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MIS Bulletin #729 Sunday 28th April to Saturday 4th May 2013

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Hello, and very warm welcome to this, the first edition of the all-new MIS Online newsletter!

Gone is the plain, 70-column text, and in its place is a standard rich text document, complete with embedded links and text formatting. If everything has gone to plan you should now find that the MIS is easier to read and also looks much better on smart phones and tablet devices.

We’ve carried out a few tests over the past week, one that you may have seen sent out to list subscribers, and we think that any bugs have been ironed out. Naturally, we’re not able to test on all platforms, so if the issue looks a little screwy to you please do let us know!

You’ll notice that one major change to the new MIS format is that we no longer have a table of contents. To replace this we’ll now feature regular articles that cover specific items. “Showtimes”, for example, will always be first the first article, and will feature all forthcoming Madness and Madness related gigs/events. “Buy It” will feature links pointing you in the direction of items we feel you should be spending your money on, and “Sign of The Times” will feature links to interesting articles or interviews.

The thinking behind this revamp is to give you easier access to the information you want, to produce an MIS that’s easier to read on a larger number of devices, and at the same time reduce the amount of work it takes to put an issue together.

We realise that the new format may take some getting used to, but please stick with us. If you have any feedback then please send it to us. If it’s negative, then along with the negative comments let us know what you’d do to change things.

OK, enough of the waffle. On with the issue!

Enjoy the read,

Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Maher



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. Our thanks go to Arnold Stap for the information.



Newly Announced by Sherpa.be – Madness join the line up of Brussels Summer Fest on August 11th.

June 9th Rockness, Iverness, Scotland
June 12th Armada Festival, France
June 14th Chepstow Race course, UK
June 15th Newark Festival, UK
June 28th Newcastle Race course, UK
June 29th Daytripper, Waterford, Ireland

July 6th Carlise Racecourse, Carlisle, UK
July 7th Nuits De Fourviere Festival, Lyon, France
July 8th Les Deferlantes, d’Argeles Sur Mer, France
July 10th Jazz Montauban Festival, France
July 11th Festival De Poupet, France
July 12th Henley Festival, Henley On Thames, UK
July 17th Sandown Park Racecourse, UK
July 19th Newmarket Racecourse, UK
July 20th Haydock Park Racecourse, UK

August 10th Fete Du Bruit, Landerneau, France
NEW: August 11th Brussels Summer Fest, Belgium

September 16th L’Olympia, Paris, France
September 22nd Northants CCC, UK
September 28th Alexandra Palace, London, UK

October 12th Esprit Arena, Duesseldorf, Germany

November 22nd-25th House Of Fun Weekender, Minehead, UK

For tickets see links via: www.madness.co.uk


Suggs Live 

May 7th Leicester de Monfort Hall,  May 8th Nottingham Theatre Royal
May 9th Reading Hexagon,  May 10th Newport Riverfront Arts Centre
May 11th Swansea Grand, May 12th Hereford Courtyard
May 14th Peterborough Cressett, May 15th Scunthorpe Baths Hall
May 16th Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall, May 17th Poole Lighthouse
May 18th Worthing Pavilion, May 20th Harrogate Theatre
May 21st Bridlington Spa Theatre, May 22nd Stockton Arc
May 23rd Whitley Bay Playhouse, May 24th Durham Gala
May 25th Glasgow Pavilion, May 26th Barrow Forum
May 28th New Brighton Floral Pavilion, May 29th Lancaster Grand
May 30th Warrington Parr Hall, May 31st Preston Charter Theatre

June 1st Spalding South Holland Centre, June 2nd Ipswich Corn Exchange
June 5th Chatham Central Theatre

For Tickets: http://www.suggslive.com/


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra 

May 16th Chelsea, Under The Bridge, London, UK
May 20th Bristol, The Fleece, UK
May 24th Manchester, Band on the wall, UK
May 25th Newcastle, Think Tank, UK

August 11th  United Colours Festival, Sheffield
August 16th Belgium (Brussels Summer Fest)

See ticket links via: www.ltso.mis-online.net



Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da Special Edition: 70 Track CD/DVD 4 Disc

One Step Beyond New Poster  & More at Madstore

Near Jazz Experience: Acoustic Part I & II, 3D 7″ or Mp3

Pre Order: Benevolence Of Sister Mary Ignatius – The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Out June 3rd

Pre Order: Suggs That Close My Story Book.  Out October 24th

Live Suggs T-shirt and more at Suggs Live Store.



