Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 929 – Sunday 26th February to Saturday 4th March 2017

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 929 – Sunday 26th February to Saturday 4th March 2017

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We begin this week’s issue with a heads-up for those of you planning to attend the House of Common festival in August, but have yet to purchase tickets.

With the earlybird “2 tickets for £55” deal all sold as pre-sale you may be wondering what the next cheapest option is. Thankfully, another offer is currently running where two tickets can be purchased for the not-to-be-sniffed-at price of £60 plus fees.

If this offer takes your fancy then point your web browser over to:


Remember, these are the next cheapest option and are limited. We anticipate that these will also sell out as prices rises closer to the festival date.

Moving on, and news in from subscriber Rob Price suggests we keep an ear and an eye out of the new mcDonald’s TV advert. The commercial, which is advertising coffee as opposed to the usual Big Macs features the late great Price Buster singing “Madness” as the soundtrack.

Next-up, and if you want to check out The Clang Group, you may be interested to learn that tickets for their next gig at The Islington, London, on the 14th April, are now on sale from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/391929 (Please note Suggs is not appearing at this concert).

And finally, before we move on to the articles…

At some point in March the one and only Lee Thompson will be interviewed on Barnet Community Radio’s “Sweet and Dandy Reggae Show”.

For more information, get yourself along to https://www.facebook.com/events/2225415064350799/

Now, let’s get this 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.

Monday 10th – Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth, Australia

Thursday 13th – Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Saturday 15th – Hordern Pavillion, Sydney, Australia

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 ** Tickets now on sale! ** More info here: http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/


November 2017

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


The Silencerz

Saturday 1st April – The Bull Theatre

Friday 23rd June – Mill Hill Festival

Saturday 22nd July – The 100 Club. Featuring Lee Thompson with support from The Skapones and MIS DJs



Friday 14th April (Good Friday Bank Holiday) – The Islington, Longon ** New **




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

** Out Now! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl


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 in MOJO – Part One

Highlights From the March issue’s 6 page interview with the main Madness man.

The voice of Madness at 17, he channelled Ray Davies and Max Wall via soul and ska, through feast and famine to pilot a nutty rebirth, “What is a National Treasure?” asks Suggs. “F**k knows.”

In a book lined room upstairs the 55 year olds prize possessions include one of Tommy Coopers Fezzes and a stash of 78’s alongside biographies of Alec Guinness & John Betjeman, But little Madness.

“All the gold discs went” He explains.

You Encounter The Specials In 1979.

“We Saw them at the Hope and Anchor and they were F**king brilliant doing this really high energy turbo punk ska. We didn’t know whether to feel jealous or vindicated. we’re playing a real mix of badly played Motown R&B and Fats Domino, Some rock n roll Kilburn and the high roads. all the sh*t we like and we’d started dropping things like Madness and One Step Beyond  into the set and we noticed that it’s really getting the f**cking crowd going.

Jerry Dammers kipped on my mums sofa that night and six months later he rings up and says “I’ve got a label.”

How Maniacal was the 2 tone tour?

“When I see film of it I cant believe the energy f**king hell, I have these images flash through my head of arms and legs and hats and lights and people and shouting. of putting damp suits on from the night before and being 18,  Being on the bus with the smokers at the back the drinkers at the front. It was the best of times.

Your first few years are a Juggernaut of hits.

“Yeah There was something about the energy that we had that youthful naivety and exuberance, i suppose it was because we had a sound and captured something and kids liked it and they still do”.

There was complexity too.

“People who bought our albums realised there was a bit more going on. Happy Songs but Mike would write gloomy music or there would be upbeat music and very gloomy words. we had a full circle with flamboyant people and people who worked harder all with distinct personalities. “

1982 Rise and Fall concept album was more thoughtful.

“The notion of being wacky and nutty, it did start to drag. We were only home two weeks a year with all the touring”

How do you rate Mad not Mad?

“That was us trying to be taken more seriously yeah. we were really fed up with the nutty thing by now. I remember doing gigs and we were not playing half the hits, we were estranged from what people liked about the band, but when you’re playing those songs every night for years one end yo do start to lose any sense of what they mean”.

More from Moho next week….




