Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 917 – Sunday 4th December to Saturday 10th December 2016

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 917 – Sunday 4th December to Saturday 10th December 2016

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With the Bournemouth, Cardiff and both Brighton gigs now fading memories, it’s clear that this year’s Christmas tour is now well underway.

Tomorrow, the band nip over to The Netherlands where they play in Groningen. This is then followed by another in Tilburg on Tuesday night, before the band return to the UK for a gig in Newcastle on Thursday. It’s certainly all go!

Earlier this week, Suggs appeared on Good Morning Britain, where he announced that the next single from the current album would follow the end of the tour. This second single would see the title track of the tour and album “Can’t Touch us Now” coming out as a single mix on December the 16th.

If you missed the band’s video for it, which launched online last week, here it is…


Next, we pass you over to the one and only Paul Rodgers;

“A compilation album released via USM a while back (Mr Rodgers is too lazy to look up the release date) failed to chart at all on release. Now some time later (over a year, see previous parenthesis) it has managed to chart. Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Very Best Of Madness (apparently released in March 2014, but I’m not checking) is qualified for the official budget albums chart. I don’t know if it qualified for this chart on release (what do you think I am some sort of chart nerd, all obsessed with numbers and lists and that?) but it didn’t chart anywhere until the chart dated 23 June 2016, when I was busy having a nervous breakdown and seriously stressed out by a computer which worked when it wanted. As a result I had not downloaded my chart emails for several months and had no Excel or Word on which to log the chart places, study them and then write long winded rants about them. Well now my computer works 3 days out of 4 I have updated my records. 

That first run was for 6 weeks with the album going no higher than number 22 in the top 50. It then disappeared for 6 weeks only to return for a 4 week stint between numbers 43 and 48. It then went incognito for 4 weeks, resurfacing around the same time as Can’t Touch Us Now (the new album by Madness). This time round it has been on the chart 4 weeks and in 3 of those 4 weeks it has been higher than its previous peak including 2 weeks at its new personal best of number 9. If that doesn’t warm your cockles then I don’t know what will, but anyone with cold cockles and in Brighton last night will have done well to venture into the misleadingly described ‘eat as much as you like for £4.99’ vegetarian Indian food buffet place just round the corner from the venue. I say misleadingly titled because I have never been able to eat as much as I’d like to in there. I tend to get full after about 3 troughsworth.”

Before we crack on with this week’s issue, if you’ve still got some money kicking around in your bank account after you’ve bought all your Christmas presents, you may want to check out these two T-Shirts courtesy of Horace Panter:

One Step Beyond:


The Prince:


(Our thanks go to Barry Mingard and Daren West for passing the above on to us)

Now, on with the issue…

Jon YoungRob HazelbySimon RobertsPaul Williams




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.



December 2016

Monday 5th – Groningen, The Netherlands ** Sold Out **

Tuesday 6th – Tilburg, The Netherlands ** Sold Out **

Thursday 8th – Newcastle – Can’t Touch us Now

Friday 9th – Sheffield – Can’t Touch us Now

Saturday 10th – London – Can’t Touch us Now ** Contact venue for standing tix **

Monday 12th – Nottingham – Can’t Touch us Now

Tuesday 13th – Bridlington – Can’t Touch us Now

Thursday 15th – Glasgow – Can’t Touch us Now ** Only expensive seats left **

Friday 16th – Manchester – Can’t Touch us Now ** All standing gone **

Saturday 17th – Birmingham – Can’t Touch us Now

Can’t Touch us Now tickets from: http://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/madness/

April 2017

Sunday 16th – Byron Bay, Australia  http://www.bluesfest.com.au/schedule/detail.aspx?ArtistID=873

November 2017

17th – 20th November – The House of Fun Weekender – Minehead



Madness – New Album – You Can’t Touch Us Now 

** OUT NOW! **

16 Track CD, 12 Track Vinyl

30 Track Box Set Edition (with demos) ** Now Sold Out **


One Step Beyond Cherry Red Vinyl ** OUT NOW **

At the moment, a limited number are available to pre-order through Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/madness). You can also purchase it from branches of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

If you order through Pledge you’ll be in with a chance of winning some test pressings!


