Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 918 – Sunday 11th December to Saturday 17th December 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 918 – Sunday 11th December to Saturday 17th December 2016

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Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the MIS Online Bulletin.

Following tonight’s issue, we’ve only two more issues to go until we’re into 2017, Madness in Australia, potentially further Southern Hemisphere gigs, a return to The House of Common, and yet another much-anticipated House of Fun Weekender.

Will the band take part in a full-fledged UK tour next year? Only time will tell. What we can tell you is that we’ve still got five dates of this year’s tour still to go, with Nottingham, Bridlington, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham still waiting for their slice of Christmas Madness.

In between the buy gig schedule Suggs took time out yesterday afternoon to appear on BBC Radio 6’s Liz Kershaw show. Liz caught up with our favourite frontman to talk about his incredible adventure with Madness.

If you missed the show you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s available for another 28 days on the BBC’s Listen Again service. Point your web browser over to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084nt07 then sit back and enjoy.

Before you do that though we suggest you plough through this latest issue of the MIS.

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.



December 2016

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 2017

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

Further Southern Hemisphere dates including Japan should be announced soon!

August 2017

Monday 28th – House of Common, Clapham ** Not on Sale Yet ** Announced in the current tour programme booklet as happening again

November 2017

17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead


The Sliencerz

December 31st – The Dublin Castle ** New **





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

** OUT NOW! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl

30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos) ** Now Sold Out **


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)




Now a little birdie tells me that when I write something on Facebook those nice Russian spies hack into my account, read it, get bored by it, send it to Jon Young and then he sticks it in this publication. To get around the problem I tried storing all the details on my own private email servers, but apparently that isn’t secure enough, but it’s not enough to get me jailed, Donald, or is it? I then tried tactic 3: sending an article to the MIS like what I used to do in the before times. That failed too, because Jon Young received it and played a variation on the party game ‘pin the tail on the donkey’, wherein he shut his eyes, hit delete and edited out all the interesting stuff, which was much more than you could ever want to know about Madness chart positions and radio airplay, with a strong bias towards their new top five, 42,000 selling blockbuster Can’t Touch Us Now…

I give you then, tactic 4: reworking that article with some new stuff and sending it to Rob, who will add in some spelling mistakes and edit out all the funny stuff like he used to…

Here goes:

A week ago Can’t Touch Us Now managed a fifth consecutive week in the top 40, at number 40, giving it more top 40 weeks than any Madness studio album since Keep Moving, overhauling Mad Not Mad 2 weeks (1 run); Wonderful 1 week; Dangermen Sessions 2 weeks (1 run), Norton Folgate 4 weeks (1 run); Oui Oui 4 weeks (2 runs). Keep Moving managed 9 weeks in one stint way back in 1984.

That week’s number 42 album by the Military Wives (on BMG/Salvo etc.) sold 5,812. It is safe to assume Madness sold a little over 6,000. If that assumption were correct it suggests:

a) an increase in sales on the previous 2 weeks, and likely brings the sales close to the 6,101 it sold in week 2;

b) that the 5 week total was around 42,000 sales. That silver disc is probably already being smelted/painted/knocked up in a dodgy lock up to be sold on eBay as I type; and

c) that CTUN has sold in 5 weeks roughly 49% of the total Oui Oui sold in its first 3 and 3/4 years or 196 weeks…

Hmmm 196, wasn’t that the Buy number of the Michael Caine single? [Someone should be able to check in the subs department. It’s below me]

And so onto this week’s chart, where CTUN dropped to number 46 in its 6th week. On the face of it this might appear a little disappointing, but there is a lot to be pleased. Firstly, the albums at number 45 and 57 sold 5,546 and 4,453 copies respectively this week. It is reasonably safe to infer from those figures that Can’t Touch Us Now sold roughly 5,500 this week. If correct its sales would now be at around the 47,500 mark. It is also worth looking at the album that entered the chart at number 4, nudging Madness down to number 5 on its debut week. In last week’s top 200 Madness were number 40 (as we know). The Courteeners were number 132. In its opening week their album outsold Madness by 4,606. By week 3 CTUN had made up that shortfall and had sold more. To my mind that means that morally CTUN peaked at number 4.

Looking at 6 week chart positions for Madness albums since Keep Moving , Mad Not Mad was at number 72, The Madness was nowhere having peaked at 65 on its only chart week, Wonderful was number 115, The Dangermen Sessions dropped out of the top 200 after 5 weeks, Norton Folgate was number 75 and Oui Oui was number 87. Could it be that Madness are finally becoming an ‘albums artist’ as they approach their 40th year?

With an appearance on the X Factor Final, the tour still ongoing and other promotional opportunities still to be had, it is likely that the album will climb the charts again in the coming weeks, with or without the ever more difficult to achieve hit single! Italy.

