Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 763 – Sunday 22nd December to Saturday 28th December 2013

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 763 – Sunday 22nd December to Saturday 28th December 2013

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

The end of 2013 is almost upon us, and the festive season is now in full swing. While we’re unable to send out a Christmas present to you all we instead point you in the direction of the following YouTube link where you’ll find the Lee and Daley Thompson band performing “No Lights on The Christmas Tree”;


Here’s what Lee had to say on Alex Harvey;

“Every one & 40 years, gems originally released come back to haunt ye. What was so sacrilegious about this show stopper was…..It was released 4 years too early!

This has to be un-earthed, polished up….Just a little mind….& Unleashed upon the masses & rewarded by filling, all decent music & theatrical loving dovies of the world’s, Christmas stockings Now!”

Enjoy the issue and have a merry Christmas Mad Music Fans,

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

*** New *** July 13th, 2014 Festival Musilac, France http://www.musilac.com/

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 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 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.


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

The Specialized EP  Featuring Lee Thompson

A 4 track vinyl EP featuring Lee’s track from the first specialized album and tracks by the Valves, Rhoda Dakar and Nick Welsh.

Should be in stock this coming week.

Thanks go to Chuck Wren and Jump Up Records, Stan from A&R Texas (pressing plant), and Mike Schneider of Indigo Iguana (design).

LOOK SO GOOD YA COULD LICK EM…. Will be available via


The Specialized Big One 2. Live DVD.

For those wanting a copy of the DVD of the Big One 2 event we can reveal that you can now pre-order your copy. This will be limited edition and available into the new year. Also, Specialized are having a merchandise end of project sale for Christmas from the 9th- 20th December. This is a perfect opportunity to buy those little bits for you, loved ones and friends. At the same time you’ll also be doing some good because as is the normal spec with Specialized, all proceeds go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Welcome to Specialized Project official website

LTSO, Bangarang, Featuring Dawn Penn

Single release date mid February.

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

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


Timetable for New Year’s Eve Gig, Featuring Madness

This new year’s eve Madness will be seeing in 2014 as part of the new year’s eve celebrations in Dublin. We know a number of you will be going along, so may be interested in the rough timings that have just been released.

Perhaps you’ll be able to keep warm inside a nearby pub until nearer Madness’ time slot?

Timings are as follows:

8:30pm    Seo Linn
9.00pm    The Strypes
9.50pm    Ryan Sheridan
10.35pm   MKS (Mutya, keisha and Siobhan, the original Sugababes)
11.35pm   Madness

The host for the event is TV presenter Laura Whitmore.

Our thanks go to Vince Carden for the above.

If you do get along to the gig don’t forget to send us a review. We’ll be more than happy to print it in the new year.

Lee Thompson and Band @ The Bull Theatre, Barnet Sunday 1st December

So, we’re a week from the House Of Fun Weekender and Lee is back playing in my home town of Barnet.

We meet in the Kings Head pub a minute or so from the venue. I let MIS’ very own Jonathan Young know we’re here and he’s with his Madness mate Gary Hargreaves. We chat all things Madness and in particular the HoF Weekender. Jonathan went into detail of the organising logistics of “MIS Presents…” and how well he thought it went. For me, this was fascinating to get an such an insight.

After a drink we made our way to the Bull Theatre.
This is only the 2nd time I’ve been to this venue. The theatre itself is intimate and the seating quite steep, so you have a great view where ever you sit and our group of 8 take the seats in the front 2 rows on the right side.

The band are similar to the personnel that played the recent Barnet pub gigs at both Queens Arms and Black Horse. Again Lee is playing for charity tonight to raise funds to help get the lift at the venue fixed which the old folk to get in and out of the theatre comfortably. Daley kicks off with vocals of Bangarang before singing his fave tune of Fu Man Chu.

The band sound really good with a genuine stage, lighting and excellent sound system compared to the makeshift areas the 2 pubs put together. This naturally helped for a better sound and more enjoyable live experience. That’s not to say there are no issues – 1 or 2 of the microphones don’t appear to be working well, it’s soon rectified though.

