Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 940 – Sunday 7th May to Saturday 20th May 2017

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 940 – Sunday 7th May to Saturday 20th May 2017

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Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online newsletter.

In a round up of snippets detailing the band’s Solo endeavours, we bring separate news from Thommo, Suggs, Woody and Bedders.

Firstly, The Gig Company have announced that “Suggs and Friends” is returning for a fifth evening. The pricey charity ticket ensures help to Pancreatic Cancer research, and a fine unique musical display from Suggs and top guests. We will let you know when they announce a date. All we know at present is that it’s later this year due to the band having been touring Australia.

Secondly, Lee Thompson’s film, both comedy and documentary in equal parts, on and about the man himself, is now edging towards completion. Last seen previewed at screenings during 2016’s House of Fun Weekender, it was previously titled “Who is Lee Thompson”. The film may possibly be renamed to “One Man’s Madness”, and will be seeking out the nutty audience who adore the antics of the Nutty Sax man via a Pledge Music campaign. We’ll have much more on this in coming months. Let’s all give it a push when it’s ready to announce, to every man, bulldog and flying fez fancier from here to Timbuktu!

Thirdly, as Voice of the Beehive ready themselves for their reemergence on a stage, the band have set up new official social media news channels.  Join the swarm here…

Bees can tweet too: https://twitter.com/votb_official

Face of the beehive: https://www.facebook.com/VoiceOfTheBeehive/

And last up, the Near Jazz Experience have hosted their debut Jazz Epic album online at soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-215219297/sets/afloat-the-nje

It’s called “Afloat”, and at present there’s no news yet on its release as vinyl, (wax cylinder or any other format). Expect wild instrumental landscapes some times involving the dual alto sax of Mr Edwards and Jazz rhythms with one toe in a rock world.

Finally, if you’re  off to see all of Madness this week. Shout. “Wirral have a good time together” and do send us your reviews.

Now, sit back and 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.



May 2017

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

http://bit.ly/WirralLive17 ** THIS WEEK! **


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

Sunday 2nd July – Spiritland Talks – Madness Q & A ** SOLD OUT **

Sunday 9th July – Bospop, Weert, Netherlands

Saturday 29th July, Camp Bestival – Headliners


August 2017

Thursday 3rd – Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Friday 4th – Falkirk Football Stadium


Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire
Monday 7th – Lokerse Festern, Belgium


Saturday 12th – Kent County Showground


Friday 18th – Hardwick Hall
Saturday 19th – V Festival, Hylands Park

Sunday 20th – V Festival, Weston Park
Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party
Sunday 27th – The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm – Headliners. More info at:
Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Tickets now on sale! ** More info here: http://www.madness.co.uk/houseofcommon/


September 2017

1st-3rd Electric Picnic, Ireland  ** Sold out Festival**


November 2017

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


Our House Tour 2017 ** New **


10th – 12th August – Lyceum Theatre, Crewe

14th – 19th August –  Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

22nd – 26th August – Venue Cymru, Llandudno

29th August – 2nd September – The Playhouse, Weston-Super-Mare

5th – 9th September – Embassy Theatre, Skegness

11th – 16th September – Festival Theatre, Malvern

19th – 23rd September – White Rock Theatre, Hastings

3rd – 7th October – Swansea Grand Theatre, Swansea

9th – 14th October – Winter Gardens, Blackpool

16th – 21st October – The Spa, Bridlington

24th – 28th October – Churchill Theatre, Bromley

30th October – 4th November – Kings Theatre, Portsmouth

8th – 11th November – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

14th – 18th November – Weymouth Pavillion, Weymouth

20th – 25th November – Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe


The Silencerz

Friday 23rd June – Mill Hill Festival

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



Near Jazz Experience

June 8th – Kino Teatr, St Leonard’s, East Sussex. Supporting Blurt.
** Rescheduled **


Voice of the Beehive

Saturday October 7th, Indie Daze. All Dayer from 1pm.  Kentish Town Forum. NW5 London

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

** Out Now! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl


Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying – Remixes

Three new dub remixes of the track “Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying”, from the current album, are now available.

