Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 925 – Sunday 29th January to Saturday 4th February 2017

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 925 – Sunday 29th January to Saturday 4th February 2017

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Ladies and gents, the wait is almost over as this coming week tickets for August 28th’s House of Common one-day festival go on sale.

All you need to do is pop along to http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/ to register. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday.

So, what do we know of the 2017’s event? Well, it does seem that organisers have been listening to the feedback from last year’s festival, as the following text shows;

Our first House of Common festival was a truly incredible day in 2016.

For 2017 we’re making it even better…

We’ve got an improved kids area (with screens playing the action from the main stage), more bars, a bigger selection of beers and a large area just for our own beers and ales!

We’re going to have even more bands on the line-up this year and we’ve moved our own set time a little earlier to accommodate our youngest fans!

It certainly sounds promising! Naturally, we’ll have more information regarding this event as it surfaces.

During this past week the band also announced yet another addition to their summer gig line-up, with a performance at Falkirk Football Stadium on Friday 4th August. For further details go to; http://www.falkirkfc.co.uk/madness-in-falkirk/

On to this week’s issue, and we have a rather special article courtesy of the one and only Paul Rodgers. Paul’s taken a week out from documenting Madness’  music chart progress, (CTUN fell to 116 last week) and instead teamed up with Daren West to report from the band’s PRS red carpet event at Camden’s Dublin Castle.

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
Friday 4th – Falkirk Football Stadium


Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire
Saturday 12th – Kent County Showground


Friday 18th – Hardwick Hall


Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party


Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Not on Sale Yet ** Sign up to the ticket registration site here: http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/


November 2017

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



The Silencerz

Thursday 22nd June – The 100 Club. Featuring Lee Thompson with support from The Skapones and MIS DJs ** NEW **




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)



It’s always nice to see our favourite band in the press, so below are just a few of the articles featuring Madness that have appeared over the past few weeks…

Madness Honour Legendary Camden Venue, The Dublin Castle


Pop band Madness have unveiled a heritage plaque at Camden’s Dublin Castle, where they made their name in the 1970s.

The Music Heritage Award is given to venues that played a crucial role in helping to create music history.

The Dublin Castle gave Madness a weekly residency in 1979, kick-starting their career.

“It meant everything to us,” Suggs told the BBC. “We could barely play our instruments when we first arrived.”

“But we started to notice that more people were coming week after week.

“Then, people started to dress a bit like us.

“Then, suddenly, there was a queue round the block – and that’s when record companies started to notice.

“It was the most important thing that happened in those early days.”

Tickets to those formative gigs cost just 75p (£3.48 in today’s money).

“One night, we made £100 profit. What about that?” said songwriter and keyboard player Mike Barson.

“I can’t think of a venue in London that’s had more bands go through it,” said Suggs.

“And without these venues, it would be the end of pop and rock.”

With trademark good humour, the band asked guitarist Chris Foreman’s father, John, to draw back a curtain to unveil the plaque – which he did, holding a pint of Guinness in his other hand.

See also…





Threat of losing iconic music venues ‘a real tragedy


Britain’s “precious” music scene needs protecting at a grassroots level, according to singer Suggs.

His band Madness sells out arenas nowadays but back when they were starting out they cut their teeth playing gigs in the back room of Camden’s Dublin Castle.

“Playing eyeball to eyeball with a crowd is where you really learn how to entertain,” the singer says. He’s back at the pub to speak about Independent Venue Week.

“There used to be 10 or 12 of these spaces around Camden and now there are two or three left.

“When you hear about all the venues we’ve lost, I think it’s a real tragedy.

“If you think about the amount of pop music this country has produced – and we don’t produce much else these days – I think it’s something we need to be quite precious about.”


Madness At Maida Vale 

Listen again…



Madness bootlegs archived 


Jo Whiley interviewed Madness and the performed a full band 7 song set during the radio show including new album songs, the returned single Cardiac Arrest for it’s first modern era broadcast, and Shop Around from the early Invaders days.

