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

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

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Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online bulletin.

With the Suggs autobiography “That Close” now available for purchase we’re certain that a large number of you have already snapped up a copy, signed or not.

For those of you yet to spend the pennies you may be interested to learn that we’ve spotted Tesco selling the title for a mere £7 in store! If you’re on a tight budget and aren’t worried about getting a signed copy, then we recommend you track this bargain down as soon as possible.

On to Woody now, and tomorrow (Mon 28th) afternoon from 12 noon, Woody will be appearing on Croydon Radio, playing tracks from his Magic Line album as well as a selection of his favourite tunes. For more information go to http://bit.ly/17S703p

In the meantime, we’ve got a packed issue for you, so let’s get things underway.

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.

April 2014

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

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

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

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

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

No further gigs or events at present. Keep an eye on http://deafschoolmusic.com for more information.


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

*** NEW *** Madness Unsugged Back-Issues

I am selling some back issues of issues 3,6 and 7 of my fanzine Madness Unsugged, which I ran between 1999 and 2002. All issues are A4 32 page except issue 7 which was a bumper 72 page issue. Links to the magazine are as follows:
Issue 3 http://ebay.eu/1hknSHk
Issue 6 http://ebay.eu/17RBgLN
Issue 7 http://ebay.eu/1g4C08C
Below is a sample of articles included in issue 7 which included exclusive interview with band members:
– EXCLUSIVE TO UNSUGGED: Lengthy in depth interviews with Thommo and Bedders split into two: one focusing on the Rise and Fall album and the other half covering all things Madness from the abandoned Adrian Thrills book to being banned from Wogan.
– “Liquidator – The Forgotten Studios” – Exclusive article chronicling Madness’s own studio from the planning stage to date.
– The Facts Machine: Regular item with dozens of little known Madness facts.
– EXCLUSIVE TO UNSUGGED: Interview with Gary Bushel
– “Another Step Beyond” – Review of the little known 1993 Madness play “One Step Beyond” which ran for 6 weeks in Stratford’s Theatre Royal and featured Paul Kissaun of Flying Pickets/Coronation Street
– “Too Much Too Young” – Review of the 1995 Madness play which also ran for 6 weeks, this time in Dublin. The play centred around 3 Madness fans meeting up on the 15th anniversary of a Madness gig in 1980 and how there lives had progressed / stood still since”
– In depth review of Our House musical and comprehensive article featuring media reviews of the same show.
– “Smashing In On World Cup Fever” – Highly critical review of Chas Smash’s 2002 release.
– “Back In My Arms Again….” Review of the 2 new tracks from the Our House soundtrack.

Below is a sample extract from Madness Unsugged…

Ever wondered what Mr Smyth was saying on the intro to Mr Speaker Gets The Word or where he took it from? Well, no better person to tell you than the man himself:

“Humble thyself and ye shall be exalted”. This is a biblical quote. There are two bits of poems quoted. One is Horatius from the Lays Of Ancient Rome which begins “Lars Porsena Of Clusium, By the nine Gods he swore”…etc. The second is from The Charge Of The Light Brigade by Tennyson which begins “Half A League, half a league, half a league, onwards into the valley of death he rode”.

The song Mr. Speaker, whose lyrics were written by Suggs, reminded me of my Uncle Sean and most of what I said was in his style or manner of speaking. He was a real character who was thought of fondly by the band as my Uncle had a habit of turning up unexpectedly when we appeared in Ireland with the habit of shouting “Whato my cocker”.

He was also fond of quoting Milton’s Ode To Blindness which I used as the opening line in Time……”When I consider how my life is spent”……the original line being when I consider how my LIGHT is spent. Ah the joys of literature….my Uncle Sean died a few years back and the likes of him are rarely seen. He never could stand a philistine.

You have all the senses (members( of your body: use them wisely.

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 is available from Deaf School’s website at www.deafschoolmusic.com


This week we actually have two features for you. First-up is Daren West with a write-up of Suggs’ Rough Trade signing session. This is then followed by a brief review of Suggs’ autobiography by our very own Jonathan Young.

