Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 765 – Sunday 5th January to Saturday 11th January 2014

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 765 – Sunday 5th January to Saturday 11th January 2014

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Hello, and a very warm welcome to this first MIS of 2014. We trust you managed to see in the new year in appropriate fashion.

A fair number of you managed to catch the band when they brought in the new year over in Dublin as part of a live concert held in the capital. Reviews from a couple of subscribers are featured in this week’s Live Intensified section. So, if you were unable to get along these should help to fill in that void for you.

Sadly the turn of the new year doesn’t just bring rave reviews of an appearance by the band. It also brings news of a pub closure in Camden.

Yes, The Crown and Goose, a legendary Madness drinking hole on Arlington Road, finally held its final p*ss up, on new years eve, before the goose was cooked and the crown dislodged.

The doors are now closed and the wrecking ball of development now looms.  It was the Camden pub Madness didn’t so much shout about, but a place Suggs had been drinking in since aged 16, and the site of many a pished madness plan being hatched, or victory celebrated.

Bye, bye birdie. RIP.

On a jollier note we’d like to finish this week’s intro with some brighter colours. Here, from Folgate Friday, is a unique video you won’t see from any other Madness gig – Rainbows Live.

Massive thanks go to Sharon Staite for capturing this unique moment. Perhaps one time only? There are more videos from Folgate Friday to come over the course of January. Here’s hoping these help to brighten up your day.


Enjoy the read,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams


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.


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.

*** UPDATE *** Roger Daltrey has been added to the line-up of this evening.

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

*** NEW *** There are early rumours of a number of Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gigs that may be taking place around March, around the time of their single release

Southend has been mentioned, but we’ll have more concrete information on any gigs once they are officially confirmed and announced.

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. As is the normal spec with Specialized, all proceeds go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.


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


Happy New Year – Live From Dublin

What a night in Dublin, Madness were well up for this gig as were the 10,000 strong crowd.

What amazes me to this day is the fact that, everyone always leaves Madness gigs with a smile on their faces. On to the gig itself and the band played a great set with both the old reliable tunes such as B&B man, Sun & the Rain, Baggy Trousers to the newer material such as Misery, My Girl 2, which everyone around me, young and old included seemed to know all the words to. It was a brilliant way to ring in the new year (thanks to my missus for surprising me with tickets for the gig ) . and thank you to Madness for another great gig. Happy New Year

Stephen Prendegast

Yes, happy new year readers, and this one was rung in with Madness live from Dublin. The gig was broadcast too live on RTE Irish television and radio, allowing many Madness fans around the globe to tune in and listen and watch the nutty boys start 2014. This was the triple for new years eve gigs after their London 1985 broadcast for whistle test and their 2009 Edinburgh concert. Having wished England and Scotland personal new years congratulations, this year Ireland joined the ranks of inter-annual line crossing celebrations.   You can watch the footage back here if you missed it…. and want to start your year again now with the maddie boys.

One Step Beyond


A Big Irish Madness fan (who seems to talk as if Madness is one man!)


RTE player full gig  (17 more days to watch)

Meanwhile MIS helper Shannan McBride is here with a full lowdown of being at the gig…

Madness NYE Countdown concert.

(In no particular running order of bands) It started off ok, we had some music from an Irish speaking band who changed songs from English into Irish and (Being honest) I’m a pretty bad Irish speaker but as a band they were good. We also had music from a band called “Walking on cars “ they were quite good, we had more music from a rock and roll band called “The Strypes” and they were probably my favorite band who were not Madness. We had music from MKS (The original sugar babes) not my cup of coffee but they got the crowd going, we also had a solo artist called Ryan Sheridan who was amazing and who had an amazing drummer with him (can’t remember his name), between them they really got the crowd going for Madness.

A lot of people kind have come just for the “Craic” or fun of the whole atmosphere so that also kind of threw the excitement off a smidgen.  Madness were the band counting down to the new year and to be honest it wasn’t a “Bad gig” but the stream was going out too between 32-34 countries so Madness were very restricted with the times of when Woody could count in with songs after the 10 second count, so It just the band were not overly relaxed with it, and the cold was clear, Woody in a Jumper! (Chris later said they enjoyed the gig in reply to one of my messages in the cupboard so hey who knows bar them?)

There was no Auld Lang Syne so it didn’t really feel like new year and the band seemed to be limited about what they could do with a small gap of time that had to be allowed (for television purposes) due to the time difference when it came to the streaming, so solid known hits and well rehearsed new album songs were played nothing more off the cuff or recent treats like Disappear or the songs played at Butlins.

