Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 759 – Sunday 24th November to Saturday 30th November 2013

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 759 – Sunday 24th November to Saturday 30th November 2013

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

With many of you still at this year’s Madness Weekender in Mineheard, it won’t be until Monday until you read this. For the rest of you, this may be your first chance to get a small glimpse detailing some of what you’ve missed. Check out our MIS Feature for a brief lowdown containing some of the highlights.

With the Madness Weekender now out of the way, this does only leave one more Madness gig of 2013 remaining. This final blast of the sax will see the band perform in Dublin on new year’s eve.

This week we’ve also learned that using the powers of teleportation (or pre-recording the whole show long before the big night) Lee Thompson and his Ska Orchestra will be appearing on BBC 1 this new year’s eve as part of Jools Holland’s Hootenanny. This should mean that even if you’re not willing or able to see the band perform in Dublin, as long as you can pick up BBC TV you should be able to see out your year with some fantastic music.

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.


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

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

No further gigs at present. Keep an eye on: www.ltso.mis-online.net

Deaf School

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

The Lee Thompson Band

Note: The Lee Thompson band (yet to be named otherwise) features son Daley on vocals. The local Barnet band played a gig at the church earlier this year. (find on youtube under the name reverend green that one.) They played another pub in Barnet recently and this week played again at The black Horse. The old bull is their fourth charity based gig.

When? December 1st. The Old Bull. Barnet.


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

The Specialized Store and T-Shirt section

Welcome to Specialized Project official website

has been updated with more merch – some that was not previously available. Christmas is coming – It’d be a good place to start for that ska fan in your heart.

All proceeds go to The Teenage Cancer Trust.

LTSO, Bangarang, Featuring Dawn Penn

Single release date December 16th.

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


The Madness Minhead Weekender in Brief

At the time of typing the majority of those who went along to this year’s Madness Weekender in Minehead are still there and making the most of their final night at the venue.

We’ll no doubt have more detailed information to bring you in next week’s edition of the MIS, but to whet your appetite, here’s what news has so far managed to get back to us for publication.

During the daytime on the Saturday the Butlins cinema played host to the 1981 Madness movie “Take it or Leave it”. For many this would be the first time they’d have seen the film on the big screen since its initial release, and for a substantial number this would be the first time they’d ever seen it in the cinema.

Also taking place during the day on the Saturday was an album selling and signing session from The Magic Brothers. This would prove to be an excellent opportunity to add the release to your collection or to get a signed copy for someone special this Christmas.

On the Saturday night the band decided to play some of their older, often unheard classics, much to the joy of many fans present. Accompanied on stage by a washing line filled with underpants was the One Step Beyond album track “In the Middle of the Night”. The line, we’re told, was provided by the MIS’ crew of willing female helpers.

MIS reporter (whether he knows it or not, his Tweets proved invaluable over the course of the weekend) Graham Yates Tweeted “In The Middle of The Night is in the set!!! My life is complete”.

Further excitement (and Tweets) from Graham followed, when Close Escape and Razorblade Alley were also aired.

On the Sunday afternoon, with still many more hours of partying to go, the official House of Fun Weekend Twitter feed (@madhouseoffun) were already Tweeting the dates for the 2014 event. Due to take place on Friday 21st to Monday 24th November, those present at the event were told that they could purchase early bird tickets by visiting the on-site booking shop. You can view the flyer here: pic.twitter.com/zwY51A1wqd

At 4:00pm Lee Thompson and his very capable Ska Orchestra took to the stage.

And finally, spare a thought for MIS subscriber Darren ‘Dicka’ Dickson, who, in the name of raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity, was attempting to go through the whole of November without touching a drop of drink.

As Darren rightfully commented on his JustGiving page;

“For everyone that knows me this is probably the biggest challenge of my life as I love a good old drink, this will be made even worse as I will be attending The Madness Weekender in Butlins for 3 days on the 22nd – 25th.”

As far as we know Darren is still holding out, and at the time of typing, has raised a fantastic £382.00 for charity.

