Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 823 – Sunday 15th February to Saturday 21st February 2015

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 823 – Sunday 15th February to Saturday 21st February 2015

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Evening Madheads!

Earlier this week Union Square Music called the much anticipated Grandslam “The UK’s biggest ever Madness outside tour”.

To ensure that you’re in pole position for the full and correct details of The Grandslam, make sure you’re signed up here…


In the meantime, check out the all-new Grandslam Madness promo video right here…


As always, as soon as we hear more on this we’ll be sure to let you know.

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.




March 12th – The Emirates Stadium – This week “The Gig Company” has announced Madness appearing at Suggs & Friends charity event in the line up (see below).

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


*NEW* 24th – NEAR JAZZ EXPERIENCE + Support + DJ
Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT *Free*
Visit: https://www.facebook.com/NearJazzExperience


The Silencerz ft. Lee Thompson


21st The Black Horse, Barnet, (With Support from Reece)


*NEW* 9th The Junction, Cambridge, Support Terry Hall (DJ set)


Clang Group (Clive Langer) EP launch gigs


18th – The Dublin Castle Camden
19th – The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, N1 0XT


Deaf School

Deaf School will be in Tokyo during the month of March, promoting an album on Japanese label Hayabusa Landings.


*NEW* 5th – The Garage, Highbury, London


Henry’s Heroes

*NEW* Featuring Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe, Andy Fairweather – Low, Tim Hinkley, Carol Grimes, Tony O’Malley, Suggs, Graham Parker

Date: Tuesday 17th March

Venue: The Half Moon, Putney, London

A benefit in aid of the elegant and versatile Irish guitarist, Henry McCullough, early member of Wings, joining Paul McCartney for his first post-Beatles tour, and playing that gliding solo on “My Love.” He backed up Joe Cocker for a while, playing with him at Woodstock (the only Irish musician to do so), and was a member of Roy Harper’s band Chips.

An all star band featuring:

Tim Hinkley – Keyboards/Vocals
Mel Collins – Saxophone/Flute
Bob Tench – Vocals/Guitar
John “The Admiral” Halsey Drums
Neil Hubbard – Guitar
Steve Simpson – Guitar/Vocals
Jerome Rimson – Bass

With performances from Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe & Andy Fairweather – Lowe, Suggs, Carol Grimes and Tony O’Malley

Tickets are priced at £40.00, plus £1.60 shipping/handling. These can be ordered from:





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.


The Clang EP – 4 Track EP (Released Feb 16th on domino records)

Clive Langer revisits Shipbuilding, his legendary track with Robert Wyatt and 3 other new Langer group songs.





Here we have the tracklisting for the forthcoming album Woody Woodgate – In Your Mind. ETA APRIL 2015


1.   This is it

2.   Magic Train

3.   Something

4.   In Your Mind

5.   Come To Me

6.   The Beach

7.   We’re All Going To Brighton

8.   Friday Night To Sunday Morning

9.   Everything Is Sunshine

10. Flower

11. Mother

12. Shaman

13. Thank You


The release Features13 tracks (11 songs & 2 ambient pieces), and a new band line up, with Dan Shears taking on vocals, a sweet sound, fitting into the Woodgate brother’s song writing style perfectly. This completes the new team who are set up for a second departing magic train ride, this time setting off from the same place in a new direction.

Tracks 2 -5 & 7 – 9 & 11 capture tracks first debuted at live gig at the Dublin Castle a year ago. 9,10,12,13 entirely new songs.




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

Dublin Castle in New Web Comedy Series

Thought you’d like to know that Camden’s Dublin Castle pub, one of London’s most-loved music venues which gave Madness their first break, is the subject of a new comedy web series which follows three misfits who attempt to run a failing music venue with hilarious consequences.

Supercreeps trailer


Supercreeps episode one


Harry Cymbler

Director, Hot Cherry, www.hotcherry.co.uk


Clive Langer on Madness, Ship Building and Clang group.

