MIS Bulletin #727 Sun 14th April – Sat 20th April 2013
1 – THIS IS WHERE THE MADNESS BEGINS – The obligatory intro.
2 – THE NUMBER ONE SKA ORCHESTRA ALBUM NOW ON SALE – Buy The
Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius now. The pre order link is
live, and topping the charts in reggae and ska on Amazon.
3 – THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS – This week MIS co-editor, Rob Hazelby
goes back 5 years to issue number 467, and the week of Sunday
13th April to Saturday 19th April 2008, and then back 10 years to
issue number 205 and the week of Sunday 13th April to Saturday
19th April 2003.
4 – THE MYSTERY OF THE SURGING MEMBER NUMBERS – A week or so back I
spotted a Facebook post from Steve Farthing, moderator of the Mad
Chat Facebook group, commenting on their surging member numbers.
Intrigued by this massive increased I ask for more information.
5 – MADNESS FRONT-MAN SUGGS TO VISIT SHREWSBURY FOR PIZZA – Madness
front-man Suggs is planning a special trip to Shrewsbury later
this month following his My Life Story show at Oakengates Theatre.
He will be sample the unique fare on offer at The Amazing
Woodfired Pizza Company on Smithfield Road. Article by Shropshire
6 – SUGGS FACES UP TO MAD LIFE CRISIS – MADNESS frontman Suggs was 50
in January. He was lying in the bath on his birthday, nursing an
epic hangover when there was a huge crash. Article from the South
Wales Argus web site.
7 – PARK AVENUE – You may recall that a number of issues back we
reported on Dan Fossard’s now and then look at Park Avenue, a
road featuring near the start of the Madness movie Take it or
Leave it. Since then, Mike Barson has commented on one of Dan’s
photos – Mike’s Bedroom…
8 – OPENING ZOLTAR’S BOOK OF JOY – PAGE ONE – The Special Edition of
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da adds 7 new tracks, delights with
alternate versions, and lets you in on a few demos from the era.
It’s a joy on first listen. All praise Zoltar.
9 – THAT’S YER LOT – A few last minute bits and pieces before we
finish for the week.
 – THIS IS WHERE THE MADNESS BEGINS
Hello, good evening and welcome to this, the latest edition of the weekly MIS Online newsletter.
We’ve got yet another packed one for you, with news ranging from The Ska Orchestra and Suggs’ One Man Show, to The Mad Chat Facebook group, Suggs’ favourite pizza haunt and much more besides.
The most exciting thing right now is, of course, the Special Edition of Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da, which is out tomorrow, Monday 15th, from Madness.co.uk .
For those who ordered it, Zoltar’s book of joy is set to land on your mat this week, packed with all its magic. Here’s what the gatefold booklet design looks like with its 4 discs of gems hidden within in its pages: pic.twitter.com/eB3pkHejjT
News has reached us that Zoltar’s gift has arrived early on the doormats of a few lucky fans, and so we’ve a little first reaction in our final article if it’s your wish to know more…
So, get yourselves comfortable and enjoy the read,
Jonathan Young, Liz Maher, Simon Roberts, Rob Hazelby
Email us at: jonathan, liz, simon, robert @mis-online.net
 – THE NUMBER ONE SKA ORCHESTRA ALBUM NOW ON SALE
Buy The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius now. The pre order link is live, and topping the charts in reggae and ska on Amazon.
The 12 track debut album from the ska orchestra is out on June 3rd.
On it’s first day on Amazon the album went to number 1 in Ska, on the sites’ sales listings, and Darren Fordham observed it was the hot release topping reggae recommendations.
Get yours now.
Talking to Reggae steady ska website and Rockingsteady magazine, for a much bigger in depth interview due in May, Lee Thompon said..
“The album is a tribute to Sister Mary & the would be
Rude Boy musicians that came out of the Alpha School,
that went on to write, play & entertain. And
hopefully get some publishing from this disc.
Alpha School Heroes would have to be Rico, Tommy Mccook,
god rest his soul.
The Benevolence was recorded at Pellanconi’s Ironworks,
a studio that was brought to my attention by my Piano
player, Louis Vause, who had previously recorded their
with with Blur’s Graham Coxon. I met up with MP &
immediately got on with him & his studio was perfect
for what I wanted to achieve.
