Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 915 – Sunday 20th November to Saturday 26th November 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 915 – Sunday 20th November to Saturday 26th November 2016

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The sun may be setting on this latest House of Fun Weekender, but don’t despair. Next week, once the dust has settled, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at just what went on. Whether you were there and in need of a few gaps filling in, or were one of the many who were unable to make it. We hope that our lookback will help you out.

For those unable to attend, we can tell you that Friday night was “album track night’, as tunes from the band’s first two albums; One Step Beyond and Absolutely, with a smattering of House of Fun, made up the first evening’s set list.

Friday night comprised of:

Land of Hope and Glory

Believe Me

Tarzan’s Nuts

In the Middle of the Night

Razor Blade Alley

Swan Lake

Rockin’ in a Flat

Mummy’s Boy


Close Escape

Not Home Today

On The Beat Pete

Shadow of Fear



In the Rain

You Said

House of Fun

Saturday night saw the band move back into their familiar “greatest hits” territory, but this was nicely broken up with a selection of tracks from the new album.

The tracklisting for Saturday night was as follows;

Can’t Touch us Now


The Prince



My Girl

Good Times

Wings of a Dove

Cardiac Arrest


The Sun and The Rain

Yesterday’s Men

Mumbo Jumbo

Grey Day

Tomorrow’s Just Another Day

You Are my Everything

One Step Beyond

House of Fun

Baggy Trousers

Our House

It Must be Love


Mr. Apples


Night Boat to Cairo

Moving back to this issue, and we recently spoke with Clive Langer, producer of the new Cant Touch Us Now album, about the single Mr. Apples…

“Mr Apples wasn’t as simple as some tracks were to do. I had the idea that the track needed more light and shade in the arrangement and got the band to drop out of the first eight bars of verse one and generally fiddled with it.  It didn’t work and we ended up re-recording the track in its original more primal form.  It worked and is the wonderful recording that you hear on the album and on the airwaves to this day! “

We think Clive is describing the mix of Mr. Apples that appears on the box set when he talks about the approach to recording the tune. This provides a fascinating insight into why we can enjoy two versions of what we feel is the album’s best tune.

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.



December 2016

Thursday 1st – Bournemouth – Can’t Touch us Now ** All standing gone **

Friday 2nd – Cardiff – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 3rd – Brighton – Matinee – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 3rd – Brighton – Can’t Touch us Now ** Sold Out **

Monday 5th – Groningen, The Netherlands ** Sold Out **

Tuesday 6th – Tilburg, The Netherlands ** Sold Out **

Thursday 8th – Newcastle – Can’t Touch us Now

Friday 9th – Sheffield – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 10th – London – Can’t Touch us Now ** Contact venue for standing tix **

Monday 12th – Nottingham – Can’t Touch us Now

Tuesday 13th – Bridlington – Can’t Touch us Now

Thursday 15th – Glasgow – Can’t Touch us Now ** Only expensive seats left **

Friday 16th – Manchester – Can’t Touch us Now ** All standing gone **

Saturday 17th – Birmingham – Can’t Touch us Now

Can’t Touch us Now tickets from: http://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/madness/

April 2016

Sunday 16th – Byron Bay, Australia ** New ** http://www.bluesfest.com.au/schedule/detail.aspx?ArtistID=873




Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now

** OUT NOW! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl And 30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos)


One Step Beyond Cherry Red Vinyl ** OUT NOW **

At the moment, a limited number are available to pre-order through Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/madness). You can also purchase it from branches of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

If you order through Pledge you’ll be in with a chance of winning some test pressings!


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Bite The Bullet ** OUT NOW **

Vinyl £13.55  (Includes free mp3 version)

CD £11.37 (includes free mp3 version)

Mp3 album also available on its own for £7.99



Rhoda Dakar – The LoTek Four Volume 1. ** OUT NOW **


  1. Fill The Emptiness (Lovers)
  2. Tears You Can’t Hide
  3. You Talking To Me?
  4. Dolphins
  5. Fill The Emptiness (Reefa)




Madness Interview – The Guardian


“Peter O’Tool’s daughter would have a house party in Hampstead and they’d be away and there’d be 150 people in the house for a weekend,” Suggs says.

