Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 912 – Sunday 30th October to Saturday 5th November 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 912 – Sunday 30th October to Saturday 5th November 2016

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Hello, and welcome to this latest edition of the MIS Online newsletter.

The album has been delighting the vast majority of the Madness fanbase since its arrival Friday, with tons of excitement and nice comments flying around online.

We have spotted a few admissions from people suggesting that they need to really listen to the growers, especially on a good set of speakers. There have also been a tiny percentage of less impressed middle level scoring reactions, but that’s to be expected with any release.

Sadly, demand seemed to cause a few problems with delayed vinyl editions and some postal delays of box sets. This was a real shame for a campaign that had such a pre-order lead time with major label involvement. We hope you’ve received your album by now, and certainly applause the reaction of a download email sent on masses to a larger percentage of customers than actually had issues. How’s that for customer support?

Suggs went the extra mile by delivering albums in Camden himself!

And an animated TV advert has also now aired, with the band running through the albums pictorial land scape, some as robbers and the others in top hat and capes.

Check it out here. It’s rather good, and has clearly had decent chunks of time, money and effort put into it: https://youtu.be/q3NZ3rkoDfE

Also, during the week just gone, the band appeared on the BBC’s The One Show. Fellow guest Harry Hill joined in celebrating the love for Mr. Apples, which the band performed with Thommo sporadically spitting an orange and Suggs reminiscing about appearing on The Yong Ones.

If you missed it you can catch it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6xFtqmwrdQQ

If all that wasn’t enough, the album has been announced as Radio 2’s record of the week.

Now, before we crack on with the issue, you may be wondering how well the album’s done considering it’s been available to pre-order for months. Well, Mr. Paul Rodgers tells us that following three days in the music charts the album now sits and the preliminary position of number 3, with some tough competition to battle against further, including Elvis in the coming week!

If you want the album to continue to chart well, buy it if you’ve not done so already. If you have, get your mates to buy it!

On to Mr. Apples, and he’s currently sat at number 38 on the rolling last 7 days chart for radio airplay (http://ukairplaychart.com/uk/rolling_week/)

Not bad at all!

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.




Friday 18th – Monday 21st – Madness Weekender 6, Minehead


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/


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra


November 5th – Finland


House of Fun Weekender


The Clang Group

Thursday 3rd November – Album launch gig at The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street,
N1 0XT, London Tickets: http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/251241 ** New **




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

** Out this NOW! **

Pre order now



Track listing of 16 songs below…

  1.   Can’t Touch Us Now
  2.   Good Times
  3.   Mr. Apples
  4.   I Believe
  5.   Grandslam
  6.   Blackbird
  7.   You are My Everything
  8.   Another Version of Me
  9.   Mumbo Jumbo
  10. Herbert
  11.  Don’t Leave The Past Behind You
  12. (Don’t Let Them) Catch You Crying
  13. Pam The Hawk
  14. Given The Opportunity
  15. Soul Denying
  16. Whistle In The Dark


One Step Beyond Cherry Red Vinyl ** New **

The band will be releasing One Step Beyond on cherry red vinyl on 4th November.

At the moment a limited number are available to pre-order through Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/madness) and as of Nov 4th it will be available in Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

If you order through Pledge there’s a chance to win 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

Tracks – Based on Amazon – Step It Up Sister, Bite The Bullet, Western Standard Time, Cuss Cuss, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Feel a Little Better, Hongry, The Wickerman, 30,60,90, I am King, Cry To Me, I’ll be back again.


One Heart – Specialized Bob Marley Covers Album ** Out now – featuring Lee Thompson and The Silencerz **


Yes, at last here it is – what you’ve been waiting for!

You can now order the Specialized 5 – One Heart tribute to Bob Marley & The Wailers the 2016 Specialized theme.

67 tracks from over 70 contributing artists –  4 CD’s in a boxset

Specialized do it again with help from some of the finest musicians about




Financial Sign of the Times


3 stars

Hints of former hits provide reminders of their pedigree, given enough of a twist to suggest continued vitality, like the merging of classic ska routines and Raindogs-era Tom Waits in “Grandslam”.

With writing duties shared by the band, the best tracks are a pair penned by Suggs, lyrically told tales of an old-fashioned Soho of vice and ruin, delivered with storyteller’s relish.


Stand Out Album

In the music section of a popular daily newspaper…. Came this glowing review…

4 stars by Gavin Martin.

Top hatted and cape clad on the inside of their 12th album. Madness appear mysterious magicians from another era. The music within confirms their rude creative health that ensures their polyglot craft born of past pop glories remains poignant and pointed.

Song writing democracy lead to an abundant variety. With blackbird an Amy Whinehouse tribute and You are my everything lets the nutty guitar genie roam wild. Elsewhere ebullient offerings abound. Few succeed in creating their own pop world, less have kept it flourishing for so long.




