Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 761 – Sunday 8th December to Saturday 14th December 2013

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 761 – Sunday 8th December to Saturday 14th December 2013

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Evening all,

This week we’re back from our time travelling escapade, which saw the last issue go out as issue 780 – a good twenty issues higher than it should have!

It’s not the first time we’ve lost track of the MIS issue numbering over the years, and we have no doubt that it’ll happen again in the future.

Anyway, we’ve now got ourselves back on track, and are proud to bring you issue number 761.

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

November 21st – 24th 2014 – Minehead – Earlybird tickets can be ordered here: http://www.bigweekends.com/splash-pages/madness2014.aspx

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

Suggs Live

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

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

*** NEW *** Suggs and Friends

The charity fund raising evening “Suggs and Friends” makes a welcome return this coming March.  The 2014 fundraiser takes place on March 20th at 6.30pm, with champagne reception and auction.

The £150 donation tickets for pancreatic cancer gain entry to the Porchester Hall event in London W2. There’s no announcement yet as to who is joining Suggs at the exclusive event.

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.

*** NEW *** The Near Jazz Experience

The Near Jazz Experience are back at the Indo Bar, Whitechapel Road on Tuesday December 10th, and are supported by acoustic troubadour James Kyllo


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


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


House of Fun Weekender Review by Daren West

The House Of Fun Weekender is a highly anticipated event. We have great times in store, great company and the very best in live music. In the days leading up to the HoF, we have bad news that our mate John can’t make it due to illness – I’m gutted for him; a Madness stalwart who was a fellow attendee at the recent Suggs book signing & Norton Folgate gig at Hackney, amongst others. Luckily we have skahead and top all-round bloke Mark to fill the void at short notice so we are back to the full compliment of 8 in our group.

Upon arrival at the Butlins check-in desk, we learn that we do not get a lanyard containing the programme of events. However disappointing this is, it’s certainly not going to get in the way of my weekends enjoyment. We later hear that Butlins staff were handing these out one per person instead of the allotted one per room booking. Very poor, Billy Butlin!!

Moving onto the Friday evening at the Skyline Pavillion venue – Folgate Friday. As mentioned earlier, I was lucky enough to attend one of the Hackney Empire shows in 2008 premiering a selection of The Liberty Of Norton Folgate tracks. Tonight we get the whole album proper. Sugar & Spice, On The Town (complete with the resplendent Rhoda Dakar) and of course NW5 are particular personal highlights. Clerkenwell Polka and the ever majestic Bohemian Rhapsody-esque title track sound truly amazing. Hearing the likes of Rainbows and the mellowness of Africa live for the 1st time is a real treat. Madness have yet again performed, on this occasion, a unique and magnificent set. Two of our group only know NW5 from the set yet they thought it was brilliant too. Marvellous.

There’s much more left this evening, so we move to Centre Stage to catch a bit of Northern Soul. However good that is, we want more live music so Jaks is next. The Bulletproof Bomb, a very young band play a good set. The rest of my group have now moved on but I’m going nowhere. I’m here to see a band I saw at the Folkestone Ska Festival – The Talks. They are well worth the wait. If fast, frenetic ska is your thing you will love these. There is no let up and their set is a particular weekend highlight for me and a great way to round off the the 1st day.

It’s late Saturday morning and I’ve booked us in for HoF 2014 and next time they’ll be 12 of us. I also get a Madness polo-shirt and although I’ve got the original on VHS, also purchase the Take It Or Leave It DVD/CD. I take my stuff back to the room and then join the others. I’m taking advantage of the Gladness beer on sale – 4 pint jug for £15. A nice leisurely afternoon watching the football scores and having a laugh with mates, a great way to prepare for another Madness gig! We are promised the usual ‘hits’ set from the boys tonight and they deliver. And then some.

