played Mr. Apples and David Bowie’s Kooks. Suggs was on vocals and Mike on keyboard.

Asked how he kept fit, Mike responded “Black T-shirt!”

Suggs talked about the recording of the album in Toe Rag Studios, and joked that technology meant that you can now answer your door while on holiday, but the basic set up and collaboration in Toe Rag was nicely stripped back and simple.

Mike praised Mr. Apples, saying it was an older song, and chuckling about Suggs tackling piano himself.  Suggs hoped Toe rag had residue from acts like The Beatles using that equipment. Mike explained the 60’s and 70’s equipment was the peak of analogue equipment before digital started again. Suggs joked that Mike had vinyl in his car. Dermot was impressed with how hard Mike hits the keys on the Mr. Apples Session.

Suggs said of The House of Fun Weekender – Friday Night, they may play tracks from their first couple of albums.

Mike talked about The Aggrolites, and Ska in general eras.


Sunday Brunch – Channel 4 

Last minute TV session. Suggs and Mike perform Mr Apples.


But Suggs can’t seem to get near the food.


Chatting on the show.


Replacing LeAnn Rimes, Suggs joked that hadn’t got a voice to lose.  He made a buy our album plea – “You could save Madness from Extinction.”. He also revealed that it was number 3 in the mid-week chart from pre orders, and above the latest Elvis album

He talked about the break up period and Lee being a bin man for a while. He also spoke about the mad cave and the big M symbol in the sky being the time to make a new album. After Mr. Apples played Suggs decribed the very English hypocrisy of telling people what to do and then at night doing the things you said not to do.  He referenced the judges in stockings in Monty Python.  He continued by talking about the band democratically, and confirmed that Julien Temple will make a film based on his one man show life story at some point.


Radio 5 live

Download the interview here.



Jo Whiley Reviews the Album on Radio 2 


1 hour 7 minutes. Barso is praised. The album is called a museum piece, of tales of the underclasses. Witty, sleazy, and things that make you smile. She also says it won’t be taken as serious as Norton Folgate as it’s less concept. The band are peerless.  Blackbird is a stand out track. Don’t leave the past behind you is just lovely. 16 tracks are too many. They sound a little bit tired on first listen, but everything works.

4 out of 5.


RTE – Album Review 

Friday 28th. Album Reviews.   6 minutes in.

This is a band still delivering great pop songs.  It echoes their Classic hits era, plinky plonky piano and ska sounds, but it’s not

slavishly copying the past.  Some broad love songs less interesting than their more character songs, pam the hawk a portrait of

a character on the margins. Absent Chas is mentioned. Toe rag studios is mentioned. Clive Langer and Liam Watson are praised.

Mr Apples is a great character story.  Blackbird and Amy are mentioned. A fine record. A brilliant concert band. They aren’t cynical,

this album doesn’t sound like they are just sitting back and copying the same old stuff.

4 out of 5.


Our thanks to Vince Carden for this album review show link from Ireland.


Suggs on Talk Sport


Talking new live dates, the tour, Butlins, festivals, the new album, some footie, and exactly what is a Herbert?

The new recording process. Very Simple. He Talks about The greatest Show on Earth box set. Suggs explains it’s a card game they put some effort to, a silly time, related to lyrics from the album.   About House of Fun, Suggs says 6000 Madness fans squashed into a Holiday Camp, not even carry on could capture that. Talking about Dubia – He jokes it’s like Vegas without the fun.

Suggs discusses the difficulty of bands playing new songs. Be loud and proud and give it ago he says.  He says he’s just done some TV about 4 books that changed London.  But he turned down a reality show where they want you to eat sea cucumbers. Explaining one reason he doesn’t do as much TV is ‘cus he threw some awards up in the air at an award ceremony.

Clive Langer is discussed as the band arranger.  He does get very involved.  The chorus of our house he gets mentioned as influencing.  He gets fed up when people credit Elvis Costello as being the only song writer of Ship building.

