Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 870 – Sunday 10th January to Saturday 16th January 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 870 – Sunday 10th January to Saturday 16th January 2016

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Evening all,

This coming Friday Lee Thompson brings his Ska Orchestra back to The Jazz Cafe in Camden. It’s another sell-out for the venue as according to all web sites who normally sell tickets on behalf of the venue.

Here’s another glimpse into rehearsal work, preparing the second album “Bite the bullet”;


Seamus has penned a “Mystery Song”, a working title that may stick or may morph by the time the full second album takes its final shape.

Those who are going to Friday’s gig we’ll see at The Dublin Castle. In true MIS stylr, we’ll report back in time for next week’s issue.

In the meantime, let’s get this one underway.

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.




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 – Jazz Cafe – Camden Town London


Near Jazz Experience

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


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

Many shoes discounted. Grab yourself a bargain!




John  ‘Brad’ Bradbury – A Tribute

You’re no doubt aware of the sad passing of Specials Drummer John Bradbury. Well, this week, MIS subscriber Mick Jenner got in touch to let us know that he’d put together a video tribute in memory of the great man.

And what a tribute it is;


Running at just under five minutes, the tribute includes classic footage, plus new and not so new interviews.

It’s been beautifully put together, and is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Well done in putting it together, Mick.


Viz – Suggs on Slugs

Fellow Madness fans will find plenty to love in the brand new issue of @viz comic (number 252), as Suggs gets to edit two pages.

It’s a spoof. Every couple of issues they do a page of themed letters that are a pun on the celebrity host’s name.

This issue includes Suggs on Slugs. (A previous issue had one claiming deceased drummer Keith moon was mad on button moon)

It comprises of an intro allegedly by Suggs, filled with song title puns, (worth a read if only for their description of the nutty train) which then claims he is bonkers about slugs, then a themed page of usual humorous viz letters appears themed on the topic.

Paul Rodgers


Steve Lamacq Flashback

Did you know about Madness featuring on the Steve Lamacq show this week in a 35 year old flash back?

To 1980s Roundtable.


Mick Jagger and Annie Nightingale commenting on Absolutely. Last 20 mins of an hour show.

Annie is baffled by Lee in the Baggy a Trousers video “how was it done?” She doesn’t believe it was a crane, Take it or leave it and Embarrassment are played chosen by Suggs. Mick Jagger points out the music hall connection as early as the bands second year of recording when this was first broadcast and says he has seen them live in New York.

Paul Rodgers




Madopoly – A Progress Update

This is the first we’ve heard of “Madopoly”, but it does sound interesting. If all goes to plan it could become an official Hasbro release! Here’s Stav with the details so far.

“Just thought I’d give you an update on the progress of Madopoly [which] Iain Mason [has] kindly offered to help out with.

Basically, it runs along the same lines as other versions of music groups Monopoly.

I have used singles as the streets. The way I have worked this out is by going by chart positions that they reached. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of the later singles aren’t included due to poor chart positionings. For example, Old Kent Road is Shame and Scandal (this had the lowest chart position from all the songs selected to fit in the board) and Mayfair is House of Fun (as it was the band’s number 1 hit)

Also, a couple of the well known singles haven’t been included as the streets as they are mentioned in the Take It and Leave It cards.

We are in the process of getting a prototype board designed and player pieces.

Once these have been completed I will contact Hasbro as they are now the makers of Monopoly and see if this project can become a reality. Hasbro may not go with the name Madopoly as all the other versions of the game have kept the Monopoly name.

I’ll give you a further update soon detailing more.



As soon as we hear anything further regarding this project we’ll let you know.




In this second part of our feature we look at the final six months of 2015, and highlight a few of the high and low points for us Madness fans.

July 2015

July got underway with the news that the start of the month had brought forth yet more new Madness tunes.

At Silverstone the (Mcpherson/Barson) tune “Herbert” was loaded and fully fired out to the crowd. Meanwhile, at Haydock “Don’t Leave The Past Behind”, was heard. This is was Woodgate/Woodgate number.

Woody spoke briefly with us at the Grandslam, and said he was most looking forward to walking in and seeing his first true solo album on sale in HMV, grinning with excited eyes of anticipation of that first time moment.

The Grandslam tour was well and truly in full swing, and the band had the following dates booked for the month of July:

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

Madness weren’t the only band you may be interested in seeing who were gigging this month. On the 17th the Near Jazz Experience were appearing at the Kino Theatre, Sussex, while on the 24th Lee was booked to perform with his Ska Orchestra at Llangollen Town Hall, Denbrighshire.

