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MIS Bulletin #732 – Sunday 19th May to Saturday 25th 2013

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Welcome to this, the latest issue of the weekly MIS Online newsletter.

This week we continue the Ska Orchestra coverage with a review of the band’s recent performance at Under The Bridge. If you were unable to get along it should help to fill you in on just what you missed. If you were there, perhaps it’ll fill in some of the gaps!

Elsewhere we have the latest round up of Madness related snippets from the Twitterverse, an updated listing of forthcoming gigs we think you’ll be interested in, the usual lookback at 5 and 10 years ago this week, and much more besides.

Enjoy the read!

Simon RobertsJon YoungLiz MaherRob Hazelby




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 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 20th Bristol, The Fleece, UK
May 24th Manchester, Band on the wall, UK
May 25th Newcastle, Think Tank, UK

May 28th ALBUM LAUNCH, London, Dublin Castle, Camden

NEW * July 6th, Godiva Festival, Coventry

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

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


The Near Jazz Experience

NEW June 4th – Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT *Free*





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
http://amzn.to/12z3nyH (CD link)
Also, newly available MP3 download FEATURING TRACK PREVIEWS ONLINE:


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


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




Below is a selection of interviews, articles and other items of recent news that have caught our eye over the course of the past week. Click on the links to be taken to the relevant page.



Later with Jools Holland May 21st 10 till 10.30pm.   Friday show 11.05pm 1 hour.

American singer-songwriter John Grant showcases material from his second solo album Pale Green Ghosts and south Wales rockers Stereophonics play numbers from their recent long-player Graffiti on the Train.

Minnesota indie trio Low perform tracks from their latest release The Invisible Way and Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson and his Ska Orchestra are joined by reggae singer Bitty McLean to give a taste of their debut album The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius.

Also appearing are London jazz punk-funkers Melt Yourself Down and Paris-based singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan, while Jools chats to Cerys Matthews about her new family singalong book Hook, Line and Singer.




Further details on the Magic Brothers Website lists all the musicians contributing to the new album, revealing that Siobhan Fitzpatrick sings lead and back vocals on tracks on the album, after being heard on Small World last year on Madness’ album.

Other contributors include Brass from Madness Brass Monkeys, Steve Turner, Mike Kearsey, Joe Auckland and Ben Edwards.

These potential track names for the album are mentioned in no particular order…

Tysea Hill
The Magic Line
Always be with you
They tell you
The River
Magic Brother part 2
You don’t have to hide your love away
Were here



Today’s comedians are often regarded as having the same status pop stars did back in the 70s. So how brilliant that Madness front man Suggs has tipped the theory on its head by delivering a part comedy, part tragedy, but completely vaudeville stylised show which came to Newport Riverfront on Friday evening.

From the South Wales Argus web site



LOVEABLE Nutty Boy Suggs invited us to step into his bath on Saturday night “amid the bubbles and the ducks” and as it turned out, the water was lovely.

From the This is South Wales web site:



On a Portrait Of a Deaf Man By John Betjeman – Radio Four

On Front Row Suggs Discusses the poem…

“I think that if you can make it rhymes and make it what you want to say, I think that’s about as good as you can get”. 

He talks about long walks with his Father. “Maybe I wish I had, because I never had that. It is a very dark poem, about death.”



REGGAE STEADY SKA – Darren Fordham Interview 


RSS: How did Bitty McLean get involved? Any chance that he might tour with you?

Darren: Dave Robinson (Stiff Records) suggested Bitty as a guest vocal on Fu Man Chu. They recorded Bitty’s vocal and sent it back to us, and I must say, I was blown away by it. I think he’s done a cracking job on it. It gives the album something different as well. A lift? A change? I don’t know what you’d call it, but it’s just a great song, and with Bitty, a stunning vocal. I don’t know what the plans are for the live set. It would be great if Bitty came along to sing with us. It is the single after all! I’m sure he’d love to do it as well. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with the LTSO? ?




Snippets from Twitter or the Madness Message Board that have caught our eye…


New Twitter Feed

First-up, and https://twitter.com/magicbrothers3  is the link to the new Twitter feed for Woody.

“Big meeting today for dw-records, Woody’s record label. Planning promotion drive for The Magic Line. All on board. Very excited.”

“Just written a great song with Nick called ‘We’re all going to Brighton’ and today I did. Ate at Fishy Fishy. Very good.”


In the Cupboard

In The Cupboard Roadie Darren answered a question about Mike’s Keyboards set up.