Leo Zero, the London based remixer and producer, has created the new mixes. You can buy them from Madness artist pages on iTunes and Amazon, and many other music sites. They can also be streamed through Spotify.

The mixes are the “Leo Zero remix” and his “Tufnel Parkas” mix, available both as a dub and full instrumental versions.

The former samples “Rocksteady beat” from the start of The Prince before riffing on the title song. The latter mixes make atmospheric use of the backing vocal stems and there is much looping of the guitar stabs on the tracks.

It’s perhaps fitting that Leo Zero has previously worked with Bryan Ferry, as this particular Madness track from the Can’t Touch us now LP is the most dance music based track from the latest batch of Madness and so suited to elongated 12″ length instrumental musings. Certainly more so than some others. Even if these remixes won’t dazzle the general fan, they are a nice experiment that highlight in stripped down parts, some of the elements that go towards the finished Madness song on the album.

We feel a dubplate coming on.


Jonathan Young. Our thanks also go to Mark Doherty for a heads-up.




The Pleasure of Being Suggs


At 16, he joined The Invaders – soon to become Madness – and started on the path that made him an unlikely, buzz-topped British institution.

“I’m sure a Jungian psychologist would have a field day,” says Suggs, now 56, of his name-induced change of character. “Being a performer is having some sort of, not armour, but you do put on a different kind of suit when you are performing. And I’d obviously decided that at a young age anyway, because I had a difficult upbringing, so I could create a character that was a bit larger than the one I was inhabiting at the time.”

the seven “very strong individuals” who formed a band hooked on pop and ska and the streets around them, and scored 20 Top 20 hits in the UK. Not that he will tell everything.

“I wouldn’t tell stories about the band that they wouldn’t tell themselves. It’s not my job to go into all the darker areas of individuals,” he says.

Their hits have earned them an enduring legacy, from the riotous skank of One Step Beyond in 1979, to their insurgent school anthem Baggy Trousers, to the 1992 reissue of the tender It Must Be Love. It was the song they played atop Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, or as Suggs describes it, “the most surreal moment of our entire career”.  They also performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.




Madness @ The Byron Bay Blues Festival

Subscriber Talan Miller sent this review in around the middle of last month, but we accidentally missed it amongst all our other emails. Sorry!

Saw them last night at Byron bays Blues Fest and they were sensational, funny and unforgettable as always.  The audience was pumped and no offence to the other artists at the Festival, but no other band gets the ‘love’ that Madness do from their fans.

My wife and I took my 16 year old son, 14 year old daughter and 8 year old son (his new fave song is Mr Apples) and they were very impressed with the live show having grown up on the music, and commented upon how refreshingly real and unpretentious Madness are given their talent, longevity and loyal following.

A massive highlight was the band taking the time to do a signing which gave us the opportunity to meet them and my 16 year old got my hand me down Madstock “Madidas” shirt signed by all, so that was very cool, and my youngest was thrilled to meet “Mr Apples”.  The band were so friendly and warm with the kids and I hope that they enjoy seeing another generation fall in love with their music.  Lee gave me a copy of his new CD which was also a great thrill, and if he’s reading this, thanks so much for that, it’s another treasured bit of Madness memorabilia to go with the Fez of mine you wore for Night Boat to Cairo at Luna Park a few years back.

It was an awesome set that was a perfectly balanced mix of old and new with a killer Chris Karaoke version of Highway to Hell with a cricket tragic “C’mon Aussie C’mon” as prelude.  Went down very well.  The graphics behind the songs were also sensational, especially those created for the tributes to Buster and Amy Winehouse.  Great design work and added a colourful dimension to what was already a great show.

Suggs announcing that Mike Barson is moving to Australia also went down very, very well indeed, fans hoping it helps bring the band back down-under more often.

Thanks for making the trip down-under and please don’t be strangers, come back again soon!

Talan Miller




Drip Fed Fred eases back to number 10 in the vinyl singles chart and to number 12 in the physical chart.