Clive Talks to Cerys Matthews on BBC6


Super-producer Clive Langer talks about writing Shipbuilding, and fronting his own band – The Clang Group – after 35 years of producing iconic albums for other dreamers (including Elvis Costello, Madness, Morrissey, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and The Teardrop Explodes).


Win a Signed One Step Beyond Re-Master

To win one of two CD/DVD editions of the 35th anniversary editions simply pop along to the following address and enter your details into the form:



Spraying the 70s: the pioneers of British Graffiti


From Malcolm McLaren and the Angry Brigade to Madness and Heathcote Williams by way of George Melly’s garage, a much-admired and now reissued photo book traces the story of Britain’s graffiti pioneers

In the mid-1970s, a teenager called Lee Thompson had a fleeting moment of notoriety in the press. Inspired by an article he’d seen in a Sunday paper about nascent graffiti culture in New York, he had begun spraypainting his nickname, Kix, around north London “out of boredom”, often in the company of three friends who called themselves Mr B, Cat and Columbo. They usually confined their activities to “dilapidated buildings, walls made of corrugated iron, smashed-up cars, and nothing on people’s property”. But, he admits, they didn’t always stick to their own rules. Once, they sprayed their names on a garage door. “And a few weeks later, George Melly wrote a piece in the Guardian or the Times saying, ‘I came out of my garage recently to find that people had sprayed graffiti on it. If I ever catch that Mr B, Kix and Columbo, I’m going to kick their arses.’

“So that was our claim to fame,” says Thompson today, his graffiti career long ended, his real claim to fame being his subsequent career as

the frequently airbound saxophonist, in Madness formed by his pseudonymous friend Mr B aka Mike Barson. That would have been the end of the story, save for the fact that, not long afterwards, Thompson discovered that photographs of his nickname, daubed on a wrecked car and a wall in Kentish Town, had appeared in a book called The Writing on the Wall.

To Thompson’s considerable surprise, the introduction’s author was George Melly. “How about that?” he laughs. “One minute he wants to kick my arse, next he’s praising me!”


Madness frontman Suggs says losing sister-in-law inspired cancer charity gala


“Because my wife had beaten cancer, we sort of assumed Alanah would pull through too. But as she got worse and was confined to her hospital bed, we had some very poignant times.” He said Alanah “became very philosophical”.  “The doctors told us she wouldn’t make it through the week, so we all began to say our goodbyes,” he said.

“But she ended up fighting a little longer, and when we all came back to the hospital she sang Help Me Make It Through The Night to us. And we all got another chance to say goodbye.

“She was such a big part of our lives. She radiated the most extraordinary, non-judgemental joy.”





Amid all the excitement about Deaf School’s new album, of which more news next week, Clive Langer’s band The Clang Group launches its new EP on Domino Records with a gig at the Islington in North London a week today, on Thursday 19 February.

Gig tickets are just £8.96 including booking fees for which you buy Clive, a de-frocked Rev Max Ripple, Steve ‘Average’ Lindsey standing in on bass for Malcolm Lunan, Gregg Braden on drums and the most excellent Andy Mackay of Roxy Music on a variety of saxophones. Special guest joining The Clang Group for a song or two, as often he does, will be Suggs – and no doubt Miss Bette Bright won’t be far away!

Go to www.theclanggroup.com or www.deafschoolmusic.com to buy gig tickets and order the EP.

Clive would love you to join him and the band on their special night!  Doors at 7pm!

See you there!




As a long time subscriber to MIS Online, other than contributing to the Madchart and many of the competitions, this is the first time I’ve had the need to contact you directly.

I don’t know if this will be of any interest to yourselves at MIS or any of your subscribers, but back in January a 10 Channel Mixing Desk came up for auction on Ebay. See Web link:


As you’ll see it went unsold but the interesting thing is it was advertised as ‘Hand-Built for HH Rehearsal Studio – ex-Madness’.

