Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 920 – Sunday 25th December to Saturday 31st December 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 920 – Sunday 25th December to Saturday 31st December 2016

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Hello and welcome to this Christmas Special edition of the MIS newsletter / fanzine or whatever you wish to call it!

Yes, it’s a case of “Happy Christmas (Tour is over)” now for Madness and their fans. The last few dates of this tour saw more triumphant shows culminating in a final performance in Birmingham.

A certain Lee Thompson could be spotted hobbling onwards or Dr. Strange loving it up in a wheel chair due to a calf injury, while The Lightning Seeds and Terry Edwards guested on the song “Madness” (as Langer had also done at the 02).

If that wasn’t enough, in the week since there’s been plenty of debate among fans as to which cities did the most to proudly shout the One Step Beyond intro at the start of “Showtime”. (We think Glasgow might have won.) You may have also spotted Chris Foreman posting around a picture of his tour pass with a thank you to all fans who came along and enjoyed the shows.

With the end of 2016 almost here we urge you to settle back with your mulled wine and enjoy some final Madness moments, news and features for this year. We’ve a stocking full of presents to dish out.

Yes, presents. We’ve got a special shafting (ooer!) for you from The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra, in the form of a new studio track free download as your main present.

That’s not all. There’s a Santa’s Sausage tour story in a pantomime retelling to entertain your kids with. Not only that but we’ve Christmas Inanity and cover versions to play to you by the fireside as we chat to new ukulele YouTube stars The Bed and Breakfast men.

There’s still more! Yes, Mr. Rodgers returns with a booze-filled slize of Christmas chart news to help keep you up-to-date with the commercial message of Christmas.

And, to round-it-off we’ve a TV times stuffed full of cop films in a video of Thommo’s Choices, courtesy of one Darren Dixon.

If you read to the end you may even stumble upon something for Boxing Day. We really are too good to you!

So, what of next year? Well, it’s already looking to be a happy one. We’ve an every-growing line-up of gigs so far announced for 2017, which now includes a host of new Summer dates around the UK. These dates take in The Eden Project Sessions in Cornwall, The Victorious Festival in Portsmouth, and some more northerly venues that see the band being untouchable in parts of the country as yet untouched by the Can’t Touch Us Now tour.

News of rumoured Southern Hemisphere events have started to come into focus too with the announcement of the Hong Kong Rugby stadium opening party for the Sevens tournaments in April. We predict another date or two to emerge around the 6th to the 16th. Watch this space as they say!

Happy Festivities to you all from us, and our continued thanks to all who support Madness fandoms and read the MIS. Thank you to all our readers, and a very, very special thank you to all of you who’ve contributed during the last 12 months. The bulletins continue to be put together for you, and we love receiving your submissions.

Here’s to a Madness-filled 2017.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

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.



April 2017 – The Overseas Leg

Thursday 6th – Hong Kong, China, Rugby Seven’s Opening Concert. ** NEW **

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!

May 2017 –  Back in the UK 

Friday 19th – Wirral Live, Tranmere Rovers stadium, Birkenhead  ** NEW **


Sunday 28th – Bearded Theory Spring Gathering, (Pallet stage headline), Derbyshire ** NEW **


June 2017

Friday 16th – Eden Sessions, Eden Project, st Austell, Cornwall ** NEW **


August 2017

Thursday 3rd – Scarborough Open Air Theater  ** NEW **


Saturday 5th – Lytham Festival, Lancashire ** NEW **


Friday 25th – Portsmouth – Victorious Festival Opening Party ** NEW **


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



December 31st – The Dublin Castle





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)




We came up with the idea for the B&B Men by accident really.

Me and my cousin Nick had been busking as a Ukulele duo in aid of Cancer Research once a year at a local music festival. We have been Madness fans since we were young kids and this year at the last minute decided to add My Girl and NW5 to our set. We raised £100 and also a YouTube clip of us playing the Madness covers came to the attention of a guy called Steve Farthing from the Madchat Facebook page. He asked us if we knew any other songs as he was putting together a charity event at The Dublin Castle and needed an hour slot filling.

We knew ALL the Madness songs, but not how to play them, so we set about trying to learn a lot of their back catalogue with a view to uploading a YouTube video for each completed track.

