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MIS 1,025 – Sunday 30th Dec. to Saturday 5th Jan. 2018/2019

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Hello, Good Evening and Welcome

A very warm welcome to this final 2018 issue of the MIS Online Newsletter. The next time an MIS lands in your mailbox we’ll be into 2019 and looking forward to what the 40th anniversary year of Madness holds for them and us.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you can’t have failed to have spotted that BBC1 will be seeing out 2018 and in to the new year with live performances from our favourite band.

Madness’ performance at Central Hall, Westminster kicks off at 11:35pm on BBC1. There will be a slight break as the nation sees in the new year, and then the band will be back on stage until just before 1:00am.

If you’re going to be watching the performance from home then keep an eye out for various members of the Madness fanbase in the audience. If you’re going to be at the event then don’t forget to give us a wave!

For those of you based outside the UK, we’re not quite sure how you’ll be able to watch this performance live, but we have no doubt that it’ll appear online not too long afterwards.

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.


Further information at http://www.madness.co.uk/live/

Monday 31st Central Hall, Westminster
Ring in the new year with your favourite band. This will be shown live on BBC television. Limited tickets here: http://www.madness.co.uk/2018/11/30/madness-new-years-eve/

40 Years of Madness – 2019


17th – May – Aintree Racecourse

18th – May –  Uttoxeter Staffordshire

25th – May – Ffos racecourse – Trimsaran Kidwelly

24 – 26th  – May – Tunes in the Dunes, Peranporth Beach, Cornwall. (Madness appear on the Sunday.)


7th – June – Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

8th – June – Chepstow racecourse

9th – June – Carlisle, Bits Park

21st – June – new market racecourse

22nd – June – Lingfield Park

28th – June Franklin Gardens Northampton

29th -June – Newcastle racecourse plate day


4th – 6th – July Vida Festival, Barcelona Spain

24th – July – Sanddown Racecourse

20th – July – Doncaster Racecourse


17th – August – Newbury Racecourse

20th – August – Belfast Custom Square

23rd – August – Inverness

30th –  August Wolverhampton


Friday 29th November – Monday 2nd December – House of Fun Weekender 2019



Buy It

Madness FC T-Shirt (and free badges, while stocks last) 


“Hi, we’re Bands F.C.

The idea is a simple one, that came to us one evening back in July.

Bands as Football Teams, Football Teams as Bands.

We now have over 400 badges, working with friends and guest designers, setting up an exhibition at The National Football Museum in Manchester https://bandsfc.com/

Bands FC have given a large number of badges to the band to give away on the Sound of Madness tour. So, if you’re buying something before or after one of the gigs don’t forget to pick up your free badge.


New Arrivals at The Madstore 

If you missed the House Of Fun or you need another fix get your hands on the event range NOW at The MAD STORE with 20% OFF whilst stocks last!


2018 Christmas Sweaters, track jackets, polos, fez hats, tea towels, badge sets, dekker hats, beanie hats the list goes on….!

Stop by and take a look!



Lee Thompson’s One Man’s Madness DVD & CD Soundtrack 


Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson is a most unlikely character. Early career choices had him spend a year in Borstal. He still hasn’t found the receipt for his first saxophone. Luckily, he met two other unlikely characters: Mike ‘Barso’ Barson and ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman, who shared his interests of graffiti, train hopping and music.

One Man’s Madness, a feature length rocku-docu-mockumentary directed by Jeff Baynes, tells the story of Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson, told by Lee and his fellow Madness band mates, his family, friends and musicologists, who strangely all look a little like him! From meeting Barso and Chrissy Boy, and later Suggs, Chas, Woody and Bedders, to becoming one of Britain’s most iconic and successful bands, this joyous and light-hearted film follows the path of Lee’s life through his lyrics and songs, including such Madness classics as The Prince, Embarrassment, House Of Fun, Lovestruck and NW5.


Two CD set. Original soundtrack to the 2018 documentary about Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson. Includes tracks from Madness, Crunch, ‘Thommosina Leigh’, Ian Dury, and the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra. Including Hidden Tracks.


