Home»Newsletter Archive»MIS Bulletins 2000»[MIS] NEWS AND INFORMATION – SUN 5TH MAR – SAT 11TH MAR ’00


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1 - THE EDITOR WRITES - Latest news and information in brief.

2 - SIMON MULVANEY REVIEWS DFF - The TMML subscriber lets us all know
    what he thinks of Madness' latest gem.

3 - IT'S THE MADDEST SITE ON EARTH!!! - Those of you who have been
    online for a few years will no doubt be familiar with the
    excellent Madstock Online which was designed and maintained
    by none other than Adrian Burns...

4 - LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND - One day in May 1979, the very same
    day Margaret Thatcher was elected British Prime Minister, a big
    band from North London called Madness made their stage debut.

5 - `FIRST STEP BEYOND` SUBSCRIBER REVIEW - Following my request in
     last week's edition of the bulletin. MIS Online subscriber,
     Mikel Echeberria Munagorri has kindly put together a short
     review of the excellent rarities CD `First Step Beyond`...

6 - DFF RIP - Vince Foley is on his soapbox once more with his views
    regarding the DFF chart placing.

7 - OFF TO BED, STRAIGHT TO SLEEP - Thanks and closing words.


Last week saw the release of the third single from the `Wonderful`
album, `Drip Fed Fred` finally hit the shelves of music stores up
and down the UK.

As with the last two single releases (`Lovestruck` and `Johnny The
Horse`) many fans have noted that Woolworths are once again refusing
or overlooking the new single.

Those of you who persisted found that many of the other UK music
stockists (Virgin, HMV, Our Price) had more than enough copies of
the new release. The only problem was trying to work out if it was
a 1 or 2 part release as both single sleeves were VERY similar

One thing that has been mentioned more than once is the lack of
video footage on the single. The red-spined CD is numbered as
VSCDX 1768. The `X` usually denoting some kind of `extra`. Many
fans were looking forward to the `Drip Fed Fred` video which a
number of online Maddies had the pleasure of appearing in. Still,
even with this little omission, the two CD's (and cassette, if
you're a real collector!) certainly are more than worthy additions
to the old Madness collection.

The two singles have been receiving some great reviews on the
internet newsgroups and mailing lists. Hopefully this enthusiasm
will be passed on to the general public and give Fred the chart
position we all know he deserves.

As mentioned above, there are no enhanced features on either of
the DFF singles. Well, thanks to modern technology and
Vince Foley nosing around, you can now get the opportunity to
have a look at what may have appeared on the CD. Check out these
URLs for Thompsons Camcorder exploits at Xmas at Cardiff:



Remember the `Vote for Fred` banners we were all handed at the
start of each gig over the Christmas tour? Those of you who
actually remembered to fill in the pre-paid slip at the bottom
should keep an eye on the letterbox as something may be falling
through it in the next couple of days. Here's Simon Mulvaney;

     "No one has mentioned this but I got a nice
      little "VOTE FOR FRED" postcard, which is
      now on my pin board, that says: "MADNESS
      FRED CAMPAIGN" on the front and plugs the
      single it's self on the back. So if you
      filled out the form at the bottom of the
      banners from the gigs should have got one
      or it'll be on it's way.

      So at least Virgin are letting the fans
      know about the new single".

Will the lads be appearing on Top of The Pops once more? Total
Madness Mailing List subscriber, Cheryl Hagger has been in touch
with the music show via E-mail and was politely informed that;

     "Madness may well be on the show depending on
      how they chart".

Well, news just in as that the TOTP appearance my not happen as
`Drip Fed Fred` has unfortunately entered the UK music charts at a
saddening number 55.

Calling all Madness and Ska fans. You may be interested to know that
the right honourable George Marshall has been in touch and has asked
me to pass on the exciting news that his excellent music paper,
`Pulped` has entered the 21st Century and is now online. Just point
your browsers along to: www.pulped.com

George also tells me that he is currently working on a new book
tracing the history of ska from Jamaica in the sixties to its
worldwide position today.

Elsewhere, and Carl Humphreys reports that on Sunday 28th Feb, Suggs
appeared on UK Radio as a guest of Johnnie walker.  Here's Carl
with the details;

     "He was talking about Madness a little bit, but
      more about himself. He did, however, add the
      following bits of info....

      This was to be the last track released off of
      the Album (probably)

      The original intention was for them to be back
      for about a year after the Lovestruck release

      They will (probably) put some stuff together
      later in the year, to see if there is a) any
      interest and b) anything any good.

