Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 779 – Sunday 13th April to Saturday 19th April 2014

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 779 – Sunday 13th April to Saturday 19th April 2014

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Eagle-eyed readers of our “Showtimes” section will know that Suggs is once again off on his solo tour, pleasing the nation’s theatre goers with his story and added mini song moments such as Cecilia.

We can exclusively reveal that his solo music will also be returning very soon in the form of a compilation from Universal Music Group. With both The Lone Ranger and The 3 Pyramids Club now deleted albums, as well as 2007’s Platinum 1 disc collection also no longer available, this is great news. This forthcoming release will ensure that a new wave of fans can finally hear these tunes, while completists have yet another item to add to their ever growing collections.

It would be great if this new release featured something new and unheard, or even a fresh solo piano only track to reflect his current touring mode. Failing that, some nice sleeve notes would be preferential to the last compilation which looked rather cut and paste in its design. Something more in keeping with his great pictorial websites with lyric sheets would be nice. Well, we can hope!

Naturally, we’ll have more news on this release as an when we get it. In the meantime enjoy this week’s issue,

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.


June 2014

June 28th, Night in the Park, Den Haagm Netherlands, http://www.nightatthepark.nl/
June 27th Jiwapop Festival, Montcada, Spain
June 29th, Tivoli Utrecht, Netherlands http://tivoli.nl/

July 2014

*** NEW *** July 3rd, Vienna Arena, Austria
*** NEW *** July 31st – 3rd August, Reggae Sun Festival, Bordeaux, France

August 2014

August 2nd, Suikerrock, Belgium
August 12th Mallorca Rocks
August 13th Ibiza Rocks
August 18th, Kubana Festival, Krasnodar, Vesolovka

November 2014

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

April 2014

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
15th – Eastbourne – Royal Hippodrome
16th – Leamington Royal Spa Centre
17th – Jersey Opera House
19th – Milton Keynes The Stables
20th – Winchester Theatre Royal
21st – Epsom Playhouse
22nd – Kettering Lighthouse Theatre
23rd May at Cardiff College of Music and Drama
27th May at Bury St Edmunds The Apex
29th May at Derry Millennium Forum
30th May at Belfast Ulster Hall

June 2014

1st June, The Garrick, London

Suggs Book Reading Appearance

*** NEW *** May 24th   Hay Festival, Wales


The Magic Brothers

Thursday 24th April, Dublin Castle, Camden, London

Ticket info at: http://www.bugbearbookings.com/dublin-castle/

Magic Brother Friday Headline set:
November 14th.  The Big One 3.  Park Dean, Sandford Dorset.

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

May 2014

May 25 Strummer Camp Manchester

June 2014

June 1st, Wychwood Festival
June 29th Glastonbury Festival

July 2014

July 12th Lewisham’s People Day – Free!
July 26th Wickerman Festival

Note: The previously listed Swindon Breeze Festival is an event the band will no longer be appearing at.

August 2014

(Unconfirmed) August 16th, Newham, Under The Stars – Free!
August 31st, The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm, Cotswolds

More festival dates to follow.

Ska Orchestra web site: www.ltso.mis-online.net

The Lee Thompson Band (Lee’s other band, with Daley)

April 25th.  The Hop Poles. Enfield

April 26th, The Black Horse, Barnet

Deaf School


*** NEW *** 9th, The Islington, North London
10th, Rebellion Festival, Blackpool

For details of future gigs keep an eye on http://deafschoolmusic.com for more information.

Near Jazz Experience

April 29th, Indo, Whitechapel, London


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

LTSO, Bangarang, Featuring Dawn Penn & Sharon Shannon

*** Pre-Order Now Live *** Single release download date moved to April 27th. iTunes and Amazon links are now active.

itunes  http://tinyurl.com/p2bquak

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/pwg6du2

Check out the Bangarang-Anim-ad here…


Suggs “That Close”  – Audio Book

Having plugged Suggs’s first autobiography, for some weeks, since it’s release last year, we now change our focus to the audio book which we haven’t really touched on before. It’s available as a download, and also as a plastic cased CD set. So you physical collectors could do well at add it to you collections, and you modern gizmo ipad types or mp3 player on the go users etc can get it fairly instantly.