It soon become clear that most covers on YouTube were of a handful of Madness’ main hits; It Must be Love, and Our House popping up the most. We wanted to do stuff that hadn’t been covered that often, if at all. The first video we recorded was (Waiting For) The Ghost Train (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66-W2McsOH4)

We were amazed at the response and the hits we were getting. We followed it up with Deceives the Eye, then started learning a new one every week from the hits to the B sides and album tracks.

We try to put vocal harmonies to the covers, mainly as it’s one instrument being played but also there’s a lot of tracks that Chas put harmonies on for the live performances that weren’t on the early singles. We also don’t take ourselves that seriously which we hope comes across in the Music Hall set up to our videos.

The week Mr. Apples came out we decided to learn it and upload it the same week as we know then we could be the first cover version ever of that song on YouTube. It’s had 1300 views so far and we keep getting nice comments from across the globe, and people ask us for the chords as a lot of this stuff isn’t on the net anywhere.


Our first proper gig is in March 2017, but we’ve had a lot of offers since we started uploading the videos, from pubs and to supporting other bands, but we still haven’t decided what we will play live and what will stay just on YouTube.

It’s nice that something that really started 30 years ago as two kids singing along to a tape recorder has taken shape and has been received well with a lot of the Madness fans.

I hope at least we’ve proved that songs like Yesterday’s Men or One Better Day can be played on a Ukulele. We know what we are doing is pretty niche which is why we’re surprised it’s resonated with so many people.

We’ve even written a song in the style of Madness called Dublin Castle, which we are hoping to sell for charity at gigs in 2017.

Matt Holt

Bed and Breakfast Men YouTube Channel:





The latest news on Madness from the media…

Letters on the Seafront?


The letters, spelling out ‘It must be love’, were spotted on the edge of Castle Field near Southsea Castle. Barriers have been placed around the large white lettering, while spotlights have been built on to the top of each letter. It is thought that the letters appeared on the seafront overnight. The mystery appearance has left some residents intrigued.


Callum Knox, 19, of Southsea, added: ‘It’s definitely got to be something to do with Victorious. They had similar lettering up in the same place last year. So I’m sure it’s got to be this.


Madness Announced for Victorious (Ticketline News)

Victorious – the UK’s biggest metropolitan festival – has announced that it will start on a Friday for the first time with ska-pop masters Madness kicking-off the new three-day format. Billed as an Opening Party, Friday night will feature a huge headline show from Madness with support from Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club and many more heavyweight acts still to be announced.

Friday’s opening party will start at 6pm and close at 11pm. The event will include the Castle Stage, Real Ale Village, Southsea Castle and the Champagne Bar. There will be no kids area until Saturday.  With Friday tickets currently set at the unbeatable price of £20, Victorious Festival continues to be one of the best value festivals in the UK.


Madness Headline Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Launch


The concert will take place on Thursday, April 6 in the Sevens Village directly across from the stadium.

Joining Madness on stage will be original member of The Jam, bassist Bruce Foxton, and Russell Hastings in their show From The Jam, which has been touring the globe to much acclaim.

“Over the past 40 years of the Hong Kong Sevens, our fans have come to rely on us to always go one step beyond, so to speak, and we have definitely done that again for next year’s Sevens,” HKRU deputy chief executive officer Robbie McRobbie said.

“Madness and From the Jam are guaranteed to keep the world’s best rugby party hopping over Sevens weekend.”


Madness and Michael Ball – Radio Two Session 


After the tour ended Suggs and Mike and the Children from Foulds School appeared on radio 2 with Michael Ball for a chat.

They performed at the end of the show:

Can’t Touch us Now

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)




Who’s the mad man in the mix,

That’s a sax machine to all the chicks?

KiX, ya, damn right!


Who is the man that would risk his Ribs & Legs

For his brother fans?

Kix, can you dig it?


Who’s the cat that won’t cop out

When there’s dangermen all about?

Kix, right on!


He’s a mad mother

Shut your mouth

And listen to Shaft. By The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.


It’s got added Sweeny son, and they haven’t had their dinner!


Grab a free download of the cover version of the theme from shaft here. If you’ve been enjoying the album this year you can reload it with this added bullet.

FREE DOWNLOAD HERE –  http://leethompsonska.com/shaft/

Or watch the video compiled by Darren Dixon, to cop/Private eye film clips chosen by Lee Thompson here.