Now, it may have been many months off, but July was when we all learned that the fancy dress theme for this year’s House of of Fun Weekender would be. Well, the trouble was the organisers couldn’t decide and so they wanted your ideas. If they chose yours then you’d win a prize!

With Woody’s album seeing a release during the first week or so of the month fan reviews started to come in, and it was great to see that these seemed to be universally positive.

Back to Madness, and the 11th saw the band complete their final gig of the Grandslam tour until it would re-commence in September. This gave each member a chance to have a well-deserved rest, or work on their own projects instead.

August 2015

August got off to a fantastic start with the news that Suggs would be staging a one off performance of his highly acclaimed one man show “Suggs My Life Story”. He’d be visiting Marbella after the Madness gig at the Gibralter Festival, and performing at The Nutty Bar on the 8th September.

On to Madness Weekender news, and for those who had already booked their accommodation for they were about to learn that they’d been put into a hat to win a free upgrade to one of the site’s luxury chalets. Butlins Minehead were quick to point out that that blue sky and sunshine were not necessarily included!

With the band taking a well deserved break from their Grandslam Tour, gig news was more than a little thin on the ground for the month of August, with Madness and their offshoots planning future performances for later in the year. The only August gig we had to report on was for The Silencerz, who were due to play at the Chandos Arms, Colindale on the 15th.

The fact that it was Summer clearly hadn’t passed the Madness PR wagon by, as the band were now offering Madness beachballs for sale in the Madstore. Now, all we needed was some decent weather!

If you didn’t fancy spending your money you could instead take part in the competition the band were running this month. Winners could win bottles of Gladness, Lovestruck and Nightboard delivered straight to their door. Very nice!

Although absent from the Madness line-up, Carl was keeping himself busy, and this month he could be found on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2. Each day, for a week, he was talking to Zoe Ball (standing in for Ken) about the Tracks of his Years.

Now, it may have been months off, but this month we learned of the line-up for this year’s House of Fun Weekender. The line-up was certainly varied, but many people we spoke to thought it featured too many acts who’d appeared in previous years. The MIS would be part of the returning line-up. Taking over a small corner of the Weekender in Jak’s bar, we had a Sunday tea time slot, prior to much fun taking place elsewhere on the site.

August came to a close with the news that The Blockheads had teamed up with the Darkstar Brewery, and had now released their very own Blockhead ale. Naturally, the MIS team were keen to try this out. All in the name of research, of course!

September 2015

We began the month on a very sad note, as we learned that on Friday 4th September legendary trombonist Rico Rodriguez had passed away at the age of 80.

Born in Havana, Cuba, on the 17th October 1934, Rico would probably be best known amongst Madness fans due to his collaborations with The Specials. Rodriguez also worked closely with Jools Holland, as part of the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and released his own material in the 1970s.  Recognised for his hard work and talent, in 2007 his was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.

Being such a loved and admired musician it came as no surprise when the tributes came flooding in, and we included a large selection in one of our issues this month.

On a much happier note, the Grandslam got back on the road again this month, with the following gigs:

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

Over to Ebay, and this month a rather unusual item appeared – a guitar the seller was claiming was the guitar used in the underwater shots of the It Must be Love video.

We contacted the seller, who emailed us back to say;

“The Strat was used in the Madness video.  I was working at Stiff at the time and when it came back from the shoot (it was played under water in a swimming pool) there was still water inside the guitar. Consequently the rental house refused to take the guitar back and the label was forced to buy the guitar.

At that point the guitar lingered in a cupboard for months if not years.  I eventually plucked up the courage to ask if I could use it and was told I could keep it.”

Chris also got in touch to tell us;

“It could be real but I don’t know where all the damage came from. During the video the guitar kept pulling me up (as it’s wooden), so I put two lead weights from the diving kit in my back pockets. These however, nearly dragged me under. I wasn’t going to go in the pool but we thought it would look good. Dave Robinson and I tried to dry it with a hair dryer. The neck was really bent and Stiff had to buy it. The guitar subsequently appeared in a lot of Stiff videos with other acts and also on Top of The Pops.”

Finally, after much bidding, the guitar sold this afternoon for a whopping £1,120!