Talking of mics, using the lead, Lee spins one round and the mike comes loose and lands in the lap of an unsuspecting lady in the front row! Luckily no damage was done – well maybe to the mic!! So, we’re a mic down and Lee puts out the shout “Anyone wanna do backing vocals?”. My mates egg me on to get involved however I’m desperate for the gents; too much information maybe, but it’s true! Gutted cos I’d have loved to have sang along with Lee & Daley especially as the next track was My Girl (although I later find out the shout for vocals would have been for another track that they took out of the set list. Phew!).

Next up is More Than Fair – Ian Dury’s classic track goes down brilliantly. Lee’s sax is made for this song, make no doubt about that! Later during the pause at the end of Midnight Rider, Lee wants to tell us a joke so the usual few seconds pause at the end of the song is made somewhat longer “Why do penguins walk softly?” he asks. I shout back “Cos they can’t walk hardly!”. Lee responds, “Well that’s ruined that then. Anyone got any jokes?”. So I reply, “Yeah, I have..”. Lee wants to hear it… “What’s the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman?”. Lee starts to repeat my question…I call out the punchline “Snowballs”. Lee says pointing at me (particularly as I’m wearing an Ian Dury & The Blockheads Geezer t-shirt) and he refers to me “Geezer! You’ve saved the day. I like that one. Well done!”  :o) Lee then eventually ends the song with closing lyric “The Midnight Rider”.
The Beatles Hey Bulldog gets played and sounds great.

More LTSO tunes are featured and the whole band are doing well. It’s a really good show. In the front row immediately in front of Lee, a lady moves over to where I’m sitting and says to me “Aren’t you gonna dance with me?” Lee’s wife Debbie has just asked me this and I didn’t need asking a 2nd time! I’m now dancing with the other ‘arf of one seventh of Madness! Lee belts out another Dury classic Clever Trevor which the crowd loves loads. Lee again adores playing another Dury number; a real highlight tonight. T Rex’s 20th Century Boy is played as it was during the Black Horse gig encore – a conventional rock song but it sounds great and not out of place sitting well with the rest of the set.

The gig ends with John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) which is a nice touch as we are in the yuletide spirit. After the gig I buy a drink for Jonathan and Gary. It’s my small way of saying “Thank you” for putting out MIS every week as well as a “Well Done” for MIS Presents… the previous week. It’s a great way to end a great day, a great week (and a bit!) and great year having attended a huge number of Madness and related events this year.

I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings for us fans of all of The Nutty Boys.

Daren West


2013 – A Great Year in Pictures

Source: The Official Madness Facebook Group

“It’s been another monumental year of good times. We thank you all again for your support. Cheers to you! Here’s some of our highlights. What were yours?”

Full article: http://on.fb.me/1cYIYJk

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra + Benson @ The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 25/10/13

Source: quims.org

“GUNS FEVER!!!! Boy-Lee and Nicki came over to Leeds for the week-end which got off to a fantastic start with a great bounce around to The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra at the Brudenell. They just about managed to fit all 10 of them on stage and what a glorious noise they made.”

Full article: http://bit.ly/1cLkxf2


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 503, and the week of Sunday 21st December to Saturday 27th December 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 241 and the week of Sunday 21st December to Saturday 27th December 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 503 – Sunday 21st December to Saturday 27th December 2008

We weren’t quite sure where to start as it’d been an absolutely chaotic week, with so much happening, that we were wondering if someone was having a laugh. But, no. What’d taken place over the past seven days would have to rank as one of the busiest weeks in the band’s history in almost 30 years!

Why? Well, We had three live gigs, tickets then went on sale for Madstock 5, and if that wasn’t enough, much of the new album had been made available for legal digital download via the official web site.

We were still digesting just what’s taken place, and with so much having gone on, we asked for some forgiveness if we’d missed something out of this issue.

