Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 754 – Sunday 20th October to Saturday 26th October 2013

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 754 – Sunday 20th October to Saturday 26th October 2013

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Good evening all,

Madness are due to release a further single from their “Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da” album, with a penciled date of November 11th. The track will be “La Luna”, and promo CD’s for this release are now doing the rounds. Our thanks go to Andy Coulter for passing details of this on to us.

The release arrives in conjunction with a newly released lyrics video by Madness, which we feel has been creatively put together by the song’s music writer. the one and only Mr Foreman. A very nice job indeed. Check it out here…


Lee commented on the video’s YouTube thread;

“Simply Tanfastic. I Still think my visual idea would have been equally as good but, £30k more & one big head ache later. Under the circumstances, this will do nicely… God bless YouTtube & CB, Right Special K?x”

“What’s your overly expensive video idea then Lee?”, we asked directly.

“Basis of idea for La Luna.

Of course the obligatory band performance in an under water palace(Batman done this with great effect in their sixties caper fight scene) with a superimposed ‘Madness’ performing inside a Mother of pearl sea shell.

The few other scenes would be of a skeleton Mariachi band,in full regalia,serenading a pair of overzealous Ocopuses’ at table.

Suggs as a Neptune/James bond/Pied Piper coming out of the sea surrounded by a group of ‘Puc’s’ ie Mid summer nights dream character. And various band members as men in the moon,a la the original.



P.S  I left an ‘0’ out of the budget!!”

Enjoy the read,

Jon Young, Liz Hazelby, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts


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.


November 22nd – 25th House Of Fun Weekender, Minehead, UK

December 31st – Dublin – www.nyedublin.ie

For tickets see links via: www.madness.co.uk

Suggs Live

Suggs My Life Story, the West End of London December Run.


December 1st     – Garrick Theatre, London’s West End.
December 8th     – Garrick Theatre, London’s West End.
December 15th  – Garrick Theatre, London’s West End.
December 22nd  – Garrick Theatre, London’s West End.

*** NEW *** April 2014.  NEW DATES

2nd – Newbury Corn Exchange
3rd – Loughborough Town Hall
4th – Wakefield Theatre Royal
5th – Southport The Atkinson Theatre
6th – Runcorn The Brindley
8th – Mansfield Palace Theatre
9th – Stamford Corn Exchange
11th – Isle of Wight Shaklin Theatre
12th – Aldershot Princes Hall
13th – Wimborne Tivoli Theatre
15th – Bury St Edmonds The Apex
16th – Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall
17th – Stroud Subscription Rooms
22nd – Chelmsford Civic Theatre
23rd – Stevenage Gordon Craig Theatre
24th – Redditch Palace Theatre
25th – Malvern Forum Theatre
26th – Margate Winter Gardens
27th – Northampton Derngate
29th – Bolton Albert Halls
30th – Darlington Civic Theatre

*** NEW *** May 2014

1st – Newark Palace Theatre
2nd – Redhill Harlequin Theatre
3rd – Watford Colosseum
4th – Yeovil Octagon Theatre
10th – DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
13th – Harlow Playhouse
14th – Lowestoft Marina Theatre
16th – Leamington Royal Spa Centre
17th – Jersey Opera House

Suggs “That Close” Book Signings

October 31st. Waterstones. Picadilly, London 7pm  (To be confirmed)

November 10th, 6pm, Newham Bookshop, Stratford, London www.stratford-circus.com  £6

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

October 25th Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
October 31st (Halloween)  Jazz Cafe, Camden Town.

November 1st, Komedia, Bath
November 8th, headlining the Friday of Specialized, The Big One 2, Parkdean, Sandford, Dorset

See ticket links via: www.ltso.mis-online.net

Deaf School

*** CANCELLED *** Wednesday 23rd October, Birmingham, The Temple Institute
Thursday 24th October, Jazz Café, Camden Town, Book Launch

Other events:
Wednesday 23rd October. Insight talk by Paul du Noyer, Bluecoat in Liverpool

More info at: http://deafschoolmusic.com


If money’s currently burning a hole in your pocket then perhaps we can help with your dilemma.

The Magic Line Album * Out Now! *

Signed T-shirt packages and a deluxe edition.


A range of Magic Brothers T-shirts, Polo Shirts are now available to buy.