  1. Mr Apples
  2. Embarrassment
  3. Blackbird
  4. Cardiac Arrest
  5. Shop Around
  6. Herbert
  7. It Must Be love

Taking texts from the public Suggs says Hello to truckers. Jo and Suggs reminisce about Maida Vale and the first John Peel Sessions, the first time their music was heard.  One Session with the drummer from Mot The hoople.  It is still exciting to hear new music on the radio.

Talking about telling Simon Cowell his album was number one in America made his face light up.  Top of the pops the early days is spoken about, as a water cooler talking the next day kind of a show, so they made the effort to put a car on stage and do different things.

The new album, Amy Winehouse is discussed, how Madness write songs is the following topic,  Suggs talks about his vinyl collection and attending to his Hedge.

Suggs talks about Stevie Wonder You haven’t done nothing record just played …..     Memorabilia is discussed. Chris talks about the suits from Ghost Train and the traffic warden suit from driving in my car and nicking something from the BBC on the last day of TV centre.   Suggs has an evening standard hoarding of John Lennon’s shooting.

David Bowie is discussed,  Chris says Bowie asked him for his autograph for his son. Lee joins in asking why they wearing pineapples on their heads for that gig? Then recounts the story of David Bowie coming to book them. Chris and Suggs read out Taxi service notes part of the shows regular shout outs.   Suggs sings a who song briefly.

Glastonbury is discussed,  “we have been going there every few years climbing up the ladder of notoriety”  Lee talks about learning saxophone learning in a cow field, to fats domino tapes.  He talks about his first meets with the band, knowing Chris since the mid 70s. Blagging into David Bowie at Earls court borrowing eyeliner to blend in. The fashions discussed causes lots of laughs.

Mike joins the interview, and having just chosen Elivs Costello, he talks about reggae and working with Elvis, semi acoustic and Elivs chose interesting phrasing. Favourite Madness song Mike?  You are My Everything, or Cardiac Arrest.

Mike and Woody talk about The Beatles Day in The Life, sticking heads out of train windows.  Memories of gigs.

Which Madness gig did no one turn up?  Harrow road, Mikes mum and 3 people in 1979.  The gig with a famous person in the audience.

David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Paul Weller, Lee Claims Elvis! at the back.   Prince Charles and the Kazoo National Anthem.  Gig Injuries?

Bedder hit Suggs once in the eye with his bass. Gig that meant the most.  Woody says Finsbury Park, for being number 1 and 30 thousand people and earthquake. Chris jokingly calls it the most well attended gig ever.

(With thanks to Adam Nichols)


The Dublin Castle – By The Bed and Breakfast Men

Youtube Uke stars the Bed and Breakfast Men now have an original song.


And it’s a lovely tribute to the best pub in Camden along with a ton of Madness references woven into and new original tune penned by the boys.

“Here’s a live version of our original song written in tribute to Madness & Dublin Castle. It will be on sale as a limited run charity single at Dublin Castle 11th March. 

All proceeds to raise money for Julia’s House Hospice at The Mad Chatters Tea Party. 

The single version is a full band studio recording (keys, drums, guitair etc) in the Madness style. 

Hope you like the song and spot all the references folks. 

Thanks to Steve Farthing for keeping the faith and George Odom for Producing the single.”  

The Bed and Breakfast Men.




For a few year PRS for Music have been issuing black plaques, which are their equivalent of the blue plaques that litter our villages, towns and cities. Blue plaques tell you who slept in which bed in which hotel in which town and where they were en route to or from and why. Blue plaques tend to be for ultra famous or historic figures and mark a moment in their life. The people they remember tend to be deceased, although it is not compulsory as far as I know. Black plaques take on a different significance. They tend to highlight music venues which were significant or essential in the development of an artiste or band who then went on to much bigger and better things. Think The Cavern Club, but not demolished. These plaques therefore do not celebrate one person. They celebrate an institution that didn’t go on to bigger and better things. Such places tend to become legendary in the back story of bands, amongst those who have an interest in such things, but to your average man in the street they remain that pub I walk past on my way to work, little more than a mental marker of how many more minutes it’ll take to reach the tube.

