Hello, it’s Chrissy Boy here. Send me a question and I'll do my best to answer it.

Unless it contains any of the following:

  1. When/where is the next gig? - Please see the gig section above.
  2. Can I get your autographs?- This service is not available via the website, all applications must be made in person.
  3. Can I get backstage passes? - No.
  4. Will there ever be another 2Tone tour? - This is not very likely, is it?
  5. Where does Suggs get his sunglasses? – Persol.
  6. Where do you get your suits/hats/shoes? Gresham Blake, The Saturday Club, Hackett, Christies, Loake, Lock and Co, The British Boot Company.
  7. When is the “The Madness” album being re released? – I have still not got a clue.

[The questions above will be rinsed, filtered, processed and finally deleted by our new “Timewaster (tm)” interface, leaving me more time to answer the really important ones].

Thanks CB x

To see posts from the old version of Chris's Cupboard visit the archive Here

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Dear MadYank [Jack?]
I answered more or less the same question below, so forgive me for cutting and pasting. Have a great trip buddy.

There’s Camden Lock and the Electric Ballroom where we played in 1979. However, like any other large city – it’s all getting knocked down and “modernised”. Oh, do go in the “British Boot Company”
[AKA or used to be called Holts] shoe shop, next to the Camden Tube we used to but boots there and in 1979 the Specials had an office above the shop. I have lived in Brighton for 8 years so I’m a bit out of touch. You could also go the Hawley Arms we used to go in there years ago and it is now famous for being Amy Winehouses local [RIP]

hi i hope you are well and enjoying the new year,it`s my 50th birthday on the 1st of feb and my partners on the 5th.so we have booked a couple of days in london to do abit of sightseeing etc.well ive always wanted to visit camden town and go to the dublin castle and see where madness did some of their first gigs.we dont know london well ive not been for many years,we are going to be there on the 4th/5th of feb,my question is what other places would you reccomend we visit while in camden and london itself,both of us love markets and having alook round the local area and meeting people.Thanks for your time chris,all the best dj danny.

Dear DJ Danny
There’s Camden Lock and the Electric Ballroom where we played in 1979. However, like any other large city – it’s all getting knocked down and “modernised”. Oh, do go in the “British Boot Company”
[AKA or used to be called Holts] shoe shop, next to the Camden Tube we used to but boots there and in 1979 the Specials had an office above the shop. I have lived in Brighton for 8 years so I’m a bit out of touch. You could also go the Hawley Arms we used to go in there years ago and it is now famous for being Amy Winehouses local [RIP] Have a great time, CB

i just like to say hi and i do hope all is ok ???? we have a baby who is one and half his name is called william when the wife is not in the car i take the frozen c.d out and play madness and he love it his feet starts going in the baby seat up and down . who know he could be your youngest fan lol he does say alot of words and yes one of them is madness lol . anyways thank for coming back to plymouth last dec you lot was grrrrrrrreat again well have a good hope to see you lot soon again roll on the new album the last rag and bone man song is 10/10 t.c my friend all the way from sunny torquay :-D

Dear John
Ha ha you are a card..I usually put AC/DC on in the car, or some rockabilly, David Bowie etc. I want my kids to absorb lots of differant music. My daughter [8] loves “Frozen” but she has an open mind to all sorts of music and she is quite keen on the Beach Boys, for example. My son [12] is a bit more “turn that c*ap off”

Hi Chris,
Will there be more re-released albums that have been remastered from the original master tapes, and if so, when? Also, all the demos/alternate versions on youtube – how do does one buy them and will they ever be cleaned up and released officially? There’s some fantastic stuff out there, it’s a shame not to be able to hear it in better quality. Many thanks.

I was at the Newcastle gig just before Christmas and loved the Madness version of It mek, are their any plans to release it as a single or as a track on an album, many thanks, Neil

Dear Neil
It was recorded [I think] for the “Dangermen Sessions” but we went with “The Israelites” instead. No plans to release it but maybe a B side at some point?

Hi Chris

Very much enjoyed seeing Madness in Birmingham in December and your spot singing with the Violin Monkeys is always a highlight.

I’m interested to know how the set listing and working round of songs happens for you now that Chas Smash isn’t currently a member of the band? It caught me a little bit when One Step Beyond wasn’t the first song of the show.

Hope to see Madness again in the next year and beyond

Dear James
You’re too kind! “One Step” was moved because Chas isn’t around and it’s sort of his song, so we decided to try something different and swopped it with “Nightboat”. We may try something else next time.

Happy New Year Chrissy Boy! Planning to make our way from our Manchester (Maryland, USA) to yours this Spring. Hoping that the fates will smile upon us and you lot will be playing somewhere first week of April. If not, we’ll treat you to a pint at the pub of your choosing. Promises promises.

Hi Chris – are there any plans for releasing/recording some older Madness songs from 1985/86 that never saw the light of day? I always thought Perfect Place would have sounded ace on an album. Lovely tune that!

Dear Dan
That was one that got away. We did a demo of it but it was never finished at the time. Most of the songs we write get recorded. There are not any left from that period, to tell the truth.

Happy New Year, CB:

Hope you and the lads have another great year ahead. We sure do miss you in the States.

A long overdue thanks for the interview for my feature in the now defunct Buzzbin Magazine of Canton, Ohio.
I enjoyed writing about you and the boys when you came to San Diego a few years back. I now do some work for the Phoenix (AZ)New Times, and and would love to catch up some time.

Let me know if you have any designs on returning to the US in 2015 or 2016. We would love to see some of the new tunes performed live.

All the Best and Cheers,


Dear Mark
That is partly a touring question but it’s put so nicely I can’t Timewaster® it. There are no designs to come to the USA, sadly.
all the best, CB

Hi Chrissy, First of all, let me congratulate you and the boys on a brilliant show in Manchester the other week. It being the first time in all these years that I have watched you live and seeing you live, to me it was like you putting a perfect head on a glass of perfect Gladness. Furthermore, in December 2011 you sent me via email, your autographs, so I could get them tattooed on to my chest, in reply to your mail, I mailed you back to inform you that, if you did a gig in Manny I would be stood at the front pointing to my chest and you would then know who it was saying big thank you’s for them!. Well, do you remember me? a bleeding ugly guy with a black Harrington on, stood at the front, and just to your right, standing there pointing at his chest? You did let on, but it would surprise me after all this time, that you remembered why some guy was pointing at his chest, but it would show how much you hold your fans in high esteem. Now, being as you filmed the gig in Manchester, is there going to be a DVD out of the gig? If so I may be on it as the camera caught us a few times and that would be another perfect head on another pint of Gladness, Ha, I also managed to get a playlist, which made up for forgetting my ticket on the way out after your show. well that’s all ,
thanks for being madness and I hope to see you live again next year. Bye, Mark…. P.S. point 2 on your rules, mentions do not ask for autographs! , would that be because after you did mine, everyone was after them via email???, ha, ha….cheers. Mark.

