Home»Latest Newsletters»MIS 1,021 – Sunday 2nd Dec. to Saturday 8th Dec.

MIS 1,021 – Sunday 2nd Dec. to Saturday 8th Dec.

Pinterest Google+
Hello, Good Evening and Welcome

By the time this lands in the mailboxes of MIS subscribers the 2018 Madness House of Fun Weekender will be drawing to a close. Those who haven’t left early will be looking forward to one final late night of partying before the long wait begins for the 2019 event.

Yes, you read that right. 2019 has already been announced for 29th November to the 2nd December, and bookings were being taken on site for those in attendance at this year’s event!

In last week’s MIS we commented that ‘Culture Vulture’ would not be playing any part in the proceedings on Friday night, obviously we were wrong. This is down to Simon being stuck in 1996 with Thommo.

When he found out about ‘Culture Vulture’ at Butlin’s he asked Lee in an unrelated matter why it was only played once and why it wasn’t ever recorded.

The answer was that there were indifferences with the band over the subject matter and it was subsequently binned.

Well, Culture Vulture is back and we wonder if it will finally be recorded?

The MIS Tardis is now safely back in 2018 you’ll be glad to hear. Anyway it’s worn out after materialising in late 70’s Camden Town for the past 40 years.

Back to the 2018 Madness Weekender, and while we wait for Jonathan’s obligatory blow-by-blow review of the weekend, he has taken time out of his stay at Butlins to give us a full set list and overview of the Friday night. If you were at the Weekender you can see if Jonathan’s thoughts matched your own.

And finally, the big item of Madness news which surfaced this week was that the band have been booked by the BBC to play at the station’s legendary New Year’s Eve live television event. Our favourite band will be performing at Central Hall, Westminster, and a limited number of tickets are available. See our Live and Intensified section for more information.

Now, on with the issue!

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.


Further information at http://www.madness.co.uk/live/

December 2018

The Sound of Madness Tour

Thursday 6th December, First Direct Arena, Leeds

Friday 7th December, Manchester Arena, Manchester

Saturday 8th December, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Monday 10th December, Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth

Tuesday 11th December, Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth

Thursday 13th December, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Friday 14th December, The O2 Arena, London

Saturday 15th December, Birmingham Arena, Birmingham

Monday 17th December, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Tuesday 18th, December, Hull Venue, Hull – SOLD OUT!

Wednesday 19th December, Rivermead, Reading

Friday 21st December, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Saturday 22nd December, Brighton Centre, Brighton – SOLD OUT!

Ticket bookings https://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/madness/?utm_source=madness.co.uk&utm_medium=referral

Monday 31st Central Hall, Westminster ** new ** Ring in the new year with your favourite band. This will be shown live on BBC television. Limited tickets here: http://www.madness.co.uk/2018/11/30/madness-new-years-eve/

November 2019

** New ** Friday 29th November – Monday 2nd December – House of Fun Weekender 2019


The Silencerz

Saturday 22nd December, The Dublin Castle, Camden. No Lee, as this is the date of the Brighton Madness gig.



Buy It

Suggs My Life Story DVD 

“After a bit of messing about…”, says the new advert for Suggs Movie DVD of his One Man Show, which now has a new release date of November 2018.  This opening line is the admission that a delayed March release, a lack of updates before August 10th, and a rejig of both the pledge campaign account and the team behind the release have all taken place.

Now that the Pledge is relaunched though with a new release date of November, and with a fresh launch event to take place at the Pleasance Theatre in London we feel that now is the time to add this back in to our regular “Buy It” section.

For more information and to order, go to https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/suggs-my-life-story-movie


The Madness – download 


14 tracks from 1988 by the semi-Madness line up. From “I Pronounce You” to “Beat the Bride”


Lee Thompson’s One Man’s Madness DVD & CD Soundtrack 


Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson is a most unlikely character. Early career choices had him spend a year in Borstal. He still hasn’t found the receipt for his first saxophone. Luckily, he met two other unlikely characters: Mike ‘Barso’ Barson and ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman, who shared his interests of graffiti, train hopping and music.

One Man’s Madness, a feature length rocku-docu-mockumentary directed by Jeff Baynes, tells the story of Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson, told by Lee and his fellow Madness band mates, his family, friends and musicologists, who strangely all look a little like him! From meeting Barso and Chrissy Boy, and later Suggs, Chas, Woody and Bedders, to becoming one of Britain’s most iconic and successful bands, this joyous and light-hearted film follows the path of Lee’s life through his lyrics and songs, including such Madness classics as The Prince, Embarrassment, House Of Fun, Lovestruck and NW5.


Two CD set. Original soundtrack to the 2018 documentary about Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson. Includes tracks from Madness, Crunch, ‘Thommosina Leigh’, Ian Dury, and the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Including Hidden Tracks.


The Silencerz – Better Days CD


Danceable and delightful, this debut album of the band’s much loved original songs pushes on through, breaking the mould of standard ska cover band. Catchy tunes and powerful brass and rhythm section make this a must-listen. Featuring Lee Thompson.



