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1 - NOT A GOOD WEEK FOR COMPUTERS - Latest collection of news
    snippets and gossip for the week gone by and the week ahead.

2 - LIVE MADNESS - Wanted - reliable, personable British pop band
    with exemplary employment record. Experience of working in a
    high-pressure sales environment an advantage.

    followed by the rousing strains of `The Dam Busters`. This is
    what brings us onto the stage 5 nights a week, 12 months a
    year. Article by Chris Halford (Complete Madness)

4 - MADNESS `POP UP VIDEO` - "IT MUST BE LOVE" - Taken from `Pop up
    Video` and kindly typed up by Chris Byrne.

5 - ONE STEP BEHIND - For those of you who missed out on the recent
    `Maddest Show on Earth` Christmas tour, all is not lost. Not
    only are Complete Madness starting 2000 with a comprehensive
    and non-stop tour, but so are the excellent `One Step Behind`.

6 - MADNESS: JOHNNY THE HORSE... - Yet another double release CD for
    the second Madness single of the new era. `Johnny The Horse` was
    always my tip for a single since hearing it on a Radio 2
    documentary some months before the album appeared. Taken from
    issue 5 of `Mad Not Mad`, and kindly supplied By Ian Taylor

7 - COME ON YOU LOT, COME ON - Thank you's. What next week has in


We all seem to have scraped through into the year 2000 without much
(if any) disruption caused by the so-called `Millennium Bug`, but it
seems that we're still not completely safe from crashes to our
computer networks. This week, the TMML list server was playing up,
and for a day or so, nothing arrived on the list. As usual, Jenny
Payne managed to keep a large number of us informed with the
going's on via her own emergency e-mail list. How's that for service?
Elsewhere, my hard drive decided to wave a big goodbye, and so I've
spent the majority of my weekend, installing new hardware and
software - oh what fun!!

Anyway, onto the news....

I'm sure the news that Madness are to play in Belgium can't have
passed you by, and all those of you living in mainland Europe are
already making plans to get there in August. Well, unfortunately
if you do venture off to Belgium then, you won't be catching
Madness because they are not playing there. As soon as the news
went out, I mailed Bedders and asked him if there was any truth
behind these rumours to which he replied that there wasn't as
they had nothing booked.

Moving onto something a little jollier, and I've just been informed
by Suzanne Gilmour that on the Virgin Radio website, Madness were
voted `Band of the Year`. For more information, please take a look
at: www.virginradio.co.uk/music/home.htm. Many thanks to Suzanne for
the info!

Some single news now, and I've just had an e-mail from Bedders
informing me that if all goes to plan, the third single will be
(as the majority of us know), `Drip Fed Fred`. This will hopefully
see the light of day sometime in February.

All you Ian Dury fans out there may like to know that the big fella
himself will be appearing at a couple of venues (health permitting
of course) in February. Details are as follows:

Norwich UEA - 4th Feb - Support - TBA

The Palladium - 6th Feb - "New Boots and Panto" - Phil Jupitus will
be the MC for the evening with support from Kirsty MacColl.

You may also be interested that Ian is already 4 tracks into his
next album which is hopefully being released before the summer.
Thanks to Paul Wassell for the snippets. For up to the minute Ian
Dury info - visit: www.blockheads.co.uk

Right, we've got a packed issue to get through this week, so
without further ado, I'll leave you to rummage through the current
batch of articles.


All the best,

Robert Hazelby (MIS Online Editor)


Bournemouth International Centre, Friday December 17 1999

Wanted - reliable, personable British pop band with exemplary
employment record. Experience of working in a high-pressure sales
environment an advantage. Applicants must possess a good sense of
humour and command excellent communication and time-keeping skills.
Uniform provided (pork-pie hat, baggy trousers). Must be available
to work on New Years Eve. At about Midnight. CV's in writing please
to Minister For Fun ,The Old ELO Spaceship, Greenwich, London.

So why haven't they been asked ? As the last remaining seconds of
the century tick by and the eyes of the world gaze down upon the
Millennium Dome, what greater British personification of all things
happy and glorious could there possibly be than Madness? Picture the
scene as Suggs leads the nation in song ('One Step Beyond' would
seem appropriate) and all the peoples of the world link arms for one
great nutty Muvva Brown type knees up.

