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MIS Bulletin #730 – Sunday 5th May to Saturday 11th 2013

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MIS ONLINE – The Madness Information Service Online Newsletter
Issue Number: 730 – Sunday 5th May to Saturday 11th 2013
Web: www.mis-online.net | Twitter: @MIS_Online


Hello, and a very warm welcome to this Bank Holiday edition of the MIS Online newsletter.

Following last week’s initial rich text mailout and the absence of subscribers complaining that it caused them problems we’ll continue to go with the new issue format. If, for whatever reason you do encounter issues please let us know and we’ll get investigating.

Now, before you start ploughing through this week’s issue, we urge you to pop over to YouTube and check out the new music video from the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – a cover of the legendary “Fu Manchu”:


Eagle-eyed viewers amongst you may even spot one of the MIS editorial team making their TV debut. Fame at last!

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.



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
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




If you’re stuck for something to spend your money on, perhaps we can help…

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


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:


Anything But Summer Time
Snap up the rare original solo Suggs version of Oh My Love on this Penguin cover CD, and more from Retro Madness




Below, you’ll find a selection of interviews, articles and other items of recent news that have caught our eye. Click on the links to be taken to the relevant page.


The Magic Brothers

We recommend you check out http://www.magicbrothers.com/music/ as the link currently features 2 songs not on the forthcoming Magic Brothers album.


Madness’ Chas Smash: ‘We’re the Working-Man’s Pink Floyd’


In an interview with Chas we missed from last year’s tour, he tells Hollywood Report about the new album, Including So Alive, and what he thinks of Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da as a whole.

THR: “I understand you wrote “So Alive” for a girl who tossed you over. Did you ever hear anything back from her?”

Smyth: “She got married — she has a kid with a guy, but I think the thing is this, right? You come out of a relationship for a helluva long time [separating from his wife after 27 years], and you play the field a little bit. You’re looking, and then you stop looking. You think you’ll never find love again. Then you meet someone, and you fall head over heels. You act like a stupid kid again. And I think the thing is, thank God you at least felt that. So part of writing “So Alive” was processing those feelings without getting bitter … “

The Liberty of Norton Folgate. “It was a really enjoyable experience. It sort of repositioned the band in the eyes of a lot of journalists and the fans. A lot of people saw it as our best album. I may not agree with that, but it seemed to spark a certain enthusiasm as far as rediscovering one’s passion for the band and the band as a vehicle for one’s writing. I personally look at it as a new beginning, and if that’s the case, then we’ve just done the difficult second album.”


Rocksucker talk to Woody


In another missed interview from the tour, this time with Woody, Dan talks about The Magic Brothers’ forthcoming album and song son Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da.

“I’m actually about to release an album with my brother that we’ve done by ourselves. I think it’s healthy for band members to branch out and do something of their own.

I’ve always written songs but my background in music isn’t really one of ska/Blue Beat/Motown, that sort of thing; I’m a bit more rock and my brother’s a bit more Beatles-y in his style, so often when I’ve brought songs to the band they’ve not been of the right genre, let’s say, so I need another avenue. Jimi Hendrix needed to go off and play his guitar after being in The Isley Brothers: it’s a bit like that! (Laughs)” 

If you had to spend the rest of your life with the back catalogues of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?

“John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brian Eno, Steve Hillage’s solo albums, Phil Manzanera and Pink Floyd.”


Lee Thompson Record Collector

Lee Thompson emailed us with this interview in Record Collector Magazine, which we reproduce in full as it’s a short piece and not available on-line.  Madness’ Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra Debut Bows via Absolute (June 3rd) and Record Collector asks him about it.

“The idea for a Ska Orchestra came about 4 years, when Madness’ Joe Auckland said ‘pull your finger out and do it’. It’s an album of off the beaten track ska and reggae. I was brought up with reggae so have a natural feel for ‘riddup’ “

If you could revisit any album what would you change?

“If I was a solo artist I may’ve remixed Rise and Fall, all the tracks sounded tinny at the time.” 

Is there anything still unreleased?

“Plenty, we are just bidding our time. Hopefully there will be a box set. I just need to decide what to fill it with.”