Dear Mark
That’s very funny..Yes I saw you and I thought my luck was in and I hung around after but it was to no avail. The gig was not actually filmed, the cameras were just for the screens. The no autographs is because A. I can’t be assed to get them and B.Postage is quite a lot
thanks, CB

hi, just like to say,hope you and the guys had a great christmas tour,merry christmas and have a very happy new year.looking forward to operation grandslam,still dont know what that is yet? will have to get my partner to check her email,take care,all the best,dj danny.

Happy Christmas Mr. Foreman and all the very best for 2015 !! Thanks for a great gig the other night in Manchester , even without the legend that is Mr. Chas Smash you and the boys stood up and made it yet another concert to remember ( the original line up aswell – fantastic ) So , as the group get towards 40 – yes 40 years together , give or take a few weeks off along the way ! what venue outside and inside in the nutty world would you personally like to play and which country would this be ? Many thanks Chris – Steve.

Hello Young Chris
Great seeing you again in Dublin
Hope you all have a relaxing break
Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year to you all

Best Wishes

Hi Declan
Sorry to you [and everyone else] for the slackness in replying. Long bout of man flu then other stuff.
thanks, CB

just back fae Glasgow bud you were ace as usual loved hearing believe me and los palmas and dont quote me again made my night to hear some old tunes again cant wait for the grandslam now (whatever it is lol) thanks again you guys always smash it made my xmas and my son loved it too hope you have a nice xmas break you deserve it merry christmas Terry B

Hi Chris,
Just wanted to say how much my son and I enjoyed the show in Belfast on Monday. It was his first big gig (age 12) and my first one seated (seasoned madness veteran). He was totally star struck seeing you all. The set list was great and the new format worked well. The support was also superb, and I’ll have to try and see them again. Happy Christmas

Hi Chris, great show at the Glasgow Hydro last night! Even that bloke who sang Big Spender wasnt too bad. He might have a future in showbiz. Pity the piper, we couldnt hear him until you came back on and held the microphone for him! He was playing outside at the end, good lad.
I thought Leon, It Mek and OSB were brilliant. Is your version of It Mek available anywhere? And the rest of the show wasnt too shabby either! Great intro a the very begining of the show for Night Boat! Thought the atmosphere was brilliant with everyone injected with a huge doze of happiness. I’ve already set aside the money for your next visit to Glasgow.
Like Bond, I know you cant talk, but will you be recording an album in 2015? The Last Rag and Bone Man download sounds very good.
All the best

Dear Micheal
Thanks very much. I finally realised that the noisy bit of the pipes is the bottom bit, not the “drones”. The Caledonian Cowboy http://www.caledoniancowboy.com/
aka Johnny “Rashers” Gauld often gets up with us, he is top class, New songs hopefully this year and maybe an album.

Hi Chris,
Finally got to see you all at the LG arena on the 13th December,after years of following the band I finally have been to a gig and you were all fantastic! I am very much hoping for the chance to see you again next year as often as i can :-) Drinks are on me,much to the merchandisers amusement i spent over £100… I was obviously the big spender that night haha.Wishing you and the band a Happy xmas and a rocking new year.

Hi Chris, I Had been looking forward all year to seeing you again this month. It was my birthday on the 13th and my Daughter got me a ticket for my birthday for the Leeds gig. (Manchester is a closer venue for me as I live in Wigan, but I told her to get me one for Leeds) But the week before the gig I got rushed into hospital for my appendix out, so had to miss it and let someone else have my ticket,Absolutely gutted !!, , Hope you have more gigs planned for the New Year Chris, always love watching you and being at your gigs. All the best to you all and keep up the brilliant work..Madness for ever !

Dear Malc
What bad luck! Please remind me and I’ll guest list you next time we are playing the UK for a gig of your choice, plus one. OK?

Hi Chris,
Great gig Saturday in Birmingham. Just wanted to say thanks to the band for the entertainment you have given over the last 35 years and hope that you continue to tour and record for many years to come. From that first single (purchased at age 14) to the recent Rag and Bone man download( as I approach my 50th) it has been a pleasure to be a fan, Sirs I salute you.
from Andy

Looking forward to Madhead o2 London. Gonna be extra special as my eldest daughter who is 10 is boarding the nutty train with me and the wife, for her first ever Madness concert, in fact her first ever anyone concert.Traveling on the Friday for London xmas shoping, lights and all. On the main event of the day we will be taking in the delights of Camden Town, when ever im in Camden the Dublin Castle is a must, just wondering if any of the band will be having any refreshments there before the gig. have a great tour CB and save the best till last!

Dear Mad Mags
Thanks for coming, I hope we lived up to your expectations and that your daughter liked it..

Chrissy Boy, hope you are well.
HoF was as good as ever and 2 x fantastic sets was enjoyed by all who attended. Shame didn’t catch up for a beer. I write this just a couple days before two of us board a plane and fly up to see you in Glasgow in what will be the 3rd country we’ve seen you play this year.!! If the opportunity arises then will def have a Xmas beer with you, Merry Xmas and a happy new year to you all.

NEC GIG 13/12/14
20 times I’ve seen Madness and 20 times I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. You are undoubtedly in my view the best live act around. There was a great atmosphere and great energy from the band, and as usual something new. There were loads of youngster’s who’d come with their parents, including my mate’s son aged 9. Can we take it that Rag and Bone Man is off the new album entitled ‘Grand Slam’?
Any word on the return of Mr Smash?
Merry Christmas, from Coventry’s Cheekiest Charmer.

Dear CCC
Glad you enjoyed it. We are making plnas foe this year already, perhaps some new songs too.
all the best, CB

CJ, cracking news – I’ve got my MIS stuff back and it’s all intact. Superb gig last Friday mate. The Last Rag and Bone Man is vintage Madness. Sounds like Suggs’ lyrics but is this your music ? All the very best to you and the family for Christmas and roll on 2015 for Operation Grandslam. On behalf of the Madness fan base may I thank you for continuing to do the “fan” stuff. I know that you don’t have to do it but it means a lot to us. Respect sir, always. Sean Kilminster

Dear Sean
I’m glad you got it all back. I suppose the removal company guys found out it wasn’t worth much! Mr. B wrote the tune for “Rag and Bone Man”, not me. I take my time answering but I enjoy doing this and it’s much easier now with the new “interface”
all the best, CB

had an aftershow pass for tonight,but despite there being only a few ppl and I appreciate you guys are tired you popped out,and didnt return.sadly maybe i shud have forced myself forward but was givin other ppl a chance and thought u would return.Would have liked to have got just a few things signed…:(

Dear mark
Dear Mark
I’m sorry to hear you were disappointed but it all depends where you got it from [the pass]. Was it from a band member? If I have put anyone on the guest list, I make an effort to come back and say hello to them. I cannot be held responsible for other band members guests. I saw my guests and “popped out” as it was time to get the bus to the hotel, probably. The band do need some “quiet time” after the show, too. It’s very difficult for Suggs to come backstage after he gets mobbed.

