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MIS 1,100 – Sunday 7th June to Saturday 13th June 2020

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Hello, Good Evening and Welcome

Evening all,

It’s been a disappointing year for us fans as we’ve witnessed gig after gig being cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This weekend the disappointment turned to joy as we have several things to be well and truly happy about.

The first took place on Saturday afternoon when a certain Mr. Foreman took part in a live two-hour Zoom session from the comfort of his loft, while approximately 100 fans listened in, chatted and asked questions.

The session was so good that the two hours simply flew past. What’s more, a second Zoom session with Chris is planned for Saturday 13 June. Check out our “Chris’ Cupboard Live on Zoom!” article in this weeks’ “Sign of the Times” section.

That wasn’t all we had to be joyful about this week, as on Saturday we were treated to a stream of “Two Mad Men and a String Quartet”. This saw Suggs and Mike accompanied by a four-piece string section (The London String Group). The session  was a short set with banter between songs, plus two new tracks aired; Theatre of the absurd and All the presidents men. You can find out more in this weeks “Live and Intensified”.

In other news, and it was good to see that the Record Store Day releases of the Work, rest & Play EP and Dance Craze 40th Anniversary Edition now have release dates. Check out our regular “Buy It” section for the information.

Finally, it looks like Nick Woodate and his JoJo Man Band have been busy yet again. Their new album Melon Head is now available to download FOR FREE from their web site. Again, please check out our “Buy It” section for the details.

Enjoy 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.


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

August 2020

2nd – Tramlines, Hillsborough Park, Sheffield

20th – Penthalaz, Switzerland

23rd – E-Werk, Koln, Germany

25th – Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany

November 2020

12th – Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai (moved from 5th March)

20th – 23rd – The 10th House of Fun Weekender. The Final Curtain. More info at www.bigweekends.com Tickets on sale now



26th – NYC – Hammerstein

28th – Boston – HOB

30th – LA – The Greek Theatre

31st – Las Vegas, Nevada


2nd – Oakland – The Fox Theatre

3rd – Oakland – The Fox Theatre

27th – Barcelona, Spain


4th – Hi-Tide Festival, Margate

7th – Henley Festival, Henley on Thames


Suggs – What a King Cnut Tour 2020 

Book tickets at: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/suggs?fbclid=IwAR3-YoN3Y3En1nIqeWJpevOpnAa0utPUn0hORANuyqzwdmdBvjPivPlqdjU


September 2020

30th – Loughborough Town Hall

October 2020

1st – Chelmsford, Civic Center

2nd – Leamington Spa, Royal Spa Centre

3rd – Norwich, Theatre Royal

4th – Margate, Theatre Royal

6th – Maidstone, Hazlitt Theatre

7th – Worthing, Pavilion Theatre

8th – Harlow Playhouse

9th – Lichfield Garrick Theatre

10th – Doncaster, Cast

11th – Chesterfield, Winding Wheel Theatre

13th – Milton Keynes, The Stables

14th Lincoln, New Theatre Royal

15th – Newbury, Corn Exchange

16th – The Courtyard, Herefordshire’s Centre for the Arts

17th – Bristol, Royal Redgrave Theatre

19th – Exeter, Corn Exchange

20th – Westlands, Yeovil

21st – Aldershot, Princes Hall

22nd – Hertford Theatre

23rd – Forum Theatre (Malvern Theatres)

24th – Warrington, Pyramind and Parr Hall

25th – Lythan St. Annes, Lowther Pavilion

27th – Hexham, Queens Hall Arts Centre

28th – Dundee Rep Theatrre

29th – Aberdeen Music Hall

30th – Edinburgh, The Queen’s Hall



Buy It

New JoJo Man Band Album – “Melon Head” ** new **

We’ve just released our new album, Melon Head. Listen and download free now directly from:


The more people follow the better!!

Much love,

Nick Woodgate

Before We Was We – Out Now in Paperback 

Price: £8.49


In Before We Was We Madness tell us how they became them. A story of seven originals, whose collective graft, energy and talent took them from the sweaty depths of the Hope and Anchor’s basement to the Top of the Pops studio.

In their own words they each look back on shared adventures. Playing music together, riding freight trains, spraying graffiti and stealing records. Walking in one another’s footsteps by day and rising up through the city’s exploding pub music scene by night.

Before We Was We is irreverent, funny and full of character. Just like them.

Record Store Day – Work Rest and Play ** confirmed release date **

Release date: 29th August

Format: Double 7″ single



Fortieth anniversary re-issue of Madness’ “Work Rest & Play EP” – the follow-up to their debut album, 1979’s “One Step Beyond…”

Limited edition Record Store Day 2020 release on double 7” format with a triple gatefold sleeve including photos from the time of the original release.