What’s brilliant about the audio edition is, it’s the closest version yet to the Live Suggs solo show being released. Suggs himself reads the text over seven hours and is as hilarious as he is in his one man show. The focus of humour within is brought out to the full. And the performed accents are so amusing to hear him do at times, that even the man himself has an Eddie Izzard moment, breaking down during the reading and chuckling at his own performance. That they left this in, is perfect, it’s like an old Hancock TV sitcom episode where live filming means no going back.

A nice subversive touch for an audiobook to take. The rest of the book is of course exactly what was in the printed version so our review of that remains pretty much the same, While pronounced lyrics that appear in the book are rendered into poetry here as a result of the spoken word approach.

No one can tell Suggs story better than Suggs. The audio book is ultimately more pleasing than the paperback. 7 hours of fun that has to be cut up into a couple of days to really get through it.


New Official Crunch Merchandise

Crunch! Magic Carpet Record Polo shirts. £17.99 large only (More sizes soon)

Crunch! Beanie hats one size £ 8.99 limited stock + £3 p&p on shirt – beanie free!

To get yours, send a message to the official band facebook page to order:



The Wilsons in Runcorn is a glorious example of not letting an old boozer die. This place has satisfyingly reinvented itself as something of a successful music venue. As you walk in, you’ve got a tidy little bar to the left, a bit of an open plan corridor ahead and a bloody sizeable area to the right that runs the full depth of the premises, it’s here that gigs and DJ sets take place…no stage, just an area cordoned off with tables or chairs…whatever furniture isn’t in use when it’s cleared aside to welcome the latest, greatest performer. I’ve been here before, just less than a year ago, to delight in the amazing one man acoustic adventures of Nick Welsh (Bad Manners/Selecter/Big 5/Skaville UK). This setting was great for such a show – one man, one guitar. Intimate enough, but allowing for the gathered accumulation of followers, the curious, the regulars and those who just popped in for a pint. It’s another story that Mr Welsh should be packing the place (just check out his reinterpretation of’ Bed and Breakfast Man’ when the Specialised III charity CD comes out), it’s an established fact that Lee Thompson of Madness definitely will. That’s why organiser Rob Wright (skinhead, scooterist and absolute gent) is happy to report he’s sold 200 tickets tonight…

The full order of events for The Wilsons’ latest Ska Night begins with a DJ set by DJ Dave (Rude Boy) Achilles), pumping out the likes of Madness, The Specials, The Pirhanas, The Jam, Nick Welsh (he again!) and the wonderful Uplifters (a Northern Ska treasure, listen out for them.) Then we get a set by local 2-Tone tribute specialists Mad Hat Ska and finish off with some top tunage delivered over the decks courtesy of Darren Bennett, official Madness DJ and, of course, Lee J Thompson himself, with the none too shabby company of Darren Fordham, co-vocalist with the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra!

My wife Lisa and I are happy to pick up a drink and take position at the back of the room, it’s a great vantage point. It’s only just turned 7.00pm and the place is already filling up with every cross section of pub going, indie loving people, rubbing shoulders with a generous supply of skins, rudies, mods and punks and pretty much everything in between. A lot of people know each other, are used to meeting up on Ska Night, a sure sign that Ska is alive and well oop north!

After a while, we hear the intro to ‘The Prince’, but it soon becomes obvious that this is an instrumental backing track…sure enough, Mad Hat Ska (Matty & Ian to give them real names) are doing a sound check. It’s clear enough from this that both Ian’s sax and Matty’s vocal chords are more than up to the task of providing top quality Madness-themed music for the night! I wander over for a chat. Matty is excited, to say the least. Lee Thompson has agreed to join the duo to perform a cheeky Madness number or two with them! “I might as well retire now!” he chuckles, “I mean, we’ve supported The Beat and The Selecter as warm-up acts, and that was brilliant…but actually performing with a member of Madness? Doesn’t get better than that!”

It’s clear as the night progresses that everyone is here for a good time and DJ Dave is more than up to the task, there’s lots of drinking, dancing, laughing and chatting…but time for more of that later. Organiser Rob comes over to tell us that Lee and Darren Fordham are outside in the beer garden. Off we go…

The Mad Hat Ska boys are with Thommo, briefly discussing what might occur during their set. Lee takes the opportunity to test the sax on offer and…BOOM, there that moment goes into my special memory collection. It’s a warm spring night in Warrington, my wife and I stand chilling with a drink whilst next to us, Lee Thompson himself knocks out chilled music on the saxophone. The notes drift across the air and all is well.