2016 saw the release of Bite The Bullet by The Lee Thompson Ska orchestra, their much praised second album. Featuring the hit grooves

of “Step it up Sister” which is second to holy nun, “Feel a Little Better”, which is perfect for your turkey trashed hang over this festive season, classic gangster and cowboy film cover straight out of the Christmas TV times, of “On Her Majesty’s secret service,” “Western Standard Time” & “30/60/90” (From Get Carter) and loads more self-penned tunes including “Wixer Man” by Lee and Louis, and “Bite the Bullet” by Bedders.

If you missed it this year, spend that Christmas money wisely, or give your friends and loved ones the belated bullet this year.

Links to album purchases…

Download, CD , Vinyl


Get Shafted this Christmas.  Bite that Bullet.

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 659 – Sunday 25th December – Saturday 31st December 2011

We kicked off this final issue of the year with the news that Suggs would be taking his One Man show on tour. What we also revealed was that the last performance of his current stint was being filmed. We suggested that you kept your fingers crossed for a future DVD release of the solo production.

The main article this week was the celebration, as we reported on Radio and Jazz Café appearances for the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra…

“The day started in broadcasting house, just south of Oxford Circus, as The Ska Orchestra gathered in Christmas greeting in the reception lobby of BBC Radio London. Lee has arranged for the band to do a Radio session on The Robert Elms show, a wonderfully warm radio show with a real interest in London stories. MIS has arranged for some filming to be done, and we are there at the front desk filming Lee’s arrival, as some clued up fans are outside are asking for autographs and Lee is obliging. “You can’t film here.” Shouts the security receptionist, before we learn the BBC anti-terrorism policy verbatim. So we delete our filming to comply.

On the radio show, the band are introduced, the 1st airing of the band’s “Soon you’ll be gone” Studio Version is played to the audience.

A collection of 1950’s book makers, is how the charming Robert Elms describes The Ska Orchestra in appearance as they are now set up in his studio ready to play live, with Louis sitting at the rooms arranged upright piano. There is much banter and joy as the band play 2 session numbers. The Rehearsed Fu Man Chu, and off the cuff, at Roberts request for more, comes Sit and Wonder, with Mike being given sheet music to jump off of for this one, as he’s never played this with the band.”

Moving on, and unfortunately we report that the Paris 2012 gig had been cancelled. The band had been due to perform there on 7th October 2011. This had then been rescheduled to the 26th April 2012. Now we learned that this gig had also been given the chop;

We asked Madness’ management, Anglo, for an official word on the cancellation:

“Yes it’s a real shame that this gig has been cancelled again.

Here’s the statement that will be going up on the website…

“Unfortunately the re-arranged Paris Trianon gig has been cancelled.

We hope to re-arrange it soon but in the mean-time please seek a refund from the point of your purchase, we deeply regret the inconvenience caused but unfortunately the situation was unavoidable in this instance.


On a jollier note, we reported that the Official Madness web site were running a new Sonos competition. You may remember that the last one the band held was at the Madness Weekender, and that was one by a certain Dicka. So, what was this prize?

“We’ve got a Sonos Wireless HiFi System to give away.

The winner gets a house full of Sonos with a pair of PLAY:3s, PLAY:5s and a BRIDGE (see info on the speakers at sonos.com) plus a signed House Of Fun Weekender poster for a friend.

The runner up gets a signed poster and one for a friend!”

All you had to do was sign-up via Facebook to enter. Easy.

Elsewhere in this issue we looked back at the first four months of the year in part one of our lookback, and featured a full transcript of the Power Blue lyrics, taken from Suggs and Mike’s session for Absolute Radio.

We brought this issue to a close with a Soundcloud link. A little present from us to you.

Merry Christmas!

10 years ago…

Issue number 399 – Sunday 24th December to Saturday 30th December 2006

Released late on Christmas eve, this issue, like the one you’re reading now, was an absolute monster, and we got things underway with details of how you could add touches of Madness to your mobile phones.

Remember those web sites where you could pay to download a terrible polyphonic ringtone which sounded like they were played on a Bontempi Organ? We had links and numbers right here. Oh dear.

Moving on, and the next article was something far less embarrassing, as we featured a re-print of an article from a recent issue of the Evening Standard. Here they reported on the final gig of the band’s Christmas tour, declaring that “They may have less hair and more chins these days, but Madness are loved as no other London group”.

Next, we continued on the Christmas tour coverage, as subscriber Paul Rodgers was kind enough to send in an absolutely huge review of the Brighton gig which took place on the 19th of the month.

