Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 868 – Sunday 27th December 15 to Saturday 2nd January 16

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 868 – Sunday 27th December 15 to Saturday 2nd January 16

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Seasons greetings to you all!

Over the past month or so we’ve seen Facebook posts from countless fans reporting that they’d been unable to get their hands on the Madness double ale and pint sleeve box set. The main stockist, BHS, seemed to have completely sold out.

On Christmas day the Facebook posts couldn’t have been more different. This time Facebook feeds were filled with people taking photos of their prized beer and glass sets that their loved ones have bought them for Christmas.

Here at the MIS we always felt the price was a little steep for two pints and a glass, but regardless, the package did look nice, and it would make a nice addition to the collection of any discerning Madness fan.

Moving on, and while parts of the UK this post Christmas period are full of stormy heavy rain and even floods, there is no escaping the fact that it’s Winter out there.

Well, it was New York recently too, and Lee Thompson, whilst out there in his seasonal heavy coat and cap, shot a short promo clip video for his now available single. Accompanied by his ever capable Ska Orchestra, the single came out on Christmas Day. You can watch the video over on the band’s website…


Here’s Lee…

“This was put together whilst on a recent trip to NYC with the help of my wife & a Selfie Stick.

Jeff Baynes, who is making the Mockumentry Title: ‘Who is Lee Thompson’ was sent the files via iPhone and cobbled what you see, together.How things have moved on in the world of visual entertainment.This is the most Cost Effective and environmentally friendly clip I’ve ever attempted.I was hopping to include the gathering of John Lennon fans that were over at ‘Strawberry Fields’ in Central Pk. on 8th Dec filmed (It was the 35 anniversary of his assassination) very touching scenes, but It was too late.Well, at least my son has been enlightened.

Best, Lee T”

The full single is now available to purchase from Amazon and iTunes. Check out our Buy it Now section for full details.

Keep an eye out for more songs and videos, coming soon from the Ska Orchestra. Don’t forget to bookmark: leethompsonska.com

Here’s our very own Simon Roberts;

“Lee has given the go ahead for two ‘Mystery Song’ run throughs. Good choice, shows the creative process. Should be up today or tomorrow. Also another freebie MP3 coming next week”

Exciting stuff!

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.




No further gigs planned



Saturday 28th, Dauwpop Festival, Netherlands (headliners)
More info at: http://www.dauwpop.nl


Saturday 6th –Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness, Scotland (headliners)

More info at www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk


Friday 18th – Monday 21st – Madness Weekender 6, Minehead




17th – An evening with Suggs and Friends for Pancreatic Cancer. The Emirates Stadium


22nd – Scarborough Spa Theatre
23rd – Lincoln Drill Hall
24th – Carlisle Sands Centre
25th – Ilkley King’s Hall
27th – Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre
28th – Bath The Forum
29th – Worcester Huntingdon Hall
30th – Wrexham William Aston Hall


1st – Crewe Lyceum Theatre
3rd – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
4th – Sheffield Lyceum
5th – 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

January 15th 2016 – Jazz Cafe – Camden Town London


Near Jazz Experience

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

January 2016

26th – Near Jazz Experience + Support + DJ, Indo, 133 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1DT. 8pm. Free Entry




Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – It May be Winter Outside 

This was finally released on Christmas day, and can be purchased from the following Amazon and iTunes links:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/May-Winter-Outside-He…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/it-may-be-winter-outside-but/id1062562074?i=1062562075


Limited Edition Madness Harrington Jackets 

Official Madness Harrington Jacket in both black and navy are now available from the madstore.

£60 in small medium large X large and XX large.   In tartan lining stylish cut. M logo and laurel motif and an M pin badge.

You can see Mark Bedford and Lee Thompson with his scooter modelling the designs.


Dr. Marten’s Web Site Sale ** NEW **

Many shoes discounted. Grab yourself a bargain!





Suggs – My Mad Life Crisis

Originally aired on Radio 4 – Christmas Eve – 14.15

Duration 45 minutes.

A slightly dramatised version of Suggs’ One Man Show is to air this Christmas Eve.

The Madness frontman tells his funny and moving true-life story.