Suggs at Rough Trade

Not far from Norton Folgate lies Brick Lane, home to more curry houses than I’ve ever seen and rather tempting they are too but resist I must as I’m heading to Rough Trade record store, an independent purveyor of great music since 1976 – so says their website.

On the official launch day of Suggs’ long awaited autobiography “That Close” (ok so Tesco’s had been selling it a day early surprise surprise), the great man was appearing for a Q&A followed by a book signing. Compared to the forthcoming Waterstones signings this one was very low key, in fact I was unsure if it was even happening it seemed to be that cloak and dagger.

So there I am at 6 o’clock,  I’ve looked through all the racks of vinyl, yes vinyl records – they’ve got the Peel Sessions on 45, OSB, Absolutely & Seven reissued coloured vinyl albums, I’ll be back for them another day, so what to do but take a seat in front of the small stage and start reading That Close.

6.30 and still I’m the only one sitting there, finally a guy named Andy shows up and we start chewing the fat about the good ship Madness. Before long it is just after 7 there’s around 40 to 50 people gathered and in comes Suggs accompanied by music journo Neil McCormick. They take to the stage and Neil asks Suggs various questions.

Suggs tells how he originally met up with a ghostwriter but didn’t like that she stopped writing at points in their chat waiting for a bit of scandal, so he decided to write it himself all 357 pages of it. He also remarked that it is a crazy experience doing the audio version!

There’s banter about Morrisey’s book and the fact that Neil broke off reading Suggs’ book to read Morrisey’s. Neil noted that Suggs was more succinct and to the point with his writing and Suggs replied that if he wrote he went out and got well tanked up we’d know what he meant but if Morrisey wanted to take 4 pages to describe the same outcome that was up to him.

Suggs talks about the band getting together and how amazing it is that they all remain friends still, it’s clear that this sentiment is heartfelt. Neil and Suggs talk about “it” and what “it” is. Suggs says that he doesn’t have a great singing voice but whatever “it” is he has it, trust me it made sense if you were there! He then pays homage to his all time favourite songwriter Ray Davies and also Ian Dury and their style of writing and narrated singing which he has perfected. He loves the fact that they and he write songs about lists of things.

They chat about the one man show and Suggs talks a little about his dad and how it works in the show but wouldn’t have fitted into the book so that’s why his dad doesn’t feature.

Suggs says that as well as his one man show tour next year, Madness are looking to make a new album, he doesn’t say when it will be finished and released though!

I’ve no doubt missed out chunks of conversation but the old grey matter ain’t what it once was so onto audience questions.  I asked Suggs if after all the hits and amazing success in 2012, how did he feel that the band had not been recognised by the Brits. He replied that it did grate with him however the most important thing was that the fans enjoyed Madness so f**k ’em (the Brits, not the fans!).

Suggs is asked what other group he would have liked to have been lead singer with and after some thought he replies no other band. He’s asked why he hasn’t duetted with Bette Bright and he responds because she has a much better voice than him and following that answer it is clear that the Q&A is done as Suggs is keen to be away to see Deaf School who are playing in Camden.

Despite this, there is still time to sign books, albums, posters, flyers and pose for photos. When it’s my turn I remark that I have tickets for the Garrick Theatre and ask if is the same show I saw earlier this year year,  he says there could be a few changes.

Once we’ve all been taken care of Suggs still has time to pose with the Rough Trade staff for photos and then he heads outside for a ciggie and chat with his freinds that accompanied him.

It was a fantastic evening and due to the small audience it was a privilege to be there in what felt like an intimate chat with Suggs. If the other book signings follow this format then those attending are in for a treat.


Mark Bryant

Book Review – Suggs, That Close

Suggs’ book is out now. We wont give a long review, copying parts of his writing. We’d rather you purchased and spent your reading time leafing through That Close, discovering something new about the Man Suggs yourself, for all his hard efforts bringing this book to the page.

But we will give an opinion, on what we think the book is. Suggs nails it himself on page eleven using the word “snapshots”.  It’s snapshots of his life. Some drawn completely and deeply like a novel, and other’s noted briefly in shorthand for an odd remark or two, and not chronological stated always either, but a scattered timeline of his many best bits.