Set list (Credit given to RTE I player…. possibly a bit off but mostly correct)

One step beyond


The Prince


(I Think this was were Laura Whitmore who was doing M.C for the night came out a min and a half to get us ready for the count then that happened and they swung back into the gig)


My Girl

My Girl2

The sun and the rain

Shut up


(Think this is where ShowTime was , we got New York, New York)

House of fun

Baggy trousers

Our House

It must be love (On the live stream you can see Chris waving at me in it after I started singing to him hahahaha)


Night boat to Cairo (which a child no older than about 6 maybe 8 joined Lee and Steve on stage for the sax ..which Thommo only filled in on sax and let the little dude take over…he was amazing for a child of that age…seriously gave our Kix a run for his cash

As every Madness gig a really enjoyable night considering that most people only there for the craic :-)

Shannan McBride.


Hootenanny Videos

The new year was also rung in with vocalists from the Ska Orchestra appearing alongside Jools Holland’s Band.

Here are videos of Lee’s Appearance on the show (which was filmed mid December) ahead of the new single release

Lee was appearing with Dawn Penn. Performing Bangarang 2 and a cover of her big hit.

Bangarang 2 – http://youtu.be/XcRIFIDOuEw

No no no – http://youtu.be/wI_aGJNZ1sk

Enjoy Yourself  (All artists end of show song) – http://youtu.be/KuYxL6wHjNc

Also on the show was backing vocalist Darren Fordham having the time of his life, and MIS regular Lee Swandale was seen skanking away in the audience, too.

Mad to miss Suggs

Source: www.hearald.ie


WELL, who’d have thought it? New Year’s Eve and the prize for best entertainment of the night goes to – cue fanfare – RTE. Granted, en route to the great stuff you did have to put up with the likes of the Coronas (arguably the most nondescript band ever to have emerged from this country –which is some achievement in itself) but once they cut to Madness the job was in the bag.

Suggs performs My Life Story in Words at the Olympia on May 10.

Laura Whitmore Blog

Source: Hello Magazine

I rang in the New Year on a stage in Dublin screaming ‘5,4,3,2,1…” into a microphone with Suggs from Madness with my family and friends all there watching. It was a brilliant night. For one thing we were in Ireland and it DIDN’T rain (this is a VERY rare occurrence).  But to be able to have good people and friends around, even though I was working, was really special.

Madness were the headliners. And we danced and sang our way into 2014. No better way to do it.

Madness on The Streets of Dublin

Source: www.irishtimes.com


When Madness took to the stage at around 11.45pm it took approximately two seconds between the lyrics to One Step Beyond being sung and the thousands of people who had converged on Dublin’s College Green simultaneously starting to dance that dance.

We Have Every Right to Play New Year Gig

Source: www.herald.ie


Co-singer Chas Smash, inset, has said he is aware of criticism that an English group rather than an Irish band had been chosen to close the final event of The Gathering at College Green.

“I’ve heard people saying that as the quintessential England band, we are wrong for this concert. That somebody like The Sawdoctors should be doing it. “Fine by us, so if U2 show up on the night, we’ll happily let Bono do a Live Aid. I’m sure he has something to say,” Chas Smash told the Herald.

However, the band from North London boast Irish parents.  “The fact my real name is Cathal Joseph Patrick Smyth might be a giveaway and I grew up living in places like Bray, Sligo and Coleraine,” revealed Chas

Top of The Pops – The Story of 1979


Woody appeared as a talking head during this programme, talking both about the band being on Top of the Pops, and also about his mother being employed by the BBC on this show at the time.

He amusingly tells of how the record pluggers at the time thought the name change to “Madness” meant they wouldn’t get very far!

One Step Beyond was showed and also aired in the hits show afterwards, as Top of the Pops 1979 repeats begin now and every Thursday on BBC4.

Jon Young


Specialized – Dave Wakeling in the House

The Specials2 & Specialized Charitable Music Project Presents…




TCTCD003- Specials2 Records

Released June 23rd 2014

In 2014 phase 3 of Specialized project commences with a new album of covers by modern artists. This time, the subject can only be the musical juggernaut that is North London’s finest, MADNESS. Madness have few equals in the pop world as regards their sheer likeability and crafted songs. Their rhythms are infectious, their lyrics personal and adaptable and with the most extensive catalogue of tunes in the business.  These brilliant tracks will undoubtedly raise interest, people’s spirits and money for the charity.

The album “Mad Not Cancer” is destined for release in June 2014.