What an amazing Belfast gig. I can honestly say it was one of the bands finest moments from the many Madness concerts I’ve attended down the years. It was one of those nights you wish could last forever. Well done one and all.

Just back from the Belfast gig – superb. Loved the new opening, and also really enjoyed the slow intro to My Girl. Also got to hear You Said live for the first time. Lee was also really funny. My question is have you ever considered doing a live show (even a one off) playing all the singles in order (I know it would go on for about 2 hours, but it would make a great live 2cd/dvd triple pack).

Dear Jim
That is a good idea. It’s quite funny really – just before we split, I suggested that! I wonder how long it would take?

As an eighteen year old I was at college in Sheffield in 1979 and 1980 and one night went along to athe Limit club to see a new band with a great new single – The Prince.
What a night, A conga, a fez and a few beers and lots of dancing. Fast forward 35 years to last night, and I’m at the NEC, and once again a few beers and a few fezs seem to be involved. Thanks guys, what a gig, i haven’t had so much fun for years. I think next year we’ll have three generations going along to see you. Steve

Dear Steve
Nice story, great memories. I remember those early gigs in Sheffield Leeds ect quite scary for me to go outside of London. Mind you, West London and Aklam Hall was far enough from our area, but there was nothing to be scared of really. If that makes sense. Thanks for your continued support, it means a lot to me – to have you all along on the ride.

Hi Chris
Just want to let you know that once again, Madness did it. You can add”The last rag and bone man”to the list of “The Madness best songs”. Seriously, it’s simply brillant (once again). Can’t wait for the album (which will be available in a deluxe edition, right? Err maybe a “too soon” question…!!)
Oh man, I love your band so much !!!
Have a nice day!
Steve (from France)

hi we came to see the gig at nottingham on the 4th,me and my partner were at the front not far from you.i had my madness sca rfe draped over the barrier,i shouted hello and you gave me a big smile and said hello,that made my night,cheers chris, keep on rockin,danny.

Hi CB,
I attended my first H of F weekender with a couple of mates, 9 hour drive from Bonnie Scotland anyhoo I couldn’t believe the fantastic atmosphere the whole weekend had and how friendly everyone was towards each other, the band were ace, can’t wait till next year I’ll be the one in the kilt look out for me.
Vambo Rules! Norrie

Vambo eh? I was thinking of doing a verse or two of the “Next” version of “Vambo” as it happens..

Hi Chris not sure if my last message sent but just wondering if u could ever record sunshine voice? it’s a great song and such a shame it was never released. Weekender was the best year ever this year too!

cheers Chris I would have loved to be at the HOF for the Invaders /Dangermen gig and hoped it would be released but a nice Madness fan put it on youtube so I saw most of it anyway I didnt mean to be rude by saying the albums are continually being re-released I only meant it would be great to get the dads stuff as it has a lot of the rarer live stuff on it which was such a great idea to play at the HOF so there is def a big market for it anyway I will stop grovelling now I wondered if you wanted a volunteer to take Chas”s place at Glasgow (I have always dreamed about being on stage with you , I even wrote to J Saville”s show many moons ago and also Chris Evans when he hosted TFI to try to blag my way onto stage with you) I work really cheap so you can get a temporary replacement for a few bottles of Night Boat lol thought I would ask as shy bairns get nowt nowadays looking forward to Glasgow and hopefully a few invader tunes too cant wait cheers Terry B

Dear Terry
You wrote to Jimmy Savile? In retrospect, you had a close escape..The albums do get re re released but we try to add something extra though, for the fans..

Thanks for my first Madness/Invaders gig at HoFW, and for the advice about taking care while in London!!

Hope to see you very soon and specially hope to making it again to the next HoFW.

Am i a madhead, Way back in 1984 i had the pleasure of seeing my first madness concert at the demontfort hall in leicester and 26years later you came back and i got to meet you backstage and interview you this year on the 4th dec i saw you for the 19th time and i brought a mate with me who had never seen you before and loved it as did i. As madness have been like a family 2 me and when chas smash wasnt there it was dissapointing but having read recently what hes been through i wish him well. Ive seen you twice on my birthday in 1999 at the nec arena in birmingham and 2008 at the 02 arena london my bday is the 19th dec. Here is my madness timeline. 1984 Demont Hall leicester,1992 Madstock 1,1993 nec birmingham,1994Madsock2, 1996 Madstock3,1999,2002,2003 Nec birmingham,2004 Old trafford Manchester,2005 Rock city nottingham,2006 Nec birmingham 2007 Nia birmingham,2008,2009, 02 london and Madstock 5 2010 Demont Hall leicester 2012/2014 Capital Fm arena nottingham. Also seen our house musical twice in london with and without suggs and 2013 suggs life story in leicester. Hope to come to my first house of fun weekender next year Am i a madhead? . Ps merry christmas and a happy new year to you and all of the band loving the MADNESS!!!

Dear Clifford,
Thank you for you fantastic support over the years, if not for you and many others, what would we do?

thanks for the brilliant night in plymouth. I think you noticed me and suggs did too. I was in a fez and a checked shirt at the front near to you. It was a close call with that lamp falling near the end. shame chas wasn’t there though.

Hi Chris,
Thanks for the brilliant show at the Brighton Centre last night. I’ve seen Madness live 35+ times now and each time gets better and better. It was great to hear some different songs in the set and I really enjoyed Scouting for Girls.

Happy Christmas to you and the rest of the band.


Evening CJ: recently moved house and the removal jokers managed to lose my precious MIS stuff. So, assuming that you still retain the rights to the fan club merchandise is there any way you could bring any pressure to bear so that the MIS comics could be re-issued under some sort of hardback cover? RIP Ian McClagan. See you in Newcastle nest week on what will be my 47th birthday Chris. Respect, as ever Sean Kilminster

Hi Chris, after loving the band since I was 14 in 1979 I have just experienced my first madness gig in nottingham last night aged 49!! I was like a hysterical teenager. Love you all so much xxxxxxxxx. My question is why the mad symbol M is now topped by a crown? What happened to the trilby? I used to doodle the madness M in all my schoolbooks! Respect to you all and a kiss for barso he’s soooo cute!

Hi Chris,
Looking forward to seeing you on the 18th in Glasgow!
Myself and couple of mates are making the yearly 4 hour pilgrimage……..canna wait!


dear chris I met u in ’83 outside malvern winter gardens you signed the back of my mates red harrington do you remember? lol saw you last weekend you seem to be like a fine wine or cheese getting better with age how do you do it? love you xxxx

Hi Chris
Just wondering if you know how Suggs feels about other members of the band “taking a break”? Bearing in mind, if he took a break, there would be no band?