Have you done anything Fan’s may not know about?

“Sessions for friends over the years, like Hey Little Rich Girl for More Specials, and some track with Audio Bullies.”

Do you have tapes from your school bands?

“I just dug out a few 1/4 inch tapes of live tracks 79 to 85 for the Madness fan club. There are also several 456 tapes, 2 inch tapes for recordings of the nutty boys, and Crunch! from 1990. Might need to be checked for quality.” 

Did you ever write songs under the influence?

“One or two. Writing Samantha. I remember dropping one and heading up Highgate Hill west in 1982.” 

What’s the oddest place you’ve had inspiration for a song?

“I fell into a container with a lady friend, and climbed out half an hour later, with a lacerated bottom and knuckles, 

Razor Blade Alley.” 




This week we welcome Woody to the Twittering world, and possibly not before time, considering he autographs things as a woodpecker! You can follow him by going to: https://twitter.com/magicbrothers3

One of his first tweets was;

“This Twittering malarkey is all very new to me, but I’m getting there. Woody”

This was followed-up by;

“Album artwork for The Magic Line is almost there. It looks great!”


Madness News Twittered about 10,000 capacity

“The Great Hall @ Ally Pally. See you there in September?


Betjemanpoetry Tweeted that:

“Suggs from Madness shares his passion for John Betjeman’s ‘On a Portrait of a Deaf Man’ on Thursday evening. http://alturl.com/hnwas

(The above link will take you to the iPlayer playback)


Bedders tweeted the Blockheads manager replying about whether he had ever stood-in, in the band.

@The_Blockheads Lee, just saw your text. Never stood in for NWR/Blocks with Ian. But did do Japan (Davey, Charlie but no Chas). Was great.”




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 470 – Sunday 4th May to Saturday 10th May 2008

Once upon a time a box of rare and magical work in progress tapes belonging to Chas Smash, fell off the back of a problematic landlord, and after bouncing into the hands of Ninjinski a number of CD releases appeared.

Beginning with First Step Beyond, and then The Lost, these CD’s were highly priced and highly sought after amongst the Madness fanbase.

Thankfully, one Chas Smash declared them free to all, and this week the announcement went out revealing that the MIS and Madness Trading Ring sites would be offering all tracks for free download.

For diehard Madness fans, this was a dream come true.

Elsewhere in this issue we reported that the official Madness MySpace page were offering a pair of tickets to see the band at the forthcoming O2 gig in December. All you had to do was log in and submit your details to be in with a chance of winning.

In new website news we looked into the brand new Madness Trading Ring site. Whilst we were extremely impressed with this new corner of the internet, we were told that what was there was actually a holding site, and that the all singing all dancing version would surface in he next couple of weeks. Exciting times!

Moving on and last week saw a rare UK Baggy Trousers 7″ appear on Ebay. The standard UK 7″ issues of Baggy Trousers had green labels, repressed with blue labels once the initial batch had sold out. In addition, but harder to find, Stiff also pressed a version which had green labels with ‘Stiff Records’ written in their early white bubble writing, the same as the labels used for their Irish pressings.

The standard UK versions incorrectly all credited Mike Barson as being one of the writers of Baggy Trousers along with Suggs and Chrissy Boy. However, it appears that for the very final few copies of the blue label version to be pressed, this error was corrected (presumably following complaints from Suggs and Chris!) and ‘M. Barson’ was removed from the writing credits on the centre label.

Baggy Trousers sold 500,000 copies in the UK, but only a tiny number of these have the corrected writing credit. So hard to find are these amended versions, that collectors now rank them in the super league of Madness UK 7” rarities, along with other gems such as the My Girl ‘A’ Label promo, the picture disc test pressings, the My Girl Ballad hard vinyl 7” and the Two Tone 7” TTP1 which included One Step Beyond!

There is still every chance though that one of these rarities could be stashed away in your own collection unbeknown to you. Check it out – if you have a version with blue labels but with ‘M.Barson’ removed from the writing credit, it’s quite a valuable item!