Here’s Dave Wakeling from The English Beat with news of his collaboration on this project….

GREAT NEWS…. had a wonderful chat with Lynval from Specials about “Our House” for Specialized to Beat Teen Cancers album of Madness songs. He has some great rhythmic ideas for the track, and said that we should follow Nelson Mandelas example here, and so he will be on the track if Ranking Roger will, and he will speak with Neville about doing the same!!!! 1000’s of likes quickly for the idea, including me Roddy and Lynval, so hopefully Roger will join in soon too! Dave x

ANOTHER EXCITING “OUR HOUSE” ANNOUNCEMENT….coming soon! …in the meantime, everyone please encourage Ranking Roger and Neville Staple to jump on in and help turn Our House into a Ska Palace full of Two Tone Royalty! love,  Dave x

We also passed Dave onto Lee Thompson after he asking on ska orchestra pages about talking about this part of the project, so it’s nice that the first cover is underway, many more to come.

Each year the specialized project has culminated in a successful three day music festival in Dorset where bands involved in the project have again donated their time and energy to play their contribution to the album plus their own material to Specialized supporters. The festival has been a heart-warming experience for all those involved, acts and festival goers alike, and due to the unique donation/funding aspect has swelled the final cash total for the charity.  The whole enterprise has moved on considerably from its unassuming beginnings in the mind of its founder Paul Willo, and in 2014 the Specialized project is applying for charitable status.

In doing so the project also announces some big names from 2Tone and Ska music as its supporters. Lynval Golding of the Specials is the enthusiastic project Patron along with Roddy Byers of The Specials as its President. Dave Wakeling of The Beat/English Beat will be Ambassador, bringing with him a great deal of experience and ideas to the fund raising field after previously working with Greenpeace and other projects. Mr Wakeling is intending to spread the Specialized influence into the USA and work with its Teen Cancer agencies stateside. Dave is touring the country in March 2014 and is spreading the Specialized message across the UK.

Visit the official website:  www.specializedproject.co.uk for check for a promo tour of the UK based Specialized acts or to purchase the previous albums. Keep up to date with the fast moving project which will commence in March and will culminate in a 3 day festival in November at Parkdean Sandford, Dorset. PLEASE NOTE THE PROJECT IS TOTALLY NON PROFIT,  ALL MONIES RAISED GOT TO TEENAGE CANCER TRUST CHARITY. Thank you all for your continued support and hope to see old and new faces at our events

We help ourselves when we help each other. You listen to your favourite tunes, while your money helps a teenager with cancer; couldn’t be simpler! Proud as punch to be a part of this thank you..” DAVE WAKELING ( THE BEAT/ ENGLISH BEAT)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! May I proudly announce that RHODA DAKAR, of The Bodysnatchers and Special AKA, and JENNIE MATHIAS of the Bellestars have most kindly agreed to be on our version of “Our House” for the Specialized album of Madness songs, to aid Teens with Cancer. A wonderful way to start the year! Dave x


Specialized Beat Teenage Cancer Facebook-


Specialized Beat teenage Cancer Twitter


Paul “Willo” Williams / Dave Wakeling


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 505, and the week of Sunday 4th January 2009 to Saturday 10th January 2009, and then back 10 years to issue 243 and the week of Sunday 4th January 2004 to Saturday 10th January 2004.

5 years ago…

Issue 505 – Sunday 4th January to Saturday 10th  January 2009

News had been reduced to a mere trickle over the past few days but this didn’t come as too much of a surprise as things normally tailed off in the world of Madness for a couple of weeks after Christmas.

Thankfully, this didn’t mean our issue was a short one – far from it, in fact. We had detailed thoughts and opinions of the recent O2 gig from subscribers Kris and Tony, kicked off our second part of our lookback at 2008, and we also gave you the heads-up on a number of Crunch related videos that had recently been uploaded to YouTube.

If that little lot still wasn’t enough we had the full transcript of MIS Online’s interview held with Suggs at one of this year’s Hackney gigs, a previously unpublished (in the MIS) article from the Racing Post, and we finished off with a journey back to 2004 to report on what was going on in the world of Madness half a decade ago.

10 years ago…

Issue 243 – Sunday 4th January to Saturday 10th January 2004

We kicked off our first issue of the year with not one, but two exclusives.

First-up, we had an interview with Terry Edwards. Terry was one of the backing brass players during the 2003 Christmas tour, and he kindly took time out of his busy schedule to reveal just what it was like to go on tour with Madness, and the kind of preparation involved.