October 2015

Out on October 9th, and just over 23 years since the famous comeback gigs was the one and only Madstock. This CD/DVD edition cost around £12, and contained Razor Blade Alley from the concerts as a bonus track for the first time on CD. The extra tracks previously available on the Harder They Come singles were also now added to the album. Chrissy Boy pointed out that these extra tracks weren’t part of the Live Album’s original mixing by Clive Langer, being sourced elsewhere and masters were impossible to find nearly 25 years on, so appeared as the final bonus tracks on the album.

Managing to get his paws on the album before it was made available to the general public, one Paul Rodgers was kind enough to submit an exclusive review to the MIS.

“This release it long overdue and I love it.

That said there are a couple of niggles: the sleeve notes are well written and informative and they remind us of the story of how Chas got the band back together to perform live on a pilot of a TV show that Go! Discs were making in their new guise as Go! Tv. It’s a shame that performance is not available here as an extra. That said I have no idea if it still exists, let alone whether it could have been licensed; The Top Of The Pops performance of The Harder They Come from outside the Kremlin in Moscow would also have made a nice extra; Some parts of the DVD have poor picture quality. As far as I can work out this is a fault that one of the cameras generated. Like anything originally recorded on video it doesn’t seem like there’s anything that can be done about it. It mainly affects the pre-concert short documentary piece and doesn’t ruin the concert. I only mention it here so that people don’t think they have a faulty copy. I wish we lived in a world where this was the sort of thing that people should care deeply about, but we don’t. Perspective is everything here.”

Thanks to Holly Barringer and the rest of the team at BMG we were able to give away two copies of the CD/DVD pack to two lucky fans. All you had to do was tell us what your favourite Madness song live is, and why.

Were you one of the many people who enjoyed the recent Grandslam tour? If so, you may have been interested to learn that some of the remaining merchandise was being sold off cheaply. Certain Grandslam T-shirts were now only £10 each. You’d have to get in quick, though!

This month the Dublin Castle unveiled their new Madness “One Step Beyond” mural,  that had recently been installed in the pub. Where could you find it? It was in the back, near the dressing room. Also, Blur, Supergrass and Amy Winehouse were depicted on the walls elsewhere in the pub, having all played there down the years.

November 2015

The band got November off to an astounding start when they performed at the Lions-Chiefs NFL game at London’s Wembley Arena.

NFLUK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said at the time “We are very excited about Madness bringing their unique brand of music and showmanship to our final London game of the year. They have been synonymous with the best of British entertainment for more than three decades and we know the fans at our game are going to love seeing them. It will be a fantastic way to kick off the event.”

If you were after a new Madness T-shirt then this month’s news from Retro Madness may have been of interest to you. Following a huge sort through their collection they now had over 120 different Madness shirts listed for sale, dating from 1980 to 2015. Most had never been worn, and not only that, most were available in more than one size.

The Madness Weekender was getting ever closer, and just in time for the event the organisers had released the free House of Fun Weekender app for iOS and Android platforms. Once installed you’d be able to view bios and photos for the various acts alongside all timings for the various events and performances. Very nice.

With the the Weekender just around the corner we were finally able to publish the full schedule for the event, and what a schedule it was. Unlike previous years where there were definite lulls during the daytimes, this looked to be a packed Weekender from start to finish.

During the course of the Madness Weekender Jon could be found at the event, while Rob and Simon were at their respective homes, and making the most of their home comforts. What this meant for MIS subscribers was that an issue could go out during the course of the weekend, so that those unable to attend the event could find out what was going on.

One of the biggest announcements was that a Weekender Six had not only been announced, but tickets were now on sale. The 2016 Madness Weekender would take place on Friday 18th to Monday 21st December 2016. One again, the venue would be Butlins Minehead.

Back to this year’s event, and during the two nights of Madness gigs the assembled crowd were treated to over 40 tracks, many of them never heard in public before.

As in previous years, one night was kept aside for a greatest hits run-through, with a separate evening devoted to the airing the more unusual.

Friday night played host to just that – the more unusual, with a stack of never heard before gems.

Madness – Friday 20th November 2015

  • Keep Moving
  • You Can’t Touch us Now
  • I Believe
  • Don’t Leave the Past Behind You
  • Promises Promises
  • Blackbird on the Wing
  • Mumbo Jumbo
  • Herbert
  • Rockin in Ab
  • Grandslam
  • Whistle in the Dark
  • Another Version of me
  • Razor Blade Alley
  • Given the Opportunity
  • Mr. Apples
  • Soul Denying
  • House of Fun

“Bloody HELL!!! I only know 5 of those!!!”, commented Dan Fossard, with Adam Nicholls responding “Fantastic! So much new material! Obviously heard some on [the] Grandslam tour, but bloody hell… They really went above and beyond tonight.”