Basically we were on the same page, paragraph & story
Jonathan Young / Lee Thompson
 – THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS
This week MIS co-editor, Rob Hazelby goes back 5 years to issue number 467, and the week of Sunday 13th April to Saturday 19th April 2008, and then back 10 years to issue number 205 and the week of Sunday 13th April to Saturday 19th April 2003.
5 years ago…
Sunday 13th April to Saturday 19th April 2008
We kicked off this issue with an XFM exclusive interview with Suggs and Chris, just prior to their performance at this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust gig. The two of them told the radio station why taking part in concerts meant to much to them, and revealed that they were working on a concept album.
In gig news we revealed that the band would be performing at Aintree Racecourse on Friday 13th June. Tickets were priced at an amazingly reasonable £16 for adults.
Back to the Teenage Cancer Trust, and we featured a nice write-up by Ruth Barnes of the BBC Radio 6 web site, who gave a detailed lowdown of the band’s performance on the 8th of April.
Suggs and Co were in fine form as they literally
rocked the hall to the core, with the audience
up and dancing from the very first note of One
The band were supported by The Holloways and The
Metros, all jangly guitars, skinny jeans and
catchy pop tunes. They unfortunately felt the effects
of punters not being allowed to bring drinks into
the hall as many chose to stay in the bar until the
headliners took to the stage.
At which time the hall came alive with the crowds
chants of ‘Ole, ole, ole, ole…’ in fact the band had
a standing ovation before they had even begun.
Moving on, and while Chris and Suggs spoke to XFM about the Royal Albert Hall gig, Suggs took part in a short solo interview with MSN.
Next, it was over to the Daily Mirror web site, with a review of the Snowbombing 2008 Festival, which Madness performed at. Taking time out, Suggs spoke to the newspaper, and gave a nice video interview which we linked to.
It was back to the Teenage Cancer Trust gig next, as Virgin Radio DJ Sarah Champion caught up with Suggs about the event, and about how Gwen Stefani is mad about him.
Great news for our Spanish news landed this week, as it was revealed that the band would be appearing at the the 3rd Bilbao BBK Live festival in Kobetamendi, Spain, on Sunday, 6th July.
Dublin based Maddies were also in for a treat, as in this issue we announced that the band would be performing for two nights at The Tripod, on the 17th and 18th June.
10 years ago…
Sunday 13th April to Saturday 19th April 2003
Well, you couldn’t say that we were short of Madness gigs at the moment. Just like double decker busses, new of 3 came along in one weekend!
First, we had a reminder from Carl of the forthcoming gig in Bon, Germany, then we had news in from Steve Chapman revealing that the band would be headlining the Guildford Festival on Saturday 5th of July.
What we were all most excited about though was news that Carl was suggesting we ought to look London bound for the 6th. Could this be the next Madstock? Only time would tell.
Moving away from Madness for the moment, and we took a look at the next round of Like Father Like Son gigs that were due to take place over the next month or so. The band’s touring plans would take them to Brighton and stopping in for a gig at Biggin Hill on the way down.
It was over to the official Madness web site next, where we pulled out a few of the more interesting posts from non other than Chrissy Boy. The most interesting was the post that confirmed that there would be NO Madstock this year. If so, what on earth would the band be doing on the 6th of July in London?
Over to radio news, and Jonathan reviewed episode three of the Suggs’ starring show, I think I’ve got a problem. The fourth and final part would conclude at 11:00pm on Thursday.
In tribute band news we revealed that One Step Behind were about to start their 10th anniversary tour with an absolutely packed May.
If you had yet to see the band in action we urged you to get along.
We brought this issue to a close with the news that Lee Thompson had appeared on stage with Australian ska band The Brisbane City All-Skas.
 – THE MYSTERY OF THE SURGING MEMBER NUMBERS
A week or so back I spotted a Facebook post from Steve Farthing, moderator of the Mad Chat Facebook group, commenting on their surging member numbers.
Intrigued by this massive increased I ask for more information.
A day or so later Steve got back to me and commented;
“I can’t believe how many new members that we
have had over the weekend. I read your post,
asking where all our new members have come
from. We are now approaching 1,000 members
and over 200 of them are new members. It has
Noggsy on the Suggs From Madness Appreciation
Page has also experienced a surge in new
members and has reached the 6,000 plus mark of
likes on his page.