This autobiography of his life is so well painted in some areas, it’s the most extensive prose written by himself about corners of his life of over 50 years. Someone like me who’s read near every newspaper interview he’s ever given, was still taken to new places of his life. It’s got that comedic and life affirming tone, looking back, that his one man show captured so well. Indeed a lot of his one man show features word for word within this book, and yet the search for his father’s information is dropped as a main theme, it features but does not reoccur as a search, there is a wonderful first photograph of the man though that must be seen to complete the pathos of what Suggs has missed out upon not knowing his father, along with a lot of other great pictures and sketches too, and some lyrics.

There is equally more to the scenes that do feature in his one man show, extensive new words on area’s of childhood, and growing up. Most wonderfully around the time of the band starting out and the lead up to this success. His teenage 70’s, you can go with Suggs to a party around this time, and you can really sink your imagination through his eyes into more scenes that would fit well with in the time frame of Take it or leave it the film, from Gardening jobs to the early pubs and meeting the people the band would become later, to his first gigs as a punter, a concert by The Who and more, including candid brushes with the law at this early age, and the birth of two tone.

Later parts of his life are more skimmed though. The book lacks a real autobiographical depth, as he doesn’t choose to paint band members characters for the reader to meet them, he doesn’t extensively talk about Madness projects either as if they are happening, just recounts some facts, or focuses occasionally on songs he’s written and their inspirations. The book shifts from novel, to anecdote, and occasionally travel book, and back again at times. It suffers the usual desire not to offend a band of mates who are still together in the dysfunctional family, by not mentioning conflicts or much personal opinion beyond the cliche’ of Lee being a whirlwind, that stage banter always builds a legend on etc. Thus you tend to find the hole in the middle of the book. Chalky and Clive Langer feature more in first person written adventures than most of the rest of the band do.

The Madstock chapter for example disappointed me immensely that between the money anecdote and the often told earthquake quip, just one personal paragraph of feeling exists there from Suggs point of view about the great event. This is a time in his life I would have loved to sink into first person through his eyes and live as he lived it, but I’m left with  “It’s beyond words” hmmm not really a good statement for a purchased tome made up mostly of the printed word that Suggs.

So granted then, a large part of the book about his own life which features topics, media work, and social events, including Football, and of course a solo career which is all good stuff, what Madness is in the book? Well most of the big events are there, Stiff, Videos, Liquidator, even Japan, but depth varies widely. The break up and The Madness being perhaps the bitterest and most lost time of his life, is totally absent really. By which you can draw conclusion, from the “Mike is wearing a balaclava joke,” through to the later sentence of  “at a time when I wasn’t sure about my life..” that it’s been hard enough to look back over his life to the length that he has for this 335 page book, without adding to the time-scale the pain of opening the toughest wounds for another look. While writing songs like Baggy Trousers and One Better Day feature from pride, House of Fun being number one isn’t a high point listed, album’s are skipped, nothing of Nassau and Seven, or Divine, even Liberty the chapter is scant and includes the latest album in little depth, nothing of other overseas tours, and Cecilia covers his solo endeavours while Jools Holland is absent.

This is a book That Close to being complete then but not quite perhaps.  And yet still the chapters on Athens recently and the riot, are thrilling new words from the man, the stuff about Swanky Modes entirely new to me as a reader, and I’m delighted to read the final chapter on the BBC and finding that Suggs too lived the day as did I, with a mind full of old TV programmes, all stuff making this more extensive than his one man show tour of his life, and I really couldn’t put it down, read through it one gripped sitting. So this book has something for diehards like us, where as the countless autobiography reading masses are going to get now a huge slice of a great man, in so many brilliant snapshots.

And so, still it was worth every penny spent on it. A privilege to walk and dance and stagger in his shoes, through his own words.  Lets’ face it. The great life the man has had, to go from Soho to Buckingham Palace and back. 50 years is too much to fit in one book anyway. It’s a great packed first set of memories.  That Close will bring you closer to the parts of his life Suggs most wants to tell us about.  (The fact that this book wont get as much press as the Morrissey book also out now, is testament to what a great role model or decent human being Suggs is.)

