Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 923 – Sunday 15th January to Saturday 21st January 2017

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 923 – Sunday 15th January to Saturday 21st January 2017

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We’d been hinting at it for a whole, and this week it was finally confirmed – Madness will be playing in Japan this year!

Currently, the only Japanese date is Monday 3rd of April, where the band will be appearing at the Ex Theatre in Tokyo. This “Land of the Rising Sun” performance forms part of what we’re calling “The Overseas Leg”, which so far takes in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia.

Will further Southern Hemisphere dates be added? Only time will tell!

Back to this issue, and we have the third and final part of our look back at 2016. This final slice of the year saw the release of a new single, album, and the much-anticipated Christmas tour. Naturally, much more than that took place, so check out the article for a whistle-stop tour of September to December for a more in-depth lowdown.

Paul Rodgers returns with his latest avalanche of Madness stats, facts and figures, and, we have to say that it’s mixed news. Why? Read the article and find out!

If that wasn’t enough, we also bring you the latest news from The Clang Group, who, fresh from supporting Madness at the O2 just before Christmas, having racked up yet another glowing review for their first LP, Practice.

Now, 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.



April 2017 – The Overseas Leg

Monday 3rd – Ex Theatre, Tokyo, Japan

Thursday 6th – Hong Kong, China, Rugby Seven’s Opening Concert.

Sunday 16th – Byron Bay, Australia  http://www.bluesfest.com.au/schedule/detail.aspx?ArtistID=873

May 2017 –  Back in the UK 

Friday 19th – Wirral Live, Tranmere Rovers stadium, Birkenhead


Sunday 28th – Bearded Theory Spring Gathering, (Pallet stage headline), Derbyshire


June 2017 – The Cornish Leg

Friday 16th – Eden Sessions, Eden Project, st Austell, Cornwall ** SOLD OUT **


July 2017

Saturday 29th July, Camp Bestival – Headliners

August 2017

Thursday 3rd – Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire

Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party


Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Not on Sale Yet ** Announced in the current tour programme booklet as happening again

November 2017

17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead



The Clang Band

Thursday 19th January, The Islington, Islington




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

** OUT NOW! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl

30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos) ** SOLD OUT **


Total Madness Cherry Red Vinyl ** Out 17th Feb **

180 gram vinyl, gatefold sleeve. Limited edition: only 2,000 copies being released.

More info at: http://www.musiconvinyl.com/catalog/madness/total-madness#more



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)



A selection of Madness and Madness related articles that have appeared in the press over the past couple of weeks…

Madness Booed in Benidorm

Madness were booed when they shot scenes for ‘Benidorm’ because the holidaymakers didn’t recognise them.

Madness were booed by holidaymakers when they shot their cameo scenes for ‘Benidorm’.

The ‘Our House’ hitmakers agreed to make an appearance in the forthcoming series of the popular comedy but have admitted they were shocked by the response they got when they waltz into the hotel set to act out their scenes.

The band’s frontman Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “It’s hilarious. They think we’re a lookalike band, so they all boo us.

“We’re all fans of the programme, so the idea that Madness might appear appealed … we had a right run couple of days.”

The band – consisting of Chris Foreman, Mike Barson, Lee Thompson, Daniel Woodgate, Mark Bedford and Suggs – managed to squeeze in their cameo just before the release of their album ‘Can’t Touch Us Now

Suggs explained: “We went out the night before filming and took in all that is Benidorm with the cast. I was playing in a karaoke bar at half 4 in the morning.”

Meanwhile, although the holidaymakers didn’t seem too keen on the group, the cast were “star-struck” by the legends.

A source said recently: “We are thrilled to get Madness on board. It’s going to be a great episode. The cast were quite star-struck. Madness play a handful of hits in the show.”

But ‘Benidorm’ is no stranger to the odd familiar face as the late Cilla Black, Joan Collins, Shane Richie, Matthew Kelly and Jason Manford have also appeared.


Note: The episode Madness appear in series 9 of ITV’s Benidorm airs in the first quarter of this year. As soon as we know the date we’ll let you know.





Nick is back to tell us more about The Silencerz original songs.

And look out – Don Logan is coming too!!!


Amongst those old reggae/ska classics there are tunes that eulogise the criminally insane and there are a few real gems – Al Capone, Van Cleef , The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Clint Eastwood, etc as the writers drew inspiration from the movies and headlines of the time. So I started ruminating on who could be a decent subject for an updated version. Well, its only 15 years old! Anyway it wasn’t long before Ben Kingsley’s evil character from the film Sexy Beast became the number 1 target.