Cumulatively Madness have now spent 904 weeks in the top 200 (possibly 905 if Total Madness is in the top 200 this week), including 543 weeks in the top 100, of which 435 were in the top 75. Now 225 of those weeks were in the top 40, 55 were in the top 10, 29 weeks were in the top 5 and 6 weeks were at number one. And they were in the charts on the Dance Craze soundtrack album, but including those figures would be showing off.

Despite those 543 weeks in the top 100, Madness have never had an album at number 64. What are the chances of that happening I hear you say? I dunno is my answer. Erm either one in nearly six or one in nineteen and a bit. That fact would, perhaps, be even more interesting if it were true. But it isn’t. They’ve actually spent 11 weeks at number 64. Mr Apples.

In other news Total Madness climbs a bit on the indie album chart this week, to 32 from 35. When the full top 200 comes through on early Tuesday morning it may have re-entered the top 200 after 2 weeks away.

Can’t Touch Us Now (the single) is in its third week on Radio 2’s C playlist. The track is number 2 on the BBC Radio London 94.9 chart. NB this chart is for 4 weeks to 8th December. Speaking of Mr Apples and Italy, Mr Apples has been played 537 times in Italy between 16 September and 17:27 UK time today.

In other, other news, the curry house I usually use in Brighton was shut after the gig last Saturday so Hairy Vince and I had to venture elsewhere. It turns out that elsewhere was just around the corner at another Indian buffet place just around the corner from the one just around the corner from the venue. This restaurant was also misleadingly titled because I was full long before I had eaten as much as I would have like to. If this trend continues I will soon find myself at an Indian buffet where I can’t eat as much as I’d like, but it will be adjacent to the Brighton Centre.

There is more for you to know, but I think I should wait a bit as this column has been boring enough as it is. And I am not telling everything I know until Madness have played All I Knew live. With me there to hear it.

So until next time enjoy the tour, enjoy the album and most of all take a lot of what I type with a jpeg image of a pinch of salt.

Paul Rodgers




Linda is House Proud

Linda Nolan is to star in a new UK tour of Madness musical Our House.

The production, which will tour from August 10 to November 25 next year, will open at the Crewe Lyceum and then play at venues including the Festival Theatre in Malvern, the Churchill Theatre in Bromley and the Wycombe Swan, in High Wycombe, where it will end its run.

Tim Firth, who penned the book for the musical, paid tribute to Madness’ songwriting skills.

“In a sense, Madness started writing a musical 25 years ago. It was colourful, truthful, vibrant, witty and universal. It was just up to me to find it,” he added.

Our House first ran in the West End from October 2002 to August 2003 and won an Olivier award for best musical that year.

The tour is produced by Immersion Theatre Company and Damien Tracey Productions.

It will be directed by James Tobias, from Immersion, and choreographed by Fabian Aloise.




They’ve Completely Nailed it!

I’m just about coming down now from 2 incredible gigs at Brighton on Saturday.

I’ve attended every UK tour that they’ve done since 1992 and for me this tour is already standing out as being the best. They’ve completely nailed it and my reasons for coming to this conclusion are:

  1. The ultra-impressive video screens and all the incredible footage that has been created and used for each track.
  2. The tracks chosen for the set list (in particular Cardiac Arrest, Tomorrow’s Just Another Day and Yesterday’s Men) which have replaced (for the time being) other tracks such as Bed & Breakfast Man, My Girl II and Dangermen cover versions – all good tracks but not for playing at every single gig.
  3. Suggs attempting to avoid repeating his introductions to My Girl and Baggy Trousers, which we’re all now almost more familiar with than the “Hey You” introduction to OSB.
  4. Showtime being replaced (for the time being) with the audience being invited to introduce OSB.  Again, I enjoy showtime, but it’s nice to have a change from it too.
  5. A first class mainstream support band.
  6. I have no problem with the set list not being altered from gig to gig this time, they have put together a set of tracks that work together perfectly, so why change it. I could watch this set over and over again and hopefully will.
  7. The Opening – Completely agree; ” Jon Says:  The prison cage opening being the best new idea modern madness opening since they have struggled without Chas. Its far better than the bold effort of Grandslam, and more original than sacrificing Night Boat as an opener or House of Fun returning to position one, where it does work. The opening effect is New Madness well settled in to hear Can’t Touch Us Now as track one, and while I still think that song takes one verse to get going into the chorus I think it’s a statement of intention as an opener and I love it. In fact this has to be the first time Madness have opened with a new album song and also had a new album song in the encore, that’s the most confident spreading of new tracks throughout the set they have done since the days of the first six albums.”