Since their launch in 2009, the PRS for Music Heritage Awards (as they are officially known) have celebrated independent venues which have witnessed the birth of some of the nation’s most loved music legends. Venues already recognised by PRS for Music Heritage Awards have hosted a broad spectrum of acts including Queen, Pulp, Spandau Ballet, UB40, Stilton, Status Quo, Soul II Soul, Sir Elton John CBE, Blur and many more. Crucially this was at the start of their musical careers.

Back in November a rumour had started to spread that Camden’s finest might be next on the list to get the nod. The Dublin Castle that is. The Dublin Castle has played host to many a band set for the stars, but it is most closely associated with Madness. I think I first became aware of this mythical place aged 12 in 1980. It might have been mentioned in one of the music papers I used to read in the newsagent or buy if it had a feature on you know who. Failing that it would have been in the first couple of issues of the Nutty Boys comic from the Madness Information Service (the real one, not this current fan-led incarnation), or in their potted history of Madness or the video for Complete Madness or the video of the Take It Or Leave It film. My point is that Madness never really forgot their roots, despite going on to be one of the top two best selling British bands of all time, with 16 multi-platinum albums and the current number one DVD at the West Pole. Not to mention their award breaking craft ales and their bespoke cheeses, which are the best thing to go with sliced bread since Stilton.

It turned out that the rumour was true, but that the news was not really meant to have leaked. The event was largely for the press, for The Dublin Castle and for PRS for Music to promote and honour small independent music venues.

Yours truly was on the invite list, standing in for our regular Camden correspondent, who couldn’t make the event on 26 January due to work commitments. So I headed to meet Lee Thompson at 12.30ish at a top secret north London pub. The plaque unveiling was supposed to be at 1pm, so I’d been told. So getting off the train at 12.20 at King’s Cross I thought the tube and a brisk walk would be fine… No need to get a black cab. Couldn’t have been more wrong… I walk into the meeting place with Paul Putner (who is carrying my virtual pencil). There’s no sign of Lee. The score appears to be one punter, two bar staff and us. I ask if they’ve seen any of Madness. On being told no, we leave and walk the remaining 200 yards or so to a point where we can see a biggish crowd outside the Dublin Castle. I see Woody cross the Parkway heading away from the pub. The penny drops…

We cross now to our correspondent on the ground who I will call “Dave”. His identity has been changed to protect the innocent:

“Me and my mate Gaz arrive at around 12.20pm inside it is ‘invite only’ so we wait outside, where red carpet treatment awaits the world’s best group. Above the pub entrance is a tiny red velvet curtain with a string pulley. The curtains are closed!

At around 12.45pm our heroes step out of the pub and we do our best to listen in to a representative of PRS for music. It was a shame the gent didn’t have a loud voice or a microphone as he read out quite a detailed potted history of Madness. [not to worry- we have a press release, Ed]

The press that were present were jostling for places as the plaque was unveiled to jubilant applause and the band said a few words. Suggs particularly thanked the DC for giving them that chance and importantly the residency they had, enabling them to build up a fan base. It was also mentioned how vital such venues are for upcoming bands in today’s music scene.

Once restrictions on entrance to the Dublin Castle are relaxed we get to enjoy a couple of hours enjoying the hospitality of a free bar, small cornets of fish & chips, mini Stiltons and cakes with Madness & related music emblems decorated on them! The band freely mingle and allow fans autographs, a picture with them or a quick word.

Later the action moves to the back room. The stage is set with 2 microphones as Suggs and Thommo say a few words in the company of Alo Conlon.

Suggs;- “Thanks for coming today. I remember when we first played here – it was a lot warmer cos they had the heating on. There was sweat dripping off the ceiling. It also meant the punters would drink more. Those first few gigs…it was 50p to get in then they decided to put it up to 75p”.

