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Madpost January 1999

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The Madness Mailing List

A look back over the last four weeks on the list and what’s to come.

Chris Carter-Pegg’s lowdown of the top Channel Five show and how they’ll be seeing in the new year.

A nutty history lesson. We’ll be asking questions later!

At the start of December a few Maddies went along to Teddington Studios to see the filming of `Night Fever`…

From one Maddie to another.

It looks like VH1 have a day of Madness planned for early January. It’s UK only I’m afraid, but here’s Chris Byrne with the details.

Website updates from Iain Jones.

Come on you lot, get writing. You may even earn yourself a prize!

Kindly typed up by Chris Byrne.

Thanks and closing words.





Welcome to 1999 and another issue of the monthly Madness Mailing List Madpost!!

I hope you’ve all recovered from the Christmas and New Years celebrations and that you’ve not put on too much weight from over eating!

With the holidays still upon us, and the majority of university susbcribers away from their uni internet accounts, the list has been quieter recently. If you’re new to the list, don’t worry, things do tail off slightly during the holiday season, but they always pick up again when life is back to normal.

It’s been nice having a break from work as I’m sure you’ll all agree. Having a bit of spare time on our hands has enabled Simon and myself to make a number of additions to the MML website.
The more sharp-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the One Step Behind Section has been added to, and Suggs’ one-off show, `An Animal Adventure with Suggs` has been screen-grabbed and is up for public viewing in the MML Picture Arhcive.

At the time of writing, the Suggs New Years Eve Special has not been televised, but from the previews and info from members of the audience, it certainly sounds like it’s going to be one heck of a program. Watch out for Madness cover band `Utter Madness` who make several appearances.

I’m sure you can’t have failed to miss the news bouncing around the list regarding this US live album – `Universal Madness` which was recorded during the Mad’s US tour last year. Although not what you’d call an essential purchase (some of the bootleg CD’s doing the rounds eg – `Nutty Dread` have better songs on), I’m sure many of you die-hard collectors will be scouring the record shops for it as soon as it’s released.

You may not know this, but the `Universal Madness` album isn’t actually a complete concert. Stateside Maddie – Steve Bringe kindly informed me that the following tracks are missing from the release; House of Fun, Razor Blade Alley, Land of Hope and Glory, The Harder They Come (encore), Tomorrow’s Just Another Day and One Step Beyond (the second time played, and closing encore). I’m sure, if you hunt hard enough these tracks are available in some shape or form. As Jeff Young recently pointed out, `lets hope this is the last Madness release who’s title takes the form of ” Madness”. I think most of us agree with that!

Right, enough of me. I know Simon has a lot to tell you, so Without further ado I shall pass you over to him.

All the best,

Robert Hazelby
Happy New Year everyone!!

First of all – we have a new maintainer, and a female one at that. The only girl to receive fan mail from the `Who’s Who` section on the MML homepage ;)

It’s Suggsylia!!

We’ve needed an extra maintainer as the work-load is ever increasing and the membership of the list growing daily. We wanted a female maintainer to reflect the number of females that are on the mailing list.

Hopefully now, if any female members have any problems *grin* they can always email Suggsy for help and support.

We’ve asked Suggsy to introduce herself – She just says she’s Mad!! So it’s up to me I suppose. Suggsylia isn’t (believe or not) her real name, but her friends call her `Suggsylia` so we respect that. Suggsylia is 17 (18 in February) and lives in Vienna, Austria. At the moment she’s still at school – it’s her last year and I think she wants to come to the UK later this year.

Ok, onto other things…

What a year 1998 has been! All up and down me thinks. I suppose the highlight of the year (for the UK Maddies) was `Madstock IV` – The fourth glorious festival celebrating what Madness are – 33,000 were not disappointed!! The Mailing list were lucky enough to stumble into Lee and Chris at the DC during a recording for the new video (due out soon). For many, this was the highlight of the weekend – I myself managed to grab a few words with Lee – I managed to splutter the most important questions like ‘Is Bedders playing?’ and `any new material?.`

A most drunk and enjoyable weekend – hopefully to repeated sometime this year.