Noggsy has worked hard on his page and he pretty
much leaves myself, Brian and Kim to run the Mad
Chat group. I think the reason he has had a
surge of new members has been Suggs’ one man show
starting again. He places links to Mad Chat on
his page and it seems we have become like a
feeder group from his page.
Noggsy would also like to make it clear that his
page is an Appreciation Page for Suggs and
Madness and he has never once claimed to be
If Suggs himself ever wanted to join Facebook,
Noggsy would be happy to hand over control to
I think it’s really good that there is so much
interest in Madness right now and I think their
management are doing an awesome job getting
promotional work for the band”.
Both groups are really bustling, and if you have a Facebook account and aren’t signed-up to them then you’re missing out.
Links to both groups are below, so don’t delay, join today!
Mad Chat (group):
Suggs From Madness Appreciation Page:
Rob Hazelby / Steve Farthing
 – MADNESS FRONT-MAN SUGGS TO VISIT SHREWSBURY FOR PIZZA
Madness front-man Suggs is planning a special trip to Shrewsbury later this month following his My Life Story show at Oakengates Theatre.
He will be sample the unique fare on offer at The Amazing Woodfired Pizza Company on Smithfield Road.
The singer and game-show host was so impressed when he visited the town in February last year that he has made special arrangements to visit Shrewsbury after his evening show on Saturday 20th April, to pick up another of the company’s distinctive pizzas, which are cooked in a special wood-fired oven.
Kim Ford, manager of The Amazing Woodfired Pizza Company, said: “The first I knew about it was when I got an email from his agent, asking if he could come over after the show. It said that Suggs, was so impressed with the pizza he had here last year, that it was the first thing he mentioned when he knew he was going to be in the area.
“While we are only expecting it to be a flying visit, but the agent has said Suggs will be happy to hang around, sign some autographs and have a few photos done, so we are hoping that a few our regulars and Madness fans will come over and take the opportunity – and maybe sample one of our pizzas as well.”
 – SUGGS FACES UP TO MAD LIFE CRISIS
MADNESS frontman Suggs was 50 in January.
He was lying in the bath on his birthday, nursing an epic hangover
when there was a huge crash.
“I jumped out of the water,” he says, “and there,
lying amid shards of broken glass, was our
four-year-old cat, a British blue called Mamba.
I’d put up the glass shelf and it must have given
way. I knew he was dead. I couldn’t believe it. I
loved that cat.
I was 50. My kids had left home and now the cat was
dead. I was really upset. It triggered a deluge of
emotion. I began to consider my own mortality and,
out of that, the idea for exploring my own past
The result is a new stage show which comes to Monmouth Savoy on April
21 and Newport Riverfront on May 10.
“It’s a memoir,” says Suggs.
“I toyed with calling it Mad- Life Crisis, but
called it MyLife Story, which won’t win any
prizes for originality but tells you what you
can expect, the good bits and the darker ones.”
Born Graham McPherson in Hastings, he’s the only child of jazz singer
Edith and William – but everyone called him Mac – who worked for
a photographic developers, but whose life was overtaken by drugs.
“Dad left home when I was three. I have no recollection
of him and he never featured in my life. Mum told me she’d
found him with needles sticking out of his hands.”
Mother and son moved to Liverpool where Edith sang in the clubs,
winning the accolade of Melody Maker’s Jazz Newcomer of the Year in
the mid- 60s. She performed at the Blue Angel where The Beatles and
Cilla Black repaired after sessions at The Cavern.
Moving back to London, Soho was his mother’s stomping ground where
she sang and went drinking in watering holes like the Colony.
“You’d walk up this rickety green staircase and
enter a room full of artists and actors all drinking
and smoking. It was a creative hotbed. Francis Bacon,
Lucian Freud, George Melly, Jeffrey Bernard – they
were all regulars,” adds Suggs.
Edith then moved Suggs on to live in Haverfordwest with her sister,
Diana, and her three children. Three years later, he was back in
London, and about to go to secondary in Swiss Cottage. It’s where he
acquired his nickname.
“I was looking through a jazz book of my mum’s. I
took a pin and stuck it into the name Peter, and
then I noticed his second name was Suggs, a drummer
in an obscure jazz band.”