“I don’t think we saw any of that money – I think Chalky & Toks saw to that!” added Thommo. After a bit of to and fro about the price rises Suggs adds that there was a riot outside when it went up to the aforementioned 75p!

Amazing to think that 38 years or more later, above the pub entrance it now reads ‘Madness first appeared here in 1979 at the Dublin Castle’. Thommo announced through the microphone “I’ll ‘ave that sign later!”

Thanks for that “Dave”.

It’s about 12:50. I make my way in, give my name, Paul and I get our wristbands and head towards a few people I’ve spotted that I recognise. What time are they doing the plaque unveil I ask. You’ve missed it. The next thing they tell me makes me feel less bad. Apparently some of the guests inside the pub before the unveil are unable to stand on the street outside because of the numbers there. Instead they have to stay in the bar, looking out of the window. They’ve not seen the plaque yet either! I hadn’t spotted it as I wasn’t looking for it…

A little crestfallen I spot Chrissy Boy. I tell him I missed the thing, having been off looking for Lee elsewhere. Never mind, he says. My dad did the unveil. I then realise he is looking at the gentleman sitting quietly enjoying a pint opposite me at the same table. I tell Chris I was meant to be reporting the day’s events for the MIS. Make it up, Paul, make it up he advises me and is on his way.

John ‘Johnny Dad’ Foreman is a quietly spoken gent, who I am guessing is in his 80s at least. Having read a few things about him recently we have a brief but entertaining conversation about his folk music life and how proud he is of Chris and the rest of the band. He tells me a few stories about Chris’ childhood and visits to various folk clubs around the country. It’s hard to hear above the clamour and the jukebox, but I think he said he first heard Chris perform a song he’d written at a folk club in Swindon. We talk about the origins of Madness from the founding core of Mike, Chris and Lee. John thinks back and says words to the effect of “yes, but they needed someone with Suggs’ personality to move beyond bedrooms and gardens”. I pop off for a chat with someone from the band’s management team. Kindly they offer me a get out of jail free card in the form of the press release for the event. Parts of it not already used in my article will appear at the end.

I bump into Lee. He asks for his ball back. I think he is trying to insinuate that I am fat. He is correct. He tells me he waited for me until the band’s costume bloke, Jim, was sent to get him. Apparently during this mission Jim dropped and broke his phone. Lee tells me he is going to replace it. Later I see a video of the unveil. Just as the band go into the pub Lee says to Chris “my guest never showed up”.

And so The Dublin Castle, still owned and managed by the Conlon family as it was when Madness first played there, is recognised officially on the music map. Personally I hope this is some help in their battle to stay open should the dreaded HS2 project go on just up the road. The pub won’t be demolished for the actual line to be built, but footfall of people walking past and driving past could be severely limited and replaced by lorry movements. It would be truly ironic were a railway building project to damage the prospects of a fine boozer originally built because of a railway building project. Put simply: no Dublin Castle, no Madness.

So thanks to PRS for Music and Madness for getting this heritage award and plaque organised.

This may be my last go at reporting on an event when the usual suspects are unable to attend… Perhaps I should stick to making things up about the charts?

I should add that had I walked straight up Parkway from Camden Tube I would have seen the whole thing… But no. I stopped for selfies outside the tube, in Parkway and on the corner of Delancey Street and Arlington Road. If ever there were a good reason to bin the narcissism brought about by Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones with cameras, this is it!

Paul Rodgers, with invaluable assistance from Daren West and Baz and Beverley for her video footage, which has helped with bits I missed.

The rest of the press release, which includes the bulk of the speech by the PRS for Music chap:
Legendary British band Madness have today presented iconic London pub, the Dublin Castle, with the prestigious PRS for Music Heritage Award. The accolade is given to those live music venues across the UK that have played a crucial role in helping to create music history, by giving now-famous acts their first ever gig and helping them on their way to success.

Madness first performed at the Dublin Castle as a newly formed band in 1979, which soon turned into a year-long residency at the Camden pub. This marked a turning point for the band as during this time they released their debut album, One Step Beyond, and began to attract a dedicated following. That same year, the music video to My Girl was filmed on location at the Dublin Castle, cementing the special relationship between the band and venue.