The night continues, great sounds blasting through the open windows as we pause for a few photos “Anything for you, my friend”, says Lee, and it doesn’t matter that he’s saying that to anyone and everyone who rocks up for a chat, in fact, that makes the moment, and the man, that much more impressive. Darren F chats along, something of a raconteur, as is Thommo himself and before we know it the man’s being rounded up to take to the stage. In we go…

The room seemed as packed as it could be anyway, but the appearance of Mad Hat Ska has either made the room shrink or the individuals in the crowd expand! Loads gather round with cameras and mobiles, ready to film a rare little one-off in the history of Mad-men performances. The duo are great value in their own right, focusing on the original lifespan of the Nutty Boys, proudly dishing out excellent sax playing and spot on vocal deliveries. It’s top class fun. And then here he is – Kix himself, flat cap jauntily rammed on head, and in that intimate little performance space we get a wonderful bit of magic…the three perform ‘In the Middle of the Night’. I’m not even sure if I’ve seen Madness do this one live- if I have then I’ve forgotten! Lee makes premature apologies, claiming that he might not remember the lyrics as the song is so old…but, it’s nailed, well and truly nailed! The odd forgotten lyric is signposted by Mad Hat Matty and the three guys stand, almost in a matey little huddle, smiling, singing and dancing. On “get your knickers down”, Lee crouches to the floor, joined by the others, and much is made of the difficulty in getting 50-odd year old kness and back to straighten again. As Mad Hat Ian blasts his note-perfect sax, Lee grimaces with classic comedy timing and covers his ear. It’s such an all round performance, it seems like it must have been rehearsed to death!

The song ends to huge applause and now it’s time to play silly buggers…lots of quips into the mic and impromptu a cappella versions of ‘One Step Beyond’ and The Pirhanas ‘Tom Hark’ before we get some proper ‘One Step’ on sax. It truly is a joyous showing…Lee looks happy and healthy and relaxed. He’s up for a laugh and is a born showman – and gent to boot.

The DJ set follows and the Lee Thompson Roadshow leaves everyone happy with boss tunes judged to perfection. Lee and Darren obviously enjoyed themselves…they’re now nusy looking for venues to bring the LTSO to town. I’ll be first in the queue!

Ian Taylor, Mad Not Mad Zine

Suggs on Tour

The live one man show season has started running through April and all of May until June. If you catch the show, please send in your thoughts in review….

Here is a short video clip from the opening week…



A collection of articles that have caught our eye over the course of the past week or so.

Suggs Life Story on Stage

Source: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/whats-on/news/talking-of-madness-15714/

“Madness have always been about accentuating the positive,” says Suggs. “It’s no accident our songs are still enjoyed 30 years down the line. They’re upbeat, timeless, a clear-eyed celebration of life as it’s lived. And we’re still together, still making music. For me, the band has always been a bit like a surrogate family. We’re all a bit dysfunctional, all a bit stronger for being together.”

The only problem now for Suggs is shoehorning his less-than-conventional first half-century into his new show. He added: “When we were rehearsing, my keyboard player would stop every so often and say: ‘Was that bit really true?’ And it was, all of it. Amazing, really.”


Specialized by the sea: 29th August, Black pool. Tickets available from May 1st @ £10 each, all money raised to TCT.
Line up: Nick Welsh, Addictive Philosophy, The Talks and Urang Matang.

Meet The Artists!
Specialized are very pleased to announce that CABSTARS, hailing from the Britsh ska mecca of Coventry will be playing… on Specialized 3- Mad Not Cancer! The guys will be shaking out their unique take on that Madness beauty “Rockin’ in A flat” .
Cabstars have a mission to create a new Ska & Reggae sound for the 21st century. With a fun attitude, danceable rhythms and lyrics which reflect modern life, they are heavily Influenced by traditional Ska, roots Reggae, rhythm and blues and 2-tone. These influences combine to create the unique Cabstars sound.
They have been going for 6 years and have played up and down the country.
As well as original tunes, Cabstars cover ska and pop classics, in a way you would never have heard before.