Apologies if I’ve given away any spoilers for people who were neither at HoF nor any gigs so far, but I think there’s probably been sufficient reviews and live footage elsewhere, for me to be spared the blame for giving away any new surprises here.

I now can’t wait for the o2 on Saturday and if an Evening Standard reviewer dares to give it anything less than 5 stars, then there’s no justice in the world.

Chris Carter Pegg




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 657 – Sunday 11th December – Saturday 17th December 2011

“Madness play Mexico City Festival” were the words that got the first article of the issue underway. It turned out that this appearance would actually take place on the 25th March 2012, but Madness fan Jose Domingo Munoz was excited, and wanted to tell us why this wasn’t just another foreign shore, it was a dream come true for Mexican Rude Boys.

Moving on, and this week Madness Central posted a complete list of the song writers behind the new Madness songs, updating their previous list with revised credits supplied by Chrissy Boy…

Death Of A Rude Boy – Smyth

Black And Blue – Barson

Big Time Sister – Thompson/Foreman

My Girl II – Barson

Dolally – Thompson/Foreman

Sole E La Luna – Suggs and Foreman

Cant Keep A Good Thing Down – Thompson/Foreman

Kitchen Floor – The Woodgate Brothers with input from Suggs

I Never Knew Your Name – Barson

Misery Loves Company – Smyth

1978 – Suggs

Crying – Thompson

So Alive –  Smyth with Suggs

How Can I Tell You – Smyth

Powder Blue – Suggs and Barson

Leon – The Woodgate Brothers

Following this we featured a full transcription of Cathal’s new song “So Alive”. Cathal said at the time; “This is called So Alive. I sent it to a Girl I proposed to, She told me to F*** Off, but I sent it anyway. I thought I processed it quite well.”

It was on to TISWAS news next. Why? Well, it turned out that after seeing the House of Fun Weekender production of MISWAS, Chrissy Boy told us that he might check his attic or help track down that Holy Grail of Madness footage – The Sally James Incident!

After the film was screened at The House of Fun Weekender, we were also sent in the post 9 tapes by the wonderful Nicky Elkins, who enjoyed the movie and gave us her early 80’s tape stash. While it didn’t contain Tiswas, it did have early morning 80’s TV and some real gems we’d never seen or cataloged before. We advised you to keep watching MISTV1 and we’d bring you this rare footage soon.

Further in to the issue, and we reported on a new book – Dance Craze. We were told that the tome would contain 150 plus pages of 2 tone with over 30 NEVER before seen Pictures of The Specials, Madness, Selecter and the Beat.

Due out on the 12th December, the book was now available to pre-order.

We returned to new song lyrics next as section 9 featured a full transcript of the new Thompson track “Crying”.

We brought this issue to a close with the news that Camden’s Dublin Castle pub had won the “Best Night Out Award” at the King of Camden Awards. A worthy win if we did say so ourselves.

10 years ago…

Issue Number 397 – Sunday 10th December to Saturday 16th December 2006

We decided against superlatives for this issue, and merely described it as “a very large edition”, and we were right.

The articles began with the news that Suggs was to become a full-time DJ, after landing his own primetime show. The 45 year old had been given a two hour afternoon slot on Virgin Radio after proving a hit with the listeners.

Suggs would be taking over from Neil Francis, who had been doing the afternoon show for three years.

Virgin Radio programme director Paul Jackson said: “Having a national treasure like Suggs as a daytime DJ is a massive coup for Virgin Radio”.

Next, we moved on to an in-depth review of Madness’ recent performance at London’s Brixton Academy, where London Lite’s Joe Mugg gave the band a fantastic write-up…

“And they truly did rule: as we were reminded by Our House, a mighty House Of Fun and Baggy Trousers.

They were a true pop band from the days when bands could be exactly that without being either manufactured pop or dour indie”.

Moving on, and with Chris’ online collection of tour footage continuing to grow we thought it was time to take another look at some of the material he’d made available to us, the general public.

Chris now has 10 videos online for us to look at including a number of behind the scenes sound checks. This one we declared was the best – On the Beat Pete… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGvLPeBMETA

We went back to Brixton for our next article, where we featured a transcript from the Sun’s review of the gig. Writer Simon Rothstein gave the band a glowing write-up, and finished by saying;

“as long as Madness keep playing gigs like this, many more will do in the future”.

It was over to Madness tribute bands next, we featured an article which had appeared on the icNewcastle web site. Reviewing Ashington-based outfit Shut Up, the web site was keen to know how the band felt playing Newcastle the same week as Madness. Their response was;

“What we’d like is for people to go to see Madness and then come and see us as well”

Continuing on the Newcastle theme it was over to Gordon Barr of The Evening Chronicle, whose interviewed Carl in the run-up to the forthcoming Newcastle gig.