The CD album is available via Amazon and the download via iTunes contains an interview with Phil Jupitus talking to Woody about the album.  But if you buy the album via the official band site you can choose a signed option or bundle.

If you’ve a spare £75 and are really into the magic, then there are 25 packs going fast that include all of this….

The Magic Line Collectors Pack – Limited Edition of 25 includes; The Magic Line Signed CD Album. The Magic Line Digital Download. The Magic Line T Shirt. Woodys Drumsticks Signed. Nicks Guitar Paick Signed. Copy of Album Lyrics. “Thank You” Phone Call From Woody & Nick.

Our thanks go to Paul Smart for the above

The Liberty Of Norton Folgate – Reissue on Salvo

This edition is retailing at just over £5.


Suggs “The Close” Signed Book

Suggs is one of pop music’s most enduring and likeable figures. Written with the assured style and wit of a natural raconteur, this hugely entertaining and insightful autobiography takes you from his colourful early life on a North London council estate, through the heady early days of Punk and 2-Tone, to the eighties, where Madness became the biggest selling singles band of the decade. Along the way he tells you what it’s like to grow up in sixties Soho, go globetrotting with your best mates, to make a dead pigeon fly and cause an earthquake in Finsbury Park.

Suggs is a singer, songwriter, DJ, actor and TV presenter. He is perhaps best known as lead singer with Madness, who have had 24 top-twenty hits and continue to tour. Suggs lives in Camden, London.

– Features unseen and exclusive lyrics.
- 352 pages.
- Hardback.


Louis Vause – Midnight in Havana

“Oh dear. I’m alive..!” Pianist Louis Vause has always said that his albums are “Gouged out of him by circumstance” but his third album ‘Midnight In Havana’really is a case in point.

Recorded as a valedictory set, a swansong if you like, after he was told that the onset of cancer meant that he had mere months to live, the completion of the work coincided with his liver transplant and the all clear. He was in the pink. The same could not be said for his credit cards which had covered Louis’ uncharacteristically cavalier spending on recording costs.


Mark Adamson of the Deaf School Website gives us an exclusive quote or two from Suggs, on the forthcoming Deaf School Book.

Deaf School – the story is told at last!

“For me, the gigs Deaf School have done recently have been some of the best I’ve seen by any band.”

So writes Suggs in his foreword to a book, published this month amid a flurry of Deaf School gigs and other Book Launch events, charting the creation and career of a band that influenced so many artists that followed – and that still fills venues 40 years after their debut at the Liverpool School of Art Christmas Dance.

Deaf School had a huge impact on Madness (Suggs: “Back in my youth I met some characters who were a right bunch, but what we had in common was that we loved Deaf School.”) – not least, of course, because guitarist Clive Langer’s became Madness producer and because Suggs married Deaf School singer Bette Bright!

Written by leading rock music writer, author and broadcaster Paul du Noyer, a lifetime Deaf School fan, Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party, is published later this month by the Liverpool University Press, priced at £14.99. Accompanying the publication of the book is a Deaf School exhibition, featuring original art works by band members, posters, photos, rare films of live performances, band stage costumes and much more.

The book will be available at all of the October Book Launch events (and afterwards from Deaf School’s website www.deafschoolmusic.com).


Midnight in Havana – Louis Vause

Hello. I’m sitting in a tea room. Not at home where I usually write my MIS stuff. Why the change of setting? It’s because I’m trying something a little different today.  I’m going to Havana. Not by plane but by album.

I usually tell you in the MIS about actual Madness albums, or Solo endeavours by the band, but today is a little different. It’s a neighbouring musician I’m here to tell you about. Louis Vause has been in more Madness off-shoot bands than just about anyone. Nutty Boys who go Crunch!, many a Lee band here and there, or backing Carl in some of his Velvet Ghost era outings, partnering up with Bedders in Butterfield 8, up to his present days in The Ska Orchestra.  It’s those last two acts this album mostly neighbours, as Louis is a pianist with a side line in musical arrangements and this is an album of instrumental piano tunes, with orchestration, and it’s mostly something you would term Jazz, or even the dreaded catch all of easy listening.

