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

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

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Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the MIS Online newsletter,

Think back to last week, and you may recall us mentioning a newly announced Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig. This has now been confirmed, with the date being Saturday 1st of August, and the venue is The Garage, Highbury.

Tickets have already gone on sale, and can be purchased at the following location:


Things get even better, as Thommo tells us “Latest from the news desk is The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra recording session. It will commence at end of April in London, 15 tracks. 1st rehearsal is this weekend.”

Brilliance begins. It now looks like that in many months time we can look forward to Sister Mary getting a Brother. However long it takes to choose and perfect which tracks come out best from the second coming of this mighty ska ensemble, the August gig will likely include tasters of those future Ska Orchestra tunes.

Now, on with the 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.




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)


*** New *** 1st The Garage Highbury, London


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 * Sold Out *

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 * New CD edition coming * 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.

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…

I want to find a cure for cancer, says Madness singer Suggs


After his sister-in-law’s death he thought of running a marathon but didn’t make it past the nearest tube station. One of his two daughters, however, suggested a fund-raising campaign and, through a series of events in which Madness have performed, they’ve raised around £200,000 so far.

“We saw some of the research, what’s happening to some of the money we’ve been raising, and it has been really remarkable,” he says. He’s witnessed for himself through the microscope the work being done on trying to train virus-fighting cells to target cancerous ones.


But Madness are about to tour again themselves too, and are trying to record some new material. When interviewed as a 20 year-old by Neil Tennant before his Pet Shop Boys fame, Suggs vowed not to be performing at 30. Now 54, he insists Madness are currently one of the top three live bands in the world.

Performing, he says, is “a bit like some funny kind of drug that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s a very high adrenalin thing. And when you see the audience, what they’re getting out of it, it’s a very rewarding place to be.”

In the gaps since, Suggs has presented television programmes and DJ’d on the radio. “I was doing a lot of different things I thought were going to fulfil me but they didn’t really and it always came back to the band being the most fulfilling thing,” he says. “It will always be the fundament at the centre of my creative life. But the great joy of it is I don’t do it every day of the week.”




British Land’s slogan is ‘Creating Places People Prefer’ yet they want to destroy Norton Folgate in Spitalfields – demolishing more than seventy per cent of the buildings on a site which sits entirely within a Conservation Area.

In 1977 the newly-formed Spitalfields Trust, including Dan Cruickshank and with the support of Sir John Betjeman, stopped British Land from redeveloping Elder St in Norton Folgate, but now British Land have come back again to obliterate the neighbourhood under a hideous corporate plaza.

Their plans show no respect for one of the last fragments of distinctive Spitalfields streetscape which has evolved over centuries, replacing it with bland corporate office blocks of up to thirteen storeys, offering little to the tech industries and small businesses which thrive in the East End.

A few weeks ago, Dan Cruickshank and The Spitalfields Trust launch a campaign to stop British Land and save the Ancient Liberty of Norton Folgate – an exhibition at Dennis Severs House, opened too.

“Contributing Film-Maker Sebastian Sharples took a walk around Norton Folgate with Architectural Historian and Local Resident Dan Cruickshank, and this film is the result.”


Go to 3.45 if you want to see just Suggs at the launch of the Save Norton Folgate campaign, reciting lyrics from the bands famous song In this video featuring the historian Dan Cruickshank, who also attended the Madness gig at the Light bar in 2009 on the day the band and locals reformed the parliament of the liberty.

At 5.10 you will see the location of the photograph of the cover of the 2009 madness album, which British Land want to destroy in developments.

If you would like to keep up to date on progress of the developments objecting to the planning permission, and more about the proposed plans for the area, follow this page on facebook, and be a part of everything you see and hear.





An Evening With Suggs and Friends      

It can’t have been easy for Suggs. No we don’t mean facing up to the evil of Pancreatic Cancer again for one evening.

We mean walking into the Emirates Arsenal Football Club stadium, when he’s a Chelsea fan.

But braveness in the face of it all is what this evening is about, raising money for better diagnosis of a form of cancer that is still claiming more victims than most types of the disease.