One of my favourite scenes from that film is where Ray Winstone’s character is told Don is flying over from England and the lot of them shift in their seats you can almost smell the sweaty sense of dread in the room. OMFG. Anyway. I tried to focus on that part of the film, the anticipation and fear and his reputation you’re afraid of.


The result was a bit more Freddie and the Dreamers meets The Barron Knights than I expected but I love it. As ever the boys in the band take the song somewhere particularly Silencerz and the song has a life of its own, beyond the sketch that I made. Usually I give the band the lyrics, chords and a sketch I knock up on Logic at home. Then we run through in the rehearsal room.

It takes a few rehearsals to really smooth out the rough edges – and you want to be confident of any song before putting it into the set. Very often we move the key up from where I’m singing, into a key where Daley’s comfortable. It’s been quite exciting to write for someone else’s voice rather than my own and I think Daley has a voice full of warmth and not a million miles away from Suggs really.


DON LOGAN – by Nick Godwin  2015



Don is coming over Don is coming over

Don is coming over on the next plane



We’ve got to meet him at the airport in the sun

He’ll offer us a nice job for a gangster on the run

He’ll ask you nicely once but he’s polishing his gun and he’s Don Logan



He don’t care what part of you he stubs his cigarette

He might say “Thank You” but it sounds just like a threat

If he was to bite you, you should call your local vet, cos he’s Don Logan


Middle 8

He’s a criminal a hundred years,

He spelt the end of a thousand careers

Been the cause of gallons of tears

in the eyes of anyone who hears the name

He’s psychotic when his hands are hot,

and he’s pretty pissed off when his hands are not

He’s cruel, don’t be a fool,

you will end up at the bottom of the swimming pool



Don is coming over Don is coming over

Don is coming over on the next plane




In our third and final part of this short series we go back to September through to December, charting some of the good and bad that took place in the final chunk of 2016

September 2016

Those of you regularly listened to BBC Radio 2 would have been pleased to learn that early in the month the station would begin to air the forthcoming single, Mr. Apples. The single would eventually make it on to the station’s regular play listings, ensuring the single and forthcoming album received a really decent push.

This month we also learned that Julien Temple was planning to transform Suggs’ autobiographical stageshow “My Life Story” into a fully-fledged live musical.

Later in the month a certain Mr. Woodgate kindly assisted us in detailing who was behind the writing of each track on the forthcoming Can’t Touch us Now album. Speaking of the forthcoming album, the band were starting to step up a gear with regards to promotion, and to that end they appeared on both the condensed and full-length editions of Later With Jools Holland. The band performed Mr. Apples, The Prince, Herbert and Can’t Touch us Now.

Something very special for all your collectors surfaced this month, as Darren Bennet shared a picture of the extremely rare Madness promo mobile (as in baby mobile, not mobile phone). Apparently, the last time one had surfaced was around 15 years ago, and that went for a whopping £150!

As the month wore on UMC, Madness’ record label, gave all those Untouchable Madheads (those who pre-ordered the album directly from the label, a digital download of the sleeve notes for Can’t touch us now. A very nice gift to keep fans going until the album saw the light of day.

Towards the end of the month there was much excitement from the Madness fanbase as BBC Radio 2 made Mr. Apples their Song of The Week. We hoped that would help to raise the public’s awareness of the forthcoming album, and help to shift more copies.

October 2016

Early in the month the band completed their pre-album touring in Germany, and in the process managed to visit old graffiti on what remained of the Berlin Wall, which the band had sprayed on some 35 years ago!

Although, last month, Mr. Apples made BBC Radio 2’s Song of The Week, it wasn’t popular enough to remain on their regular playlist, which guaranteed 20 or more plays in a week. It did managed to notch-up 13 in one seven day stretch, so it wasn’t anything to feel too down about.

Prior to the launch of the forthcoming album later in the month fans were able to catch studio versions of two more tracks for the impending release. First-up was Herbert, which had been made available to purchase via iTunes and Amazon, with those being granted Madhead status, being sent a download link. The song, which debuted at the Grandslam gigs, was the tale of a stern father interfering with his daughter’s love life. A lyrics video had also been compiled, featuring Python-esque animations of flying shotguns!

The other song was Blackbird, which aired on BBC Radio 2, courtesy of Jonathan Ross. Suggs revealed to Ross that the tune was about his meeting with the late Amy Winehouse.

With Christmas getting closer we discovered that UK supermarket chain Morrison’s were hoping to get people spending as they had begun stocking a new tube shaped Gladness gift pack which contained the beer and a Madness glass all inside a presentation box.