The articles kicked off with the news that a new Madness box set was available to pre-order via the official Madness web site. Due for release on the 2nd March 2009, this luxury set would not only feature the full album on CD and vinyl, but also a badge, poster and many more collectors’ treasures. Not only that, but purchase of this new box set would induct you into the ‘M’ society, granting you access to behind the scenes access to areas on the Madness site.

Probably even more exciting was the box out message on the web site, which read;

“Order now and you will receive an exclusive download of ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate’ on the 22nd December”

An exclusive download? What could that mean? One track? A couple of tracks? Maybe the whole album, but in low quality bit rate MP3?

Well, we didn’t have long to find out, as an email went out from Anglo Management, which read;

“Thompson, Barson, Bedford, Smyth, Woodgate Foreman and McPherson Ltd Commissioners For Oaths


Dear Recipient,

We hereby notify you of our impending release: a new album by the popular combine of musicians known as Madness. Featuring songs with vocals and full instrumental accompaniment.

The release has been formally christened ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate’.

You have been chosen, amongst thousands, to take part in this special advance-purchase offer. We will be releasing the album in a luxurious limited edition boxed set which will include the full album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate, plus exclusive tracks and out-takes both on heavy-weight vinyl and CD with poster, badge and many other collectors’ treasures all housed in a beautiful box.

Purchase of the set initiates your membership into M, a society and collective – which can include you – so secret, no-one has even told us. Membership unleashes      bounteous bounty in the future: events, releases and goodness knows what else.

This set is available to pre-order now if you visit the electronic domain that is      www.madness.co.uk


We remain your humble yet obedient servants and wish you a Merry Xmas:

Gabriel Oscar Gracian

Senior Executor: M

For and on behalf of Messrs

Thompson, Barson, Bedford, Smyth, Woodgate, Foreman and McPherson Ltd.

R.S.V.P To www.madness.co.uk”

So, what would we be getting on the 22nd? Well, it turned out that 12 of the 23 songs recorded for the project would be available for download. It was meant to be a sampler of the album –  a reward for ponying up the cash early for the box set.

Very nice indeed.

Elsewhere in this issue we reported on Madness signing a deal to launch their 30th anniversary album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate with Power Amp, a music investment fund.

And for those of you looking forward to the summer months we revealed that Madstock 5 had been announced. The date was advertised as Friday 17th July 2009, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London. Little did we know that the weather would be awful on the day, and many people would suffer at the hands of pickpockets.

The event was also announced as having ‘Special’ guests, with the special in quotes. Was this done for a reason or simply to get us going? We’d have to wait and see.

At the end of the article we had to issue a “stop press”, as subscriber Liz Maher reported that the event had now been taken off the SeeTickets web site, and clicking on the original URL simply returned a “Sorry, your search found no matches”.

So, what was going to happen to those who had already paid for tickets?

10 years ago…

Issue 241 – Sunday 21st December to Saturday 27th December 2003

Despite the extremely short intro, this week’s edition of the MIS was absolutely rammed, with numerous reviews of recent live performances and much more besides.

Subscriber Andy Hall reported on the Wembley concert held on the 8th of December, commenting that a number of infrequently played tracks were aired that night, including a highlight for him, the classic ‘Disappear’, which he noted had a fuller sound than the original album version.

Having a more eventful live experience was one Chris Wardell who detailed one of the ‘highlights’ of his evening being almost escorted off the premises of The Newcastle Telewest Arena. Thankfully the arena staff saw sense when Chris flattened one of the trouble makers with a swift right hook, and in the process obviously made it quite clear that he wasn’t with them.

Fellow subscriber Darren Balsdon had a slightly less violent evening at the same venue, which he reported started off in a bar called Gotham Town, which had a DJ doing a Madness warm up set, playing Madness, ska, two tone and some Jam tunes prior to the gig. Darren commented that it was a great way to get into the mood for the concert.