Lets not forget the US tours – Madness’ return after the Manchester Euro 96 gig – Mad!! I remember reading a post about strong rumours of a US tour but took no notice!! Ah-well! we all live and learn. The main great thing about the tour (apart from the joy of the US Maddies – Cant you tell I’m jealous!!), was that the band really enjoyed It. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t tour the East coast this year!! Another high point of the year was Suggs’s long awaited second album – ‘The Three Pyramids Club’– And I wasn’t disappointed one bit! Its still on the multiplay deck – it has never been taken out since I bought it! Hopefully in 99 we’ll have a few more tracks released – knocking bets are ‘Girl’, ‘So Tired’ and ‘Straight Banana’ before the third wave Madness onslaught on the charts in August!

I’d better stop there- I May spoil Rob’s look back at 98!!

So here is to 1999……
Records, Vids, Gigs and madmeets!!! :)

Happy ’99 everyone!!!
A lot of fun in store!!

I’m still full of a cold- looks like a trip to the Docs on Monday!- In the meantime I’ll take a swig of snoozy snoozy dreamy-night cough-mixture!!

All the best,

Simon Roberts


Chris Carter-Pegg didn’t just make it along to the `Night Fever` Christmas day filming, (see later in this Madpost) he returned to the Channel Five studios the following day to take part in the New Years Eve programme too…

Brilliant time last night, everyone there had made an excellent effort at fancy dress, but we were the only ones as Madness. Before we left for Teddington, a Madness fan we happened to get chatting to in the Dublin Castle said that we ought to go back to Escapade and get an inflatable sax. This we did and it proved to be an excellent prop for us.

The recording started and it turned out that Utter Madness were to be the guest band for the night – fantastic. They played Baggy Trousers, Madness and House of Fun. The studio was well over capacity with people, but we managed to squeeze to the front for Baggy Trousers and got in a bit of Nutty Dancing. Unfortunately however, I think we completely obscured some of the cameras so they refilmed it, this time to ‘Madness’. We thought we had therefore better stay in our seats this time so I climbed up on the seating stand and did a bit of (inflatable) sax work.

The show was then extended to do the countdown to midnight, seemed really strange that they should pre-record a New Year’s Eve slot like that (only Channel 5!), felt really strange celebrating the New Year one month early as well!

All in all a really fun night and gladly only one Mad Suit got ripped to shreds.

Speak to you soon,




(94 Parkway, London NW1, Tel.0171 485 1773)

Much of the Dublin Castle’s reputation is based on the fact that Madness played some of their earliest and most exciting gigs here.
Its rock’n’roll stature was reinforced during the summer of 1995 when Blur chose this as a venue for a high-profile ‘secret’ gig and Liam Gallagher made it one of his Camden Town drinking haunts.

The Dublin Castle is an old Irish pub with a long bar, mirrored walls, red lamps, formica table tops, a decent jukebox and a small venue. It is one of the few pubs in Camden which hasn’t really changed its decor since the 70s, which is probably because it has had the same landlord, Alo Conlon, since 1976.
The Dublin Castle was the first pub in England that was allowed to keep open until midnight 6 days a week (in 1970).

Alo Conlon, from County Mayo in Ireland, got an unexpected slice of rock’n’roll glory when Madness asked him to introduce the video for their single My Girl – a cameo he earned after giving them one of their earliest gigs, in April 1979, even though they had to pretend to be a jazz band in order to get in. “Madness were a bunch of local boys and it was the first time they had ever played on a stage for money,” says Alo Conlon. “They said they were a jazz band but they turned out to be heavy rock – they’d shake the foundations of the building.”

“At that time the Dublin Castle was putting on either middle-of-the -road country & western bands, or jazz-ish kind of stuff,” remembers Suggs. “But we managed to get a residency for about 2 months and, along with the 2-Tone Tour, those gigs were probably the highlight of being in Madness. Week by week we became more and more infamous, so there would be queues round the block. There was a genuine feeling of excitement and the Dublin Castle really would be THE place to be on a Friday night.”