Along with the Red Arrows, Stonehenge, Trooping The Colour and the
FA Cup Final, a Madness gig should be experienced by every visitor
to these shores. Here tonight on the shores of Bournemouth, every
creed, colour, sister, brother, the fat and the thin, punk, mod and
skin are squashed cheek-by-jowl in an enormous pan-generational
bundle of joviality.

Truly, this is the closest we will ever get to feeling what it must
have been like on VE day. For as the lights dim and we hear the words
"Hey you! This is the heavy heavy monster sound", all manner of
people who have never been formally introduced suddenly fling their
arms around each other and party like the end of the world has just
been cancelled.

No matter that this is the lousiest possible rendition of 'One Step
Beyond' imaginable (sax-man Lee Thompson, possibly due to stiff lips,
sticky valve pads, a split reed or some other such technical matter,
totally fluffs the riff and puffs frustratingly through a meandering
solo). No one notices. All and sundry are bounding around with
tongues hanging out, like puppies let off the lead for the first

No matter that the sound is a bit muddy, with less treble than
Manchester United and more bottom than Luciano Pavarotti. We forgive
them. Sure, they entice us with jolly new songs (in the Kinks-go-ska
style of old) from the current 'Wonderful' album (the title is no
idle boast), and we respectfully pay attention to their freshly
conceived ditties about kissing lamp-posts and getting kicked by
East-End hardmen. Yet, this is still a Madstock-type greatest hits
selection ('Our House', 'My Girl', 'House Of Fun' etc) straight from
the pop confectionery tin marked Quality Street.

Madness. Twice as old. Half as nutty. Every bit as brilliant as they
ever were.

Kevin Maidment
Mon Dec 20 1999 11:42 GMT

Kindly typed up by Vince Foley.


HEY YOU, DON'T WATCH THAT, WATCH THIS! followed by the rousing
strains of `The Dam Busters`.

This is what brings us onto the stage 5 nights a week, 12 months a

We are `Complete Madness`, a Madness tribute band of some repute and
we have been touring the UK, Ireland and Europe for what seems to be
an eternity.

Now, love us or hate us, tribute bands are here to stay. Some people
take offence at unknown, low-lives, trying to make a fast buck on
the back of the success of their heroes. Some people think tribute
bands are a `weak` substitute for the real thing and don't deserve
any notoriety. But, most people live in the real world!!

One thing that we do not believe is that we are Madness.

Madness is Madness. I'm not going to waste time talking about how
good the whole Madness scene is. Better men than me have done it
countless times before.

What we do believe in is our ability to bring some of the Madness
magic into the lives of the general public.

We have seen Madness on many occasions, most recently on their tour
in December 1999, (Spot on!) and have been avid fans since their
arrival with `Prince` on Top of The Pops (Yes, We're older than you
think!). We worked as a `Club` band on the northern circuit on a
semi-pro basis (Semi-pro means you have a proper job as well)

For a few years playing the middle of the road pop music, which did
include a couple of Madness numbers. Our agent at the time suggested
that we would do well to concentrate on the Madness theme and go
into tribute shows.

After a change over period of music and change of name (Beat The
System didn't really say what we did!) `Complete Madness` was born.

Since then, we have enjoyed much success in our field.

We won the `Band of The Year` at the Cork Jazz Festival in 1998

At the Cork Jazz Festival of 1997 we were interviewed by and
assisted on stage with singing a couple of numbers by a Mr Vince
Foley (Don't give up the day job Vince!)

We tour extensively throughout the Universe bringing the sounds of
the nutty boys and ska to the masses.

This gruelling schedule has taken its toll though. In August 1999,
Wayne on drums suffered a stroke, which took him well out of the

Most people would have called it a day, but Wayne bravely fought
against the odds to make a come back with us in January2000. Good on
yer Wayne!

One of the biggest Kicks that we get from playing this stuff in
Clubs, Night Clubs, Holiday parks etc, is when younger people, who
have never heard of Madness are up dancing and enjoying the music,
and then ask us at the end of the evening `Where can we get
recordings of Madness?`

Radio 1 (Who?) may not be playing the nutty boys. Other Radio
stations play the odd track. TV adverts sometimes use the odd line,
but we, and other Madness tribute bands like us, are belting out
the `Nuttiest sounds around` 5 nights a week all over the place to
people who may not have been lucky enough to have seen Madness, or
people who used to listen to their songs, but had forgotten how good
they are, or kids that had never heard of them! So give us some
credit! Who else would put their career on the line to promote the
music they believe in, even if it is not their own!

