Home»Newsletter Archive»MIS Bulletins 2000»[MIS] NEWS AND INFORMATION – SUN 11TH JUN – SAT 17TH JUN ’00


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1 - THE EDITOR WRITES - This weeks news and information in brief.

2 - FACING THE MUSIC - Never trust a virgin? Well no, I wouldn't 
    quite go that far but there are some here amongst us who are not
    playing by the rules. Virgin Records to be precise. Not content 
    with ripping off the fans with unnecessary compilations, they 
    then have the gall to give the new album no promotion. `Madness
    Unsugged` editor, Vincent Carden reports.

3 - THE MIND OF THE VELVET GHOST -  With the first public appearance
    and performance of The Velvet Ghost at yesterday's Fleadh 
    festival, it seems only right that we take a look at the recently
    uploaded `Velvet Ghost` website.

4 - WEBMASTER REQUIRED - One webmaster required to take over the dat
    to day running and maintenance of the MIS Online website.

5 - SMASHSTOCK - The TMML's Barzo gives us the lowdown on Saturday's
    Fleadh and first public performance of `The Velvet Ghost`. Find 
    out just what went on and thanks to Simon Roberts, what songs
    were aired.

6 - TIME FOR A MOVE - Since the Madness Mailing List closed its doors
    18 months or so ago, Simon Roberts's `Not the Madness Mailing 
    List` has been keeping the online Madness community dosed-up with
    regular smatterings of Madness news, info, MP3's and lots, lots 

7 - IN WONDER - Thanks and closing words.


Hello Maddies,

Welcome to another edition of the MIS.

You'll probably notice that this issue is a little shorter than 
previous editions. The reason being my C drive decided to go belly
up over the weekend and unfortunately I lost all the E-mails and the
issue I had been working on over the past week.

During the fatal crash, I also lost all the back-issues of the MIS.
Issues 1-40 can be found on the MIS Online site (see address at the
top of this page), but I no longer had issues 41 to the present. 
Well, I had no need to panic. After a quick request to the Total
Madness Mailing List, both Simsey and Brio got in touch and offered
to send me the required issues! Thanks to them I now have the 
complete MIS archive on hard drive once more. If the two of you are 
going to the Ian Dury gig on Friday, I think I owe you both a drink 
or two.

Still, there's no need to panic. I've knocked up today's edition of
the MIS in record time so you've all got something to rummage through
until next Sunday.

First up and we have Vincent Carden giving us his views on Virgin
Records, the numerous mistakes they've made, and how they just don't
seem to be able to get the whole Madness promotional machine to work

With a number of you lucky enough to get along to the first public
performance of `The Velvet Ghost`, the rest of you will probably 
want to find out more. With that in mind, I've popped along to the
recently uploaded www.velvetghost.com to give you all the lowdown
and to tell you that you need to visit this site now and keep a
watchful eye on it over the coming weeks and months.

Many of you will have probably noticed that the MIS Online website
is rather out of date and is ill-updated. With this in mind, I'm
putting out rather a special request. Read on to find out more!

Further in this issue, Barzo (no, not THE Barso) and Simon Roberts
give us all the lowdown of Saturday's Velvet Ghost appearance with
song recommendations, track listings and a general review of the
day. If like me you couldn't get down to North London on the 
Saturday, you need to read this just to see what you missed. It's
enough to make you sick ;-)

And if all that wasn't enough, we have news that Simon Roberts'
excellent `Not the Madness Mailing List` website has changed 
ownership, but will still continue to provide the best collection
of Madness material for the Madness die-hard.

So, with that, lets get straight on in.

Enjoy the read!

All the nutty best,

Robert Hazelby (MIS Online Editor)


Never trust a virgin? Well no, I wouldn't quite go that far but there
are some here amongst us who are not playing by the rules. Virgin 
Records to be precise. Not content with ripping off the fans with
unnecessary compilations, they then have the gall to give the new
album no promotion. 

I'll talk in the language they prefer, business language. Such as, if
people don't know a product exists, how do you expect them to buy it?
What do marketing people call it, "Informative Advertising", I think.
And that's the problem. The language. Virgin fatcats speak the kind 
of language that Dave Robinson spoke when Madness lost respect for
him as he was becoming more of a businessman. He talked about 
"shifting units", rather than releasing great singles.