The lovely looking Greatest Show on Earth box set and game brings a lovely parlour game based on some of the album’s song lyrics. And unlike the game in the Oui, Oui book box set I can see a fair few of us actually playing this game, drunk at the house of fun! More on that later in MIS. For now, the lovely little detailed cards feel like Victorian past time meets a nice set of trading game type collectibles.

Being the anoraks that we are we notice a Mr. Apples lyric not present in the final mix! Mr wheelie bag has perhaps heard a rarity we haven’t with a policeman-like “hello, hello, hello” greeting.

But, pop up game stages and cards to one side, what of the disc 2 music? A very interesting set of basic building blocks for songs in the form of the band’s demonstration of early versions of songs. These were bought to band rehearsals at the very start of the Can’t Touch Us Now album process.

There is time for you to play the Disc 1, Disc 2 Spot the Difference Game, as the lovely printed band pictures on the disc differ slightly allowing you to see which disc is which by the subtle difference in the band’s posing!!!!

All the songs this time fit on to disc 1, so the only new studio track on the second disc is the opening alternate Mr. Apples. Here he is heading on up the other side of Mowtown! With a light stomp and delightful slower intro, it’s nice to get a second bite of Mr. Apples.

The demo disc 2 is all alternate building blocks of songs for this album, including the Rag and Bone which has this far only been a free download. This is represented here as an unheard before demo.

Mumbo Jumbo, I Believe, Don’t Let Them Catch you Crying, Soul Denying, and Whistle in the dark are demos sung by Thommo.

Another version of me, and Good Times, are sung by Nick. Mike can be heard singing the demo on You are My Everything.

Suggs sings Herbert Demo in the character of the hard man. Lee meanwhile, sings a hilariously cringe some character of a drunk letch on Soul Denying in the background. His demos are very nutty, like the We Want Freddie Demo he did way back when.

Mumbo Jumbo is hard to hear from Thommo’s writing with Keith Finch, but you can hear a clever bit “Sensational-lies”. They should have kept that pun in the final song  methinks how fitting it sums up politicians quite well that.

Mike’s sing demo maked a beautiful song all the more personal sounding and gentle.

While Nick’s home demos with Woody show insight into how Madness arrange and reinvent songs when they originally arrive in a more basic form.

Chris presents Blackbird and Grandslam as his instrument backing music ideas to the creative table of song writing. These are pure music track demos not completed studio album work that is just missing a vocal overlay as some previous Madness instrumentals are. Both of these tracks can be quite haunting in this mode.

Soul denying is my favourite demo here, to get a 90s song that’s previously been passed over like this one. It shows how confident the band are to now tackle a difficult song structure post Folgate. Around the Wonderful era they stuck closer to classic modes. It’s a variation of a demo to a finished album will cause later debate more than say Don’t Let Them Catch You Crying which was transitioned from demo to album far more easily capturing its original charm,

One thing’s for sure, you won’t be looping the demo disc as you might the album. But

This is purely for die hard appreciation of the Madness song writing craft, and for that we say thank you for giving us all the treasures that we need.

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 651 – Sunday 30th October – Saturday 5th November 2011

The Ska Orchestra were responsible for getting this issue underway, as we reported on the band’s Halloween performance at the Boss Sounds Festival in Newcastle.

Booked as the headline act for the night, Elvis Priesley fronted the band. Well, it was actually a certain Mr. Thompson who’d been given a plastic wig by the one and only Darren Dixon.

“We were hijacked by some alien forces bro, where did these legends come from? where did they go? What became of them? A f*cking diabolical liberty, but bizarrely attractive, never to be repeated.”

Those were Lee Thompson’s comments, on the sight of being joined by ginger werewolf drummer and a recently dug up from his tomb, mummified Steve Turner on sax.

It was on to news of the Our House Musical next, as we re-printed an article that originally appeared in the Harrogate News. The paper was reporting on Harrogate’s Andrew’s Players and their production of the much-love show.

The paper commented at the time;

“The production was presented with both strong lead actors and support.

The dance routines being especially crisp with the energy that the music needed from them.

The show makes for great entertainment being a great good production which can be recommended.”

Next, and we passed the issue of to Trevor McMadnut, who reported that after 12 years online The Madness Information service was being made into a movie!

The move was none other than MISWAS, which was due to be screened at 11:00am on Saturday 26th November at Minhead as part of the Madness Weekender. For kids aged 18+

Elsewhere, and it was another article re-print as we’d transcribed an article from looktothestars.org, who’d reported that Suggs would be launching this year’s Christian Aid Big Sing.

“Kicking off the nationwide fundraiser, Suggs is hosting and performing at a free concert where he will be joined by other high profile artists. He’s encouraging others to warm up their vocal chords and join in this year’s Big Christmas Sing, taking place on 9-11 December.

