Home»Latest Newsletters»Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 801 – Sunday 14th September to Saturday 20th September 2014

Madness Information Service Online Newsletter Issue Number: 801 – Sunday 14th September to Saturday 20th September 2014

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Bring back the, we want the, who is The.. Prince? Well, on this occasion he’s a little 80’s rock guitarist singer who wrote The Purple Rain album that sold 13 million copies in 1984.

Now, 30 years later, Suggs has collaborated on an album by Radio Riddler, (as mentioned in a recent issue in May) turning the song Let’s Go Crazy into a reggae version opening a set of covers of the entire album, called Purple Reggae, with various guest singers.

There is something so very neat about Suggs from Madness appearing on the “Crazy” titled opening track.  Even “Let’s go nuts” lyrics and and amusing references to “purple bananas”  yes missus! all sound more music hall when our favourite frontman takes them over.

The full version of the song is the closest we’ve heard to that Three Pyramids style sound Suggs since the 90’s, upbeat funk is Prince’s original style, but the boys from the fun loving criminals programming the track bring in over to dub reggae and slightly more ravey sounds. It makes for a great slice of pop, that Suggs vocals do justice to.  The album is now available to buy, see the link in our BUY IT section.

“Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down? Oh no let’s go.” … and on with the issue…

Jonathan 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.


November 2014

November 21st – 24th 2014 – Minehead – Earlybird tickets can be ordered here: http://www.bigweekends.com/splash-pages/madness2014.aspx

December 2014

All for the M.A.D.H.E.A.D Tour

Thursday 4th, Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Friday 5th, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Saturday 6th, Brighton Centre, Brighton, Matinee
Saturday 6th, Brighton Centre, Brighton * SOLD OUT *
Monday 8th, Plymouth Pavillions, Plymouth
Tuesday 9th, Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth Thursday 11th, First Direct Arena, Leeds
Friday 12th, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Saturday 13th, LG Arena, The NEC, Birmingham
Monday 15th, Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Tuesday 16th, The O2 Dublin, Dublin
Thursday 18th, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Friday 19th, Phones 4u Arena, Manchester
Saturday 20th, The O2 Arena, London

Links to purchase tickets for the above tour can be found at: http://madness.seetickets.com/tour/madness/?pre=premad&src=madnesspre

For tickets also see links via: www.madness.co.uk


Cathal Smyth

October 2014

A Comfortable Man. October 8th and 9th. Wilton’s Music hall.


The Magic Brothers

November 1st. Blakes @ The Custard House – Birmingham
Magic Brother Friday Headline set:
November 14th.  The Big One 3.  Park Dean, Sandford Dorset.


The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra 

October 2014

October 2nd, The Jazz Café, Camden Town

More festival dates to follow.

Ska Orchestra web site: www.ltso.mis-online.net


The Silencerz (Featuring Lee Thompson) 

November 2014

November 8th – Hertford Corn Exchange. 39 Fore St. Herts. SG14 1AL With support. The Skammers.

November 16th – Confirmed in the Sunday Lineup of bands at Specialized The Big One 3. In Dorset.

Lee will be doing a photo signing session too.


Near Jazz Experience

September 21st – Support slot before Dave Formula and The Finks, Brighton, Prince Albert


Deaf School


Thursday 20 – Borderline, London
Friday 21 – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
Saturday 22 – Academy, Manchester
Sunday 23 – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton




If money’s currently burning a hole in your pocket then perhaps we can help with your dilemma.

Madness – One Step Beyond 35th Anniversary edition CD.

You can now order the new edition of One Step Beyond 35th Anniversary, from Salvo Sound & Vision:


This Anniversary edition has been digitally remastered from the original 1⁄4 inch tapes by Tim Turan, and comes with recently unearthed rehearsal recordings from 1979, including two songs that have never appeared anywhere before. “Lost my head” and “Sunshine Voice”. It’s also very interesting to see Absolutely album track “You Said” on the rehearsal tape and Grey Day B-side “Memories” as well as hearing versions of tracks that made the album some 5 months before the debut LP was recorded.