The Silencerz – Better Days CD


Danceable and delightful, this debut album of the band’s much loved original songs pushes on through, breaking the mould of standard ska cover band. Catchy tunes and powerful brass and rhythm section make this a must-listen. Featuring Lee Thompson.



I Remember Way Back When

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: 764 – Sunday 29th December to Saturday 4th January 2013/2014

As was tradition at MIS Towers at this time of the year, this week’s issue featured the first part of our annual look back on the last 12 months. Naturally, we couldn’t include everything that took place in the world of Madness during the past year, but we hoped the article helped to bring back a few memories from what was an extremely eventful year.

On a more exciting note, from this issue Paul “Willo” Williams joined the MIS fold. Paul would be part of the MIS team for the year ahead, reporting regularly on The Specialized Project, the “Mad Not Cancer” album. He also promised to keep us updated on subsequent related events plus The Big One and the House of Fun Weekender, all for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity.

We were really excited to have Paul come aboard for the year ahead, and hoped that you’d enjoy his forthcoming articles, this first of which appeared in this very issue.

Over on Twitter we reported on Suggs’ comments following Bedders return to the band line-up;

“Our bass player has just come back – we didn’t even realise for six months. He just appeared one night out of the blue, no questions asked.”

Suggs also took time to comment on the possibility of a new album by stating;

“We are thinking about it and I think we will. Everyone is talking about doing a new record so hopefully some time in 2014 it will happen. And I’d like to carry on making good albums or even great albums.”

We brought this issue to a close with a lengthy article from our most recent member of the editorial team, Paul Willo, who gave us an in-depth overview of the forthcoming Specialized 3 – Mad Not Cancer. This was your chance to get hold of some great music and at the same time donate much needed money to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

10 years ago…

Issue 504 – Sunday 28th December 2008 to Saturday 3rd January 2009

We began this final issue of 2008 with a brief message from Suggs who was quoted in the Manchester Evening News as saying;

“I’d love a garden shed. I’ve got pretty much everything I could ever want, but I’ve never had a garden shed.”

We never did find out if his wish came true or not.

Now, those of you who’d forked out for Madstock 5 tickets only to find that the web page and ticket link had been removed had no need to panic, as this snippet from the most recent Madblog posting indicated:

“You may have heard, Madstock is back and now fully confirmed for the 17th July at Victoria Park in London! Ticket details and all of the news as it breaks will follow soon.

For a short time tickets were actually made available to purchase by one of the ticket websites.

Clearly, someone at the website must have got a little over excited and accidentally     pressed the ‘Put On Sale’ Button by mistake!

We can assure you, if you’ve bought a ticket, your purchase will stand! For everyone else, tickets will officially be made available soon”.

So, the message was clear – if you’d already bought your tickets you could sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge you’d secured your place at next year’s Madstock. The rest of us meanwhile, would have to wait until tickets came back on sale.

Continuing on the subject of Madstock 5, and with the concert poster declaring ‘special’ guests, many were under the assumption that The Specials would be appear in the line up. It was Paul Willo of thespecials.com who was able to shine some light on the rumour. After speaking to The Specials’ management he was informed that The Specials had not been booked.

We reported on something for the Madness die-hard/anorak next, as Mister B revealed that he’d created some unofficial artwork for those of us who had downloaded the Liberty of Norton Folgate tracks prior to us receiving the physical versions in the new year. What a nice chap.

With the ‘Liberty of Norton Folgate’ album now on sale, MIS co-editor Lee Buckley had painstakingly transcribed the full lyrics to album tracks ‘That Close’ and ‘Rainbows’, and these were both featured in this issue.

Next, and while many of us were happy to stump-up £40 to cover the cost of the Norton Folgate limited edition box set, it wasn’t too surprising that many were asking if it was worth the asking price. It was over to Paul Rodgers, who hoped to convince those who were unsure as to just what the purpose of this release was.