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra – Bite The Bullet ** OUT NOW       **

Vinyl £13.55  (Includes free mp3 version)

CD £11.37 (includes free mp3 version)

Mp3 album also available on its own for £7.99



Rhoda Dakar – The LoTek Four Volume 1. ** OUT NOW **


  1. Fill The Emptiness (Lovers)
  2. Tears You Can’t Hide
  3. You Talking To Me?
  4. Dolphins
  5. Fill The Emptiness (Reefa)




It Must be Love Good Morning Britain


ROMANCE swept through the Good Morning Britain studio as host Piers Morgan serenaded Susanna Reid with Madness hit It Must Be Love prior to their chat with the band’s frontman Suggs.

The presenting pair swooned and swayed away on the sofa as the music played to introduce the segment.

Piers who was clutching his heart and mimicking a lovestruck facial expression, branded the track their “theme tune.”

Susanna added: “That’s what you sing to me every morning!”

The cheeky quips continued when Piers asked Suggs: “Do you think of couples like Susanna and I, is that why you sing it?”

Clearly in Romeo mode, Piers quizzed the music legend about the secrets to a successful marriage with Bette Bright, who he got hitched to aged 21.

He added: “I wouldn’t know, I’m, not a marriage counsellor.

“For me, it’s the wildness of rock and roll and family is a kind of stability.”



Documentary on Tin Pan Alley on Crowd Funding


He says: “I’ve had support from many music industry people – both for the film and for the original campaign to save Tin Pan Alley. In the last few weeks alone we’ve been given rare and valuable original acetates that were donated by Suggs from Madness. Producer Clive Langer has also given us a 12” white label master of a limited edition vinyl pressing of David Bowie’s song Absolute Beginners, which topped the UK charts in 1986. These will be auctioned on eBay to raise money for the film.”


MIS Online note that due to Clive Langer’s involvement, an acetate of the Divine Madness album has already sold for £665 pounds on eBay to help fund the campaign.




Soul Denying (Mike and Lee)  


Mike was inspired by the Pet Shop Boys talking about 4 chords you need to get a hit record. Mike took them and made some changes.

Lee did the lyrics a lovely song.  It lay dormant, as Mike never thought it could work as a Madness track until now it found its place.

Lee says it’s a love lost. A nomad traveller comes back to his roots hoping his love will grow.


Don’t Leave the Past Behind You (Woody) 


This was originally called Leave the past behind, but Suggs pointed out to Woody that the past makes you what you are so move on, while remembering where you came from.  Also a reference to Madness always dressing up in Victorian clothes.


You Are My Everything (Mike)


A track about unconditional love.  Mike is pleased how it came out. Clive didn’t want to put it on the album, but Mike fought for it.

Clive doesn’t like minor key songs. Marvin Gaye was the inspiration for the final version. Chris’s wah, wah guitar is brilliant says Mike. Mike wrote some string parts for it.


Given The Opportunity (Lee) 


This was written ten years ago and the song was inspired by a push bike theft.  Lee tried  to cut the thief off by taking a short cut after seeing him steal the bike.




Bournemouth – Thursday 1st December


The curtain rose to reveal the band playing Can’t Touch Us Now the title track of the new album behind a set of iron gates.

Suggs pulled them open to signal the start of the evening.

With an excellent new album freshly released and a fair few tracks given an airing tonight this is no band resting on their laurels and just playing songs from 35 years ago which they could easily do.

Don’t get me wrong, they did play many of the songs that people love to hear during the early part of the set and Suggs announced that they had been trawling the ‘purple bag of joy’ for nuggets that they had not played for a while before the first heart beat rhythm of Cardiac Arrest rang out.

As great as it is to hear the biggest hits it’s when you hear songs like this that you remember just what a rich musical history this band have.

From 30 years ago we were bought right up to date with the excellent Blackbird from the latest offering along with You Are My Everything another track from the new album described as the calm before the storm.