Now I’m fully aware that a large percentage of the MIS audience hasn’t bothered to scroll to this article at all and of those that have, another large portion of them stopped reading earlier in this paragraph, rushing off to something else, which is totally fine as we are off the beaten track a little here, so I say an extra thank you to you the reader sticking with this feature further, cus I can promise you now a little story, and a little background on this album, a little picture of a character too, a man in a hat, one with talent (The man not the hat).

This is a feature on an album with a feeling of a far off shore in mind, and I can take you a little of the way there, it has many subtle moods, and so this is a relaxed feature happy to freely create atmosphere rather than to cram you with detail, and yet this is an album here snatched from the jaws of death, and one that suffered tragedy too, so there is dark drama in this albums creation sadly.

Let’s head off to Havana together then shall we? You are welcome. Thanks for reading on. Midnight in Havana is out on Cadiz Music on October 28th. It’s a shame in a way it’s not out a couple of days later, because the cover of the album, designed with Mark Bedford’s help, has a picture sketch drawn by Louis when he was in Havana, of an old shapely car and little windowed buildings, dated October 30th in his caption, so that might have been a fitting day for it to come out! Hey it’s close enough! what’s a couple of days between friends. It’s a great choice of cover. Coming to know Louis just a little, as I have in recent years, at Ska Orchestra events, you can often see him sketching away in a quite moment, in a diary book he keeps, capturing in portrait scenes from the world around him, while we puts a few thoughts down too.

I’m in a tea room, ready to try something different today. I’ve never been to Havana but today this is my Havana, a laid back and quaint setting with a bit of old world character. Not the boozy fun pub of most Madness albums upbeat pop, this is closer here to the Grand Pantaloon setting that Louis joined Madness on a couple of years back.

Midnight in Havana you see requires a lazy backdrop, in no rush to reveal itself, it doesn’t want to be centre stage for applause and lyrical demonstrating, it wants to be the whole room instead, creating a mood, a dusty Cuban bar, pictured in the centre fold sketch as O’Reilly’s a bar with a spiral stair case,  architecturally eccentric and world building, and then the sound invites you into it, with Louis as the resident pianist in the corner of the room.  This tea room is perfect, they don’t seem to mind in the slightest that I’m writing this on my laptop with a mid volume level jazz album playing out around me. This is because this music fits in here. My tea room is just down the road from me, and it has a piano in it. With a top hat on. No one ever plays the piano. No one wears the top hat. It looks good though, it makes you want to drink tea near it. It’s as fitting a Havana stand in as I have locally at least in that I can see Louis would fit in here too himself. He’s often seen as a contrast when he turns up in coat and hat to ska orchestra gigs, with a style all his own, whether Thommo cracks a joke about his teeth or he’s finding his own comfort zone somewhere amongst people, he has a uniqueness in air that has tended to towards fans who know who he is from various bands to label either “character” or “legend”. Robert elms coined the term “1950’s bookmakers” to describe the look.  His encyclopaedic knowledge of jazz technique,  musicians and arrangement beyond is something I’ve witnessed him in action at during the creation of the Sister Mary album recently and it’s a respected catalogue of choices expressed in that forum. This Havana album was in progress before the latter ska album and as such lead to the choice of producer at the helm.

The reason perhaps that Louis chose Midnight in Havana as the album’s title is that he felt he fitted in in Havana himself when he was out there, I’m guessing. Even if the country did try and rip him off when he first arrived (see his web journal for the story), something about the music heritage and the places and people he shared time of out there, must have connected. When you are told you are going to die. You probably think all the more about the places in the world you love being in the most and write about them. Something Havana must have been that to him, the cuban latin american jazz history or the old world style, or the people and Spanish attitude there.

This album’s dedication to the place of Havana is one of fondness. It’s being well received in a Midlands Tea room too proving the album can create atmospheres. In fact Louis you are probably reading this, I have to tell you the serving lady is now singing along, she is humming in time with “Manrique” (a brass tinged toe tapper) with out even knowing she is doing it! She’s not bad, I should probably record her! for a remix!

Oh, she’s stopped now and they are gossiping about the new fish and chip shop. Two fish and chip shops in one town. Oh The scandal! This album It’s got many gentle tones, some times jaunty but mostly an album to wash over your ears around you, and take you away from the local world like a lullaby or quiet place, with some contrasting occasional swing to slow dance to whilst holding a beautiful woman (The tea lady is ok looking, but I’m not going to ask her right now she is busy with cake.)