PRS for Music, which protects the rights of more than 118,000 songwriters and composers, ensures that creators are paid whenever their music is played or performed in public. The organisation established the PRS for Music Heritage Award in 2009 to celebrate the important role that music venues play in supporting songwriters and artists at the start of their careers, giving them an opportunity to perform in front of a live audience for the very first time.

Independents like the Dublin Castle provide a platform for new and emerging acts to harness and develop their talent, try out new songs, experiment with creative identity, and build the foundations for a long-lasting fan base.

These venues have witnessed the birth of some of the nation’s most loved music legends. Previous PRS for Music Heritage Awards have been given to independent venues that have helped the likes of Queen, Pulp, Spandau Ballet, UB40, Status Quo, Soul II Soul, Sir Elton John CBE, Blur and many more at the start of their musical careers.

This year’s PRS for Music Heritage Award plaque was unveiled by Madness at a special red carpet ceremony today at the Dublin Castle, Camden, as part of Independent Venue Week.

The unveiling of the plaque sees the start of what’s sure to be another hectic year for the revitalised ‘nutty boys’. 2016 saw Madness secure yet another top 5 album with critically acclaimed ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’, play the main stage at Glastonbury and sell out their UK Arena tour (including a night at London’s O2 Arena). The New Year has seen more live dates added to their burgeoning calendar, including their own annual House of Common festival, headlining Camp Bestival and returning to Minehead for their legendary House of Fun Weekender.

Madness, said: “When we started out there were tons of pubs, clubs and flower shops for bands to start out in, like how we did it.  When you hear about all the venues we’ve lost in London over the last few years it makes us sad and worried about how new bands will ever get the opportunity to break through from the live scene, Gawd Bless The Dublin Castle and all the independent venues fighting the good fight.”

Alo Conlon, Owner of the Dublin Castle, said: “We feel very much part of the fabric of Madness’s history and so it’s an honour to receive this award. We pride ourselves on investing in emerging talent and giving them the platform they deserve and plan to do so for a very long time to come.”

Sybil Bell, Founder of Independent Venue Week, said: “The space that the Dublin Castle has created here is incredibly valuable to British music culture, they’ve played a huge role in giving emerging acts a stage and helping them to thrive. They definitely deserve to be acknowledged with the PRS for Music Heritage Award to mark this pivotal moment in British music history.”

Paul Clements, Commercial Director, PRS for Music, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding Madness and the Dublin Castle with the PRS for Music Heritage Award. Independent venues play such a vital role in the development and growth of so many artists. From a first live gig, to a secret performance from a music legend, these independent venues are the creative spaces that help the UK music industry to flourish.”

Video link:





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 664 – Sunday 29th January – Saturday 4th February 2012

Another month went by and news of another Madness compilation landed in our mailbox.

Due for release on the 2nd of April was the strangely titled “Madness – Forever Young: The Ska Collection”. Why? Well, while some of the tracks certainly did have that ska sound to them while others were completely out of place.

With two previously unreleased tracks in the form of a cover of Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Vietnam’ and a version of Edvard Grieg’s ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’, plus a fold out poster and linear notes featuring new interviews with Chris and Lee, we felt that this may not have been enough to get anyone other than die-hard fans to make a purchase.

On to gig news, and we reported that Madness were now confirmed for the Indian Summer Festival in  Broek op Langedijk, Netherlands.

The event (which was 12 years old at the time) had grown into a festival with a  capacity of 30,000 visitors each year.

Next, it was over to Suggs and his One Man Show. Having begun his tour of the country the previous week to rave reviews, we included a selection of some of the best, interesting and amusing write-ups from the fans themselves.

It was clear that this was a tour you just had to catch before it finished.

Moving on, and it was back to Madness, as we featured a write-up from the Haydock Park web site who were busy promoting the band’s performance there on Friday 6th July.