If you’d like to make a donation then get along to Darren’s JustGiving page, which you can find at: http://www.justgiving.com/Darren-Dixon1

For those of you who weren’t able to get along, or for those of you too plastered to remember what went on, the Official Madness Weekender Facebook Group have put together a selection of photos from day one, which you can find here:


Day two photos are here:


There’s also a nice shot of the new merchandise available here:


Our thanks go to Graham Yates (@graham_y) for providing a constant stream of Tweets throughout the Madness Minehead Weekender. Thank you!

Rob Hazelby / Jonathan Young / Graham Yates


Madness Singer Suggs Raises Awareness of Pancreatic Cancer

Source: News Letter – www.newsletter.co.uk

This month is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month – an opportunity to get the nation talking about this disease, which currently claims the lives of about 7,900 people every year in the UK.

I’m proud to be helping Pancreatic Cancer UK to raise the profile of this so-called ‘silent killer’ – an inspirational charity I first became involved with following the sudden and tragic death of my sister-in-law, Alanah.

Full article: http://bit.ly/In0rza

Heroin Destroyed my Dad but he was a Nice Man

Source: The Big Issue – www.bigissue.com

The Madness frontman on why a recent revelation has changed his childhood opinions of his father

Madness frontman Suggs has said that he no longer holds the same contempt for his absent father that for so long troubled his younger self.

Full article: http://bit.ly/1fzKGUt


Suggs Memoirs That Close at Stratford Circus Theatre Square E15

This has been an evening I’ve been looking forward to since booking the tickets. Suggs’ book signing, before being interviewed by Radio London broadcaster and all round top bloke Robert Elms plus a Q & A session. We need to get there first though.

The event is being promoted through Newham Bookshop on the Barking Road, just a stones throw from West Ham United FC. So myself, my mum and sister make our way to Upton Park tube station when my mate John who’s also attending phones me to say “No it’s at Stratford Circus”. The bookshop info wasn’t totally clear and having booked the tickets early doors, their staff hadn’t been informed of the event arrangements. Luckily having left with plenty of time to spare we find the Theatre Square venue with nearly an hour before the event starts.

Naturally, the bookshop promoting the event want you to buy the book on the night ‘we are a bookshop after all’ was their tag-line, so I deliberately waited til the day before buying That Close. The book retails at £20 and although some stores are selling it for less than a tenner, I’m quite pleased with my £15 purchase to get it personally signed. Once bought, a member of their staff put a post-it note with your name written on to indicate you’d bought it on the night! Only £6 was charged for tonights ticketed event, so a bargain all told.

At around 5.30pm, firstly Robert Elms appears; soon after Suggs enters the foyer and to my surprise there is a totally silent greeting for Lord Suggs – perhaps we are all transfixed to be in the presence of the front man of our favourite band. There is relaxed atmosphere amongst tonight’s crowd as we are asked to make our way into the theatre itself as Madness tunes are piped through the speakers. The stage is set with a large projected picture of the Suggs book cover. Two ‘Mastermind’ style seats and a table await messrs Elms & McPherson.

Soon after the Newham bookshop owner welcomes and also thanks us for attending before introducing Rob & Suggs to the stage to warm applause. Elms sets the scene by saying they go back a while having known each other from their schooldays; The William Ellis school and also the Aldenham Glamour Boys get (dis)honourable mentions! While Suggs gets comfy – he is very grateful for what looks like a small bottle of red wine placed on his side of the table. Suggs unceremoniously takes a swig straight from the bottle! During these same opening moments one particular chap is down near the front row with a flash camera looking like he might be a professional photographer. Having taken lots of pictures ,  he suddenly gets up out of his seat and starts to walk off towards the exit, prompting Suggs to call out “Is it that f***ing bad?” much to the delight of everyone else! Sort ‘im out, Suggsie!