We get the classical-classic Swan Lake. I am also delighted that In The Middle Of The Night gets played complete with a full knicker line displayed on stage during this song about ‘nice man George’. I secretly think that maybe when I asked Suggs at his Stratford book signing, what song he’d like to add to the set list and answering with this same song, that maybe that prompted him to convince the rest of the band to play this choice cut tonight! A joyous moment. This is followed by Close Escape where the same ‘nice man George’ has moved on to make dirty phone calls. Another classic. Unusually more than half of the One Step Beyond LP is played. Dare I suggest the boys are playing tracks in early preparation for Friday 21 November 2014s Weekender? OSB in full? Or maybe they’ll be some brand new tracks in the offing? Madness as always delivery a cracking set. ‘Nuff said.

So what next? Keep the buzz and head to Centre Stage and take in The Cuban Brothers. Cheesy choons, cheesy gags and highly entertaining fun. Late into the night and The Skints are on; there’s a bit of a rap thing going on and they play some great ska-based tunes. Well worth a look.

It’s worth mentioning the effort that some people put into to the Fancy Dress on Saturday night (the theme was to dress up as a song title!). One lad had what looked like a bed sheet covering him from the neck down. Attached were many blown up items made of either rubber, latex or polychloroprene; all a darker shade of orange and there was 1 less than a 100 attached to him. Yes – he had dressed up as Nena’s ’99 Red Balloons’. Great effort, young man! My favourite though was a bloke dressed with a collar that a ‘man of the cloth’ would wear, as well as a ballerina’s skirt around his waist. This bloke was The Smiths’ ‘Vicar In A Tutu’. Good work, Sir!

Moving on to Sunday and although there’s no Madness, left there is still plenty to keep us entertained. At 4pm Lee Thompson’s Ska Orchestra take Centre Stage. Lee by his own admission sounds jaded and croaky. Having spoken to a very tired Daley only minutes earlier, they’d been out ’til about 10am so that explains that! LTSO kick off with Guns Fever. Although Lee is clearly struggling vocally as well as with the sheer effort and energy you’d need to play the sax, even only in 2nd or 3rd gear, he’s still a superb showman. He blasts a great solo during Four Winds – there’s clearly something in the tank! No Bitty MacLean, so Lee and Darren share vocal duty for Fu Man Chu. Lee says there’s no Dawn Penn,

However we have Rhoda Dakar to deliver a great Bangarang and No No No, admitting that she “Doesn’t know the words” as well as earlier saying that she “smiles more” than Ms Penn!! She does indeed smile and sings both songs beautifully although she was a split second behind on some of the “No No No’s!!”.

We are introduced to Eddie Neal on guitar duty as well as Jake Jacobs on trombone; Lee is clearly well connected to be able to call on decent band ‘back up’, both are competent performers. Daydreamer gets played from the Crunch! LP and sounds superb. Although clearly Lee was struggling, the lads have pulled through and kept us on our toes for a good 75 minutes or so. Well done Thommo!

Off to Jaks venue next starting with the female-fronted French band Indeed. They are very lo-fi, almost folk-tinged in style and perhaps not entirely fitting in with the rest of the music on offer this weekend. There are perhaps 50-70 in attendance, with punters constantly walking both in and out of the venue. They’ve been invited by MIS so I stay for their set and my patience is rewarded. 1st up, a slow almost mournful version of Mad Not Mads’ Burning The Boats. A relatively obscure tune to pick however I reckon it’s much appreciated by all in the crowd and duly gets the best applause of the set so far. This is followed by a couple of their own tracks then another Madness song, once more delivered at a very slow, melodic pace. An almost jazz-tinged The Sun & The Rain. In both cases they’ve slightly re-worked the melody and must literally be applauded by maybe around 80-100 in attendance for their efforts and it’s very rare to hear any Madness songs not sung by a bloke!! Worth seeing, Indeed, they were.

MIS Presents have a selection of DJs and Madness related ‘featurettes’ to delight us. Having noticed A Dog Called Dez, I am at the bar when his blind owner and Madness uber fan John Tovey takes to the stage to be interviewed. Sadly I miss most of what was discussed however I did hear in response to how many times he’s attended Madness gigs the magnificent response of “57”. John Tovey that is – not Dez!