Had he known it, this was the moment his estranged father was bowing
“I only found out when I was researching the new show.
It’s a tragic story. My father started injecting
himself with paraffin and was then sectioned,” he says.
“When he was released, he moved to Birmingham where he
married again. He died aged 40, his wife following him,
probably from a drug overdose. So just as I was getting
together with Madness, my father’s time was up. I’ve
always found that poignant.
My mother told me he was a very nice man, ‘just like
you’. That was the most shocking thing she could’ve
said. The fact he was really nice upset me. But heroin
is an unforgiving mistress.”
Suggs married young. By 21, he had a wife, a baby and a mews house in
Camden bought with the money he’d made from Madness’s hits.
“I created Fortress Suggs to give my life structure,
but I’d fallen in love with Anne.”
A singer who works under the name Bette Bright, they have two
daughters – Scarlett, 29 and Viva, 25 – who sing as a duo. Nor has
Suggs hung up his own microphone.
“It was an extraordinary year for us, 2012. You wouldn’t
have thought the Queen would invite us on her roof to
play or we were going to play at the Olympics,” he says.
The band have just released their tenth album Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja,
Da Da, with UK gigs this summer, including one at Chepstow Racecourse
on June 14.
“Madness have always been about accentuating the
positive,” says Suggs.
“It’s no accident our songs are still played 30
years down the line. They are upbeat, timeless.”
South Wales Argus
 – PARK AVENUE
You may recall that a number of issues back we reported on Dan
Fossard’s now and then look at Park Avenue, a road featuring near the
start of the Madness movie Take it or Leave it.
Since then, Mike Barson has commented on one of Dan’s photos – Mike’s
“Yeah that’s right, used to live there. That’s where
we auditioned old Suggsie Boy… well young Suggsie
boy then! Should never have given him the job!
…and where we wrote ‘Mistakes’ our first song…
And where Carl played the bass guitar blew up my
brother Ben’s – amp finished him off as a bass
player ha ha.
Also where I largely learnt to play the piano too,
remember learning Sad Lisa by Cat Stevens on my
brother’s piano playing the record at half speed!.”
Mike Barson / Jon Young
 – OPENING ZOLTAR’S BOOK OF JOY – PAGE ONE
The Special Edition of Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da adds 7 new tracks,
delights with alternate versions, and lets you in on a few demos from
the era. It’s a joy on first listen. All praise Zoltar.
“At long last the most eagerly awaited special edition
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da landed on my doormat on
Saturday, or rather I startled the postman by flinging
open the door and snatching it from him when I saw
that he was carrying a white padded envelope and
heading for my door!”
The oblong package is much more appealing than the single edition,
that glorious new picture cover and a wealth of information inside,
rules, games, cut outs and pictures, with lyrics. (How can I tell
you, is still wrong! nitpick)
Most importantly though, if you are still to get yours, it fits most
letter boxes. Thank you Zoltar, all this joy with out the trip to the
sorting office and the problem of space storage that Norton Folgate
It is presented as a A5 sized hard back book, the discs are inserted
in wallets at the front and back of the book, between these are a 32
page booklet. The first page declares ‘OUISIJADA Where all the players
want to hear yes!’ over the following pages the rules of the game are
explained, you have a page of characters to cut out (yeah as if!) to
use as your pawn when playing the game which consist of each of the
band members as depicted on the front cover. The following two pages
are the board for the game which consist of black and red squares
with various instructions depending on what square you fall on,
following this the other pages give more detail about the game
characters and their forfeits.
The rest of the book contain the lyrics to the songs, plus a piece
of wisdom from Chas in his own unique style and a really interesting
piece by Barzo explaining how they came about the album cover design.
THE NEW MUSIC
But if you are a true fan of the music and a regular gig goer you
jump straight to whichever track you wished had been on the album last
time. For some that might be 1978. For me, and fellow prison inmates
that track is Big Time Sister that we previewed in MIS. A satisfied
sigh completes the wait since the joy of the Do not adjust your nut
tour, and the day spent meeting Tracy at The Dublin Castle and hearing
mixes from Lee from The premises.