Interviews, articles and other items of recent news that have caught our eye. Click on the links to be taken to the relevant page.


Meridian FM Interview

On Monday Lee was interviewed on Merdian FM.

He spoke about the birth of The Ska Orchestra, calling the first gig like “Candid Camera”. Asked about Sax influences he said, “Ben Webster was an influence.”

He spoke about Jazz music and about the original artists whose songs he’s covered on the coming album, and the desire that they should get royalties from the album. He also spoke about doing a second album of original (self written) Ska. There was also mention of an Acetate of the album being on Ebay, even though there isn’t such a thing! “The geezer is talking out his acetate”.

On Madness he spoke about the early days, being on sabbatical from the band but wanting to try and fit it alongside the Ska Orchestra, a wish to reform Crunch! and not being ready to write the next Madness album yet, as he felt unsure about it..


Suggs the Life story of a National Treasure

On the 21st The Manchester Evening News web site featured an article and interview with Suggs.

“I don’t think as a nation we’ve been perfect, I don’t think the band Madness have been perfect and I don’t think as a human being, I’ve been perfect, so there’s probably some correlation there,” he says mysteriously.


NME Review How Can I Tell you. 

On the 8th music paper NME posted-up a short review of the band’s latest single.

No Sax Please. It’s not 1981. Suggs forgot it isn’t the early 1980s any more, and that only saxophones used by hipsters are cool.


Suggs Get’s Pizza The Action

On the 22nd The Shropshire Star report on Suggs and a recent visit to his favourite pizza restaurant.

Pizza chef Ian Richards said Suggs had eaten in the restaurant before and had been so impressed he headed back on his latest visit to the county. Mr Richards said: “He did a show last year at Theatre Severn and happened to pop over and have a pizza and really enjoyed it.”


Pop Icon Revealing Tales From His Past and His Musical Family

Yesterday, the This is South Wales web site reported on Suggs and his One Man Show.

He has graduated from being a winsome, teenaged lad- about-town to become one of our beloved great British eccentrics, and Suggs will delve into his youthful larks in his Soho stomping ground, time on the tour bus with Madness, and later, on the roof of Buckingham Palace, in My Life Story.



Madness News posted a picture taken from the Special Edition of Oui, Oui:

Lee Thompson Ska posted a picture from The Band’s recent video shoot:

Also on Twitter Mike Barson thanked “All you wonderful people who wished me a happy birthday”.

Meanwhile in The Cupboard, Chris was asked by Jim:

“How do I get discs 1 and 4 out of the packaging without destroying them? BTW so many good songs, are we going through a purple patch?”

Chris responded by saying:

“Dear Jim

With extreme caution. I ordered a set myself. I have just carefully extracted the discs and you are right, it is very difficult to get them out. Purple patch? That’s Prince, surely?




This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 469, and the week of Sunday 27th April to Saturday 3rd May 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 207 and the week of Sunday 27th April to Saturday 3rd May 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 469 – Sunday 27th April to Saturday 3rd May 2008

This issue got off the starting blocks with the news that last week we’d forgotten to announce that on the 21st Mike reached the lofty heights of the big five-o. Those of you who were regular visitors to Wikipedia may have been interested to learn that the reference site had the date out by one month.

Our articles began with a transcript taken from The Southwark News, which featured Threadneedleman Tailors on Walworth Road. Why was this in the MIS? Well, one of its more famous clients happened to be the one and only Suggs.

If you wanted your own bespoke suit we recommended you started saving, as five years ago the starting price was £550!