The annual Big Christmas Sing invites everyone who loves a good  sing-a-long to Christmas hits, past and present, to raise money for Christian Aid. Events are diverse as they are festive, including everything from classic carol concerts to karaoke with colleagues. It’s easy to get involved, and it’s good fun too.”

Continuing on a Suggs related note, and such was the success of the recent short stint of Suggs – My Life Story shows that a mass of new gigs had been arranged for January and February 2012. The tour would kick off at The Oxford Playhouse on the 20th, and was due to finish on the 4th of February at Birmingham’s Town Hall.

With the Madness Weekender just around the corner, we brought the issue to a close with a lowdown detailing just what was planned for November’s extended weekend nut-fest. It was certainly a packed one with live music, DJs, comedy and more.

10 years ago…

Issue 391 – Sunday 29th October to Saturday 4th November 2006

We had yet another packed issue for you this week, which included no less than two separate interviews with Suggs.

The first article was taken from the latest issue of Record Collector, whilst the second article was a bit of an exclusive, courtesy of MIS subscriber Iain Mason. Iain kindly passed on the entire uncut interview he had with Suggs, as he penned his latest work which made it into today’s Scottish edition of The News of The World. Even if  you’d read the article in the paper, you’d want to check out the full uncut version in this issue.

Elsewhere, Paul Rodgers brought us news of a Little Britain charity auction, and Heidi Byres reports on the Bournemouth aftershow party she’d organised for Madness fans.

We also had rumours of a forthcoming Madness box set, thanks to a short mention on RememberTheEighties.com. Vince Carden quickly got in touch with Chrissy Boy, who responded with this juicy snippet;

“Yes it is true. The box set part 2 will be released as a digital download soon. There should also be a physical release as well”.

15 years ago…

Sunday 28th October to Saturday 3rd November 2001

We got this week’s issue off the starting blocks with the news in from Chrissy Boy (via Swanny) revealing that Crunch had been approached by an American distribution company who were keen to re-release the band’s original album.

Chris told us that;

“The album will be re-released hopefully in January 2002.

I have suggested that we include the two videos “Policeman” and “Magic Carpet” so that people can play them on their computers, Playstation 2’s etc..

Oh and I’ll change the title to the “Nutty Boys” album by CRUNCH! and of course put the website address on.”

Swanny also revealed that if the re-release went well a new album wouldn’t be far away.

Moving on, and we passed the reigns over to Jon Young, who reported on a Wonderful Interview CD (Catalogue number Virgin MADCDINT1).

A promotional device released in 1999. It had the same cover as the album, plus the words “Madness ‘Wonderful’ generic radio interview with Suggs, Lee and Woody”, in small writing in the top right hand corner. And indeed it was these three that were talking on the disc.

The back of the cardboard sleeve listed 30 questions that the band answered on the disc.

Jon finished his review by telling us:

“In all this is a fantastic collectors’ item if you can get hold of a copy”.

Next it was over to French subscriber Nicolas Nevue, who reported on a couple of Madness bits and pieces relating to a three TV shows that had recently been aired across the channel.

It was back to 1998 for the next article, as we re-printed a classic article from issue 95 of The Face, which interviewed The Madness around the launch of their first album.

This interview hinted at 19 songs being recorded by The Madness. 10 made the album with another 5 tracks being release across various formats of the singles. We knew of 2 other tracks, ‘From Another World’ and ‘Into the Blue’, as mentioned in MIS 87 in a story about a proposed bootleg The Lost which became a legal matter. We also knew that Magic Carpet rose from the ashes of a The Madness song. As for the other tracks, we’d love to know what happened to them.

We brought this week’s issue of the MIS to a close with a listing of the forthcoming gigs for Madness tribute outfit Los Palmas 6.

Rob Hazelby




Before we go we’ve an update on order dispatches direct from Madness’ management team…

It’s believed that all those with orders experiencing issues have now been contacted. If this is not the case and you’re still unclear on anything, this is the situation:

Amazon Vinyl – Amazon sent an auto-generated email to orderers saying they would not get it till late November!  We have just had confirmation that this is not correct and they should all be getting their vinyl in the coming week.

Special Editions – Around a fifth of the Special Editions have been delayed. All orderers were emailed a link to download the album and a message to let them know there’s a small chance it won’t arrive until Wednesday. Royal mail have taken 2 days to deliver some of the orders that were dispatched on Thursday.

Standard CD – All standard CDs were despatched on time. Any delay is most likely because Royal mail take 1-2 days to deliver.

Right, we’re off for another listen

Until next week, take care, and if you’d like to air your thoughts about the new album then do send them in. We’d love to hear them and include some in a future issue.

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Paul Rodgers, Clive Langer and Holly Baringer)

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