Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 871 – Sunday 17th January to Saturday 23rd January 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 871 – Sunday 17th January to Saturday 23rd January 2016

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We may still be in the midst of winter, but for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are slowly lengthening. Plus, with Christmas behind us we can start to look forward to what will hopefully be warm days ahead.

The band and their management are most definitely looking towards the warmer summer months, as this week the band added another date to their 2016 gig listing. On Thursday 11th August, Madness will be the first-day headliners at the Cropredy Festival in Oxfordshire.

With two dates already booked for May, the spring and summer months are slowly starting to become populated with gigs. Hopefully, details of further performances will surface in the not too distant future.

Elsewhere this issue we take review the recent Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra, which took place this Friday just gone. The turnout from fans was so great that many were left disappointed, as tickets had already sold out.

The Ska Orchestra are really starting to get themselves a following these days. If you wish to see them at future gigs make sure you get a ticket early!

Now, on with the issue.

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


Thursday 11th – Cropredy Festival, Oxfordshire. First day headliner ** NEW **


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


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!




Full Cropredy Line-up Announced

Thursday headliners.

British legends Madness are stronger then ever and in 2015 they performed their biggest live tour of the UK yet with Grandslam Madness, billed as the UK’s greatest outdoor rock’n’roll tour ever.

Famed for their nutty behavior, the band spread their joy far and wide, whether it be at the Queens Diamond Jubilee on the roof of her house, the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, or at their 5th ‘House of Fun’ weekender. And with the news they are writing a new record that whispers suggest will be out later this year there is much to look forward to this summer!

They will entertain the Cropredy audience with a huge range of hits from their 35 year career, House of Fun, Our House, It Must Be Love, Wings of a Dove, NW5 and many, many more.

Madness follow Hayseed Dixie, coco and the butterfields, acoustic set from Festival organisers Fairpoint convention.

The 3 day festival also includes the Bootleg Beatles, Ralph mctell, Steele eye span, and a ton of more folk rock inspired bands in line with the Fairpoint conventions own sound as they headline with some guests joining them on stage.

Our thoughts are that it will be interesting to hear how they go down at this event, which isn’t as mainstream pop as some festivals they have stormed before, but a great opportunity to spread the great sounds of madness.

You can WIN FESTIVAL TICKETS by partaking in a survey on Fairport Convention’s websites http://www.fairportconvention.com

Our thanks go to Mick Berry who also gave us a heads-up on this.


Lee Thompson Joins Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker is joined live in the studio by Lee Thompson from Madness.

Most well-known as the saxophonist and songwriter for the ska group Madness, Thompson helped form the band in the late seventies and wrote their debut single “The Prince”. The group went on to become one of the most prominent groups of the 1970s and 1980s.


By the time you read this the programme should be available via the BBC’s Listen Again service.




Winter Outside but a Warm Reception in The Jazz Cafe. – Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra Live – Camden Friday 15th

As it currently snows here at Home, I’m looking back to the start of this weekend and Friday Night which began in the Dublin Castle for a packed Mad Meet of Thommo fans. Iain Palmer had flown in from Scotland some 600 miles north of Camden and Jero (ska patrol) and Declan were among a handful of Irish souls over for some ska too, packing out the pub meet by early evening.

Times once were when a Crunch! gig or similar endeavour might struggle to get enough desired Londoners down to the central hundred club, and now here is a Thommo outfit so popular in 2016 that some friends of MIS, or of Lee himself, the likes of Londoner Stuart Wright fanzine writer was amongst those struggling and not getting a ticket near to time since this concert sold out in early January.

Geordie Darren Dixon and our own Simon Roberts (both capturing website media at the soundcheck) brought the north west and east of England representation and along with more usual suspects, Leah, Sarah, Vicki, Mark Bryant, Gary, Owen, Patrick, Stav, Maria, Hazel, Tom Cat, Raggs, Sharon, Lynn, Lisa, Mr Happy, Darren west, CCP, David Hatter, Nick Chesney, Andy, Jane, and my partner in crime Mark Bow.

There were some new fans to our circles happily mingling in with Wendy, Andy, Sue and more participating and feeding back in the bands fans group online how well the day had gone. One happily taking home signatures for her young daughter. Band members and friends, legendary Dave Robinson, Mike Barso, and his mum! Made the day a celebrated start to the year. Even Spencer Wade couldn’t keep away (a Bad Manners sax) and was there till the gig was empty and kicking out once this sermon of ska was over for the night.

Darren Bennett and Madame Scorcher started the good vibes with just a little Bowie mixed in amongst the Ska through choice or possibly Thommo’s request too, towards the end of the night.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the scene around Thommo Solo projects so healthy, they should really be playing a larger venue in Camden, and the whole event is wonderfully staged in January when there is more usually a lull in fandom.  A gap that feels so much more sharp these days after November HOF finishes and takes the party away. The new year slow start, thankfully plugged like our last year’s skiff Skatt event, or Friday’s Skanking Orchestra Outing is so acutely appreciated.