During this period, Madness were asked to support their new friends The Specials at the Nashville in West Kensington – the only problem was that the date clashed with their Dublin Castle residency. They solved it by playing both gigs on the same night, and later filmed a rerun of the two shows as the climax to their 1981 autobiographical movie, Take It Or Leave It.

“At the time I don’t think anyone realised how important the whole thing with us and The Specials was going to be,” says Suggs. “I remember thinking that it was more important that we hung on to our residency at the Dublin Castle, so we ended up doing both gigs. But all those bits in the film were true – there really did end up being more people on the stage than there were in the audience.”

The pub has continued to be a popular meeting place for members of bands like Blur, Pulp, Oasis and Madness and it is also an essential stop-off point for visiting Madness fans – although they are unlikely to ever bump into Suggs. “I really feel uncomfortable going in the Dublin Castle now,” he says. “My face is all over the place, so people double-take and go, ‘It IS him’, whereas in most pubs you can blend into the background. It’s a shame, cos the landlord, Alo, was great to us.”






On December 5th, a few of us went off to join in the nutty antics with Suggs during the filming of an episode of the Channel Five show – `Night Fever`.

In usual MML tradition, those of us who were going decided to make a whole weekend out of it.

I travelled up to London on the Friday (4th), and had arranged to meet Ed Stebbing-Allen (The Maddie from Manchester) by Camden Town tube station at around midday. Although Ed is renowned for his poor time keeping abilities, I had confidence in him as he’d made it on time for the `One Step Behind` meet in Bristol the month before.

Once I’d got the coach into London, it was only a 20 or so minute to Camden via tube, and I arrived at the station just before midday. As I expected, Ed was nowhere to be seen. `Not to worry` I thought, `I’ll go and have a rummage in Tower Records to pass the time`. So, off I wandered over to Tower Records, and spent the next 20 minutes rummaging through Madness material I already had and had purchased at a darn sight cheaper price elsewhere.

At about 1pm I wandered back over to the underground and Ed was still nowhere to be seen. Deciding to use some initiative, I think I’ll phone him on his mobile and see what’s keeping him. Now, finding a phone box in Camden Town is no problem, finding one that is either vacant, not broken and accepts coins is another matter!! After a good 20-30 minutes I eventually find a phone box which satisfies the above criteria. I phone Ed up and I get some annoying woman from the mobile company asking me to leave a message.

By this time I was not amused. I wandered off back to the Underground and waited, and waited, and waited…. Eventually, At around 1:45pm Ed eventually turned up. No, he’d not slept through his alarm clock, he’d been pulled over by the boys in blue! Well, if you’re going to get delayed, you may as well do it in style I suppose!

Once I’d had a good moan and Ed had explained what had happened, we decide to get something to eat at the Parkway Cafe. Unfortunately the cafe was closed down so that was that plan in the bin. No problem, we’ll go off down the Spreadeagle and get something. Well, they were open AND they were serving meals, unfortunately they were chocka so we walked straight back out.

Eventually we did find somewhere to eat, and once we’d had our fill we wandered back into Camden High Street and into Holts Shoe shop. Normally we are greeted by Alan Holt’s grandson when we walk in, but this time an older man was behind the counter.

Ed looks around and eventually selects a pair of DM’s that catches his eye. During this time another member of staff walks in so I ask him if it’s possible for Ed and myself to take a look at the platinum disk (of Absolutely) that’s kept in the stock room. We were then told that it had gone!! Apparently Alan’s grandson no longer owned the shop!!!

Finally Ed finds a pair of boots he likes and he hands over the readies. `As I’m buying something` says Ed, `Can I sign the posters on the wall`? The staff make up some excuse for us not being allowed to sign it, but eventually they hand over a pen for us to have a quick scribble with and put on the MML web page address.

