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

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

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A few people emailed in this week asking what the situation was regarding tickets for the House of Common Weekender. They’d signed-up to the email list to be the first to know when they’d become available, but with Wednesday coming and going an announcement had yet to surface,

We can reveal that for one reason or another the launch has been put back to this coming Wednesday. The first batch of time-limited tickets will be available of the reduced cost of £32.50, before prices rise as the date gets closer.

If you’ve not yet registered, just get yourself along to: http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/

In others news, we were pleased to discover that BBC Radio 2 have C-listed the next track to be taken from the Can’t Touch us Now album. The song in question? Another Version of me.

Now, on with the issue.

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 ** On Sale Wednesday! ** 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




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)

Rhoda talks to Robert Elms about her new album. Check out the interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04q0g1c ** New **

You can also see the performance here: https://www.facebook.com/RobertElms/videos/1328217367237341/ ** New **

An older interview (which requires cruddy Flash, unfortunately) can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p039z927




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…

Suggs – Shear Madness – From the Mail on Sunday Event Magazine


Q: Which nutty pop star tapped up the Queen for football tickets, dropped his (baggy) trousers in David Bowie’s driveway and claims a fish finger advert changed his life?

A: It must be…Suggs, Suggs, Suggs!

As a citizen you feel duty-bound to ask if Madness, a notoriously light-fingered band, liberated any ‘mementoes’ from HRH’s London HQ.

‘Only a couple of toilet rolls,’ Suggs shrugs. ‘Maybe a “please turn off the light” sign.  ‘And unlike The Beatles, I didn’t have a joint in there, but I did have a fag.

I remember sensing a laser dot on my forehead as I was leaning out the window. Shadowy figures on the roof, having a laugh.’

Heart-rending recollections of tragic songbird Amy Winehouse, his father’s heroin addiction and death, Suggs’s suffered all this and his own health concerns, his wife’s battle with breast cancer.

‘Anne survived, she beat it,’ Suggs says proudly of the woman he married aged 21 in 1981, and mother of his two grown-up daughters, Viva, 31, and Scarlett, 34. ‘But it was a horrible ordeal.

‘Funnily enough, when I heard, I was just celebrating a very successful fish finger commercial. I’d got a few quid in the bank and I remember I was sitting there in an extraordinarily expensive restaurant, smoking, and she rang me to say they’d found a lump in her breast. ‘It was a real shocker. All the horror and the process that you go through, I can understand now. And it happens to so many people.

It wasn’t so long ago that you heard that word cancer and you were dead, your life was finished. Thankfully, in more fortunate cases, that has changed, but that’s a day I’ll never forget. It was absolutely terrifying.’

The harrowing experience prompted Suggs, an enthusiastic bon viveur, to book an appointment with his doctor.

‘I had one of those MOT man-things,’ he shudders, raising a prostate-probing index finger. ‘I had everything checked, all the vital organs. I was sweating as the doctor went down the list.

When he got to the liver I was thinking, “Oh, here we go,” and he said it was all fine. All fine! So I went on the lash for three days. Anne called me and said, “Where are you?”

I said, “I’m celebrating my good health, as any red-blooded man should”.’


Estimated to be worth £8 million, Suggs has kept the same modest family house in Holloway, north London, for almost 40 years, and a second home in Puglia, Italy. He sheepishly admits to sending his daughters to ‘a posh-ish school’.

‘They went to the City Of London School For Girls,’ he nods. ‘So posh to a point – there were cab drivers kids’ there too, people made good, and all that.

‘I was all for sending them to state school, but my wife wasn’t having that, so we made a compromise. It wasn’t too posh, but it was a private school and they learned nothing. ****ing waste of money that was.’


Suggs on Danny Baker

Not content with the current album being number one in America, Danny Baker manages to muddy the water further by claiming to Suggs that Our House had been number one in the USA also!

And Suggs doesn’t bother to set that record straight either. In a charming interview fuelled by memories evoked by records both Madness and non Madness.


Suggs tells the story of maybe meeting Madonna in the night club and being propositioned on Madness’s first USA tour.


Thanks to Mark Bryant for the the above.


Madness Unveils a Plaque Marking Their First gig at Camden’s Dublin Castle


“I am very fond of this place, without it we wouldn’t be standing here today,” said lead singer Suggs.

“We found our mojo in here,” adds bandmate Mike Barson.

“It’s funny how things happen. If they had said ‘bugger off’ other bands wouldn’t have come and it wouldn’t have become a famous music venue.”

The seven-strong Ska band included Marylebone boy Chas Smash, former Quintin Kynaston pupil Suggs and Barson, who went to Hampstead School. Initially known as the North London Invaders they pretended to be a country band to get the Dublin Castle booking.




Mark Charlesworth pointed out this week in The invaders group, that the IMDB website database has details on Suggs: My Life Story, the film version of Suggs one man show.

