Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 826 – Sunday 8th March to Saturday 14th March 2015

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 826 – Sunday 8th March to Saturday 14th March 2015

Pinterest Google+

As another weekend draws to a close, yet another issue of the MIS Online Bulletin lands in your mailbox.

This week Scotland based Madness fans had cause for celebration when it was announced that Madness would indeed be performing North of the border as part of their forthcoming Grandslam Madness tour.

The band will be coming to Scotland on the 5th of July, when they will be performing at East Links, Montrose. Tickets for this gig can be purchased by going to: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F004E63874B504A?did=ukllc1ps

Tickets for all gigs can be purchased at the following link:


Before we crack on with this issue, we urge you to check out this short interview Suggs gave to The Daily Mirror towards the end of February. It’s only 3 minutes in length, but well worth a watch;


Now, on with the issue!

Jon YoungRob HazelbySimon RobertsPaul 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).


“Sporting theatres jumping with joy is the goal. Grandslam Madness – the greatest open air tour in the history of Rock & Roll…”


29 – Lincoln City Football Club
30 – Gloucester Rugby Club


3 Chelmsford City Racecourse
6 – Portsmouth, Fratton Park
26 – Newmarket Racecourses
27 – Doncaster Racecourse
28 – Hove, Sussex County Cricket Club


2 – Silverstone Circuit
3 – St Helens, Haydock Park Racecourse
4 – Carlisle Racecourse
*** NEW *** 5 – Montrose, East Links, Scotland
9 – Epsom Downs Racecourse
10 – Chepstow Racecourse
11 – Rhyll Outdoor Events Arena


11 – Canterbury, Kent County Cricket Club
12 – Bristol, Gloucester County Cricket Club
13 – London, On Blackheath
18 – Leeds, Yorkshire County Cricket Club
25 – Wolverhampton
26 – Chester-le-Street, Durham County Cricket Club


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


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


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


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra


24th Llangollen Town Hall, Denbrighshire, Wales  (Fringe Festival Event)


Deaf School

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


5th – The Garage, Highbury, London


Henry’s Heroes

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.


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.



A Comfortable Man – Cathal Smyth solo album.  Free Track Get it here.

Remaining limited LP’s and download. Album available May 4th.

“This is the beginning of the rest of my life musically. My first solo album ‘A Comfortable Man’ will be following in May, I do hope you enjoy ‘You’re Not Alone’; the opening track from the album; here it is as a free MP3 download: http://po.st/iBHX1j and watch the video on YouTube.  Keep checking in at www.cathalsmyth.co.uk for forthcoming details on; pre-ordering the album, availability of the Limited Edition Vinyl and of course hearing more music, all in the very near future.”  Cathal Smyth


In Your Mind – Woody Woodgate solo album.

*** New Details ***

Pre-Order Now on Amazon.


OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE A SIGNED ALBUM INSTEAD WAIT.  We’ve been told another Amazon link is coming soon linking to a signed album deal.

Album released June 1st.

(website **Now live**. Details to follow) 13 tracks with new band line up and vocalist Dan Shears.

We’re All Going To Brighton (In The Mix preview video of the new sound)






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

Madness set to play Montrose’s East Links as part of their 20-date UK tour

Suggs of Madness said: “We’re really excited to be playing in Scotland as part of biggest outdoor tour ever. The show will offer concert-goers the experience of an outdoor event with a festival vibe, set on Scotland’s stunning coastline.

Our fans are always so supportive so we’ll give them a great night when we come to Montrose.”

Madness will be performing inimitable quirky pop classics, such as ‘House of Fun’, ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘My Girl’. The band will also be performing some of their new songs; their first new recordings in three years.






The Madness “Shut Up” sleeve has always been one of my favourite designs by the legendary skinhead artist, Paul Clewley (RIP). And yet, being the annoyingly articulate perfectionist that I tend to be with my own cartoon work, I’ve always considered it a bit of a shame that the printed copies of this single cover are of rather poor quality and didn’t do the awesome artwork the justice that it deserves. So here’s my attempt of 3 days at my digital drawing board to try and rectify that matter. The colours aren’t as bright as the original, so I’ve been told, but have based them on the different shades printed on the actual single sleeve.

What I like about Paul Clewley’s approach to this artwork is the influence of Andy Warhol’s “grid art” and colours with also a noticeable similarity and homage to The Beatles “Hard Day’s Night” album sleeve. And yet it’s still different in how it represents what Madness are like, because though grid art lines are normally symetric, the horizontal lines of this sleeve design are random! It’s Madness I tell ya! As is the fact that this design ties in nicely with the theme of “Shut Up” about certain criminal activities, so these “mug shots” of the band make for a great visual introduction to what shall unfold when listening to this classic Madness hit.