The MIS DJs including Koast FM play loads of Madness + such related tracks. I seem to remember hearing a dated but audible live version of Rocking In Ab  which must’ve been Bazooka Joe. We hear a great mixture of Madness b-sides plus Johnny The Horse, Blur’s Sunday Sunday I think played by someone else(?). Then Eleven Plus Eleven by Nine Below Zero gets played. The relevance of this track is explained by MIS’s very own Jonathan Young who takes the stage “They played that on the TV comedy show The Young Ones – that’s what got me into Madness”. He then talks about the Mini-Pops (remember them? Yikes!). For the unannitiated, they were a bunch of (probably stage school) pre-teen kids who done dreadful versions of popular hits of the day. The ‘day’ being the early 1980’s when amongst others Madness would have been in the running as victims of choice to cover. Jonathan holds up a 12″ vinyl copy of a Mini-Pops LP which features a Madness song on it. This LP is ready to be ‘sacrificed’ – namely smashed up – much to the delight of record players everywhere!! There is also a tape recording played of a 16 year old Jonathan from Kettering being mentioned for sending the record into Radio 1, and being responsible for the cover of house of fun being played and mocked by Steve wright.. Delightful nostalgia! Also a good way of splitting the records with different items of interest.

We are then presented with The Inflatables from Witney, Oxon. They are a band who combine ska + reggae in a seemingly non-stop mega mix of tune after tune at both brilliant and breakneck speed. One lad in the crowd who is mates with the band even tells me they played at his wedding reception. Quality! The Inflatables clash with the legendary Little Roy who I simply must see, just to catch 20 minutes or so of his set. The man may be ageing; he must be well into his 70s and is very much in the style Bob Marley & The Wailers complete with 3 female backing singers. His LP Battle For Seattle is being showcased and is made up entirely of Nirvana songs in a reggae style and works an absolute treat. I get to hear 3 or 4 songs including Polly and Come As You Are. As promised I return to my mate Paul who stayed in Jaks. The Inflatables have attracted a massive crowd and it’s been near to full since their set started, at a guess 500 punters are here now. They finish with a mini encore including a Madness track much to the delight of one and all.

I would like to go on record here to say thank you Jonathan + all at MIS for your efforts regarding each Butlins weekender so far, The Miswas film in 2011, the 30th anniversary of House Of Fun getting to number 1 film in 2012 and thankyou for this years MIS Presents event. Good times. Thankyou!

It’s been another great House Of Fun Weekender and only 350-odd days til the next one…

Daren West

Suggs at The Garrick Theatre, Sunday 1st December

Where shall I begin? Well a few weeks ago I was discussing with Jonathan, my angst over whether to read the book before I see the show. Even with Jonathan’s advice I agonized over reading the book before seeing the show.

Well, Sunday 1st December arrived and I still hadn’t got my head stuck into the book.

An eventful Sunday afternoon, bumping into Jonathan on route to the Dublin Castle as he was heading towards Camden to see Lee Thommo`s band in Barnet.

I met with two fellow maddies in the DC for a few drinks before we headed to the Garrick.

What a lovely venue fitting venue for how the show began as Suggs told how it began over the course of the 24 hours leading up to and the evening of his 50th Birthday, the sad tale of Mamba his favourite cat falling off a shelf while Suggs lay in the bath.

He spoke of the night before his 50th birthday organised for him by his wife Anne a “Music Hall show featuring family and friends who had been a part of his life. Even his mum was in the audience too.

The show flits back and forth talking about how the 2tone label come about to the eventful Madstock rumblings of earthquake proportions.

We had some music too with Deano accompanying Suggs on the Joanna and Guitar featuring snippets of Cecilia, Lola, Baggy Trousers, ending with It Must Be Love.

Suggs got a well deserved Standing ovation at the end.

I’m not going to spoil it too much and give too much of the book away for those who haven’t seen it yet or read the book but for me personally it was the first time I properly laughed since my Dad died in August.