Here’s what Paul had to say;

“I think the idea here is for Madness fans to fund a few little bits of recording and marketing costs for the album. As far as I know the band have financed this project themselves, including the production of film clips and the stage show at Hackney. Funds are probably running a little low. I’d imagine they’d expect no more than 5000 people to buy this box set, but if they sell that many they can recoup £200k for cashflow, which they can then use to manufacture as many box sets as have been pre-ordered in February and in the meantime we get a 12 track download of their first decent new album is 9 years. As far as I can see everyone wins.

Are the 12 tracks worth £40? No. Does it feel good to think that I’ve contributed £40 towards Madness being able to fund new material? Yes. Would I do it again given the chance in 2 years? Like a shot.

No-one is forcing us to buy the box set version, but it is good value for collectors. It will also stop a few people making a killing selling promos on eBay.”

We brought this issue to a close with part one of our lookback at 2008, and revealed that the Ian Dury stage show, The Life and Rhymes of Ian Dury would be staged from the 6th of January to the 15th of February at the Leicester Square Theatre.

15 years ago…

Issue 242 – Sunday 28th December 2003 to Saturday 3rd January 2004

The first post-Christmas issue of the MIS is always a short one, and this one was no exception.  Lets face it, we’ve all have far more important things to be doing than browsing the net and staring at our computer screens.

Starting off this issue was subscriber Andy Clayden, who took the time to review the recently released Madness singles box set, and his opinion was that it was far from the essential collector’s item we were all hoping for.

Unfortunately incorrect versions of numerous tracks were used on this compilation, meaning that this was an incredibly flawed collection of Madness singles.

Here’s just some of what Andy had to say;

“Given that this is intended as a CD replica of the original singles, the errors listed are unforgivable in my book. This is the umpteenth Madness compilation featuring the singles tracks, so by now you would expect Virgin to get it right with the mixes.

I’m sorry to be so down on this, but as much as I want to like it, I’m ultimately disappointed. For that I don’t blame the band, (although Bedders really should have used a picture from the correct era on the box art), as I’m unaware how much input they had into the actual product.

I was rather hoping that my original misgivings against the re-issue of these songs yet again would be dispelled when I finally got my grubby paws on it, but the bottom line is, it feels slightly shoddy”.

“Calling all web site designers” was the message that went out this issue, when it was revealed that Madness tribute outfit One Step Behind were looking for someone to revamp their web site. The band were after someone to either give the pages a one off revamp, or take up the challenge of giving the site a new lick of paint, and staying on board to keep the pages updated.

Moving on, and was it an April fools joke or someone getting the wrong end of the stick? We’re not quite sure, but the news that reached us announcing that Suggs would soon have a permanent role in BBC TV series Eastenders didn’t sound very likely.

Subscriber Sarah Beamish reported that Mr. McPherson would have a one off part in the Christmas Eve edition, but that was as far as concrete information could take us.

Thankfully we’d discover that these rumours would remain just that!

Rob Hazelby



MIS Feature

You Can’t Touch… Christmas Videos

Here, as promised are Lee Thompson’s Christmas Presents to all our readers. These were originally uploaded on Boxing Day, but it’s possible you missed them during the seasonal festivities.

In January 2017, the band uploaded a short edited video of themselves rehearsing, arranging, performing and recording the title track for their last album “Can’t Touch Us Now.” In all, this footage ran for approximately 5 minutes.

Here, in the 6 videos below are another 15 minutes worth of raw footage shot on this day in Toe Rag Studios, with Liam Watson and Clive Langer.









With thanks to Lee Thompson



Sign of the Times

Classical Madness 

Cathedral school-choir perform excerpt of Our House as a quiz-question on Top 2000 a Go Go.


Our thanks go to Jermaine Rogier for the above.




We’d like to bring this issue if the MIS to a close by wishing a happy new year to all our readers.

Here’s Chrissy Boy’s New Years showtime tune of choice, to wish you all… a very happy new year.


And with that, we’ll see you in 2019; the year of Madness XL!

Have a very happy new year!

Jon Young, Rob Hazelby, Simon Roberts, Paul Williams

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