Once that was done we thanked the staff for their help and wandered out towards `Merc` (on Chalk Farm Road) where I picked up a Harrington jacket and Ed bought himself a smart Ben Sherman shirt and tie ready for wearing to `Night Fever`.

On the way back to Camden Town tube station we wander into a bookshop on the off chance that they might have a copy of `Total Madness` in stock for Ed. We make our enquiries, and a few minutes later Ed walks out with the last copy of the book they had in stock. As you can imagine, we now have one happy Maddie.

With that we’re pretty much done, so we wander back to the Underground and make our way back to Ed’s in Hemel Hempstead.

That evening it’s a night down the pub and then back to Ed’s for a session of more beer, junk food and classic episodes of `Bod` and `Bagpuss`. Trust us, you had to be there!!

The next morning we wander off into Hemel Hempstead where Ed attempts to rectify his previous day’s encounter with the police by paying his fine at the local police station. We are then told by this `oh so happy` woman at the counter that because Ed didn’t have all his documents with him, if he decided to pay now she would have to fine him again!!! With that we bid her good day and take the train back to Camden where we meet up with Chris Carter-Pegg in the Dublin Castle pub.

Chris had managed to get into Camden before us, and had been scouring the stock at the fortnightly record fair at the Electric Ballroom. Surprisingly, Chris had actually managed to find some items there that he didn’t have in his collection!

We stop for a swift pint or two, but we’re told that we can’t put any Madness (or any other music for that matter!) on the jukebox because `the govener` was watching his horse racing!

Next stop is Waterloo station where we meet up with Ed’s brother (who’s celebrating his birthday), and everyone dashes off to a local pub for a quick pee!

Once that’s done we get the train we want, and it’s off to Teddington Studios…

We arrived at the studios about 20 minutes before the doors open and already a large queue had formed outside. A member of staff hands us all an extra ticket which guarantees that we get in.

It’s absolutely freezing outside, and once the doors open, most people dash off to the loo. When we get our small group back together again we are escorted to a large room where the rest of the audience are standing. In one corner is a karaoke machine where a number of people are singing – yes, it’s very BAD singing indeed.

After 10-15 minutes waiting around we are escorted into the `Night Fever` studio, which, I have to say, looks massive!! All the lads are escorted to one side of the room, whilst the women are moved over to the other. Seating is to say the least, interesting (a tiny ledge to lean on), but it’s better than nothing I suppose.

Once everyone has been seated a chap arrives to tell us where the fire exits are, to tell us that if we feel ill – please let staff know, and finally, to enjoy yourself – “This is a show like no other. As soon as a piece of music is playing or a band come on, we want you to get out of your seats and come on to the dance floor.” To finish off with we are told to NEVER, repeat NEVER to go into the centre of the studio and not to show cigarettes or cigarette packets as we will be removed from the studio!

When that’s all over and done with the chap moves off and the show starts…

The announcer does his “It’s Saturday night, it’s party night” etc bit and then Suggs appears to which the crowd go wild and everyone shouts out “Suggsy!!”.

I won’t describe the show as most of you know what goes on. Instead, I’ll give you a bit of `behind the scenes` info…

The show is very much `stop, start, stop start`, and usually after each scene Suggs runs out of the studio for a cigarette and a lager. Ok, we don’t KNOW he does that, but we’re sure he does :-)

Some of the most amusing things happened when the cameras weren’t rolling – the contestants were taking the piss out of each other whilst Suggs (when he was there!) looked on and laughed. At one point the joking around was lasting a bit long, and Suggs did actually get a little serious and shout out `Ok, ok, can we get on with it` to which everyone shut up and calmed down. (He spoke, we listened!!!).

Ed, Chris and myself did notice that when a band came on or a song was playing and everyone was dancing around enjoying themselves, Suggs was just sat at the desk, and I have to say he was looking pretty miserable! Still, he did have to film ANOTHER episode of `Night Fever` 20 minutes after this one was complete so I can understand what was going through his mind.