Mr Thompson ever charming stage presence sits front and centre of the tight sound of the band, built on Mark Bedfords reliable bass and Mezs Drums.

Mark is sporting a retro future sailor look possibly a mid era bowie tribute nod.

It was all wonderfully cosy. A slight disappointment then that new single “Winter Outside” didn’t debut as a live track. Sumudu was present most of the gig in the Line Up (starting with Bangarang) so would have been no obstacle to the songs sweet vocals appearing live. Many of the multiple possible reasons are pretty understandable (deemed too xmassy

Perhaps, not live rehearsed for this line up, don’t encourage Thommo to flirt with the drummer’s partner!!! Lol or just the more sedate fact of a slower groove not suiting live where dancing energy is priority) There is also the occasional electronic glitch in a feedback mic squealing out but never for prolonged ruination of any full track.

We do get the third outing of songs for album 2 “Bite the Bullet” though, making this gig well worth the £18 entry price.  “Step it up sister” again gaining the most praise, along with cowboy instrumental “Western Standard Time” even though Bob the Bone is extended honeymooned away with A clever Trevor

Stand in his place.

“The wickerman” had probably its clearest demonstration yet of Thommo’s freshest set of new lyrics, while “Hungry” the Lieber and Stoller cover song was first of the batch out.

Battling a cold Fordie takes lead dedicating “Cry to Me” to his and our Fallen Heroes. Echoed celebrations of our respected departed loved musicians is the topic on the days gathering. Fordie’s Chorus line on “I Am King” is fast becoming a favourite moment, backing Thommos bold delivery of the rest of this track. He is king, and this band are royally celebrated.

Pencilled in but not yet confirmed is an April 1st (yes!) release date for the album and a docklands area launch venue under consideration.

Book your next ticket for the bullet as its about to fire the band into even more popularity once those new tunes reach wider ears.

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 610 – Sunday 16th January – Saturday 22nd January 2011

This issue of the MIS got off the starting blocks with the news that a recent interview Owen Collins carried out with Chrissy Boy, would soon be apearing on Insanity FM.

We were told to expect  questions about Showtime, Cheese, New Songs, Koala Bears, Worst moments in Madness, Politics, Students, Who’s the laziest band member, Power Rangers, Tour Busses, Woody’s bacon & Toblerones and more.

Next, we moved on to Deaf School news, where we reported that the band were about to release a 5 track EP album, before kicking off their “Listen and Learn” tour on the 28th of the month.

Following this it was over to “Scootering” magazine, with their review of the new Madness book “House of Fun: The Madness Story”.

“As someone who is both a fan of madness from my school days to today, as well as knowing some of the band and indeed the Nutty Boys set up too, I found this book to be more enlightening that I could have hoped. It charts their beginning, rise and fall, ups and downs, the intricacies of record deals and touring, as well as fall outs both outside and within the band. I could have done with a little less background about non-band members maybe, and possibly Norton-Folgate was investigated a bit much, but the former helps build pictures while the latter is far easier to research than the making of One Step Beyond. Yes there are a couple of questions unanswered maybe (and I’m sure others will have different ones). but until all seven publish collective biographies this will remain the most complete story of Madness to be published yet.”

We brought this week’s issue to a close with the news that the tenor sax used in the past two Madness albums was now up on Ebay. If you had a good £2200 to pay then Steve Turner’s auction may have been of interest to you.

Time to start saving!

10 years ago…

Issue 350 – Sunday 15th January to Saturday 21st January 2006

We started off this week’s issue by lamenting the fact that the new series of Disappearing London (featuring Suggs) was only available to South East England based viewers. Normally we’d have logged on to TV program downloading site UKNOVA and download the cap.

Unfortunately, those normally on the ball had failed to record and make this available.

On to the articles, and Jon Young decided to report on the BBC who were continuing their search for evidence proving the earliest usage of words, to form part of Balderdash & Piffle, a major new series for BBC TWO.

Jonathan reported that thanks to a wordhunter who sent in a clipping from the New York Times, the earliest date for the phrase ‘bomber jacket’ had been pushed back from 1973 to 1946.

But other mysteries remained: despite the best efforts of the British public, the Wordhunt team still needed help with ten key words.

One of these words was Ska.

Back to the first episode of Disappearing London now, and despite the MIS team grumbling that the show wasn’t aired in their neck of the woods, a fair few lucky fans did catch the first episode, and were more than willing to give a lowdown to the rest of us.

Patrick Clifford produced a detailed review of episode one, and was clearly looking forward to part two, due to be aired the following week.

In last week’s edition of the MIS we took you on a brief virtual tour of two of Camden’s famous Madness related haunts.

This week, we’d been scouring the net in an effort to bring you something different, and after a bit of searching we’d struck gold.

We all knew Camden Town was famous for over the years being the regular haunt of Madness, but how much did you know about the history of the area?