Some of the excuses from Virgin defending the re-release of Divine 
Madness and the lack of `Wonderful` promotion are embarrassing, to
understate things. The Lone Ranger and the recent albums from The
Pet Shop Boys and Eurythmics had far, far more money spent on
promoting them. Are Virgin telling us that Madness are not as big as
those three acts? Do I rest my case there? No, there's plenty more
to say.

I do not believe that Madness should have gone back to the record
company that owned the back catalogue. Big mistake. If they had
gone with somebody else, they could have no suspicions or hidden
motives. The unwillingness to subsidise a video for `Drip Fed Fred`
brings back bad memories of the time they did the same for `What's

Some other cock-up's from their promotion department include 
sending out very few `Drip Fed Fred` postcards to those who sent 
their name off to the freepost address which appeared in the album
and `Vote for Fred` posters. Did you get one? Then there was the
time I phoned them up two weeks after `Drip Fed Fred` was launched
at a greyhound track, asking them for a release date. They hadn't
heard of the single and asked me was it on another record label!!!
When I asked them for b-side details in February, they said it was
a track called `Asylum`. `Elysium` (ahem!) was one side of the
double a-side actually. Even four days before `Lovestruck` was
released, they got the release date wrong by a week.

I don't blame Virgin for the singles not selling. That's down to a
lack of airplay which isn't their fault, but don't be surprised
when `Divine Madness Too` is promoted more than `Wonderful`.

Shrinks tell you to deal with your feelings by writing them down.
Suggs did this when he recalled some of his dodgy childhood
experiences in `The Three Pyramids Club`. He called it `Exorcising
some ghosts`. I'm doing it with my feelings about Virgin. And 
there's no better way to do it than to change the lyrics of a song
written by the member of Madness most sceptical of big record
companies, `Round and Round` by Lee Thompson. I've done a bit of a
`Shut Up` on it, by giving it a name that is not in the lyrics,
`Faceless Men`.

If you'd like to see the lyrics to `Faceless Men`, please get in 
touch with Vincent Carden at the following address and get your
subscription to the excellent `Madness Unsugged` fanzine.

     Vincent Carden
     House of Fun
     5 Hudson Road

Or you can drop Vince a line at: dripfedvin at yahoo.com


As mentioned in a previous edition of the MIS, the almighty Cathal
Smyth has not only taken the plunge and formed his own band, he has
also started to put together a rather contemporary site in the form
of www.velvetghost.com

For those of you yet to visit this rather mysterious corner of the
Internet community, let me tell you that you're in for an unusual
spot of web-surfing when you arrive at the site.

The main page is a rather simple affair bearing the banner `Welcome
To The World, The Music And The Mind Of The velvet ghost`. From here
you have access to the whole site with just a few simple clicks of
the trusty mouse.

Your first port of call after the main page will most likely be the
`Book` section. I was expecting to be whisked away to the usual run
of the mill guestbook as found on most sites. How wrong I was. 
Instead, we're treated to what I can only assume is a collection of
new tracks penned by Cathal (and possibly others?). Perhaps when we
hear from some of the lucky people who managed to catch The Velvet
Ghost perform at the Fleadh yesterday, we'll know if these featured
in the line-up. It's certainly essential reading and it's sure to
leave your mind in a right old state!

Moving on and we're plunged into `Visions of the ghost`;

     who is behind velvetghost.com?

     who is the ghost? the wizard?

     here is the dreaming man....
     coming this week

Well, I think our questions are about to be answered as the page 
announces that "visions & images of the ghost coming soon". One can
only assume that some rather natty pictures from the Fleadh gig will
be online within the next week or so. Remember to keep popping back
to this section over the next couple of days to see what goes up!

Over in `The Word of The Ghost` we're treated to transcriptions of
a number of well-known Madness songs - `Johnny The Horse`, `You're
Wonderful`, as well as some more unusual ones such as `The Alligator
Song` (which many of you will know as `Alligator With a Stanley 
Knife`), and two tracks which I've never heard of - `hoo de la la` and
`welcome to the darkside`. These last two tracks can't yet be 
accessed, but I'm sure they'll be online before long.