Tony Stratton

The Lee Thompson Band at The Bull and Gate

With my head still in that Butlins aftermath mode I head off to the next Mad-adventure one week on. This is a little charity gig Lee is doing locally in Barnet. It’s the opening of the Christmas Fayre too. This is Lee’s other, other band. They have played at the church in Barnet to open the local music festival this year. At the time of this one off event we jokingly labeled them “The Reverend Green” but Lee most often calls them things with his son in the title such as “DT and the…” type names. The ticket site however is calling this The Lee Thompson band. That’s the closest there is yet to a name. With son Daley on some vocals always, this local aimed band, has played a few pubs in Barnet including the recent Black horse pub gig we have featured reviews of in MIS. It’s a bunch of local musicians roped in each time, tonight the biggest set of locals we have seen involved, for a charity gig that is raising money for the disabled lift in this small local theatre, which has Thommo joking during the gig that he is “paying for the roof” of the venue while trying to lift it off with the music. The first line up of this band featured some players from The Dance Brigade but not tonight. Nick Judd returns from the days of Like Father Like Son though on keyboards, while guitars, bass and brass players aplenty are mostly unfamiliar to me, but Jake on brass and Steve on 2nd keyboards/organ I notice as recent depping members of The Ska Orchestra. So once again it’s another night of another unique line up from Lee Thompson the band whore. Joyus.

Musically too we get numbers associated with Madness and Lee’s Ska Orchestra, while some returning favourites that used to be covered by his Like Father Like Son/Damaged Goods/Camden Cowboys type bands, with a couple of new covers unique to this event and this current years band choices adding something new. All for 10 pound. What a bargain. After the expensive but brilliant adventures of Butlins, and the massive effort and staging that went into that event all round, it’s a humbling joy to see Lee with just a little local audience, and return to the role of a fan witness myself filming this event. I meet Garry Saunders on the way in, and we talk about last weekend’s fun, before meeting Darren West and his friends, and Andy Shoultz. It’s a small and brilliant mad-meet with everyone agreeing they needed it after the come down of departing the joyous Butlins fun. We talk about the music, fans, and events passed with a real feeling of being on the same page, while we await the delayed start of the gig. Doors at 5.30pm for a 6pm gig was billed a little early, the band is not quite ready on stage and still rehearsing one or two of the numbers.

The bull is a small intimate upstairs theatre, great PA sound to a 200ish number of seats. There is a microphone problem that marred Daley slightly, with the occasional feedback etc, but beyond that we are witnessing Daley’s best performance yet on a great sound system with good lighting effects too. From the couple of times I’ve witnessed Daley before he has done a good job but always felt like an added amateur friend, a bit too karaoke just jumped up rather than a front man, and all those performances were free gigs so that didn’t matter so much. Here on a paid stage with a nice set up though he started to approach the event with confidence and skill of a true band fronting vocalist, clearly having improved from a couple of more gigs under his belt. There is applied effort giving the songs respect and thought in their presentation. This is most apparent on a version of Sunny Afternoon where the band gel well and the room and atmosphere all joins together into a great moment, with Lee his dad performing great alongside on sax.

The version of Ian Dury’s More Than Fair is another new highlight, coming as it does, after an amusing intro. Lee realises that the front row features most of his young grandchildren there with daughter Tuesday. “We cant say titties, what are we going to do about the words in this one?” he asks Daley and they repeat the rude words again, saying “instead of tits say thrupenny bits” advises the fatherly Lee all the time repeating the words on microphone and making probably more of them as a result! Daley then ignores the advice and sings the song as it was written!

Fu Man Chu
One Step Beyond
Mother And Child Reunion
My Girl
More Than Fair
No Lights On The Christmas Tree Mother
Soon you’ll be Gone
Hey Bulldog
Stuck in the middle with you
Hello Josephine
Midnight Rider
Clever Trevor
Sunny Afternoon
20th Century boy
Happy Xmas (War is over)
The Prince

Mr Happy is here post Butlins DJing, and trying to get people up dancing, but the bull is the kind of place people don’t, and would rather rock in their seats, this causes a small scene and Lee berates him slightly from the stage for his over enthusiasm showing him up with the local neighbours present who are heckling from the other side of the venue with lines like “I thought there was some musicians on?” etc.  This mood improves fairly quickly when Debbie drags me down the front to be up and dancing with them too and a small crowd being there changes the feel to more party time.

