Home»Newsletter Archive»MIS Bulletins 2000»[MIS] NEWS AND INFORMATION – SUN 30TH JAN – SAT 5TH FEB ’00


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1 - THE EDITOR WRITES - This weeks selection of news snippets and

2 - MADNESS UNSUGGED NEED YOUR HELP! - The newest Madness fanzine on
    the block, `Madness Unsugged` will be hosting an interview with
    the almighty Jerry Dammers in the not too distant future. Read
    how you can take part.

3 - NO RETURN FOR THE LONE RANGER - Take a walk with Nut Inc's
    Stuart Wright along the high's and low's of Suggs short but
    eventful solo career.

4 - UNCOOLOHOL - IT'S ALIVE!!! - Rob asked me to type up a
    review of "Uncoolohol" which claims to be the worlds first
    Ian Dury fansite. Designed by myself, and Moderated by me,
    Simesy and Eddie, it promises to be a reason to be cheerful!

5 - GET SPENDING THOSE READIES - In the issue before last, the
    ever-helpful Mark Bedford kindly passed on contact details of
    Winterland, the company responsible for putting together the
    excellent selection of merchandise which was on sale at the
    recent Christmas shows.

6 - NME EXPOSED - Those of you in attendance at Madstock IV will
    need no reminding of the Finlay Quaye incident. If you don't
    know about it, you can read my own review of it in Issue 18
    of MIS Online. Let's just say that a few scumbag fans who still
    think it's 1979 acted stupidly, but only a few. However, NME's
    review turned it into an attack on Madness fans, so I wrote to
    them. Article by Vince Carden.


This past week started off quietly with nothing likely to happen
over the next seven days. By the end of the week, we'd had some or
all of the new Madness video filmed, and a guest appearance on the
BBC's `National Lottery Show` on Saturday!

Towards the end of the day on Thursday 27th, the message was blasted
out across the internet in the form of an e-mail from Total Madness
Mailing List maintainer, Jenny Payne, informing all that Madness
were all ready to shoot the video for `Drip Fed Fred`. They wanted as
many people as possible to go along to the shoot. The only rules
were that you had to be there for noon and you must wear black as it
was meant to be for a funeral.

Simple, so where's the catch? The catch was that the video was going
to be shot the next day!! If more notice was given, I'm sure a large
chunk of the online Madness fanbase would have made their way to
Hampstead (where the video was going to be shot) to take part, but
with such short notice, obviously this was not possible. Still, one
or two Maddies did manage to get along to the filming, and hopefully
by next week someone will have kindly disseminated the events that
went on last Thursday.

Onto Saturday, and the Magnificent Seven were spotted doing their
first piece of television plugging for `Drip Fed Fred` in the form of
an appearance on the BBC's `National Lottery Live` program. Here's
Colin Galbraith with some more information...

     "The lads were in good form. Although I have one small
      gripe. I don't know who decided upon it but I hate it
      when they don't sing live. It was all too apparent
      and I know some people look on that distastefully and
      it also gives credence to those who look on Madness
      as jumping on the 80's revival band-wagon when we
      know that is not the case.

      Other than that, it was lots of great tom-foolery.
      And where did Lee get that wee bundle of cash from? ;-)

      Were there any 'Vote for Fred' posters in the audience
      per chance?"

Andy Clayden tells us that a remixed version of `DFF` was aired,
whilst Rob W points out that `there were 7 jackpot winners -
very spooky or what!!!!"

Those of you tempted to buy yourself a copy of the excellent rarities
CD, `First Step Beyond`, but were put off because cheques weren't
being accepted can now calm down. The organisers have been in touch
with me and have now resolved the situation. Cheques are now being
accepted, and you can obtain more information regarding payment
details by mailing the `First Step Beyond` team at:
dance at nijinski.com

Are any MIS Online subscribers out there from Montana? If so, this
will be more relevant to you than everyone else. I recently received
an e-mail from a Joe Schwem who was mailing me on behalf of the
`2000 Sweet Pea Festival of Arts`, an arts & music festival in
Bozeman, Montana. Twenty thousand people from around the Northwest
attend The Sweet Pea Festival per year which has been running since
1978. Joe was very keen to get in touch with Madness in the hope of
getting them to take part in the three day festival which runs from
August 4th - 6th of this year. I have passed on the details so who
knows what may or may not happen?

You may recall that last week I mentioned that Simon Roberts was
beavering away at the all new and improved MIS Online Website. Well,
the work is still well underway and the site should hopefully see
the light of day in the next couple of weeks. Currently Simon is
tidying the layout up and adding a few final touches. As soon as
the site is ready to go live, I'll let you know.

