Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 816 – Sunday 28th December to Saturday 3rd January 2014/15

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 816 – Sunday 28th December to Saturday 3rd January 2014/15

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Happy New Year Madheads!

In 2014 we were celebrating 1979 rather a lot, weren’t we? Invaders! One Step Beyond 35! Return of the Mummy’s Boy on the Madhead tour and much more besides

Well, January is almost upon us, so it’s time to say goodbye to 2014/1979, and a big hello to 2015/1980, then.

This Friday (Jan 2nd) the BBC’s Top of The Pops Story reaches 1980, and you can catch this at 9:00pm on BBC4. Naturally, the production team interviewed Suggs as part of the documentary.

The Big Hits show follows at 10:00pm, and will feature classic Madness clips from the show in that year. You might want to begin your year with these two shows before the regular programs from 1980 start to screen everything from My Girl up to Embarrassment during the year’s forthcoming full episode broadcasts.

January 16th is also a date to put in your new 2015 diary as well. We think that this will be when Suggs is appearing on QI, the comedy knowledge quiz show, on BBC2. Tune in and see how well he does.

Back to this week, and as the bells of Big Ben prepare to ring out 2014 we begin part one of our three part lookback over the last 12 months.

So, sit back, grab that glass of sherry, a few mince pies, and read on.

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.




Operation Grand Slam… Summer 2015


Do you expect us to talk?   More information coming soon from Madness.co.uk on a large number of events, subscribe to official madnews with your email and hear first.


November 2015

November 20th – 23rd 2014 – Minehead – The House Of Fun Weekender Five

Early bird tickets on sale now




March 2015

12th March – An Evening With Suggs and Friends, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK. Held at The Emirates Stadium. At £160 a ticket we’re not sure if many MIS readers will be attending! http://www.thegigcompany.org/events/pcuk2015/


Near Jazz Experience

January 27th


Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT *Free*

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/NearJazzExperience




The Black Friday and Boxing Day sales have been and gone. With a new year upon us Madness fans can now take advantage of the January sales, where the Madstore are currently offering between 15% and 50% off stock!


Brand new T-Shirts, Merchandise


There are laurel leaf official polo’s in white, navy and black. T-shirts for all three beers; Night Boat, Lovestruck and Gladness. There are black laurel Beanie hats with the M crown logo, a new royal logo like Fez for gigs, blue and charcoal House Of Fun T-Shirts and a Mad Head design mug.

The black and red Dangermen Vs Invaders shirts are brilliant; half designed on the original 2004 Dangermen poster look with added flying saucers, making a really nice retro feel to the whole design.  There is a blue Madhead Picture T-shirt with a slogan on, and some Oui, Oui, Si, Si merchandise still available.


2014 – Tour Programme. 


Now only £8, and coming bundled with a link to 3 free Lee Thompson downloads, plus Rag and Bone Man download, from Madness.

It really is a really nice looking and well written Mad-Head little bible. One all collectors should get hold of.


Terry Edwards – One Step Beyond Book

It’s 35 years this year. Time to plug Terry Edwards Definitive book on the album. Get it for Christmas. It’s brilliant.

30% off “One Step Beyond…” – Terry’s book on Madness:

UK – http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/madness-one-step-beyond-9780826429063/

USA – http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/madness-one-step-beyond-9780826429063/

Australia – http://www.bloomsbury.com/au/madness-one-step-beyond-9780826429063/


50% off older T-shirt stock.

If you’re happy to add some older items to your collection the Official Madness store has some up to 50% off their original asking price.





Items in the press that have caught our eye over the past week or so…

Nutty Boys Take Night Boat to Nostalgia


The Last Rag And Bone Man continues the band’s fine tradition of writing poignant love songs to London.

Then it was back to the hits.

The Prince — the band’s ode to ska hero Prince Buster and their first single in 1976 — featured a star turn from its writer Thompson, a honking sax solo set to the most unlikely use of strobe lights you’re ever likely to see.

The Prince Buster connection was continued with a cover of his Girl Why Don’t You, while You Said, a track from 1980, got a rare outing.

