Home»Latest Newsletters»The Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 817 – Sunday 4th January to Saturday 10th January 2015

The Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 817 – Sunday 4th January to Saturday 10th January 2015

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Hello and welcome to this first full issue of 2015.

With Christmas and the start of the new year well and truly behind us we find ourselves in that early January lull where things have gone rather quiet in the Madness community.

We’re certain that this lapse in activity is only a temporary one, what with the band gearing up for their Operation Grand Slam this summer, and their latest in a string of Madness Weekender’s this coming November.

In this week’s issue we take a look at the high and low points from May to August of last year, in our second of a three part lookback at 2014, and in our feature Chris Carter-Pegg tells us all about the Top 200 Madness Collectibles project that will be running throughout 2015.

Alongside all this we’ve got the latest roundup of forthcoming gigs, point you in the direction of nutty merchandise, and list some of the Madness related articles that have cropped-up over the past few weeks.

Enjoy the read!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul 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.




Operation Grand Slam… Summer 2015


Do you expect us to talk?   More information coming soon from Madness.co.uk on a large number of events, subscribe to official madnews with your email and hear first.


November 2015

November 20th – 23rd 2014 – Minehead – The House Of Fun Weekender Five

Early bird tickets on sale now




March 2015

12th March – An Evening With Suggs and Friends, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK. Held at The Emirates Stadium. At £160 a ticket we’re not sure if many MIS readers will be attending! http://www.thegigcompany.org/events/pcuk2015/


Near Jazz Experience

January 27th


Indo 133 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1DT *Free*

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/NearJazzExperience


The Silencerz ft. Lee Thompson

*** New *** January 24th – The Spotted Bull Pub, London Road, Hemel Hempstead. More info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1520383951558899/?pnref=story




The Black Friday and Boxing Day sales have been and gone. With a new year upon us Madness fans can now take advantage of the January sales, where the Madstore are currently offering between 15% and 50% off stock!


Brand new T-Shirts, Merchandise


There are laurel leaf official polo’s in white, navy and black. T-shirts for all three beers; Night Boat, Lovestruck and Gladness. There are black laurel Beanie hats with the M crown logo, a new royal logo like Fez for gigs, blue and charcoal House Of Fun T-Shirts and a Mad Head design mug.

The black and red Dangermen Vs Invaders shirts are brilliant; half designed on the original 2004 Dangermen poster look with added flying saucers, making a really nice retro feel to the whole design.  There is a blue Madhead Picture T-shirt with a slogan on, and some Oui, Oui, Si, Si merchandise still available.


2014 – Tour Programme. 


Now only £8, and coming bundled with a link to 3 free Lee Thompson downloads, plus Rag and Bone Man download, from Madness.

It really is a really nice looking and well written Mad-Head little bible. One all collectors should get hold of.


Terry Edwards – One Step Beyond Book

It’s 35 years this year. Time to plug Terry Edwards Definitive book on the album. Get it for Christmas. It’s brilliant.

30% off “One Step Beyond…” – Terry’s book on Madness:

UK – http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/madness-one-step-beyond-9780826429063/

USA – http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/madness-one-step-beyond-9780826429063/

Australia – http://www.bloomsbury.com/au/madness-one-step-beyond-9780826429063/


50% off older T-shirt stock.

If you’re happy to add some older items to your collection the Official Madness store has some up to 50% off their original asking price.





Items in the press that have caught our eye over the past week or so…

Tufnell Park’s Christmas Madness

The lead singer of popular band Madness thrilled crowds as the surprise special giuest at the Christmas lights switch-on in St George’s ward.

Full article at: http://islingtonnow.co.uk/2014/11/27/tufnell-parks-christmas-madness/


Madness at the O2

Madness have always been fascinating: they have anthems that seem to last forever but also slightly border on the novelty, perhaps not helped by the fact that the majority of their fans seem to be fancy dress wearing dads.

Full article:





As another year draws to a close we take time out to look back at some of the high and low points over the past 12 months.

This week, MIS co-editor Rob Hazelby, looks at the second four months of 2014.

May 2014

“The Madhead is about you, below you and within you…”, were the words that came forth from the Madness machine towards the start of May, along with a new web site URL – www.mad-head.co.uk (this seems to be a dead link). This site was where you could nominate great Madheads to appear in the hall of fame.

Alongside this new web site announcement came a minute-long promotional video from the band, kicking off the PR bandwagon for their forthcoming Christmas tour:


We also discovered that Suggs had been keeping himself busy and had recently covered a Prince song from his Purple Rain album. The song covered was Let’s go Crazy, which we thought was very appropriate for our favourite mad man. Sounding very much like something from Suggs’ Three Pyramids Club album, you can listen to part of it here:


(It’s the first track)

With the release of the forthcoming Mad Not Cancer album getting ever closer May was the month where a number of teaser clips were released on YouTube to whet the appetite of Madness fans across the globe. See http://youtu.be/VZaxNtIl3yo and http://youtu.be/0z3A6Mrc-H4

The amazing thing was that even though the release date was nearing new bands were still being signed-up and their coveres added to the tracklisting.