Hear previews of these tracks, help yourself to a free download and you can even re-name the album, creating pictures you can share with people. Visit the mini site to do all this.


There is a DVD of videos and Top of the Pops/Old Grey Whistle Test appearances, that includes the Young Guns documentary, and a 24 page booklet that speaks to Clive, Alan and Chris about the album.


One Step Beyond 35th Merchandise and T-shirts.

You can celebrate the album’s return also with new T-shirts and a mug themed on one step beyond.  At the storeThere is an anniversary mug too.



The M.A.D.H.E.A.D Tour T-shirt – Get it now.

What does any self respecting Madhead wear? The only true fan clothing of choice right now is surely the brand new Madhead T-shirt. Available now at least five months ahead of the tour, this T-shirt is so NOW!  You can look stylish in it in a range of sizes, you can promote this summer, the forthcoming tour and help your heroes and of course in this day and age by buying the bands official clothing you are putting your money into the future new album project pot etc of the band who exist these days on their own self produced record label.

Available here… Via See Tickets and Madness.co.uk


Cathal Smyth – A Comfortable Man – Limited Vinyl

Numbered 1 to 1000, this is a limited edition vinyl of “A Comfortable Man”, with a download code for the mp3 album. Available end of September from Cathal’s website.  The album will also be available from Amazon and iTunes soon.

Nick Woodgate –  Morning  (Tracklisting revealed)

Pre-order Nick Woodgate’s solo album on iTunes from September 22nd.

Tracklisting: Morning / Magic Carpets in the Sky /
/ You Can Get It /
I Can Hear The Music /
Call Me…
/ Bus
/ Let’s Spend Lots of Money /
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service /
Summer Nights
/ The Magic Dawn /
Show Me
/ Magic Brothers /

SPECIALIZED: Mad Not Cancer. 4CD covers album for Teenage Cancer Trust

Over 70 tracks. 4 CDs.  Cover versions of Madness by not just Ska bands but lots of young up and coming acts of many genres including a few famous pop stars and Bedders on one track, too. All for Teenage Cancer.

http://www.specialized-project.co.uk/#!shop/c1atu (remove hyphen from URL)

Purple Reggae – Radio Riddler 

Celebrating 30 years of Purple Rain, Radio Riddler present Purple Reggae – an all-star tribute to Prince’s most iconic work “Prince is the reason I started playing music. I grew up on this album. It’s the soundtrack to my life’ and this is a tribute to him from me.” Frank Benbini of Radio Riddler and Fun Lovin’ Criminals. Featuring Suggs on opening track, Let’s Go Crazy.





Interview With a Comfortable Man – Cathal Smyth


What inspired you to write this full solo album? 

It began when I separated from my wife after 28 years. It was a seismic event and the songs began then as a cathartic process. Over the years I have added to them as I have found my voice

What can we expect from your upcoming solo gigs? 

A  window in to my life, my heart and my mind. I like to think its thought provoking and in a way a healing.

Madness are touring again in December too, so which do you prefer?

Madness is and always will be more that the sum of its parts, its a most amazing collective of characters, of friends, of creative’s, it’s one of my main passions and has been since i was a teenager. A constant in my life and an evolving reality that continues to stimulate, frustrate, exhilarate and amaze. There is no comparing my solo work and being in Madness. One is not the other. I am Cathal Smyth in December I will again be Chas Smash.

Tell us about your work with The Hepatitis C Trust (of which the solo gigs support).

I had attended a couple of Hep C events in Ibiza and this year got more involved and the more that I found out the more Ii felt that the charity was something of an underdog. Madness their bit for charity and we have done a fair bit for the Teenage Cancer Trust yet I felt that The Hep C Trust could do with more awareness in our society and I could in some small way concentrate my efforts and be of some assistance.

“Take It Or Leave It” seems like a real warts and all film. I think it’s reasonable to say Mike Barson comes across as a little bit “difficult”. Was he like that all of the time?