There was plenty of skanking to be done and the Odyssey crowd obliged, but there’s more to Madness than ska. One of the band’s best late-career singles — Lovestruck — was an oddly touching depiction of drunkenness, while Wings Of A Dove added a little calypso flavour to proceedings, and plenty of lusty singing along.


Madness, The O2 – music review


In middle age, the nutty boys are in danger of becoming respectable, so it was reassuring to witness the antic presence of saxophonist Lee Thompson. He played the honking Night Boat to Cairo while dressed in a boiler suit and goggles that suggested he was planning an evening of pest control.

This is not the One Direction perfume launch,” Suggs added for clarification, though Madness were once as big as any boy band. Still popular enough to play arena tours.

However, there was not much sign of Madness as a contemporary creative force; new song The Last Rag and Bone Man was an off-kilter tune that could have been written in 1981.


Q Magazine

Madness are also in Q Magazine Cash for Questions. January cover date issue.

In Cash for Questions….

When was the last time your girl was mad at you? 

Chris: “Make a list!”

Mark: ” We’ll leave for half an hour and let Chris answer this one.”

Mike: “What did I do right? Maybe that’s a better question.”

Woody: “My eldest daughter was pissed off with me the other day because I ate her pasta that was in the Fridge. There you go one of my girls was mad at me.”




As another year draws to a close we take time out to look back at some of the high and low points over the past 12 months.

This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, looks at the first four months of 2014.

January 2014

The first few moments of 2014 were rung-in in style by our favourite band, as they headlined Dublin’s new year festivities. With a 10,000 capacity crowd a decent number of fans were able to see-in the new year in the company of Camden’s finest. The rest of us had to make to do with a time-limited stream of RTE’s concert footage. Better than nothing, right?

On the same night The Ska Orchestra also managed to appear on the now legendary Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, with Lee performing alongside Dawn Penn. How did Lee manage this and the Dublin gig? Well, it turned out that Jools’ show was recorded mid December.

Our first bulletin of the year brought with it sad news, as we reported that the legendary Crown and Goose pub in Camden Town had finally closed its doors. The wrecking ball was now looming on this once famous and extremely popular drinking establishment. A sad day indeed.

On a much happier note rumours had reached us suggesting that a number of Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gigs would soon be announced for March. We just had to sit back and wait for the dates to be revealed.

January was also the month where we started our year long coverage of the forthcoming Mad Not Cancer album. Due for release on June 23rd, this fundraising release in aid of the Teenage Cancer trust saw numerous bands come together to perform a selection of classic Madness tracks in the band’s own musical styles.

Suggs continued to add further dates to his forthcoming One Man Show tour this month, with dates now running through the entirety of April, and through two thirds of the month of May. If you fancied spending some real money you could have bought yourself a ticket to the “Suggs and Friends” evening, in aid of pancreatic cancer. A £150 donation would see you added to the ticket-holder list.

This month we sent out a special edition of the MIS, as we discovered that The Magic Brothers would be staging five performances at Camden’s Dublin Castle. Running through March and April, tickets were priced at a mere £10, and were sure to sell out quickly.

One freebie also reared its head this month. As a new year’s present Union Square Music had kindly uploaded the entire “Take it or Leave it” movie to YouTube. If you’d yet to add this classic Madness biopic to your collection then this was your chance to see what you’d missed.

January came to a close with the release of the MIS Online iPhone app. Synching with the MIS web site, the app designed by Simon Roberts pulled-in the latest issues of the bulletin, current gig and ticket information, music and videos plus links to Madness related web sites, Twitter feeds and Facebook.

February 2014

The second month of the year brought news of a forthcoming single release. No, not a new Madness single, but one from Lee Thompson and his almighty Ska Orchestra. Entitled “Bangarang”, the single was due for release on March 24th.

Meanwhile, in Magic Brothers land, not only were the band getting ready for their short residency stint at The Dublin Castle, they announced that plans were well underway for their next album. Did they ever stop?

It wasn’t just the Woodgate brothers who were keeping themselves busy. This month it was revealed that Lee, already hard at work with his Ska Orchestra, would be performing alongside his son Daley in the “Lee Thompson Band” on April 24th.