It was over to cover bands next, as we reported that tribute band Shut Up, were after a drummer. Based in the North East of England, the lads were looking for someone with a passion for Ska, Two Tone and punk.

Next, it was time to get voting as a new campaign had got underway and was asking for you to vote for what you felt was the UK’s most musical city. The winning city would be announced in June, and Suggs was asking that you voted for London as the most musical.

“London is one of earth’s great cultural melting pots: a clash of styles and people resulting in scenes, fashions, looks and sounds. The reason you should vote London the Most Musical City is about more than just bands and artists. We’ve also got orchestras, some of the world’s greatest music venues, a history of musical theatre and everything in-between from garage to grime emerging out of the city’s network of boroughs”

With Suggs currently fronting TV commercials for Birdseye, Independent newspaper reporter Peter York, took a personal lookback over his experiences with frozen food over the years, and how it exploded into supermarkets up and down the country.

“Part of the national memory bank, too, is Madness – particularly Suggs. Less worrying than their Midland Two-Tone contemporaries, more obviously child-friendly, with their funny family songs and funny boysie dance routines. They’re huge again now, buoyed up by old fans in their thirties and forties and their children. Suggs is so universal, a National Treasure in the making – a pleasant-looking dad with a bit of go in him – that he’s an obvious choice to front the new Birds Eye commercial”

We brought this issue to a close with an in-depth history on the rise and fall of Madness web sites gone by, and took a look at two new Madness fansites that had recently appeared, before giving a massive lowdown on all the Madness and Madness related sites we currently knew about.

10 years ago…

Issue 207 – Sunday 27th April to Saturday 3rd May 2003.

We started off this issue with news that Bedders had updated his section over on the official Madness web site. Making no sense to man or beast, his words of wisdom were certainly amusing, and brought to light many things about our favourite bassist that we previously didn’t know. For example, did you know that years ago Mark successfully negotiated with a group of Arab terrorists who had seized a small bakery? Fascinating stuff!

Moving on, and we had news in from Madness Trading Ring subscriber, Birchy, who informed us that Madness were now present on yet another compilation. Entitled ‘Captial Gold British Legends’, our favourite band were on there with ‘It Must Be Love’. Other tracks of interest on the album were:

The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Oliver’s Army

One of the highlights of the past seven days was on Wednesday 23rd April when Suggs took time out from his current acting stint to take part in a web chat in conjunction with the `This is London` web site.

Steve Bringe gave those of us who missed it the lowdown on what went on.

“Suggs showed up promptly at 1pm and immediately started fielding questions.  In fact, the first off the block was a really lame question I sent in.  Had I choice in the matter, I would have selected a more anoraky question for him to answer, but instead it was a general question about his thoughts on the success of Our House and how it feels to act on stage.”

Elsewhere in the issue, we were pleased to report that after months and months of waiting the message board over on the official Madness web site was finally up and running. Kicking off proceedings was one Chris Foreman, who answered a mass of Madness fan questions.

2001 played host to the first ever Madness injection weekend, and after its obvious success, one was planned for 2002. However, due to work and other commitments, the organisers were unfortunately unable  to devote the time required to organising a second event.

However, news reached us this issue announcing that Juliet and Clive Bulmer would be organising one for the August Bank Holiday weekend. Further details would follow as plans were laid down.

Rob Hazelby



The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra Video Shoot

“Morning Gents”, came the titled Sunday update email to all involved, from the main man. “We will meet at Mill Hill Music Complex for 11.”

I’m sat in my hotel room contemplating the next day ahead. After a very enjoyable Blockheads gig in Chelsea, that band had been on fine form, and it was extra fun to see Terry Edwards on double sax mode, too. Next time I venture to Under The Bridge it will be for The Ska Orchestra on May 16th.  Rumour has it Bitty McLean might make an appearance, too.  I’m loving the forthcoming Fu ManChu single and this email update from Thommo is about the video shoot the band are about to embark upon under the direction of the legendary Dave Robinson.