The death of Suggs’ beloved cat on his fiftieth birthday triggers a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew. Stunned by what he learns, Suggs takes us back to his childhood and his first appearance on Top Of The Pops at the age of eighteen.

Adapted for radio by Owen Lewis from the stage play My Life In Words And Music by Graham McPherson and Toby Follet.

Other parts played by Ewan Bailey and Philippa Stanton.

Pianist: Dean Mumford

Director: Owen Lewis
Producer: Karen Rose
A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Actor Suggs

Actor Ewan Bailey

Actor Philippa Stanton

Writer Graham McPherson

Writer Toby Follet

Abridger Owen Lewis

Director Owen Lewis

Producer Karen Rose

Listen online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06tk8hw


An Interview With Prince Buster


An archive blogged interview with the man who inspired the first Madness singles…

“I was called that [Prince Buster] from day one. I was born in a riot. There was a man who was fightin’ for the working class because in Jamaica, I was born in that day and they name me after him. He became the prime minister and they name me from him. Sir Alexander Bustamante, national hero of Jamaica. He is also cousins to the Manleys. I was born Cecil Campbell, but they call me Prince Buster. But to this day people call me Cecil “Prince Buster” Campbell.

 [About new ska bands] I love them. These are the younger people now and they’re putting new energy into the things. At their age, they’ve got the young appearances for the audience now. I greatly appreciate that.”




Earlier this year, the song Soul Denying made its Madness stage debut at The House of Fun Friday Mumbo Jumbo concert.

It had been sound-checked in 1996, almost twenty years ago, at Madstock the third, and did reach more public ears via spin off band “Mr Wheeze” that managed one gig with Thommo and Barso working solo together in 1999.

In the early 2000’s Lee added the songs lyrics to his page on the old red flash version of Madness.co.uk. Here they are again, dug up from an old edition of this MIS newsletter where we archived them.


I may not have anything to offer in return…

But I have longed for your loving since the days first dawn

Well how did you know i would come up here after

All my time out in limbo? but oh it’s so good to see your face, watch you gracefully.


I never was one to keep in touch or let the family know

The extent of how much i love..

Blowing off the rails in October winds you see

All thats in the past

Just let me hear something thats going to last

Did…did you ever get to marry that boy next door

And do you still while away your days

Smiling into your crystal gaze?


Do you still plan to be here

When the morning comes

And all the birds have flown?


Ooow please say that you will…….


If you feel love

Let it scream love

Don’t grieve love

Try to breath my love


If this is heaven where have you been

If this a dream don’t try to wake me

Come on and take me

To pastures ever green.


And as the saga unfolds

I’m none the wiser

Just older and grey,

A meanie old miser

Bitten by bitterness,

A soul denying

But now at least i’m trying


I never was one to keep in touch or let my loved ones know

The extent of how much I need you

Though I really hurt you


But all thats in the past

Let me hear something thats going to last..

Won’t you give, won’t you give me just one last chance

Before these birds have flown?


Are you still going to be there

When the morning comes

And all the birds have flown

Are you still going to be there,

Are you still going to be there?

When the morning comes

And all the birds have flown…..?


As you can hear from this version of a video of the live performance of the song.  There are even more

words added to the final rendition with Thommo almost rapping a new set of additional words on the tune in a middle

section. Roughly this flows as follows….


Just couldn’t bring myself

I should of been more forward

Like the boy next door


Never really known what’s next in store

Joy for me was wide open spaces,

The deep blue velvet with the thousand eyes

A swallowing stone never gathers moss

Fulfilment right now

Would be your addict


Soul Denying Live


Note: Twisting my melon man is a happy Mondays adlib insertion and not a lyric from Suggs!

Note2: Blue velvet and The night has a thousand eyes are 50’s and 60’s songs and hits respectively for Bobby Vinton and Bobby Vee.

Perhaps Thommo’s been in a certain alphabetical section of his record collection while looking for inspiration when composing this one.

Jonathan Young




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

5 years ago…

Issue Number 607 – Sunday 26th December ‘10 – Saturday 1st January ‘11

We’d taken a break from stuffing our faces and drinking, and have quickly knocked-up this week’s edition of the MIS for your reading pleasure. It may have been Boxing Day in the UK, but the MIS team were still hard at work.