I Remember Way Back When

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: 760 – Sunday 1st December to Saturday 7th December 2013

Although this year’s Madness Weekender would already have been a fading memory for many, and a number of you had already booked in the 2014 event, we spent the majority of the issue looking back at this year’s long weekend.

For those of you who went along to the event we felt it would prove to be a useful aid in helping to fill in the blanks, while those of you who were unable to go should have found it an essential read, detailing just what you’d missed. Whichever pigeon hole you were in we hoped you found it an enjoyable article.

As we now had the band booked in to Butlins in November 2014 we already had our first 2014 gig dates. We realised it was early days, but we hoped that more followed over the coming months.

With the House of Fun Weekender having only just been and gone, it would come as little surprise that the majority of the issue was dedicated to the event. This was one huge issue!

10 years ago…

Issue 500 – Sunday 30th November to Saturday 6th December 2008

Well, here it was. Issue 500 of the MIS Online newsletter. Issue 1 went out on the 23rd May 1999, so we would be celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2009.

With this landmark reached, much of the intro was spent covering the history of the MIS, detailing how it was formed and how it had evolved.

On to the articles, and we kicked things off with quotes taken from a selection of unreleased Madness related publications. Some of the manuscripts were in the hands of collectors and fans, and while we didn’t want to reproduce those whole works of other authors we thought it would be fun to publish a selection of quotes from the band and wider people involved.

All quotes came from an unreleased book project that never came to anything around the 1981 era.

Next, it was over to Jean-Pierre Boutellier who was keen to give us an update on his forthcoming Madness 30th Anniversary Tribute album. Published by Big 8 Records the album was due to feature covers of Madness tracks performed by bands from around the globe.

In this article JP not only gave us an update on the album, but also gave us a brief lowdown about himself and why he wanted to get the album made.

We moved on to an article transcript next, as we reprinted an interview with Suggs taken from The Daily Telegraph. It was a nice piece of writing where Suggs revealed what he and his family do on weekends. Activities included painting, visiting neighbours and even sculpture.

Suggs also featured in two further transcripts this issue. In the first he talked about playing in smaller venues in 2009, Christmas party gigs and some new songs. In the second he spoke to The Guardian speaking about his idea of paradise, his favourite hotel, East Berlin in 1979 and much more besides.

We brought this issue to a close with the news that Madness were asking you to send in questions for the band with the idea that the best would be answered in the forthcoming Christmas tour programme.

15 years ago…

Issue 238 – Sunday 30th November to Saturday 6th December 2003

With Christmas just around the corner, and all manner of news flooding into the MIS mailbox we had a monster issue to send out this week.

We started off with a heads-up, and a reminder for everyone to get those blank video tapes at the ready (PVRs weren’t really commonplace half a decade ago!) as according to the Sun’s Christmas TV guide `Our house: The musical` would be on bbc3 on Christmas eve at 9.00am and repeated again at 12.30pm. The programme would be 2hrs in duration.

Those of you heading to see Madness in December on the 8th and 9th were given a gentle warning from reader Fiona Linnell, who reported that;

“London Underground is going to be on a go slow due to the action by the unions for the 8th and 9th December.

{Someone in the transport union isn’t a Madness fan!}

This will mean that trains will travel at 25mph instead of the normal 40-45mph.

If that was not enough the victory parade for the England Rugby team will be on December 8th starting at Marble Arch at 12 noon going down Oxford Street and eventually ending up in Trafalgar Square for 1pm.

Brilliant if you want to go and see the parade but the whole of Central London is bound to be packed as a result”.

We finished by advising those who were going to see the band on those two days to make sure they gave themselves extra time to make their journies to and from the venue.

One reader who was celebrating Christmas early was Chris Wardell, who received the best early Christmas present anyone could wish for.

Here’s what Chris had to say;

“I am pleased to say that my chemotherapy was successful, and I am now in the clear. These last few months have been really hard for me and my family, and I now intend to take it easy and have a merry Christmas.

I would like to thank Cathal Smyth and Bedders for their emails of support and good wishes, and I am now going to order a ticket for the Newcastle date of the tour. Hopefully I will see one or two of you up in Geordieland, as I frequent a number of bars with a group of strange looking chaps !

Thank you all for your emails, especially Lee Hookway, who has been calling me throughout my treatment. I now hope to grow my hair back (my kids are calling me Buster !), and rejoin the boxing gym in the New Year and get back in the ring. My Doctor has gave me the go ahead, so it will be good to let off some steam!! Anybody seen my gloves?

Football, boxing and ska is my life.”

Next-up, and we had some news in from subscriber Nicole Nurenberg, who emailed in to tell us about a forthcoming book, due to be released some time in 2004.

Nicole originally found the information on amazon.de, but as the majority of the MIS subscribers weren’t German speaking, and our translation skills weren’t really too hot, we were pleased when we found the book on the UK branch of Amazon.

Entitled ‘Two Tone: The Definitive History of the Ska Revival’, the book, written by Dave Thompson, was due to be released on the 14th of June, with a price tag of £12.99.