“We use 2 x Doepfer PK88’s, one of the most solid keyboards you can get. One of them literally fell off the back of a lorry and all that broke was one key! The two tier set up I designed with Mike and had the whole thing made, also the stand is bespoke, hand made and re-enforced. We use 4 Macbook pro’s to control the keyboards and extra sounds and all the midi is a bespoke design that I’m currently re-configuring. The whole thing is constantly being updated as technology changes”.




This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back 5 years to issue 472, and the week of Sunday 18th May to Saturday 24th May 2008, and then back 10 years to issue 210 and the week of Sunday 18th May to Saturday 24th May 2003.

5 years ago…

Issue 472 – Sunday 18th May to Saturday 24th May 2008

There’s no denying that at the moment it was a very exciting time for all Madness fans.

The past few weeks had seen gig after gig added to the current year’s line up, the Our House musical was back up and running, there was a three night stint at The Hackney Empire, and this week a mood board montage video for the song ‘The Liberty Of Norton Folgate’ had appeared on YouTube.

This 6-minute slice of remixed Madness had been going down a storm with the fanbase, and we had fan views, lyrics, and more in this issue.

On the subject of this issue, and we wouldn’t have had half as much Liberty coverage and content if it weren’t for the services of The eminent gentleman librarian of Googleshire, Graham Yates. Graham had been in constant contact with the MIS team by using specially trained pigeons of all modern forms.

We also had a fair slice of help from the welcome return of Unsugged’s fanzine scribe, Lord Carden, The Irish Wagtail.

10 years ago…

Issue 210 – Sunday 18th May to Saturday 24th May 2003.

We started off this week’s issue with news in from Graham Whitfield revealing that a new ad was currently being aired on UK TV promoting a new CD celebrating 25 years of `Smash Hits` magazine. Madness were one of the groups listed, and it looked like the song would be `Baggy Trousers`. The CD also featured such nastiness as Steps and Take That.

Elsewhere, and it looked like the promotion of the `Our House` musical was continuing, with news in from Phil of the MTR that last Wednesday (14th May) Suggs appeared on the Richard and Judy show.  They showed a short video montage of madness videos, then a short video montage of clips from OUR HOUSE, none of Suggs though. After this Suggs was interviewed but Phil says that there was nothing to report, although Suggs did mention that he got annoyed when the audience started to sing along during the musical.

We’d waited for an age for it to appear, and it seemed that the Madness messageboard on the official site was starting to become a bit of a victim of its own success with the page getting larger and larger each day, and the screwy dating system making the finding of new posts a real chore.

Well, Mark (Bedford) got in touch and told us that he was aware that the dating system was up the spout, and the problem was being looked into. He also said that things will be a little more organised soon, with a clearing down of the old postings.

Would Madness be performing at this year’s Party in The Park? With no official announcement, MIS subscriber, Chris Carter-Pegg took it upon himself to find out more. Speaking to someone at Capital FM who was kind enough to reveal the line-up so far, it would seem that North London’s most famous band were at present not down to play.

Long-time subscribers to the MIS or MTR may recall that after a Crunch gig a few years back Chris’ famous leather hat went `walkies`. Well, this week it looked like it had finally turned up when a certain “Murray” posted on the official Madness messageboard explaining that he thought Chris had leant him the hat, and was now wondering if Chris wanted it back. Not only that, but this chap even dared to ask if he could have some backstage passes for a forthcoming gig!

Chris, was non too amused, and rightly so. It turned out that the hat wasn’t leant, but was in fact stolen. Giving Murray a PO Box address to return the hat to and accusing the chap of being light fingered, Chris finished off by saying “Backstage passes… You’ll be lucky.

Did you also nick our guitar tuner?”.

Rob Hazelby




And so Under the Bridge is where it began. I help Seamus carry his keyboards out of his car, across the tarmac that circles around Chelsea football stadium and a security official with a walkie talkie and a clipboard asks me to help him tick off the band members as they arrive.

It’s through the side door and down the stairs, into a plush modern underground night club venue that at 10.30 sharp will be hosting the footballers and their wives celebration party for the European win. Something the Arsenal fans amongst us have no care for, though I’m strictly there and couldn’t care, for anything other than the music. The walls are adorned with pictures of rock and roll fame, and a few posters decorate the pillars too. There is even a John Lennon mosaic built into the gents toilets. Imagine that! If you can.