On posting the above artwork and comment, our Mad friend Chris Carter-Pegg replied that he owned the original artwork. I enquired about how Paul Clewley might have executed this artwork because I felt it was made to look like a lithograph or screenprint and this was our two comment conversation on FB:-

Chris Cp I’m no expert on art techniques – by lithograph do you mean different layers of colour (like screen printing?) …anyway he hasn’t built it up with different layers of colour. By the looks of things its merely pen and ink with water colour used for the colouring. Even the letters were drawn by hand via black ink on white paper, hence them not being completely uniform. The promo posters of Shut Up are far more perfect in terms of the colours than his original, I guess because the colours would be more perfect than more variable water colour colours. Sorry if this makes no sense to you whatsoever – I’m just not an expert in such matters!

Sean Gaskin Well by the sounds of it, Paul worked pretty much the same way I did, precomputers, back in the 80s. From what you’ve described Chris, I’d guess that Paul would have photocopied and reduced Madness photos at his local Xerox centre, so that he’d have the pics in solid black & white. Then he’d trace them out on a lightbox, as he would have done with some Letraset lettering. Then he would ink it all with probably Indian ink, tho I used Rotring because it was a blacker ink. And then, like me, he probably used Windsor & Newton translucent watercolours, because they’re transparent (so won’t cover the black ink) and are vivid in colour.

Many Madness fans will already know that the late great Paul Clewley also designed the Wings Of A Dove single sleeve, but there is a Madness related design that maybe not so many of us know about? Purely by chance, while all things Mr Clewley were still fresh on my mind, I was reading through issue 16 of Stuart Wright’s 1990’s

Madness fanzine “NUT INC” (that Paul Clewley also subscribed to) and in it there was an article on Chas Smash which mentioned that in 1988, he & John Hassler considered setting up a publishing company called “Accidental Publishing” and (quote) “Paul Clewley was called in to design the logo”.

Now I know nothing about this logo, or whether it was ever actually designed, so I have emailed Paul’s sister, Wendy, to see if she can shed any light on this subject and  am waiting on her reply. In the meantime, if any MIS subscribers know anything about this logo design, then please let us know.

So to finish up here, I’ll sign off using Madness’ immortal thanks to Clewley for his Wings Of A Dove artwork that is also most fitting for all us fans that loved and  appreciated his sleeve designs…… “Paul, you lad – Thanks again, The Chasps”.

You can see the artwork on this weeks MIS blog of this issue.


Sean Gaskin




Suggs Inside in Our House           

The name Pimlico Opera is deceptive, because the company now devotes itself to working in prisons, mostly in musical theatre, with a newer project in primary schools. They’ve worked in 11 different institutions over 22 years, choosing shows that enable as many as possible to get involved, and this is their 11th different show, with a cast of 24 prisoners and 9 professionals, including Madness’ lead singer Suggs himself, who has made a big commitment to the project. There are even more than that in the band, backstage, staging and designing. This is no amateur production. It’s amateurs participating in a professional production.

Though I wouldn’t call myself a Madness fan, I much enjoyed this show in the West End 12 or so years ago. It was one of the first of the much maligned jukebox musical genre, but what makes it stand out from most of the others is the integration of songs into a heart-warming morality play which tells the story of Camden boy Joe who, on his 16th birthday, makes a mistake which changes the course of his life. At this point, he divides into two Joe’s – good and bad – and we see their parallel but very different lives unfold, with the ghost of Joe’s dad (Suggs) never far away. One Joe starts his in a correctional institute and this, plus a later period of imprisonment, is what makes this such an appropriate show to be staged here.

The seven ladies are of course professionals, but the only male professional (apart from Suggs) is Tom Child, a recent Mountview graduate, as both Joe’s – a challenge beyond the most talented of amateurs – and he is excellent. There is a lot of talent on show, with particularly good performances from Jordan Hancox and Hakeem Jacobs as Joe’s friends Emmo and Lewis and Ray Chowdhury and Joseph Williams as bad guys Reecey and Pressman. The production values are extraordinary, with a giant monopoly board set with ‘Juliet balconies’ on both sides, terrific costumes and great lighting and sound.

This is the fourth such show I’ve seen and it was even more inspirational than the others, because of the suitability of the show, the young ages of the participants and the obvious rehabilitative potential of this work. The unfortunately named ISIS Young Offenders Institute at Belmarsh isn’t the easiest place to get to and the security procedures are thorough, but the opportunity to be entertained by something this good in a place which is clearly focused on doing good more than makes up for it. As the governor said at the end, over seven weeks they are working hard, developing teamwork skills, confidence and pride. An uplifting experience.