Is this the beginning of the end?

With you since the beginning!

Mike Barson had a break from 1983 -1992. I had one for a couple of years, Bedders too. Yeah maybe Suggs is due one? [He did have one actually from 1989 -1992]. I was doing the Nutty Boys with Kix.Great days indeed.

Hello Chris

Just to say Butlins was a blast, late on Friday early Saturday whilst chatting to Mr Barson and Thommo the one and only John Hasler showed and had a long chat with him, then everywhere we went over the weekend bumped into him again and again, nice chap.

Hi Chris,
I’d just like to let you know that I aced the first unit of my studies with a distinction :D You’ll never guess what? My Ska/pop section was the best! I should let you know a large majority of it was about the developing sounds of Madness; meaning my C.d collection is a bit worn out!(it took a lot of research!) We’re on to composing now; but I thought that I’d let you know how I did.
Thank you for your support,
once again, take care
Jess ;P

Evening CJ; caught The Specials recently and Steve Cradock had replaced Roddy in their line up which begs the question – if you could moonlight in another band who would you like to play with ?
Respect, sir
Sean Kilminster

Hi Chris
Of all the concerts I have been to in Dublin and Belfast. …..i have always noticed that madness start of with one step beyond and finish with night boat to Cairo. …..Is this done at all concerts and if so…..Why? (Just curious).
P.S (don’t change it either).
Thx Chris
See you and the boys in Dublin at Christmas.
Sorry Chris…Madness ever think about doing a Christmas song (cover version or so).

Hi Chris, like many others I became a fan of Madness due to my mum playing your music a lot. She was so much of a fan that she had at least 2 copies of the first 3 madness albums (that i know of), all the singles and MIS issues. she has since lost a majority of her “collection”. I wanted to know if you recollect a cover of “little boxes” that my mum told me she had on flexi-disc from an MIS issue? oh, and see you December 8th I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be one of the few young skinheads in the crowd.

Dear Curtis
That’s nice to hear, that’s a very good Mum you’ve got there. She could’ve been a Howard Jones fan and um..er..he doesnt tour anymore – does he? Yes we did a cover of that on an old fan club cassette, I think.

dear chris i was wondering is there any the madness merch like an i pronounce you t shirt or a what’s that poster also did you ever write songs for a second the madness album but forget about them

Dear Mr. Sidney mod king (erm I think that title might have worn out..just ever so slightly) , Anyway,

I wanted to know is,
Do you think we will ever see the use of either a telecaster or strat by yourself again ..I know you like your epiphone’s and the S.G is your pride and joy , but have you ever thought it would be interesting just to see how things would fair up .

Cheers Dude,

Your faithful , loyal *Cough* No.1 Servant (hahaha)

Dear Shann
Well what do you know – I just bought a Telecaster! I don’t have any Epiphones though, only Gibsons..

You have to play it in dub. i seen the photos from hof the tele looks sweet..pleassseeeeee dublin *Puppy dog face*…….and as for no epis….well excuse me mr.pish-posh….lol

Sir Chris,
having listened avidly to the fan toons session,I have reinforced my view that sunshine voice lying officially unrecorded is a scandalous oversight on your part.now in light of the soundclash at butlins and the news that you’re in konk studios at present leads me to a hope that the above grievance may be rectified?along with shop around?whilst we’re at it are any of the invaders songs going to make it on the main tour? Keep the skanking up
Rudy coudy

Dear Rudy
I think we will put a few in the set. After all the time we took learning them, it would be a shame not to.

Hi Chris,

Just wondered what your thoughts are on the USM/Salvo remasters. To my ears, everything seems to have too much Dynamic Range Compression. When listening through very high quality headphones the music sounds a little mushy and distorted. I understand the arguments going on around the so called ‘loudness war’ with cd mastering in general, but I really want to hear the music as it originally sounded. Which cd versions/compilations do you think best represent the original recordings? Incidentally I think the OSB 35 is the best version I have ever heard. Thanks, Stephen

Dear Stephen
I am not that technical but listening to some of the more recent re issues, I have noticed that they have a lot more boll*x, that’s for sure..
thanks, CB

Dear dear Chris,
Just wonder if we’ll have the luck to get some professionnal footage of “The Invaders Vs The Dangermen”. Because some people (for example a french fan like me!) would love to be present but it’s simply impossible. I think this event deserve a DVD on a Gogglebox 2…….
All the best

hi chris been a big madness fan for over 30 years seen the band all over the uk ,, 29 times now still lol it ,, from dublin castle to lyceum in the strand , margate winter gardens , what has been your best gig ever with madness and your fav madness video , i wish u and all the have fun on your uk tour ,

hi cb iam a big fan of madness for over 30 years seen the band from dublin castle to lyceum , and margate winter gardens , if u could pick your fav gig of all time . were would it have been , and your fav madness video ,, good luck on your uk tour this year , and see you at the 02 in december ,, ps dont hang up the guitar just yet cb , you have more to give loads more

Dear Lee
I’ve seen you name on here [or there] a few times, I’m glad to see you are still following the band. The Lyceum gigs were great. It’s too hard to pick one over all the others, though as a favourite.

Hi Chris just wondered if there were any plans to record the first night of the hof weekender and sell it as it still is only for over 18s so many fans cannot go (you did say a few years ago that may change but it still hasnt) it would be a real gem for all the old fans to hear the rarer songs again and a great addition to our collections also are there any plans to rerecord sunshine voice again as it sounds great and would be even better recorded properly and is there any way you couid release a collection of cds of dads mixtapes that were on the M section for a while as I never worked out how to download them but would love to own them, they would also be a nice change from the continuing re-release albums that come out cheers Terry B

Dear Terry
That’s a good idea, to release some of the Dads desk stuff. The next re release, maybe we could include a CD with a selection of all the live stuff over the years. We didn’t record the HOF first night as far as I know.

cant wait to see you on the 19 of December at Manchester my son is going to his first concert and he does not no xmas present have a good tour see you soon

hi chris , house of fun weekender are you selling your gladness beer, hope to here from you soon even better looking forward to seeing you all soon, many thanks paul

Bonjour Monsieur Chrissy Garçon (you know your nickname sounds ridiculous in french ?)