Jonathan Young.


Lee Thompson’s Latest Band

Late on Friday I hear news that Lee Thompson will be headlining a free local charity gig. Under the banner of the Lee Thompson Band, he is scheduled to be on for one hour starting at 10.30pm.

I am earlier in attendance at the 5.30pm kick off for West Ham United v Manchester City. Once the multi-skilled mega-money visitors get their third goal late on, that’s my signal to leave the game early to get to the gig. It’s a non-ticket “first come, first served” basis so I want to give myself as much chance as possible of getting in. I head to East Ham tube station to avoid the bottle neck of people at Upton Park tube especially as so many others are also leaving the game early. I get my connections in good time and I’m in the Queen’s Arms in Barnet at around 9.15pm.

There is a good attendance including local girl and one hit wonder from the 1990’s, Alda Borg. My attention though is drawn to a fellow that my mate says is a “10 out of 10 Mike Barson” – namely that it is indeed him!

We make our way to the front: the ‘stage’ is at the same level as the rest of the floor area. I’m stood next to one of the speakers and an unused microphone both on their stands so we are close to nudging equipment over made up of wires and metal! The band personnel are all local musicians and I recognise at least 2, maybe 3 from the Barnet Church gig Lee did back in the summer.

They open with Bangarang and we are not let down as it’s a decent sound: good, solid drumming, excellent bass playing, complete with lead + rhythm guitar and keyboards. Lee is the entire brass section tonight and the co-vocalist is none other than his son, Daley. Lee seems to delight in Daleys’ stop-start approach to opening lyric of The Prince. It’s all in the timing, Daley! His vocal range is impressive though and he excels in the ’70’s soft rock classic Stuck In The Middle With You, indicating that the keyboard player is the “clown to the left of me” and not too subtlely that his dad is the “joker to the right”. Touche!

We are then introduced to the next song, a reggae-infused Paul Simon number, Mother & Child Reunion. I am not familiar with the original however it sits snugly with the rest of tonights set and one that I would like the LTSO to have a go at live if they haven’t already.

Next up we have the delight of great versions of 2 Ian Dury classics. First, as Lee put it “a song with lots of rude words”. More Than Fair, with a sensual and cheeky sax solo that Lee delivers with such supremacy. It’s a cracking song and indeed rudely littered with clever typically Dury innuendo-riddled lyrics. Talking of clever, it’s followed by Clever Trevor, which during the chorus has the majority of the pub singing along and punching air in delight.

Then Lee literally points out to Mister Barson that the next song was written by “Mike, that bloke over there”. A well delivered version of My Girl ups the ante again, followed by the tune that Daley later says to me “I love singing that”, namely Fu Man Chu. It’s easy to hear why, as Daley is pitch perfect reaching those high notes with ease.

The gig ends with a 2nd run out of The Prince and it’s been superb. The charity raffle then takes place and I’m lucky enough to win a prize. I choose a Madness Ultimate Collection CD.

In my personal opinion, without Mike Barson’s talent and persistance, I don’t think Madness would have ever existed and knowing his ‘happy to be in the background’ type approach to music fame, I am a touch nervous when I politely ask him to be good enough to sign my CD. He does indeed (phew!). I then tell him that my favourite story about him was hearing that “years ago you were all rehearsing in a recording studio and in the windowed corridor outside peering in was a certain Elton John trying to work out how to play the piano!”. Mike smiles and says in his dulcit tones and understated manner “Yeah I remember that”. What a Top Man!

I later get Lee to sign the CD as well, and he says to me that “We are playing at The Old Bull Arts Centre in Barnet on Saturday 1st December (although the 1st is a Sunday, Lee!) and we’ll be on early at 7pm cos we wanna get to the pub after”. I’ll drink to that!

Word-for-word Set List (which I took off the guitarists stand complete with, I think, keys that each song needs to be played in!)