Specialized are looking for people with a a bit of creative flow by putting together a programme for The Big One 3. Basic design experience whether it be professional or simply a hobby all good. Please get in touch. Fanks!


This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 519, and the week of Sunday 12th April to Saturday 18th April 2009, and then back 10 years to issue 257 and the week of Sunday 11th April to Saturday 17th April 2004.

5 years ago…

Issue 519 – Sunday 12th April to Saturday 18th April 2009

We got this issue off by explaining that the reason we were sending it out earlier than usual was down to the fact that the weather was nice, and that members of the MIS editorial team wanted to get out and enjoy the delights of the local beer garden.

Well, it would have been rude not to. Right?

The articles began with release details for the forthcoming Madness single, Dust Devil. Five different formats were available – A 7”, 10”, CD, a single download and an EP download.

Fans were also able to pre-order the standard edition of The Liberty of Norton Folgate single CD album.

It was over to the Digital Spy web site next, as they confirmed that Madness would be performing at this year’s Camden Crawl. The band were booked to play on April 24th.

Next, we took a look at Chris’ Cupboard to see some of the latest questions and answers that had been going back and forth between the fans and the legendary guitarist. Most of the answers from Chris were simply there to make you laugh but one or two snippets of information were revealed.

With the release of the Madness tribute album, 30 Years of Madness, getting ever closer, the team over at the French MIS had been putting together the finishing touches to the accompanying web site, and it was now officially open for business.

The site contained details of the full track listing and what bands/artists have taken the time and trouble to record tracks for the forthcoming release.

Elsewhere we peppered the issue with a number of reviews of performances during the band’s recent tour Down Under, and brought the issue to a close with the news that Julien Temple’s film version of The Liberty of Norton Folgate was complete and would be screened at the London International Film Festival on April 17th.

10 years ago…

Issue 257 – Sunday 11th April to Saturday 17th April 2004

This Easter tinged issue was a short one due to the lack of news that had landed in our mailbox in the run-up the chocolate filled weekend.  In fact, news was so thin on the ground, that we commented at the time; “It seems as if people are busy doing things away from their keyboards at the moment, as the number of news items arriving in our mail boxes has gone to just a trickle”
Still, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as we still had enough material to get us through another week.  In the previous issue we’d announced that a DVD of the Christmas Forum gig was now doing the rounds. Well, this week discovered that someone was selling it on Ebay. Filmed on the 9th of December 2003, the disc had a starting price of £7.00, and featured the following tracks:  One Step Beyond / Embarrassment / The Prince / Lovestruck / My Girl / Disappear / The Sun and The Rain / Grey Day / Baggy Trousers / March of The Gherkins / Driving in my Car / Victoria Gardens / Shut Up / Prospects / House of Fun / Wonderful World Beautiful People / Tomorrow’s Just Another Day / Johnny The Horse / Wings of a Dove / Our House / It Must be Love / Madness / Night Boat to Cairo / Swan Lake / The Israelites
Moving on, we took a slightly non Madness slant for one article, as we reported (thanks to subscriber Celia Moore) on MOT’s headline gig at Camden’s famous Dublin Castle pub. Celia said at the time; “This band just gets better every time, I don’t understand why they haven’t got a promoter and recording contract yet, they are far more versatile and exciting than the present ‘pop groups’ around and the sheer enthusiasm of the lads comes through on every song!”
Celia finished by saying; “A final thought – maybe Madness could get them to do the warm up for them on their next tour – now that would be an evening to write home about!!”  It would indeed!
With messages now finally appearing in chronological order, it seemed like a good opportunity to return to the official Madness Message Board to see what was being posted.  Although there was a great variety in the subject matter of the posts; some people saying a quick hello, others asking when something was going to be released, one major trend were the suggestions for the band’s 25th anniversary celebrations.  Suggestions ranged from holding another Madstock (this seemed unlikely as we were already halfway through April, and nothing had been announced), to an intimate party at The Forum. One Madness fan even suggested the band play in Bristol, with the reasons that the last time they played there was 1985, and the fact that it cost about £5 to cross the bridge to Wales to see them in Cardiff.
Mr. Smash was obviously in need of a few posing questions to be fired his way as the following short message revealed; “Ha ha ha, he he he………can we have some hard and testing questions please?”
Well, what were you waiting for? We urged you to send those questions in to him, and looked forward to the sarcastic and confusing answers!
Rob Hazelby


Following on from recent news of charity online picture auctions, here’s Steve with news of a recent get together, and his facebook group’s grand total.