The text reads: ‘When Madness bought the old HH pro music equipment company building in Holloway Road to start their Zarjazz record label, the desk was made redundant – a piece of music history. ‘

The reason for bringing this up is that I actually have the item in question.

A pal of mine contacted the seller once the auction had finished to discuss purchase of other items of his, and bought the desk for the £25.00 asking price.

The story was that the seller’s good friend was working at said studio prior to Madness’s arrival and actually remained on site in some capacity whilst Madness took residency. I have no name to put against this individual or no accurate timescale of events, other than at some stage the unit was considered surplus to requirements and said individual was lucky enough to be given permission to take it off their hands. Feeling is this was somewhere in the region of 12 months or so after Madness moved in. Whether Madness made use of the unit I don’t know, but my guess is there’s a very good chance they either had a play or even utilised it more fully.

All very vague and tenuous I know, but I thought I’d let you have the facts as I know them and hope it will be of interest to you. Maybe you or a reader can either qualify or substantiate some or all of this information. I have photographs should you want to see them. The unit has been cleaned up and looks in great nick. Yet to test it out for performance as we have to source a connector plug lead, but this is in hand.

Many thanks &regards

Kevin Golby


If anyone reading the MIS can provide any further information to help back up the information Kevin has please do drop the MIS an email.

Rob Hazelby




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 563 – Sunday 14th February – Saturday 20th February 2010

Following last week’s lean news issue we were hopeful that things would be a little different this issue, but it wasn’t to be. We were still scrabbling around for anything newsworthy to report.

Jonathan Young made a return (albeit a temporary one) to the MIS to report on the MIS Radio Players’ Fan Club Cassette release, which he declared as being the silliest Madness album ever.

“Coming from the original fan club, in a cartoon old time radio pose sleeve designed by Suggs, the recording was mainly an attempt at a comedy album, something akin to Monty Python’s 70’s output on The Charisma label, but it had it’s musical moments too.

It was presented as being a cultural recording of light entertainment radio. A parody of dusty Radio 2,3 & 4’s output perhaps at a time when the band were the cool kings of Radio 1 in the pop world.”

Next, it was over to Retro Madness and their latest deal. This week they’d added a selection of 12 different chrome and enamel 2Tone related hard metal badges to their inventory. The badges, were all priced at a very reasonable £2.50 each or less. Bargain!

Following on from Jonathan’s MIS Radio Players’ article he was kind enough to provide us with the lyrics to some of the songs he’d dug out. If you had the desire to sing along to them karaoke style, now was your chance.

Moving on, and we passed the writing duties over to Emma Southerby, who’d kindly sent in a detailed review of the Our House Musical which she’d caught in Ilford only the night before.

Emma rounded off her review by saying;

“All in all a fantastic production and to my mind the modest budget nature of it placed it far closer to the Madness charm portrayed by their early 80s videos, than perhaps the major official productions achieved. The only sad fact is that such an enormous amount of work was done for a show that ultimately was only put on for 4 performances, so I do hope they have plans to take the show to other theatres. The show was a near sell out for every performance (better than even the official UK tour achieved) and so I’m really glad for everyone involved with it, that it was such a massive success.”

We brought this issue to a close with brief details of a Madness European vacation planned by a few fans. Running from the 13th to the 16th of May the tour would take in Paris and Amsterdam, and other interested Maddies were invited to join them.

10 years ago…

Issue number 301 – Sunday 13th February to Saturday 19th February 2005

If the emails we’d received from a number of you were anything to go by, it looked like the MIS Online site revamp was well worth waiting for.

The downloads section was (perhaps not surprisingly) proving to be very popular indeed, as were the archives, where past issues of the bulletins could be downloaded.

It was also nice to see people starting to use the forums, too.

Already there had been some very interesting posts, and the `meets` folder seemed to be proving popular.