Following this we reported that Lee Thompson would be performing a cover of Prince Buster’s song “Madness” for the forthcoming Teenage Cancer Trust fundraising album, in a new line-up featuring some known faces.

Elsewhere, and it was exciting news from US based fans as we reported that Ticketmaster had just put tickets on sale for Madness in San Diego on the 17th April. Tickets were priced at the oddly numbered $58.55 USD.

We brought this issue to a close with the news that Madness had been invited to appear at either the opening or closing ceremonies (we didn’t know which!) of the London Olympic Games. As this was early days detail was limited.

Exciting stuff!

10 years ago…

Issue Number 404 Sunday 28th January to Saturday 3rd February 2007

This week we kicked off a series of lists, taking a nose through the BBC programmes back catalogue. From the well known appearances to the obscure lost gems, to frivolous bits any sane person wouldn’t even really care about. Here were the listings for some of the times members of Madness had appeared on the BBC services of Television and Radio, from 1981 to the present day.

Our listings began with the earliest (non TOTP’s) reference in the catalogue of Suggs appearing on the BBC. It was a rather fascinating and at the time very necessary appearance on BBC Radio 4 news discussion programme…

THE WORLD THIS WEEKEND, 1st March 1981BBC Programme Number: 14SX4301

Neil Spencer, of New Musical Express, Woods Woodgate & Suggs of the Madness pop group & some young skinheads interviewed on the Young National Front recruiting at pop concerts.

We only had a few rough notes to go on, but it appeared that this was a racism debate show, with the BBC giving viewpoints on both sides of the fence.

It was back to December 2006 and Remember The Eighties for our next article, as we featured a review of the Bournemouth gig, which had originally appeared on their web site, and was written by site maintainer Richard Evans.

Richard finished his review with the following words;

“As the crowd file out of the venue Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful World’ is piped over the speakers and, at that moment for the seven thousand people packed into      the BIC, there couldn’t be a more appropriate song to see them into the night”.

Following this we went back to the BBC Archives, and the 16th of April 1983, where the only and only Mark Bedford appeared on Mike Read’s Pop Quiz.

Next, it was on to more up-to-date things, as we revealed that on Sunday 3rd June Madness would be performing at the Peel Bay Festival on the Isle of Man. The night would be kicked off by The Stranglers.

Another trip to the 80s next, as we took a look at the 20th February 1986, when Carl and Suggs appeared on BBC Breakfast.

This entry in the catalogue had short hand notes about what was said between guests, (for BBC use for identifying clips later). Madness were referred to as GOD’s throughout the notes which we thought meant “Guest On Day” and not that they were divine entities!

The notes revealed that they arrived late blaming both traffic and a flood at their studios the night before and were there to promote Sweetest Girl, a clip of the video was shown. Suggs saying a cover version is a one off thing and not usual policy to do other peoples songs.  (oh, how that would change over the years!)

We passed things over to the band themselves for the next article, as they announced what we could expect to see over on MadSpace (the band’s MySpace page) over the coming months. We were updated on where we could buy merchandise from last year’s tour, and also given a gentle nudge, as a competition run by the band and J Shoes was about to come to an end. Thankfully, we were promised that another competition would get off the starting blocks before too long.

Things moved away from Madness next, as we took a look at North London band Jag, and re-printed an article which originally appeared on inthenews.co.uk. This took a look at the band, and covered a number of their recent tracks.

We brought this issue to a close with the news of the next Ska Dance Craze night, which was due to take place at The Junction, York, on Saturday 23rd of June, and would feature The R 2Tone, plus resident Djs.

15 years ago…

Issue 142 – Sunday 27th Jan – Saturday 2nd Feb 2002

We started off this week’s issue with a competition to win a limited edition ‘Tour Madness’ sampler, which had been kindly donated to us by the author, Jermaine. All you had to do was be the first to drop us an email, and the sampler would be winging it’s way to you.

After the post-Christmas drop in news it was heartening to see things starting to pick up once again, and the issues of the MIS starting to expand in size once more.