As previously stated, Julien Temple is directing, who previously helmed Madness Norton Folgate live movie, and many other documentary and pop bio flick. Also credited is the original theatre show director Owen Lewis.

Steve Organ, fresh from the recent Bob Marley documentary, is behind the lens, and actor Perry Benson has been cast in an unknown role.

Deano Mumford the pianist from the show is listed as appearing.

Empire Magazine said of the project…

Temple’s plan is to bring together archive material, film drama and songs captured on stage to find McPherson musing on his life after his 50th birthday. Rather than a more conventional film, it’ll be an event cinema release and kicks off shooting soon.

And quoted the films producer:

“I am delighted to be back with Julien pushing forward story telling and event cinema to new ground once again,” producer Stephen Malit tells Screen International.

“Julien’s unique montage style of drama, performance and music is perfect for this project, with the film and live cinecast combination, release plans as shaping up for next spring.”

While a partnered film investment company, Goldfinch entertainment, mentioned filming of principal photography had begun last September on location in London’s Hoxton Hall.




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 665 – Sunday 5th February – Saturday 11th February 2012

Thanks to the efforts of Sunday Munoz, we were able to bring you an exclusive Mexican MIS video with Lee Thompson “El Bandido” talking about both his bands ahead of Madness in Mexico in March. Some interesting album related information cropped up as well as some fun distractions and more eavesdropping on the ska Orchestras dub mixing taking place.

Next, we took a look at the Independent, who had run an absolutely massive future on Suggs: My Life Story. We didn’t learn anything new from it, but it was nice of the publication to set aside so much space to cover it.

We continued on with Suggs coverage for the following articles, as the Birmingham Post’s Alison Jones interviewed our favourite frontman as he took time out from his busy One Man Show tour.

It was back to Madness for the next article as the St Helens Reporter web site were keen to push the band’s performance at Haydock Park this coming July.

“Set to play pop classics One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers and It Must Be Love, Madness are following in the footsteps of Simply Red, Scissor Sisters, JLS and Sir Tom Jones – who have all performed after racing at Haydock Park in recent years. Tickets are on sale now. But music and racing fans alike are urged to book soon as the event is confidently predicted to be a sell-out.”

It was over to Specialized for the next section as we reported on the charity album of songs by The Specials covered by modern day artists with every penny going to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

We were told; “Don’t expect a full album of ska. There are plenty of other genres to cater for many tastes. What’s surprising about the project is the way it has grown. The project has now gone global. Album launch gigs have now turned into a tour and America and Australia have now got in on the act and are staging their own Specialized concert.”

Now, you couldn’t have failed to have missed our special edition MIS, which went out on the Friday evening, following the booking system going live online at Butlins.com for Madness return visit to Minehead.

Mail-outs from Butlins had been dispatched to previous bookers of the weekender, mentioning the discount deal –  10% we’ve been told by the Butlins representatives manning the phones. As they are were targeting previous in the know fans of the weekender at this stage, online publicity from Butlins and Madness themselves wouldn’t start for a little while just yet.

If you didn’t want to wait for your postcard to arrive we pointed you to the booking link so you could get booked-in right away.

We brought this issue to close with comments from subscriber Liam Curtin, who’d just returned from seeing Suggs and his One Man Show;

 “I thought the show was fantastic and put together very well. It was very funny, moving and informative.  The bits about meeting Jerry Dammers and signing to 2 Tone were hilarious.

The whole show was really well paced and really easy to follow. The music was great and really enhanced the show.

 I was lucky enough to meet Suggs after the show, and he was kind enough to sign some Madness records for me.

Didn’t get back home ’til 2am but it was well worth the trip”.

10 years ago…

Issue 405 – Sunday 4th February to Saturday 10th February 2007

This issue kicked off with news from subscriber Andrew Langmead, who reported that;

“Sorry was just used on Soccer AM on Sky Sports as the backing music for a compilation of the best goals of the week. At the end it always gives the details of the song. It said Madness featuring Sway & Baby Blue and gave a release date of March 5th.

So, more evidence that the ‘rap’ version of the song will be the one which is released.

I must admit that it is growing on me :-)”

Progress on the video for the forthcoming single also seemed to be going well, as the latest MySpace MadBlog announcement explained;


The video shoot for ‘Sorry’ took place over the weekend, some shots below… The finished video will be up on Madspace as soon as it’s ready.”

Things moved fast in this technological age, as the video was already up on YouTube.

We felt it looked very last minute, very cheap, and had few ideas. This was a Tesco Value range video. It looked very stylish, but that was about it. It was also the first Madness video without Lee in, and sadly it showed.

It was over to the Independent for the first of our articles, as they’d managed to rope Suggs in to do one of their famous 5 Minute Interviews.

He we learned the most surprising thing that had happened to him, what he felt people should take more notice of and more.