We also learned this month that Suggs was up to something following a short tweet where he revealed that he’d just come down from the attic as he was in the process of compiling a 3 CD set of his favourite tracks. It would seem that Suggs’ attic visit may have taken place many months before, as a week later we were sent details of the full tracklisting and order link.

During the middle of May the band revealed that they’d recently taken part in a photoshoot as part of the All for the Madhead tour PR work. This was the first time all seven members of the band had attended a professional photoshoot since 2008 –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIUcDY4e0Tk&feature=youtu.be

For fans, the photoshoot footage on YouTube was a mere aside, as the big, big news was the announcement of the forthcoming December tour dates. Tickets were bound to sell out fast.

This month we were all sent back to 1986, as home-shot video footage of Madness performing at that year’s Glastonbury had surfaced on YouTube. Taken from a fair old distance from the stage, the footage included Madness performing Precious One.

You can check it out for yourselves. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yigcI6BzgdE and skip to 19 minutes and 25 seconds. (If you get chance you may even want to drop the uploaded a few words of thanks)

Our final issue in May was a landmark one for this MIS, as it marked the publication’s 15th birthday. The first issue of the weekly bulletin went out on the evening of Sunday 23rd May 1999, with the idea that it would remain as a weekly newsletter until the time came to reduce the regularity due to lack of news. 15 years later it continued to be a weekly email publication.

June 2014

We got this month off to a start with news in from Carl who told us that he was pleased to reveal that his solo album had just been mastered, and that Tim and Metropolis had done a fantastic job. The album mixes had now been completed, and he was now working on the running order of the 12 tracks.

Continuing on a Carl related note, and it was this month that we featured an exclusive interview with Angelina Warburton, a harp player from the North of England. Angelina was one of the many musicians who had backed Carl at his first concert in 2013, and she was only too happy to tell us about the experience.

June was also the month where we got in to the World Cup spirit, and asked you, our fellow fans, “What’s the best Madness album?”. Last held in 2006 at the MIS headquarters, “Absolutely” eventually took the crown. Now in 2014, and the baton handed over to those nice people on the All Things Madness Facebook group, this new competition set out to seach for a new champion and dish out some prizes, too! With 16 albums we’d have 12 head-to-head matches, with the first taking place on the 12th June.

It may have been a long way off, but come mid June those planning to attend the Madness Weekender in Minhead that coming November were being asked to choose person or character they deemed to be a true Madhead. Once you’d made your choice you then had to take the form of that chosen Madhead for the night. You had 5 months to get planning so there was no major rush.

As the month rattled on we were finally allowed to pre-order the forthcoming Specialized Mad Not Cancer album, which was now pencilled in for release on the 16th June. Spanning a whopping 70 tracks and running at over 4 hours in length, the £15.99 price tag seemed very reasonable indeed.

June also brought with it some sad news as we discovered that comic legend Rik Mayall had passed away at his home. To many Madness fans he’d be best known as Rick in the comedy series The Young Ones, which twice featured our favourite band as special guests.

Towards the end of the month the band jetted off to mainland Europe for gigs in Spain and The Netherlands. Alongisde that Lee and his ever capable Ska Orchestra took to the stage at 2014’s Glastonbury Festival. The performance was over an hour in length, but initially the audience turnout was low as the band’s stint clashed with Dolly Parton, who was performing on the main stage.

July 2014

Talk about getting in early, but with almost 6 months to go until the Madhead tour merchandise, in the form of T-shirts, were already on sale in the online Madness store. The clothing featured a brand new picture of all seven members next to their happiness machine.

Reviews of the band’s recent mainland Europe gigs started to land in the MIS mailbox, and were extremely positive. Subscriber Dinant Dondertman managed to catch them in Holland and commented that it was clear to see Madness were enjoying performing once again, and that despite the absence of Lee and Mark Dinant and friends had a fantastic time.

Touring didn’t quite go to plan this month, as the Vienna gig was cancelled due to illness affecting one of the band. Fans were told that this would be rescheduled at a later date.

Mid July brought with it some fantastic Ska Orchestra news, as we learned that their Bangarang single had been added to the BBC Radio 2 playlist. Not only that, but it was their B playlist, meaning the track would receive a decent chunk of airplay.

This was also the month where the famous Bar Italia celebrated its 65th birthday. One of London’s most iconic cafes, with a line-up of great music, Suggs helped with proceedings by performing three tracks. Music legend Adam Ant also appeared during the day.

