Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 855 – Sunday 27th September to Saturday 3rd October 2015

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 855 – Sunday 27th September to Saturday 3rd October 2015

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“The end of British Summer tonight as we play our last gig of the season. Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows. Lovely”, commented a certain Bedders as the final gig of he Grandslam Tour drew to a close.

Starting off on the 29th May in Lincoln, the Grandslam Tour spanned a mammoth four months, and took in a whopping 21 dates covering the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

The band performed at race courses, cricket and rugby grounds during a tour that lasted almost a third of a year, and one that received glowing reviews.

Now, all that’s over, and with September coming to an end the band take a well deserved break until November, when they perform for two consecutive nights at the forthcoming Madness Weekender in Butlins, Minehead.

We may not have a Christmas tour this year, but there’s still plenty for us fans to look forward to.

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.




November 2015

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

The Weekender also features sets by Woody Woodgate, Crunch!, Clang and much, much more….



The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

January 15th 2016 – Jazz Cafe – Camden Town London


The Silencerz Featuring Lee Thompson

31st – Black Horse Barnet, 8pm
With support from Reece & DJ Rebsie.  In aid of Noahs ark children’s hospice.


Deaf School


27th – Preston 53 Degrees
28th – Newcastle Think Tank
29th –  York Duchess


9th Liverpool – Kazimier
10th Liverpool – Kasimier ** SOLD OUT **
12th – London, Hoxton, Bar & Kitchen


The Clang

11th September London – St Moritz Club


Near Jazz Experience


20 – The NJE + Support + DJ @The Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT – 8.30pm, free entry

More info at: https://www.facebook.com/NearJazzExperience




Madstock – CD / DVD Edition


Out on October the 9th. Just over 23 years after the famous comeback gigs, and just a month before the live album’s 23rd anniversary of release, Madstock is back.

Last available on DVD in the guided tour boxset only, and last on CD via a crappy on demand print service option many years ago. For around £12 you can now get both together.

The CD contains Razor Blade Alley as a bonus track for the first time on CD from the weekend’s concerts, and collects tracks previously only available from the concerts upon the CD single of The Harder They Come. These 4 bonus tracks have been included at the end of the album, Chrissy Boy has pointed out they aren’t part of the Live Album’s original mixing by Clive Langer being sourced elsewhere and masters are impossible to find nearly 25 years on, so appear as the final bonus tracks on the album.

The album features a new montage of photographs from the weekend as it’s cover, much like the recent CD/DVD edition of Take It Or Leave it.


Punch and Judy Madness Toy Theatre

A pop-up miniature theatre, in card form, featuring Punch & Judy. The collage by artist Peter Quinnell was commissioned by British band ‘Madness’ to celebrate their single ‘Lovestruck’ – it features characters from Music Hall, Punch & Judy and Madness videos. Folds down neatly to the size of a 7 inch single, it can be sent as a card. £8.95



Jennie & The Slingers

New album from Jennie Bellstar, this time with rockabilly band “The Slingers”. Featuring on one track are non other than Chrissy Boy and Thommo.

More info at





Staffordshire Racetrack

As odds-on favourites go, this was a dead cert. Pop thoroughbreds Madness delivered a perfect performance at the Staffordshire racetrack last night, storming out of the gates with opener Grandslam, then settling into steady ska rhythm before galloping towards the finishing post with a succession of their greatest hits.

The ska legends’ stage arrival at Wolverhampton Racecourse was pre-empted by a big screen mash-up of classic British film and TV images and sporting triumphs that got everyone abandoning the beer queues for the stage. They ranged from the can’t-help-but-cross-your-legs laser beam scene in James Bond’s Goldfinger (“Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!”) to Geoff Hurst’s 1966 hat-trick World Cup goal for England, as the 80s legends emerged to take their place among the ‘national treasures’ being shown.

The north Londoners were greeted to a rousing reception by around 10,000 mainly middle-aged fans. Many were dressed for an early 1980s summer in their two-tone uniforms, red fezzes and dark shades, rather than for a decidedly crisp September night – but soon the band had everyone bouncing energetically with anthem Embarrassment.

“Remember 1979 on Top of the Pops with the big hairy cornflake and Pan’s People?” reminisced Suggs as the strobe lighting kicked in for The Prince, with Lee Thompson showing his mastery of the saxophone as tentacles of fog circled the crowd.