Towards the end of February we managed to catch Woody for 5 minutes from his busy schedule and interview him for an exclusive MIS article. In the interview Woody revealed that the forthcoming Magic Brothers gigs would see around half the first album being performed, and that the second album would be called “In Your Mind”.

March 2014

The days of Madness music videos seemed to be a thing of the past, but that didn’t stop The Ska Orchestra releasing their own video this month. Released online in the run-up to the forthcoming Bangarang single this was a really polished and stylish production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntG85H7ywJg&feature=youtu.be

Remember the old M Section of the official Madness web site? Open to those who bought the Norton Folgate box set, this area of the band’s site had long seen an update. That was until this month when a whole host of extras were added.

Delights includes “Extra Practice Makes Perfect” tracks from the Liberty era, “Dad’s Desk” live albums from the classic years, and the Axecam motion pictures from Madness on “Later…”, before the BBC moved!

It was all there for those of us in the M circle who had the log-in details from the box sets. There were even the “Do not Adjust Your Nut Tour “ live downloads archived there, too. You could also find the “Behind the Scenes” of the “Sugar and Spice” video and Ambers mix of “On The Town”, from the original download album. Very nice.

This month the band continued to add further dates to their growing list of gigs for 2015, as March saw two Dutch dates in June added to those already announced. With three France-based gigs in July and the Mineaheader Weekender in November already announced, the band were starting to get a decent run of dates planned.

April 2014

In true MIS style April began with another one of our oh-so-obvious April Fool’s jokes. This year we announced that The Magic Brothers were following in the footsteps of Madness by launching their own beer. Titled “Sunshine”, we revealed that the ale would only be available at the first two of their forthcoming Dublin Castle gigs.

Over the course of the MIS’ history we’d reported on countless venues closing as the march of progress trundled ever onward. This month however, we did the opposite and instead announced that long term fan Harry Wandsworth had realised a dream. What was his dream? The dream of creating a Nutty Bar. Opening in Marbella, Spain, and with DJ Rhoda Dakar on the decks, it got off to a flying start.

The band themselves had been very supportive, sending various items over to dot around the venue, and Lee was due to do his own bit for the opening later in the month.

With the Magic Brothers tour in full swing, it would come as no surprise to learn that the (glowing) fan reviews were coming in thick and fast. The fans were having a fantastic time, and it looked like the band were, too.

This month Suggs also went out on the road, as his One Man Show got underway. To mark this event Universal Music announced that they’d shortly be releasing a compilation of Suggs’ solo tracks. Information regarding this release was limited, so at this point we were unable to reveal what if any extras this would feature.

Towards the end of the month we reported that Take it or Leave it returned to the cinema in April, albeit for one day and one venue only. The legendary Madness movie was screened at one of the cinemas in Leicester Square on the Bank Holiday weekend, as we were pleased to see it get the audience laughing.

Next week

Next week we take look back at May to August 2014 and report on just some of the highlights of those four months.

Robert Hazelby




If you thought that Christmas was all over you’ll be pleased to learn that we’ve got you a nice little (and slightly late!) stocking filler.

For those of you who don’t celebrate it, we celebrated Booting Day pn December 26th over at Madness Bootlegs; the facebook group dedicated to the free sharing of all non-commercial mad rarities, live tracks, TV tracks etc, and the odd little rarity, too.

Check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/531420560298637

Here’s the message we posted-up to the group on Boxing Day;

“Merry Xmas Booting Day to all on Madness bootlegs. Here’s a rarity we played during our MIS Madchart shows that we dont think has ever been on the internet before. It’s the full mix of Michael Caine’s B Side. 30 years old this coming month of January.  

You can hear the drum sticks intro on this and the full studio mix as recorded which was faded like many songs are to keep it short and sweet for the record release. But here you can hear a few extra lines of lyrics and a dead stop ending in this longer mix. 

I hope everyone here of course owns the original single, or the USM 2CD Keep Moving Album. In which case this song is an alternative back up of the file, for your merry Christmas. Otherwise if you don’t own the original, then you go on Santa’s bad list if you download this  ;-) ‘cus you really should by now own such a great album as Keep Moving. If you don’t know the original, this version really wont mean anything extra to you anyway. runs 3.35 when the original track was 3minutes. Enjoy.  If you think there’s something, could it be, that this Christmas, there is. Just a little.