Bucenros at O’Reilly’s that opens the album is a light welcoming track a video has been shot at Wilton’s Music Hall, Louis looking no doubt for a local building with heritage to bring back the feel somewhat of the old buildings in Cuba that inspired some of this music.


And now onto the reason I’m even writing this review, and the reason I requested this album from Louis. I hope you are relaxed and interested enough to take this in now. I want to tell you about the ten minute track. That is the title of the album, and tell the way casually it was mentioned during a rehearsal day I attended for The Ska Orchestra. The described opus. I wish I could recount the exact words that Louis said when telling the tale of the track. Alas I can only offer a second hand version.  He told of the many musicians he got in for it’s sessions. From cello to double bass and violin, trumpet to trombone (the one and only Mike Kearsey), sax, guitar, drums, guiro, congas and church bells and the odd hand clap along with his piano making up all the individual elements. I wont say band cus that would be a misleading term for this meandering track.

High on concept. It’s a sound-scape of emotive mood changes, that as it’s title says is supposed to start as Midnight In Havana approaches, taking you through the night, into the day and back round again by the tracks end you’ve reached another Cuban Midnight.  It begins with give or take 10 seconds for the crashing waves of Cuba to come and go and this bookends the track. (Brighton waves were recorded but it didn’t work out so BBC FX records to the rescue!) beyond that roughly ever 25 seconds should be a Cuban atmosphere shift in the feel of the time of day. Hence when you reach about 3.30 into the track even the die-hard party goers must have gone to bed, and the music is so minimalist it feels like the piano is more a striking clock in the distance and the track has almost ended, only for it to recover dawning again lightly in it’s steps building up again back up to the evenings capital splendour.  It sounded like a brilliant concept to write a piece of music around, as the man enthusiastically retold the making of the tune to me during this rehearsal break.

I gave back the enthusiasm saying I’d love to hear it. In my mind I’d lived in one musical ten minute opus before, the very Liberty of Norton Folgate and the places that track takes you on it’s journey, I wanted in on another opus of that length for sure, one that this time sounded more like a holiday far away in the places it would paint rather than the nearby London i often travel to and back into the past.  “I’d love to hear that”.  “Well, I’ll send you it,”  “great I’ll love it.”  “Well hang on you havn’t heard it yet, you might hate it!” went the exchange with Louis, downplaying now the tracks ability in the sudden face of an eager listener.

The track although an instrumental piece, does not disappoint though, It’s every bit the multifaceted music montage I thought such a concept could bring forth, although I might have expected atmospherical noises beyond the waves and bells. It’s a great title track, and a fitting effort to hang the last album you will ever write on.

At least at one point in time, after being told of a lump on his liver, and as a long term sufferer of medical regimes for a blood disease, Louis approached this project from the start as the legacy album, or his final musical journey.  This is Louis third album, after releasing Pianophernalia in 2002  and Mechanicastrophe in 2006 as well as a celebrated tuition video/dvd.  Track two then on the album is called The Long Goodbye. It’s a track that once featured on his first album, but this time it’s New Orleans funeral march style in it’s arrangement. Thankfully for Louis, his loved ones, and musical appreciating followers, the lump was not originally a serious issue when the album completed it’s recording sessions, the diagnosis at the time was less than fatal forecasting.

As recording completed and mixing began with Mike Pelaconi down in Brighton, the sad and tragic news was not that of Louis’ medical troubles, but instead the shock suicide of the albums drummer Graham Fox, a member of Graham Coxon’s band and a celebrated London Jazz player in his own right. This album’s release brings possibly his last work to light, and is dedicated thus to him from Louis.  Another tribute to musicians much longer past must come in the album’s ghost track, and New Orleans jazz pianist James Booker who is referenced as the title inspiration for track three’s piano playing.

It’s not all southern America’s continental latin or black influences though with this album. Montmartre Twilight captures a sax mood that might fit a Hercule Poirot Episode soundtrack, and absinthe is a french drink with a pierrot clown style video, so this hints at continental French jazz being in the mix too.