Other stories covered in this issue included a 2005 SkaDanceCraze interview with Chris Foreman, who revealed about “The one that got away”, while Jonathan took time out to review the third and final “Lost” Madness CD, which was stuffed full of demos and instrumentals.

10 years ago…

Issue 208 – Sunday 4th May to Saturday 11th May 2003.

With co-editor, Jonathan, continuing his stint over in the United States, it was down to myself to compile and edit the issue. This issue was also a slightly delayed one, as with mine and Jonathan’s holidays overlapping, it meant that no one was around to send the issue out on its usual Sunday slot.

Messages continued to flood into the message boards over on the official Madness web site, and it was nice to see that a certain “Graham” had decided to help Chris out by replying to a mass of questions sent in by fans.

Some of his answers were completely weird, but others were of real interest. Suggs confirmed that his current stint at appearing in the `Our House` musical was not 10 weeks as previously mentioned in various sources on the net (including the MIS, we might add), but a mere 5.

However, the answer given by Suggs was so confusing that the person asking the question wrote back in for further confirmation. Suggs then replied that he had 6 weeks of his run left to perform.

With so much appearing on the messageboards, a good chunk of the issue was set aside for publishing some of the best and more interesting messages that had cropped-up on there over the past few weeks.

News also filtered in to us, revealing that Voice of The Beehive would be supporting forthcoming gigs by The Wonderstuff. However, we urged fans not to get too excited, as Tom Fenner would be taking over drums from Woody, whose Madness obligations prevented him from joining in.

We’re not sure how he did it, but somehow Madness Trading Ring co maintainer, Steve Bringe managed to get hold of a massive batch of 1999 Stateside tour t-shirts, and not only that, but was offering them to fans at dirt cheap prices. Keen to ensure that the shirts went to fans rather than people who were going to sell them on at vastly inflated prices, Steve requested that people were not allowed to order mass quantities.

Elsewhere in the issue, we reported on the list of festivals the band had been booked to play over the coming months. These dates would see the group perform in Bonn on the 4th of July, and Guildford on the 5th.

Moving on, we looked into Suggs’ appearance on Jools Holland’s Spring Hootenanny where he performed a song specially written with Jools. Also present was Prince Buster, who performed ‘Madness’ and ‘Enjoy Yourself’.

We finished off this issue with news that Suggs’ version of I’m Only Sleeping had been voted the 8th worst version of I’m Only Sleeping on an online BBC poll.

Rob Hazelby




Special Edition Reaches Sweden. – Mark “Chigs” Charlesworth reviews the new songs.

I’d heard the majority of new songs in one shape or another but as always with Madness I felt excited about hearing these as well as some new ones.  To be honest as ever I really am enjoying this new found phenomenon that the band have achieved since 2009 and that has to go down to the management too.

Anyway here are the results of the Swedish jury

Deolali…as ever with a Lee track the mystique and real story telling hits you right between the eyes. If you close your eyes with your headphones on you go right back …you could write a book and do a film about this song.

1978…can understand why this didn’t make the main album.

My Obsession…have a little listen to the track “Please don’t go”( b-side to Uncle Sam) and listen to the first 3 bars of the songs…similar me thinks. But I’m liking this very much…could easily slip into the “wonderful” track listing.

Big time sister…my favourite of ALL the new songs. Ever since I first heard it at the O2 back in 2010.

Just love the production on this.

Oh My Love…what can be said that hasn’t already been said. Suggs’s voice on this fits perfectly with Barso’s keys…wonder if this was recorded in 2005 as one of the many songs for The Dangermen era…

(MIS note: No, this was a new version recorded by the band in early 2013)

Crying…Another Madness/Butlins first for me but someone that hazy night pointed out that another little band had penned this…oh yes I said I remember now…cock a deaf un…they weren’t happy that night that this was done by the Maddies…personally I’m liking this…reminds me how they used to do old b-sides from the very early days…good song.

You cant keep a good thing down…I always think of those first racecourse meetings when I heared this…well put together…but the end of the song I just wanna sing “tie me kangaroo down sport”…

Then we go into demos and mixes…powder blue…what is it with recent Madness ballads, this one talking about the end of a good night and a continuation into a Powder blue nation, previously they had Africa talking about what a good night and I cant get up cuz I had too much….what’s the next one gonna be…”where are we going next as this club/pub is coming to an end”

I’m liking the production on never knew your name with that French fusion, that’s another track you can get lost in…

All in all this has been very well put together, produced and refined.