So ! I’m here to let you know that I am French and therefore I am aware that you English people are aliens from another galaxy invading our planet to turn mad all humanity. I already had my suspicions when you and your friends used to call yourself “the invaders” in the 70′s. Indeed it was too obvious and “flashy” then you changed your squad name to “Madness” …. um …. Ordo Ab Chaos huh ? It’s all about freemason protestantist conspiracy, I got it ? Masks off ! You no longer fool the perspicuous people !
Anyway ! I’m right now listening to a youtube live in Paris, zenith 2009, I was there but I can’t see me on the video. Another conspiracy… tsss !
Anyway again ! I have no question. I’d just be glad to know you’r on the mend from your english being if you’r able to answer what does “Bateau pour le Caire”, “Grandeur et décadence” and “Je n’ai jamais su ton nom” means. (don’t help with web translator you perfidous Albion kid)
(please don’t ask if I’m drunk, I told u I’m french)

Dear Arnaud
OK….”Bateau” is boat.. “pour le Caire”. Nightboat to Cairo? “Grandeur et décadence” is a bit harder – Rise and Fall? and of course “Je n’ai jamais su ton nom” is I Never Knew Your Name. I didn’t use translate, how did I I do?

If you could own any guitar of considerable provenance or historical interest, which one would you choose?… Would you use it for live work or squirell it away somewhere?!..

Dear David
Don’t panic!The Dangermen Vs.The Invaders is on Friday night. Saturday night is Madness night.

Hi Chris
Taken from wikipedia :
On 22 March 2014 Suggs confirmed to music-news.com that Madness were writing a new album which he stated ” the band plan to record in the summer and release by the end of 2014

Err … any news about it?
All the best

Dear Steve
Wikipedia is a good source of information but not always right. Suggs may have got a bit “over excited”.


Thanks for the encouragement on the music and guitar. That is nice to get from someone established and entrenched in past pop culture.
I’ve recently gotten into trying this:
This isn’t anything I created but rather a breakdown of the musical processions of a well-known song of yours. I figured it out myself (thanks to those piano lessons). I’m sure Mr. Barson would recognize it immediately.
I also worked out that nice introduction of yours on the song ‘Memories.’ It sounds like a C# minor chord played 1-5-3 from the root note on the A string to the fifth on the high E string to give it its brightness, then a B minor chord played the same way, 1-5-3, A-E-B-A strings. It is quite nice.

I have quickly picked up ‘Johnny The Horse’ on the instrument and as such is the first Madness song I’ve learned completely on guitar (G-D-C-G-D, Am-C-D). This follows ‘I’ll Complete’ as the first song I learned on bass, ‘Sunday Morning’ I first learned on drums, and ‘Not Home Today’ I picked out by ear on piano for the first time on my own.
All that’s left is sax, backing vocals and lead vocals I guess…but I doubt it.
Again, thanks for the inspiration. I wonder what chords you played in ‘In the City.’ I asked that once, but about the guitar and amp (Mesa Boogie amp, whammy arm). I’m sure it’s just Emin, Am, Gm and a few others, but I’m not the professional.
Red Cloud/JC

Dear JC
You seem to be progressing at an impressive speed. “In The City”? I can’t remember the chords at all!
Keep it up..

Hello Mister Foreman.

Are you gonna do some solo-career-work, after Suggs, Lee, Woody and Chas, it would be Nice!
And can you tell me? What is all that “Specialized Mad not Cancer”stuff? I didn’t quit got it….


Dear John
I’m working on stuff in my loft but really Madness is the main thing.“Specialized Mad not Cancer” is a great and worthy effort, I will have to buy a copy.

Hi Chris, Someone asked you on the old Chris’ Cupboard about a classical cover you played at a gig. It’s not Swan Lake, and I’m beggared if I can remember what it was. You posted a YouTube link to a video clip of it and it had old dance footage on it. I can not for the life of me find it. So my question is, can you repost the link. Thank you in advance. Cheers from Australia, Barb Reid. p.s. heading across to Mother England again next year and hope to catch another Madness gig so no retiring between now and then.

Hi Chris,
My dad bought a Divine Madness cassette when i was 2 or 3 just after its release,and always remember him saying “you will like these” ,little did he know what he started! Been a huge fan ever since,now im 26 ive finally done something that i had wished i had done before,im coming to see you all in December for the first time! Always thought of gigs as something that other people did,not anymore! Have also been greatly enjoying teaching myself to play piano, Mr B is a huge idol of mine,i dont think i could have learnt to play a note had it not been for the huge enjoyment i get listening to your work.Also increasing my collection of original Madness vinyl as well. Looking forward to the OSB 35th release,nice to see the band celebrating. Anyways thanks for being there through my childhood and now adult years and ill see you in Birmingham :-)

Dear Dan
What a nice Dad. I hear this quite a lot, how fans parents passed down their Madness collection and it’s very nice indeed. Give him my heartfelt thanks

Hi Chrissy, just wanted to say i never realised how complete and brilliant the Wonderful album is…lots of credit is given to TLONF but to me Wonderful is better, more vibrant and brilliant lyrics and tunes..

any news on the new album, when can we expect it ?

Dear Steve
“Wonderful” had one of my favourite tracks on it “Lovestruck” New album? Its all up in the air we just have to get it down to Planet Earth.

If the band do play a Dangermen set at the Friday night at Butlins this year could or will you walk off stage at one point during the set & say in the Mike that you don’t have time for ‘this petty time consuming bollocks’ please

Hi Chris,
I was watching the video for Lovestruck this morning before I went to sixth form, I just wondered why you all don’t appear in the video’s any more? Would you also be interested in helping out with my music A level in a specialised topic? I thought I’d base it around Ska/pop music. Any facts you know , I would appreciate very much. If not I understand.
Thank you.
Take care, Jess :D

Dear Jess
Do you mean why don’t we make videos anymore? I keep coming up with ideas, they never want to do them.

I don’t ask nothig just only tell you this i admire all of you since the year 1990 and you are amazing and thanks for all the years of your music forgive me but i want to writte in my language ( spanish i al from México city ) “Mr Chrissy boy” you are ¡genial y un tipazo! I am fan of your vídeos who you make with your camera and ” cuide se mucho y Dios lo bendiga

Hi Chris,

Have you read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn? I was surprised to find one of the characters discussing the lyrics to “That’s The Way To Do It” in Chapter 31. Very cool!

Thanks for answering all these questions over the years! I remember your very first Cupboard back in the 90′s!


Hi Chris:

I hope all is well with you, mate. Still interested in seeing you and the band come back stateside again. Let me know if you can accept my Linked-In Invite to stay in touch. all the best with the European Tour and the nexty Weekender! Hoped you liked the article I wrote in 2012 based on our talk and then hung out with you after the San Diego gig.

Well Take care and hope to hear from you again!

Mark in Chandler AZ

With all the excitement around the 35th Anniversary of the OSB album, is there a chance you might play a few more tracks off the album during your Xmas tour this year.
I know you played ‘In The Middle Of The Night’ but would be great to hear some of the other tracks like ‘Believe Me’ and ‘Mummys Boy’ again

CF- Hi again, Chirs. This will follow-up on my 7/15 note to you, and your 7/30 response re: use of ‘Hall of the Mtn King’ . FYI- I rec’ d an e-mail from Pete G. & responded back by e-mail today; hope it helps; good luck!! Hope all’s well w/ you, your’s, & the nutty boys. Mike C in Georgia

Hiya Chris, Look sorry I’m Late by a few hours but I just wanted to say.. Happy 20th birthday to original Madstock (Haha)
No on a serious Note happy birthday , hope you have a good one pal



This may be a Timewaster ™ interface question, but what do you think the chances of ever doing a few gigs in North America are?