This annual charity event by The Gig Company (run by Suggs’ daughters who do an amazing job) , An Evening with Suggs and Friends….

This year included a Madness gig. Songs played included.

Embarrassment, House of Fun, It Must Be Love, One Step Beyond, Our House,  Baggy Trousers,

In an hour long set of the classics. It was fantastic.  There was no “Showtime” from Chris Foreman who was supporting a bright blue suit with Tartan Lapels. Having just been to Steve Strange’s Funeral, the legendary new romantic from Visage.

In the intimate function room venue with around 30 tables of around 12 places each, Suggs hosted the event. Beginning with a talk about the event and charity, and Rudimental then played a great set. By the time Madness were on no one was sitting at the tables, everyone up and dancing. Madness were brilliant and the venue was small so it was even better.

There was an auction after the gig, which included an item donated by Peter Blake, and also Madness made it a dream come true event for one fan Becky, who got to meet her hero’s at the end of the night (even including a nice note sent in by Absent Chas, a free album), and posed for her in a nice group photo with Madness, this was something caring fans set up to help a brave and afflicted lady confined at times to a wheel chair due to a bleak illness. This picture lead fans to post in comment, commending the band for all they did to help.

I have a hangover the next day, and the post gig blues now, and in future after Madness gigs, no working, just drinking Tea in bed I think.

Braxton Hole / MIS




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 567 – Sunday 14th March – Saturday 20th March 2010

We started off this week’s issue of the MIS with news that the one and only Chas Smash had set up an account on social networking web site Facebook, for fans to join.

Currently boasting 273 ‘friends’, Carl’s fan account kicked off with the following message to all;

“Hello to all…this is a new experiment in communication ….be gentle and polite and measured and we shall all get on famously. This is the word of Smash..”

The page seemed to be a bustling place for both Carl and the fans to mingle, share links and simply chat. We suggested that if you had a Facebook account you searched for “Chas Smash” and sent a friend request.

The 9th of March saw a number of music legends take part in an evening of music at London’s Barbicanm and with the recent event already a fading memory for many, co-editor Jon Young did his best to fill in the blanks with a detailed review of what went on. It proved to be a detailed write-up, so readers could only assume that he’d not polished off too many ales during the event.

Next, we went over to Retro Madness, who this week were promoting some of their rarer and harder to find Madness items.

The main item on offer was the MIS Fan Club only cassette “The Radio Players Present 30 Minutes of Culture”, which had been reduced to £29.99 included P&P. This very rare recording had never been released on any other format, and this fact, combined with its completely unique artwork drawn by Suggs, as well as it’s rarity, had made it one of the most sought after Madness cassettes in existence.

For those with lower budgets, Retro Madness still had a few copies left of the pre-production paperback of “Suggs in The City”, which could be yours for £11.99 including postage and packing.

We moved on to Blockheads news next, as we gave you the heads-up on a forthcoming session which would see the band appear on 6 Music’s Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, live in Maida Vale. The session would be broadcast on Saturday 27th March, the tenth anniversary of the death of former band leader, Ian Dury.

Next, it was back to the recent Barbican gig, as we gave you a lowdown on some of the best YouTube videos showing performances shot during the evening. For those who were unable to attend, this was a great opportunity to at least see what the event and performances were like.

We brought this issue to an end with an appeal from Simsey, who was asking us all to download a copy of Ian Dury’s Spasticus Autisticus. This was a campaign primarily via Facebook to try and get the song, which the BBC originally banned, to number 1 or at least as high as possible, and at the same time commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of Ian Dury.

10 years ago…

Issue number 305 – Sunday 13th March to Saturday 19th March 2005

We started off this issue with some bad news for those of who were planning to go to the Thetford leg of the forthcoming Forest tour but had yet to buy a ticket. Well, such was the demand for this venue that the 6,000 tickets available had already sold out.

Naturally, we promised to give our readers the heads-up as soon as any further venues sold out, but advised those planning on seeing the band live during this year’s Forest Tour, to get their tickets as soon as posible.

As well as spending time researching and digging out articles for the MIS, the editorial team also receive numerous questions on a weekly basis from fans asking for certain snippets of information.