As the month drew to a close we were treated to a rundown of the full tracklisting for the Mad Not Cancer album, pre-orders were still being taken, and Suggs himself had asked for a copy.

Remember earlier where I mentioned that those attending the Madness Weekender were urged to dress up as their favourite Madhead? Well, prize details surfaced towards the end of July. The winner would be issued with a Madhead Golden Ticket. This ticket would grant that person and a partner free entry to every gig of the forthcoming Madhead tour. Not a bad prize at all!

At the end of the month we were hearing rumours stating that Carl may not make some of the forthcoming summer gigs as he was busy taking time out to sort things long in the works.

August 2014

It’d been slightly delayed, but the long awaited release of the Specialized Mad Not Cancer album finally took place on the 6th of August. For those who had pre-ordered or were considering pre-ordering the ever capable Graham Yates gave us a mass of track reviews from the album along with an overall review.

This month fans witnessed the unveiling of something special – the 35th anniversary edition of the One Step. Extras on this release included versions of “Sunshine Voice” and “Lost my Head”, appearing in the Take it or Leave it film, and the sleeve of Complete Madness, respectively. The album had been digitally remastered from the original ¼ inch tapes, meaning the sound would be the best it’s ever been, and an accompanying DVD featured videos of the band from Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test.

To coincide with the announcement we covered the mini web site, track previews, set list notes, additional downloads and much, much more.

Towards the end of the month we learned that plans for the Madness Weekender were continuing apace, as the first batch of comformed acts due to perform at the event were announced. We’re certain that many fans were already counting down the days even though the event was many months off.

Next week

Next week we take a look back at the final four months of 2014, as we review September to December, and report on just some of the highlights that cropped-up in the run-up to the end of the year.

Robert Hazelby




A suggestion made by Graeme Sharpe on Facebook this week has received loads of attention from numerous familiar names from the Madness collector community past and present. His proposal was for a Top 100 Madness Collectables chart to be published. Being the time of year for the media to traditionally inundate us with numerous Top 100s, it seems a suitable moment to add a Madness Collectables list to these charts.

Back in 2009 following another eureka moment by Graeme and a request for help by music journalist / author John Reed, I was tasked with a 3 day deadline to come up with various pieces on Madness for the November issue of Record Collector magazine. One of their requirements for was a double page spread Madness rarities chart. With the help of Graeme, Paul Birch and Kev from Madsounds.co.uk we swiftly put together a Top 100 rarities list which we then reduced down to a Top 50. This was then refined further to a Top 30 by the magazine editors.

2009 was of course a milestone year for the band (30th Anniversary, Liberty of Norton Folgate released etc) and having fully launched the retro-madness.co.uk website on the 7th July that year (our wedding anniversary!) one aim became to publish on the site a fully illustrated version of the Top 100 that Graeme, Paul, Kev and I had rather swiftly rustled together in October that year. Five years on and this hadn’t quite happened so prompted by Graeme earlier this week, I tracked down our 2009 list, updated it slightly to include 10 new entries and uploaded it to the R-M website:


It doesn’t have pictures yet, but these will follow in the coming months. As the list was put together in 2009, in a very short space of time, a number of people have already identified various key items that have been overlooked. So the plan is now to enable further items to be suggested for the duration of 2015, such that at the end of the year a fully illustrated Top 200 Madness Collectables chart can be published.

If you would like to get involved please go to the link above and browse through the 101 items that have so far been identified and if you can think of any important items that have been left out, feel free to email the details to chris@retro-madness.co.uk

The eligibility for items to be included in this Top 200 list are as follows:

It must be an official Madness item worth in excess of approx £25.

It must be visually interesting (an illustrated list of 200 white label test pressings and acetates whilst being like nectar to some is likely to be more akin to watching paint dry to most).

It must be something that was produced in quantities greater than one (unique competition prizes or personally signed items are obviously highly valued but aren’t things that can be collected by a multitude of people).

The Top 200 Madness Collectables chart will be published at the end of next year, all nominations to be received please by 1st December.

Very best wishes for 2015.

Chris CP




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 557 – Sunday 3rd January – Saturday 9th January 2010

We got things underway with Government related news as we reported that Suggs was to star in a new television advert for the UK Government web site direct.gov. Our favourite frontman appeared at regular intervals throughout the commercial, busking and playing a variety of instruments. All this was backed by Madness’ version of It Must be Love.

If you were one of the many who received money for Christmas but didn’t know what to spend it on, help was at hand. Thanks to the lovely people over at Retro Madness this week’s special offer was the 12” of the second and last single to be released by Chris and Lee’s band The Nutty Boys / Crunch – “Magic Carpet” from 1996. The 12” was brand new and in mind condition. Not only that but it included a 7 page press. All this could be yours for a mere £4.99. With the postage weighing in at £3.00 included in the price, you were essentially getting this for £1.99!