“Well, our Mad Chat Charity Gig at The Dublin Castle (The legendary music venue) was a roaring success!

We had two fantastic Ska bands playing for us. Huge thanks to the Acoustic Skadom, from West Yorkshire and the Evil Turkeys, from South Wales, joined by newcomer Ska’Lett.

A fantastic time was had by all and the backroom was full of hot and sweaty bodies. There was cake brought in by some lovely ladies and we were also broadcast live across the globe, thanks to the guys from Krystal Radio and of course some ska tracks by our in house DJ, ‘Belfast Eric’!

We made over £2,500 for Cancer Research UK. That’s what makes Mad Chat a unique Madness Fans Community on Facebook, bringing fans together with real friendships formed.

If you would like to join our Madness Fans community, please go to www.madchat.co.uk ”

Steve Farthing.


Last year MIS subscriber Richard Gunn, took part in a charity fundraising run, which we promoted in one of our weekly emails. Well, Richard is doing it again, and would really appreciate it if you could dig deep and show your support.

Here’s Richard;

“I’m taking part in the Birch’s 34th Annual Run on 03/05/2014 to raise money for LCFC Foxes Foundation and I’d really appreciate your support. I will be running Full Laps of the LCFC pitch completing as many as I can in 90 minutes.

The Foxes Foundation five chosen Charities are:

· Breast Cancer Care

· The Laura Centre

· Macmillan Cancer Support

· Samaritans Leicester

· LCFC Defibrillator Appeal

Donating to my JustGiving page is easy – just follow this link and click Donate:


JustGiving sends your donation straight to LCFC Foxes Foundation so it’s a quick and safe way to donate.

Or Text: GUNN61 with the amount i.e. £5 to 70070

Thank you for your support,

Rich Gunn – Madness fan since 1979


Recent nutty posting from Twitter, Facebook and other online sources.

SUGGS (@SuggsMcPherson)

Apr 7
Peaches RIP f**kin Tradegy

Apr 5
Yeah thanks to all in Wakefield. Great night! Off to sunny? Southport!


Please sign this petition to keep the brighton hippodrome open as a venue.


Woody (@Magicbrothers3)

Apr 12 
Thought I’d Tweet to say, “I’ve got nothing to say” How inane

Andy Neal LTSO

The LTSO are to return to the bat cave this month to experimentally rehearse some tunes and I’m alright with this!! Very much looking forward to getting in there…. Nice one

Darren Fordham LTSO

Apr 4
Festival season is coming and me and the boys are playing loads of ’em…Gonna be a great summer.

Suggs McPherson Facebook


Win a Pair of tickets for Suggs’ West End Performance of My Life Story June 1st 2014 at The Garrick, London
Simply answer this question in a comment on the facebook page and a winner will be selected at random on 30.04.14
Question: Madness played the closing ceremony to The Olympics in which city?


In the next week or so we hope to bring you news of a free track from The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Don’t forget that you can pre order (for less than a quid!), the new single, Bangarang, from iTunes or Amazon.

In the lead-up to the single release Lee will be making the free track available for download. We’ll have more details on that once the information is confirmed.

Film news news now, and this coming Saturday (19th April)  at 1pm, Madness’ Take it or Leave it film is to be screened at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square. Tickets are available now at: www.princecharlescinema.com/indexreview.php?display=2624

As part of the London International Ska Festival, the film was screened at The House of Fun weekender last year and for press in Camden’s Odeon last year, when it was re-released. But this Saturday sees the film receive its first public screening in London in since it’s original release!

And finally, don’t forget to get your votes in for our “Miss MIS”.  She’s trying to win Miss Durham, so please vote for Lucy Moore by clicking here:


Until next week, take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Ian Taylor, Steve Farthing and Richard Gunn)

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 780 – Sunday 20th April to Saturday 26th April 2014