I just want to know if i should start saving for a trip to HOF next year…


Thanks Kerry
It was nice. I went to Hampton Court with the wife n’ kids then to Days, a cheapo restaurant in Brighton [the kids love it!] and the wife and my mate Nutsos wife both got dodgy stomachs.

Hi Chris, I just noticed the upcoming 35th Anniversary edition of O.S.B. What exactly is the “Fab Toones” tape and is it decent sound quality? Thanks.

Dear Stephen
It is a copy of an old rehearsal cassette. Practically the whole “One Step Album”. I really loved listening to it quite charming. It was found in Bedders loft..

Ah, C.J. ‘fine wine’ Foreman
I was having a few beers in me music room lookin 4ward to seein ya’s again @ Newcastile Dec 12th & a couple of ideas came into my head -
The 1st is a request from me:
Is there any chance the boys could fit Tarzans’ Nuts back into the set even just 4 that night (COMPLETE WITH YOU & LEE’S CHUCKLE BROTHERS INTO – “To Me, To You”) – CLASSIC
2. I want this gig 2 be as great 4 you lads asit will be 4 us so . .
The majority of the crowd will be Newcastle Utd. fans so if you’s play their teams’ walk out theme -
Local Hero by Mark Knofler.
It’ll blow the crowd appreciation volume to 11 . . . . . . Guaranteed man!
Maybe stick it in your showtime slot & save that beautiful angelic voice of yours! Ha Ha.
Something 4 you 2 think about mate,
Chachi from Chester-le-Street.

Hi Chris.
Folllowed the band since 1980….i play your music all the time.
When not recording/promoting etc. do any of the band ever hang out…pub, family parties etc.. Or is it just business these days?
all the very best…i hope you go on forever..

I have been in the loft doing some tunes lately. Thommo came down and sung on a couple of them. I live in Brighton so don’t see the “guys” much.

Hello Chris
As it looks like’ The Madness, ‘ album re-release wont happen, would it be possible for the track “Patience” from the single version of I pronounce you, be made available as a free download on this site? as it is the only track of yours that I aint got on my I-pod as I only have a vinyl copy of it .

Hi, I am a huge fan of Madness (and I mean huge) and ska, two tone and mod music in general. I wanted to ask, can you give me some tips on how to dress like a ska man? Cheers!

Hi Chris,

Was the band surprised or disappointed that Geffen released the patched together “Madness” album instead of “Rise and Fall?” Do you think that your career in the US would have then been different if “Rise” had a US release?

I never thought Geffen did much for the band: editing Lee’s sax solos out of “It Must Be Love,” and “Yesterday’s Men,” no promotion or airplay for anything from “Keep Moving,” or “Mad Not Mad,” etc. What are your thoughts?


Dear Chuck
After many trips to the USA we suddenly had a big hit with “Our House” and it all seemed to work at the time. We just let Geffen get on with it. In retrospect, it would have been better to just release the “Rise and Fall” album as it was. I don’t know about our career, though. The edits were not good either.
thanks, CB

Chris :D …hello , how you ?
Just quick one this time , did you play on Vietnam track from danger men (I know you left somewhat through the recording …but you could have still been) it sounds like your style of playing (oh yeah get me ..big fancy talk)

Thanks dude,
Shann xxx

Dear Bill
It never got really finished. I wrote the music Suggs and Chas the lyrics [ I think]

Have you guys considered another Madstock ? I love the butlins weekenders and normal gigs but Madstock at Finsbury Park has to be the ultimate Mad experience for me

Hi Mr Foreman. Haven’t put fingers to keyboard for a while. Not since we got our tickets for the Madness show coming up in December in little ol’ Belfast. Wouldn’t be Christmas without a top night “dancing” and “singing” to the old and new Nutty music. Have a wonderful “European” summer and save some of that sunshine for the winter M.A.D.H.E.A.D. extravaganza back home in the UK. All the best, with thanks for all the personal memories, from the Nutty Duo!!!!

It’s gone down in Madness folklore that you supported a band called Sore Throat back in the day. Obviously we know what happened to you guys but do you know what became of Sore Throat CJ?
Kind regards sir,
Sean Kilminster


As promo videos for singles are such a chore for you lads these days, here is a possible idea. See the attached Irish Times article and the service that the company Fan Footage provide. The second link is the actual Linkin Park video referred to in the video.

If you were playing some of your new material at the Christmas tour it would be a good opportunity and an excuse to get some media space in the run up to the event. They might even use some of your axecam footage but only if it was up to scratch :)




Vince Carden

PS Gotta love the Chief Exec’s name, Cathal Furey….

Hi Chris,hope you are keeping well?Would you guys be able to get Reel Big Fish on the House Of Fun weekender this year.I know they would be a great addition to play fun packed SKA in centre stage,Thanks,Colin.

Dear Colin
OK which one are you? The drummer or the bass player? They look very sort of USA huge, probably bigger than us, I reckon..

Chris – Hello again from the Heart of Dixie. I was watching one of the sports networks here, & sounds to me like they are using Madness’ version of ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ in a promo. Just thought you’d want to know if you don’t already.

Dear john
the M section is no longer here, it is in cyberspace. It is not on this website..is it?

Dear Fernando
Sorry for the late reply..ahh that was a tough one. Next time maybe England will get a bit further!

It is back on the site Chris, if you hover over the Music link at the top of page it can be found in the drop down menu :-)

Just recently got the album Mad not Mad and despite hearing not too positive things about it absolutely love it! Have you ever thought of performing some tracks from it again with all 7 members?

Dear Natalie
We have played “Yesterdays Men” once or twice. I would like to play maybe “Time” live.
thanks CB

Cheers Chrissy Boy, just back from my birthday weekend in Holland to see you boys. Had a great time at Night in the Park in Den Haag then we travelled across to Utrecht for the Sunday gig…… loved the intimacy of the Utrecht gig, got to say the Dutch were well up for it and clearly enjoyed themselves and had a great time as they also won their world cup game that day. Shame thommo and bedders were not there cos of Glastonbury but John O’Neill is a good stand in. Nice of Chas to give me a birthday shout out as well. Looking at driving down to Bordeaux in August so may see Yahoo there. Already got Minehead booked as well as Flying up to Glasgow.!!!! Keep up the good work

Ok Pete.
Thanks for the support..er..the drinks are on me this time at Minehead I think..

CB, thank you for the great night in Utrecht. Had a short conversation and handshake with Suggs and Barso at the bar during the footbal match.. Great moment… Hope you will come back to the Netherlands sometime…

Dear Rob
Sorry I missed you.Yeah I am so glad Holland won that match! We were watching it in the dressing room..Great night.