It’s a very hit and miss gig. Understandably so for a band held together locally with few rehearsals, 1 song is dropped, one song is stopped, and a few times Lee is turning to drummer Charlie from the band the wild suns, with quizzical looks.  This makes the songs that really catch fire all the more impressive.  Young Charlie is doing a great job to keep so many varied musicians here for the first time to the same beat across most of the night. It’s a wonderful set list, such a great party mix, it’s like the greatest hits of the band whores bands. Hey Bulldog is perhaps the reason I came tonight to hear that one again, it slightly disappoints, only in that I’ve heard versions more rocking from Lee in the past. No Lights (with a lit Christmas tree on stage tonight) is wonderfully warmingly fitting for the Christmas fayre day of December 1st. As is the finale surprise of Happy Xmas (War is over). A quiet rendition that doesn’t quite urge the sing-a-long the song deserves, the vocal levels not quite being approached right. This uneven nature makes for a great night out, where the audience of predominately town folk who know Lee, and just a smattering of us die-hard online maddies, turn the whole evening into a game. Which songs are you going to mess up a little and which songs are genuinely going to rock and impress us into song or dance. The up and down performance there for cant do any wrong, it’s like the xfactor you cant stop watching and everyone in their head is giving scores per track. Wow a 9!  Oh dear a 5. etc.  I take it in turns to film the more obscure songs, and dance and sing a long with Garry, Andy, Or Debbie and Mr happy, to songs I’ve heard many times and have little need to capture a performance of.

Lee teases the Paul McCartney song “Monkberry moon delights” and I go into a giddy fan mode. I heard a one off line up of the camden cowyboys which featured Bedders and Woody with Lee, once perform this track from the Beatles man’s solo RAM album, and it was a great moment, a fittingly good song for Lee and sadly the only time I’ve ever seen him do it. Now might be a chance to capture this track on video, Cruelly the jumping around of the set list means it’s only talked about and not played (it was a track that the band had hardly rehearsed, so were less confident of) but Lee had been saying “we need someone up for backing vocals” I was poised and ready knowing the song, and therefore capable of the “cantata” lines, but despite the Christmas feel of the night, this present wasn’t forthcoming. After the gig, I said about this to Lee, in a very “ah well leave me wanting more” kind of way, only to find out, Lee had confusingly thought they had done the song, given that Cmoon another McCartney song had made it out again live. Strangely I did get to sort of sing backing vocals on this, due to Debbie dragging the on stage sax mix, down into the front row and we dueted from the seated row on this while I was still filming, which is one strange way to gate crash a band!

Daleys performance of T-Rex was awesome too. He finished the gig to rousing applause and shouts for encores, with the Madness track The Prince. His dads first penned number. Of the all the performances that did go well, it’s the covering again of Mother and Child reunion (Paul Simon) that stuck in my head for a couple of days afterwards. Brilliant and sweepingly majestic a melody, given a slightly cooler sound by being a rough rocking band that the gentle original. Love it.

Afterwards I sneak into the dressing room to see Lee and Daley. The theatre owner tries to stop me, giving me a look, and I explain “I know Lee.” which gets the brilliant factual answer of “It’s Barnet, Everyone knows Lee!” but I am quick and through the door before the clever retort can really stop me in my tracks, and standing only in his underpants I manage to film a private thank you video to the ladies who gave their knickers for the Butlins washing line of In The Middle of the night. “It was a surreal evening, enjoyable.” Lee will later say of the gig. I wonder how much he needs events of this nature to ground him in a small and happy town, after the thrills of Folgate in full to thousands. We fans present certainly needed it, and I say to Lee “after the fantasy land of Butlins, it’s great to come here to a gig of reality!” and he laughs knowingly at the comment with a grin that shows he’s enjoyed tonight, and rightly so. A great bunch of songs for the love of it, to friends and helping the local community. This is Barnet’s more than Christmas Fayre! and Lee has just been wonderfully Santa like giving and still being able to shout “be grateful” at the kids! There were a couple of good joke moments too, perhaps the longest pause ever on the end of Midnight Rider, but I will leave it up to my good friend Darren West to tell that story from his point of view soon.