Track listing:

Side One

Night Boat To Cairo


Side Two

Deceives The Eye


Side Three

The Young And The Old


Side Four

Don’t Quote Me On That


Record Store Day – Dance Craze 40th Anniversary Edition  ** confirmed release date **


Release date: 26th September

Format: 180gm half-speed vinyl

This is a new half-speed master exclusively for RSD and part of the Two Tone Records 40th Anniversary celebrations. This is a soundtrack to the live movie of the same name featuring exclusive live recordings by The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers. This is also first vinyl repress since its original release in 1981.


Concrete Jungle

Mirror in the Bathroom

Lip up Fatty

Razor Blade Alley

Three Minute Hero

Easy Life

Big Shot

One Step Beyond

Ranking Fullstop

Man at C&A

Missing Words

Inner London Violence

Night Boat to Cairo

Too Much Pressure

Nite Klub



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, 10, 15 and 20 years ago this week.

5 years ago…

Issue Number 838 – Sunday 31st May to Saturday 6th June 2015

The Grandslam continued apace this week with gigs at Chelmsford and a sell out one at Portsmouth Football Ground.

While the Grandslam tour was in full swing gigs were still being added to the band’s touring line-up, with the Gibraltar festival on the 6th as the latest addition. This would be a festival set which would see them follow The Kaiser Chiefs and support headliners The Kings of Leon.

In this weeks’ “Buy It” section we took a look at the Grandslam Sporting Tour Programme.

Once again Gavin Martin a veteran of writing Madness Tour Programmes stepped up to the podium in first place when it came to delivering a quality item.

Like the tour itself the Grandslam Programme took inspiration from the world of sport, and the easy to hold A5ish sized glossy booklet resembled the kind of programmes you got at Football stadiums.

With the Grandslam tour trundling ever onwards, it would come as no surprise to learn that this week’s “Sign of the Times” was packed full of gig reviews of recent performances. Many of these gig reviews were accompanied by YouTube footage of the performances in question, so you really could relive the gig you attended or see what you’d missed.

Carl also managed to sneak in with an appearance on Radio’s Wogan show on BBC Radio 2, where he performed acoustic versions of “Do You Believe in Love” and “Wings of a Dove”.

We brought this issue to a close by pointing out that the next Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra album was being advertised in the Grandslam tour programme. About the album, Lee told us at the time

“Theres a little more album work going on, some overdubbs of vocal’s, then it’s down to Ironworks early June for some mixing by Mr Pelanconi.”

10 years ago…

Issue Number 579 – Sunday 6th June – Saturday 12th June 2010

It’d been one of those weeks where things began quietly, and we started resigning ourselves to the prospect of sending out a short edition of the MIS. However, by the time Sunday got here we seemed to have enough news to ensure that another lengthy newsletter once again landed in your mailbox.

We started off with news from Union Square’s Steve Bunyan, who although had news of a new Madness album, it was probably going to be one that only the most hardcore of collectors will be adding to their already bursting stash.

Yes, it was another “Greatest Hits” release, but before you started moaning that record companies were once again milking the fans for all they were, but Steve explained that this would only be sold in Tesco and on Tesco.com, as an exclusive for Father’s day. Titled “Ultimate Madness”, this would contain 21 hits from the  Madness back catalogue.

Moving on, and earlier in the week we received an email from a Sarah Clarke, informing us that the Slough Windsor Maidenhead Theatre Company (SWMTC) were currently rehearsing for their next amateur production, ‘Our House’, the Madness Musical.

Sarah, (who’s the producer of the show) continued by telling us that the musical would be performed from the 20th – 24th July 2010 at Norden Farm Arts Centre, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Next, and with the enhanced versions of Rise and Fall and Keep Moving about to hit store shelves and web stores, it was nice to see that these two great albums were getting noticed by a wider audience. Radio 2 recently devoted 14 minutes to The Rise and Fall, while Phil Jupitus had posted up the cover and liner notes he contributed, to his Twitter account.

Yet another special offer was running in this week’s issue, and yes, it was from those nice people at Retro Madness.

This week they had reduced the price of the Mrs Hutchinson / It Must Be Love – Holland 12″. For some reason Mrs Hutchinson was chosen as a Double A sided single with It Must Be Love for the Dutch market back in 1981. This 12″ had a very different sleeve to the UK version as well as a slightly different mix of It Must Be Love. They had reduced the price of the 12″ version for the following two weeks from £29.99 down to £19.99 including UK postage. Bargain!