Time for some charity news now, taken from Billboard Online at
www.billboard.com and flung into my mailbox courtesy of the
`Nutty Boys Mailing List`...

     "LONDON (Billboard) - The Abba tribute album "Abbamania"
      - featuring S Club 7, Steps, Westlife, the Corrs,
      Martine McCutcheon, Madness and Culture Club -
      raised 750,000 ($1.2 million) for U.K. charity the
      National Foundation for Youth Music. "Abbamania," which
      was released Nov. 8 has reached double-platinum status
      and is still in the top 20 on the British compilation
      albums chart. Chris Smith, U.K. Secretary of State for
      Culture, Media and Sport, was presented with a check on
      behalf of the charity by BPI chairman and BRIT Trustee
      Rob Dickins during MIDEM. "Britain has a rich musical
      legacy of creative talent and Youth Music focuses on
      bringing as wide an access as is possible," said
      Dickens. "The funds raised by the 'Abbamania' project
      will go toward helping them achieve their aims."

Slowly but surely, the `Drip Fed Fred` poster campaign finally
seems to be creeping across the country. Vince Carden reports that
on Zoe Ball's television programme the other evening the TV crew
went out onto the street to show footage of `Freddie` posters on
lamp posts and other places. As well as this, a certain TMML
subscriber who shall remain nameless just in case he's wanted by
his local police force, tells us that a number of police cars in
his area are now displaying `Freddie` related products in their

In last issue of the MIS Online bulletin we reported on the DFF phone
line that had been installed at Madness headquarters. Since then
we've had some further information thanks to the efforts of Mike

     "I have it on good authority that the voice of Fred in
      the phone message is definitely Lee. Well let`s face
      it who else could it be????? If you haven't called up
      yet you may be interested to know that this phone line
      is one of the ways that the proposed video is being
      financed with. Surely that now gives you a good reason
      to call it!"

Mike also tells us that if you live near a branch of `Solid Sounds`,
then you'll be pleased to know that they are now taking advance
orders of `Drip Fed Fred` on all formats. Better pop-in during your
lunch-hour and give that nice man/woman behind the counter your

And with that piece of advice, lets get on with this weeks selection
of articles.

Happy reading!

Robert Hazelby (MIS Online Editor)


The newest Madness fanzine on the block, `Madness Unsugged` will be
hosting an interview with the almighty Jerry Dammers in the not too
distant future.

To jog your memories, here's Vince Cardens list of just some of the
things we have to thank Mr. Dammers for...

 - wrote two number one hits
 - founded the two - tone label
 - was a good friend of Suggs
 - played keyboard on mad not mad
 - played keyboard on the madness
 - is one of the best songwriter's after Mr. Barson

Now, here is where you come in. Vince would like you, the readers to
send him questions that could be put to Jerry in an up and coming

The above list shows that there is enough material to do a Madness
only interview, so please, no ska related questions.

Vince says that the best questions will put to Jerry so what are you
waiting for?!

To get in touch with Vince Carden, the editor of Madness Unsugged,
please drop him an e-mail at: dripfedvin at yahoo.com

All the best,

Robert Hazelby


Taken from issue 13 of the excellent Madness fanzine, `Nut Inc`...

WEA Records recently announced that they were dropping Suggs from
their label. Now maybe is a good time to look back on the solo
career of the man from Hastings and maybe see where it all went

As far back as 1991, with nothing happening on the Madness front,
Suggs began co-writing some songs with Mike on an irregular basis.
Having sorted out a contract with Warner's, Suggs released his debut
single on 31st July 1995. For this task he chose to do a cover
version of a hidden gem from the Beatles Revolver album which he had
performed in `93 on the Danny Baker show. Suggs himself had wanted
the overly upbeat `Off on Holiday` to be his first single, however
this turned out to be the only time where we can be thankful that
record company power won over Suggs' own choice. Getting plenty of
airplay, `I'm Only Sleeping` peaked at no. 7 in the first week.
Backed by two B-sides that weren't available on the album, it was
the kind of release that we Maddie fans wanted to hear. It also saw
a return to the kind of nutty video we all like seeing.