One email that came in this week was from a fan trying to track down the Suggs `Blue Day` single. A single we thought would only fetch a couple of quid at most. How wrong we were. Looking on Ebay there was one that started off at £1.50, and with 4 days to go was now at £16.00!

It was (and still is!) amazing what some people will pay to ensure a certain item is finally added to their collection.

Moving on, and with the news last week that Madness would be playing a number of gigs in Forest areas this June, and because at least one third of the MIS editorial team had too much time on their hands, coupled with an appalling sense of humour, we now presented the “Bad Madness Forest Puns Competition”, where we invited you to come up with the worst wood related Madness puns, with a mystery prize on offer.

Some of the worst puns we’d received so far included:

1 . Elmbarrassment

2 . Johnny The Horsechestnut

3 . I Pronounce Yew

4 . On The Beat Peat

5 . Return of the Los Palm Trees 7

In last week’s MIS Simon Walshe reported that on the next airing of BBC Radio 6’s Andrew Collins Show (currently hosted by Dave Gorman) the `Fight Club` segment would see The Specials up against Madness. Here the famous names come on to support each of the bands in turn, and it’s up to the public to vote the winner.

After fierce competition The Specials won the “fight” with a very respectable 69% of the votes.

Elsewhere in this issue we’d been contacted by Dan Burdett, informing us that the Like Father, Like Son offshoot, JAG, had recently got their web site up and running. There wasn’t too much to look at at the time of typing, but it looked incredibly stylish, and with a number of tracks available for download, it was certainly worth a visit.

Moving on, and it women’s weekly magazines the topic of conversation.

What did this have to do with Madness? Well, with German publisher Hubert Burda Media announcing the launch of a new woman’s weekly magazine, entitled ‘Full House’ the advertising agency had decided to rope Suggs into singing a re-worded version of ‘Our House’. Yes, it as terrible.

We finished this issue off with news that Chris’, Woody’s and Lee’s sections of the official Madness web site had finally received updates. Oh, and who could forget Bedders’ section with the so bad it’s good humour?

15 years ago…

Issue number 43 – Sunday 12th March to Saturday 18th March 2000

During the recent fan-led advertising campaign for `Drip Fed Fred`, even the Ministry of Defence building in London’s Whitehall had failed to avoid the bill posters of DFF.  Thankfully, it looked like the whole escapade was taken in good spirit as no arrests were made and the person in question would not be spending the rest of his days in Colchester Military Prison!

Some exciting news in from the Total Madness Mailing List’s Wee Stoo was that last Sunday night a certain Mr. Smash played 5 songs solo during an acoustic session in a club. Apparently Carl, nervous though he was, thought it went down well. Could this be a sign that he will be following Suggs and taking a stab as a solo artist?

Meanwhile, Rob W had been rummaging through the music press and had stumbled across a review of `Drip Fed Fred` in the current issue of `The Melody Maker`. The music paper gave DFF 3 out of 5 and described the excellent `Elysium` as `a masterpiece`.

Following the news from Adele Hargreaves last week that `the prospect of Madstock 5 was gleaming`, rumours were now circulating that a pencilled-in date of Sunday 11th June would be the day that Finsbury Park erupted once more into a day full of Madness. The internet Madness fan-base were already (and rightly so) getting excited and some were putting together basic plans!

Around this time last month, Madness took the unusual step of jetting over to Spain to record a session for future airing on national Spanish television. Well, a few days back the show was finally aired.

The majority of the tracks played were the well-known classics like `Baggy Trousers`, `It Must be Love`, whilst the only new tracks to be aired were `Johnny The Horse`, `Lovestruck` and the excellent `Communicator`.

Remember the Madness competition set many moons ago on the official site where the band were offering us the opportunity of winning some personal goodies from each member by answering a few measly questions? As Simon Roberts pointed out in a recent E-mail to `The Total Madness Mailing List`, “Surely someone on the list has won at least one of the seven items on the list”. Well, he had a point!

As far as we knew, nothing had been announced and no winners had yet been notified.