About an hour in and it was time for a bit of audience participation as Chris Forman called out the first line of a song and the audience responding with the second.

After a couple of rehearsals they upped the game by supplying the first line and leaving the entire crowd to complete the first verse of One Step Beyond before launching into the rest of the song to the frenzied delight of the crowd.

This was followed by House of Fun, Baggy Trousers and Our House before closing the main set with one of my all-time favourite songs It Must Be Love.




This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, goes back in time to report on what was going on in the world of Madness 5 years, 10 and 15 years ago this week.

5 years ago…

Issue Number 656 – Sunday 4th December – Saturday 10th December 2011

With the Madness Weekender only just gone we got this issue up and running with our Big House of Fun Weekender Video Roundup. We featured footage from Chrissy Boy’s Axecam, footage of newly aired Madness songs, a selection of random “bits”, the longest Nutty Train attempt, and much, much more.

Moving on, and while we still had a few weeks of 2011 to go, the band were already looking to the following 12 months. This week we learned that Madness had been booked to play at the 2012 Isle of Wight Festival. Suggs said at the time “We’ve been wanting to play the Isle of Wight Festival for ages now. It’s the perfect way to start our summer.”.

Early last month The Fast Show returned in an online series for Fosters Funny website. This week’s episode saw the return of Jazz club.

Nice! And the return of the legendary Clam on Bass. Or was it?

Yes it was Bedders and he was joined by Louis Vause from The Ska Orchestra, who was there on Piano in the sketch about 1 minute in.

When he heard of the moonlighting Lee Thompson told us Diamond Legs doesn’t turn down a chance to appear on screen. While the legendary Clam himself replied to us on twitter…

Saying “’Yeah… jazz, hair, peace…’”

Next, we reported on news of a great double line up in Camden Town’s Jazz Cafe for Christmas. What was this news? Lee Thompson’s “Mighty” Ska Orchestra would be supporting DEAF SCHOOL at the Jazz Cafe in London’s Parkway, Camden Town on the 21st of December.

Here’s what the Jazz Cafe had to say about headliners, Deaf School;

“The first thing you need to know is that they are quite simply the greatest band you’ve never seen! If you have seen them, you’ll know that already!

Emerging from the Liverpool College of Art as winners of the Melody Maker Rock Contest in 1975, they made three LPs between 1976 and 1978 and were one of the most popular live acts of their time. The fact  that they were invited to record three sessions with John Peel at the BBC is testimony to their quality.

Reformed for a legendary series of gigs in 1988 (recorded and released on CD and DVD), Deaf School also played two series of concerts in 2006 and 2007 when they showed how great a live act they still are. They played ten gigs in 2009,a number in 2010 and the good news is they are planning more gigs for 2011!

Much respected music writer Paul du Noyer: “In the whole history of Liverpool music, two bands matter most: one is The Beatles and the other is Deaf School. Their impact on the City is with us to this day.”

It was on to Suggs news for our final article as this week he began his London residency. Subscriber Sharon Staite reported from the first night to see if the show had changed much and even managed to corner an Eastender for a short MIS podcast!

10 years ago…

Issue 396 – Sunday 3rd December to Saturday 9th December 2006 

This week we welcomed our readers to a special edition of the MIS Online newsletter. Why special? Well, this week not only did the MIS subscription list finally pass the 1,000 mark, but we learned that a certain Mr. Foreman was back on board the good ship Madness (for what looked to be the whole of the Christmas tour at least).

Yes, the rumours were true. Chrissy Boy was to return. Several weeks of negotiations between the 6 working members of the band and the semi retired curmudgeon guitarist finally ended after a few ungentlemanly scenes of begging and pleading. The band had agreed to let him accompany them on the forthcoming UK Christmas tour.

Chris would make his return to the band on the 7th of December for the Brixton Academy show, and at the stroke of midnight on the 20th of December, he would then head back to the bright lights of Brighton and turn back into a pumpkin.

Naturally, fans were very excited to read that Chris would be making a welcome return to the fold, and so we featured a selection of the best posts that had appeared on the official Madness messageboard.