Jonathan Young”




This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.

5 years ago…

Issue Number 556 – Sunday 27th December – Saturday 2nd January 09/10

As with previous years, we found that this Christmas week has been light on the old news front, but regardless, we still had a packed issue for you.

Chris Carter-Pegg an Emma Southerby were here for yet another one of their Retro Madness weekly offers for MIS subscribers, and a chance for those who missed the previous weeks’ offer to take advantage of the discount price.

We took a second and final look at 2009, with our July to December lookback, and we felt you’d be surprised at just how busy the year has been for Madness and their fans.

Elsewhere, and Madness fan Claire Riou journeyed all the way from France to see Madness perform at the O2 Arena. She was now safely back at home, and had been kind enough to let us know how her short (but unexpectedly extended) London stay was.

Moving on, and Jonathan Young was back with information relating to an early version of the track “Mad Not Mad”. Previously he’d told us that it was originally titled “Bird”, and now he’d returned with some of the early lyrics.

If that wasn’t enough, we went back 5 and 10 years to see what was going on in the world of Madness half a decade and one decade ago.

We also had news in from Steve Bunyan of Union Square Music;

“Just a quick note to let you know that Total Madness passed sales of 100K over the counter in the UK today (23rd Dec) – meaning that the band sold in excess of 250,000 sales across Total, Complete, Liberty and One Step Beyond – an incredible achievement”

As Chris Carter-Pegg pointed points out – this meant that the album has managed to achieve Gold status, for crossing the 100,000 sales barrier.

With 100,000 sales of Total Madness, and another 150,000 sales spread over Complete, Liberty and One Step Beyond, it was clear to see that the band had one of their most successful 12 months in many years.

Whether the band would be able to keep up the momentum in 2010 remained to be seen. Regardless of how many albums and singles the band would go on to sell in the forthcoming year, with gigs already being booked us fans were certain to have another exciting 12 months ahead of us.

10 years ago…

Issue number 294 – Sunday 26th December to Saturday 1st January 04/05

In this last (and short!) MIS of 2004 we took our second and final look at 2004 in our annual lookback, where we reviewed July to December.

The real biggie this week however, was that Madness had decided to give us a really special Christmas present – The much-loved and previously unreleased track `Perfect Place`, which they’d made available for download.

The blurb from the official site read;

“You have found The Perfect Place: Recorded at Liquidator Studios in early 1985 – The Perfect Place is a forgotten gem. It was written by Suggs and Chris, part of a batch of songs which included Yesterday’s Men.

Performed live on The Red Wedge Tour (minus Woody and Lee), with a battered drum machine nicknamed `Ron`. No one quite knows why it was never released in any shape or form.

From the collective memory: Ian Horne was the engineer on the session, Bosco D’Oliviera on congas.

Woody played the drums and triggered sounds. Seamus Beaghan on keyboards, Chris doubles up on piano and acoustic guitar, Bedders on bass.

This, the only version, is a rough mix which was never taken any further…

Thanx to Terry Edwards for mastering this track.

Check out his site http://www.terryedwards.co.uk/

Copyright control McPherson / Foreman

(P) & (c) 2004 Stirling Holdings Ltd

All rights reserved. Unauthorised performance or

broadcasting prohibited”

We finished off this issue by thanking everyone who had contributed to the MIS over the past 12 months, as without their help the weekly bulletins would not have been possible.

15 years ago…

Issue number 32 – Sunday 26th December to Saturday 1st January 99/00

As with most new year’s issues this one also suffered from a slight lack of news, but that didn’t meant that the issue was lacking. With the Christmas tour well and truly over, and there being no risk in us spoiling things for those yet to see the band during this tour we included a selection of some of the best reviews.

Madness had appeared in numerous charts over the past couple of months, and that trend continued with the news that VH1 and Heart 106.2 FM had placed The Magnificent Seven at number 45 in `The Millennium Honours List`. The top 100 bands and artists were listed two at a time, every hour from 6am to 6pm, from Monday December 20th to Friday December 24th.

The lads also appeared in the latest issue of `Bass Player` magazine.