Another click and you arrive in the `News of The Ghost` section. 
Here the latest Velvet Ghost news and information will be beamed to
the comfort of your computer desktop. At present the page is pretty
empty, apart from the following words of wisdom;

     velvetghost.com has as you can see, arrived.

     news, reviews of latest events & all manner 
     of accomplishments & endeavours will be duly

     upcoming events can be found in manifestations.

     we hope you enjoy your time here...

     please refresh your pages on each visit as this
     site will be updated regularly

     the ghost does not want the earth from you, only
     to walk it with you

One section of the site which seems to be up and running 100% is the
`Hall of Fame` page where you can have a look at `Friends of The 
Ghost`. Currently listed are `The Players` which provides you, the
Madness net nut to see the other members of Cathal's new band 
including none other than Sean Macgloin, son of the legendary 
Tommy macgloin (he of `Los Palmas 7 fame). In this section you can
rummage through some excellent mugshots of each band member as well
as reading through their vital statistics.

The next stop on your `Velvet Ghost` travels surely has to be 
`Manifestations of the Ghost` where you find out when Cathal and his
band will be playing next. Don't get too excited though as apart from
the Fleadh gig, no other appearances are currently listed. Still, 
I'd certainly recommend regular visits to this section just in case!

If you'd like to get in touch with Cathal and the rest of the band, 
or you think your website is worthy of adding to their links section,
you'll need to visit `The Communicator` where you can drop the lads
a line and let them know you're out there. On the other hand, if 
you'd like to make a few comments about the site, the best place to
do that is to sign the guestbook over in `The League of The Ghost`.
The guestbook is already quite full and includes some fantastic
feedback and comments from people who managed to catch the Fleadh

Well, what can I say? I truly bizarre site that both informs and
puzzles the reader in equal doses! Although there are many sections
which are only just starting to take shape, I can see that it's
going to be a site that you just HAVE to keep re-visiting to see
what weird and wonderful goodies have been uploaded since you last

So, what are you waiting for? Load up that web browser and pay a
visit to: http://www.velvetghost.com and if you get 5 minutes, fill
in the guestbook to let the band know what you think.

Robert Hazelby


As many of you will have no doubt noticed, the MIS Online website
at http://www.jabba.demon.co.uk/mis/ is in need of an update, and
could do with being updated on a once weekly basis to inform Madness
fans of what's new on the Madness scene as well as make all issues
of the MIS available for downloading.

You can probably imagine, that the weekly bulletins take a large
chunk of my spare time up with compiling the articles and roping
people in to contribute some material. This leaves me with very
little time to put towards updating the website on a regular basis.

What does this have to do with you, you may ask. Well, I have decided
that I should really pass the MIS website over to someone else. This
would leave me with more time to devote putting together the weekly
bulletins as well as keeping the smaller `One Step Behind` website
(also stored on the same server) up-to-date.

My plan is to have the main `welcome` page for MIS Online stored at
the current address on my server, but the bulk of the main pages 
would be held on the server belonging to the webmaster. He or she
would be responsible for keeping the site updated on a weekly basis,
but I would contribute on the odd occasion.

The main bulk of the MIS website is already up and running as you
can probably see. The only major updates required at the moment are
to upload issues 41 to the present of the bulletins, and to make
sure that the information on the main page is up to date with the
latest news.

I'm happy to offer any assistance whilst the MIS site is being moved
over to the new server as I would like the move to be as trouble free
as possible.

If you are interested in hosting, updating and keeping the site bang
up-to-date, please get in touch with me and we can start getting the
ball rolling.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Robert Hazelby (robert at jabba.demon.co.uk)


Hi everyone!

Well what a lovely sunny day to go to the park! 

Finsbury Park at that, and to watch The Velvet Ghost! 

What a performance!  First off I met up with Wee Stoo, {& his friend
Dave} Emma, Mr.G, Vince F, Vince C, Michael, and Sigal and her Sister
who had travelled from Israel, in the 12 pins pub for some pre-show

We made our way to the park at about 13:00pm, and went straight to 
the stage where The Velvet Ghost were to play. We were waiting for 
them to come on stage, when all of a sudden we heard bagpipes 
playing. I looked behind me, and saw Cathal with his guitar and Sean
Macgloin playing the bagpipes, walking through the crowd and up onto
the stage.  From the grin on Cathal's face, you could tell that he 
was going to enjoy this, just as much as we were!  