Paul’s review began by telling us;

“Forget anything you may read in the music press, weekly or monthly. If you want to      see the greatest show on earth you really needed to catch Madness on their latest     Christmas tour”.

It was over to Jon Young and Simon Roberts for the next article. The two of them continued the tour theme, but focussed on a Christmas Tour from 1979, and in fact, the Bournemouth Stateside Centre gig, which took place on the 16th of December.

Why? Well, all of you who thought that Madstock 2 was the first time the band had played Lola, you were wrong. The two of them weren’t able to confirm that this was the first time the band played it live, but on the 16th of December 1979 it was certainly aired. And, as a Christmas present to the fans, the audio from the gig had been uploaded and made available online for you to download.

Jon Young continued on for the next article, where he gave us the full lowdown on the recent gig from tribute outfit Shut Up, at the Newcastle City Hall.

Armed with his backstage pass, Jon not only gave us a full tracklisting of tunes performed on the night, but was able to provide a blow by blow account of just what went on.

Jon finished off by commenting;

“With a storming finale of a fast paced Shame and Scandal and an encore of Swan Lake that any Madness fan would have enjoyed to see, the band brought to an end a thoroughly entertaining 45 minute set and left the stage as if they play on it every night”.

Jon then continued in a separate article by reviewing the other band on the bill that night, the Gangsters of Ska. Jon told us at the time that;

“they played the Madness songs even more professionally than any full tribute band I’ve heard live.”

We brought this issue to a close with two interviews with Carl. The first came courtesy of The Birmingham Evening News, and the second from non-other than Record Collector. In both interviews Carl told us what he felt about The Dangermen Sessions, and then revealed how the next album was progressing.

15 years ago…

Issue 137 – Sunday 23rd December to Saturday 29th December 2001001

Following a couple of grateful received invites from Friends Reunited subscribers Chris Carter-Pegg and Emma Southerby reported on the Friends Reunited Christmas Party, which took place at the CC Club, Piccadilly, London.

Describing the band as being in “Excellent Form”, and their sound as being similar to “A Madness of the early 80’s”, Chris and Emma came away from the party, having had a great evening, and said that it’s “Well worth catching a glimpse of this band if they ever play at a venue near you”.

Elsewhere in this issue, Lee Thompson revealed how and when Madness got together, where and when their first gig took place, and much, much more. The interview (originally from Mojo magazine) is still well worth a read.

Further on, and MTR co-maintainer, Phil Pugh forwarded us an article from About.com, which covered the MIS and MTR in detail, explaining how both lists started, how the Madness Mailing List merged with the MTR, and how the MIS was born.

Another article in the issue reported that Langer and Winstanley were apparently on standby, to produce a forthcoming album, and that more detail would surface in the new year.

We finished off with news that although Jonathan’s name wasn’t present at the bottom of any of the articles in this issue, had had NOT ‘done a runner’, but was instead stripping down and re-building his computer.

Rob Hazelby




The Nutty Boys Have Bounce In Them Yet


There was a time in the mid-1980s when Madness really did seem like – as their song puts it – Yesterday’s Men. After emerging in the ska/2 Tone boom of the late 1970s, the hits had dried up. They looked like disillusioned, uninterested figures on their dwindling kids’ TV appearances and finally split up. What a difference three decades makes. Since re-forming in 1992, they’ve performed on the roof of Buckingham Palace and at the Olympics in recent years, and have become one of the most popular live draws on the circuit. Many among their massed crowd arrive sporting “Mad merch” items such as the Madness fez and inflatable saxophone.

The band’s turnaround has perhaps been a combination of people realising that their run of 21 Top 20 hits between 1979 and 1986 has few parallels in British pop, and also because – unlike many bands of this vintage – this feels like a still ongoing story. Although copper-bottomed classics still appear as regularly as London buses – and the lesser-played Cardiac Arrest makes a welcome reappearance here – their setlists are still laden with new material.

They may never again quite reach the dizzier heights of their initial surge, but newer songs NW5 and Mr Apples – about Camden and a Keith Vaz/Paul Flowers-type naughty public figure respectively – certainly hold their own among My Girl, Embarrassment, Baggy Trousers and the rest.


A Fitting Finale


It’s quite common for artists to take new approaches and directions in their musical careers to keep the material fresh.

Madness, however, have stuck by their guns, so that the new blends in seamlessly with the old. If you’re thinking of buying the substantial new album this Christmas, there aren’t any nasty surprises – if you’re a fan of the Madness of the 1980s, then you’ll enjoy what they have to offer now.