A white van man has shouted “Mr Apples” at Suggs so it must be getting out there they conclude!!!!


Q Magazine Review

A touch of class from the not-so-Nutty Boys. There are two Madnesses: the fez-wearing, festival-headlining knees-up band, and the thoughtful, sophisticated sextet who release mature. medium-noir albums such as Can’t Touch Us Now.

Suggs and Mike Barson’s songwriting here is adorned as usual, with a subtle undertow of ska rhythms and nightmarish fairground psychedelia. There are elegies to the dead: I Believe references debut single The Prince (whose subject, Prince Buster, recently passed away), while Blackbird is a dream-like narrative of encountering Amy Winehouse on a rainy Soho street. But any darkness never overwhelms an album which feels as welcoming and warm as an unscheduled drink with an old friend.

4 out of 5





The Silencerz Live at The Bull Theatre


Don Logan

Fu Man Chu

Having a Laugh

More Than Fair

Skinhead Girl

Freedom Street

You Can Get It If You Really Want

Mother and Child Reunion

Message To You Rudy.

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Clever Trevor

Wild World

No Lights (on the Christmas tree mother)


Wake up Make Love

Midnight Rider

Guns of Navarone

Callie Road


No, No, No

Let Your Yeah be yeah

The Prince

One Step Beyond

54 46 Was my Number

Hello Josephine

Soon You’ll Be Gone

The night consisted of 25 songs in two sets at a packed out Halloween themed local gig which saw the band returning to the Bull theatre in their home town.

The Silencerz continue to be the best value for just a £10 bob note. That mix of Madness, Ska Orchestra and old Like Father Like Son repertoire mixed with new choices and now 4 emergent self-penned songs by guitarist Nick Godwin. This all Makes for a great night.

The ska and Madness track go down best to the music fans. (My Girl is thrown into the set additionally, to mock noises from Lee about whether they are turning into a tribute act at that point, while Daley is throwing out the only Hey You, intro you’ll hear anywhere near the world of Madness these days.)

Lee has jokingly placed two skeletons in the front row. Keith Moon and Syd Barrat. “In on Guest list”, Daley will joke. With his family and local crowd around him, mixed in with a few die hard travelling Maddies, Lee under the veil of a smoke machine, some costume fun (the guitarist is in drag, and the usual white face make up is present on both father and son) blows sax notes sublime.

It’s Daley’s vocals that lead the show (in fact Lee misses a few tracks from set two and later jokes that someone locked him in the toilet.)


I’ve come to check out opening track Don Logan in the flesh. (a track based around the film sexy beast) Nick’s song befit both Thommo’s world and Daley’s vocal styles.

We have reached EP stage, maybe in the coming year or more Daley and Nick should get an album together, and have the father figure guest on a couple of tracks, and push the band forward.

Thommo makes many jokes about being second fiddle in the band, but the truth is he’s Like father proud of his like son. Proud more than ever, to see a son sing so well.

Jonathan Young



“We’re in too deep. Two star crossed lovers, torn from the big book and thrown to the tower” 

Half my kingdom I offer you, we have all the treasures that we need

But for today we bathe each other, down by the stream.” 

“Darling Dodi,

These cuff-links were the very last gift from the man I loved most in the world, my father. They are given to you as I know how much joy it would give him to know they were in such safe and special hands. 

A million heartfelt thanks for the most magical six days on the ocean waves.

every possible moment was full of laughter and happiness.

This comes with all the love in the world, as always,  thanks for bringing such joy into this particular chick’s life, 

“Fondest love, Diana. x”

“Our lords can have tomorrow.” 

Song Words & Music by Chris Foreman and Lee Thompson

Love Letters by Lady Diana Spencer to Dodi Fayed




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 652 – Sunday 6th November – Saturday 12th November 2011

It was now less than three weeks to go until the Madness weekend kicked off at Butlins Minhead.

Those of you who were booked in should have received your welcome pack or would do within the next few days. The pack confirmed the booking, and contained a booklet containing a map of the site, details of the accommodation types, and brief information regarding what to expect on the weekend.