“We invited ourselves and sometimes left with an odd record or two,” Kix says. “A suitcase appeared out of the window with a knotted sheet.”

Pam the Hawk was written about Soho’s most successful tramp, Suggs says. “She was a friend of my mum’s. She used to earn about £200 a day, but it all went on the bookies and fruit machines. She just had this incredible knack of getting money off people. She used to give you that toothless smile and she’d go to give you a hug, and you’d give her a pound not to get a fuckin’ hug, you know what I mean?”


Where’s Cathal?

It’s a question that comes up from time to time, these days.

In fact when anyone asks, Where Is Chas? We send them to Malcolm Davidson’s Where’s Wally Parody website…


But sometimes people who know he’s left Madness ask where Cathal is.  We think he’s happy in Ibiza is the best answer we can give, at this time. We also think HMS Misery is being progressed. We did also hear he was songwriting with Alison

Moyet at one point.  The following interview isn’t a recent one. It’s one we found last year some time.

It’s possible he can be found in Ireland some of the time. Wherever he is, we wish him a warm hello and a happy coming advent.


Cathal said: “People say Chas Smash is a brand but it was a name for the teenage me to spray on walls, Cathal is a personal thing and what my mum and dad christened me. “The only drawback is having to tell English people how to pronounce it.”

Which won’t be a problem in Ireland where the father of three plans to spend time this year, working on a second album as well as a stage musical and a radio play. He could base himself in Swinford, Co Mayo, where his aunt has a cottage.

Cathal said: “Funny thing is, it’s not far from where Kevin Rowland of Dexys is from in Mayo , and Charlestown where Peggy, mum of Noel and Liam Gallagher is from. It’s a creative triangle.  Cathal hasn’t ruled out rejoining Madness who he exited from last year after “an epiphany”  He said: “We’re not talking and I don’t think they are very happy with me. I imagine they are annoyed I realised last year, I realised I couldn’t do my own music and still be in Madness. But members have left before and come back again. But I was always the sheriff in the band and a control freak, getting things together. They probably need a break from me.”


UMC Harness The Mischief of Madness

It’s been a wacky few weeks for team UMC, who have successfully harnessed the unique sense of mischief of Madness, one of the best loved British groups of all time, for their new album Can’t Touch Us Now.

“The band have been actively involved in every step of the campaign,” says product manager Hannah Chadwick. “They’re up for almost anything and have bought their usual sense of humour and fun.Can’t Touch Us follows 2009’s acclaimed London concept album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate and 2012’s equally well regarded Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da.

It provides another shot of what lead singer Suggs describes as “the warp factor to get away from the black hole of Eighties nostalgia”. The album manages to be both ‘classic Madness’ and at the same time modern and inventive. All six members contributed tracks to the record and their collective experiences, memories and friendship are all there in the grooves.



Kleine Zietung          

Here’s a review of the album we came across in an Austrian newspaper.

Forgive us because our translating prowess comes from the one and only Google Translate. If we cause any offence we apolgise!

What we think the article is saying is that Madness are now old but still fun. Also, that Suggs’ voice is lower.

Their very British record has some songs you can dance to. On Good Times, You are my Everything and Grandslam the lyrics aren’t so important. They continue by saying that the single, Mr. Apples is sophisticated and they explain correctly what it’s about.

Following this the publication comments that Barson’s pub piano is great and the band still entertains, the album is a bit long, and Pam the Hawk is an example of ballads that the band aren’t so good at.

The writer finishes by saying that that the album is a very solid effort which doesn’t reach Norton Folgate heights.

The article was originally written by Werner Herpell.