Stuck in the middle with you, is the new song this band with Daley has done a couple of times now, and it’s one I went to the front to film, because like so many covers that Lee does, he can make them his own a bit too, they take on new forms coming from his viewpoint. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, these words take on new meaning in a year when Lee has performed in at least 4 bands, from Madness, to a private Crunch! line up, his revolving ska orchestra line ups, with also guests Bitty, Dawn, and Rhoda too, and these line ups of returning local musicians in addition to all that, Lee has been stuck in the middle and surrounded by so many wonderful talents this year of which it’s fun to mock in true toasting style with a tune like this. It’s going to count as a new record of at least 5 bands in one year, if not even more line ups than 5. He’s due to join Jools Holland band for Hootennanny on your screens new year, completing what has been a truly amazing year for Thommo solo endevours, topping pretty much any other. Thanks for everything this year, Merry Christmas band whore, and a happy new year Mr Thompson sir. Love you man, you’re the best. C Moon. It’s the oppsite of an L7 = Square. McCartney wrote it as forming a circle meaning cool. C + Moon = C)  Well C Moon is our Lee.

Cmoon  (featuring some front row backing vocals including wife Debbie!) http://youtu.be/GuI4xOn1UAA

Sunny Afternoon http://youtu.be/sjv8kgMhPKM

Stuck in the Middle With You – http://youtu.be/ahVErrUcpJE

You’re More Than Fair – http://youtu.be/Gw9QhFezNic

Jonathan young


Suggs Talking About His Life to Richard Bacon

Source: Radio 5 Live


Suggs: That Close

Source: Camdenreview.com

IT WAS coming out of the old Hampstead Classic cinema in South End Green after watching the film American Graffiti that set Madness frontman Suggs on the road to being a singer.

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

Xpose Catch up

Source: Xpose Entertainment

We met Madness lead singer Suggs ahead of his “New Years Eve Dublin Festival” date. Lisa met the music legend at his Eason’s book signing to find out more.


Fourth Fifths of a Guinness

I saw a review of a new contemporary fiction novel by Zadie Smith called “NW”. Obviously this caught my attention as a Madness fan rather than a lover of novels.

A short review of the book carried the following excerpt “Quintin Kynaston is a great place to buy a croissant but not somewhere you would want to send your kids” so I told Suggs about this as that of course is the school that Baggy Trousers was based on and which he often refers to in interviews. He’s been back there since for a one-off music writing class which is probably somewhere on youtube (Love ya to bits Suggs but you aint no music teacher!).

Just before I got his autobiography signed by the man himself I popped around the corner and grabbed a copy of NW5 and gave him a little present of it. I also told him I was representing the good ship Madness on the airwaves the previous day….”Was that you? Good man” was the reply.

As you can see from his Twitter update (see below) he was grateful for the book but even more so for me leaving the 5 euro change in it by mistake which got him 4/5ths of a Guinness in Dublin Airport .

“@easons put the money to good use. Bought me four fiths of a pint of Guinness at the airport. Tata Dublin. See you NYE”

Vince Carden


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 501, and the week of Sunday 7th December to Saturday 13th December 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 239 and the week of Sunday 7th December to Saturday 16th December 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 501 – Sunday 7th December to Saturday 13th December 2008

Many of you would no doubt recall that once in a blue moon subscribers to The Beano or The Dandy were greeted to not only their weekly slice of comic based mayhem, but also a free gift which had been quickly sellotaped to the front cover.

While we were unable to provide you with some cover ruining sellotape adhered gift, we’re very proud to present you with our own freebie in the form of the new “MIS Google Maps Triple Pack”.

Painstakingly compiled over a good 6 months or so, this creation was the brainchild of subscriber David Moody (with additional assistance from our very own Jonathan Young).

David has enjoyed our recent Madness London Locations so much that he’d created a number of map packs for use with Google Earth. The map packs were:

1. NW5 and Beyond – The New Songs Map
2. Mad world – Song reference outside London 79-05
3. The Capital Compilation – Song References in London 79-05

This was now your chance to (virtually) fly over Camden and its surrounding boroughs, all from the comfort of your computer desk.