While we all waited patiently for the album to be released Jonathan took time out to give us a run-down of all the buildings that appeared on the cover of the forthcoming release. Complete with tidbits of information and postcodes, this would make an ideal treasure hunt for some of the more hardcore members of the Madness fanbase.

As we got closer to the release of Can’t Touch us now, Chris was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tells us what he thought was the best day working on all this music. We also got those fans lucky enough to receive preview copies to chime in with their thoughts of the new release with track-by-track comments. This no doubt got fans even more excited.

Finally, as the month drew to a close the rest of us were able to get our hands on the long-awaited Can’t Touch us Now. Naturally, reviews from fans were mixed, with many suggesting that a number of songs were growers, and required more than a couple of listens.

Sadly, demand seemed to cause a few problems with delayed vinyl editions and postal delays of box sets. This was a real shame for a campaign that had such a great pre-order lead time with major label involvement.

On a brighter note, and animated TV advert was now doing the rounds. This short production saw the band running through the album’s pictorial landscape with them dresses as robbers or in capes. We were rather impressed, as it had certainly had a decent amount of money spent on it.

November 2016

In just over a week since the new album was released a heck of a lot took place. The album was currently number 5 in the music charts, and a whopping number 2 in the vinyl charts!

This was the band’s highest chart position for 7 years, matching the one week position of The Liberty of Norton Folgate. It was also their eighth top ten original songs album.

In its first week the album sold a whopping 20,186 copies across all formats. This compared to 15,968 copies of Oui, Oui sold in the first week. Not bad at all.

While all this was going on, the band were keeping themselves busy, and were spotted climbing aboard a funeral coach and horses to make their way to the nearby Roundhouse. An appearance which saw them inducted into the Q Hall of Fame.

The album continued to be advertised on a number of UK television channels, demonstrating that the band’s record company were certainly willing to spend a few pennies promoting the recent release.

Looking towards the forthcoming Christmas tour, and this was the month we learned that none other than The Lightning Seeds would be supporting the band at all of the gigs. If you were planning to see Madness in the run-up to the festive season you’d be in for a real treat.

This month Mike and Suggs appeared on Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 show where they played Mr. Apples and David Bowie’s Kooks in session. Suggs spoke of the record of the new album in Toe Rag Studios, and explained that the technology there was stripped back and simple.

On the 18th of November hundreds of Madness fans made their way down to Butlins Minhead for the latest in a string of annual Madness Weekender events. Too much went on to document here. All we can say is that a good time seemed to be had by all.

The event was such a success, that even before it had finished, tickets for the following year were already on sale!

December 2016

Into December, then, and this month was all about the much-loved Christmas tour – an event which fans would love to see happen every year, but something that doesn’t always take place on an annual basis.

The band kicked off the tour with gigs in Bournemouth and Cardiff, before leaving the country to play in the Netherlands for two nights, and then jetting back to the UK to continue the mainland dates. It was certainly all go!

Taking time out of his performing schedule, Suggs appeared on Good Morning Britain where he revealed that the next single would be out following the tour. The single would be the album’s title track – Can’t Touch us now.

Back to the tour, and those attending the London O2 gig would be in for a real treat. A special Madness public house would be popping up outside the venue on the 10th of December where an afternoon of delights, high jinx and Madness beer would await. These delights would include the one and only Rhoda Dakar on the decks!

Towards the end of the month, and while we still had some Christmas dates to go, the band were already looking towards 2017, and with the Minehead Weekender already booked we learned that the band would now be playing gigs in Australia and elsewhere in the Southern hemisphere, and that the popular House of Common festival would be making a return.

The year ahead was already looking to be an exciting one.

Rob Hazelby




Sick as a parrot? 

This week I’m going to start with the good news: In last week’s chart Total Madness unexpectedly clung onto its top 200 position dropping to number 188. Curiously that means it is also the 188th best-selling album this year. You might wish to deduce from that fact that CTUN is number 60 on the year to date album chart. Were you to do so you would be correct. Award yourself a sticker of your own choice from the selection our classroom assistant has.

I hope you’re enjoying your sticker, because here comes the bad news that my introduction forewarned you of: In Friday’s chart CTUN dropped out of the top 75 from the previous week’s number 60. On Monday’s midweek chart it had looked safe enough as it had only fallen to 67. However come Friday confirmation that its ten week run on the top 75 arrived with news that it had plummeted to number 89 in week 11. It is hoped that the next chart will see it remain in the top 100 as it needs a 12th week to equal the initial run of The Liberty Of Norton Folgate. That said Norton Folgate’s average position over those 12 weeks was number 54. Can’t Touch Us Now’s 11 week average place is number 40. Total Madness also had an initial 12 week run on the top 100, with an average place of 52.