I think Mike is misunderstood in the film, it was his single-minded determination that not only started the band but drove it through many rehearsals until we became what we now are. He is I think the most talented musician in the band.




Various posts from Facebook and Twitter that have caught our eye over the past week or so.

Magic Brothers @magicbrothers3                      

“It also takes as long to get to the US as it does to cross it”

“Tomorrow’s exciting episode of ‘Decorating Hell’ sugar soaping the banisters & skirting up the 1st flight of stairs”


Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra Official (Facebook)

It’s less than a month till we once again play the excellent The Jazz Cafemake sure you don’t miss out by getting your ticket nowhttp://www.seetickets.com/event/lee-thompson-s-ska-orchestra-madness-/jazz-cafe/786725




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 541 – Sunday 13th September – Saturday 19th September 2009

At the time this issue went out it’d been thirty years since Madness first charted, and it seemed that if current concert ticket sales were anything to go by, they were as popular now as they’d ever been.

What were we on about? Well, it was currently mid-September. We were months away from the forthcoming Christmas tour, yet already gigs were starting to sell out.

Already, Newcastle, Southend and Glasgow had exhausted their ticket allocations, and it surely couldn’t be long before others followed in their footsteps.

Our advice to you was that you’d not yet bought your tickets to one of the forthcoming Christmas gigs, and want to see the band (providing the gig you wanted to attend wasn’t for the above locations!), you needed to get your skates on.

On to our articles, and we got things moving by reporting on the Independent’s review of Madness taking to the stage at Ireland’s Electric Picnic on Saturday 5th September.

“Madness continued the good vibrations, with a set that leaned heavily on their latest, well-regarded album, ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate’. But Suggs and friends were only too happy to delve into their rich past, too, and the hits came thick and fast with ‘Baggy Trousers’, an exceptional ‘House of Fun’ and ‘My Girl’.

Best of the lot was a gorgeous rendition of ‘It Must Be Love’ – probably the most life-affirming moment of the entire festival.”

Over to Paul Rodgers, and unfortunately there wasn’t any chart news this week, instead Paul’s article contained a number of recommendations and the passing on of one or two requests.

We had some Deaf School news next, courtesy of one Duff Kelly, who was kind enough to give a full lowdown of the recent Highbury gig and point us in the direction of a few YouTube clips taken during the set.

Following Duff’s review we went over to a press release from Salvo music, who were busy promoting their double-disc release of the One Step Beyond 30th anniversary album. Containing 33 tracks, 5 videos, all album tracks all b-sides, sessions from the time, contents of the flexi disc and live Dance Craze soundtrack songs, this was one for the collectors.

Next we took a look at the Shields Gazette, and their review of Madness at the recent Rock-en-Seine event in France. It was here that Oasis, following a fallout between the two Gallagher brothers, pulled out of the event they were meant to be headlining. Thankfully Madness were on hand to headline the gig even though they’d already performed there earlier in day.

Another newspaper article followed, this time from The Yorkshire Evening Post, who were reporting that Madness were due to play at The Leeds Academy on December 8th. The first time they’d performed in the town since the mid 1980s. The article was a lengthy one, and featured a one-to-one interview with Woody.

We brought this issue to a close with the news that we’d recently reported on a mis-report (get your head around that!) that Ska legend Prince Buster had suffered a stroke. We were pleased to update readers that Buster was OK and had not suffered a mishap.

10 years ago…

Issue 279 – Sunday 12th September to Saturday 18th September 2004

We kicked-off this issue with a warning to readers that as very little had gone on in the Madness community over the past week, this would be a rather lean edition of the MIS.

Still, we did our very best at digging out news, and whatever had been dug up by ourselves or passed our way by others was put in the issue.

News in from CNN (via Steve Bringe of the MTR) was that the much loved London Routemaster buses with their conductors, hop-on, hop-off platforms and pull-cord bells, were to be removed from the streets, condemned as expensive antiques.