Terry was also kind enough to tell us about his next project, and how you could get hold of it, 4 weeks before the official release date.

One draw of this was that the release featured a brand new Butterfield 8 track.

We weren’t even a full week into the new year, and already rumours were flying around the net as to what Madness would do in 2004 to celebrate their 25th birthday. One rumour stated that The Specials and Bad Manners had been approached with regards to supporting the band, and that they were thinking of staging a 25th anniversary 2-tone tour.

Elsewhere, and rumours were circulating that the band were planning to undertake a continental tour. It looked as if the fans were in for one heck of a year!

Moving on, and we kept with tradition, and started our lookback of the previous year, with the first 6 months of 2003. For those who found that the booze they’d wolfed down during the holiday season dulled their memory somewhat this lookback would no doubt prove an excellent tool for jogging the old grey matter.

We finished off this issue with the worrying news reporting that the godfather of Ska, Laurel Aitken had been taken ill early in December, and the prognosis was not good. The doctors were far from optimistic regarding his condition. Rather than give false hope, they explained that he could die at any time.

Unfortunately, Laurel’s financial situation was also precarious. For years, he’d been playing shows all over the world in order to provide for his family, and along the way had passed through many a seedy dressing room unbecoming an artist of his stature and 76 years of age. Obviously, in his current condition Laurel was no longer able to support his family, leaving only the scant royalties he earned from the few songs actually credited to him.

On Saturday 3rd January a benefit gig was held at Club Ska, Rayners Lane, (North West) London to raise money for Laurel and his family.

Rob Hazelby


Last week we kicked off part one of our lookback at 2013 where we went through to April of last year. In this second part we look at May to August, and chart the highs and lows of the middle part of the year.


With the final issue of April going out in Rich Text format and no subscribers complaining that things didn’t work as the should we continued with the rich text mailout format that we’ve been using ever since.

With the weather steadily improving the band were building up an impressive list of forthcoming gigs. June, July, August and September were already looking packed, and even October was starting to fill up. With the band booked to perform at Minehead in November it looked as if they’d be experiencing a busy 6 months ahead.

Suggs and Lee had even more work ahead of them, as they had solo shows and off-shoot band performances lined up in May and June. Also, who could forget Woody, who, accompanied by his brother, was working on their debut Magic Brothers album.

Madness collectors also had reason to celebrate this month as Let Them Eat Vinyl re-released the following classic albums on vinyl;

LETV072LP – One Step Beyond
LETV073LP – Absolutely
LETV074LP – 7
LETV075LP – The Rise and Fall
LETV076LP – Keep Moving

Although not officially available until June the MIS team had managed to bag a pre-release of the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra album The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius. Naturally, we were unable to share the tracks with the public, so we had to do the next best thing and provide a track-by-track lowdown instead.

On the 21st Lee and his Ska Orchestra were joined by reggae singer Bitty McLean as they appeared on Later With Jools Holland, to give us a taste of their debut album. On the 28th the band performed two gigs at the legendary Dublin Castle.


At the start of the month press reviews of The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius started to come in, and they were generally extremely positive. The Sundy Express gave it a whopping 5 out of 5, commenting;

“… It’s a collection that crackles with great playing and oodles of good humour. Including Ali Baba (that starts with a manly heigh-ho), an arrangement of Mission: Impossible that Isaac Hayes would have been proud of, and Napoleon Solo, on which diverse instruments interlock with irresistible precision.”

Now, although it was still many months off the announcement went out that fancy dress theme for the forthcoming Madness Weekender would be song titles. We were promised that tips and ideas would appear on the Weeknder web site soon. Well, at least you had no excuse for not being given enough notice.

June was also the month in which Madness released their own ale, in the form of Gladness. To be fair it was almost verging on a lager, and while it was a fantastic PR exercise for the band the beer itself was pretty poor. Speaking to a number of real ale drinking Madness fans at the Alexandra Palace gig it would seem that I’m not alone in my thoughts. Still, it was a really great thing for the band to be involved in.

June came to an end with the news that the video for Misery had just been uploaded to the MadtubeMTV YouTube channel, and within a couple of days it’d already notched-up almost 12,000 views.

Looking like an episode of 70’s children’s TV programme, Mr Benn, the video had a real charm to it, and we we’re certain it would raise a smile from even the coldest of hearts.

You can still find the video by going to: http://youtu.be/h1J47BnR0bU


By July the band had increased the number of forthcoming gigs they had planned further still. Not only that, but after learning only a month or so back that Suggs had no further one man shows booked, a short tour would now be taking place in December.