This week we turn the spotlight on a fresh new ska band. As mentioned last week, Offbeat Offensive have just released their debut album. Here is an exclusive track by track rundown of this release.

Formed in early 2010, Offbeat Offensive has earned a reputation as one of Portsmouth’s most popular and versatile Ska-Punk bands. Catchy ‘sing along’ choruses? Check. Hard-hitting riffs? Check. A bombastic five piece horn section?! You better believe it. Best bring your dancing shoes, because these guys (and girl) have all the right ingredients to get you skanking the night away.

Alongside their own regular headline appearances, Offbeat Offensive have also been lucky to support such legendary acts as The Selecter, The Neville Staples Band and The Blockheads, and were part of operation MIS Commoners Against Cancer event for Specialive last August at The Dublin Castle.

Featuring an energetic live show, infectious grooves and buckets of Portsmouth ‘Charm’, Offbeat Offensive aren’t to be missed. Check them out on the live circuit if you get the chance.


Offbeat Offensive – Track List:

  1. Coming Out
  2. Lessons Of The Second
  3. Scratch The Surface
  4. Who Takes The Blame?
  5. Stuck Here Without You
  6. Tomorrow
  7. Bumreggz
  8. S.H.A.P
  9. Can’t Be Me Without You
  10. I’m Not New To It
  11. It’s Not The End
  12. Why Should We Try?


Buy/Listen: ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/offbeat-offensive/id1198046711

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2kZx7T4R724ct1DkzhzS36

CDBaby: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/offbeatoffensive

Physical copies (CD/LP) will be available in the coming months

Track By Track:

Coming Out: Our singer, Sam, is really good at getting dumped. This song is about just that. It’s a simple, upbeat number which we thought would make a perfect album opener.

Lessons Of The Second: This ‘dirty reggae’ track is a bit of a fan favourite. It was originally written for a band called the Scandalz, the forerunners to Offbeat Offensive. It’s been through a bit of an evolutionary period since then, so deserved a spot on the album.

Scratch The Surface: A much heavier song. We tried to go a bit “Streetlight Manifesto” with this horn line and wrote an instrumental break in 9/8 because we like to pretend we’re decent musicians. There’s even a drum solo towards the end!

Who Takes The Blame?: This is a really old song, written around the time of the 2008 credit crunch. Having said that, the lyrics are still relevant today. We also like dividing audiences with controversial political opinions… I think this is the only track (apart from Lessons) that isn’t about women or drugs!

Stuck Here Without You: A love song that our bassist wrote. It’s not about women- he has a more important and enduring love… I guess you could call this the ‘ballad’ of the album.

Tomorrow: This track has some nice twists and turns. A mix of haunting, reflective lyrics and pure aggression (we’re a very angsty band).

Bumreggz: We managed to shoehorn a melodica onto the album! Bumreggz is Offbeat talk for ‘B Minor Reggae’, although it’s definitely got a more straight-ahead rock feel to it.

S.H.A.P: The title’s an anagram. You’ll never find out what it actually stands for, but it might be fun for you to make your own title and let us know your ideas… maybe we’ll give out a prize for the best answer? This song is a perfect example of Offbeat Offensive’s M.O: high energy songs, poppy choruses and big fat riffs!

Can’t Be Me Without You: Another love song (this one is about women), composed and sung by our keys player, Mallis. It’s a nice catchy pop number, complete with a stadium style sing-along section because we love a bit of cheese!

I’m Not New To It: The other thing Sam is really good at is drugs. This song is all about that. We namedropped Doritos™, so they’re bound to buy the track for an advert and make us millions! We choreographed some sweet little moves to go with the chorus lyrics, but you’ll have to catch us live to see them…

It’s Not The End: This stands apart from the rest of the album in that it’s much more stripped back and leans towards the punk side of the musical spectrum. We were definitely trying to rip off Green Day here.

Why Should We Try?: In typical Offbeat fashion, something that should have been a complete disaster ended up being one of the strongest tunes on the record. We hadn’t figured out where to go with this one, so Arran and Dan recorded the drums and bass and the track was pretty much built around those scratch tracks. Our Sax player, Jen, shares vocal duties with Sam in the choruses which works really well and helps to develop the narrative of the song overall (there’s two sides to every story..).