This week we bring further words from fans that have emailed in to give us their thought on the new album.

Don’t forget that we’ll be carrying your album thoughts for the rest of this year and early into 2017, as MIS readers continue to receive and digest it.

Here’s Rob Wardlaw with his thoughts..

“I was lucky enough to have heard the album all earlier and at first listen I wasn’t sure as some songs sounded a bit disjointed, but I was only listening on my phone.

The songs have all grown on me, which is a good thing as all growers in the past have stuck with me … I sometimes go off the instant likes … 

I’m listening to it on CD player for first time just now and I’m absolutely loving it. I would say to anyone not instantly liking it [to] just to give it a chance and hopefully it grows on them, too. 

Where I am with Madness is that I’m sick of a lot of the “greatest hits” and I now live for the new stuff and when playing live the old album tracks, rarities [and] songs they don’t play much… But I know a lot only want the greatest hits – One Step Beyond etc. .. Fair enough … It takes us all to keep ‘em up there.. 

I’ve said before that during the wilderness years of no Madness, I was lost musically and I feel blessed they came back [and] are still making great music … 

Ok it’s not One Step Beyond but it is mature with depth musically and lyrically with hints of all Madness eras, Suggs’ solo, Crunch, Magic Bros …

This is Madness now … And I feckin’ love it … Hats off to Madness … Well done guys.”

Robert Wardlaw.




In a recent discussion of the simply amazing new Madness song Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying, song writer Chrissy Boy pointed to a couple of influences that you might have to give a spin to, also.

Bryan ferry – Don’t Stop the Dance 



Jackson 5 – Can You Feel it


It’s that thing you often get with Madness. The Prince, Ska, Reggae, Ian Dury, The Kinks, get shouted so much and so often as the key ingredients of Madness that you can get bored of the sheer weight of talk about those areas.  But Roxy Music and Mr. Ferry are brought up on occasion as part of the make up of the band.

Thank god for Madness’ wider pop ear. Their reinterpretations of so many wider influences lead to the expanding edges of their sound, never falling in on itself to the point of being predictable.

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 654 – Sunday 20th November – Saturday 26th November 2011

If you were one of the lucky people attending the first ever Madness Weekender at Butlins Minehead, we reminded you that the attempt at the World’s Longest Nutty Train would be taking place in front of the Blue Skies Apartments at 1pm on the Saturday.

The event was due to be photographed and videod by Fiona Linnel and her team, along with Darren Dicka.

The MIS team would be helping to count numbers, and the organisers had promised to bring along a megaphone to keep things in order,.

Getting our articles underway, we reported that on the 15th November a video clip had been uploaded to the Twitpic web site, which detailed a Madness rehearsals list.

We felt it was likely that all of the following tracks would be aired at the forthcoming Minehead weekend.

The tracks listed in the clip were:

  1. Death of Rude Boy
  2. Black & Blue
  3. Big Time Sister
  4. My Girl II
  5. Sole e La Luna
  6. Can’t Keep A good Thing Down
  7. Kitchen Floor
  8. I Never Knew Your Name
  9. Misery
  10. 1978
  11. Crying
  12. So Alive
  13. How can I tell you
  14. Powder blue


  1. When we was ?
  2. Doolally
  3. Leon
  4. My Obsession

The main chunk of this issue was an interview Suggs gave to The Daily Mail as part of the promotion of his My Life tour. Although the interview covered the usual sad passing of his cat, Suggs’ father and mother, and his time in Wales, it was incredibly in-depth and you were certain to learn something new.

Moving on, and we passed things over to the Big Weekend’s Team who were kind enough to give us an update on the line-up for the forthcoming weekend in Minehead.

Continuing on a Minehead theme, we featured an interview with Paul Heaton of The Housemartins/Beautiful South as he’d been kind enough to take part in the Butlins Madness quiz. If you wanted to find out if Paul preferred rock or ice cream this was the interview for you.