The solo piano track, Piano Noir, again has that feel, with perhaps a bit more of hoping to be a black and white film soundtrack, it’s slow and dramatic scaling of the keys and full of flourishes.  The track velvet and absinthe is quite haunting though with violins and reminds me of  a J R Hartley style searching yellow pages advert but perhaps one for a lost dog that’s never found.  Where as “Enter ladies man” featuring Simon Chatterton of The near Jazz experience on percussion reminds me very much of the Butterfield 8 mood with a title near to “Here comes the contortionist” evoking a character cartoon in the way he presents himself to the world, it’s a track with a feel of humour in it’s pomp, one of the mid tempo tunes on the album, much more a fun mood.  Sketch the final track feels throwaway improvised a little towards the end with fuzzy grungy guitar feedback in contract to the rest of the clean sounding album, but the singing from Louis earlier in the track (La la la-ing)  brings a lullaby quality. It’s quite a strange experimental mix, if original.

There is an extra download track available at some digital outlets. A live version of the first track. Recorded when the video was made for the track. At Wilton’s Music hall.  It’s probably on itunes i’ve not checked, but i saw it on the German version of Amazon.

So the closer the album got to near completion a few more delays were caused,  a Piano man with organ problems! Then. As the medical issues came back to haunt as the final touches were put to this album, and Louis found himself in hospital to undergo the long process of a Liver transplant, that would safe his life. Legend suggests that when he pulled through, Lee Thompson’s response was to say “thank god for that, you owe me a fiver.”  Louis’s newly granted health means that he’s got a new enthusiasm for living, and can enjoy the celebration of his third album alongside it’s listeners now. Thankfully this albums Long Goodbye doesn’t have to be the last. It’s not Adiós it’s more Buenos Noches. Long may this be the case.


To sum up. This collection of orchestrated piano Jazz Moods, may not be the usual fare of MIS readers, but if you made it this far I’m guessing you might be tempted to try something different for once, and for the title track at least and maybe a couple of others, you might like to take a breather from everything, adjust mode, and you might just be transported, If you feel like visiting a tea room near you to unwind. Why not take a trip with this album to Havana at Midnight.


Jonathan Young


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 494, and the week of Sunday 19th October to Saturday 25th October 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 231 and the week of Sunday 19th October to Saturday 25th October 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 494 – Sunday 19th October to Saturday 25th October 2008

“Time and tide waits for no man”, as the famous saying goes, and it would seem that the passage of time had finally caught up with that most famous of joke shops, as we discovered earlier this week that Camden’s Escapade was about to close its doors.

While this did mean that another famous Madness landmark had gone the way of the west, it wasn’t all bad news as the store were merely relocating to larger premises.

This week also saw the final run of the Madness musical, Our House. This week the show was in Southampton at The Mayflower Theatre.

In this issue we decided it was time to catch up on the Blockheads old and new material releases. Out on the 20th was the new Ian Dury and The Blockheads boxset.

Edsel was proud to present a box set of Ian Dury’s seven Stiff Records singles, in CD-sized replicas of their original classic 7″ sleeves, as well as a four song disc featuring Ian & The Blockheads one and only session for John Peel (or for any BBC Radio show), which was released for the first time in any format!

The box also includes a bonus DVD of Ian and the band’s six promo videos for the singles, which had never been commercially released in any format, and had remained unseen since they were broadcast on a handful of occasions in the late 70s / early 80s.

Moving on, and we had news in from Bristol Ska band, The Communicators, who revealed that they’d be performing at Camden’s Dublin Castle on Saturday 13th December. Not only that, but they were organising a coach from Bristol, so their local fans could come along with them. How was that for service?

On to MIS competitions now, and we had a one of a kind prize for you this week, as we’d filled up a Madness wristband with a mass of Newmarket bits and pieces, to bring you the New Newmarket Hoof-band. Containing audio and video, this was something that any self-respecting collector would want to get their hands on.

All you had to do to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize was to send us the funniest horse related thing you could find. It didn’t even have to be Madness related!

We brought this issue to a close with the news that Concert Live, the company behind the live Madness CDs, were now running a 3 for £20 offer on the discs. Not bad at al.

10 years ago…

Issue 231 – Sunday 19th October to Saturday 25th October 2003

Duran Duran did it earlier in the year with the first of their singles box set releases, and although it came as little surprise when Madness did a similar thing, the release of Madbox 3, and the first 11 singles went down very favourably with the fans. Well, most of them.