See you on the dance floor!

Arran Hartley (Offbeat Offensive)




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 668 – Sunday 26th February – Saturday 3rd March 2012

We had an absolutely packed issue this week, and so, with a short intro, it was straight into our articles. The first of these was a transcription from the Bristol Evening Post which reviewed the final night of Suggs’ theatre tour which was now drawing to a close. The paper gave the show a glowing review, and finished off by commenting “Suggs, My Life Story in Words and Pictures, to give it its full title, was witty and charming, our genial host turning St George’s into a house of fun.”

Gig news next, and it was exciting news for Ireland based Madness fans as Belsonic 2012 had just been announced, and Madness would be headlining on August 17th. Tickets were to go on sale shortly for a very reasonable £28.50 plus booking fee.

Moving on, and this year marked just over 20 years since Suggs produced the debut album for Liverpool band The Farm. Always up for a Madmeet, Maddies were urged to attend the Dublin Castle pub from around 2pm this coming weekend. Later that afternoon those in attendance would head off to The Farm gig where the band would perform their debut album in full.

Next, and news had reached us revealing that Suggs was recently spotted guesting, probably impromptu, with a Rhythm and Blues band in Islington.

A youtube user had uploaded footage of the band Sugar T and Swells at a Kings Head gig in Islington and Suggs could be seen joining in.

Following this it was on to Specialized, where we had an update for you. The news in question was an update on the forthcoming charity album of Specials songs, redone or re-covered, (featuring Madness (Naked Mix) by Lee Thompson).

Producer Paul Willo reported; “Due to circumstances beyond our control- we will      miss the scheduled released date of feb 28. 

However – it’s all in hand, the artwork is being prepped and the album is having a full master in London as we speak before it goes to press. Please bare with us and rest assured the album will be out asap. Not much longer, but hey! It’s all rock n roll”

The lengthiest article of the issue went to the new Madness CD – Forever Young – The Ska Collection. While the majority of tracks were re-released for the umpteenth time, we concentrated on two brand new Madness covers – a cover of the legendary Vietnam and a cover of In The Hall of the Mountain King. We kid you not!

We brought this issue to a close with the news that The Ska Orchestra had announced details of a Brighton gig this coming May.

10 years ago…

Issue 408 – Sunday 25th February to Saturday 3rd March 2007

With the Summer getting ever closer, the thoughts of outdoor gigs were surely in the minds of many a Madness fan, and whilst we’d yet to hear if a full tour or even a legendary Madstock would take place when those temperatures would hopefully be a little higher, it was already clear that this was going to be a busy year for the band.

The official Madness page on MySpace – MadSpace, had announced that 2 digital download bundles would be made available for the forthcoming release of the new single, ‘Sorry’, whilst legendary clothing company, Fred Perry had teamed-up with the band to promote the new track.

To celebrate the release of the new single, ‘Sorry’, Madness were offering 2 very special exclusive bundles that were only available for a limited time, and only available from the 7 Digital store.

These bundles were available to pre-order ONLY, and you could download your purchase on or after the day of release, 5th March 2007. To secure the exclusive bundles, you had to pre-order before this date, or order on the day of release. The files would be deleted at midnight on 5th March!

It was over to the Fred Perry press release next, as we featured the text announcing their teaming-up with Madness, which was originally posted to their web site.

The text gave a brief history of the band before diving straight on in with a lowdown on the forthcoming single, Sorry.

The press release finished by telling us;

“2007 has plenty more in store for both Madness and Sway. Following the release of Sorry on 5th March on Madness’ Lucky Seven imprint, the band will begin to unveil material from their new album and announce some very special live plans. Sway is currently preparing to release a new EP and is also hard at work in the studio on his second album release, which is set to feature a further Sway and Madness collaboration”.

Moving on, and we hopped over to the Camden Gazette, who had just run a story revealing that Camden’s Crown and Goose pub was due to be demolished to make way for a block of expensive flats.

Celebrity drinkers at the Crown and Goose in Arlington Road included Kelly Osbourne, Madness singer Suggs and one-time Big Brother contestant Bez from Happy Mondays.