The imagery on the screening behind the stage was perfect in many ways; ambulances and doves in tandem, and a terrific choice of Gene Kelly famously dancing for the performance of The Sun And The Rain.

While the bulk of the set was very good, Madness kept the very best till last.

The special ending included five of the band’s most popular offerings; first came One Step Beyond, after a couple of false starts on the crowd’s part.

Then they leaped into House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House (with a curtain of the most iconic pictures of Broad Street, Brindleyplace, Selfridges and beyond) and finally It Must Be Love.

New release Mr Apples and party anthem Night Boat To Cairo made up part of the encore, to cap off an excellent evening and a fitting finale to the band’s final night of the tour




A very merry maddy Christmas to you dear readers, on this festive weekend. Let us recount now a story of Santa, retold by the fireside from this year’s tour involving that round chested fellow Mr Thompson ho, ho, hoing a tale at you from the ale house turned into a pants-down-omime, transcribed and exaggerated yet again further through the ever presents invisible writing quill of the magic MIS. The truth will have no bearing here it is lost under jingle bells somewhere along the way, but oh what fun to listen to our slightly injured hero retell of his encounters this Christmas whilst Madness Carol music crept through your towns. This should entertain in his comedic fashion.

You see, I’m sure when a Christmas Tour looms on the Horizon, many a fan thinks of writing off to the north pole for the chance to meet a music hero or two and cap a fun time watching them play live. If you’ve been good will it happen, you think?

“A meet and greet competition to meet Madness, and free tickets to the tour” said Merry Ole Kix joyfully, ringing up our Simon, the code wizzard, to put the word out on the Lee Thompson Website.  Which then crashed under the weight of reindeer hooves as masses of fans stampeded across the web to all try and cram into the chimney where such prizes were being offered up.

At least 3 ghosts of yesterday’s wisemen then visited cratchety kix and pointed out with a sharpened sugar cane that this wasn’t discussed or agreed in the leather bound tour ledger plan where all are held account to a penny, things must be done properly after all if it’s to involve the whole maddie gang and they showed this tiny Tim the error of his thinking. Apologies ensued, Dickensian repentance, the wording changed, just as soon as Simon could hastily sweep out the chimney, and with the help of  Mary Poppins on a flying sax they push backwards the plans up onto the roof and start the entries all over again.

“A Meat & Treat with El Thommo” now read the Christmas missive rhyming with its former self.  “Bacon?” inquired a white Christmas  bystander as this tale flickerd over the flames of Brigthon’s royal public house where it was being told to us. No! rebutted Kix steering the story.  “Only the best Richmond’s Sausages!” he said proudly.

Thusly the first lucky winner, one Kate the great, found herself in waiting. Kate you shall go to the ball.  In all Kix met and treated 4 fans in four cities. As Colin, Terry and Gill, also met him with friends and family in Birmingham, Cardiff, Bournemouth and Glasgow.  Dreams were made like all Christmas seasons should grant. This tale is of Santa though, and at this first noel Kix is dressed as him, though Katy does not know this. While video evidence shows a far more stilted encounter, we shall return to the pub story version as Mr Christmas wanders through masses of fans in a nearby bar to the gig, all now wanting a selfie with Santa cus it’s the Christmas mode, they are all totally unware who is hiding inside the suit. If you were one of those snappers you have a picture you don’t know it is actually a maddy memento of your gig night out!

Christmas Kate waits in expectation at a quiet table as the unknown Santa removes his beard and hat and rolls down his suit, and reveals not his sack, but his sax credentials. The treat promised is a new LTSO signed CD, and of course a proper fan and band photo moment is required, (One with a santa suit still hanging around his ankles!)

As promised it’s time to deliver the meat, ladies!, Lee wapps the sausages pack down onto the table from his pocket, into a mushy mess. “There you go, you’ve had the treat and the meat. Job done. Merry Christmas he wishes the bemused girl all the best.”

This was filmed and you can see the competition thread over in the Ska Orchestra group on facebook. Including the slow motion video setting version that happened by mistake, whilst trying to capture the Christmas moment.  To have the pleasure of hearing this story retold is one thing. It’s twice the pleasure to see it all re-enacted a second time in mock slow motion to recount what had happened with the video recording!