The majority of people who voiced their feedback seemed very pleased with this new released, but one or two were still critical that although this was a brand new box set, it was still essentially repackaging and re-releasing yet more material, which most fans already had on numerous formats.

With the release of the first box set due before Christmas, fans were sure that it wouldn’t be too long before the second one saw the light of day. However, half a decade on, and we’re still waiting for it to turn up. One day, eh?!

Although the chances of seeing Madness perform in a small club were extremely slim these days, we came to the conclusion that the closest you could get to the atmosphere of those early gigs was to attend one of the forthcoming gigs from North London band, MOT.

MOT had played many famous Madness haunts including the Hope and Anchor, and the legendary Dublin Castle, where they actually performed their first public gig.

The exciting news for the band was that non other than Dan Woodgate had booked the boys to play at a do he was having on the 3rd of October. Naturally, Dan and the rest of the band were extremely excited to play for one of their musical heroes.

Last week we featured a rundown of all the appearances Madness had made on the much-loved music series `The Old Grey Whistle Test`. Since then `Tour Madness` editor, Jermaine has been in touch with us to provide a bit more background information on each appearance.

Rob Hazelby


Various nutty related snippets from the Twittersphere and Facebook…


“Spent 3 hours signing 2000 books in warehouse in Essex. Sorry if you get your hands on any between 1200 and 1500  ‪#incomprehensiblescribble!”

“Pages from the collectable series of 6 lost treasures from under suggs desk wot never quite made book ‪h‪ttp://suggsthatclose.tumblr.com/

“Just finished first day of recording audio book. Good fun but, bollix discovered terrible error! Dont read paragraph four, page 137. Damn!”


“The multi talented cast of “Our House” and some old geezer. Fantastic show. Now on tour” Chrissy Boy.

Mike Barson is the next member to go and check out the Madness musical current touring version, after chris foreman was recently pictured with a version of the cast, Mike is off to check out the Dartford production.

A fan in the cupboard reminded Chris of the gig aboard the Riverboat President in 1983 in New Orleans with the sad news the ship has since sank.

“That gig was so much fun as we set off down river. Or was it up?. We loved New Orleans. I’m sad to hear what happened to the old girl but who knows, they may put her back together again. I really hope so. We’ve always liked Fats Domino and we used to play “I’m Walking” when we started up rehearsing way back in 1978. I don’t think we ever played it live.

thanks for the memory jog, CB”


“I was going to wish everyone a Happy World Vasectomy Day but I’ll have to cut it a bit short.”

“My kids favourite joke was always: What do you call a three-legged donkey? A wonkey”

Madness (website ask)

Where has the member-section gone on your website?

It’s coming back very soon.  Madness.


Various articles that have caught our eye over the past week or so…

From: ClashMusic.Com

Madness Interviewed in New Songwriter’s Book


Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters is a new book from Daniel Rachel that finds its author interviewing a wide variety of (you guessed it) British songwriters about their methodology, influences and on-going craft development.

Amongst the artists spoken to: Ray Davies, Jimmy Page, Lily Allen, Paul Weller, Sting, Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn, Annie Lennox, Billy Bragg, Pet Shop Boys, Madness, Jarvis Cocker and Joan Armatrading.

Suggs was reluctant to label himself as a songwriter because he saw it as a lofty term that applied to people like Bob Dylan. His songs came because they seemed to just tumble out…


What gave you the confidence to keep writing?

Suggs: “I wrote “Baggy Trousers” pretty early on, which was a good start. In that context I used to really like Ian Dury and I noticed quite a lot of his songs were just lists of things. That was a list of things I felt about going to school that I then managed to make rhyme and into the format of what could be sung as a pop song. I didn’t set out to do that. Then I came up with the idea of the chorus because Pink Floyd had written that song “Teacher, leave them kids alone” [“Another Brick in the Wall”]. I remembered how put-upon the teachers were at my school so I decided to make the chorus “Oh what fun we had, but at the time it seemed so bad” to try and put both sides of that coin. I suppose there was some innate guilt that I’d let myself down at school and it wasn’t the teachers’ fault any more than it was my fault that the school was so rubbish.”

Do you keep the rails of meaning in place when you are writing or do you allow your imagination free rein?