October 2nd saw the follow-up single which has Suggs writing about
his home town. Far more reggae based (albeit, 90's reggae) than
anything Madness ever did, `Camden Town` was one of the few tracks
involving Mike and reached no. 14. Two weeks later saw the release
of the 11 - track debut album `The Lone Ranger` named after a
famous reggae song. `Top 40 in The Faroe Islands and I'll be happy`
joked Suggs, but it stayed just outside the top 10 and marked an
impressive debut. As well as the two singles, other highlights from
the album included the very mellow and now so nutty `4 am`, `Green
Eyes` and `She's Gone`. It was a very diverse album with plenty of
reggae including `Alcohol` containing that famous line `I come from
a long line, whose only fear is closing time`. Along with `Fortune
Fish`, this song contained samples from other songs. The latter
song was explained by Suggs saying that he was listening to the
Happy Mondays at the time. It wasn't the kind of album that you
could imagine being played live due to the heavy production in it.
Can you imagine playing `Haunted` in a field of 35,000 people every
second year. Themes from on the album included Suggs love of `that
mysterious substance` (Alcohol), the homelessness of Camden Town
(Haunted) and musicals (The Tune).

Next release date was December 9th when `The Tune` was released.
Slightly similar to `House of Fun` (though not a remix of `Camden
Town` as one idiotic NME journalist described) it probably marked
the beginning of the end. `Green Eyes` or `4 am` should have been
released, but unfortunately the catchier `The Tune` was favoured
instead of the other two little gems. It was as if Suggs was
trying to learn a lesson from what happened to Madness when they
started putting out the likes of `Michael Caine` and `Yesterdays
Men`. However, in putting out his third single, Suggs was pigeon
holing himself. The song got lost amongst all the other Christmas
releases and peaked at number 33. The only thing more worrying for
me was when I got a promo copy of the b-side `Sleigh Ride` meaning
that was nearly being released.

The following March, `Cecilia` hit the charts. Commercially
successful, but it would destroy Mr. McPherson's reputation in the
long-term. After climbing from 33 to 9 to 6,5 and 4, sales of nearly
half a million were recorded. However, the following September,
Warner were to jump aboard the Cecilia wagon by releasing another
collaboration with the awful `Louchie Lou` and `Michie One`. `Alcohol`
was nearly halved in length to form `No More Alcohol` which made it
sound like a full cover version, especially when the start of the
song was borrowed from that summer hit of the same year `Macarena`.
Peaking at no. 26 it destroyed the likeable album version. Put it
this way, if either of these two songs were released by 7 boys from
Camden Town in August 1979, they wouldn't even be playing in the
Dublin Castle or Hope and Anchor in `99.

Nothing more from Suggs until Chelsea reached the F.A Cup final and
`Blue Day` just stayed outside of the top 10. Having got `Single of
The Week` in NME, this song (which sounds like Madness meets the
Beatles about 1967) was bellowing all around Wembley as Chelsea got
their blue day. This song was written by Mike Connaris who would
later co-write `Invisible Man` from Suggs' next album.

And so to August `98 when Suggs next single and album were launched
in a blaze of publicity .............. and there my sarcasm ends.
How do Warners expect commercial success if they don't let people
know that the album exists? The first and only single, `I am`
was taken from `The Avengers` album with Suggs in Steed mode for the
video. Reaching no. 37, the song had a very tropical keyboard sound
with an unexpected britpop guitar chorus. Catchy stuff, but the
cliched lyrics and the constant repeating of the lyric `I am` took a
lot away from the quality from the song and after a week it was out
of the top 40. Two excellent b-sides made it a very worthwhile
purchase, the first (`Same Again`) sounding like Madness from `The
Rise and Fall` ere. The other, `It Really Would be Nice` found Suggs
in more sentimental melancholic form. Written by solo artist Boo
Hewardine (originally in 80's band `The Bible`) this acoustic
masterpiece had Suggs wondering about the whereabouts of an old
friend who he'd like to see again.

And so, only a week until the follow-up album, `The Three Pyramids
Club`. It was a concept album Suggs wrote based on experiences of
dingy little Soho clubs where his jazz-singing mother used to play,
with her 13 year-old son in attendance. Being more one-dimensional
that his debut album, most of the songs were penned with producer
Steve Lironi who was one half of the Black Grape producing team.
Unfortunately, he also helped out Hanson which explains a few of the
funny sounds (was the `Straight Banana` really necessary?). All
the tunes were catchy with no melancholic material that appeared on
`The Lone Ranger` album popping up here. However, Suggs did explore
different areas here. With `Straight Banana` we had reggae.