So staying with the school motif, Suggs said having had some schooling in Wales that he was made to wear his Welsh school uniform on his 1st day at school in London and with his slight Welsh accent and Scottish surname, he was easy pickings for a few friendly jibes at school (his friends to begin with imaginatively nicknamed him Gra’ Mac!). Within 6 months he would only answer to the name of Suggs and that included the teachers!

Suggs spoke of his upbringing and his father at some length and that when the book writing process started he had to re-think his strategy as all the ghostwriter wanted was scandal. Suggs decided he wanted a more upbeat positive story and that his father would be featured in his Life Story theatre shows instead.

Robert Elms mentioned about Mister B and Kix which were graffiti tags for Mike & Lee and how they got to know them by hearing their names in a pub. Suggs recounted the time he’d been sacked from the band by missing rehearsals and instead going to Chelsea. He’d seen an advert in the Melody Maker “semi-professional band seeking semi-professional singer” and it had Mike’s phone number on it. Suggs phoned up the number and in a posh accent said “I’m interested in the position of of singer” asking what happened to the last one to which Mike replied “He had an attitude problem”. Suggs then reveals it’s him, Mike admits he’s needed back in the band. As drummer. “What happened to the drummer then?”. Mike replies “He’s now the singer!”.

Suggs mentioned about the time they supported a group called Sore Throat (I thought they never made it cos they didn’t have enough Tunes. Tee hee!). Suggs spoke sympathetically and at some length regarding Mike leaving the band.

Suggs mentioned than when Madness split in 1986 that another band, The Housemartins, had just started and that when they got their breakthrough hit that many industry insiders thought it was Madness. Suggsy, still seated, got the crowd laughing as he starts moving his arms and legs side-to-side in a mock running around style and calls out “What’s that song called when they’re all in the pub?” “Happy Hour” I call out. Suggs points at me “That’s the one”.

Suggs mentioned that after Madness split he was asked to work for a satellite company, to quote “BSB. British Satellite f**king Broadcasting. Not Sky”. He would be in a studio and could pretty much do what he wanted. After 3 weeks he asked what the viewing figures were. “4” was the reply. Yes, four. During one show he left the studio for a while, leaving an empty chair being filmed “…to see if anyone noticed”. No one did! On another occasion he had guests including George Best and Mark E Smith so they just all went down the pub with the camera crew!

The interview went on for 40 minutes or so and was very entertaining. Elms the perfect foil for Suggs and he certainly knew his interviewing craft well, allowing Suggs all the time necessary before changing subjects as time demanded.

Time for questions. A punter down the front remarks on Suggs’ sartorial elegance asking “Where did you get your jacket from?” The answer sounded like a store in Hampstead, Prince Brothers, I think. The lady with the roving microphone makes her way to me “Good evening, Suggs. I’ve got 2 questions for you. Firstly I attended your Life Story shows on its 1st run at the Kings Theatre then more recently at St Albans. The storyline has changed slightly but I noticed at the Kings Theatre you referred to your cat as being called Mimi yet at the St Albans gig your cats name as Mamba. So, Suggs, my question is: What was your cats name?” “I don’t remember calling her Mimi unless I’d been drinking. No, she was called Mamba”.

“Thankyou. My 2nd question is that at the Ally Pally gig you played Disappear and also Swan Lake which were both brilliant (at this point there were ripples of applause and a few people calling out in agreement!). So my question is: If you could choose to add a Madness song into the set that doesn’t usually get played what would it be?”. I then instantly handed the mike back to the lady. “In The Middle Of The Night. Do you know that one?”. I nodded and liked the answer!

A lady asked Suggs what would his ideal band would be. She said hers would be Ranking Roger, Pauline Black, Suggs and (I think she said) Terry Hall. “What a capella, no backing band, barber shop style?”. Suggs said he’d come back to have a think and much later he did, however still with no answer. Good question though! His favourite LP? “The Harder They Come soundtrack”, which went down well with the crowd. A lad in the crowd mentioned he was writing a disitation of Madness which caused happy uproar amongst the crowd.