On to the rest of the articles, and we kicked things off with the news that Chris and his Axecam had been out yet again, and this time we were treated to a 10 second clip from a song that we knew nothing about until now – Rainbows.

It was over to Bedders next, who advised us to keep an eye on the official Madness web site in the few days before the O2 gig. “I’ll say no more” stated Mark.

Rumours were that an audio and video section would be added to the web site. All we could do was sit and wait.

Still, we had more than enough to keep us occupied, as Madblog 98 announced that the official Madness YouTube channel, MadTubeMTV had now gone live.

Next, and we reported on the launch of a new radio station, Coast 106, who were advertising the fact that they wouldn’t be playing Kylie, Boyzone or Madness. Naturally, this wouldn’t be a station we’d be tuning in to. As of June 2011 they rebranded to Jack FM, and if it’s anything like Jack FM Bristol, Madness will certainly feature on their playlist these days.

Finally, we brought this issue to a close with the news that Lee Thompson and Keith Finch had recently DJ’d at a local establishment and were of the opinion that they rather enjoyed it. So much so that they were going on the road and were available for hire.

Parties, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs. But it wasn’t the regular stuff. Instead it would be all old ska, reggae, soul, with a bit of Mrs Mills thrown in.

10 years ago…

Issue 239 – Sunday 7th December to Saturday 13th December 2003

News in from Graham Whitfield was that following Q Magazine’s poll which asked their readership to vote for their top 100 pop songs, The Sun newspaper did their own version. In at number 59 were Madness, with ‘Our House’. Not a brilliant ranking, but at least they made the top 100!

Incidentally, the top 3 were: 1-Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), 2-Everybody Hurts (REM) 3-Angels (Robbie Williams).

With the Madness tour now in full swing, it was great to see that Richard over at Remember The Eighties.com was supporting the lads with a prize draw where there were two copies of the “Madness Singles Box Set Volume 1″, up for grabs. Not only that, but Richard had managed to secure a pair of tickets to see the band play at The Glasgow SECC on December 14th and another pair to see them play at The Birmingham NEC on December the 18th. All the goodies were courtesy of Virgin Records, who had teamed up with Remember The Eighties.com to help promote the tour and singles box set.

Great news blasted forth across the net, with the announcement that a few extra tickets had just become available for the Forum gig on the 9th of December. Tickets were limited, so if you wanted to go you had to get in quick!

Normally it’s Chris Carter-Pegg who gives us the heads-up when it comes to unofficial Madness merchandise, but this week we spotted one ourselves, in the form of a ‘Johnny The Horse’ gold disc.

Completely unofficial and a complete waste of money. We advised readers to avoid at all costs.

One trader you could (and still can!) always depend on for official Madness merchandise was Chris Carter-Pegg, who this week had some real rarities up for sale on Ebay. Items ranged from the Our House doormat, a pair of Dr Martin Ltd Edition Madness Boots, the Don’t Quote me on That 12”, and much, much more.

We finished off this week’s issue with a very short review of the first gig of the tour, courtesy of Steve Chapman. Dublin was the initial port of call for the Christmas tour, and Steve’s short but informative review revealed that the band had “jazzed up the set” with such long lost tracks as Disappear, March of The Gherkins, Victoria Gardens, and Prospects.

Rob Hazelby


That’s almost it for this week, but before we go we’ve got a few videos to pass in your general direction.

First-up, two links of The Inflatables, as they end “MIS Presents” at this year’s Butlins Madness Weekender:



Next, and here’s a nice “Folgate Friday” YouTube link for you, which will take you to “On the Town” – http://youtu.be/7l3cl1e1MkQ7

And finally..

In a recent interview Dave Gorman gave to UKIE Movies Dave is asked “Which song would you choose as national anthem?”. Dave’s response? “Baggy Trousers”.

Not a bad choice at all.

Have a good week,

Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Hazelby, Rob Hazelby

(with thanks to Daren West, Tony Stratton, and Vince Carden)

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