Jon had been speaking to one Chris Gorman, conductor of the Washington Welfare Brass Band. What did this have to do with Madness? Well, this was the band that performed with Madness back in 1983, when they appeared on The Tube. The tune? Primrose Hill, of course! Chris was kind enough to recall his memories of that day for the MIS readerbase, and it made for a fascinating read.

A few weeks later the Washington Welfare Brass Band were contacted again, and this time they were being asked to support Madness in Brighton.

“A couple of weeks later, Matthew Stumpzt rang me up and asked if we could back Madness again, this time at Brighton. We said Yes, but didn’t realize that I only had a few days to try and raise the same players.

I contacted George Rowell, the Director of the Brass Band, and he sorted me out with about £600.00 to buy some return rail tickets from Newcastle to London Kings Cross for 15 players. We all met early Saturday morning at the Railway Station and by lunchtime were standing outside of Kings Cross Station on the concourse waiting for someone or anyone to notice 15 Brass players complete with instruments and suitcases looking lost. After about ten minutes, a coach pulled up and the driver jumped out. “Washington Band mate!”, he shouts. “Yes, that’s us”, we replied. Once the gear was stowed away, we set off down to Brighton.

We arrived at Brighton I think by about 4pm and everybody was allocated a bedroom in the Hotel. After a wash and clean up, we made our way to the Brighton Conference Centre to meet the group again and discuss arrangements for a quick rehearsal and sound check.

I didn’t find out until I got to the centre, that someone else would be conducting, which left me without an instrument as I hadn’t brought mine with me (I usually play Euphonium/Trombone/Tuba), so Dick Cuthel gave me one of his Trumpets, and I played that night instead of conducting”.

On to gig reviews, and it was over to Tony Stratton and Madboo, who were both kind enough to send in their write-ups of the recent Brighton Centre gig, which took place on the 15th of December.

Both Tony and Madboo also attended the aftershow party, and it was here that Lee was spotted covering his head with hair from female fans and posing for photos, much to the amusement of those present.

Moving on, and co-editor Jonathan Young took you on a ride through the Easter Eggs of the Gogglebox box set. Before explaining what the surprises were and how you went about finding them, Jonathan printed a spoiler stating “The fun is in the hunt so only read this thread if you really want to know in advance, or want to check if you’ve found them..”

We brought this issue to a close with a Christmas message from the band, and a link to 13 live tracks from the recent tour for you to download. We were also told to look out for a big announcement coming very soon.


10 years ago…

Issue Number 347 – Sunday 25th December to Saturday 31st December 2005

We started off this issue with a short apology. We were hoping that part one of our lookback of 2005 would have spanned January to June.

However, due to an influx of visitors at MIS co-ed, Jon Young’s house, it only went as far as March. We promised that if all went to plan the new year’s issue would span April to December.

On to the articles, and we started-off with a nice 3-part interview with Suggs and Mike, which appeared on Dutch web site ‘Face Culture’, on the 18th of October.

Along with a full transcript of the interview, we also linked to a number of video clips to save you the effort of reading through the text.

Next it was on to part one of our aforementioned lookback, which this week charted the highs and lows of 2005 from January to March of that year.

The first quarter highlights included the band making the long lost ‘Perfect Place’ track available for download in January, the release date of ‘The Dangermen Sessions’ being announced in February, and Chris and Emma buying up the entire unsold ‘Our House’ stock in March.

Moving on, and it was on with part 2 of the ‘Face Culture’ interview with Suggs and Carl, before the next article, which saw Madness making the front page of the Irish Post. Tipped off by Vince Carden, this report covered the band’s celebration of 100 years of Arlington House.

Next, we went back to the ‘Face Culture’ article, with the third and final part, and then it was on to the news that Madness had kindly given us a nice Christmas present. Available for download from their web site was the 1979 rehearsal version of the classic ‘Bed and Breakfast Man’.