MIS Online web site webmaster, Simon Roberts said at that time that he hoped to upload something new to the downloads section every week, in an effort to keep things `interesting`. This weeks new addition to the downloads section was footage of an early `Invaders` gig. There was no sound, but it was wonderful stuff.

A few months back BBC Radio 6 aired a show presented by Pauline Black of The Selecter, entitled ‘The Two Tone Movement’. For those of you who’d missed it, the BBC had kindly made the series available for streaming from their web site. Being the helpful people were are, we saved you the trouble of searching for the footage by listing the relevant links.

Elsewhere in the issue it was time to check the bank balances to see if you’d be able to make it to the Butlins Madness 80’s Weekend, which was to be held on the 25th – 28th February, in Sunny Bognor Regis. At the time of typing, Maddies booked in to go were Richard, Emma & John Spate, Gary Saunders, Clive Bulmer, Thomo (Andy Thomas) and Thomo’s mate Paul.

Moving on to Madness offshoot, Crunch, and we were pleased to announce the support bands for their next gig at The 100 Club on the 1st of April. The band would be supported by Jag and Stiff Naked Fools.

Always out in the field and happy to travel many a mile to review a performance from one of the many Madness tribute outfits was one Jonathan Young. Jon had recently returned from seeing shut Up perform at The Marsden Rattler on the 5th of February, and after having a week or so to recover, was able to give us a detailed lowdown of the evening’s proceedings. Jonathan returned later in the same issue for a review of another Shut Up gig – this time at the Head of Steam in Newcastle City Centre. This boy sure got around!

15 years ago…

Issue number 39 – Sunday 13th February to Saturday 19th February 2000

Wednesday 16th February 2000 would have been an exciting day for Madness fans as the lads had organised a rally to promote the forthcoming single (due out on the 28th of the month). As this was a Madness related event, it was obvious that whatever was planned would be as wild and as wacky as possible. And as such, they had enlisted the help of a red double decker bus, a tank, placards, posters and some bizarre ideas.

All that was missing was the fans. And so, Madness were inviting Maddies from far and wide to come and join them on this exciting day out across London. The only rules for attendees were that everyone had to come wearing black suits, trilbies, black glasses, so that they’d really look the part for Fred’s heavies. Phil Jupitus, GLR and even Capital and Virgin Radio stations were all taking part. To make things more exciting, the BBC were also invited and would be filming the day’s events.

The plans for the day were:

A procession at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park at 1.30pm before moving on to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Gold Square & Marylebone.

Being the generous people we know Madness to be, 40 places were up for grabs on the bus. All you had to do was get in touch with Adele Hargreaves of the TMML and she’d try and get you a place on board.

Things were obviously well underway in the planning stages and the online Madness community were, as you would expect, darn excited.

A few days later, with things out of the band’s and Virgin’s hands the lads had to update their site with a small bulletin:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances the ‘The Vote For Fred’ rally day on Wednesday 23rd February has been cancelled. Thanks for your loyal support… do not fear though, soon coming to the site we have the new Madness video as well as some goodies up to the release of the next single ‘Drip Fed Fred’ due out on the February 28th.”

Adele Hargreaves of the TMML reported back with further information..

“Sadly, due to several unforeseen circumstances, the rally on the 16th February has had to be called off. The councils involved were rather off the idea & now there’s the possibility of a march in the area, as this usually brings traffic to a halt, the police were understandably worried about the havoc that a cortege including a tank & bus & scooter club would cause.

The band are absolutely gutted by this & the girls at Virgin had really poured their hearts into it. Everyone is truly choked by it. But the day will not be a complete loss & I know there are a lot of you still coming, & I have told the band that you are still coming just to help them out, please know that its truly appreciated. I will mail each of those still coming to let you know what we’ll be doing instead.”

So, things all being well, it looks like something would still happen!