Gareth James




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 566 – Sunday 7th March – Saturday 13th March 2010

We kicked off this week’s collection of articles with news in from the Islington Gazette who reported that Jools Holland, Chris Difford, Glenn Tilkbrook and Suggs would be gathering in Finsbury next week to celebrate the life of the capital in Song.

A spokesman for the event commented at the time;

“The life and times of the capital have been immortalised in song by many a musician, from the bustle of the music halls to the riot of the punks. Songs in the Key of London brings together singers and songsmiths of the old school and new in a celebration of songs about the city.”

Next, we moved on to Retro Madness and their current offer. This week’s clearance item was the pre-publication paperback edition of Suggs book “Suggs and The City”. The book wasn’t due to be published in paperback format until June this year, so it was a great opportunity to get your hands on one long before everyone else.

Some Big 10 news followed, as the band reported that on Saturday 21st March the band would be performing at the Dublin Castle for the first time. Not only that, but they’d been given two 1 hour slots – unheard of for a debut gig. You’d get 2 hours of live ska, plus 2 other bands and a DJ set til 2am, all for a mere £4.50! Bargain!

As previously reported Mike and Suggs collaborated once again with the Audio Bullys on the recording of their new album Higher Than Eiffel, out on March 29th. This week we reviewed the tracks featuring members of Madness.

We brought this issue to a close with a final plug for the forthcoming Big 10 gig, an d pointing you towards a YouTube link of the band in action, so you could see what your £4.50 entrance fee would get you.

10 years ago…

Issue 304 – Sunday 6th March 2005 to Saturday 12th March 2005

What started out as a mere rumour (albeit a strong one!) in last weeks’ MIS exploded into a full Summer 2005 tour earlier this week when it was announced that the information we printed in the last issue (with thanks to our under cover reporter) was true, and that the band would be taking part in a tour organised by The Forestry Commission.

This 6-date tour would see the bands performing on the following dates:

Sat 11 June High Lodge Thetford Forest, Suffolk

Sun 12 June Bedgebury Pinetum, Nr Goudhurst, Kent

Fri 17 June Delamere Forest, Delamere, Cheshire

Sat 18 June Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire

Fri 24 June Dalby Forest, North York Moors, Nr Pickering, Yorks

Sat 25 June Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Nr Edwinstowe, Notts.

Moving on, and elsewhere in this issue Jonathan Young gave us the heads-up on a new system called CD on Demand. Run by Universal Music UK, this new system would use the very latest digital technology to manufacture CDs to order. This would enable large and small record companies to re-release albums that had been deleted from their catalogues. What did this have to do with Madness? Well, with the original Madstock album being on the Go Discs label, which was now part of Mercury UK (also owned by Universal Music), and the album being given a catalogue listing in the new CD catalogue, it looked as if a re-release could be on the cards.

With the Forest Tour now common knowledge, and fans having already snapped-up tickets, the requests for lifts to a number of the venues were sent out from a number of Maddies. If you could help you were urged to get in touch.

Those of you with a DAB radio were urged to tune in to Andrew Collins’ radio show, where next Monday to Wednesday he’d be running his ‘Fight Club’, which would see Madness versus The Specials.

The show, hosted by Dave Gorman (due to Andrew’s absence this coming week) would see one track from each group being played, and an interview from back in the day explaining a few things. Listeners could then vote by text, email or via the web site.

We finished off this issue with news in from MOT drummer, Dan Fossard, who revealed that the bad have been asked by Blowup Records to perform at The Metro Club, Oxford Street, on the 19th of March.

15 years ago…

Issue 42 – Sunday 5th March 2000 to Saturday 11th March 2000

Last week saw the release of the third single from the `Wonderful` album, `Drip Fed Fred`, as it finally hit the shelves of music stores up and down the UK.

As with the last two single releases (`Lovestruck` and `Johnny The Horse`) many fans had noted that Woolworths were once again refusing to stock or were overlooking the new single.

Those of you who persisted found that many of the other UK music stockists (Virgin, HMV, Our Price) had more than enough copies of the new release. The only problem was trying to work out if it was a 1 or 2 part release as both single sleeves were VERY similar indeed.