1 Bangarang – Eb
2 The Prince – G
3 Stuck In The Middle With You – D
4 Mother & Child Reunion – A
5 Midnight Rider – Ab/C#m/Ebm
6 More Than Fair (Ian Dury) – C
7 Clever Trevor – E m
8 My Girl – C#m
9 One Step Beyond – Cm
10 Fu Man Chu – Am/Dm/Em
11 Soon You’ll Be Gone – F > G – C/F/G
12 Hello Josephine – Bb/Eb/F


The Prince

Daren West

Deaf School Party at The Jazz Café

40 years strong, DEAF SCHOOL held a party at The Jazz Café, Camden, celebrating the release of Paul du Noyer’s book about the band – “Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party”. It was a fantastic gig and Suggs climbed up on stage with a bottle of Champagne for the band – he was even thoughtful enough to taste it to make sure it was of suitable quality for such a great band

Lee Thompson was also photographed with Andy Mckay the sax player from Roxy Music.


Duff Kelly.


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 495, and the week of Sunday 26th October to Saturday 1st November 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 232 and the week of Sunday 26th October to Saturday 1st November October 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 495 – Sunday 26th October to Saturday 1st November 2008

This issue began with a review of “The Penultimate Show”, as the Our House musical began its penultimate week of performances at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford.

Reviewed by MIS regular Paul Rodgers, he enjoyed the majority of the stage show, but found Mira Parvin’s delivery “grating”, and even found himself texting a mate to complain during the performance as he felt she was murdering it.

Thankfully, this was his only complaint about the show which he otherwise enjoyed.

Paul commented at the time;

“Hopefully this won’t be the last we’ve seen of the production and the Rise And Fall of Joe Casey, Our House, 25 Casey Street will get another go on the Great Yarmouth rollercoaster at some stage in the future. Until then we have the small matter of The Liberty Of Norton Folgate and the 30th birthday celebrations to look forward to, so maybe it’s more a case of One Better Day than Yesterday’s Men.”

Moving on, and it was over to The Times Online, and their interview with Suggs, conducted by reporter Andrew Billen. The interview proved to be an interesting read, and combined talk of the past with chat about his current career presenting shows for Sky 1.

We continued this issue with another articles, as Suggs spoke to Mail2 magazine about his second home, a renovated farmhouse near Lecce in Puglia, Southern Italy;

“Five years ago, our daughters went inter-railing. My Wife Anne and I found ourselves twiddling our thumbs. So we bought adult inter-railing cards and travelled round Europe.

A friend had moved to Puglia and asked us to visit. She had done up a place in the countryside, just outside the beautiful city of Lecce, with the intention of selling it. She showed us round and as I sat on the roof terrace with the sun setting and a glass of wine in my hand, a light bulb went on in my head and I spent the rest of the night working out how I was going to buy the place.

Our House is masseria. A fortified farmhouse built 500 year ago. I’d never owned a home abroad before and was worried that I’d get bored going to the same place but as the years have gone by I like it more and more”.

It was over to Jean-Pierre Boutellier next, and his 30th Anniversary Madness Tribute album. We’d recently learned that North London band MOT had put themselves forward to contribute a track to the collection, and as the band were spending the weekend in the studio we asked drummer Dan Fossard to give us the lowdown on what went on.

“It’s all going swimmingly well so far. [I’ve] been slaving over a hot drumkit all day.

[We] got here at 10am and set up the drums, which took an hour or so to get the right sound on em. [We then] started recording just before noon, [and have] got 3 songs done so far, (its now 7pm) and have 1 more to go.”

Elsewhere this issue we took a look at the Madness back catalogue and various points of business surrounding their future availability in the high street and online. Yes, they were all brilliant, but they were currently unavailable. A few weeks back fans mentioned that HMV and Zavvi no longer had them in stock, and were unable to order more copies.

After some investigations we were able to confirm that the band had signed to Union Square and were now in talks with EMI. Our hopes were that they’d be able to finalise a deal soon.

Talking of Union Square, with the band now signed to the label we thought it was about time we gave you a whistle-stop lowdown of the company, and luckily Sarah Birke of the Independent had already done the research, so we simple re-printed her article.