“Keep Moving at the top takes me back to the Mad Not Mad tour… 30 years? Whoosh, I’m getting old”, followed up Ian Taylor.

If you were looking to move house, then November was the month where the house featured in the Our House video not only went on sale, but quickly sold for a whopping £565,000! Not bad for a mid-terrace house.

November came to a close with an absolutely packed issue of the MIS. Hardly surprising really, when so much went on at the recent Madness Weekender, and this was the issue where all (well, most!) that went on was reported.

December 2015

As things wound down for the Christmas period many were looking forward to the year ahead. Suggs already had a massive tour of his One Man Show planned for 2016, and Madness had their Weeekender Six booked for the 18th – 21st November.

The month began with a stack of links to numerous videos taken during the recent Weekender, so although it was almost a year until the next one you could at least remind yourself of just how good this year’s was.

Realising it was foolish to go against the Christmas number one favourites, Lee announced that his next single (as part of the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra) would be released on Christmas day. Entitled “It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring”, the track was available to pre-order from early in the month.

If you’d not done your Christmas gift shopping then those who were after a British Home Stores two pint and glass sleeve pack were in for some bad news. It looked like demand had been so high that both the online and high street stores had sold out.

Towards the end of the month Madness announced their second date for 2016 – on Saturday 6th August the band had been booked as headliners at the Tartan Heart Festival, Scotland. We were certain that many more gigs would be added to the Madness gig line-up as 2016 got underway.

Rob Hazelby




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

5 years ago…

Issue Number 609 – Sunday 9th January – Saturday 15th January 2011

“We were all young once”, says Suggs at numerous Madness gigs, and on the 13th our favourite frontman hit the ripe old age of 50. We were certain he’d be celebrating his landmark age in style, and we wished him all the very best at reaching the big five-o.

On to the articles, and we kicked off with a report from the This is Hull and East Riding web site, where they reported that East Yorkshire based Madness fans were left disappointed in December as the band were forced to cancel their Hull gig due to bad weather.

The article continued with a short interview with the band, and finished off by detailing the new date, which would be Saturday 5th February at 7:30pm.

As we were still only just into the new year, with continued with part 3/4 of our lookback at the previous year. This issue we wandered back from July to September 2010, and detailed some of the highs and lows from the third quarter of the year.

Next, we moved on to Madmeets, as Tony Bass and Looby sent us details of the forthcoming Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra gig, which was due to take place on the 16th April in Oxford. We were promised that hotels and B&B info would follow.

Elsewhere we reported on a new album. No, not from Madness but from Keith Finch, the brains behind the Dance Brigade. He was due to release a new album from his band JA13, on iTunes this coming week.

The album was titled ‘Puff and Stuff Vol.1’ and featured major contributions on several tracks from Lee Thompson, along with a track and additional vocals from fellow Dance Brigade members Jennie Matthias and Debra Barker.

To bring this issue to a close we finished off with part 4/4 of our lookback of the previous year. Here we ran through October to December 2010.

10 years ago…

Issue 349 – Sunday 8th January to Saturday 14th January 2006

Following a packed New Year’s Day issue, we started putting this week’s edition of the MIS together, and were initially worried that we were going to be short of material to send out. Thankfully this was quickly replaced with surprise when we discovered that after a  small amount of rummaging around we had a more than ample stash of bits and pieces for you this week.

We had news of how you could take home a piece of Suggs-penned artwork (and at the same time do your bit for charity), as our favourite front man had donated a self portrait of himself to the 21st Century Leaders charity project.

The goal of 21st Century Leaders’ charitable brand was to sell ‘merchandise with a meaning’. All products were manufactured under fair working conditions and were sold to raise funds for charitable causes chosen by each contributing leader.

100% of net profits were donated to charity. The aim was to raise a minimum of $3 million over three years to fund charitable projects in developing countries, contribute to the protection of the environment and other charitable causes.

Moving on, and with many readers unable to make the trek to Camden we decided to bring a number of Camden outlets to them, by highlighting their web sites. We pulled up the web sites of The British Boot Company (formerly Holts Shoe Shop), and Escapade joke shop.