Phew!! I was seriously on my soapbox then!!!

The set that we do is not entirely Madness, and there is a good
reason for that. About 75% of our show is dedicated to the Nutty
boys, but we also include Bad-Manners, Specials, The Jam and a few
Ska numbers of the same genre. We honestly believe that there is
only one band that can play Madness all night and that is Madness.

We have seen bands try to do this, and unless they are playing
solely to `Die-Hard` Madness fans, the general public can find this
a bit tedious. We go for the well-known hits from both past and
present and try to excite the whole cross-section of the audience.
This seems to be a winning formula, so far, as we now have built up
a following of fans that appreciate what we do.

I hope that this gives an insight into what is happening on the
Madness Tribute scene, and if anyone would like to see us at our
gigs and say hello, or hurl abuse, you would be most welcome at any
of the following venues:

JAN 2000
  Wed January 12th           Harper Adams University      Shropshire

  Thur January 13th          Walk-Abouts                  Manchester

  Fri January 14th           Penningtons Variety Club       Bradford

  Sat January 15th           The Willows Variety Club        Salford

  Wed January 26th           Jumpin Jaks                       Leeds

  Fri January 28th           The Litton Tree        Victoria, London

  Sat January 29th           The Pavilion                Bournemouth

FEB 2000

  Wed February 2nd           Chicago Rock Café              Grantham

  Thur February 3rd          Litton Tree                     Bedford

  Fri February 4th           Consort Suite     Dinnington, Rotherham

  Sat February 5th           Middleton Social Club  Middleton, Leeds

  Wed February 9th           Jumpin Jaks                     Lincoln

  Thur February 10th         Theatre                        Barnsley

  Fri February 11th          The Little Un,South Elmsall, Pontefract

  Sat February 12th          The Mayfair    Seaton Carew, Hartlepool

  Mon February 14th          Eastwood View WMC             Rotherham

  Wed February 16th          Jumpin Jaks                 Southampton

  Thur February 17th         Jumpin Jaks                 Bournemouth

  Sat February 19th          Darfield WMC         Darfield, Barnsley

  Fri February 25th          Flying Bedstead         Hucknall, Notts

  Sun February 27th          Albert Rd WMC,Wath-upon-Dearne,Barnsley

Hope to see you at a gig and if you require any info on the band or
comments please give us an e-mail

(Complete at management99.fsnet.co.uk)


Taken from `Pop up Video` and kindly typed up by Chris Byrne.

- Graham "Suggs" McPherson, born 13th January 1961, Hastings, Sussex

- the video's concept: funeral imagery to counterpoint the "jolly"
  song lyrics

- the song was originally written and recorded by Labi Siffre in

- Labi does not appear on the record, but wanted to appear in the

- all coffins are now made to measure, from 1900 to 1950 there were
  6 stock sizes

- Chas Smash vocalist and dancer

- the director also thought "funeral black" would contrast nicely
  with the set

- Madness formed as a seven-piece band in Camden, London in 1978

- they describe their style as "a mix of Ska and fairground music"

- a.k.a. the "nutty sound"

- Chris Foreman guitarist

- Chris once worked with the Post Office - and would drive the band
  to gigs in his work van

- at the time the Post Office had a popular ad campaign and mascot

- Buzby (big yellow bird)

- Madness were loved by kids - they pioneered matinee shows

- the same man directed all Madness' videos - he found them a
  "necessary chore"

- he was also the head of their record company

- Stiff Records

- the backing vocals were recorded in Durham while on tour

- the song was overdue - their producers cornered them on their day

- Lee "El Thommo" Thompson, saxophonist

- El Thommo loves to drink Tequila

- and water

- the director wanted the guitar to look plugged in for "visual

- on Top Of The Pops Jimmy Saville warned viewers not to "try it at

- a year earlier Suggs asked "Can you imagine us at 30 leaping
  around on stage?"