A lady asked if would Suggs appear on Strictly Come Dancing as a contestant. Suggs replied he was asked 4 years ago and was told just for appearing he’d get a £30,000 fee. He said if he did the training, on the 1st day of the show being aired, he would prance down the stairs having eaten a Mars bar and pretend to fall down the stairs then lift his head, open his mouth reveal to reveal his teeth had gone ‘missing’, claim he was injured, get his £30k and leave the show there and then! Well, that was his plan. “No” was luckily the short answer to the question!!

I get to ask another question: “Suggs, we’ve got the House Of Fun Weekender coming up soon. What are your plans for the Friday?”. “Recovering somewhere probably”. Having read of the Folgate Friday rumour in MIS I’m somewhat glad he avoided the  question but ‘when in Rome’ you may as well ask!

The Q+A session ended with a standing ovation and for practically everyone of the 150 or so attending, to start queuing for their book to be signed. Me and my mate John queued while my mum and sister waited close to the front of the queue near to where Suggs was signing books. A gent politely asked everyone ahead of him if he could go in front them as he needed to get his train back to Sunderland. Everyone obliged. My mum heard this and Suggs was delighted that a fan had travelled that far. “It was well worth it” the fan had said! Two other fans have come over from Belgium for the event. Suggs is again flattered by what his adoring public do for him!

Although the queue is moving slowly it’s absolutely fine as Suggs is affording the time that each fan wants, with a quick chat, personally signed book and maybe a photo.

I let my mate John go 1st and he asks if Madness will be playing a full set in Dublin on New Years Eve, as we are considering going. “Oh yes, definitely”. He gets his book signed and it’s me next.

“Hello mate” he says with a cheery grin. “Hello Suggs, my name’s Daren with one ‘r'”. “Hello Daren with one ‘r'”. “That’s my dads fault” I reply (my dad thought you had to pay for every letter so thought he’d save money by having one letter less!!). “That was a great show tonight”. “Yes it was good fun” says Suggs. My mum is poised with the camera “Daren, Suggs. A quick photo…”. Suggs and I look over at my mum who says “Say ‘Gladness'”. We both respond “Gladness” and I add “Good beer”. I thank Suggs and shake his hand again.

To think I was 9 when Madness released The Prince. By the time I was in 6th Form, Madness had split and I was distraught. All these years later Madness are back and at their most active for perhaps 30 years and still brilliant. I, for one, am truly grateful and today I have finally met my hero.

Daren West

The Lee Thompson Band, Review

Having just seen the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra at the Jazz Cafe on Halloween, I was intrigued to see for myself what this latest Thommo project aptly entitled the Lee Thompson Band would comprise and would I make an unfair comparison with the Ska Orchestra who have performed together numerous times.

The “secret” gig details were finally revealed and off I set, with my brother, down the A1 to High Barnet and to The Black Horse Public House.

We walked in and the bar area was starting to fill whilst plenty of people were sitting down to meals. At the far end of the bar the band’s instruments were setup with just a black marker tape on the floor to separate where they would be and where we could stand. Whilst we were ordering some drinks, Lee appeared and went behind the bar into a room with the landlord, Daley then came into the bar area and was enjoying a pint with some mates.

Me and my bro walked over to view the set list which had already been laid out and were really pleased to read a mixture of LTSO, Madness, Dury, Kinks & Beatles numbers. The evening was shaping up nicely but just who is in the Lee Thompson Band?

Well, I’m not the greatest at remembering names (excuse the gaps) but the line up was something like this:

Lee – Sax & Vocals, Daley – Vocals, Kevin Burdett & Dave Wright on guitars, Nick Judd & Steve ? on keyboards, Charlie Wright (I think) on drums, Jake ? on trombone and I cannot recall the alto sax and bass players names, sorry.

The standing area was very tight and further exasperated by the strange decision by the landlord to leave a couple of tables on each side that could have had a fair few punters standing there in place of said tables, never mind we were at the front and eager for the band to get started.