On to anniversaries, and as the Fink Brothers record was now over 25 years old, the Fink Brothers web site had been updated and moved from it’s original location to a new blog format. Not only that, but there was a little new content, and we were promised new sounds shortly.

Elsewhere, the French MIS’ Judge Fredd interviewed the legendary Violin Monkeys, and was kind enough to send us the full transcript for publication. What a gent!

We brought this issue of the MIS to a close with the news that Ska tribute act Big 10 had now uploaded a number of high definition video clips to YouTube, and you were urged to check them out.

15 years ago…

Issue number 317 – Sunday 5th June to Saturday 11th June 2005

If you were one of the many people who were sitting on the edge of their seats at the impending arrival of the Dangermen sessions, then this issue wouldn’t disappoint, thanks to Jean-Pierre Boutellier of Ska News and his review of the album promo.

Indeed, a promo sampler CD had already surfaced on Ebay this week. “The Dangermen Sessions, Vol. 1”. 5-track Sampler contained the songs.

1) Shame and Scandal.

2) Girl.

3) Iron Shirt.

4) John Jones.

5) Taller Than You Are.

Total playing time was 15:47, and the release came in a cardboard sleeve.

JP was kind enough to give us all a track-by-track breakdown of the new album, and finished off his write-up by telling us that;

“it’s a superb album, with good drums, bass, keys, sax, guitar etc … good production.

Some tracks could be more catchy but it’s a great Madness album… bravo guys”

Most of us would have to wait just that bit longer before we’d be able to listen to the album ourselves.

Next-up we had news in from Dan Burdett, revealing that North London band JAG, would have one of their tracks aired this coming Wednesday on London station XFM. We were told that “Stranger Things” would be the title most likely to receive airplay.

We were also urged to log on to the “Unsigned” section of the XFM web site, and vote for JAG. If the band managed to get the most votes they’d have their track played again, this time on Friday morning’s `Drive Time` hour.

Much of the rest of this issue was taken up with three articles from Madness fans who were giving their views on the forthcoming Madness album. Had the band sold out by releasing an album of covers instead of original material? Would this be the last Madness album before they split? The general consensus was that as long as the band were still playing then the fans were happy and would continue to attend the gigs. If the forthcoming Forest Tour was to be the last set of concerts the band performed, then so be it.

We finished off this week’s issue with a plea, asking those attending the Forest Tour gigs (kicking off in Thetford this coming Saturday) to please send in reviews.

20 years ago…

Issue number 55 – Sunday 4th June to Saturday 10th June 2000

A few weeks back we ran a short article mentioning that an Ian Dury tribute gig was going to be held in New York City, with proceeds going to the very worthwhile CancerBacup charity.

Well, we started off this issue with news from Nick – one of the organisers of the events. Nick explained that while the turnout was relatively small (only 60 Ian Dury fans turned up), they managed to raise almost $1000 for the charity.  Nick finished off by telling us

“Thanks to all of you over there for your interest and support, we might make this a yearly event, the owner of the club, Chuck Harris, loved it and the bar-maid for the evening, Leslie having never heard much Ian Dury, came away besotted”.

Next-up was subscriber Nahuel, who gave us an in-depth review of the recently released bootleg – a three hour long video of rare Madness footage. Nahuel was impressed with both the content and the quality of the footage, and rounded off his review by explaining that he already had another bootleg on order.

Following on from Nahuel’s article was an urgent plea from subscriber Alex Smith. Alex explained that as he lived just around the corner from the venue where the Ian Dury tribute concert was going to be held, he’d held off buying tickets, and instead intended to pop over there in person to get a couple. Unfortunately, tickets had sold out far quicker than he’d expected, and so, was now desperately searching for two. Could the online Madness community help out? Hopefully, as time was running out.

Elsewhere in this issue we had the latest gig dates for Madness tribute band, Complete Madness. Amongst the many dates they had lined up was the headline slot at Ska Fest 2000 in Morcambe. Not bad at all!

After all these years we’re still not sure how he did it, but Vince Carden was a man who always seemed to get hold of releases before they hit the stores proper. This week was no different, when he revealed that he’d managed to get hold of the digitally re-mastered version of Divine Madness. Here’s what Vince had to say at the time; “Digitally remastered……..my arse!! I still can’t believe I wasted £17. Basically, none of the tracks sound any different.