“I’ve managed to persuade the manager to give us access to the MH services club. Jack’s flying in from Jersey. To get both performance and Snooker room scenes in we need to get in, get it on, and get out. This should be a revelation or revolution in video tic tacs.” LT.

I read the explanations of band logistics with glee, including the mention of a photo-shoot, and I wonder what the day ahead will bring. I arrive on foot into NW7 and Madness road manager Jim O Gara is backing his shiny classic blue Bentley into a gravel path space at the back of an industrial estate. Daley Thompson is driving a white open backed truck into a large garage space, one wall of which is completely green screen papered for Colour Separation Overlay video backgrounding.

Various band members are gathering and changing into performance suits, the main man greeting us all, as we chip in and lift the drum riser from the truck and into position. It’s then I get the pleasure of meeting Dave Robinson, legend of so many Madness moments, too numerous to credit, most relevant being the role of video direction, that he’s now about to undertake once again for this Thommo band.  I shake his hand and introduce myself as the band’s “web guy” from recent project emails and despite mentioning my name, it’s instantly lost to Dave I feel, as he greets many a band member in a similar fashion, some for the first time. He’s here to get a job done, and a job done well, which he starts to go about achieving, working with two or three camera men they start to rig up lighting towers and lay out the cables. I sit in as a lighting double for Steve Rooney, and luckily I don’t need to know how to play drums for this, though Steve explains his video shoot playing is all about look, rather than how he actually plays at gigs. It’s crossed hands here today, rather than open-handed gig stylings.

“Right we need a couple of henchmen”, Lee proclaims. We’ll go down to the services club now, and shoot an exterior scene it seems while the studio is being set up.  I’m standing there in a suit jacket, freshly haircut from Camden the day before, ‘cus I’m ever-ready incase a Mission was going to happen today, and it seems right off scene 1 of the shooting schedule is where and when the call comes. Jim O Gara is roped in too, and with the help of sunglasses from Daley, we find ourselves somewhere between the Krays and Hale & Pace as doormen throwing Lee out of club.

We did three takes opening the doors, and chucking Lee and his coat out after him. It’s a hard balance to not get caught up in wanting the video to look real and rough, with out also feeling protective, not wanting to totally bowl over the popstar band leader who’s your hero, smashing him to the ground!  Well I say that. I think Jim, who’s actually been a doorman, was enjoying the chance immensely. No doubt he’s had to throw Lee onto stage before now!

On the 1st take our door banging brought complaints from the snooker players inside! On the second take a punter using the club walked into shot and right through the scene of these doormen chucking out a patron, to the point we stayed in character and said “come on in sir, just getting rid of this man, but you’re welcome to enter,” just so as the club didn’t lose any customers money!

A third take they shot from angles incase of using a CCTV effect camera choice. Daley got the shandies in, while we watched further shots of Thommo climbing into the Bentley car and driving away, managing to sit on Jim’s head in the process as he sat inside out of shot in order to mysteriously open the car door. Perhaps that was Thommo’s revenge for being manhandled out the club doors.

We didn’t shoot inside the club that day, as time ran out, it was all completed on a 2nd day, but the video is said to be black and white and in homage in part of the old pool film The Hustler, amongst other things. Fittingly as Fu Manchu the single is really about an unimpressed face in reaction to the bragging of a money flashing character.  Themes overlap nicely with the environment of the shoot chosen.

The blue Bentley, a really nice solid original motor of class, will later be driven into the green screen studio for more shooting with Thommo that will later involve additional backdrop work.

As we return to the music studio though, it’s the band performance that is next to be captured. Individual photos of each band member are being shot, one by one, throughout the day in the corner of the studio. Meanwhile the back wall is used to light and shoot the bands group performance space as well as close ups done against green screen opposite.

Bitty arrives to perform with the band, and greets a lot of them for the first time, having previously worked mostly on the album through overdubbing working at the request of Dave Robinson. It’s a short moment drummer Steve Rooney describes as “like meeting the royalty” as the band find themselves all outside in a line waiting for the call to start, when he arrives.  “Play by the king Bitty!”  It’s slightly amusing to catch his Birmingham accent, which is a contrast to how he so beautifully sings, on first hear, but his presence lifts the mood of the video shoot, the same way his vocals lifts the single and album track. The band feels ready to commit something historic in their history to screen now this full gathering is assembled. Bitty seems polite and shy, until a camera is go, where upon he moves like a smoking hot star of ska.