“So, there we were, three million years ago, in the Jurassic period and Mike (Barson) started playing this song…and then he ended up leaving that girl” shouted Suggs to cheers as he launched into My Girl. Images of iconic women from Marilyn Monroe to Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman provided a welcome distraction from the cold as I thought about the winter jacket I should have worn.

Sun and the Rain – the first single I owned back in 1983 (thanks, Uncle Vince!) – had everyone dancing along to those distinctive piano chords and joining in with a chorus of “Do de do, do de do do do-do!”

The tempo slowed for Bed and Breakfast Man (“There’s a man I know…”) and then went all trippy karaoke as Suggs handed over microphone duties to guitarist Chris Foreman for a tongue-in-cheek version of Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer that befitted the band’s ‘Nutty Boy’ image.

Crowd-pleaser One Step Beyond followed as a few naughty mums and dads launched their half-filled plastics towards the mass of bobbing trilbies at the front as everyone did that famous Madness shuffle.

The hits kept coming as House of Fun, Wings of a Dove, Our House and It Must Be Love had everyone dancing before the band left to screams and applause, only to return for a two-song encore. Arm-pumping anthem Madness (“…they call it madness”) followed and then finally Night Boat to Cairo as the bands family and friends swarmed onto the stage to bring the curtain down on a great night of live music.

Only next time keep me out of the clutches of those bookies!

Scott Faulkner (Stoke Sentinel)

John Jones – https://youtu.be/tBwTkkB6yeg

Los Palmas / Mummy’s Boy – https://youtu.be/HwiLkYYP3hg

“Waiter!”  “There’s a chunky sax player in my soup!”

Video from Dave Jones


Newbury  “Madness in more ways than good”

We always look forward to a day at the races.  Just a shame we go away disappointed. And not for the first time.  We had premier enclosure tickets for the event as usual and as usual the bar is woefully inadequate with queues to get served ranging from 10-30 mins depending on how loud you can shout and whether u can speak the bar staffs language !!

The food offering was appalling. Impossible to get anything without queueing long enough to miss a race.

Madness. Well. It finally got going with 15 mins to go. The sound was literally awful. Whoever was responsible really should find another job !!!

The place was literally filled with tattooed idiots All staggering around drunk. I would cringe if I had taken children”

Steven C Bale (Trip Advisor)


Apauling. Q for toilets.Q for drink.Q for food. Under estimated totally the amount of toilets. Food [outlets]. drinks [outlets].

Not enough trains to or from venue. Ideal day out if [you’re]a serial Q’er or sardine.

Paul Millie (Trip Advisor)




News and info from online and offline media sources.

Largest Crowd At Newbury For Three Years.


A huge crowd of 20,995, the highest since August, 2012, attended Newbury Racecourse on the second and final day of the Dubai Duty Free International Meeting yesterday.

They were rewarded with thrilling racing and an after-racing concert by iconic band Madness.


Suggs On Radio 2 With David Rodigan

Choosing his favourite Reggae tracks and having a right long laugh cracking up Mr Rodigan.

Listen again here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06bgmr9

Here are the chosen tracks.

  1. Prince Busters Allstars – Al Capone

“First heard it at a fairground”  (Suggs quotes)

  1. Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come

“The film was on at the all night pictures at the angle. My Favorite soundtrack album”

  1. The Selecter – Too Much Pressure

” The bside of the first two tone single came on the jukebox at the Hope and Anchor”

  1. Madness – One Step Beyond

“You played this at Butlins and Minehead went mental” (Rodigan)

“Coming out of punk gave our version it’s own groove”  (Suggs)

  1. The Upsetters – Clint Eastwood

“Me and Chalky used to write S and C on these records cus they were our joint collection when I first started collecting”

  1. Linton Kwesi Johnson – Sonny lettah

“This record is a work of art, we worked with Dennis Bovell they came through tough times”

“dub poetry”

  1. Junior Byles – Fever

“So many great versions of this song. I dedicate this to my daughter Viva, Married this summer”

  1. Madness – The Prince

“2tone we were fortunate to meet The Specials who looked a bit like us.”