Well, thanks to the wonderful www.camden.tv web site you could sit through a high-speed (3 minute long) documentary about the birth and growth of North London’s famous borough. Entitled ‘The Birth of Camden Town’, the 4.8 megabyte documentary charted the days when the area that was to become Camden was merely farm land, to the arrival of the canal, the railways, and much more.

If you wanted to find out more about Camden Town, then this 3 minute programme was well worth a download.

He’d obviously had a few weeks to recover, as Lee Hookway finally got around to reviewing the recent MOT gig which took place at The Dublin Castle on the 27th December.

After a detailed and glowing review, Lee finished off by urging us to;

“Make M.O.T Your NEW Years REVELATION And come along to a gig, I promise you won’t regret it.”

We finished off this week’s issue by reporting that we’d been contacted by a Vikcy McGurk. Vicky had contacted us earlier in the week explaining that she was considering selling her framed ‘Complete Madness’ disc, presented to recognise sales of over 300,000, of the joint number 1 album and single (House of Fun).

Vicky told us that the framed set was presented to her husband as a leaving present from the printing firm Madness presented it to, as they used to print their album covers. If you liked to discuss prices with Vicky, or wanted her to send you a photo of the set, we urged you to contact her.

15 years ago…

Issue 88 – Sunday 14th January to Saturday 20th January 2001

With the second working week of January passed, the Christmas and New Year celebrations already seemed like a lifetime away. With most of us enduring poor weather, and temperatures which rarely made it into double figures, it was easy to get yourself down in the dumps.

Well, you had no need to. Already this year was shaping up to be very exciting indeed. On the 20th January the legendary Crunch were due to appear in Brighton, whilst Chris Mountain and the famous Scatty were busy making plans for the Madness weekend in Blackpool that Summer.

Always at the forefront of Madness information, Skanews editor Jean-Pierre Boutellier told us that a new band by the name of “Pama” was currently up and running. Featuring the bass player from Steel Pulse, Kevin Flowerdew and the legendary Lee Thompson, this sounded like a band well worth looking into.

As mentioned in last week’s edition of the MIS, the legendary Suggs celebrated his 40th birthday. If what we’d been told was true a large party was held in the re-furbished Dublin Castle to signify this momentous event.

Continuing with the birthday theme and Paul Muscat pointed out that the 14th was the turn of none other than Cathal Smyth to celebrate another year. As Paul rightfully said “Three cheers to one and all!”.

On to the articles, and the big, big news this week was that the unofficial Madness rarities compilation ‘The Lost’ would no longer be seeing the light of day. There seemed to be a differing of opinions between the distributor and Carl, as to who had the legal rights to what, and as such the album was withdrawn from sale.

Fans responded – many feeling that the asking price was too expensive, but that they’d dearly want to add this material to their collections.

The final words on the subject from subscriber Ruza Foster seemed to sum things up perfectly;

“Much as we are all STILL after so many years eager as all hell to get our hands on new material or previously unreleased material, I think we must respect the guys and let them censor the things that are so personal or as yet unfinished works (of art – I       am completely objective…not!), that they have not seen fit to release them!”

On to jollier things, and Chris Mountain was here to reveal the details of the forthcoming Blackpool Madness weekend. Due to take place on Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st of July, the weekend would cost a mere £55 per person. Entertainment would come from the one and only Crunch! as well as a charity auction, karaoke, a quiz, and much more.

Moving on, and we passed things over to Andrew Langmead, who was kind enough to give us tracks 103 to 50 in the Third Annual Madchart.

We had stats, facts, figures and trivia on almost every track, and it was clear that many hours of work had gone in to producing this third lowdown of fans’ favourite tracks.

Next, Jean-Pierre Boutellier reported on a new 5-piece French band called Boy in the Boat. Apparently influenced by Madness, Crunch and Ian Dury, the band would be supporting Bad Manners on the 21st of January. The band were also looking to invite Lee and Carl to appear on their first album.

Elsewhere we urged you to check out the new One Step Behind web site, which listed all gigs the band had planned over the next 12 months, background information, a photo album, and even a guest book. Those of you who had seen the band in action were urged to knock-up a review and send it to the band for displaying on their web site.

We rounded up this issue with details of the next Crunch Madmeet, and a French-tinged Madness ‘did you know’ from JP of Skanews.net.

Rob Hazelby




Chrissy Boy ‏@CBoyForeman  Jan 11

“Really sad day today. Goodbye Brad.”


Graham McPherson ‏@suggsgmcpherson

“Brad. Great fellow. Great drummer. Great memories. God Bless.”


Mark Bedford @I_be_MarkB

(In reply to comment on the gig and hat)

“It’s my hat from when I was a tugboat captain in Greece.”




That just about wraps it up for this week’s issue.

Before we go we’d like to recommend you check out this YouTube link:


The footage is from Friday’s night’s Ska Orchestra gig, which as been kindly uploaded by Maria Ashe.

Enjoy, and if you like what you see/here, please give her some feedback.

Until next week, take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Mick Berry)

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 872 – Sunday 24th January to Saturday 30th January 2016