Chrissy Boy: “Each time I’ve written a song it’s because of some peculiar combination of coincidences. I was in a pub on the corner and they put “Our House” on the jukebox. I was thinking about the whole thing: the tambourine, the idea we were trying to do something a bit Motowny. We were going to do a concept album about London and then Cathal [Smyth, aka Chas Smash] was the only one who wrote any words. We had this really fantastic string part, then we got to the chorus and there’s no strings because we put the chorus in after. Clive Langer said, “We’ve got to have some sort of chorus,” so we wrote this quite prosaic “our house in the middle of our street”, which I thought was a bit boring, but actually because the song was so melodic and fabulous it really worked. It was totally outside of the idea of crafting in any way.”

Suggs Appears With Jools Holland

Earlier this week Suggs appeared on Later with Jools Holland, plugging his new book.

Suggs mentioned that the title comes from the song he wrote, being that close to success and that close to a crashing disaster. It’s the story of his life. You never know which way things will go.

Jools also read out a part of one of Suggs’ school reports. If you missed it, don’t panic. You can watch online for one week on the BBC’s iPlayer;

12 mins 50 seconds is the starting mark for Suggs


Welcome to my House of Fun

From: The Daily Mail, 19th October

Suggs reveals how he fell out with The Clash, upset the BBC… and was rumbled by the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee.

In his gloriously irreverent new memoir, the Madness frontman on his childhood, forming the hit group and skiing with David Bowie

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-2464751/Suggs-reveals-fell-The-Clash-upset-BBC–rumbled-Queen-Diamond-Jubilee.html#ixzz2iHEtmI3v

Art Desk Review Take it or Leave it


Despite the assuredness of their videos, the band members aren’t at ease on camera. Suggs is stiff and Lee Thompson is chippy. Best of all is founder member Mike Barson, who assumes the persona of band leader – which he was. He’s forever chivvying and pushing it forward. Sometimes passive-aggressively, other times simply aggressively.

It’s also a funny film. A work van is gratuitously destroyed in a scene worthy of a Children’s Film Foundation production. Their first recording session is held up as they don’t all arrive at the studio. They do the Madness walk and there is Star Wars-inspired jappery in an underground station. Take it or Leave it is important to British pop and has to be seen.

MIS note: the review incorrectly takes the viewpoint that the soundtrack is a previous shelved album reissued from old master tapes and the film an unremastered old film stock print. Both of these viewpoints are inaccurate.


It’s almost time to wind this week’s issue of the MIS to a close. But before we do that there are one or two last minute bits we’d like to pass in your general direction.

First-up, and last night band whore, Mr Thompson, played in yet another new band line-up of a band. This was actually pretty close to the recent local church gig line-up that went online as “The Reverend Green”. This time is was for a local charity concert at the Queen’s pub, with his son Daley singing again.

Some compare it to “Like Father like Son” the reunion (as indeed Stuart Wright was quoted as bringing spike the bulldog along again!) but beyond Daley it isn’t a line of all family like that, so maybe a MK II.

The closest Lee came to naming the band was when telling us that the event was “The Barnetarians”. Does it sound a bit like a bunch of yobby hairdressers?

“Daley, friends & myself are confirmed for our debut at ‘The Queens Arms’, Nr.Barnet Odeon, (No Tubes!) In aid of Macmillan Trust. Hopefully Terry Day (Kilburn’s original drummer will show his face) Expect: Ska,Reggae,Kinks,small faces,Blockheads,Brit Pop.

Think of a name for the band & win a…..Raffle Ticket!!!”, said Lee of the gig.

Moving on, and collector Andy Coulter has been in touch with a list of all of the available promos that have been issued as part of the “Oui, Oui” album release;













If you’re a die-hard Madness collector you’ll no doubt want to add the above to your ever growing stash of goodies.

Moving on, and we’ve received news that yet another new Suggs Book related website has popped up.


The site features a number of pages containing unused handwritten lyrics. We notice the odd line from the page “Hello I’m Suggs”, that did get used in the 7-inch double pack D-side (or Business/Mad Not Mad re-issue) song “Call Me.”

Finally, if you live in the Shrewsbury area we recommend this pizza company. Their food is made by the best.


Until next week, take care,

Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Hazelby, Rob Hazelby

(with thanks to Andy Coulter)

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 752 – Sunday 6th October to Saturday 12th October 2013

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 755 – Sunday 27th October to Saturday 2nd November 2013