If any more singles are to be released from Can’t Touch Us Now they must include a vinyl and CD offering as well as downloads and streaming.

Us old f**kers demand it! It would be Madness to ignore us forever.

Paul Rodgers




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 679 – Sunday 13th May – Saturday 19th May 2012

We had it all this week – news of Madness’ forthcoming Jubilee performance, details of a new Camden Town iPhone app, news of The Ska Orchestra’s return to Brighton and much more besides.

Our “much more besides” was revealed in the first article when we reported that on the 11th May Mike announced the following on his official Facebook page;

“Just wanted to inform you’s I got married the other day to my long time girlfriend/partner/soulmate etc etc she’s very wonderful and I’m a lucky fellah!”

Many followers of Mike, who recently celebrated his 54th birthday, were quick to wish him well on his page following this announcement. The MIS team also extended their congratulations, and wished the newlyweds many happy years together.

Moving on, and we reported on “Ska Jam Volume 1, featuring Lee Thompson”. Produced by Keith Finch, Keith told us;

“I Thought I’d mention this. I did a new track with Lee, for a new album we have out on Jamdown/JA13 records called Ska Jam volume 1. 

[It’s] called ‘Legs Eleven’. There’s a couple of new Dance Brigade tracks on it, one written by the trumpet player, Chalkie White.

My aim is to get the Dance Brigade album out before it’s  mentioned in your ‘on this day 5 years ago.’ It’s virtually all ready to go but me and Lee keep writing bits for it and adding stuff. 

The trouble with working with Lee is that you only get him for a while before he’s off doing another project. 

As for JA-13 [ my thing] I am just about to start recording a new album with legendary trombone player Rico Rodriquez, which I’m sure Lee will contribute to, as I’ve asked him and his brass mob to help out.“

Next, it was on to Jubilee news, as we featured a transcript from the entertainment.stv.tv web site, who were reporting that Madness would be taking part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, celebrating 60 years of the British Monarch’s reign on the 4th June at Buckingham Palace.

Suggs told the web site;

“Well, the queen phoned us up and…no, she didn’t really.

‘Her private secretary wrote us a letter, and we were very happy to do it. Yeah, I like the queen, and I’m very pleased to be playing at her party.’”

We continued with Suggs in our next article, which was a question and answer session with the great man that had recently been conducted by spoonfed.co.uk. Suggs discussed pub grub, Bar Italia and record shops.

Elsewhere, we reported on the recently released Camden Town iPhone app. Designed as the perfect companion for a trip to Camden Town, this App promised to guide you around the streets to help you find exactly what you were looking for.

We were told it featured YouTube video tours by top celebrities from the area: with their own exclusive take on Camden.

The App also included tips, discounts and more to help you explore London’s most vibrant district.

Very nice!

We brought the issue to a close with Jonathan reporting on The Ska Orchestra’s return to Brighton, and how you could watch the band in rehearsals via YouTube.

The band were next due to play in Islington on the 2nd June. Miss it at your peril!

10 years ago…

Issue 419 – Sunday 13th May to Saturday 19th May 2007

Looking at the contents of this issue, it would seem that we’d decided to go on a bit of a Suggs theme this week. It wasn’t intentional, but as the man seemed to be everywhere at the moment it was pretty much unavoidable.

We kicked off the articles with “Suggs on Ray Davies”, where our favourite frontman recounted the first time he saw The Kinks.

“I first saw them live at the Brighton Pavilion when I was 16 and they played ‘Lola’. We covered ‘Lola’ very early on, but it was the reggae version of it by John H,    which amused us because it misses out the bit about the transvestite – it’s just a beautiful love song about a chick he’d met in a disco. But on ‘The Dangermen      Sessions’ we finally thought we’d do it justice and record it in its entirety.”