      In the future Suggs would like to present a
      TV show, (probably) called `The Three Pyramids
      Club`, based around a smokey club, where he
      could talk to people he likes, and get bands
      he likes to play.

      He was Very non-committal about it all!"

Thanks go to Carl for the info.

It looks as thought the old Suggster has been keeping himself really
busy recently. Suzanne Gilmour reports that;

     "I have suspicions that Suggs has been
      doing voice-overs for MFI homeworks
      adverts on the radio!  I'm sure it's

Thanks for that one. I'm sure one or two anoraks will be recording
those and putting them under some form of in-depth analysis to
determine if it really is the man himself.

Time to get those video tapes at the ready as once again the lads
have yet another television appearance on the cards. TMML subscriber
Colin Galbraith reports that;

     "Madness are to appear live on next weeks
      Pepsi Chart Show singing DFF. I *think*
      the show goes out on a Thursday though I
      may be mistaken. Whenever it is, set yer

You may recall the Madness Rally which took place in and around
Camden a few weeks back. Well, Colin Galbraith has finally got
round to typing up a review and scanning in the photos taken on
that eventful day. Point your browsers to:

Last Friday night (3rd March) saw a brief appearance of the old
Suggster on Ian Wright's awful chat show `Friday Night's All Wright`.
Ian is absolutely terrible as a television presenter and it was only
Suggs who managed to keep things moving along. The questions posed
to Suggs were all very dated (how did you join the band etc) and
there was no mention of the new album or the `Drip Fed Fred` single.
I must say that Suggs looked fantastic - better than I have seen him
look in a long while. If you missed the show, don't worry, it wasn't
what you'd call `essential viewing`.

And finally, Adele Hargreaves reports that Madness Manager, Peter
Rudge is currently in the US setting up Madness gigs for the
Stateside later in the year as well as a US release of the new album.
I'm sure that will cheer-up the American subscribers.

Adele also reports that the prospect of Madstock 5 is `gleaming`, so
that's us European Mads sorted too. There's still more. Adele tells
us that the lads are doing a gig in Spain later this year though the
actual date is still to be confirmed. Madness also had a pencilled
in date on the National Lottery show, but as Woody is currently on
holiday, this has had to be cancelled. No need to panic though, as
they may be playing on the show towards the end of the month
(possibly the 25th). Thanks to Adele and Vince Foley for the above.

And with that, lets get straight on with this weeks bulletin.


Robert Hazelby (MIS Online Editor)


"I would like to offer my review of the "Drip Fed Fred" singles"
announces TMML subscriber, Simon Mulvaney. As Madness fans, we're
not the type of people to stand in someone's way. Also, it's nice
to hear what someone else thought of a Madness release. So, without
further ado I pass you over to Simon.

Take it away...

CD 1:
"Drip Fed Fred"
Nuff said really!

A brilliant song with some of the best music I've heard in a long
time. It should have been an AA-side instead of simply a B-side.
This song reeks of class. Brilliant.

"We Want Freddie"
This seems to be a demo of "Drip Fed Fred" and is equally as good
even  without "Uncle" Ian on vocals. Like it has been previous
stated it sounds a lot like a Crunch! song. And all the better for
it I say. I sounds a bit slower, scratchy, and has a few dodgy
effects in it, as well  as some different lyrics, but the best has
to be the "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo" parts. Great!

CD 2:
"Drip Fed Fred"
See above.

See above.

"Light Of The Way"
This sounds like a cross between the chorus from "Wings Of A Dove"
and something from Songs Of Praise. A great Carl song (aren't they
all?) but a bit short a 2:40. Very enjoyable.

So there you go all in all a good single release from Madness it's
just a  shame about the lack of B-side's.

I hope this isn't the last single from the boys. I've only ever had
they chance to buy 3 the day they came out. Oh well!

Until next time.

Mad Thanks,

Simon Mulvaney


Those of you who have been online for a few years will no doubt be
familiar with the excellent Madstock Online which was designed
and maintained by none other than Adrian Burns.

Well, after a break of a year or so, Adrian is back with a new site
and a new address: http://www.madsite.fsnet.co.uk/

Adrian's new baby, entitled `The Maddest Site on Earth`, picks up
from where `Madstock Online` left off and continues the trend of
sleek design and catchy visuals.

Starting on the main page, and you're greeted to a snapshot of the
lads taken last summer as part of their `Lovestruck` photo shoot
which was also used for the Christmas tour program cover. Once here,
you're in easy access of the whole site with just a simple click of
any one of the multicoloured links at the top of the page.