Jim Kyriakos, a carer who lived on Arlington Road, said;

“Out of all the pubs in Camden the Crown and Goose is the last one they should get rid of. It’s a lovely pub – if they knock it down a bit of Camden will have died. There are already too many wine bars around here and we don’t need another load of flats that are too expensive for anyone to buy. The bottom line is: keep it Camden.”

We brought this issue to a close with news in from Chris Wardell, who reported that The Beat had recorded a new album, and had announced tour dates through March and April.

15 years ago…

Issue 146 – Sunday 24th February to Saturday 2nd March 2002

We started this issue off with news in from MIS subscriber, Muzzer, informing us that the BBC had returned to form once more, with consumer affairs programme, “Watchdog” featuring ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘House of Fun’ and “DIY SOS” also using ‘Baggy Trousers’ for background music.

Also this week, Suggs was spotted making an appearance on the Oliveieres (an English awards ceremony for theatre) where he announced that the forthcoming Madness musical, entitled `Our House`, would be opening in London in September.

The Suggs coverage continued with a lowdown on his recent appearance on lighthearted sports quiz show “They Think It’s All Over”, as a member of Gary Lineker’s team. One of Suggs’ questions involved Chris Eubank, and Suggs told the story of the unfortunate chart position he had with Cecilia the week he had hosted Top of the pops.

Further Suggs related news items arrived this week with the news from Simsey that he’d picked up a Suggs rarities bootleg that had started to do the rounds. Entitled ‘The Return of The Lone Ranger’, this unofficial release seemed to be a collection of rare live tracks taken from television, as well as a number of demos. This 19 track album is certainly worth tracking down, but make sure that no money changes hands. Lining the pockets of bootleggers is never a good thing if you can avoid it.

Elsewhere, and March seemed to be an extremely busy month for Madness tribute ‘Complete Madness’, who were performing a whopping 19 times in the space of 4 weeks.

Following the rumours that Like Father Like Son played a secret gig, Crunched fanzine co-editor, Jerney contacted us with a brief lowdown.

It turns out that the gig was a private event for friends and family of the band, and was staged for Kevin’s dad who turned 60 that week.

Always keen to sniff out a Madness related story, Chris Carter-Pegg had contacted Haringey Council, with regard to the licence applications they have received for the use of Finsbury Park that coming summer. Sadly the list of events so far applied for did not include a Madstock and they were not anticipating any further applications at that stage.

Things were also looking a little uncertain with regards to the next Madness weekend. Co-organiser, Cheryl was encountering difficulties in trying to find a hotel in Great Yarmouth keen to have a hoard of drunken Maddies descend on them for the weekend. Cheryl would continue to search for suitable venues (that were interested in hosting the event), but asked for feedback and suggestions from those interested in attending.

Having attended the recent Like Father, Like Son gig at the Felix and Firkin, messers Young and Swandale teamed-up to provide those of us who missed it, a detailed lowdown (complete with full tracklisting) of the night.

The issue finished off with news that the forthcoming re-released Crunch! album would see its release date slip. The delay was apparently down to difficulties encountered in cramming the live videos on to the disc.

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, but before we go…

Following us reaching and completing our fourth and final part of our “Songs of the Silencerz” feature in last week’s issue, Nick Godwin, songwriter from the band, told us;

“we’re working on another 2 new ones. Work in progress.”

With that in mind, expect a possible continuation of our series in the future where we’ll track insights and lyrics around this new song that involve Lee and Son in performance.

Next, and you may have noticed that we have removed the red vinyl release of Total Madness from our Buy It section. Earlier this week we were sent information from subscriber Steve Jackson, who had been informed by Little Amber Fish music that not only was the red vinyl limited to 750 in the UK, but that number had now sold out. If any readers know where the remaining 1,250 can be purchased overseas then please let us know.

Steve also passed on the news from Little Amber Fish music, which reported that a black vinyl release of the album would be available in the next couple of weeks. Naturally, as soon as we hear anything further we’ll let you know.

And finally…

You may recall the recent Near Jazz Experience gig at the Kino Teatr was postponed. We have been informed that refunds are now available from the box office. Naturally, we’ll being you any further news if this gig is re-arranged.

Until next week, take care!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Rob Price, Nick Godwin, Steve Jackson and Arran Hartley)

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