- At 30 he was leaping around at Madstock - the Madness reunion

- Suggs has been hosting the karaoke show Night Fever since 1997

- Madness claimed to create music for the "common man"

- Dianthus caryophyllus (n.): the common carnation

- in the language of flowers carnation means:

- Love

- what is bee-hind the UK's #1 cause of death?

- blood and circulation disorders

- #6 cause of death in the UK:

- Madness

- This song reached #8 in January 1982. It was resurrected after it
  appeared in the film 'The Tall Guy' - and became a hit again in
  1992. The original Madness personalities are no longer split -
  they reunited again in 1999 and their love bore them a new album.


For those of you who missed out on the recent `Maddest Show on Earth`
Christmas tour, all is not lost. Not only are Complete Madness
starting 2000 with a comprehensive and non-stop tour, but so are the
excellent `One Step Behind`.

Thanks to the ever-helpful Brendan Phipps, here's the latest gig
line-up for the band...

JAN 2000
      21st   Dudley, JB's
      27th  Newport, TJ's.

FEB 2000
      12th  Colchester, the Twist
      18th Aldershot, West End Centre
      26th Harlow, The Square

Mar 2000
      16th  Canterbury, Kent University

Apr 2000
      6th  France
      7th France
      8th France
      9th France
      22nd Gosport
      29th Harrow, The Plough

June 2000
      2nd  Sidcup

Brendan also tells me that there could be a run of gigs in Slurping
Toad pubs. As soon as I hear more, I'll let you know.


Taken from the current issue (number 5) of that excellent fanzine,
`Mad Not Mad`.

Next week we'll be reviewing this issue of the `zine, but in the
meantime, here's some words of wisdom from the MNM editor, Ian

Madness: Johnny The Horse / You're Wonderful / I was The One /
         Dreaming Man

Yet another double release CD for the second Madness single of the
new era. `Johnny The Horse` was always my tip for a single since
hearing it on a Radio 2 documentary some months before the album
appeared. Different? Yes, it rings some changes and yet it contains
everything that ever made Madness great - a sing-a-long chorus,
heartfelt lyrics and Mike Barson's wonderful keyboard skills
picking out that tune all the way. Add to that a touch of Irish
whimsey from the blood of Carl Smyth and a chance for Lee to deliver
one of those spine-tingling sax solo's. Now all we need is a Chrissy
Boy Middle 8 delivered to perfection which we don't actually get but
now I'm just being picky. `Johnny The Horse` truly is an amazing
track and everyone agreed that it should do even better than the
previous single, `Lovestruck`. So what the hell happened?

What a cock-up! The release date was arsed about with so often that
I felt like tearing my hair out. I understood the reasoning. The
charts are a different beast to that in the first era of Madness. In
those days, you spent weeks climbing up the charts and as more
people heard the track more people would buy it. These days the
single gets airplay for sometimes months in advance meaning that the
first chart position is often the best and then it's a quick
disappearing act. `Lovestruck` played the game admirably. Appearances
on TFI Friday and TOTP before the release, plenty of radio aiplay
and many interviews, not to mention the Camden Lock and Party in the
park gigs. Then, another TOTP appearance just as it hit the charts.
Who could ask for more?

It seemed that the lesson had been learned well and `JTH` was delayed
for ages as we were promised the most would be made of plugging the
single. The dates for the release changed at a bewildering pace
until no-one knew when it was coming out. And, insult of insults,
when it finally happens there is a crap promotion. No other word for
it. A couple of breakfast shows, a snippet of video on kids TV when
Baby Spice (or Bimbo Spice perhaps) claimed to love the band and then
stated that it wouldn't be a hit because `Err, I dunno, it's not very
poppy is it?"

No TOTP appearance, no TFI and finally, an excellent session on Jools
Holland's `Later` show which was too little too late. Cock-up. Do
Virgin do this to Madness deliberately?

Now that I've got that little rant out of my system, I should mention
the many dedicated fans on the internet who bravely claimed that it
doesn't really matter as long as we love `em. Somebody even pointed
out that he wouldn't have wandered into a shop in 1981 and bought a
Beatles album 20 years after their first appearance. The big hole in
that argument it that The Beatles weren't around to promote in 1981.
Madness are still here!