With Dave’s other books receiving on average 4 and 5 stars over on Amazon, we had high hopes his latest release.

This year’s Christmas tour was just around the corner, so with that plans for the obligatory Madmeets were well underway. Not to be outdone with their fellow mainland chums, Irish subscriber ‘Birchy’

got the wheels in motion for the Dublin Madmeet, which would coincide with the band’s appearance at The Point.

After getting his hands on the advance version of the Christmas TV release schedule, subscriber Graham Sharpe noticed that Suggs would be having a couple of pints and sharing a few packets of pork scratchings at the Queen Vic this yuletide.

Here’s what the BBC press release had to say;

“Albert Square doesn’t just feature in EastEnders, however. The regular cast and some favourite faces from Walford’s past join forces with an array of famous names from the world of entertainment, sport, cookery and music to throw a truly unique variety show.

Hosted by Shane Richie, EastEnders Christmas Party will feature Liberty X, Lulu, Jo Brand, Suggs, Greg Rusedski and Richard E Grant for the best night’s      entertainment the Queen Vic has ever seen – with Mike Reid pulling pints behind the bar and Clarissa Dickson Wright serving up a Christmas feast.”

We finished off this week’s issue by revealing that it wasn’t just Madness who were going to have a busy December. Top Madness tribute outfit, One Step Behind, were also going to be busy, with performances right through the month.

The band were also started to get booked up for 2004, with bookings already taken up until November of that year!

Rob Hazelby.



MIS Feature

A Mixed Bag on Friday Night

Madness played a set of obscure cover choices Friday night. Some Invaders era and tunes with previous Madness live history returned alongside one rare album track treat, and five newly penned tunes from the band, even adding Yasmin, a female guest vocalist for a tune or two.

The set list was as follows:

Green Onions. (Booker T and the mgs) .


Free love ( Prince Buster)

Almost by the sea (Barson, Madness)

My old man ( Ian Dury).

Culture vulture – Lee singing (Thompson, Madness).

Kooks (Bowie).

Pussy Galore – Lee singing (Thompson, Madness)

Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)

London Girls, Lee singing  (Chas and Dave)

Bully Boys (Madness)


Yasmin Hendrix female singer joins madness.


Ring my bell (70s classic Anita Ward)

Ball of Confusion – Temptations.


In my Street (Suggs, Madness)

Goodbye (Madness)

Guns of Brixton (clash)

Giddy up a ding dong. (Freddie and the bell boys)

The set was marred with problems, from a slow start with misplaced equipment, admissions of lack of rehearsal time, struggling vocal chords, and time to perfect the sound set up and staging. This all became very clear, and so presented a band

struggling to impact with these songs.

Although they had tried hard in the days and hours up to the gig, and were once again giving something special, and weren’t failing to complete songs, the feel wasn’t Madness as expected by the high benchmark of previous House of Fun events that they really nailed so well. A show that this time was not only being criticised by a minority of party goers who don’t get the “rare and special night” thing, but by fans normally happy to be presented with brand new songs and/or unique choices feeling the landing of these songs was a crash bump missing the usual Madness gelling band vibe.

While it was well presented with nice visuals tributing the artists they covered and Suggs gave great info. It felt a bit conceptually weak and repetitive at times.

Thank you anyway Madness for trying, and again wanting to give us something special.

It still gave me a great Friday night of fun that’s ok and forgettable and some moments I strongly loved from the howling werewolves of London, the bouncy new Pussy galore Thompson track, and a Culture vulture flashback I’ve heard many other tunes find a fan who praised certain moments to me. There were still cheers and lots of love for the band in the room.

Lucky bag then was a little unlucky bag.

To those who defend and enjoyed parts.

To the blunt no punches pulled commentators, who range from the band themselves, and those involved to a very wide range of respectable fan commentators a lucky bag of shite, might be nearer the mark.

I still want to say another thank you for giving the bag as a gift for house of fun 8 Christmas. It’s nice to be thought of Madness. We will still write you a thank you letter, after we get over all the fun of this Christmas party you have thrown us.

Our full House of Fun Weekender review follows in a future issue of MIS….



Sign of the Times

New Release From The Bed and Breakfast Men

The Bed and Breakfast Men. Have a third single in their trilogy of original Tunes. It’s out Monday with profits going to clic Sargent.

It’s called “Limelight” and wonderfully, it tributes classic double acts. People like Morecambe and Wise and Cannon and Ball etc.

Here is a uke busk preview of the song:


The actual single is more musical and produced with a full instrumentation sound.


The B&B double act Themselves appeared in Madheads for talent this year at HOF and completed the songs video filming at the event.




That’s just about it from us this week. Don’t forget that tickets to see the new year in with Madness at the Central Hall, Westminster are extremely limited, so if you do want to attend then please get your name down as soon as possible. More information can be found here: http://www.madness.co.uk/2018/11/30/madness-new-years-eve/

Until next week, take care,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

Previous post

MIS 1,020 – Sunday 25th Nov. to Saturday 1st Dec. 2018

Next post

MIS 1,022 – Sunday 9th Dec. to Saturday 15th Dec. 2018