Do you recall the famous `We want Lee for our Leader` banner that was painstakingly put together by MIS Online subscriber Jerney and subsequently used by Mr. Thompson in one of the shows? Well, the near legendary Jerney and banner could now be viewed in one of the clips currently available for download on the official Madness site which Lee filmed towards the end of last year.

Onto this week’s edition of the MIS now, and as usual, there was a really varied selection of articles to rummage though. Steve Saunders had painstakingly typed-up a retro Madness interview from 1985, Complete and Utter Madness had got another one of their massive Madness sales on the go. We had Simon Roberts with details of how you could finally get your chance to obtain the `Lovestruck` and `Drip Fed Fred` videos, and if that wasn’t enough, we had some exciting news on a new tribute band who were currently doing the rounds.

Rob Hazelby




This week we bring you a selection of amusing banter on the subject of Carl’s free first single from A Comfortable Man. This has recently been distributed as a sponsored facebook post meaning it’s now reaching even more people.

Fans are both heaping praise on the beautiful moody track, while others with more narrow musical tastes choose to deride and mock it’s different direction to most Madness songs.

Whether you think it’s a diamond or a dirge, it would seem “You’re not alone.”.

Below are a few of Cathal’s responses to both fans and critics.

Tony Studio-Hoskyn “Not for me come back chas”

Cathal Smyth “Chas is having a breather and is busy writing some boss tunage”


Nigel Buchanan “I like it”

Cathal Smyth “so do I”


Alan Harris “Class – passionate, powerful, simple – just Chas class.”

Cathal Smyth “You say the nicest things..front row and popcorn”


“All due respect to Chas BUT…  Do you remember how fantastic The Two Ronnies were back in the day? Then, they split. One was mediocre, and Ronnie Barker was Awesome, reigning supreme!!?  Well, to me, Chas is Ronnie Corbett!!  Get yer arse back to Madness, where it belongs!!!!!!”

Cathal Smyth ” I love it when you talk dirty. tell me about your laundry”


“F#ck arty videos – let’s Dance”

Cathal Smyth  “I’m game”


Lee Gordon “Terrible chas”

Cathal Smyth “Laughing Lee”


Colin Mcnab “Sorry….not for me…”

Cathal Smyth “well give it back then”


Cathal Smyth “Dear All, its really interesting reading your comments and I appreciate your opinions no matter whether what I am doing is to your taste or not its refreshing that you are being honest. What’s the point if you cannot speak your mind. You have my vote.

I realise that its not Madness and not ska but Madness is Madness and they are seven individuals who together make something pretty unique. This is a record I really made for me. I like to think its me telling part of my life story, my way. I am not competing with Madness or the other band members. I think its pretty cool that many of us have side projects. Woody has his solo work. Lee has his band and Graham has his many projects so good luck to freedom of expression. It would be boring if we all did the same thing what would be the point in that? There’s nothing like variety to spice up life.

As for the two Ronnie’s not sure how you can compare two to seven, or am i missing something? How can you have half of a three piece suite? As for my name its Irish Gaelic and means “strong man in battle” Gaelic version of Charles which Chas is an abbreviation of. I hope that helps. Right o I am off for a cuppa.. did I tell you that I worked for Pink Floyd back in 1977. now where’s the …..”




That’s almost it for this week, but before we go we just wanted to let you know that the support band for the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig in August is “Home Town HiFi”, which is great news as we are fans of this new ska outfit. Official Madness DJ Darren Bennet also rounds out the show by spinning top tunes.

And finally, we end this issue with some truly sad news as this week saw the passing of Madness fan Jenny Payne…

“Dreadfully sad news today folks, those who were kicking around at the smash forum, the TMML & the MML will no doubt fondly remember our friend Jenny Payne from Richmond Virginia. I’m so sorry to tell you that Jenny was killed in a car accident yesterday. Cheryl called me to tell me the sad news, and I figured there’d be others out there who would appreciate knowing too. Bless you Jenny and your ever bright always there smile x” Adele McCormick

We dedicate this week’s issue of the MIS to Jenny. Thanks for everything. We mourn the loss of a fellow madness fan.

Rest in Peace.

Until next week, take care,


Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Lee Thompson, Adele McCormick)

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