  1. Bob Marley and The Wailers – Mr Brown

” Had to have a bit of Bob. Lee Perry it all comes back to”

  1. Prince Buster – Too Hot

“Buster was a rebel” (Rodigan)

“Those times in Jamaica amazing.” (Suggs)

  1. Wayne Smith – Under Me Sleng Teng

“This song still resonates, one of the first programmed reggae tunes”

  1. Madness – Madness

“By a band called Madness” (Rodigan)

“Applauding ourselves there at the end. Emulating black music and getting it a bit wrong”

  1. The Cats – Swan Lake

“Whoever would have imagined Tchaikovsky put to reggae “



Why North East Fans Have Been Going Mad For The Group For 36 Years

This week The MIS worked with Newcastle Newspaper The Chronicle ahead of the last Grandslam gig in Durham.

3 passionate Madness fans and some gig date information were provided to help tell the story of North east Madness gigs, as well as the newspaper also choosing and taking quotes from Vintage Rock Blog and a Selecter archive interview.


Many who will see Madness perform at the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground on Saturday (September 26) have followed the band from their first performance in the region – at Newcastle’s Mayfair ballroom in 1979.

They were on the same bill as The Specials and The Selecter as 2 Tone fever – a revival of 1950s Jamaican ska – swept the nation.

Madness soon began to move into the mainstream – never more apparent than when they performed Our House on top of Buckingham Palace at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Fan Peter Smith said : “Being one of a small number of people in the crowd with long hair, I did feel quite unsafe at times.

In those days the Mayfair staff would come into the crowd with Alsatian dogs. It was a great night, with three excellent bands, but it was quite scary. It was the first of several nights I would spend with Madness over the years.”

After the monumental 2-Tone tour, Madness returned to Newcastle for gigs at the City Hall during the 1980s. The first was on December 8, 1980 – better known in music history as the day John Lennon was shot.

John Dunn, 46, from Consett, is one of the band’s biggest fans and will be there on Saturday night. He remembers his first City Hall gig vividly.

“As an 11-year-old lad I had saved up my pocket money for months to go to the gig. It cost £4, which was quite a lot. I became a fan after hearing One Step Beyond. I was hooked. I made it my mission to go and see them.

Wow, the atmosphere was something else. It always is in the North East – people are just as passionate about their music as they are their football.”

The first chapter of the Madness story closed after their final performance for The Tube in November 1986. The cult TV show was filmed at the Tyne Tees studios, where the band filmed (Waiting for) The Ghost Train before parting ways.


Lynn Lawlor’s expedition to catch the moment shows the extraordinary connection between band and fans. Her dedication has seen her build up a friendship with the band who were there to support her when her father passed away this year.

“The night before they did their last Top of the Pops, Chrissy Boy (guitarist Chris Foreman) announced that they were filming their last TV appearance on The Tube the next day. My friend and I took the coach from London to Newcastle to see them. They were so shocked.

“I’ve done a lot of silly things to follow them in my time but this was the most crazy. I’ve had many years of good times with the band and there will be many more to come, I’m sure.”

Madness wouldn’t be seen here again until 1995 when they arrived to see a very different Newcastle to that of the 1980s. Their comeback was at the brand new Telewest Arena (now the Metro Radio Arena).

Darren Dixon, 40, from Newcastle, was there. Darren photographs gigs but Madness hold a special place in his heart.

“It was during the first week the arena opened and it was my second ever live concert, so it will always be a special gig for me. I have been a Madness fan for as long as I can remember – I’ve seen them all over the UK, Amsterdam and Paris but the North East gigs are always special.

Gotham Town is usually the place to be, with the bar rammed with Madness fans singing and dancing, often followed by a gang of Maddies doing the legendary Nutty Train down the street.”

One of the foundations of the band’s success has been energetic and friendly live performances.

Darren Dixon reckons Madness draw in wider audiences than ever before.

“They are still relevant because they are still producing excellent music and are now attracting a younger generation. During the gig at the Metro Radio Arena last year, I went into the mosh pit for a few songs near the end and there were a lot of youngsters in there.

That makes a change from the traditional middle-aged skinheads that you used to find at Madness gigs.”

Over 35 years, Madness have graduated from a chaotic city ballroom to a smart sporting arena – testament to the way the band and the region have adapted and changed.