Select `Real Madness` and you'll be whisked away to Adrian's
streaming audio section. Although at the moment there are on tracks
to download, Adrian has put in links to the relevant sites hosting
the software you'll require so that once the service is up and
running, you'll be all set to click and listen.

Next up is `Madmusic`, which although may not be looked upon too
favourably by Virgin/EMI due to it's use of scanned-in sheet
music, for the Madness fan trying to track down the near-impossible
to find notes and lyrics, this is a must. Currently up for viewing
and download is the classic `Cardiac Arrest`.

Moving on and you stumble across the aptly named `Maddest Quiz on
Earth` where you get the chance to test your brain and prove to the
rest of the online Madness community just how knowledgable you are.

     "Each month will see a new and nutty set of
      questions for you to ponder and solve.

      Once you've finished pondering (and preferably
      solving too), simply complete and submit the
      questionnaire . Who knows, from time to time,
      there may even be the odd little prize or two
      up for grabs!

      The winner will be drawn at random by ERNIE
      from all of the correct entries received and
      his/her name will appear in the "I'll Compete
      Hall Of Fame" for all to see".

The closing date for the last quiz was the end of January, so
hopefully ERNIE will be displaying the results online before letting
us have a go at the next batch of questions.

After you've taxed your brain, it's time to move on to the `Photo
Mad` section, which at present is empty. Adrian is hoping to create
an online Madness picture archive and wants your help. If you have
any pictures you think Adrian should have online, get in touch with

If you've finished looking around Adrian's site and want to see what
other Madness sites are out in internet land, click on the `Links`
section for a selection of some of the most popular Madness websites
currently online.

And finally, if you like what Adrian's done, think something could be
altered, or want something added, fill in the `Back Chat` form and
zzap it off to Adrian.

Failing that, drop Adrian a swift E-mail at:
adrian.burns at madsite.fsnet.co.uk

If you've yet to visit `The Maddest Site on Earth`, what are you
waiting for. Switch on that modem, power up that monitor and get

Happy surfing,

Robert Hazelby


Taken from the `Jools Holland` Section of BBC Online;

One day in May 1979, the very same day Margaret Thatcher was elected
British Prime Minister, a big band from North London called Madness
made their stage debut.

Madness were born from Kentish Town ska outfit The Invaders (1976).
The band was made up of Mike Barson (keys), Lee Thompson
(sax/vocals), Chris Foreman (guitar) and Chas Smash (bass). In 1978
they were joined by lead vocalist Suggs, Smash moved over to horns
and b.v's, Mark Bedford took over the bass and Dan Woodgate played

They played ska, a form of high-speed reggae. This type of music had
already taken Jamaica and the UK by storm during the 60's - it was
looked on as witty and danceable but was never considered serious
music. However, Madness made it their own by creating a blend of Ska
and their distinctive "nutty" sound. They also had a social
conscience and sang about growing up in 70's Britain.

They released their first single, The Prince, in 1979 on the 2-Tone
label and began touring with labelmates The Specials and The
Selecter. Madness switched labels and released their debut LP, One
Step Beyond, on Stiff Records in 1979, and the single of the same
name became a Top 10 hit.

Early Madness gigs were marred by unwanted fascist audiences. Racist
National Front skinheads had always been into Ska, and Madness were
an all white band playing less overtly political music than The Beat
and The Selecter, which may have been the reason for this following.
This unwelcome attention prompted Madness to include an anti National
Front track on their 1980 EP Work Rest and Play.

During the early 1980's Madness was one of the UK's best selling
singles bands. They were good-humoured and exuberant, and their
success was boosted by the presence of lead vocalist Suggs. He was
known for his unique style of dancing and his funny and inventive
videos. But by 1982 the band was starting to feel the strain of such
success. Their music became more melancholic and world-weary and then
in 1983 fed up with the rock n' roll lifestyle Barson quit. This was
a big blow for Madness as Barson had been responsible for most of the
bands musical ideas and with his departure fans began losing interest.

After one more album the band called it a day, but the various
members worked on numerous projects individually and together. Lee
Thompson (Sax) and Chris Foreman (Guitar) formed The Nutty Boys,
Daniel "Woody" Woodgate became the drummer for Voice of the Beehive
and Suggs produced The Farm. Chas Smash moved into A+R for Go!
Discs, and bassist Mark Bedford started studying printing.

In 1990 however, popular demand made it difficult for the band to
resist reforming for the huge open-air Madstock gigs in London's
Finsbury Park. The huge success of the first pair of gigs led to
several more in successive years, and it seemed that a new album
was only a matter of time.