I took a picture of the set list and posted it on FB, the band stuck to it but moved a couple of numbers around i.e. One Step Beyond was the final song swapping places with the Prince, but here’s how it was printed up:

Stuck In The Middle With You
Mother & Child Reunion
Midnight Rider
Hey Bulldog
More Than Fair
Sunny Afternoon
Clever Trevor
My Girl
One Step Beyond
Fu Man Chu
Soon You’ll Be Gone
No Lights
Hello Josephine
The Prince

The set flew by, sure there was the odd balls up, on a couple of occasions Lee looked at Charlie on the drums as it appeared that he’d carried on playing rather than bring a song to an end but it didn’t matter, it was a really great gig with Lee on good form, I lost count of the number of times he started with the “I was walking down the road the other day…”.

Just when we thought it was all finished, Lee after a conversation with the landlord announced they’d be back on in 15 minutes. When they did reconvene they were minus Daley and Jake on trombone, not sure where they’d got to but never mind as this was all extra for us and we whooped it up.

The band played for another 30 minutes or so largely covering songs from the set list again that Lee could handle lead vocals on as well as playing sax. We were treated to a rendition of T Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and Debbie (Lee’s wife) added guest vocals on Bangarang.

For the final number, Lee invited the audience to do the OSB full intro which we gladly obliged and the pub landlord got behind the mike for the OSB shout outs, Chas he wasn’t but it all added to the spirit!

Considering this gig was free entry we were certainly treated to a great night’s entertainment and in Lee’s words, it was most enjoyable.

The Lee Thompson Band are next performing at the Bull Theatre on Sunday 1st December, I recommend you catch them if you can.

Mark Bryant


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 499, and the week of Sunday 23rd November to Saturday 29th November 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 237 and the week of Sunday 23rd November to Saturday 29th November 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 499 – Sunday 16th November to Saturday 29th November 2008

It’d been months, nay, YEARS in the making, but this weekend finally saw the dust sheets come off the Madness Central web site, and it was now alive and kicking and fully up and running.

A collaboration between members of the MTR and readers of the MIS, it’d pulled in a whole host of people from various corners of the online Madness fanbase to produce what could only be described as the ultimate online Madness resource.

From those early days back in 1994/1995 when the internet played host to a simple single page devoted to the band, it was amazing just how far things had come.

So, with that introduction it would come as no surprise that we began our articles with an in-depth look of the Madness Central web site.

It was over to Tour Madness next, as we reported that the fan-produced Madness tour diary was about to go online, meaning that all dates from 1977 to 1986 would be available for all to view.

Here was the blurb from the web site edition;

“Tour Madness: The Madness Concert Documentary, covers over 30 years of ‘nutty’ behaviour through live-performances in and outside Madness, onstage collaborations with other artists, radio-sessions and television appearances. Where possible the entries feature attendance-figures, support acts, festival line-ups, set lists and set alterations at any succeeding concert in a tour.

Between April 1998 and November 2004 eight versions of the Tour Madness fanzine were sent to a growing number of fans.”

With the Our House Musical now a fading memory it was nice to find a final sign off from Tim Firth on the Our House message board;

“Having read these boards during the last week of the tour can I just say how much I appreciate everyone bothering to take the time to write. I am hugely proud of this show, as are the band and all the creative team.

The cast – for so many of whom this was their first ever show – have been unstinting in their energy, and I’m so happy that so many of you have acknowledged this.

Who knows what the future will hold for Our House – but I hope that those who spent any time in it will remember it.”

We went back to the subject of new web sites next, and this time we looked at Chris Carter-Pegg’s discography listings. Chris’ plan was to cover every single official Madness release, and he asked that if you had something not present in the list to let him know so that it could be added in the next update.

Moving on, and we ran with an article by the name of “Abstracted Lyrics”. This investigated the use of the phrase “Anstracted air” in Madness songs. After some investigation by Jonathan Young and Graham Yates, the phrase was found in Jack of The Green, The Invisible Man, The Liberty of Norton Folgate and Sing.

We brought this issue to a close with the news that following the success of “Suggs’ Italian Job” Wavelength Films would be filming another series with our favourite frontman. Unfortunately this was all the news we had to go on at present, but we promised to keep you posted.