Phil Smith The Chronicle (Newcastle)




Some old photographs of Madness are shortly up for auction, including some shots of the band with The Pretenders when they were supporting them in July 1979. The photographs are full negative originals with publication rights also being transferred to any serious bidders.

Details below…

Backstage Auctions, Inc. is a leading on-line music memorabilia auction house that specializes in hosting one-of-a-kind auction events for musicians and industry professionals. Currently we have the pleasure and privilege to feature the historic archive of ‘London Features International’ (LFI), which was one of the oldest and best-known London based British photo agencies.

Offered are over 25,000 original negatives, slides and transparencies from the 1965 – 1980 British music scene including some of the most iconic musicians and bands of all time. The collection is presented in a little over 400 individual lots, almost all of which will be offered with a full transfer of rights, which makes this material not only collectible but also commercially appealing and exceptionally valuable.

Among the many artists featured in this collection we have some very interesting Madness material that we believe you – and perhaps the visitors on your website – might be interested to see and know about. Here is a direct link to the featured lots:





The auction preview is currently live. The auction itself will start this coming weekend and will end on Sunday, October 4, 2015.

Backstage Auctions, Inc.

“…turning fans into collectors one auction at a time.”

Website: www.backstageauctions.com




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 594 – Sunday 26th September – Saturday 2nd October 2010

As we were now firmly into autumn, it meant the forthcoming Christmas tour was almost here. With such a busy schedule ahead of them you’d think Madness would have been happy to leave any further bookings until 2001.

You would have thought so, but it seemed that the band were keen to do their bit as it were, and this week it was announced that they’d be appearing at the Marion Rose Ball in support of Children with Leukaemia.

The Marion Rose Ball was being held in memory of Marion O’Gorman, the co-founder and Paul O’Gorman’s mother. Marion sadly passed away in July 2009.

In November 1987, the Paul O’Gorman Banquet & Ball, the first major fundraising event to be staged for the charity, was organised by Jean, Paul’s sister, who sadly died just days later.

The Paul O’Gorman Banquet & Ball was held at Grosvenor House Hotel  every year until November 2007, when the 21st Anniversary Ball was held, and Paul’s favourite band, Madness, performed.

Throughout these years, the ball had raised significant funds – an average of £250,000 each year. The event remained a key part of their fundraising calendar, with many regular and loyal supporters attending each year.

Dury news next, and we reported that The New Wolsey Theatre had teamed up with TWTD to give you the chance to win tickets to the premiere performances of Reasons To Be Cheerful, a musical tribute to Ian Dury.

Set in 1979, a scorching live band and cast were due to pay tribute to Dury’s anarchic spirit and propel this riotous coming-of-age tale in a skiddling, diddling, bled-white dyed-black show for young punks and old rockers alike. It’s all your brain and body needs, so we were told.

To get your hands on three pairs of show tickets and a pre-show drink, all you had to do was email your reason to be cheerful in no more than 140 characters by 10th October 2010.

Elsewhere, and we featured our fourth extract of the forthcoming Madness biography, which was due to be published on the 31st October by Omnibus Press.

This latest excerpt featured Norton Folgate as its subject matter.

We brought this issue to a close with a request from subscriber Jacco van’t Riet. Jacco was trying to track down an interview with Carl;

“I saw a movie/web clip a while ago where Carl explained all sorts of Cockney phrases from ‘The Fish & Chips parade’, and he was also talking about LONF in general. But I can’t find it anymore…

Do you know where I can find that (filmed) interview?”

Finally, Jonathan Young reported that you could listen to Suggs talking to Mary Wilson from The Supremes on this week’s 2nd of 4 sit-ins for Huey on BBC6.

10 years ago…

Issue 334 – Sunday 25th September to Saturday 1st October 2005

2005 saw the world famous Penguin Books celebrate their 70th birthday. To commemorate this event the company released a number of box sets, as well as re-releases of certain titles from its back catalogue.

One of the books being re-issued by the veteran publisher was the world famous `War and Peace`, a book that we here at MIS Online kept saying we were going to read, but as yet hadn’t quite managed to make a start at ploughing through its 1,400-odd pages.

In a bid to rectify this, we were pleased to bring you in this very issue, Steve Bringe’s Madness version of `War and Peace`. Whilst it may not have covered the same subject matter as Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece, it did have a good go at approaching the same length as the aforementioned title.