The Suggs coverage continued, as in the next article he revealed his favourite bars. These were:

– The French House, Dean Street

– Colony Room Club, Dean Street

– Mango Room, Kentish Town

– Old Neptune, Whitstable

– George Hotel, Inverary, Scotland

There followed yet more Suggs related news, as we looked revealed that leading fashion and design house, English Eccentrics had released their first album, ‘How to Dress Sensibly’.  This new creative venture enlisted the talents of an eclectic mix of musicians, including Toyah Willcox, Suggs and Asher Senator.

Moving on, and we reported that earlier this week a special edition of current affairs programme, Inside Out, was aired on BBC London. What was so special about this? Well, it was fronted by Suggs.

The blurb from the time read;

“It’s Wembley and on the 19th of May the cup final returns after 7 years away. It was generally felt that the old stadium was tired and grubby and was not a fitting environment for the home of our national game, so a new one was built and a wonderful glittering arch towers over the  London skyline.

The new stadium has taken years to build, gone severely over budget, and has cost billions of pounds, and has been highly criticised. But it is here, and football fans all over the country are ready to live the dream that is Wembley again.

Suggs takes a magical bus ride to the new one and also goes back in time to visit some of the famous faces from the old ground with some wonderful memories to find out what has made Wembley footballs spiritual home.”

We brought this edition of the MIS to a close with a write up of the latest TV show to feature Suggs, ‘Suggs in Soho’.

15 years ago…

Issue 157 – Sunday 12th May to Saturday 18th May 2002

Every so often we have a special themed issue of the MIS, and this time we went into Chas Smash overdrive as we all geared-up for the release of his forthcoming footie single ‘We’re Coming Over’.

However, even more important than that was the news that tickets for the forthcoming Christmas tour were now on sale. Yes, it sounds crazy even now, but tickets for the much anticipated seasonal end of year UK gigs were now available. To this day we’re sure that this is one of the earliest dates tickets have gone on sale for a Madness tour.

On a less jollier note, the ongoing Crunch! album re-release saga continued to roll ever onwards, with the news that the album had been put back yet another two weeks. Would this production ‘ever’ see the light of day? Only time would tell.

With the proposed Madness weekend in Great Yarmouth not (at that point in time, anyway) now taking place Maddies were invited, courtesy of subscriber Jeff Sharp to join The North Shields Robin Hood FC on their June weekend away in Brighton. This two day drinking fest would see a number of outfits performing, including The Selecter, Complete Madness, and Bad Manners.

As the launch of ‘We’re Coming Over’ got ever closer Maddies were invited to come and join Mr. Smash on the day of release, as he’d be appearing across London at different times during the day to promote his new release. Mr Smash would be performing the song live along the route, and giving out stickers and posters along the way.

To finish the issue off Jonathan and Rob took turns in reviewing the forthcoming Chas Smash single. Jon, who was able to get along to the initial video shoot gave a favourable summing up of the track, and came to the conclusion that it was a winner when coming up against Ant and Dec’s own footie release. Rob, on the other hand was less convinced at the pedigree of this track, and whilst wishing it the best of success admitted that despite being a Madness fan through and through, this was one release that wouldn’t be getting added to his collection.

Rob Hazelby




We finish this issue with the news that last week’s episode of TV series “Benidorm” has come under some controversy.

No, it’s not the endless debates online about comedic taste, as to whether the show has a) Always been sh1t b) Is so bad it’s good c) Is worthy of its millions of followers who enjoy it or d) Has gone down hill since whichever favourite characters died / left.  (A long and drawn debate of which lead to Chris Foreman’s mention that the band turned down the equally hotly debated Mrs Browns Boy’s does Noel House Party Saturday show. Oh Well done that man! Panto avoided!)

No the controversy concerned a line about a cleft pallet, directed at the singer who was on before Madness. A charity grabbing at headlines following the mention of the facial disfigurement urged people to complain to ofcom. It surely comes to something when you’ve got Madness on your TV show and they are the singers grabbing the headlines for behavioural reasons on screen!  We’re so far past the days of Tiswas and The Young Ones. Aren’t we.?

Until next week, take care!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Paul Rodgers, Talan Miller and John Hunt)


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