Made famous by such videos are Cardiac Arrest, we commented that it would certainly be a shame to see the classic London icons removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Moving on, and we went straight over to a certain Christopher Foreman, who gave a firm “No” in fans’ questioning as to whether 2004 would see a Christmas tour or not.

Continuing on with Chrissy Boy, and we were all intrigued when Madness fan “Chuck” contacted the guitarist (via his cupboard) asking if Madness were booked to play a small club in downtown Orlando, Florida on the 17th of September. The local press were advertising Madness, and naturally this had got Chuck rather excited.

Unfortunately Chris was quick to reveal that the band wouldn’t be appearing, but was curious as to who exactly would be.

Elsewhere in this issue, and we reported on the fact that Jermaine of the legendary Tour Madness had recently set up a Dutch Madness and 2-tone site, and that it was now ready for you to visit.

We finished off this issue by pleading to our readers to send us in anything and everything Madness related for the next issue, as if things continued as they were it would mean another lean edition of the MIS for the following week.

15 years ago…

Issue 17 – Sunday 12th September to Saturday 18th September 1999

With the release of this issue we were pleased that the trend of little news over the past few weeks seemed to be finally coming to an end.

We were getting closer to the release of the next Madness single, and a new album, and things did seem to be picking up once more.

On to reviews, and news in from subscriber Elizabeth Raskin was that Uncut magazine were the first publication to review the forthcoming Madness album, and as she rightly pointed out, this must mean that promo copies of the forthcoming release must now be doing the rounds.

Continuing on the subject of the new album, and Bedders was kind enough to drop us a quick email to let us know that the artwork was now complete and that artwork for the forthcoming box set wasn’t too far behind either.

This was starting to look like expensive times for Madness fans across the globe!

Elsewhere in this issue a certain Vince Carden was kind enough to get hold of the Uncut review of the “Wonderful” album and type it up for the rest of us to read through. Scoring 3 out of 5 by author Gavin Martin, in closing he commented that;

“There was always going to be a bitter-sweet tinge to any Madness comeback worth having, “Wonderful” certainly doesn’t disappoint”

Moving on, and we took a look at the forthcoming tour dates for Madness tribute outfit, One Step Below, who already had dates booked right up until February 2000.

We finished off issue 17 with an absolutely massive transcript of a Madness article which originally appeared in NY Rocker magazine, back in Feb/March 1980. The typing efforts of one Stephie Figgis were why the rest of us were able to read this long-lost article, which would soon be archived on Alan Redpath’s “Don’t Quote me on That” web site.

Rob Hazelby




Hello , it’s Judge Fredd.

“A million burning questions”? Well, for InDeEd, my band, it was… a million “burning” versions….We tried a lot, playing many versions of “Burning the Boats” for  “Specialized 3-Mad Not Cancer”.

“Burning the Boats” means a lot to me. When the sixth album of Madness, Mad not Mad, was released, I had, for the first time, the full meaning of a Madness fan, buying series of badges, maxis, 7”,  mags…. Before, my parents stopped me a bit. And, I, always, (and still do) found that this LP was really underrated. Really good songs in it, but today, this mid-80’s sound seems to be a bit old.  Never mind.  Chrissy Boy, once, said it could be nice to re-record this album, with Mike (is it a joke or not?) Why not?

Well, let’s concentrate about our cover of Burning the Boats. The title and the lyrics were a bit strange to us, French. And when, thanks to Jonathan F Young and Graham Yates, we understood the meaning of the song more, we started to appreciate this track more;  Just for fun, for the pleasure to play Madness songs, we started to play Burning the Boats in 2011. Without any direction (I can see). Dan Fossard helped us to play it, sending us the chords.  The first version was piano / vocals at home, Emilie and I. We recorded it via a camera mic and re-arranged it a bit thanks to the Audacity soft. You can listen to it,  HERE :


We wanted it to be very simple, the opposite from the original, which was sophisticated. The last piano moments tried to evoke the morse code, linked with the “spy” atmosphere of the original song. Alex , our guitar player, listened to our version, liked it (he likes the album too)  and we started to rehearse it. But, as a trio, (Nico wasn’t here), what we did didn’t satisfy us. A lot of versions were tried and recorded: piano and bass, piano and guitar, bass and guitar, with second vocals, without piano, on different tempos, with babies playing in the room or not…  Well, anyway, we didn’t find the right feeling.