“So I’m playing the gig that night” says Lee now reaching epilogue.  “I reach down and realise I’ve ripped the pack and there is one sausage still left in my pocket going all squashy. so I grabs my water bottle and drip it on the security guards head in front down in the barrier pit.  When he looks around an up I’m waving the sausage at him it hanging out my flies”

So when you are tucking into your pigs in a blanket tomorrow everyone and you see that chipolata next to your roast spuds, chuckle at the cracker joke life style of a touring mad man and the amusing antics in your minds image, and praise a toast to Kix and Christmas fan dreams, and thank Santa that he made it to the tours end.

God rest ye maddy gentleman.

Meat and Treat Conceived and delivered by Lee Thompson, Jim O’Gara with help from Simon Roberts.

Tale old in the pub by Lee Thompson. Retold for MIS by Jonathan Dickens.

No persons or sausages in this tale bare any resemblance to any real people or sausages which are available in many other brands, MIS doesn’t endorse Richmond’s or any retail butchers.




And lastly, now that 2017 is nearly here we can announce the next show MIS are helping presenting, and once again we are teamed with the Specialized Charity.

Mark Hinkley is organising the main event that is Reading Specialized.  April 29th Reading.  The Facebar.

A day of Ska Punk Rockabilly and Reggae.

The bands lined up includes…











The Madness Information Service host the second room this year at the event.

Presenting a mix of DJing Madness tunes and more, plus some Live Music, Vocal performances, Sax soloing, Karaoke, Spoken Word Poetry & Silly bar games as your secondary alternative entertainment for the day, . Featuring…


Our house ska band for the day performing a few short sets is – The Launchers

Comedic Covers by – Get Giro, Spend Giro, Sleep

Karaoke Starlets – Sings of a Dove

Sax man – Phillip Toogood

Poetic Spoken Word – Skintboat Millionaire & Owen Collins

and some selective antics from The Greatest Show on Earth – Madness box set party game.

Hope to see a few of you there.

Jonathan Young




Sixty six thousand sales see CTUN sail to seventy six percent of Oui Oui’s sales and a Silver Disc. Now read on…

The Can’t Touch Us Now news keeps on piling in, not least from the States, but in case you’re getting a little bored with all this news of Madness’ successful new album first I have a couple of bits and bobs from last week’s full charts. First up is the big news the cheapo budget collection The Very Best Of (by Madness) has charged back up the budget charts. After spending two weeks at number 23 and looking to be on the way out, last week it recovered to number 15. Meanwhile in the real top 200 albums chart following 3 weeks in oblivion Total Madness was a re-entry at number 130.  It has now been in the top 200 for 79 weeks on and off since being released in 2009.

Now onto this week’s doings. In the two midweek charts (issued on Monday and Wednesday) CTUN had risen from 39 to 31, which was an especially promising looking climb. In the end the album had to settle for ‘only’ climbing 6 places to number 33. That still gave it a 7th week in the top 40 and its highest chart placing since week 3. In making that climb, the album was confirmed as being a Silver Disc by the BPI via their Twitter account late on Friday afternoon. This means sales of 60,000 have now been achieved.

Looking back at Madness’ career, this album is jointly with Total Madness the only album to have spent 8 straight weeks on the top 75 since Madstock! managed 9 in 1992 going into 1993. It is highly likely that next week’s chart will equal Madstock!’s tally. Obviously it is not going to get anywhere near Divine Madness’ total, but the album has also equalled the number of successive weeks Utter Madness spent in the top 75 and it has already overtaken Mad Not Mad, which only managed 6 successive weeks on the top 75. Whisper it, but the album has a chance of challenging Keep Moving (10) and Rise And Fall (13) for their tallies of successive top 75 weeks.

The album also holds the distinction of being the highest climber on this week’s top 40. Who’d have thought a few years ago that in the age of the X Factor and The Great Britain’s Bake Off Talent Bee that Madness would be outselling Susan Boyle with an album of new material at Christmas? Certainly not me. It remains a shame, however that they can’t match the sales of crooning daytime/teatime TV presenters, with the likes of Alexander Armstrong, Bradley Walsh and, a still hungry looking, Eamonn Holmes all firmly camped in the top 10.