One thing that stuck out a mile was the lack of noticeable Madness fans in the audience. I said to Chris (the `Night Fever Veteran`) “I thought I would have seen one or two people wearing Madness T-shirts, but there were none”. Chris said that all the Night Fever shows he had been to, not once had he seen a Madness T-shirt – strange!!

When the show had finished Suggs got up out of his seat and chatted to the panelists for 5 minutes or so. We thought we might be able to wander down and chat to him for a few minutes, but they wouldn’t let us out of our seats until he had left the studio.

As we got our coats on and prepared to leave the studio ourselves (by a different exit to Suggs) Chris noticed a nice pile of prompting cards on the floor which mysteriously `fell` into his pocket and left the studio with us. On a previous occasion Chris had asked a member of staff if he could take a card or two home, but was told that nothing was allowed to leave the studio.

Once we left the studio we wandered off to a nearby pub where we chatted, had a drink (or two) and shared out the cards which we could keep and add to our Madness collections (sad eh?).

After an hour or so we left the pub, made our way back to the station and journeyed home, tired but happy. One thing we all decided, if there’s another series of Night Fever, you can be sure we’ll be going again, but this time we want more Maddies to come along with us so we can get some nuttiness into the audience!!

Robert Hazelby






Dear Masher,

I’ve been going up the DUBLIN CASTLE of a Friday night lately.
You won’t know the pub, it’s one of those Irish places. Thing is, there’s this band that plays up there now. They play a sort of mixture of soul and reggae… yeah, that’s right, decent music for a change. I tell you what, if I hear another punk band pretending to be the Sex Pistols I’ll…well, I won’t be too impressed, let’s put it this way.

But this lot are unbelievable, you can see they right enjoy it like, you know? Such a relief mate, I can’t tell you. Listen to this, they do ‘SWAN LAKE’ – in reggae! I tell you what, it’s only a little stage in this gaff and there’s six or seven blokes in the band – plus they get a couple of their mates up to do this mad dancing, they’re up there dancing and sweating like lunatics – it’s brilliant!

You might know some of them as it happens, a few of them used to go up that boys’ club – what they called ‘THE ALDENHAM GLAMOUR BOYS’? They did all that spray painting trains, buses and planes. You know that Mr.B, Kix and all that. It was one of them that did that train coming out of the wall near the Lido. They dress in all this skinhead gear as well. I tell you what, you’ve never seen a band like this lot, mate, they don’t give a toss…

You should see the crowd they get, talk about trendy. I saw that Bette Bright and Clive Langer, the singer and keyboard player out of DEAF SCHOOL down there the other week. Then there’s that bloke Keith from Smile who got a mention on the back of Bryan Ferry’s first solo album, Swanky Modes those designers. There’s all like young actors from Anna Scher’s up the Angel. I heard some of these girls last week saying they were going to start a band, mind you how many times have you heard that, eh? Reckon they’re gonna call themselves ‘Bellestars’ or something.

You want to see this band though – sorry, don’t suppose you can for a while, can you? When’s your release date anyway? Please write and let me know. Trouble is, this band might not be around by the time you get out. They’ll never make it, none of those record company tossers will touch this lot with a barge poll. They’re mad. That’s what they’re called as it happens…MADNESS.


As ever, your brother




I’m sure the majority of you are aware that the cable and satellite Channel – VH1 regularly have a `Greatest Hits` day where they feature work from a single band or artist.

Well, in January VH1 are holding none other than a Madness and Suggs Day!

I’ll pass you over to roving reporter – Chris Bryne to give you the details…

Hi everyone,

Here is a list of the Madness related programmes to be shown as part of VH-1’s Madness day on 14th January 1999:

12noon Ten of the Best: Suggs
1.00pm Greatest hits of…Madness
1.30pm VH-1 to 1: Madness
7.00pm Greatest hits of…Madness
8.30pm VH-1 to 1: Madness
10.00pm Ten of the Best: Suggs


Thanks for that Chris. If you have access to VH1 (Europe only I’m afraid), then it could be worth your while setting the video for some possible interviews or unseen footage.