April 2013, Jonathan Young contacted us to play live in Butlins for the Madness Weekender !!!!! Really Cool… it speeded us and we decided to include “Burning the Boats” in our set, and then….we choose to come back to basics, not piano /vocals this time, but instead : electric guitar / vocals (in my head, “taller as I am”, Burning the Boats must be “BillyBraggzed”); and, suddenly , to us, it worked. The second official version was born. We played like this in Butlins.  The crowd of the Jaks Bar was a bit surprised, waiting for “the sun and the rain”. We first offered a very simple cover of “Burning the Boats”. Listen to it, THERE : https://soundcloud.com/indeed-3/burning-the-boats-live-butlins-2013

December 2013, the “Specialized 3-Mad Not Cancer” project started.  Jonathan talked us about it and we were keen to do it.  The version “n°4567” of Burning the Boats was born. Really close to our original sound. Different from the original, different from the last versions we did. The four-piece formula was found. But Alex sometimes, is a bit like Jerry Dammers…. So the production lasted very very (very, Jerry, very) long, like for “In the studio”, it seems.

At the end, our last version was sent to Paul Williams in April 2014 (3 years after the beginning). And, you can buy it here   :  SPECIALIZED :  https://www.specializedproject.co.uk/

Last month, when we played live for friends, we did a guitar/vocals “Burning the Boats “ version. I think our choice won’t never be a definitve one about this cover. But the thing which really matters is that we did it for the cause: the Teenage Cancer Trust !

There’s a million “Burning” Versions….





If u don’t like the world you’re living in

Take a look around u

At least u got friends


U see I called my old lady

4 a friendly word

She picked up the phone

Dropped it on the floor

(Sex, sex) is all I heard


Are we gonna let de-elevator

Bring us down

Oh, no Let’s Go!


Let’s go crazy

Let’s get nuts

Let’s look 4 the purple banana

‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!


We’re all excited

But we don’t know why

Maybe it’s cuz

We’re all gonna die


And when we do (When we do)

What’s it all 4 (What’s it all 4)

U better live now

Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door


Tell me, are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down

Oh, no let’s go!


Let’s go crazy

Let’s get nuts

Look 4 the purple banana

‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!


C’mon baby

Let’s get nuts




Let’s go crazy


Are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down

Oh, no let’s go!

Go crazy


I said let’s go crazy (Go crazy)

Let’s go, let’s go


Let’s go


Dr. Everything’ll be alright

Will make everything go wrong

Pills and thrills and dafodills will kill

Hang tough children


He’s coming

He’s coming



Take me away!




That’s almost it for this week, but before we go we’d like to point you in the direction of an amusing, but low quality recording of a phone interview with Suggs and AraCity Radio. This was conducted about a year ago, before the Luxembourg gig.

In it, Suggs claims he was never worried about anything except losing teeth on his first bicycle, and talks music with the wisdom of a fifty year old man.

“It’s very hard to make new old friends.” says Suggs with Wisdom. “There’s is always the optimism, that if any of us fall out, that we will be friends again.”    


“We are heading now towards planets yet uncharted, the main thing for me is that the enthusiasm of going forward is as equal to the nostalgia for what we have achieved.”

“Seven of us that have the enthusiasm that we had when we were starting out as school kids, people can come and see us and stand in awe”

And finally, Cathal Smyth will be talking to The Rider soon. Check out the podcast here when it’s uploaded; http://theriderpodcast.co.uk/podcasts/

Until next week, thanks for reading,

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

(With special thanks to Judge Fredd)

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