Next, it was over to Jonathan Young, who reported that two new music videos had been produced. One was described as a retake on It Must be Love, and the other was for a new song called NW5. NW5, of course being the London post code for Kentish Town.

Jonathan continued for the next article, where he kindly highlighted a selection of Madness related articles that had cropped up on You Tube over the past few weeks. Clips highlighted were footage of the Monte Carlo gig, a clip of Walsall division 2 soccer fans forming a One Step Beyond chanting choir and jumping about on the Terraces, and Madness (that’s Suggs, Carl, Mike, Woody, Kev, Clive Langer and the Violin Monkeys), appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.

We passed things over to Vince Carden for the next article, who was pleased to announce that the Birmingham Madmeet would be taking place on Saturday the 16th of December. The starting point was The Newt, before the plan was to head over to the NEC later that day.

One for you collectors now. News reached us that Madness would be recording each night of the December tour (except Dublin), and would make 1000 deluxe Double CDs of the recordings available for purchase as you left each gig or if you couldn’t make it to the shows, you’d be able to reserve a copy online. At each show, 100 copies would also be signed by the band… who got these would be down to pure chance!

There would also be an option to include a download purchase of new track ‘Sorry’ which would then be available to collect upon it’s official release in the new year.

There’s a whole world of Madness fans out there. So, two issues back we ran a competition to send the Mail on Sunday live CD set to 4 lucky M.I.S readers who lived outside of Great Britain.

Interest was high, with applications from Italy, France, Germany, Holland and The Netherlands, Australia, Chicago USA and Portugal, as well as from Argentina, where fans were still buzzing from the recent concert.

We asked entrants to answer the question…

“I deserve a free madness live album because…”

With the answers to be judged on the most clever, the most amusing or just the most begging way the sentence was completed.

1st place Michael Plate of Holland wrote simply…

Darling fascist bully boys,

Give me those Madness live CD’s you b*st*rds!

May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly

of your woman!

2nd was Christine Couturier from France who answered…

“I am a French girl who does not eat frogs!! And moreover, because Madness is badly known and loved in France – a lot of French people think that they have not done anything since One Step Beyond – and I am doing my best to make things change.

If I win, I will be able to brandish the CD saying “look at Madness and their fans, they are nice people, they offer free CD’S, even to the French!!”

Our 3rd winner, Patrick Jones lived in Australia, and chose to blackmail us with the tears of his brainwashed children.

And it was a ploy that worked!

“I deserve a free Madness live album because I have been playing Madness to my kids and so am brain washing the next generation. And also because my seven year old daughter looked at me over the weekend with tears in her eyes and said “Daddy, please please please get me the Madness CDs being given away in the Daily Mail. It’s all I want for Christmas, I’d much rather have that than a pony”.

4th place winner was Nahuel Di Palma who hailed from Argentina.

A place he described to us as “very far in person from London”. He went on to tell us, in his best english, that Madness makes him feel like he was in Camden town, 15 years old again and how much the recent concert made him not sleep with excitement. Also how he had to bunk off work to be there, how much his clothes and look is a permanent tribute to the nutty boys and how long he’s been a fan. He ended his emotional pleading with the statement “I breathe ska”

15 years ago…

Issue 134 – Sunday 2nd December to Saturday 9th December 2001 

We started the issue off with news in from Lee’s Swandale and Thompson one or two forthcoming gigs for upstarts ‘Like Father, Like Son’. The first of these gigs would see the band performing at The Torrington Arms, North Finchley on the 16th of December.

Elsewhere in the issue Chris Carter-Pegg reported on the Madmeet which turned into a group visit to Teddington Studios, where the band of drunken Maddies sat in for the filming of two episodes of karaoke show Night Fever. Both episodes were themed. The first being a Valentines Day special, whilst the second was a pyjama party. As usual, the z-list celebs were there in force – including Zippy and George from ITV’s Rainbow!

Keeping in with the forthcoming festive season we took a look back to December 21st 1985 (courtesy of Jermaine from Tour Madness), where the band played to a crowd of 4000 at the ‘Christmas Party for the Unemployed’.