The whole band were fantastic.  They looked, and played together 
superbly.  I didn't know what to expect before I went to the Concert,
but nothing could have prepared me for the show that lay ahead of 
me.  Now you may think that I'm biased because of the Madness link, 
but those of you that know me, will know I'll tell you what I think,
regardless.  The whole show, from beginning to end was just fantastic.
The songs were great, and the lyrics just blew me away.  Nothing like
the crap that's in the charts today!  

I can't wait until I can go and buy music by The Velvet Ghost, and 
play it loud on my stereo!  I'm still humming away to a great song 
called "Hoo De La La"!  Of the songs that you would all know, they 
played "The Communicator", "The Wizard" and a fantastic version of
"Johnny The Horse", which in my opinion was the better version.  
A great song to listen out for is "This Friend I know".  I loved this
one, and hope that you will too.  

Well, I won't write any more as I know that other's who went on the 
day will give you their own views of the day's events.  I just wanted
you all to know that I had a fantastic time at the Fleadh, and I'm 
still buzzing from watching a truly talented band.  

I hope that you'll enjoy listening to them as much as I did yesterday.
I'd also like to say to everyone one that was there at the meet that 
it was nice to meet you all, faces old and new.  

Well, that's enough of me mumberling on, I'll leave it up to the 
others who were there to tell you their own opinions.

One last thing, if you ever get the chance to watch or listen to The 
Velvet Ghost, don't hesitate, go and do it, you'll love them!  Trust

Barzo (cheryl_barso at yahoo.co.uk)
ICQ No. 68 43 76 16

Simon Roberts tells us that the band were on stage for approximately
40 of our Earth minutes, and during that time, the following tracks
were aired (in no particular order);

We are Love
You're Wonderful
Johnny the Horse (The full intro version !!)
Hoo de la la (I feel ho de la la!!)
Ditty (<whatever it was- for his young daughter in the crowd)
This friend I know
The Wizard
Welcome to the darkside ( d d d d d d..   Darkside!)
The Communicator
Not sure if he did 'I'm going mad again.'

Many thanks to Barzo and Simon for the info.


Since the Madness Mailing List closed its doors 18 months or so ago,
Simon Roberts's `Not the Madness Mailing List` has been keeping the
online Madness community dosed-up with regular smatterings of Madness
news, info, MP3's and lots, lots more.

The site has been regularly updated during the past 18 months, and 
those of you visiting on a weekly basis could always be sure of 
stumbling across something new.

With work commitments taking their toll, Simon has decided to call
it a day as he can no longer keep the website updated on a regular
basis. Don't worry, there's no need to panic, as the TMML's Wozza
has kindly taken up the reigns of the good ship NTMML.

Here's Mr. Wozza with a few words of wisdom;

     "Dear All,

      Hi, the Wozza here. Now usually you expect all your
      info from Simon "Wayfinder" Roberts, however Simon 
      has decided to give up his title as NTMML webmaster, 
      and pass it along to me. He has made several wishes, 
      and I have stuck to them. Firstly, the site will 
      remain here at www.ntmml.co.uk, and the site will 
      have a new name.

      So, say goodbye to the Good ship NTMML, as she is 
      being repainted, ready to sail the seven seas, of 
      the seven nutty boys!

      Paul "Wozza" Wassell"

Take a look at the new NTMML website at: http://www.ntmml.co.uk/


That's about it for this weeks rather rushed edition of the MIS 
Online Bulletin! I'm hoping your reading experience hasn't been
spoilt too much. That's the last time I experiment with my Master
Boot Record for the foreseeable future!!

Thanks once again to Simsey and Brio for going above and beyond the
call of duty and sending me the lost issues of the MIS I have been
losing sleep over. 

My thanks also to Simon Roberts for forwarding me a selection of 
mails from the TMML. For some reason I have only received one mail 
from the list over the last 3 days or so - most strange. Thanks for
keeping me up to date Simon!!

With my hard drive crash I have lost all my mails and E-mail 
addresses, so if you've sent me a mail over the last week and are
waiting for a reply, you'll be waiting a long time as I don't have
your address. If you know me, please drop me a line so I can once
again add your addresses to Outlook.

As usual, if you have anything to send for inclusion in a future
edition of the MIS, please do get in touch and I'll be more than 
happy to include it.

Until next week.

All the nutty best,

Robert Hazelby
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