One thing that had been mentioned more than once was the lack of video footage on the single. The red-spined CD was numbered as VSCDX 1768. The `X` usually denoted some kind of `extra`. Many fans were looking forward to the `Drip Fed Fred` video which a number of online Maddies had the pleasure of appearing in. Still, even with this little omission, the two CD’s (and cassette, if you’re a real collector!) certainly were more than worthy additions to the old Madness collection.

The two singles had been receiving some great reviews on the internet newsgroups and mailing lists. Hopefully this enthusiasm would be passed on to the general public and give Fred the chart position we all know he deserved.

Remember the `Vote for Fred` banners we were all handed at the start of each gig over the Christmas tour? Those of you who actually remembered to fill in the pre-paid slip at the bottom were advised to keep an eye on the letterbox as something would possibly be falling through it in the next couple of days. Here’s what Simon Mulvaney had to say at the time;

“No one has mentioned this but I got a nice little “VOTE FOR FRED” postcard, which is now on my pin board, that says: “MADNESS THE OFFICIAL SPONSORS FOR THE VOTE FOR FRED CAMPAIGN” on the front and plugs the single it’s self on the back. So if you filled out the form at the bottom of the banners from the gigs should have got one or it’ll be on it’s way.

So at least Virgin are letting the fans know about the new single”.

Would the lads be appearing on Top of The Pops once more? Total Madness Mailing List subscriber, Cheryl Hagger had been in touch with the music show via E-mail and was politely informed that;

“Madness may well be on the show depending on how they chart”.

The TOTP appearance looked unlikely though as `Drip Fed Fred` had unfortunately entered the UK music charts at a saddening number 55.

Elsewhere, and Carl Humphreys reported that on Sunday 28th Feb, Suggs appeared on UK Radio as a guest of Johnnie walker.  Here’s what Carl reported on at the time;

“He was talking about Madness a little bit, but more about himself. He did, however, add the following bits of info….

This was to be the last track released off of the Album (probably) 

The original intention was for them to be back for about a year after the Lovestruck release      (probably)   

They will (probably) put some stuff together later in the year, to see if there is a) any      interest and b) anything any good.

In the future Suggs would like to present a TV show, (probably) called `The Three Pyramids Club`, based around a smokey club, where he could talk to people he likes, and get bands he likes to play.

He was very non-committal about it all!”

It was also time to get those video tapes at the ready once again as the lads had yet another television appearance on the cards. TMML subscriber Colin Galbraith reported that;

“Madness are to appear live on next weeks Pepsi Chart Show singing DFF. I *think*       the show goes out on a Thursday though I may be mistaken. Whenever it is, set yer       vid’s!”

Last Friday night (3rd March) saw a brief appearance of the old Suggster on Ian Wright’s awful chat show `Friday Night’s All Wright`.

Ian was absolutely terrible as a television presenter and it was only Suggs who managed to keep things moving along. The questions posed to Suggs were all very dated (how did you join the band etc) and there was no mention of the new album or the `Drip Fed Fred` single.

And finally, Adele Hargreaves reported that Madness Manager, Peter Rudge was currently in the US setting up Madness gigs for the Stateside later in the year as well as a US release of the new album.

We were sure that would cheer-up the American subscribers.

Articles in this week’s issue saw Simon Mulvaney reviewing the new Drip Fed Fred singles, news of Adrian Burns’ ‘Maddest Site on Earth’, an article from the Jools Holland section on the BBC web site, which charted the history of our favourite band, Mikel’s review of the excellent ‘First Step Beyond’ rarities CD, and a rant from Vince Foley, who was gutted at the poor charting of the Drip Fed Fred single.

Rob Hazelby




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

@Graham McPherson

“Yes have been in prison for the last month, working with young offenders on the most remarkable production of ‘our house’”


foodforalluk @foodforall2

@MadnessNews @suggsgmcpherson @CBoyForeman @woodymadness @leethommo THANKs so much from all @foodforall2 U R on R van”

“The band sponsoring Jennie Mathias charity to feed the homeless of Camden” 


Nick Woodgate

“Hope – EP comes out 23rd March. All proceeds go to @Rethink”




It’s starting to look like the next Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig in London will be taking place some time this August. We’ll have more information regarding this in a future issue. It has been confirmed by the band, but ticket links and details of the actual venue have yet to be made public.

Expect announcements shortly via the official band Facebook pages. We’re also helping the rebuild of the web site and a new URL. Details of that will be released shortly.

Until next week, take care,


Jon YoungRob HazelbySimon RobertsPaul Williams

(With thanks to Sean Gaskin, Gareth James)

Previous post

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 825 – Sunday 1st March to Saturday 7th March 2015

Next post

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 827 – Sunday 15th March to Saturday 21st March 2015