If you knew of any other Madness haunts that had a web presence we asked that you let us know. If the response was good enough we were planning to feature a few more Camden outlets in the not-too-distant future.

On to competition news, and back in issue 347 Madness Trading Ring co-maintainer, Steve Bringe ran a two week long competition for MTR and MIS subscribers. With the deadline passed Steve was back with the answers and details of the lucky winners.

Those lucky people in question were:

First Place – Andy Gleaves

Second Place – Mark Bryant

Third Place – Robert Greenwood

We closed this issue with news in from MIS subscriber ‘Sandra’, who reported on Hamburg based ska band ‘No Life Lost’, who had recently covered the Madness classic ‘Night Boat to Cairo’.

Their new single “Fähre nach Finkenwerder” was a cover of NBTC, except the lyrics were about taking the ferry from the Fish market (fair on Sundays between 6-10 am where you can buy anything you can possibly think of) to Finkenwerder (rural area south of the river Elbe) on a sunny Sunday morning.

15 years ago…

Issue 87 – Sunday 7th January Saturday 13th January 2000/2001

After the quiet Christmas period it was nice to see the news flowing freely once more. Following the recent lean issues of the MIS, we were pleased to start off 2001 with an edition that was full to bursting. This was all due to the sheer number of people who have contributed this week, and we asked that you please kept it coming.

We started off the issue with some birthday news, as subscriber Dan Fossard reminded us that on the 13th of January Suggs would be celebrating his 40th birthday.

At the time Dan asked if there was anywhere us fans could send Suggs some birthday greetings. We were at a dead end with this one. However, we had heard that a party was organised for the big event.

He may have had a birthday just around the corner, but he was still keeping himself busy. First, he’d been spotted advertising beer, and as well as that, providing voice overs to McDonald’s commercials.

News in from Jonathan Young was that Suggs had made an appearance on the BBC documentary, Top of the Pops the True Story, which as aired mark 40 years of the show.

Suggs appeared in brief interviews on this Celebratory show with clips being aired of Embarrassment and later his solo hit Cecelia. The latter when mainly shown because It helped highlight the Top of the pops show of the mid 90’s when they had guest presenters every week. Famously Chris Eubank the phonetically challenged boxer had to say “At six it’s Suggs with Cecelia”. He was interviewed saying “It was difficult but I think I got it correct” and Suggs memory was “It was difficult trying to Perform with a straight face after that.”

Suggs also told of the eighties TOTP which was very BBC authority run and money conscious. “We were always being blasted and called unprofessional but we were always asked back”.

Subscriber Mikel Echeberria had some exciting news for us this week, as he gave us a track by track lowdown of a new double CD bootleg entitled ‘The Lost’. Spanning a whopping 50 tracks, many of them not heard before, this compilation would become something of a ‘must have’ for any Madness fan.

It was over to Madness tribute outfits next, as the following two articles covered Los Palmas 6 (with a short review of their new year’s gig) and then Complete Madness (with a full lowdown of their January bookings). Although not the real thing, both bands would provide any Madness fan with a fantastic night out.

Following this, it was on to collaboration news, as Chris Carter-Pegg explained what had happened to the tracks worked on between Tricky and Suggs. Tricky responded that he had really enjoyed working with Suggs, that they had done two tracks together, but that he always did many more tracks than actually get put out and was not sure if or when they would see the light of day.

Next, it was over to Andrew Langmead, who revealed that he’d received 106 Madness tracks to tally-up in this latest Madchart, and promised that results would start to appear in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, we rounded off this issue with news in from Chris Mountain, who announced that he’d found a hotel in Blackpool that would be willing to put up between 50 and 100 Madness fans as part of the proposed Madness weekender.

It was now time to set a date.

Rob Hazelby




Before we go we’ve just got time for two more snippets…

If you fancy grabbing a new live download from Rhoda featuring Lynval Golding, Rhoda’s live band line up featuring Paul Tadman and Louis Vause you may be interested in the following.

The above storm through a new version of hit Ruder than you rude girl. This perfectly compliments her recent album. The sound is sound desk quality, live from Camden’s Halloween show at the legendary Jazz Café.

Check out the link below;


And finally…

You may be interested to learn that Lee is being interviewed live on the Jonny Walker Show (BBC Radio 2), between 3-5pm this coming Sunday.

Until next week, take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Mick Jenner, Paul Rodgers and Stav)

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