It’s the venues’ excellent mini bulb LED style lighting backdrop and ceiling spot lights that separates this sized venue though from any of it’s counterparts. It has the kind of costly equipment you would expect of an 02 venue or a Wembley arena, rather than an average 550 capacity night club. Those lights make the greatest mood controller to compliment the Ska Orchestra’s sound tonight. From red webs to green to blue, it’s so well coordinated and patterned, it affects you like the warmth of a hearth fire rather than ever taking over from the musicians’ display.

I help Steve Hamilton through the entrance, and talking to him and Steve White I’m delighted to learn tonight Joe Auckland will be 2nd Trumpet, with Terry, Steve Turner, Bob the Bone, and of course Mr Thompson all on Brass as well. We are getting the biggest 7 horn brass section the band has ever staged I think. Alto, double tenor, baritone, double trumpets, trombone, and occasionally Terry Edwards switches to flute. Thommo conducts them somewhere between orchestra leader and wild mic swinging cowboy, with the occasional tissue darts move in their direction too, after a Marlon Brandon stuffed cheeks impression from the band leader.

The only hecklers in the crowd were hanger on Mr Happy and Lee’s Wife. Which is par for the course. The other wives happily dance in time, and the die-hards lead the dance floor to a packed club of all appreciative cheers. It’s thanks to Dubwiser who warmed up the room, (and I think will play again at the DC.) with their reggae vibes, that took the venue from an early empty start, through to a more filled out and relaxed 8.30pm, ironically ending with a funky keyboard electro bubbling version of Exodus, just when the venue was getting to it’s fullest. Spider and Tadman working away as a solid rhythm section, while singer Jonas was practically jump roping over his long dreadlocks in a sprightly invite to all to dance. This meant the first note of Gun’s fever was coming in on an established high, and the whole gig stayed at that level.

The Ska orchestra lack a real lyrical connection, in my ears, due to the simplistic nature of most of the songs, and them all being covers. There are a couple of moments where this isn’t true, but that’s the only little downside of their live set generally. After two years of playing some of these songs though, you find crowd members singing “bah bah bah” along to solo’s often. While not in the league of Madness and such bands, the freshness and enjoyment they get of the playing is palpable beyond that of older bands who know their places. The nodding and pointing within the members is a pass of the ball that’s a mastership to behold.

The full album The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius, is played in its entirety, and indeed on sale at the merchandise stand, many of them signed later by band members, after a storming set.

Sit and Wonder, Heat Wave, Broadway Jungle were also aired and to finish Many River’s to Cross was re-staged, unscheduled, as an encore.

Bitty McLean’s appearance to do Fu Manchu was an expected high point, and it was, but given the band were already “on one” all night. The show just remained at the same excitement level. Bitty, slightly unsure, was asked to stay for Midnight Rider. The lyrics had been taped to the floor for him, but he mostly joined in with a “ride on” refrain as Thommo took the lead.

Mission Mary continues with Bristol on the 20th, Jools Holland TV show, Manchester, Newcastle, Coventry, Sheffield, Belgium and maybe even the House of Fun.

The single is out May 27th. The album launch is at The Dublin Castle on May 28th with the album available to download from June 2nd. Meanwhile, the CD release date is June 3rd. Launch Party Dublin Castle tickets are available here, for the intimate legendary venue. Half the allocation being press, has already gone.

Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/222890

Fu Man Chu with Bitty McClean at Chelsea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJNCRrURIsY

Jonathan Young.




We’re almost done for this week, but before we go there are one or two last minute bits to pass your way.

Thursday 30th of May The Near Jazz Experience feature in a radio special on Resonance FM at 8pm BST. This will featuring discussion and live music with Chaz Jankel and Guy Pratt

For more information, go to: http://resonancefm.com/

And finally, eagle-eyed readers amongst you may recall that last week we mentioned in the outro;

“news has reached us from France revealing that the Madness gig in Paris will be streamed by RTL2.fr  Don’t get too excited, though. The gig doesn’t take place until September 16th, so you’ve got a bit of waiting to go yet”.

Well, this was completely incorrect, as Mister B emailed in to tell us;

“…the gig streamed live on RTL2 will be a private gig in June with different artists invited to play…..Madness will be one of them….”

Please accept our apologies for any confusion. Our thanks go to Mister B for the correction.

And with that, we’re done!

Have a good week.

Jon YoungLiz MaherRob HazelbySimon Roberts

(With thanks to Mister B)

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