Since I last wrote and mentioned guitar-playing, I’ve spent the time with my old acoustic over the months; I found a chord site that actually shows things left-handed, which really made it easier for me, and up to this week I’ve been able to play virtually any chord that isn’t a bar chord (B major, C# major, etc.). Still lagging on switching between chords (particularly complicated ones) but the simple open ones are fine.
I say ‘up to this week’ (June 23-27) because I bought myself an electric one for my birthday, brand new. Almost magically, those impossible bar chords were almost easy.
I’ve been building a basement studio, with dynamic and condenser mics, and this guitar is like a new addition of instruments I always have – bass, keyboard, acoustic, drums… so I did a Ska-based demo as an experiment with playing and recording the guitar:
Sound quality isn’t great (Mac internal microphone of the loudspeakers) but it examines how I multi-tracked it myself. Everything I played on my own. I even wrote lyrics because though it’s an over-used tune used by everyone it still sounds catchy and dancy.
What do you think? The guitar on there is only five months of infrequent practicing on an acoustic. All it’s missing now is organ and sax. And voice.

One other thing: Tiny parts or mere seconds of music can really create scenes for me via my synesthesia. I wrote one down that you might find interesting, based on one note in a Madness song:

I’m sitting on a wood bench, wearing a semi-formal suit. The wall behind me has some sort of pattern, using dark colours. I’m sitting with my legs relaxed and spread out, my elbows bent on my legs, hands slightly inwards.
Next to me, wearing a dress that suits her and the environment, sits a woman that’s my wife, or significant other of sorts. She’s got her legs crossed and her arms folded on top of them. A blouse over the top of the dress. We could be sitting in the lobby of a library or a city court, a building of civil or professional means. White daylight falls across us from the left; we’re facing west. Both of us have natural expressions on our faces, semi-serious, not smiling. What is easily apparent is how natural we both look, in the scene, and together.
-All that is based on the lone, low B Mike hits kind of randomly in ‘Not Home Today’ in the second pre-chorus verse. I’ve fallen in love with that note/major/minor chord.

Anyway, sorry if I’m a bit wordy and long, but just passing that I did get a Stratocaster and am still putting together demos and music. Taking piano lessons as well. Might be the next Karl Wallinger or Green Gartside, one-man-band (but can’t sing). Oh well.

Hi Justin
I like it, you are doing far better than i was after 3 months. Left handed too! I am left handed but play the guitar right handed. I use a Podfarm interface for guitar, it’s quite fun you get loads of amps. Keep on doin’ what yer doin! That Synesthesia thing is so strange, I can’t imagine how it must feel..

Hi Chris how are you?
I’m a 17 years old italian fan, i live in Florence,Tuscany, and i just want know why Madness doesn’t play same gigs here, just why…
I hope that soon Italy will be able to listen Madness again, I will be there.
Meanwhile, greetings from Florence :)

Dear Paul
You can’t. We had them made. I have a couple in my loft but they are not for sale.
thanks, CB

Hi CB,

One of my best friends since childhood Nicholas Palmer collapsed at the finish line and sadly passed away after running the Southend Half Marathon last Sunday. It was such a shock to us all as he was such a kind and wonderful person and especially as he leaves behind a wonderful 6 year old boy – George.
We still don’t know the exact cause as yet but his family have asked to play a Madness track at the end of his funeral once it goes ahead as he was a massive fan of you guys and we saw you everytime you played London since you got back together in 1992….at the moment its a toss up between One Step Beyond or Night Boat To Cairo (his favorite track) as they want something upbeat.
The reason I am messaging you is for 2 reasons/favours if possible?
1. If you could publish the following link http://www.justgiving.com/NickPalmerMemorialFund on your message board. His favorite charity was Great Ormond Street Hospital as his son was looked after there when he was very young. Already over £5,000 has been raised in just a few days with some touching tributes…if any fellow Madness fans out there would be kind enough to contribute it would be great as we push towards the target of £10,000.

2. Also I know it would be a long shot but I don’t suppose there is anyway you could dedicate your famous ‘Showtime’ performance at the London O2 this year to Nick? I know that both him and especially his family would be so touched. At the moment his family are getting through this tragedy by all the wonderful messages of support they are recieving and this would be such a nice show of support from his favorite band.

I know its a long shot and we certainly understand if you can’t but theres no harm in asking at this difficult time.

Thanks CB and we’ll be raising a glass or 10 to Nick when myself and Nicks other good friends see you in December.

Thanks Again

Ashley Moore

Dear Ashley
As you can see, I have roused myself from my lazy ways, answered a lot of questions and it was all because I read this. It makes me feel incredibly sad that Nick was doing something so worthwhile and it cost him his life. If I do a “Showtime” at the O2 I will dedicate it to Nick, it would be my pleasure. I really hope you raise a lot of money for Great Ormond Street.
One last thing is perhaps you should play “It Must Be Love” at his funeral, the opening lines seem so fitting. Anyone reading this please donate some money, lets get to that £10,000 target – and beyond!
yours, CB

I’ve been a fan of Madness since i was 10 years old. I’m 25 now, from Macedonia and i once made a promise to myself that if i work hard i’ll be able to meet you, to interview you since im a journalist/radio host in a small radio station. You made me the happiest person yesterday when they announced that you are coming to this year’s Sziget Festival in Budapest, it would be the first time that i’ll be able to see you perform live.
It would be a great honour if you explain to me how does your interview policy work and who decides who gets a chance to do interview with someone from the band? Sorry if i’m bothering you, but i do hope you have time to answer me this. :)

Dear Nikolaj
Please contact our management via this site. I am sadly not playing at that festival due to family commitments. We played a few years ago, it was great.

Hello Chris

Going to be there at The Hague (Night at the Park), but can you tell me….what time are you on? We’re travelling from Spain so we’d like to know the actual Show TIME

Thanks for last night mister Foreman, great as ever. Onze questionnaires, is Bedders finale back. To stay?


I was watching Madstock 92 and over the credits at the end is Bedders saying how he had fun and now he can retire.
What was the feeling amongst the band after Finsbury Park in 1992? Did you think that was the end? If so, what changed?

Kerry Morrison

Dear Kerry
Well me being ever the cynic, I didn’t even want to do Finsbury Park. Next thing was after the “farewell come back” Finsbury Park shows the band announced a UK tour, which I didn;t want to do. So they said “Ok – we’ll just say you broke your arm”. Because of course the show had to go on, they had to announce the tour. So of course I did the tour and enjoyed it and then off we jolly well went. I realise I am a very lucky person to be part of a band that still enjoys this level of popularity.
thanks, CB

I’ve been watching some of you axecam video’s. You should get yourself a GoPro. So many clamps and mounts you could use, and also in HD quality.