We did notice that there was no schedule of the weekend contained within the packs, so we hoped that one would be posted online shortly. Otherwise you’d have no idea what was going on and when.

One thing we were able to confirm where and when it would take place was the fan made MISWAS documentary, which was due to be screened at 11am in the Butlins Cinema, on Saturday November 26th.

On to the articles, and we kicked off with some Lee Thompson and Jennie Matthias news.

Lee, feeling slightly ‘refreshed’, quickly turned his attention to a fire extinguisher on the stage……amazingly he did actually set it off!!!! Water was on the ceiling and quickly dripping on Jennie and, more worryingly, onto the electrics on stage!!!!!!!! Lee then made a hasty retreat into the crowd……just another night in the world of MAD

The following day Lee posted the below update on Jennie’s Facebook page:

“Hi Jenny,

Had a fantastic night at the launch party, from the bits I remember but, good out front sound but now paying for it mentally, physically & financially.

Please accept my apologies for the fire extinguisher prank, that could easily have gone Ti**ies Up!

I shall be a little more professional, should I ever be invited along again!

Extend this to your band please.

See you soon Goddess.


Next, it was over to Suggs, who had been touring East Lancashire in search of its Titanic legacy.

He stopped off at Blackburn train station before boarding the train to Colne on his voyage of discovery.

Along with the production team from UKTV, he filmed near The Crown pub, at Colne Cemetery and at the statue of Wallace Henry Hartley who famously led a band as RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage.

The Colne born violinist drowned in the catastrophe on April 15 1912.

Suggs said: “It is a beautiful place, it is my first time in Colne.

The programme tells the history of the band. Being a musician myself and if I was in a position of life or death I wouldn’t have stayed.

I realised there was something amazing in going on to co-ordinate the band.”

Moving on, and we continued with Suggs, who we were told would be performing with The Ska Orchestra at the Hatfield Galleria. Why? Well, our favourite frontman would be there to switch on their Christmas lights.

We brought this issue to a close with a short snippet from subscriber Dan Fossard, who, challenged by his girlfriend to play The Liberty of Norton Folgate without sheet music, did his very best.

Here’s what Dan had to tell us at the time;

“My girlfriend challenged me to learn it a couple of weeks ago and I would have uploaded it sooner but I’ve been having major problems with my broadband.

Anyway, hope you like it. There’s a couple of mistakes here and there but it’s not bad for a 1st attempt!!!”

You can see and hear how Dan got on by going to:


10 years ago…

Issue 392 – Sunday 5th November to Saturday 11th November 2006

This week the random number generating machine E.R.N.I.E, notched up 50 years of service (albeit in a number of different forms), and in this issue you’d be able to discover that this device wasn’t only loved by Madness and their fans.

Continuing on the subject of birthdays, we also took a look at the Madness movie ‘Take it or Leave it’, which last month reached the ripe old age of 25.

Elsewhere, we had further news on the forthcoming Madness box-set volume 2, as well as a heads-up regarding the digital download content which we’re told will be online shortly.

In other news…

The day before the issue went out Madness appeared on (the still running) Top of the Pops 2 TV show, with a clip of their studio performance of Baggy Trousers, originally shown back in the 80’s.

The text overlaid plugged the “traditional Christmas tour this year”, mentioned the original “North London Invaders” name and then managed to jumble the facts slightly by claiming the band named themselves after a song that was a tribute to Prince Buster.

Meanwhile, over on the Official Madness MySpace page, the prize giveaways continued, with this week’s winner of a signed copy of Divine Madness being non-other than New York based ‘Alienator’.

The Official Madness blog also apologised for the delay in getting the new track ‘Sorry’ uploaded to their MySpace page, and recommended that we returned during the week. Exciting times ahead!

15 years ago…

Issue 130 – Sunday 4th November to Saturday 10th November 2001.

After a few problems with the subscriptions department MIS Online finally managed to get their hands on issue 2 of the Crunch! fanzine ‘Saints and Sinners’.