Things remain much rosier for CTUN in the world of actual sales (ie without streaming ‘sales’ counted). Overall sales (CD, vinyl, download) see the album at number 68, whilst the album is number 58 on physical sales (CDs and vinyl). Madness clearly have a long way to go until they can be seen as a streaming band. To help this I would suggest that any fans who use streaming sites already might like to listen to the album or tracks from on via streaming on a regular basis, but only if they are happy with any associated costs this may cause. I guess this is partially why the last email update from the label, UMC, was encouraging people to create their own CTUN playlists.

Being outside the top 75 makes it hard to estimate sales but, as chart positions 67 to 71 are separated by only 129 sales, I would guess that another 1,300 copies were sold last week to give an overall estimate of 75,500. Hopefully this week’s disappointing tally won’t overly delay the award of a gold disc for the album passing 100,000 sales.

We’ve been told repeatedly that 2016 was some sort of jinxed year and it certainly appeared to be the year when far too many celebrities died young, which brings me to my next point: The album chart is now seriously influenced by deceased artists. No fewer than 20 of this week’s top 100 albums is by a solo artist (or singer in a band) who is no more. They have ceased to be. Expired and gone to meet their maker. Nineteen of those albums are above CTUN in this week’s chart. Normally this time of year there is a big influx into the chart of greatest hits and best of albums led by the HMV sale. This year that has happened too, but it is the memorial market that is having the most marked effect on the charts. It would have been even more marked, but I mistakenly killed off Neil Diamond in my mind. I mention this because the charts are constantly evolving these days, but I can’t recall a time when such a large percentage of the chart was made up of deceased artists.

Hopefully the forthcoming chart will have some brighter news and Madness’ most successful studio album in decades will continue its chart dalliance.

Paul Rodgers




Fresh from supporting Madness at the O2 in London just before Christmas and another excellent review for their first LP, Practice, this time 4* from The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/22/the-clang-group-practice-review-spikily-irreverent-and-singular), Clive Langer’s band The Clang Group play again in London next Thursday, 19 January.

Michael Hann’s review in The Guardian (the latest of a series of 4/5 and 8/10 reviews for the LP) concludes “Practice might be grungy art rock, or off-kilter pop, or some kind of revival of proto-punk. What it is, though, is undeniably brilliant” – that seems pretty definitive!

Madness producer Langer wrote the album himself and sings vocals throughout (with Suggs stepping in on Had A Nice NIght, as he often does when the band plays live).  Released by Domino Records and produced by 2016 Mercury and Brit Award winner Charlie Andrew, with a bit of input from Clive of course, the album has a real gritty, live feel to it.  The album also features Andy Mackay of Roxy Music on sax.

Catch The Clang Group live next Thursday, 19 January, at The Islington at 1 Tolpuddle St, London N1 0XT (nearest tube Angel) – tickets just £8.80 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/383863.

More information (and album and T-shirt sales!) at www.theclanggroup.com

Jonathan Young




This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.

5 years ago…

Issue Number 662 – Sunday 15th January – Saturday 21st January 2012

It had been another exciting one for fans as this past week saw another two dates added to the band’s already impressive 2012 gig line-up. These additions were Westonbirt Arboretum on the 24th June and Doncaster Racecourse of the 30th. Hopefully the weather would hold out for both dates!

Tickets were already on sale for both concerts and you were advised to get yours as soon as you were able.

This week were also able to reveal that the current Suggs tour “My Life in Words and Music” would have another batch of dates added to it shortly. These were due to take place in the autumn.

Elsewhere, and Suggs commented that the band had written about the previous summer’s riots, and that the song was destined for the next album. Mike, meanwhile, posted on Facebook saying that the band were currently in the studio with producer Stephen Street. He was apparently helping them work on three tracks for the next album.

In this week’s outro we reported that the Madness Central web site were currently in possession of a fully autographed Wonderful poster, and that you could be in with a chance of winning it by entering their competition.

And finally, if you were one of the many Twitter followers who sent Suggs a message on his birthday earlier in the week you may have seen that our favourite  frontman was clearly touched by all the well wishes, as he tweeted the following out to the masses;

“Thanks so much for B/day greetings, moderation obviously order of the day, splutter, cough, laugh..ha ha ho ho”

10 years ago…

Issue 402 – Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th January 2007

Following our short question and answer session which appeared in last week’s edition, the online Madness community exploded into life as fans quickly swapped emails (via the wonderful MTR) with hopes that this year would see the band stage not only another Madstock, but also appear at Glastonbury.