Music Week report that 34 artist albums sold upwards of 10,000 copies this week (so that includes Madness) and that the number 31 album sold 11,224. So Can’t Touch Us Now must have sold somewhere in the region of 10,500 copies this week. Assuming that to be correct, the total after 8 weeks would be a little over 66,000. This week’s sales are the second highest the album has achieved in one week, and is over half the sales achieved in week one, which would have included all pre-orders and orders for the long-since sold out Greatest Show On Earth box set version.  CTUN has now sold over 75% of the total copies Oui Oui sold.

Moving on to physical sales (the CD and vinyl) the album climbs again from 35 to 31. In all sales (including downloads) it climbs from 36 to 32. Meanwhile the album doesn’t register in the top 40 vinyl albums or the top 100 downloads. In Scotland the album is a non mover at number 44.

There’s even more news on the independent chart where Total Madness is a non-mover at number 17. It is joined this week by One Step Beyond… at number 46. I am guessing this is the vinyl edition as the weeks on chart is listed as 1, whereas two of the three USM/Salvo CD reissues have already charted on the indie chart. Of course it could be the 10” reissue, the white vinyl reissue or the recent cherry red coloured vinyl. Or it could be a mistake and should show as a re-entry as opposed to a new entry.

Meanwhile in America news has come in of yet another staggering chart record for CTUN. Following its elevation last week to the square root of plus or minus one in the US charts, it has now been revealed that it is the fastest selling record of all time in America. And that’s despite it not having been released there yet. Word has come in that fresh from enjoying the 2015 House Of Fun experience, two US based Madness fans headed back stateside certain that Madness would be releasing their new album any day soon. Despite the project being in its early stages, with working titles of Grandslam and Mumbo Jumbo appearing favourite and the label yet to be confirmed both John T Bonesteak and Donald The Trull went to their local record stores on arriving back in the states and placed pre-orders. Donald was first, handing over his $15 to Marty’s Record Shack in North South Carolina. The purchase was logged as new Madness album TBA on 28 November 2015, nearly a full year before the UK release date of the album that became CTUN. John’s flights back to the states were delayed nearly as much as those to the UK had been after a volcano erupted just outside his hometown of sort of near Halifax, not quite Leeds, in the Yorkshire Pennines. So it was that on 29th November a second order was placed for T’New Madness Disc Reet? in Jon Dohnson’s CD and short-sleeved jacket mart in West East Miami. It has now been ascertained that no album in American history has had two pre-sales so long before its official release date. So with its multi platinum double number one status in America before it has even been released, imagine the sort of success that Suggs is dreaming of lying about from stages when it is actually released there next year. Its prospects are literally unbelievable.

Happy Holidays folks, until next time (which will almost certainly be in the new year as I am due to be travelling to Cornwall when the next lot of charts are released and I won’t have a computer with me. So happy new year to you all too.

Paul Rodgers




We’re almost at the end of this Christmas edition of the MIS, but before we go…

We’ve recently learned that See Tickets handling of ticket distribution, particularly to Birmingham & Glasgow dates received a large number of complaints for diverting people to box office collection on orders that should have been received and shipped earlier. A full apology saw them take full responsibility for this mistake. Apologising not just to fans, but exonerating any other people in the process, from band and management team, to the venue as not being the cause of any issues. See Tickets were also kindly refunding the postage fee section of these ticket sales during this week.

Moving on and Peter Clem tells us… “I thought you might be interested in knowing that both, the new albums by Madness and the LTSO are included in our list of best albums 2016 on www.skablog.de

On to New Year’s Ever, and the MIS’ very own Jonathan Young will see those of you who are attending The Dublin Castle for New Year, and Silencerz Night. It should be a great end to a mad year.

And with that news we bring our 2016 reporting to an end. So, what can we look forward to first in 2017?

Radio 2’s Jo Whiley has mentioned that Madness will be doing a session in Maida Vale studios in early January. Naturally, we’ll bring you news on that nearer to broadcast.

We’ve also heard from out of Camden resident mouths that a purple heritage plaque to Madness might be getting awarded and installed in the early days of the new year. Where? All we’ve been told is that it’ll be a fitting location. Keep your eyes open for that!

Thanks for reading during 2016. Thank you Madness for a great year and a great tour.

We leave you with another gift for Bootleg Boxing Day – Two hearts from us to you. Here is the triumphant Cardiac Arrest taken from band Rehearsals, from 1981 for the Seven Tour and it’s return some 35 years later, being rehearsed for the Can’t Touch Us now Tour.

Let up, enjoy your Christmas, could all be going your way.


All the best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

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Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 919 – Sunday 18th December to Saturday 24th December 2016

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