Further down in the issue Phil Pugh gave us the heads-up that Suggs would be hosting a forthcoming Radio 2 show to celebrate 25 years of Stiff Records.

Following the previous issue where we mentioned Mark’s (Bedford) band ‘Butterfield 8’, Mark contacted the MIS to reveal that the old master tapes from the B8 sessions, and that a 10” vinyl pressing was likely, with possibly a few CD’s. Mark also revealed that a video was produced for the single ‘Watermelon Man’, which featured Phil Jupitus as a mad butcher!

Five years ago Channel Four’s “100” series was still very much a new thing, so it was exciting news when the night before this issue (134) of the MIS went out to discover that the band had made number 36, in the “Top 100 Number Ones”, with ‘House of Fun’.

To finish off this issue Phil and Steve from the MTR revealed the winners of the latest Madquiz, whilst we reported on the problems we’d been having with getting our MIS SMS service off the ground.

(What on earth happened to that?)

Rob Hazelby




Pop-Up Pub Outside the London O2 on Show Day

Our public house will be popping up outside the O2 in London on December 10th.

An afternoon of delights, high jinx, and fine Madness Beer refreshment awaits you.

On the decks…

Rhoda Dakar

Sean Flowerdew (London Intl Ska Festival & Pama Intl)


On the taps…


Then after the Madness gig, join us for an after party with those heavy heavy sounds from MR. HAPPY

To guarantee entry for the after party please collect your pass from THE MADHEAD before 5pm. First come, first to be served.

DIRECTIONS: Leave North Greenwich station, head towards the O2 and keep right – you’ll find us on the concourse.

Open from midday til late!




We continue our series of album reviews….

“This album had me hooked from the first play [and] I haven’t been able to stop playing it since it arrived! 

To produce such a fine album of well-constructed tunes like this, is a fine example of why Madness have such a loyal following and longevity. The magic dust has certainly been sprinkled on this one courtesy of Clive Langer! 

I can’t pick a favourite track as yet as I love every single one, although ‘Blackbird’ is edging that way. ‘Mr Apples’ should [have] been a huge hit, and who knows maybe in a parallel universe it’s no.1. 

Long live the nutty boys, the world would be a dull place without you!”

Andy Keys Clark


“You’d expect me to say that the new Madness album is good. But you know what? On first listen, I was unsure – it sounds rough, rambling, like slightly drunk live takes of songs that aren’t quite finished yet.

But my goodness, it has grown in my estimation. This is neither empty nostalgia or carefully calibrated product. This is a proper new album from a proper old band, doing exactly what they want to be doing.”

Gordy Davidson




We’re almost done for this week, but in true MIS style we do have a few last minute bits and pieces to pass in your general direction.

First-up, and it looks like Baggy Trousers made it into TV Cream’s Top 25 singles, as this snippet from their mailout of the 19th-25th November reveals.

“9 Madness – Baggy Trousers

Oh, the to-and-fro over which of the Nutty Boys’ marvellous array of hits was going to be the one to make it here. Everything got thrown into the mix from The Prince to… well, not Uncle Sam or The Sweetest Girl, maybe, but Yesterday’s Men at least. But isn’t there something about Baggy Trousers that makes it stand out so much even after the years since of music hall Kinksiness, secret doominess and later growing pains?

Maybe because of the picture it paints of the school system and memories therein. Maybe that kids at the time were completely sucked in by the jauntiness and immediacy of the accelerated ska rhythm because it was easiest to dance flailingly to. Maybe that Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson on wires outdoors is an indelible image. But as a record it’s a whole bunch of fun with an undercurrent of regret, and it began a long and prosperous career of the band being banned from Top Of The Pops.”

And finally… it’s goodnight from Suggs and goodbye to the H to the O to the N to E to Y To G.



Jon YoungRob HazelbySimon RobertsPaul Williams

(With thanks to Darren West, Gordy Davidson, Andy Clark, Paul Rodgers,
Barry Mingard and Daren West)

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