Subscriber Fiona Linnel reported in with news that No Doubt were interviewed on the Big Breakfast about a recent concert they did in Hawaii, and were asked what their favourite Madness tracks were. The three male band members picked ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘Night Boat to Cairo’, and ‘One Step Beyond’, whilst Gwen Stefani went for ‘One Better Day’.

Elsewhere in the issue Spanish subscriber Luis took us through a lowdown of all the recent appearances of Madness tunes in TV commercials in the country. It was nice to see that a variety of tunes had been used to promote different items – Bosh used ‘Our House’ to promote kitchen furniture, Gas Natural used ‘It Must Be Love’ to advertise their gas and heating services, whilst Tele Madrid went with ‘The Return of The Los Palmas 7’ in a program about Real Madrid’s history, and ‘It Must Be Love’ for some self promotion TV spots.

On a really light-hearted note, Becky Lane contacted us with the heads-up on Madness’ entry into the Minipops web site.

The site must surely host one of the smallest representations of the band the world has ever seen. If you had 5 minutes, we recommended you take a look at the Madness entry, and then have a general browse. There was even a book available if you couldn’t get enough!

Further on into the issue, and Lee Swandale reported on the forthcoming re-release of Crunch’s 1991 album, “The Nutty Boys’, which would be available to order in a few weeks time. Not only did the re-release contain 13 audio tracks, but two enhanced video tracks of ‘It’s Ok, I’m a Policeman’, and ‘Magic Carpet’. As we said at the time “What are you waiting for? Get pre-ordering at once!!”.

The issue finished off with Jonathan’s slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the passing of Like Father, Like Son, which charted the progress of the band over the last 30 years.

“30 years of hard work had paid off and 6 triumphant gigs later the mission was complete, and the band retired knowing it had pleased all that had heard them play. May the band memory last forever.”

Rob Hazelby




Two exclusive screenings of 2Tone’s legendary film at The London International Ska Festival 2017

13 April  – Prince Charles cinema, Leicester Sq

Screened from film cinematographer Joe Dunton’s own 70mm copy!

16 April – Islington Assembly Hall (gig screening)

+ Rhoda Dakar, Phoenix City All-stars (Dexys set), The Equators and more tba!

Tickets selling fast at www.buytickets.at/hotshotscorcher




Congratulations to Specialized on another great year of fundraising. Well done absolutely everyone who helped, in gigs and fundraising up and down the UK last year, and bought any of the range of merchandise and tribute records produced by the charity.


A mighty amount raised that has been split between Teenage Cancer Trust, Youth Music and associated just giving page causes.

Thanks to all who helped MIS to their small part in 2016’s total, via support for out Commoners against Cancer event last august, and associated raffle, auction and merchandise sales from it, that by January this month gave our total to just over £2k

MIS continues to support Specialized this year with our room 2 take over at Reading (April 29) or see you at the 100club (July 22nd) helping Ambassador Lee Thompson with his Silencerz gig with Skapones in support.

(Note there isn’t a commoners against cancer event in 2017, we are doing something different in August.)


Big thanks you to Paul Willo and Everyone at team Specialized.




The next series of ITV’s Benidorm sitcom (which sees Madness featuring in an episode) is schedule to begin broadcasting in March.

And finally, our thanks goes to Arnold strap for pointing out a number of German dates on some listing websites such as Song Kick. We would like to inform all German fans or travelling fans that these ARE NOT Madness concerts, not the band we report on weekly. These are in fact hip hop concerts by German language rapper Maedness. So avoid.

All actual venues and ticket sites list the correct artist, and it’s only the listing websites that have got this wrong for dates in April.

Please don’t book your gig and plane tickets!

Until next week, take care!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Paul Rodgers, Adam Nichols, Arnold Strap, Daren West,
Paul Willo and everyone at Team Specialized)

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 924 – Sunday 22nd January to Saturday 28th January 2017

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 926 – Sunday 5th February to Saturday 11th February 2017