“It’s good to be coming back to Newcastle,” he smiles. “We always have fun with the Geordies, that’s why we keep coming back.”

The reigns were passed over to Jon Young for the next article, where he gave us a track-by-track review of the Brixton gig. If you wanted a REALLY in-depth analysis and write-up of the night, this was it.

“What a gig. Something for everyone. It was enjoyable at points in the set, watching the smiles of friends who were hearing tracks they didn’t expect to hear.

This included Chris Carter-Pegg telling me it was “one of the best Madness gigs I’ve ever been to.”

Which if you knew how many gigs Chris had attended you’d know what a compliment that was! And I have to agree”

We brought this issue to a close with the news that a 7 inch of ‘Sorry’ was available to purchase at the merchandise stand of the current Madness tour. Chris Carter-Pegg and Jon Young informed us that it had been packaged to look like an old style non picture

sleeve that had been sat at the back of a dusty old record shop.

The A side contained the track many had heard on the band’s MySpace page, while the b-side featured the same song but had the rapping removed.

15 years ago…

Issue Number 135 – Sunday 9th December to Saturday 15th December 2001

News reached the MIS, courtesy of the MTR, that Woody was recently spotted drumming for Frank Skinners ‘The Skinnerettes’, whilst the house drummer was off ill. As far as we’re aware this was Woody’s first and only appearance on the show, but one that was very much appreciated by the online Madness community.

With no sign of a Christmas tour this year, it turned to the fans to organise something for their fellow Maddies. On the 15th of December, Saints and Sinners co-editor, Jerney, organised a Madness meal at the Thai restaurant, Camden Town, whilst a number of Maddies were planning to show their support by popping along to the Colchester Arts Centre, to see the legendary Blockheads. If that wasn’t enough, the 30th of December would play host to a post-Christmas and pre New Year’s party at The Torrington Arms, North Finchley, where ‘Like Father, Like Son’ (featuring Lee Thompson) would be performing.

Continuing in the efforts of cheering everyone up who would normally be going along to one or more Christmas gigs we took a look back to December 21st 1981 (courtesy of Jermaine of Tour Madness) where the band played at The Lyceum Ballroom, December 22nd, Highgate, and December 31st 1985, Hammersmith Odeon.

Elsewhere in the issue, roving MIS reporter Mark Adamson, who had just returned from a charity gig featuring ‘Like Father, Like Son’, gave the band’s performance a glowing review.

The day prior to this issue being blasted out across the internet, Suggs appeared on Jonathan Ross’ Saturday morning Radio 2 show to plug the start of his own new radio show ‘The Stiff Story’, which would chart the life of one of Britain’s best loved independent music labels.

With Christmas getting ever closer we decide to run a prize winning competition, with the prize being an original MIS club flexi, with the words ‘Enjoy this turkey’ etched into the run-out groove.

Finally, after much planning the ill-fated MIS Online SMS service went live, thanks to the efforts of subscriber and switchboard operator Craig Basldon.

Rob Hazelby




We continue our series of album reviews….

Can’t Touch Us Now demo musings:

1) I like the dog (thanks for the Train spot CB!) barking on Blackbird. Had me fooled for a while as it sounds like my neighbour’s dog;

2) I believe had elements that became a part of Be Good Boy, which I think is on a similar subject;

3) You Are My Everything has an oddly The Madness feeling to it. Wonder if this means it was either an idea from just before he left the band or if it was written for consideration for Suggs’ debut album?

4) Herbert sounds like The Last Rag And Bone Man morphed into this over time;

5) Pam The Hawk and Blackbird are both pretty much the whole songs mapped out. The basic arrangements are the from the demo;

6) Other vocalists: I remember in the period after Suggs’ debut album Madness were all but dormant as far as Suggs was concerned. The band were reportedly working on demos without him and the material was looking good. I wonder if any of those tunes are amongst this lot? If so they would be pre- Wonderful.

That’ll do for now…

Paul Rodgers




Just before we bring this week’s issue to a close we’ve got a couple of last minute bits to pass your way.

If you’re currently stuck without anything to do on New Year’s Eve, and missed the addition to our gig listing earlier in this issue, you may be interested to learn that The Silencerz are booked to play at Camden’s Dublin Castle on the 31st December.

Tickets for the event cost a mere £16.50, including booking fee. You can find more information about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/608418956033992/

You can book tickets by going here:


And finally, as this year comes to an end we’re already looking to the end of 2017. Why? Well, news has just reached us revealing that Specialized have announced their 6th annual covers album will be cover versions of The Jam.  Entitled “Gifted”, expect it towards the end of next year.

And with that we’re done. Until next week, take care.

All the best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Paul Rodgers and Chris Carter-Pegg)

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