`Invisible Man` was probably more like Madness than any other track,
while also personifying the more live instrument feel to the album.
`Sing` was probably the most innovative and unexpected track with
`Jah Wobble` (ace guitarist from the PIL) in fine form here. `Girl`
was a good enough tune (which reminded me slightly of a Beatles
track of the same name) but the involvement of rapper General Levy
was as regrettable as Louchie Lou of Michie One's involvement on
`The Lone Ranger`. `The Greatest Show on Earth` would remind you of
the Beatles `Magical Mystery Tour` theme wise rather than musically,
whereas `Our Man`, found Suggs going all 1920's on us when he
employed the services of the Chris Barber Band. After `Drifting
Sand` came one of my personal favourites, `The Three Pyramids Club`.
The title track featuring a muffled megaphonic Suggs voice sounded
like a cross between `Female of The Species` by Space and the 1995
no. 1 `Your Woman` by White Town with the classic line `If you don't
fit in, you'll fit in here`, summing up the type of people that
filled up these Soho clubs.

Most fans would have `So Tired` as their favourite track and would
loved to have seen this released as a single with a fabulous chorus
which faded out really nice towards the end. After its 2nd week it
wasn't even in the Top 75 which gives the excellent album no
justice. Apparently, Warners wanted to release `Girl` as the
follow-up single. The fact that they wanted to put out the only
track that wasn't voted `best track` on an internet vote would sum
up Warners treatment of Suggs. In truth, his career was destroyed
by releasing the worst, yet most catchy material. In the end
neither `Girl` nor `So Tired` was put out. Also Suggs friend Rob
Dickens finished up as head of Warners and this didn't help.

But lets not get too disillusioned - at least the boy McPherson now
has more time for our favourite love, and here's looking forward to
the new album soon.

Stuart Wright (NUT Inc Editor)

For information about Nut Inc, please write to:

Stuart Wright,
Nut Inc,
29 Hollidge Way,
RM10 9SP

or visit the fanzines section of the MIS Online website at:


Rob asked me to type up a review of "Uncoolohol" which claims to be
the worlds first Ian Dury fansite. Designed by myself, and Moderated
by me, Simesy and Eddie, it promises to be a reason to be cheerful!

The idea for the site came around a few months ago when Simesy and
yours truly were discussing Dury on ICQ. Then I suggested "Why don't
we make an Ian Dury website?" Simesy replied "now that would be
interesting". After a couple of weeks designing, and a few weeks for
collecting info "Uncoolohol" was created. BTW - if you want to know
why we called the site that rather unusual title, why not check out
the tracklisting on the "Laughter" album.

The sections that are currently online are: -

Main - The main page of the site. Here you can find the latest
website updates and other things.

Discography - A detailed guide to Ian Dury's/The Blockheads's/Chaz
Jankel's/The Music Students's/Kilburn and the High Roads's releases.
Most of the sections on this page are up, and we hope to expand it
by detailing the other Blockheads' projects.

News - The latest Dury news from around the world. Thanks to numerous
resources we can give you the news first.

Filmography - A guide to Dury's acting career. We only have the name
of the films and his roles so far, but we hope to expand it by having
information on each film.

Lyrics - Only small to start out with, but we want to make this the
worlds best Dury Lyrics Server by having every track he has ever done,
we need people to help out with this, so if you have any Dury Vinyls,
etc get them out of the attic, have a listen, and write the lyrics
down. You will be credited properly for any sent in.

Biography - An informative guide to Dury's life, if you've never heard
of Dury before, check out this page.

The sections that are online soon: -

Quiz - Test your Dury knowledge by entering our quiz. The entry with
the highest answers correct wins, and we may even have a prize.

Downloads - From Wallpapers to Icons, skins to screensavers. It will
all be available soon.

Gallery - A collection of Dury/Blockhead photos from the 70's to the
90's. We currently have 20 photos, but we want more, so send them in!

Audio - When (and if) we get permission from EastCentralOne to record
and spread Dury MP3's over the internet, can you access this page.

Articles - A collection of articles dating back to the very first Dury

Chat - Come in and chat to all your Dury buddies. Its free and easy to
use. I'm hoping to organise some set chat times.

Polls - A page of polls so you can vote for various things.

Wannablocks - Are you a dedicated Duryfan? Want to be part of a large
page of others like you? Then send your details (e.g. Name, E-mail,
Nickname, favourite song) to david.wassell at btinternet.com

Guestbook - Please sign our guestbook, we need as much support and
feedback as possible.

Contact - Contact the moderators for more info and updates.

IDL - The Ian Dury mailing List - the nets first Dury mailing list,
where you can chat to friends on Blockhead stuff, and find out the
latest news.

Credits - Who did what and what did who.

Links - A page of links to other Dury websites, from Fansites to
Resources, it will be here, shortly.