Ian Peterson of the TMML reported that they had a big article on the bassists and inventions of the century, and it named some of the major bassists of each genre of music for the decade and Madness’ very own Mark (Bedders) Bedford was listed in the ska section.

On Monday 3rd January BBC1 would be airing `A Question of Pop` – a music version in the style of the ageing `A Question of Sport`. One of the team captains would be none other than Madness front man – Suggs.

A few weeks back the call went out across the net from the BBC who were after Madness fans who had followed the band since their earlier days All this was part of the 45 minute Madness documentary to be aired in early 2000. Well, around 10 Maddies turned up and about half  a day was spent filming them.

Everything was shot around Camden Town with the fans chatting about how they got into the band, the fashions and the music. Stuart Wright of the excellent `Nut Inc` fanzine took part as did a number of lads from the ska band Rough Cut, Totty, Scatty. Angela Chan of the BBC told us that everything went very well and with any luck some of it should survive the brutal editing process.

We were promised that The Madness documentary should be aired sometime in May as part of a four part series called `Young Guns go For it`.

Rob Hazelby




Ladies and Gentlemen of Specialized world, we’d like to thank you for all the message and offers of contributions to the new album. You’ve been astounding. Specialized 4 will be stupendous. We could probably fill 8 cds but unfortunately we can’t. We wish all bands/acts and supporters a great Christmas and an even better new year, and please hang on for the ride its about to get faster.

We have a few releases imminent via ITunes including the Madness Alternative EP and Billy Browns new tracks so stay tuned for those.

A look at Iconic Songs From The Clash….


Live Life Love Music Hate Cancer. See you on the other side!


Paul Willo




Madness related Tweets and Facebook posts that have caught our eye over the past week or so.

Mike Barson‏ @Mikey108

Great Gig at O2 Thanks to magnificent crowd x”


Chrissy Boy ‏@CBoyForeman

All the best to one and all. Entertainment tip: All three “On The Buses” films are on ITV 3 today!”


Shorncliffe Trust‏ @shorncliffe95th

“@suggsgmcpherson‪ thank you for your work on the single, as a small charity it means a lot to us #AllTogetherNow


Suggs @suggsgmcpherson

@jwilcock8357: @suggsgmcpherson mad use 4 a fez #madness #fez #plantpot pic.twitter.com/sF5x4bNL63 merry Christmas”


Woody Woodgate ‏@woodymadness

“Me & my dad. Please excuse the Gospel Oak football team kit. http://justgiving.com/woody-woodgate 


Posting in facebook group The invaders/Aka Smash Forum (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1570740373157838) someone asked the question “Does it annoy you when people label Madness as just Ska”

Chris Foreman. “Yeah it piss*s me off no end! Especially in the USA. We’d do interviews and all they would go on about was S*A. So I’d say “ok Our House, is that a Ska song?” We had maybe half a dozen Ska type hits. More of a pop band really. Lots of infuences/styles.” CB


Mark Bedford‏ @I_be_MarkB

“London you were a lovely. ‪@Scouting4Girls (see what I did there) – it was great to have you along. A happy tour was had by all…. X”


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra Official

“Merry Christmas from everyone at The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.”


Chrissy Boy in The Cupboard.

Asked if they would re-record Sunshine voice…

“Glad you like that song but we have no plans to record it.



Asked if they were selling or would do a hardback version of the original MIS comics…

“Dear SeanWhat a shame. I don’t have anything much here and there are not any plans to a hard cover version but you could try:http://retro-madness.co.uk/Send the bill to the removal company. See you in Newcastle.CB”




That’s almost it for our final MIS of 2014. However, before we go we urge you to pop over to the French MIS Facebook page where you can enjoy a video clip from Dutch TV.  It’s in English with Dutch subtitles, and is a little video about the 35th anniversary of the song My Girl.  Mike and his then girlfriend, Photographer Kirsten Rodgers talk about the inspiration for the song. Our thanks to all the European fans who uploaded and talked about this clip this week.

You can find the clip at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/frenchmis/

Finally, let’s end this issue by sending you over to the band’s official Facebook page, where you’ll see Mike playing Lovestruck on bottles of the beer and Night B~oat like a xylophone. Just Genius!


Have a very happy new year.

All the very best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

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