I watch from the gallery above as the cameras roll and the nearly full line up (Seamus is late) perform to a play back of the song with Bitty front and centre giving it full vibe. Thommo is playing  wood blocks in the line up, but on 2nd take I witness Dave Robinson directing and asking for more energy (“got any class A’s?” jokes Steve Turner,) and then instructing Thommo to play sax in the next take.  I’m transported into a fan’s wonderland moment of what it must have been like to watch Dave in action on those classic Madness video shoots. There’s a keen eye for getting something great captured to camera, quickly and fun.

Various pairings are shot against green – Lee and Darren, all the brass, Bitty Solo. Lots of options to cut to and from.

The album The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius, is sitting on Dave’s shooting sounddesk set up, and the first time the band as a whole get to see the finished product. It’s passed around, and I go about my work, asking them all what their favourite track is for a series of webvideos, for the bands YouTube channel in the run up to June 3rd“It’s nice to have the tangible thing.”, says trumpet player Steve White on examining the card pack album. Whereas I hold it up to Lee and say, first one since 1990 mate! With the joy of it’s realisation in my eyes.

Before Bitty has to depart, his scene’s in the can, I grab a last handshake, thanking him, and ask, politely what’s your opening lyrics added to the song?

Play by the king,
I say love is all I bring
Play them style, and free
Keep me rocking and sway,
Hey now, rocking and sway

Lee Thompson Orchestra
With Bitty McLean
Watch how me bubble down

Come in upon the music machine
As I will say   Waaahhh

What the full video will look like, and what goes on the green screen, even I don’t know at this stage. I’m pretty sure the discussion of footage from the pyramids was just a joke harking back to Night Boat to Cairo days when some of these men began in the video mode.  I’m really looking forward to this band connecting to a wider audience online through their group appearance in this video, and the photo shoot that came after it, where a blonde haired photographer moaned about a lost lead, and the band shuffled into a space only just big enough to hold them all, and began to demonstrate why 11 quipping men don’t naturally stand so close to each other, as the banter flew back and forth like a school photo day made up of the kids that always ran to the back seat of the bus on school trips in order to flick V signs at truck drivers to pass the time.

As the clicking and flashing of the cameras take places capturing a full band image the late arriving organist Seamus, who’s been shot in keyboard pairing close ups in the video studio, stands in the middle of the photo grouping and states  “ok remember guys. You’re in a band. And you you’re happy about it.”, and I think after today’s work they should be, and proud.

The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra Single is out May 27th with the video online on the band’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeThompsonSka) sometime shortly before it’s launch. The album comes out on June 3rd.  In a couple of weeks’ time in MIS features we will be reviewing the album in full.

Jonathan Young.



That’s almost it for this week’s edition of the MIS, but before we go we do have a couple of last minute bits to pass your way.

First-up, and if you’ve not been over to the MIS web site recently you may not be aware that we’re currently asking you to vote for your favourite track from the Oui, Oui album.

Results are flying in thick and fast, and at present How Can I Tell You is in the lead, with Misery hot on its heels. If you’ve yet to submit your vote point your browser over to www.mis-online.net and nominate your favourite track. The submission tool can be found on the right-hand side of the page.

And finally, although there’s not been enough Madness chart news to make an in-depth review of the last seven days worthwhile, Paul Rodgers has been in touch to tell us that the new album has dropped from number 64 to somewhere outside of the top 100. In the Indie chart it’s gone from 11 to 22.

It would seem that the new album has finally had its day in the UK Top 100, but you never can tell what kind of effect a tour or TV appearance can have on the music buying public. Only time will tell.

Until next week, take care,

Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Maher

(With thanks to Paul Rodgers and Arnold Stap)

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