Fans were not disappointed and their new album "Wonderful"
(reuniting them with long-time producers Clive Langer and Alan
Winstanley) is released on November 1st.


Following my request in last week's edition of the bulletin. MIS
Online subscriber, Mikel Echeberria Munagorri has kindly put
together a short review of the excellent rarities CD, `First Step

So, without further ado, I'll pass you over...

I was one of the lucky ones who got the FSB. You never know what you
buy and you have to trust the reviews that appear in MIS Online, and
this time the results have been even better than what I already

The FSB CD is a gem. Not only are almost all the songs impossible to
find for a regular fan, but a couple of them are a MUST for anyone:
`Donald`, and especially `My Mum's Roses`. `Donald` is some kind of
demo or very basic song, recorded at home or something like that,
and a nice tune. Unfortunately it is very short. But `My Mum's Roses`
is a real song, 2 minutes 22 seconds of Madness, properly recorded,
with very good sound quality and sung by Carl. I still don't
understand why they never released this song, and why doesn't Virgin
or whoever is in charge of all the Madness catalogue, use this song
as an added bonus in all those releases that contain the same
material 1000 times with different covers (Divine, Utter, The Heavy
Heavy Hits...). This song is worth the £15 that I paid for the whole

The only annoying thing about the CD is that the songs are mixed, so
you can not hear the whole song because the end of each one is mixed
with the beginning of the following one, and if you want to find a
certain song, you must rewind or forward along the CD to listen to

The sleeve artwork is nice, and the CD itself is printed, so it
looks like a real CD. Regarding the speed of delivery, I would say
that it has been quite fast. I live in Spain and I got the CD rather
quickly compared with many other parcels that I receive by mail.

In general, this CD IS A MUST! Wouldn't any of us pay £15 for a
completely new Madness song? Well this CD not only has 2 new songs,
but also many strange and rare versions of previously never released

All the best,

Mikel (echeberria.m at ikusi.es)

For more information on First Step Beyond, please visit the FSB
website at: www.nijinski.com
or E-mail the producers at: dance at nijinski.com

[6] - DFF RIP

Following tonight's announced chart position of `Drip Fed Fred`, Sir
Vince Foley steps once more onto his soapbox...

Hey Now!

I am gutted here to see this crap position.

Yes I know the fact remains is that the song was brill and that's
what matters....yet when you deal with the Madness back catalogue
you deal with a legacy that most bands dream of.

I know charts do not reflect quality, especially these days, yet I
can't see why the masses out there could not get a chance to hear
this song.

I will not get into the age-old arguments about who's to blame only
to say that radio stations, Virgin, the management and the band
themselves really need to sit down and have a think for themselves.

After JTH I thought a few lessons would have been learned...surely
things could only get better and in the back of my mind I hoped it
would bring a new lease of life into the sales of Wonderful. That
along with the vocals of Ian Dury and the cause could only make
things get better...or so I thought.

Now another thing, the TMML contribution. I want to publicly say
`well done` to all involved up and down the country for their
effort. It really was a team effort and that can't be taken away.
You all know who you are and the memories of Glasgow, London, TFI
and the photoshoot will never be taken. Yet I feel it's sad the day
that the fans themselves have to go out and do the work that the
management and band themselves should be doing. Many people took
days off work and travelled 100s of miles to do the work that others
get paid too much to be doing.

So Madness single number 27...the lowest ever chart position. `The
Madness` did better than this. It's so sad. Unfortunately I feel that
the ghost train is finally grinding to a halt for it's last time.
What started out brilliantly last summer with a top 10 smash has gone
downhill since. I loved every minute of the new recording and place
`Lovestruck` in the 5 best singles ever and `Wonderful` in the best
3 albums ever, yet I had hoped that the record-buying public would
have agreed, or have realised that these records were actually now

What the band do from here is their business and I will support them
all the way, yet I put on DFF once again tonight and listen with a
tinge of regret at what might(and should) have been.

All the best

Vince Foley!


That's yer lot for this week. Hope you found something of interest.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed towards this week's edition
of the bulletin - you know who you are.

If you have anything you'd like to submit for a future edition of
the bulletin, please get in touch with me and we'll get it included.

And finally, if you've yet to get hold of your copy of `Drip Fed
Fred`, get your backside down your nearest music stockist first thing
in the morning and give the lads and Fred your support.

Until next week.

All the nutty best,

Robert Hazelby
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