Mr. Balsdon actually appeared in this edition of the MIS with two separate articles. His first was the aforementioned gig review while the second was a plea to the band to continue airing some of the slowly non-single tracks such as ‘March of The Gherkins’ and ‘Prospects’.

Here’s some of what Darren had to say;

“I think the truth is that you can’t jump up and down like a loony to these mellow tracks – you have to stand still and savour them!

This sudden decrease in energy levels and its calming affect can give the illusion that the crowd aren’t interested! In fact they are probably having a quiet moment of melancholic reflection, and getting their breath back.

I hope the band will keep this balanced approach to their live set. After all, the people there purely to hear hit singles might be better off attending the Smash Hits Poll Winners Pop Party!”

Moving on, and co-editor Jon Young managed to join the tour on the Birmingham leg of the trip, and recounted drunken antics whilst wearing a fake afro wig, The wig didn’t even last the first song before it got nabbed by a fellow concert goer. Subscriber John Spate had more luck with the fez he’d purchased at Great Yarmouth, as he’d managed to get through the entire gig with it still on his head. How?

We’re not quite sure!

Those unable to attend any of the gigs on the Christmas tour didn’t have to miss out on their Madness fix entirely, as on the 24th and 25th of December the BBC Three aired ‘Our House – The Musical’, filmed at The Cambridge Theatre on the show’s final night. OK, it wasn’t as good as going to see the band perform live, but it was better than nothing, surely.

With Cardiff being the nearest venue to my home town of Bristol the Cardiff International Arena gig was the one I chose to go to, and the one I obviously reported on upon my return.

I gave a terrific thumbs-up to the performance, with a special mention to the timeless classic ‘Disappear’, and commenting that;

“The band really sounded like they had been practicing the majority of the songs, and with the excellent set and backing instrumentalists everything looked and sounded more professional than anything I’ve seen them do since the 1985 New

Year’s Eve gig for The Old Grey Whistle Test.”

I’m a miserable sod at times, and I still had time to moan when I mentioned that this was the first Madness gig I’d ever been to where I’d not bought anything, as the prices were so high. Looking back, it would be a joy to be only charged £6 for a mug these days!

Rob Hazelby


Various snippets from Facebook and the Twitterverse…


“Christmas shopping so far 2 pints of larger and 1 packet of wotsits #Brilliant”


“Where’s that Christmas list! “@omfgfacts new £2000 procedure tattoos a buzz cut into bald men”


One Step Beyond and Absolutely Vinyl US Editions

I live in the USA.  We have a great record label over here called Yep Roc, I’m sure you’re familiar with it.  (Many great artists have graced this label over the years, including one Nick Lowe!)  Yep Roc has issued “The Liberty of Norton Folgate” over here.  I did not realize until very recently, however, that they have also reissued VINYL COPIES of the first two Madness albums!  See these links:



I don’t remember reading about this via MIS ONLINE, so perhaps you don’t know?

I waited to write until I received my copy of ONE STEP BEYOND.  I want to clarify something before you get too excited:  The picture of the LP on the website implies the cover for the Yep Roc version of the LP was actually using the COLOR “nutty train” pic from the OSB 12″ single….which of course would have made this extremely collectible!  However, having received my copy in the mail yesterday, I can assure you it’s the standard black and white cover.  It does have the Yep Roc logo on the back cover, though.  I have not yet unsealed my copy to see what the labels look like!!!

Anyway………thought you should know!

*** Update: Following my own link, I am pleased to see that Yep Roc has corrected the image for the cover of the “One Step Beyond…” LP.  No more confusion! ***


Peter Jacobs


That’s pretty much it for this week’s edition of the MIS.

Unlike the majority of issues this year we don’t have any final snippets of news to pass your way. Instead, we’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas.

We’ll be back next week where we kick off the first part of our lookback at 2013.

Until then, have a great Christmas!

Jon Young, Liz Hazelby, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts

(with thanks to Peter Jacobs, Vince Carden and Daren West)

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