We brought this issue to a close with the news that Suggs had appeared on both the Richard and Judy Show and Radio 4’s “Loose Ends”, with Clive Anderson. We’d managed to make the radio clip available for download via the MIS site, so you had no excuse for missing it.

10 years ago…

Issue 232 – Sunday 26th October to Saturday 1st November 2003

We started this week’s issue off with news that despite a wheelchair going missing, and someone honking up everywhere, the hotel staff that put up with the Madness weekender lot a month or so back were quite impressed with the general behaviour of those who went. So much so, that they were apparently more than happy to have everyone back again the following year! What crazy people.

Moving on to the message board on the official Madness web site message board, and we weren’t sure if messages were getting through or not, as the last message displayed was from the 6th of October. We weren’t sure if the band were aware of this, so we got in touch to let them know.

Something much more exciting though was that behind Lee’s door on the official site was a mention of next year’s 25th anniversary. Here’s what Lee had to say:

“Dear Maddie member,

It’s possible if the band perform at all next year a likely venue could be Buckingham palace, Hyde park or even Finsbury Park.

If you were a promoter, what would you like to see & hear, who would you most like to see support us. Keeping in mind the Two Tone atmosphere of 79′ (but maybe not the value of the £!)

Answers in the usual place. One suggestion per person. I thank you”.

First we were being asked to suggest songs for the Christmas tour, now we we’re asked to suggest support acts for the 25th anniversary! Surely the venue had to be the now near-legendary Finsbury Park.

Way back in MIS 151 we ran an interview with US singer Lisa Mychol’s and then in MIS 173 we reviewed her punky cover of Baggy Trousers, taken from a Stiff records tribute album. Well, for everyone who was curious but was never likely to import the album for one song we revealed that you could now hear the song for free and decide whether it was a must for your covers collection or not.

Now, through Lisa’s website you were able to access not one but two lengthy Mp3 samples of the song, which meant you could practically hear the whole thing.

The next snippet of news was bound to excite all Madness completists out there, as thanks to chassmash.com we finally had the line-up of  what tracks would be appearing on the forthcoming MADBOX3, The Madness Singles Box Vol.1.

This box set would consist of the first 11 singles, presented in a flip top box featuring all the B-sides plus the well known 12″ promo of Don’t Quote Me On That MAD1.

It wasn’t just the band who had been busy putting the finishing touches to new projects, as MIS subscriber Simon Walshe unveiled his fantastic web site which detailed over 100 Madness and Madness related web sites. The site is still up and running, and continues to be an excellent resource. Simply point your web browser over to: hytp://homepage.ntlworld.com/swalshe/madness/links.htm and have a look. There’s lots there!

With a closing date for submissions of the 5th of November, we finished off the issue by reminding readers to submit their Christmas tour song choices as soon as possible. The deadline was imposed so that the band would have a chance to practice.

Rob Hazelby


Various nutty related snippets from the Twittersphere and Facebook…

Suggs @suggsmcpherson

“Just bumped into the woodgate bros also known as @themagicbrothers. Promotional whirlwind. They’re just ahead of me. Magic radio here I come”

“Sun shining, happy publication day to me. Gonna take a stroll down holloway boulavarde to james selby and get myself a hat and a castello.”

Bedders @I_be_MarkB

“…still play a bit of 5-a-side but, oy, the aches! Still proudly the only non-specs wearer in the QoftheS back four”

“Can someone put Match of the Day out of its misery.”


That’s just about it for this week’s edition of the MIS. If you get a chance, don’t forget to catch Woody on Croydon Radio tomorrow lunchtime (see intro for link).

We’ve no doubt that many of you are currently reading through Suggs’ autobiography. We’d love to hear what you think of the book, so when you finish it please email us with your thoughts and opinions. We’ll be happy to print them.

Until next week, take care,

Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Hazelby, Rob Hazelby

(with thanks to Mark Bryant, Daren West, Duff Kelly)

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

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 756 – Sunday 3rd November to Saturday 9th November 2013