Whilst nothing had been confirmed as yet, we promised to let the MIS readerbase know as soon as we heard something more concrete.

Suggs’ 46th birthday was celebrated on TOTP2 by an airing of The Prince (1979). Steve Wright joked that on this earliest top of the pops appearance Suggs was nine and only two of the band were nutty.

On the onscreen text next month’s single and forthcoming album and also a tour was plugged. They followed the song with a 90’s appearance of Prince Buster singing “whine and grine” and weirdly enough for the timing of this MIS a song by Strawberry Switchblade over which they again mentioned member of madness in the onscreen text.  That wasn’t the end of the connections, as Sheamus the Keyboard player from the Mad Not Mad era popped up in the background of Iggy Pop’s “Wild Child”, and the show rounded out with a 2007 appearance of “Just Jack”, singing his new hit “Stars in Their Eyes”, who was once signed to Carl’s RGR label.

All evidence that someone on the show knew their Madness.

On to the articles, and we began this week’s collection of newsworthy nuggets with a happy new year from Ska band ‘Orange Street’, who emailed in with their list of upcoming gigs. We were told to keep an eye on their web site and Facebook pages for further additions over the coming weeks and months.

The second series of Disappearing London started on ITV London this week. What went on and where did Suggs go?

We gave those of you outside the London area a brief lowdown on what you missed. In this first episode from series two Suggs visited Churchhill’s underground war bunker in Neasden, then over to Peckham to an old prisoner of war camp, and finally to an old grocery store in Muswell Hill.

Next week Suggs continued his journey through the city’s vanishing history with a trip to an old-style barbershop, and the Victorian observatory on the heights of Hampstead Heath. Plus, a celebration of the capital’s original fast food.

It was over to Madness Trading Ring maintainer, Steve Bringe, for the next article, as he gave us a detailed review and track by track listing of the Concert Live CDs, covering the gigs at the band’s recent Christmas tour.

So, did he think the discs were worth the asking price? His closing words should give you some idea;

“Excellent performances, fun new songs, triumphant return of Chris, good quality recordings, messed up tracking. I’m happy with the purchase complete with grins, giggles, and a lighter wallet. Go get yourself a set”

We brought this issue to a close by looking at 80s bubblegum pop duo ‘Strawberry Switchblade’, and their first release, ‘Trees and Flowers’. Why? Well, as well as being produced by David Balfe and Bill Drummond, it featured, among others, a pre-stardom Roddy Frame, plus Mark Bedford and ‘Woody’.

15 years ago…

Issue 140 – Sunday 13th to Saturday 19th January 2002

Experiencing the post-Christmas news famine, the MIS team decided to rummage through their Christmas presents for some Madness related inspiration. Thankfully, one of the team received ‘The Ultimate Lists Book’ from Santa, which (as luck would have it) contained numerous Madness and Suggs facts and figures.

The book claimed that the information inside could “Amaze yourself and your friends with over 200 lists of unusual and totally bizarre trivia”. Whilst we weren’t sure if any of our readers were reading the issue were in various states of amazement, the facts we managed to dig out were certainly interesting.

Collectors were all ears this week when news reached us that fruit machine manufacturer, MayGay had recently released a Madness themed fruit machine. MIS subscriber, Mike Paine was kind enough to spend his hard-earned pennies in an effort to produce a review, whilst the MayGay site itself had masses of information on their new product.

Mike finished his review by commenting;

“Unfortunately the pub was too loud to hear any of the noises or music but that didn’t stop me from turning £5 into £45. It was obviously fate”. 

Elsewhere in the issue we featured a newsflash from non other than Terry Edwards, who had emailed the MIS team, informing us that Bedders and himself were re-issuing the the BUtterfield 8 album in the spring, with the idea of putting it out on a 10” vinyl format. Terry was clearly open to suggestions and feedback from the fans, and wanted to know if they should also release it on CD.

Rob Hazelby




We’re almost done for this week, but before we go we urge you to pop over to the French MIS blog. If your grasp of the French language is as embarrassingly poor as ours don’t let that worry you.

Towards the end of 2016, Mike and Suggs appeared on pop rock station RTL 2, where they performed acoustic versions of Herbery, Mr. Apples and My Girl. Thanks to our friends over at the French MIS you can catch the section Mike and Suggs appeared in and also download the three tracks.

Simply point your web browsers over to:


Until next week, take care!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to The French MIS team, Paul Rodgers and Nick Godwin)

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