It’s only good for one thing. It’ll probably win the band a few more young fans again. It has certainly received more shelf space than ‘Wonderful’ and was one of six albums that HMV were playing all day”

We finished off this week’s issue with a review of the Madness Unsugged fanzine – issue 4, courtesy of Vince Foley. Whilst this issue wasn’t as colourful or as fancy as Vince Carden’s previous issue Mr. Foley was pleading with us to make sure this didn’t put us off, as it was the most packed fanzine ever, weighing in at a whopping 32 pages.

Rob Hazelby



Live and Intensified

Two Mad Men and a String Quartet

After many weeks of misery hearing about cancelled future concert events in the pages of MIS, yesterday lockdown spirits were raised by the return of Live Madness.

This came in a unique line up of Suggs and Mike augmented with a four-piece string section (The London String Group) complying with current social distance rules of gatherings for workplaces. While presenting a low key approach to songs that suited the audience-less environment.

Watch this treat back here in full.


Airing on YouTube as a live 9pm event, the broadcast was recorded last Wednesday as an acoustic treat free for all.  Suggs bantered his apologies for all the necessary current cancellations of all gigs and also gave his hopes for the fans with HOFtimism that a future Butlins Weekender would happen. It’s currently still on sale to go ahead this year. Fingers crossed.

The set included an ambitious acoustic Bowie cover, and classic hits in this stripped down format. But best of all the shoots of new Madness music emerged from this basic two man team. We were treated to two embryonic songs penned by Suggs and Mike respectively.

Here is the set list

Night boat to Cairo


My Girl

Theatre of the absurd

Life on Mars

The sun and the rain

All the presidents men

Rise and fall

Our house

It Must Be Love


First hearings of The Theatre of the Absurd sounded lyrically to be a darker cousin of the greatest show on earth. While Mike’s All the Presidents Men was a social commentary upon American history.

The video has already reached over 20 thousand views in 24 hours and climbing, with many delighted fans tuning in.


Terry Burgoyne

“Needed something like this to cheer me up. Total class made me one very happy Madness fan and hopefully many more thanks guys great job”


Pauline Wilford

“Brilliant, nice treat for a sat night, felt like we were all together for a while.”


Jenny Williams

“Wow. What a great show.   Sitting here with tears in my eyes from the last song.  It must be love. Made me think about All my lovely friends and family I am missing.”


Alan Cahill

“Best set list in eons. I’ve always fancied an acoustic band album.”


Natalie Fitzgerald

“Sound was amazing”


Judge Fredd

“NBTC is magical !

Not easy to think of a version of “Our House” with just violins and piano, since the base is a big rhythm at the start. But it still works. Our House (lockdown version)”


Declan McDermott

“Strings are amazing”


Michael Barton

“At the mo, HOF still on 👍and what an amazing version of Life on Mars.”


Dave Clarke

“Wrong song for his voice unfortunately.

He really struggled with certain songs, but the music and the strings are excellent and actually compliment Suggs really well. Unplugged album? Hopefully.”


Vincent Carden

“Really enjoyed that. 2 new songs too. Always great to hear Mk II and Rise & Fall. The only disappointment was Life on mars. Singing it in a low key didn’t work out. Should have sung it in the same key as Mk II.”


Nicky Elkins

“The more I hear the new songs. The more I like them. Really like the Theatre one.”


Rise and fall and MKII were definitely well chosen treat to hear in this mode, alongside some stripped back hit singles beautifully presented. To hear two new songs on top of that, feels like that Promised Madness Future is just starting to emerge.

Thanks Madness for sorting this out for all the fans. Continue to stay safe.

Jonathan Young



MIS Feature

New Songs From “Two Mad Men and a String Quartet” Session


The lights go down on some dark theatre in London

Oooooh the cruelest comedy


The audience hold their breath they freeze and dare not look away

Ooooooh For the cruelest comedy


The actors stumble on with masks but no real plot

There are no exit signs and all the doors are locked

Ooooh and the compere jumps up


Ladies and gentlemen I’m so glad that you’ve heard

Of the blackest black comedy

From the house of the absurd

The blackest black comedy


The orchestra strike up a song that no one’s heard of

A storyline that no one knows to sing

But this cabaret must never end

A dozen roses no one sends

At last the cruelest comedy


The stage is draped in palest palest bitter blue

And from the wings and right on cue

Aaaah the compere jumps up


Ladies and gentlemen I’m so glad That you heard

Of the blackest black comedy

From the house of the absurd

Blackest black comedy

And it’s Ladies and gentlemen Will you please walk this way

For the last and only performance Of the cruelest cabaret




The year was 1963

The last one for Kennedy

In 69 the Loraine hotel On the balcony where the doctor fell

From a single shell

The last shot at democracy

Shining city on a hill

Land of the free

17 agencies looking out for thee

The NSA and homeland security

A shot rang out

The sound of gunfire echoes across the mall

The future sucked into a dark black hole

Shortsighted small minds clamour for control

But there’s no dream no more

Psi-op are now running the score

And the money trickles upwards evermore

You’d almost think it was 1984


Our thanks go to Nicky Elkins for typing up song lyrics.