10 years ago…

Issue 237 – Sunday 23rd November to Saturday 29th November 2003

We started off this week’s issue with a heads-up for all Bristol based Maddies. News had reached us revealing that South West Madness tribute One Step Below, would be performing at Fiddlers, in Bedminster, Bristol. Tickets were a very reasonable £6.00, and the entry price also included a support band – `Who’s Next`, a tribute to The Who.

Moving on, and we were contacted by a certain Dan Fossard, of London’s MOT, who informed us that the band had recently been to Woody’s studio, busy putting the finishing touches to 5 new recordings. Also, the band would next be performing at The Mean Fiddler on Saturday 29th November.

Regular contributor to the MIS, Chris Wardell got in touch with news of a side project of his very own. With a new music venue due to open in Darlington in early 2004 Chris, explained that he’d been asked by the manager to look after the “ska side of things”. With new appointment Chris was keen to hear from Madness tribute outfits and ska bands in general who were interested in performing at the venue.

As this was the week that saw the third part in Jools Holland’s series of albums that feature his Big Band, with added special guest vocalists (and added marketing value!), Jonathan knocked up a comprehensive review of one of the tracks – Jack O The Green, which featured the one and only Suggs.

The song featuring Suggs “Jack O the Green.”, and is actually the album title also. Written by Suggs and Jools, this name was also the one given to the album. Here’s just some of what Jon said about the track at the time;

“The song concerns the coming of the green man, a mythical english spirit of nature. It’s quite an upbeat song with some odd sequeways into a different traditional spring anthem tune.

It’s a cracking tune that only needs one listen to get you singing along to the chorus, split as it is by a quick blast from the orchestra’s brass section – 3 trumpets, 4 trombones and 5 saxophones, including Rico Rodriguez.”

Elsewhere, and it seemed that Bedders had returned from travelling. Well, according to his section of the official Madness web site he’d been travelling in his mind!

Mark told us that;

“Space travel is going to be a thing of the past. The future is MIND TRAVEL. Forget missions to Mars; forget billion dollar budgets; and most of all, forget sitting in a tin can for 6 months reading back issues of ‘Hello’ magazine and wondering if you are going to win the ‘I Shagged in Space’ prize, as offered by The Sun newspaper.

The mind is limitless space and I demonstrated this to my astronaut friends Buck, Chuck and Chipper. And before they had time to show me their version of Michael      Jackson’s ‘Moonwalk’ , I was smoking cigars and on the payroll!”

We had absolutely no idea what on earth Mark was going on about, but it certainly raised a few smiles.

This issue of the MIS finished off with a full transcription of the Jack O The Green lyrics.

Rob Hazelby


That’s just about it for the week, but before we go there are one or two last minute bits and pieces to pass your way.

A good decade or more ago, Suggs hosted a one-off Disney production entitled “An Animal Adventure With Suggs”. An interesting programme for those with even a small interest in animals, this has now been uploaded to YouTube by MIS subscriber Fional Linnell.

The edited footage (as much Disney stuff has been removed as possible) weighs in at just under 24 minutes, and can be found here:


Happy viewing!

Next, and it’s one for your diaries – don’t forget that the 2014 Madness Minehead Weekender has now been confirmed. Dates are Friday 21st to Monday 24th November. Time to start saving!

And finally, we’d just like to remind those of you who have yet to sponsor Bedders on his fundraising task of learning to pass his tuba grade one exam to get along to his JustGiving page and donate.

As we finished last week’s issue Mark was on a very respectable £920. Now he’s up to the amazing £1000 mark, but could always do with raising more. Remember, he can only do this with your help!

For more information and to make a donation, go to:


Until next week, take care,

Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Hazelby, Rob Hazelby

(with thanks to Daren West, Robert-Jan Breeman and Mark Bryant)

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 758 – Sunday 17th November to Saturday 23rd November 2013

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 760 – Sunday 1st December to Saturday 7th December 2013