Next, it back to Andrew Langmead, who this time reported that he’d heard Suggs mention (on his Virgin Radio show) that Madness were due to perform on Al Murray’s Happy Hour. One of the things Al asked for is that everyone who appears has to perform a Queen track. Apparently the rest of the band wanted to do Killer Queen, but Suggs wasn’t happy with a number of key changes in the song. He liked the idea of performing Another One Bites the Dust.

It was on to episode 3, series 2, of Disappearing London as we gave a brief review of the show.

The London Tram system was the opening story in this episode and a visit was made to the remnants of an underground depot from which the trams used to emerge onto the London streets back in the 1930’s This was shown in archive footage.

Suggs then indulged in a traditional game of Pub Skittles with one of the few remaining clubs still playing the game. The show explained how the large area needed to play the game is why most venues no longer have a room for such a past time.

The final segment of the show was a piece about the manner park allotments, in the lee valley. A place for many to grow food and have a hobby since the war. The development programme for the London Olympics means this area will be compulsively purchased and be redeveloped by the building plans for this forthcoming world sporting event.

We had news of a new forum next, as we discovered that when he wasn’t busy uploading weird and wonderful homemade Madness videos to YouTube, Adam Nicholls spent his free time building web sites.

With the diminishing number of Madness websites online over the past 5 years we were excited to see Adam’s new creation, and so, we decided to take a closer look at his Nutty Forum.

In the fourth episode of the Suggs hosted documentary, Disappearing London it included a small segment about Suggs visiting Liam Watson, one of the producers of the next Madness album. This was within a larger story about Denmark Street as a musical centre in London’s past. Attempting to show what the Denmark Street studios might have looked like back in the 60’s, the show came instead to the analogue and traditional set up of Toerag Studios.

In this article we explained what the segment covered, along with a few transcriptions from there.

We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with a report on just how fast tickets or Glastonbury had been selling. Why was this of interest to Maddies? Well, in the closing remarks it mentioned that Madness were one of the bands rumoured to be appearing this year.

15 years ago…

Issue 143 – Sunday 3rd February to Saturday 9th February 2002

We started off by thanking the online Madness community for helping us out of a bit of a pickle. An Italian Madness fan had emailed us, and not knowing the language we had absolutely no idea what they were  asking us.

We posted the message over to the Madness Trading Ring, and the response was simply stunning. Not only did we receive a full translation of the original email, but people had even been kind enough to put together a reply for us to send back. It really was fantastic!

This week’s edition of the MIS featured a heavy dosage of Ian Dury, with the majority of articles relating the late, great singer and his band.

First up was the (now) legendary Steve Turner of Madness tribute ‘Los Palmas 6’ reporting that he just joined the only Ian Dury and The Blockheads tribute band in the country – The Blox, and that he was inviting readers of the MIS to come along to the next gig, have a great night out, and say ‘Hello’.

Taking one of our irregular visits over to the Madness newsgroup over at alt.music.madness we discovered someone selling a batch of magazines that the band had appeared in over the years. Whilst the prices seemed a tad on the expensive side, there was no denying that some of the articles were well worth adding to the collection.

Following our recent ‘Tour Madness’ competition we were pleased to announce that a fresh-faced Paul ‘Birchy’ Birch turned out to be the lucky winner of the special ‘Tour Madness’ promo.

Continuing on the subject of ‘Tour Madness’, and as we were in the month of February we took a jaunt back to February 1984, when Suggs and Carl co-hosted the ‘Oxford Road Show’, alongside main presenter Timmy Mallet. Moving on a year we then went to February 1985, where the band, advertised as ‘The Wayfarers’ showcased 20 of their new songs since their return from the ‘Keep Moving’ tour.

Back over to The Blockheads, and news reached us that Phil Jupitus and Carl Smyth would be guest performers with the band at their next gig in March. The show would mark the release of Ian Dury’s last album, ‘Ten More Turnips From The Tip’.

Following this, we finished the MIS with an official press release promoting the launch of the new album, and a lowdown on each track appearing on the ‘Ten More Turnips’.

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





That’s almost it for this week’s edition of the MIS. All being well, tickets for the House of Common WILL finally go on sale this coming Wednesday. Keep an eye on your email mailboxes.

This week the BBC aired an episode of Top of the Pops 2 from 17th February 1983…

Peter Powell and Gary Davies present the weekly chart show, first broadcast on 17 February 1983. Featuring Wham, Tears for Fears, Icehouse, Musical Youth, Madness, Haysi Fantayzee, Fun Boy Three and Kajagoogoo.

Madness are in the studio performing Tomorrow’s Just Another Day.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet you have 29 days to watch the show online. Point your web browsers over to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08cgpkf

And finally… Pop outfit, The Farm, who were once managed by Suggs himself will be supporting Madness when they play the Wirral Live Festival on Friday 19th May. Having The Farm as support is sure to provide a boost in ticket sales, so please, if you’re planning on going get your ticket sooner rather than later!

Until next week, take care!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Mark Bryant)

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