Having decided that his local US radio station just weren’t playing enough Madness and supporting the lads during their comeback, subscriber James Clauser decided to do something about it and donate one of his `Johnny The Horse` CDs to the station, with the idea of getting the Magnificent Seven some well-deserved airplay Stateside.

It was too early to get any reactions from the listeners, but if we heard anything we promised to let you know what they thought.

It was time to get those video recorders set-up once again as this coming Friday (February 18th) would see Madness again playing on Channel Four’s `TFI Friday` show. Rumours were also going around suggesting that the almighty Ian Dury would also be making a welcome appearance with the boys to promote the new single, `Drip Fed Fred`.

Unfortunately for our non UK-based Maddies, seeing the boys on their terrestrial TV was almost nigh-on impossible. However, on Tuesday 10th February, the Spanish Maddies were treated to a rare television airing of The Magnificent Seven. Monica Palacin of the Total Madness Mailing List reported that;

“They made two live performances: “Johnny The Horse” and “It must be love”. The first (“JTH”) was good, but they played it very quickly, and I think it could be better. But “It must be love”… PERFECT!,

It’s one of the best live performance that I’ve ever seen.”

Going further afield now, and Ashley Moore told us that;

“Suggs is getting sent by Virgin Radio to Hong Kong to do a roving report on all the goings on in the former British now Chinese run country. Regular reports will be broadcast from Suggs with the majority during Chris Evans`s breakfast show.  As far as I know it kicks off Monday 14th till the end of the week.”

On to the articles and we had a number of short articles from Eden Online supplied by Mike Hearne and Complete and Utter Madness. Further on in, and the ever-active `Wozza` had competition details surrounding the sleeve-art for the never-released Suggs single `So Tired`. We had a wonderful story painstakingly typed up by Jerney telling us all how she met Lee Thompson and the rest of the band at one of this year’s Christmas shows. And if all that wasn’t enough, the almighty Vince Foley was back with further words of wisdom in his review of the excellent `Nutty Sounds 3`.

Rob Hazelby




Recent snippets from the Twitterverse and Facebook that have caught our interest…

Spitalfields Trust‏@SpitalfieldsT

@MadnessNews hope to see you and @suggsgmcpherson at the launch tomorrow night of our exhibition #savenortonfolgate


Darren Fordham.

“Friends of the Ska Orchestra, the news is good. New songs are abound, and sounding great. Rehearsals are coming and talk is of a new record….”


Carl Smyth, Facebook

“Hope that you are all enjoying 2015 so far, it’s been incredibly busy over the last couple of months, but news is imminent…so come visit www.cathalsmyth.co.uk, and the Cathal Smyth page next week when all will be revealed!

Chas x”

“A belated Happy New Year to you all!

It has been an incredibly busy couple of months, with so much going on behind the scenes, and now it is nearly time to tell you all the news and about the music you can hear next week… but not quite yet!

So check back here next week, and over at www.cathalsmyth.co.uk and of course do sign up to the mailing list at:


Love & Light






That’s almost it for this week’s issue of the MIS, but before we go we’ve got a few final bits and pieces for you.

First-up, and news in from Radio Riddler reveals that dub mixes of their Purple Reggae album may soon be shared. The album, which was released last year, featured Suggs’ version of the Prince track “Let’s go Crazy”.

Next, and during the past week Carl Smyth has been in London, taking part in radio interviews. We’ll have more information on these in future issues.

Moving on, and we urge you to keep your eyes peeled this week for Madness news in the Daily Mirror. A capital area festival announcement, and just maybe that big Fat Sam’s Grandslam.

And finally, we’re pleased to report that two great mad meets was held yesterday – the one in Camden and another in Colindale. We’ll have the full lowdown in next week’s issue, including the full lowdown on the Skiffs Skats and Silencerz gigs, including Suggs’ stage invading tribute to Mr Hasler.

Until next week, take care, and have a good one!


Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Daren Fordham, Mark Adamson Harry Cymbler and Kevin Golby)

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