The main “meat” of this week’s issue came courtesy of the one and only Paul Rodgers. Paul began by wishing MIS readers a happy new year before diving in to a chart related lookback at 2009.

Commenting in his article, Paul said at the time “At the time of writing Madness have spent 62 weeks on the top 200 in 2009, with 11 of them in the top 40, and 37 of them in the top 100”. Impressive stuff!

We brought this week’s issue to a close by reporting on Virgin Media’s competition that telecommunications giant was currently running. Entitled “Best Comeback of 2009”, Madness were one of the groups/individuals in the running. Despite the dact that Madness hadn’t been away (at least not that decade) we pointed you towards the full list of nominees and voting links.

10 years ago…

Issue number 295 – Sunday 2nd January to Saturday 8th January 2005

Following on from last week’s news that the band had put the unreleased `Perfect Place` on their site for download, we now had news of further rarities that had been made available online.

In an effort to ensure that Madness fans could get access to long lost tracks and bootleggers weren’t able to make money from something that wasn’t theirs, Madness Trading Ring subscriber Kevin Tizzard had made a number of old and unreleased recordings available for download (for a limited time) from his web site.

Elsewhere in this short new year’s edition of the MIS we featured an article looking at the vintage style gig posters being used by North London band M.O.T.

Band drummer, Dan Fossard told us at the time;

“I do um meself, each ones a task now days..the first one was an altered bus pass with the destination of the gig and that..the second was delboy’s van with jag on the side with peckham and paris and that…the third was a photo of us and the mini…and now its this comic strip-esque thing…any ideas for the next one? its hard to keep up with ‘um.”

We finished off this issue with news that Simon Roberts had taken over the reigns of the MIS web site, and we busy working on a site revamp. Unfortunately Simon had recently suffered a hard disk crash and was currently in the process of attempting to recover any data he could.

15 years ago…

Issue number 33 – Sunday 2nd January to Saturday 8th January 2000

As the majority of us came to expect, the world didn’t come to a grinding halt as the last hours and minutes of 1999 trickled slowly away. Instead, most of us woke up rather late on New Years Day with sore heads and dodgy stomachs.

The internet was still there, and yes, MIS Online was still clunking away, too.

With everyone out seeing in a new decade and millennium it came as little surprise to many that news had almost dried up, resulting in a lean edition of the weekly MIS.

Still, one person who was still firmly rooted in front of their keyboard was Total Madness Mailing List subscriber, Yannick Pollet who had this to report:

“This is official news for the Belgian Madness fans. Madness is playing in Belgium the first weekend of August on Marktrock in Leuven.

What about that for millennium news”.

As this moment in time we were unable to substantiate any of the above information, but we promised that as soon as we heard anything further we’d let you know.

Moving on, and it was time for the die-hard collectors to think about shelling out yet more money for their hobby. Recorded at the DM store on the 30th of September 1999, and yours for a hefty £15 plus £2.50 postage and packing, was a fully edited fan video of the day’s events.

The video also included Abbamania and Madness on Jools Holland. The tape came in a fully photographic quality box featuring pictures from the day, designed in the familiar Madness style.

Elsewhere in this issue we featured a transcription of the ‘Madness Record Library’ section of the latest edition of fanzine, Nut Inc.

This issue (14) covered the history of Cardiac Arrest and it’s b-side In The City. The article reminded us that this was the first single since the band’s debut that failed to reach the top 10.

Next-up was a transcript of an interview with Suggs and Mike from a late 1999 appearance on BBC music show ‘Later With Jools Holland’.

This interview covered chatter of the recently released ‘Wonderful’ album, the style of Mike Barson’s piano playing, and a brief overview of how the band got together in the first place.

We finished off this issue with two articles – the first from Vince Carden who looked into the influence of Madness on American bands and Madness’ view on the Stateside Ska scene. The second came from Vince Foley, who was kind enough to give us a brief lowdown of the goings on in the past 12 months in the world of Madness.

Rob Hazelby




Specialized 3 – Mad Not Cancer is in the running for Ska/Reggae Album Of The Year in the Reggae Steady Ska website’s annual vote, and any MIS readers votes would be much appreciated, and help raise the profile of Specialized into the bargain.

Link to vote here: http://reggae-steady-ska.com/vote-album-year-2014/

Voting ends this coming Wednesday.


Graham Yates




That’s just about it for this week’s rather slim edition of the MIS Online newsletter.

As always, we’re on the lookout for any/all Madness news you stumble upon, so if you find something of interest and relevance please sent it in and we’ll make sure it’s included.

Until next week’s issue, have a good week.

All the very best,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With thanks to Graham Yates and Chris Carter-Pegg)


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