I agree, though it's us and the band that matter. Look at the great
pop artists who suffice these turgid years - Paul Weller, Ian Dury,
Elvis Costello, Blondie, even The Beautiful South. They get big hits
and then they miss the charts altogether. Then they have a minor
hit, then a big hit again. That was happening to The Kinks in 1970
and look how long Ray Davies kept knocking out good stuff. The
charts are the biggest load of spuff imaginable these days and they
are no true measurement of quality. Hopefully, Madness will realise
this and will continue regardless. Let's face it, there aren't many
ska-related acts that can even dream to getting No. 44 in the charts
as `JTH` did. And nothing detracts from the greatness of the tune.
But what about the other tracks here?

`You're Wonderful` was first heard back in 1996 and it sounded good.
Refreshing, you might say. Not a typical Madness track - acoustic
and, on occasion, almost Glam. Check out the final choruses of the
track and you could quite easily picture Slade belting it out -
really! Again it is Carl (surely the Madness engine these days) who
writes and I'd hazard a guess the old Irish Motherland being the
subject matter but it can be quite easily be read as a mutual
greeting between Madness and their fans. The beauty of releasing
two versions of the single means that we get more tracks - and
these are great opportunities to try a few different things. `You're
Wonderful` was well worth the experiment.

For me personally, the second CD offers the greatest and most
pleasurable surprises. The Mike Barson composed `I Was The One`
skanks it up like nothing since 1980. Slower in pace than those
days perhaps, but such a catchy tune. Chris marks the off-beat with
great skill and Mike's keyboards once again remain prominent, at
one point throwing in swirling organ reminiscent of the early
B-side, `Mistakes`. Cock an ear for Bedders' bouncing bass too. A
consummate attempt to travel roads already passed years ago. Suggs
shows how well his voice has matured and the tale of lost love hits
all the right marks of danceability, style and vocal pathos.
Marvellous stuff.

And onto `Dreaming Man` - an important track in so much that it's the
only piece of new material co-written by Chris `Ivor Novello`
Foreman. His co-writer, is of course, Carl `Ivor Novello Too` Smyth.
The tune is another great mover of typical Madness magnificence. The
music could have been lifted from just about any Madness album but
the vocalisation experiments this time. The vocal is hoarsely
growled, grunted and groaned in a manner reminiscent of Lee Thompson
on various Crunch tunes, but it soon becomes clear that our man Chas
is responsible. He has a deft comic touch and you can almost imagine
him singing this. "I like to dream!", he says and you can picture the
old joker raising his eyebrows and flashing a wicked smile as he does
it. Suggs also deserves a plaudit or two for his spot on backing. I
don't think many will argue with me if they say that the flip tracks
from `Lovestruck` and `Johnny The Horse` would have easily
contributed to a top class album in their own right. I'm just gutted
that Chrissy Boy didn't write more than `Dreaming Man`. Has Crunch
sapped his creative juices? After all, he had a finger in every pie
with these boys. But then, so does Lee and he seems to be writing
quite prolifically as the next single, `Drip Fed Fred` shows. Come
on Chris, Give us some more, you star!

Ian Taylor

For more information regarding Mad Not Mad, please get in touch with
Ian at:

 Mad Not Mad,
 Nutty Towers,
 4 Mountmorres Close,
 Over Hulton,
 BL5 1HT

Or alternatively, you can e-mail Ian at: bige at supanet.com.

You may also want to check out the `Fanzines` section on the MIS
Online site at: http://www.jabba.demon.co.uk/mis/


That's about it for this week's edition of the MIS Online Bulletin.
A big thank you to everyone who sent me bits and pieces for this
edition. Please keep the material coming, don't stop now!!

Next week's MIS Bulletin will feature a review of issue 5 of the
excellent `Mad Not Mad` fanzine. And if all goes to plan, I'm
hoping to get hold of issue 3 of `Madness Unsugged`. If that
arrives on my doormat, you can be sure that we'll be disseminating
all the essential information in that too.

One other exciting thing is that a new Madness bootleg CD is about
to be released and hopefully I'll be getting hold of a copy for
review purposes in the next couple of days.

If you've got anything you think the rest of us may find of
interest, please send it my way and I'll be more than happy to
include it in the next bulletin.

All the nutty best,

Robert Hazelby
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