Lee also continued to keep himself busy, with new gigs announced for September and November and a mass of live shows planed for October.

This month Woody took to Facebook to apoologise to fans;

“I’ve got a major dilemma!

I came on Facebook to get more involved with fans, but every day I get heart rending stories from people who need help raising money for really good causes. I’m just completely inundated with requests and I can’t cope. I have passed on as many requests as I can, but I’m getting snowed under. I find it really hard to say no, and it’s almost putting me off coming onto Facebook, because I feel under pressure to sort everyone’s requests out.

I feel guilty, but I know I shouldn’t because it’s humanly impossible to make all the people happy all the time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. If only people would share their stories, loves, and hates with me, and not ask things of me (however well meaning) I’d enjoy Facebook.

Sorry if that makes me seem selfish, because I’ll need all your helps to raise awareness of my Charity. But hey! You lot wanted to be my friend”.

Thankfully the majority of responses to the above post were extremely supportive and understanding.

July was also the month when the official Madness web site underwent its fifth major revamp since the site was set up way back in 1997. We decided to look back at those previous versions and summarise the highs and lows of those previous setups.

The month came to a close with the news that The Magic Brothers’ album would be available from the 30th September, and that you could now pre-order the MP3 release from Amazon. Not only that, but previews of all 12 tracks were available for streaming from the site.


We kicked off the eighth month of the year with an exclusive review of The Magic Brothers Single, “You Don’t Have To Hide Your Love Away”, which was due to be release later in August. Not only that, but the band had informed us that they’d filmed a super-8 style video for the single, and that it would be available to view online shortly.

It’d been years in the making, but this month we finally got our hands on the latest issue of Ian Taylor’s Mad Not Mad fanzine. Weighing in at over 70 pages, the ‘zine  was packed full of Madness news and news from the ska scene in general. Not only that, but it even came with a covermounted CD, the 15 track CD album “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”, by Too Many Crooks. All these came at a mere £5 delivered if you lived in the UK.

How did you fancy starring in a Madness video? Well, this month the invite went out to all of you attending the Ally Pally gig, asking you to turn up before the concert so you could appear in a video with the band. The session would start at 3:00pm, and once that was complete all bars would be open and serving the Madness ale Gladness.

With the video recording session starting at 3:00pm the planned Magic Brothers meet and greet session at The Dublin Castle had to be shortened to a mere hour in length. Due to commitments The Magic Brothers would only be available for around an hour before they’d need to rush on over to the gig venue in time for recording.

Collectors were well catered for this month as August saw the Madness movie Take it or Leave it re-packaged in a DVD/CD double pack. The CD included almost all tracks featured in the movie.

August came to a close with the news that www.chas-smash.com had burst into life, and now featured news, photos, upcoming events and more.

Rob Hazelby


That’s almost it for this week, but before we sign off we do have a couple of last minute bits to pass in your general direction.

First-up, here’s Darren Fordham with details of how you can get your paws on a unique pair of shoes, singed by the entire band.

“A pair of brand new black and white unique ska design size 8 shoes signed by all seven of Madness.

OK, here’s the deal. In order to win this one off, signed pair of shoes, it’s just £2 per ticket (yes, that’s all). You can see picture on most Madness facebook pages currently etc.

Pay the money into PayPal fordham@easy.com If you pay in £4 you get 2 tickets, if you pay in £10 you get 5 tickets etc…

Leave your name and address, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll video the draw, and post it up here for all to see.

Money raised is to be used to fund a project that will be raising money for Specialized.

If you are interested in having a pair of these made for you, with the design of your choice, check out Canvas Customs – Unique feet by Lauren Lauren donated these, thanks Lauren x

Darren Fordham”

And finally, here’s something of a new year’s present, courtesy of Union Square Music – The Madness movie, Take it or Leave it, available in full on YouTube.

If you’ve yet to Take it or Leave it then you really need to settle down and watch it.

Here’s the YouTube description;

“In 1981, after a string of UK Top Ten hit singles and two smash hit albums, Madness took to the silver screen. While a group nicknamed The Nutty Boys might have been expected to indulge in the knockabout japes of A Hard Day’s Night or Help! like The Beatles years before, Take It Or Leave It was a grittier, less glossy version of the events that led to them becoming one of Britain’s most cherished bands.”

You can find the film in full here: http://youtu.be/cwWvKnU9zCE, and don’t forget that the soundtrack of the film is still available to purchase.

Until next week, take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(with thanks to Shannan McBride, Darren Fordham and Stephen Prendegast)

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