It does not disappoint, though it does surprise a little and it
doesn’t totally guarantee yet the mark of “should of been on album 1”
due to the extra work some of these tracks have been through in this
very year. Case in point has to be Mark Bedford’s return to bass on
some tracks and…
Oh My Love. Christmas Single! Please! Far more polished on from
Dangermen or 2003 live era, much more of a band sound than Suggs solo
version cover. A great lesser heard Lennon favourite done justice in
a band form. Choice.
Part Two of the album though really starts with a bang, or a BOOM!
Deolalli is a bond theme with a bullet. Totally deserving of lead.
Dark war themes against bubbling organ stabs from Barson on this mix,
impresses and adds range to the album in the same way Mission From
Hell did on Norton Folgate part two. Lee is currently working on a
video with MIS for the track, in that film clips style often achieved
with Chrissy Boy’s work on Madness montages.
He said to us of the album extension.
“I’m over the Moon with all of CD2 mixes especially
the first 11.”
Here’s what Judge Fredd thought on first listen…
“Some alternate mixes or demos are better than
the oui oui November release, in particular,
NKYN (with the french chanteuse), Misery, So
Alive, Kitchen Floor.
Good to see that now they see the light of the
day. I love the orchestration of Brass dominated
And… of course the new songs are very cool,
(in particular Big Time Sister), except 1978, at
the first listen, I think I prefer the live old
version (the studio mix is too Suggs solo).”
Really weird to hear some of the tracks, having heard Crunch! and
Dance Brigade, Suggs and Lennon versions of some tracks before now.
My obsession will be the track mostly unfamiliar to all, it being the
only new track to have never yet reached a Madness concert. It’s the
only one to not be in the extensive live versions scattered across
the CD and DVD in this package, it reached Butlins Rehearsal stages
only. Too many words for Suggs Perhaps, though he’s ok with tackling
it in the studio here to great lengths. The story of “Hands off my
wife” is typical of songs born from Crunch! but then reworked to
Madness, its lyrics are much braver bitter dark than a lot of Oui,
Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da Da light focus or wisdom, it’s like the
cousin of the song You Got It.
The alternate version add brass section in where there was none, or
there was Mariachi, or French singers, or in the case of Powder Blue
an Epic new 6 minutes of extended wishing the day would not change
into tomorrow. (frankly it has me looking at my watch though)
Some of Carl’s demo’s are comical, I mean that in a good way,
eccentric vocal performances, though Misery for me nailed it’s
brilliance day 1 based on this version.
Mike’s Sunga demo are versions never going to be classed as full
Madness due to his vocals, but the creative passion and genius are
there in nut shells. It’s a joy to be allowed to listen to how much
comes from him working on the most basic version of a song, and see
much of what we might have thought came from the producers stage of
the album was in fact there day one with Mike.
I Got you. Nick Woodgate sings on a Madness album. The Woodgate home
demo. It’s beautiful, despite sounding so far from Madness sound now,
truly into backwaters of what made Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da,
great. Shows how privileged we are that the last two Madness album
got such extensive treatment packages.
The CD ends with a couple of basic home studio music pieces.
Instrumentals. Loopable basic music to start the process from. Both
make great dub experiences if you play them after their main song
normal version ends.
BACK TO BUTLINS
“The DVD is of the rehearsal gig at the first House of Fun
Butlins weekender in 2011, which was great to see and to
relive the memories of that weekend, the only disappointment
I had was that Chrissy Boy’s Elvis Showtime! was not
For now Zoltar, has left the building. We hope the rest of you get
your special edition day soon.
Next week we turn to page two in review.
Jonathan Young/Lee Thompson
Judge Fredd/Sharon Staite
 – THAT’S YER LOT
We’re almost done for this week, but before we close there are one
or two last minute bits to pass your way…
On Friday Mike, Suggs and Carl joined Pete Mitchell on Absolute Radio
60’s. You might be able to hear the show again here if it’s uploaded
from April 12th at any point.
While today Suggs appeared alongside Rick Astley on Magic FM!
Thats not a Rick Roll, it ‘did’ actually happen!
Until next week, take care,
Jon, Rob, Simon, Liz
(Thanks to Lee Thompson, Steve Farthing, Judge Fredd & Sharon Staite)
Never Never Knew Your Name (La Discotheque Mix)
French Lyrics Translation. She says:
“It was late, it was cold, no, I don’t remember
you gave me your phone number,
you didn’t give me your address in this discotheque.”