Also, we are planning to make a Dury fanzine, which we have not made
a title for yet. So we want you to come up with one. The best name
will be the title of the fanzine, and they will get a mention on
the first page in the first issue. So far we have had "Cacka Boom"
and "Duration", but we still want more entries!

The fanzine's first issue will be free for the first 10 copies, but if
popularity builds up we will start to charge money. It looks like 4
issues a year for 10 and 2.75 for one. We also need editorial staff
(e.g. anybody who wants to help out), so please e-mail soon. The
fanzine will be available in the UK only.

Thats it from me so I say goodnight, and don't forget to visit

Time for Wozza bye-byes,



In the issue before last, the ever-helpful Mark Bedford kindly passed
on contact details of Winterland, the company responsible for putting
together the excellent selection of merchandise which was on sale at
the recent Christmas shows.

Emma Southerby of the Total Madness Mailing List has written off to
them and within the last day or so has received details of what they
have left in stock.

        Bottle Top T/S - Size M, L, XL - £15.00
        Bottle Top Skinny - One Size - £15.00
        Stamp T/S - Size M, L, XL - £15.00
        Street Sign T/S - Size M, L, XL - £15.00
        Ellipse T/S - Size M, L, XL -£15.00
        Pin Badge - £5.00
        Keyring - £6.00
        Mug - £6.00
        Button Badge - £1.00
        Programme - £7.00

For more information, please phone, fax or write to:

TEL: 44 020 8568 6400
FAX: 44 020 8568 6304

Happy shopping!!


Taken from Issue 3 of `Madness Unsugged`, and printed with kind
permission of Vince Carden...

Those of you in attendance at Madstock IV will need no reminding of
the Finlay Quaye incident. If you don't know about it, you can read
my own review of it in Issue 18 of MIS Online. Let's just say that a
few scumbag fans who still think it's 1979 acted stupidly, but only a
few. However, NME's review turned it into an attack on Madness fans,
so I wrote to them. Further down you can see the whole letter and in
inverted commas, what they printed!! A pure manipulation of my letter
and the bits they left out all concerned criticism of them.

In `95 they gave `The Lone Ranger` 2 out of 10, and when 3 letters
were printed the next week by fans, the journalist responded by
saying that the time Suggs jokingly threatened to smash Rik Mayall's
face-in `The Young Ones` was one of the lowest moments on British
TV during the 80`s!?!

If there's one thing worse than a racist, it's a racist who slags off
his own type. In his review of Madstock IV, Stephen Dalton refers to
10,000 `Gap-toothed Cockney Wankers`. Call them wankers if you want,
call them 10,000 if you must exaggerate, but why mention the part of
the world they come from. Only `racist scum` (as you call us) find a
person's birthplace relevant. Such accusations are difficult to take
from a magazine that told us recently that `Americans are, quite
frankly, a bit slow`, in your review of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

"Yes, there was racist scum in Finsbury, but if Mr. Dalton thinks
that they numbered more than 100, then maybe I should assume that
every supporter of English football is a swastika adorning
member of the National Front because of what happened at the World
Cup recently, but I'm beyond that. If we booed Finlay Quaye because
of the colour of his skin, then why were the darker skins of the
two earlier reggae acts welcomed so warmly?" (I can't answer that
because as the review stated, I'm part of `the single cell Madness
massive`). "Apart from them," and Mr. Dalton, "the only other racist
there was Finlay Quaye for his jibes against the flag of St, George
and the English football team - the only reasons that led to booing,
conveniently left out of the review."

Mr. Dalton also said that Madness tried not to mention Finlay Quaye.
Actually, they did and told us to look up `Reconciliation` in the
dictionary. I will, and I'll look up `gap-toothed`, `in-bred` and
`pig shit-thick` just to make sure I know what the NME has accused me
of being.

NME also labelled the recent comeback, `Madness, we call it sadness`,
then had to do a u-turn when they reviewed the album and saw how
good it was.

Vince Carden.


That's about yer lot for another week. Thanks go to everyone who's
submitted something for this issue. I have a mailbox with a number
of bits and pieces which arrived too late for this issue, so if
you've sent me something for the MIS and haven't seen it in this
edition, fear not - it will appear next week!!

In the meantime, please feel free to send me any Madness related
bits and pieces and I'll do my best to make sure they appear in
a future issue. Also, if you were one of the lucky people to make
it along to the video shoot last week, I'm sure we'd all love to
read a review of the proceedings.

Until then, all the nutty best,

Robert Hazelby
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