Editors Jerney and Bex started the issue by thanking everyone for the fantastic feedback following the launch of the fanzine, and then it was straight on in to spilling the beans territory as Lee Thompson, Hong Kong Davey, Paul “Nutso” Anan and Spider told us all about themselves.

The ‘zine also featured an in-depth review of their 100 Club gig back in June, whilst Jerney continued to chart the band’s gig history; this issue looking at one of the band’s busiest periods – 1992.

Issue 2 was also packed with an in-depth look and analysis of Crunch! song lyrics, as well as a mountain of band news.

Following the receipt of a bootleg flyer MIS Online gave collectors the heads-up on what recently released live bootlegs were now doing the rounds, whilst those of you who were looking to experience some real live music were catered for with a lowdown of forthcoming gigs from Madness tribute outfit ‘Complete Madness’.

Jonathan Young reported on his recent discovery of a number of rare Madness charity press conference picture discs. Jonathan was unable to put an exact date on the discs, but estimated that they would have seen the light of day some time after 1992, as one of the designs used a page from a Vox 1992 interview.

To finish the issue we thanked our readers for submitting their t-shirt designs, which were then passed on to Bedders for the band to decide what would happen next (if anything).

Rob Hazelby




Chrissy Boy on that tough process of choosing 12 tracks for Vinyl when you wanted all 16 on the album.

“The whole thing was a pain in the *ss. We recorded 16 songs, I campaigned strongly for ALL of them to go on the CD. 

That’s what we do, write songs. 

The last album was a mess, if you ask me. Box sets songs on second disc all that crap. And of course loads of mine on the “special “Oui Oui” edition. I held back “Deolali”, it wasn’t quite ready. I think “Big Time Sister”, should’ve been on the main album. Er..where was I?

The last album should have been 14 tracks and not have two versions of the same song either. 

So this album the band took control no interference from anyone and everything we recorded ended up on the album this time. 

I wanted a double vinyl gatefold and of course that didn’t happen. 

Perhaps at some point later on we’ll do that. So the band picked the tracks for the 12 track vinyl version, which became a “vote for your own tracks” scrabble ha, ha. 

“Hey Chris, why didn’t you vote for “Catch You Crying”? (I didn’t pick it for the vinyl version, I didn’t think it fitted in with the other 11 tracks) Most amusing..

Anyway we have a 16 track CD. 





Before we go we’ve a few more fan words on the album. This time from MIS reader Chris Walker….

“As an ageing Madness fan, just wanted to share my thoughts on the recent album release

As an avid fan of the original nutty sounds from the early albums, I really got into the Folgate and Oui, Oui (slightly less) newer releases but have been blown away by the latest album which is on loop in the car when I travel around the place.

The holy trinity of the first 3 tracks just set the album up perfectly and although it is hard to keep the momentum up after the title track, Good Times and Mr. Apples, they seem to achieve just that. 

From Can’t Touch us Now with its cocking the snook at the media and establishment through to the double standards of Mr. Apples (very relevant today) and the tragic tribute in Blackbird, the album takes you on a varying journey of life.  Although this journey is quite London-centric with true characters continuing with Pam the Hawk, you can’t but help with an emotion of envy that you have not lived your life close to these characters that are described in this great album. Madness have, always for me, made me want to be with them in their journey of life and share a pint or two.  

It’s quite early days for some of the other album tracks but on each play this album is becoming more and more of a classic to rival anything else The Nutty Boys have released over the last 35+ years”  

What do you think of the new album? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us an email and we’ll include them in a future issue.

Lastly we’d would like to wish Owen Collins well on his poetry tour, which will be taking in The Big One 5 weekender, and The House of Fun Weekender in the next two weeks.

Please give him your support if you’re coming to either event.

Until next week, take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Chris Walker, Adam Nichols for video and radio links,
and Vince Carden for the radio links)

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 914 – Sunday 13th November to Saturday 19th November 2016