Sign of the Times

Chris’ Cupboard Live on Zoom!    

Chrissy Boy is broadcasting his cupboard live from lockdown, in his loft.

On Saturday 6th June he shared a Zoom call with 100 Fans. A second online cupboard is due to take place with fans on June 13th from 5.30pm BST.

If you want to join and watch, you can get a free zoom account here. https://zoom.us  and email us for the link to join. You will be admitted to the call and muted into the visible online audience.

If you have a question for Chris and want to ask him on the Zoom, email the question in advance to: jon@madness-mis.com  You may be selected for asking Chris that question on the call. The calls are recorded for online playback. (Please listen to the questions already asked in this weeks’ cupboard to help have less repetition next week. Thank you.)

Listen back to the audio of Saturdays Chris’ Cupboard here… (2 hours)


The video version is currently being edited for future upload by Madness.

On the first Zoom, Chris showed fans his loft space. He explained the symbol from the Mr apples video, that he had on display. He had a general chat about lockdown with host Owen Collins; including self haircuts and talking to his wife more!

Chris spoke about the House of Fun Weekender still currently going ahead, as things are constantly reviewed, and what Chris thought of the Camden Walk of Fame.

Allie mayor asked if he had written any new material. Chris played some music from his phone, including demo work and a song that Paul Weller has worked on. Mark Bryant asked him about his song writing process, and more fans asked about recent albums and songs, too.

Chris spoke about 2021 and that the band are rereleasing their albums on new vinyl editions. Kenwood House, he would like to be a DVD and Live album. He described it as oven ready to do, now that he has edited out a fan Thommo dragged up on stage!

Before we Was we, the book, was discussed. A volume 2 he said wasn’t likely, and Chris declared himself a nerd who mostly edited the book correcting things not remembered well by the others.

Talking to the Mexican MIS about the Clash story, Chris said he would like to do a call for more of the Mexican MIS.

There was a fun quiz, guess the album titles of album covers that had been changed to Chris editions. Some truly horrifying images!

Asked about regrets by Jim Lavery and his bucket List, Chris said he needs a new bucket. Though he doesn’t regret nicking an award from the last day of the BBC gig.

Meeting Jeremy Clarkson, is the meeting he found most difficult of the celebs he’s met. Meeting Stevie Wonder was the best. Meeting Alex Harvey was the most nerve racking.

Graham Hewson asked about the possibility of a Crunch reunion. Chris said it’s mainly on whether Lee wants to as he sporadic.

Thing’s even turned to entertainment as Chris spoke about Showtimes, and performed “Highway to Hell” live not the Zoom call, then wrapped things up with guitar rendition of The Hunchback of Torriano Riff live for everyone, before all the fans thanked him for his time and interaction.

Huge thanks to Iain Mason from Seven Ragged Men for running the Zoom. Em Southerby for the album cover quiz artwork, and Owen Collins for excellently hosting the call with Chris.

See you all at the next one!

Jonathan Young


Retro top 10: this week in 1982

Taken from today’s edition of Ireland’s Sunday Independent.

Passed on to us by subscriber Leo Clayton.

It’s hard to believe that even at their peak Madness, one of the best-loved British bands of the late seventies and early eighties, had just one UK number one hit.

‘House Of Fun’, released by the Camden ska band as a one-off single in May 1982, was originally recorded without the infectious ‘welcome to the house of fun’ chorus, under the title ‘Chemist Facade’.

Stiff Records boss Dave Robinson insisted on a chorus, prompting a very difficult editing process after it was decided not to re-record the whole song.

Full article at: https://www.independent.ie/regionals/goreyguardian/out-about/retro-top-10-this-week-in-1982-39256416.html




That’s just about it for this week.

Don’t forget that on this coming Saturday (June 13th), Chris will be hosting another live Zoom chat. This time from 5.30pm BST.

If you want to join and watch, you can get a free zoom account here. https://zoom.us     and email us for the link to join. You will be admitted to the call and muted into the visible online audience.

If you have a question for Chris and want to ask him on the Zoom, email the question in advance to: jon@madness-mis.com  You may be selected for asking Chris that question on the call. The calls are recorded for online playback. (Please listen to the questions already asked in this weeks’ cupboard to help have less repetition next week. Thank you.)

Until next week, take care and stay safe,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

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