We brought this issue to a close with a reminder to all those attending the Weekender that the MIS movie “MISWAS” would be aired on Saturday 26th November at the Butlins Minehead Cinema.

10 years ago…

Issue 394 – Sunday 19th November to Saturday 25th November 2006

This issue got underway with an article taken from the December issue of The Word magazine, where the reporter, Andrew Harrison, interviewed Suggs, Lee, Carl, Mike, Woody and Bedders.

At the time, Kev Tizzard, who had dug the article out, commented:

“IMO, it’s possibly one of the most informative, revealing, funny, and interesting, pieces ever written about the band – and it’s individual members. It really is a good read.”

Moving on, and while we waited for a full and comprehensive lowdown of Friday’s gig in Argentina, Madness Trading Ring subscriber, Claudia Frasca had been kind enough to give us a brief rundown of the playlist and what went on.

The playlist Claudia typed-up from memory was:

One Step Beyond

The Prince

Our House

Night Boat to Cairo

Baggy Trousers

The Sun And The Rain


Shame And Scandal

Girl Why Don’t You?

I Chase the Devil

You Keep Me Hanging On

Taller Than You Are

Shut Up

House Of Fun

My Girl

Bed And Breakfast Man

It Must Be Love


Next, we had news of the Mad VIP Competition, which was currently running on the band’s MySpace page. The group were giving away pairs of tickets and backstage passes for each of the nine December shows.

One of the winners would also receive a special edition artworked box set featuring recordings of all nine shows in their entirety.

With this weekend’s Mail on Sunday featuring disc 1 (The other would be available the following week) of a Madness live set we devoted much of the issue to detailing background information about each track featured as well as reports from fans telling us about how easy or difficult they’d found getting hold of a copy.

We brought this issue to a close with news that we’d be offering up four copies of the Daily Mail Madness album to those of you who lived overseas. All you had to do was send us your address and then write a witting begging message.

It couldn’t be easier. Right?

15 years ago…

Issue 132 – Sunday 18th November to Saturday 24th November 2001

We started off this issue by congratulating long time subscriber Vince Carden, who, after a nine year struggle and a lifetime of stress,  finally qualified as a chartered accountant.

Elsewhere, and a request went out on behalf of those nice people over on The Madness Trading Ring, who were attempting to track down a photo of Mike Barson’s graffiti, which appeared in a book called ‘The Writing on The Wall’.

Continuing on the subject of the MTR, and maintainers Steve Bringe and Phil Pugh kindly teamed-up with the MIS subscribers, letting them take part in a prize-winning competition, of increasing difficulty.

Jermaine from Tour Madness made a welcome re-appearance to the bits and bytes of the MIS with a review of 1981’s Hamburg, Germany gig. Jermaine finished the review by describing it as “one of Madness’ most legendary performances”.

Exciting news also reached us this week that Suggs was to appear on the forthcoming album ‘Small World, Big Band’ with the track ‘Oranges and Lemons Again’ – a song written by Jools Holland and Suggs himself.

Online things were equally as busy, with Nutty Bex announcing the birth of a new Yahoo group dedicated to the one and only Crunch!

To finish off, we took a look back 20 years to 1981, where we were  given an insight into a week in the life of Suggs.

Rob Hazelby




That’s nearly it for this week’s edition of the MIS.

Before we go though we’d like to point give a heads-up to our German readers as subscriber Peter Clemm has been in touch to say his song-by-song introduction to Can’t Touch us Now is now online.

Using Oliver Kalkofe’s recent MIS quote and interviews with Mike and Lee, Peters German laguage article can be found on the skablog.de web site at


We’ll be back next weekend for our House of Fun Weekender lowdown, and we turn our attention to the forthcoming Christmas tour.

2016 may be coming to an end, but there’s still a lot of Madness to come before the year’s out!

All the best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Peter Clemm, Robert Wardlaw Patrick Jones and Malcolm Davidson)

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