You will probably noticed, if you’ve been visiting “Total Madness” lately, that there’s been updates every few days – mainly the lyrics section. The lyrics are nearly finished – just the odd few that I’ve not got round to listening closely to. Other updates include the “News section”, only recently introduced. As soon as possible I’ll make a proper “News Archive page”.

For those of you who are reading this and have not visited “Total Madness” yet, the site contains “Who’s Who” (every Madness site does, I think), Albums, Lyrics, Snippets (little bits of info that I couldn’t find anywhere else in the site for), “MadChat”, and other features. Take a look! And sign the guestbook while you’re there, please. Total Madness has no connection with the Total Madness Mailing List or the book Total Madness.

I’ve got some more updates planned-expanding the “Discography” to include Singles, Flexis and Foreign Releases-as well as releases by Crunch/Nutty Boys, Suggs and The Madness, interviews with Madness, etc.

You’ll just have to wait and see what comes.

Find it all at http://start.at/totalmadness

All the best,

Iain Jones (jonoc@hotmail.com)





I’ll take this opportunity while the list is sleeping to remind you that the closing date for the poetry competition is Wednesday, January 20th 1999. So far I have two entries, so please get your thinking caps on over Christmas; I’m sure that something good will happen to the poem which wins but I’m not sure what. (any ideas??).

Also, just to remind you that if you are going to enter then it’s better to send your poems directly to this address, not the list, and have something about poems in the Subject so that I don’t delete it by mistake. Also make sure the poem is madness related.

Thanks and Merry Christmas one and all,

Andy. (andyhall44@hotmail.com)






Saw this short article in the TV Times.

Night Fever New Year Special:

Last year’s Christmas special was such a hip ‘n’ happening gathering that this year Suggs and the gang have got together for another singalong to welcome in the New Year. Regulars Jonathon Morris, EastEnder Shaun Williamson, and the Generation Game’s Francine Lewis will be belting out the tunes, alongside two karaoke virgins, England international rugby star Victor Ubogu and sexy children’s presenter Gail Porter. Francine is enthusiastic about the show: “It’s the best ever, the New Year episode is going to be even more raunchy than usual.”

C5, New Year’s Eve – 11.50pm

PS Merry Christmas and health & happiness for the new year to all on the Mad list.





So, another Madpost draws to an end and we look forward to a new year in which we will see the release of a new live album, `Universal Madness`, and – if we are lucky – the release of a new studio album.

As Madness’ first single, `The Prince`, was released in August 1979, this year brings us Madness’ 20th anniversary, which is very likely to be celebrated by the lads in the form of *at least* one concert. Whether a world tour or `The Last Greatest Show On Earth` on the 31st of December 1999, as predicted by Mr. Smash himself, are to become reality is yet to be seen.

It is very likely that we will have another Madmeet this year, if possible in connection with a concert or some other Madness-related event, so start saving your pennies now…

What else is there to say…

Lord Suggs has only released one single to promote his brilliant album “The Three Pyramids Club” so far, but he released about 8 singles, single sets and special editions for his last album, “The Lone Ranger”, so this should mean that he is bound to release some more singles sometime this year! Apparently Suggs would like to release “So Tired” but his record company are putting a bit of pressure on him to release “Girl”.

The MML webpage is having a New Year’s update, so a new intro and some other new bits and pieces should be up and running soon. Don’t forget to have a glimpse at the grabs from Suggs’ Christmas Day Disney animal special which you can find in the pic index.

And last but not least thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition of the Madpost, your help is as always very appreciated. Special thanks go to Chris Carter-Pegg, Iain Jones, Chris Byrne, Andy Hall and Steve Bringe.

If you have any articles or other bits of information you would like us to include in the next Madpost please get in touch with us.

All the nutty best for 1999!!!

Until next month…


The Madness Mailing List Maintainers (Suggsylia, Robert, Simon)

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