How on earth Steve had found the time to put together something quite so in-depth and lengthy, we’re still at pains to know. That said, it was a fantastic read, and well worth 10 minutes of your time.

Steve’s wasn’t the only one who’d been spending hours at their keyboard over this past week, as this issue saw a welcome return of Paul Muscat, who brought us the results of the previous three Madcharts, as well as the `Bubbling Under` tracks from the all-singing, all-dancing 2005 lowdown.

This week we also reported on Mr G’s web site, The Magnificent 7, which, due to other commitments, Colin was unable to continue working on. However, since Mr G’s initial post to the MTR a number of people had stepped forward, keen to take on the site and keep it running.

15 years ago…

Issue 72 Sunday 24th September to Saturday 30th September 2000

After months of waiting the long awaited BBC documentary, `Young Guns`, featuring Madness was finally aired last week. Since then, the online Madness fanbase seemed to have gone into overdrive with views, comments and general analysis of the show.

We’d been reading some excellent reviews of the programme from a great many people over the last few days, with the legendary Peter Gardner (amongst others) making some really interesting comments indeed. You could find Peter’s views elsewhere in this issue.

From the posts we’d been reading, it seemed that the majority of you enjoyed the show (one or two glaring errors aside!) but felt that it needed a bit more depth. 40 minutes just didn’t seem long enough to chart the progress of Madness from their birth, up to the present day.

Still, looking on the bright side, it wasn’t every day we had an entire programme dedicated to Camden’s finest was it?

One thing we were pleased to see was right at the top of the end credits, the BBC gave special thanks to Chris Carter-Pegg who we know loaned the majority of his collection to the production team to aid them in the making of the program, and was interviewed on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, the footage didn’t make it into the final cut.

Onto some news now, and the legendary Mr Smash reported that there was indeed some Madness activity going. Here’s what Carl had to say at the time;

“We have begun working on a Madness Musical and it will take some time to develop, but I know I can say that this is something we have wanted to do for ages, and I am sure that we are brimming full of  ideas and enthusiasm for it. So that’s going to be one we can sink our collective teeth into”.

It sounded like things were in the very early stages at the moment, we promised to keep you posted on further developments if and when they surfaced.

On to this week’s collection of articles, and we started-off with a heads-up that following on from the BBC’s Young Guns TV programme, the station had kindly uploaded some extra content to their web site, which didn’t make it into the final film.

Many of us had bought and sold items with other members of the Madness fan community, and everything had gone smoothly. John Lawrence wondered if two lists should be compiled – the first, the ‘Dodgy Geeza’ list, and the second, a ‘Decent Dude’ list. The idea being that we’d all know who to avoid and who to use.

A great idea, but who would be willing to put in the time and effort to keep this list updated?

Rob Hazelby




Various snippets from the Twittersphere…

Woody Woodgate @woodymadness

“Bizarre how it never seems to rain when we play. Here are the weather forecasts for Wolves & Durham Fri & Sat night”

(Pictured weather forecasts showing Cloud but just sun during Madness stage times)


Sign this radio petition and help Chrissy Boy

Chrissy Boy @CBoyForeman

We would like Ofcom to grant a community radio license to 1 Brighton FM https://www.change.org/p/ofcom-we-would-like-ofcom-to-grant-a-community-radio-license-to-1-brighton-fm?


Durham Cricket Club @DurhamCricket

Chester the Lion is just a little bit excited ahead of the @MadnessNews concert tomorrow @LizHobbsMBE

(picture of the sporting mascot)”




That’s almost it for this week, but don’t forget that our Rhoda Dakar competition is still open to all readers. Read last week’s issue feature, and you could – Win 2 Tickets To The Camden Town Show Rhoda Dakar Sings The Bodysnatchers  –  31st of October – Camden Jazz Cafe.

All you need to do is answer the following question;

Which Dangermen track did Rhoda tell us she enjoyed singing the most with the band at The House of Fun Weekender? Email your answer to Jonsmad@hotmail.com 

Until next issue – have a good week!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to John Dunn, Phil Smith, Lynn Lawlor,
Darren Dixon, Dave Jones, and Paul Rodgers)

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