We rounded off this week’s issue by passing the reigns over to the Madness Trading Ring’s Steve Bringe, who announced a Christmas Quiz for all MTR and MIS subscribers. The only rules were that you had to attempt each question, and to be in the running for the draw you had to answer at least 70% of the questions correctly. The prizes were a number of Jump Records promotional items. Thanks were also given to Paul Muscat, who helped out with a number of quiz questions.

15 years ago…

Issue number 85 – Sunday 24th December to Saturday 30th December 2000

Well, Christmas was almost upon us, and if everything had gone according to plan, you should now have had all your present shopping done and dusted. All that remained was for the Christmas celebrations to begin.

It was nice to see that someone had thought of us Madness fans out there. A certain Cathal Smyth had very kindly put together some bits and pieces for our consumption on his very own website. Once there you should have found a card and a number of gifts waiting for you to enjoy! How kind.

News just in from Simsey was that he’d finally got round to uploading a whole host of Madness related snaps he’d taken over the last few months. Currently online were pictures from the second Crunch meet, the freefall mini Madmeet, and the Badness gig that Mike, Rob W and Simsey went along to. That little lot should have kept you busy for a bit.

Finally, on a sad note. Last Tuesday saw the sad death of singer/songwriter Kirsty MaColl, who was hit by a speed boat whilst diving in Mexico. Kirsty was one of Stiff’s female artists who went on to greater fame. Those of you who were at the Ian Dury tribute back in the Summer saw her last ever live performance. A sad, sad loss.

On to the articles, and a happier note…

We kicked-off with the news that New Year’s Eve would see a special edition of karaoke show Night Fever being aired. MIS subscriber Adele Moore had been along to the recording, who revealed that she’d managed to get Suggs’ autograph and a great big sloppy kiss.

Well, whatever floated your boat.

Moving on, and it was news of an unofficial Madness project which caught our eye.

Following the recent success of the unofficial Madness rarities CD, `First Step Beyond`, Nijinski’s very own Georgie had been in touch to inform us about their next project. It is a 2-cd affair going under the name of `The Lost`. The album, we were told, would feature some choice unreleased tracks and rarities.

Fanzine news next, and subscribers to that most excellent of ska `zines, `Mad Not Mad`, would be pleased to know that the `Mad Not Mad Annual, 2001` would soon be released.

This special publication would feature generous chunks of the now extinct issues 1 and 2 (including the `Absolutely` feature and Suggs Radio 2 interview in 1998). In addition to that little lot, there would also be a selection of new items making their way into the issue.

Regular subscribers to Mad Not Mad would not automatically receive the annual as the editor, Ian Taylor told us that this would go out on an order only basis. Meaning, if you wanted a copy, you had to let Ian know.

On to 2001 now, and even though we still had a week to go before this year disappeared into nothing more than a memory, TMML subscriber Chris Mountain was already looking towards 2001 and the much talked a bout `Madness Convention`.

Chris reported at the time that;

“Trying to get a hotel to put up a boatload of drunken Madness fans for the weekend, on the cheap, is not easy!  Be Patient!

If you know of any suitable hotels drop us a line.

We’ve found a few willing to do it, but alas, the places were so dirty even the rats had boiler suits on”.

If you thought you could point Chris in the right direction of a decent hotel in the Blackpool area which would accommodate a fair number of Madness fans, we asked that you dropped him a line.

We rounded off this week’s issue by apologising for the slightly smaller than usual issue, and a thank you to everyone who had helped supply material for publication over the past few weeks.

Rob Hazelby




That’s just about brings this issue of the MIS to a close.

Next week we begin our annual lookback at the nutty year gone by, and chart some of the highs and lows that took place in the World of Madness over the past 12 months.

And finally…

The MIS recently guested on a podcast all about Stephen Moffat’s children’s TV series “Press Gang”, a show which ran from 1989 to 1993, and spanned a whopping five series.

The podcast called “The Last Word” has been reviewing the show episode by episode and just as we go to press ourselves (not that email actually have a press but you know what we mean!) the episode with a Madness connection is the subject of their most recent viewing, and commentary discussion.

Our thanks to Chris and Alirio.


We’ll have a bit more info on this next issue, but until then, have a great week and take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

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