Out of all the demo’s the one that gets most play is kitchen floor or I Got You…was so glad that we got the magic brothers demo…I really do like the production and formation of this track and think that Nick Woodgate is a very clever writer. Looking forward to the magic brothers album too.  And is it me or does Mike’s voice sound a little nervous on his tracks.

We are very lucky to be getting so much stuff these days…..keep supporting the boys in the way that we do and I’m sure they will repay us with ever more…..Long live Madness and all the passengers on the train…it came into the sidings in 1986, got its own special line from 1992 to 1999, became a HST from then and no sign of being privatised either…

Thanks for reading (if you did)…

All the best and see some of you soon in some way shape or form…and a big thanks as ever to all that put there free time and effort into making the weekly M.I.S bulletins. It is appreciated

Chigs (Mark Charlesworth)




I took my two children and my sister to see Our House The Musical on Tuesday 30 April, at The Kings Theatre Portsmouth.  It was really enjoyable evening out. The students who were performing all seemed to be enjoying it too.

During the track “ Shut Up”, there were three coppers and in the right places just the three sang “1, 2, 3”, then Joe Casey was in a fight and he hit one of the coppers. I don’t think I have laughed so much at the way he fell. It was like a scene out of Laurel and Hardy.

Here is what I read in the programme. I thought you might like to read as well.

Charter Students are performing Our House-inspired by one of my favourite bands-Madness. In 1982, when Madness topped the charts with Our House, I was a young teacher and have fond recollections of seeing Madness perform. In 2012 I went to London with a group of Charter students who were invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. One of the most exciting moments was when the slightly older members of Madness came onto the roof of the Palace and performed some of my favourite numbers.  I am sure Charter students and staff will do justice to this brilliant band when they perform Our House this evening.

Thank you for joining us and have a wonderful time.

Dame Sharon Hollows . Principal.


In August 1992, an earthquake was reported in North London in which three tower blocks of flats were evacuated following damage to the buildings . An investigation concluded that it was not due to an earthquake or even an explosion, but a Madness concert in Finsbury Park, which I was lucky enough to be present.

Since that time, I have always loved the music of Madness and have watched with admiration and excitement as the rehearsals have progressed. Pupils, staff and friends of the school have worked extremely hard toward what promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment. I know you will remember it!

Sam Johnston , Director of Specialism


Welcome to the House of Fun…

….which is, incidentally, one of the few Madness songs you will not hear in its entirety tonight. Don’t be disappointed though, there are many more that you will recognise as we progress through this vibrant musical.

Madness seems to be one of the few bands that unite the generations. Virtually the whole cast seem to be familiar with the songs, mostly through the enthusiasm of their parents. “Our House” is set firmly in London, NW1, but as a renowned ‘ska city’. Portsmouth seems an appropriate place for our revival.

‘Our House’ is about choices, good and bad, and the consequences of those decisions. Yes, there is a strong moral message about how we treat each others, about the importance of family and community in a changing world, but above all it centres on responsibility – our direction in life lies, finally, in our own hands. As such ‘Our House’ is a perfect show for students to work on and watch – and one which we can all benefit from reflecting on.

Enjoy and thanks for coming!

James Robinson, Director


I hope you enjoyed the read.





We’re almost done for this week, but before we go we’d just like to give you a heads-up on five new Madness vinyl re-issues that will go on sale from tomorrow.

Released by Let Them Eat Vinyl, the releases are:

LETV072LP – One Step Beyond
LETV073LP – Absolutely
LETV074LP – 7
LETV075LP – The Rise and Fall
LETV076LP – Keep Moving

For more information and for details of how to order the above, go to: http://www.letthemeatvinyl.com/

Our thanks go to subscriber Alex Davidson for the heads-up on this one.

Until next week, take care,

Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Jon Young, Liz Maher

(With thanks to Alex Davidson, Krissie and Mark Charlesworth)

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