Firstly it’s great to have Mark back in the fold. Secondly CJ, you’ve written more than a few stonking songs over the years mate, but which Madness song gave you the most pleasure in composing? Respect, as ever sir,
Sean Kilminster

Dear Sean
Hard to say. “Madness Is All in The Mind” was fun as I wrote the lyrics as well and it came out more or less exactly as I wanted it to.

Dear Domingo
“One Step Beyond” was quite easy a song title, “Absolutely” was a saying one of our tour managers had, “7″ was Chas’s concept based on the lucky number 7, “Rise and Fall”, a song title er..”Keep Moving” ditto, “Mad not Mad” song title, er..”Wonderful” a song title [of a song that wasn't on the album] “Norton Folgate” a song title and “Oui Oui” a quote from a song..
yours CB

Can you elaborate on or do you know anything about that glorious lil’ bit of dub-techno pop that accompanies the ‘All For The MADHEAD” minute long video as ya’ll enter the stage….?
I mean, it’s AWESOME… and whose crotchety ole’ man ramble is that? I’ve heard the same voice in many a Madness song-thx!

Hi Chris,
I attended the last Madness concert in Glasgow and during a short intermission there on the big screens was the late great Alex Harvey, just wondering who in the band is a fan and what a touching moment. I can’t wait to see you all in Glasgow in December.
See you further on up the road

Dear Norrie
Basically Lee, Mike and I used to go and see him a lot. I have just put up an “Impossible Dream” giant poster that I nicked of a wall in 1974 or something. It was till wet and had just been pasted up and one of my old mates had it in his house. Suggs said he saw him support someone and was also a fan. Chas also liked Alex Harvey, as well.
Vambo Rules! CB

Foreman :D , well hello there sir,

Can’t believe I aint asked you this yet but , What brand strings you use , Personally for me on acoustic it’d have to be martin lights or extra lights (mediums hurt the side of my baby finger when muting strings) and on electrics (dont change mine that often) but ernie ball mediums

oh yeah , how often you change your strings now i think of it ? (they say your meant to do it every 2-3 weeks for best results) Mine how and ever only get changed 23 times a year (and yes i can write my name in my fingers with the strings afterwords hahahahahahaha)

Shann Xxxxxxx

Dear Shann
I don’t use an acoustic but maybe try nylon strings? I use er dammit Ernie Ball I think – or is it Rotosound? I only change them when they get rusty ha ha. I tell my guy not to change them too often..

nylons are a pain to tune……they go out of tune when your tuning them until you stretch em far enough as doing so – takes up to 20-30 tunes , annndddd you have to tune em just a little bit flat ( i used to wrk in a musical instrument/small household electrics shop)

Well what a treat u boys are serving up this summer…. Seen you loads at home but never abroad so am lookin into a little mini tour, especially fancy the holland trip as it coincides with my birthday, I might even get that drink of you that’s still outstanding.!! Keep up the good work
Pompey Pete

Hello Chris just re-watching Take It Or Leave It on dvd again, and there’s something that’s always puzzled me. Why would that bouncer (bloke in porno from American Werewolf In London!) not let the band leave the club until the Specials were on stage? Did this happen in reality and was the band actually double booked that night? All the best.

Dear Matt
That was so funny, I really took the pi** out of him when we were filming the scene, which was risky, as he was a right hard nut. Well spotted. I think in the film we said it was fire regulations or something. It didn’t actually happen but it was hard to get out of the Nashville, as it was packed. We were double booked as we had already confirmed the Dublin Castle gig but we didn’t want to miss the chance of playing with the Specials.

Dear Tom
Well, he is the most cool geezer I know, he’s got a good view of life really.

Hey Chris, hope you’re well…I’ve not been back to the Cupboard much since fatherhood beckoned but now Tilly Rose is the ripe old age of 10 months I’ve got time on my hands again. I’ve been listening to all the albums in order over the last week and what happy, happy memories. ‘Mad Not Mad’ surprised me with how nostalgic it made me feel…I was getting into horror films (old and new) at the time, and one got shown on BBC2 – ‘Wicked Wicked’ – a really obscure 70s one from America, set in a faded old beach hotel. There was some fat woman playing a bog old organ in it and some of it reminded me of bits of the song ‘Time’. Whenever I hear it now, I get a tingle down the neck from associating with that film! That was the first year I saw you live too – Manchester Apollo, at the ripe old age of 15. Can’t describe the excitement, too much…and I felt very proud. I loved the maturing sound of the band and stood up loyally when some (too many) fell by the wayside cos they were stuck ina rut. ‘Yesterday’s Men’, I first heard in HMV in Manc…soulful and cool but sad cos a few were telling me that you WERE yesterday’s men. And now here we are…so many more glorious albums come and gone! It’s been a proper journey and, since first hearing you when I was nine, I’ve never wanted to get off the train. Your music and the band itself are indelibly linked with my life, and it’s richer for it. Tilly’s already dancing to you ( well nodding head and moving shoulders). Guess someone else is gonna have a lifetime’s musical memories to cherish.

No question to ask, Chris. Just wanted to say thanks.

Cheers, dude….Big E

Dear Brian
It’s been more than that! What a lazy man I am…I have er produced a band painted that bit in the shower that was flaking er..got a jetwash and washed the outside walls. I don’t really go on here much when the band is not working, I apologise to all for my slackness..CB

Chris it’s always great when then the band bring out new material and tour . But has there ever been a discussion about doing a seminal album gig eg. One step beyond , probably not something the band would be keen on but I think the hardcore fan base would lap it up

Dear Caigsey
If you look at our usual set list, most of “One Step Beyond” is in it. One Step, The Prince, Madness, Night Boat to Cairo, My Girl..etc We have performed “Norton Folgate”, which is a far more interesting option.
thanks CB

Glasgow? This Christmas or next? Don’t say you don’t know, coz you must. Even Chas & Dave can play Glasgow 2 years in a row and they’re 70!!

Haste Ye Back Boys….Haste Ye Back

Hi cheers from Mexico almost 2 years since you came ! hey Chrissy do you like as well Queens of The Stone Age band?
I know you like rock and some bunch as the beastie boys so i was just wondering.

Yo yo yo Foreman , Hows you been lately ??

Couple of questions (Well 3..I have had a lot of time on me hands lately!)

1. can damaging a nerve in a finger affect guitar playing ? ( I stabbed myself in left hand and it shot through and done me nerve in 3rd finger…thought it was an artery so i suppose i should be grateful)

2. I rad you are let handed and but learned to play guitar right handed , any tips for learning with the other hand …was your dad a leftie guitarist?

3. can you play like Wilco Johnston and if so how do you not cut your fingers ?

Thanks Dude ,
Love Shann

Hi Shann
1. As long as you can move your finger, you should be OK.
2. I am left handed but I do most things right handed, so it never felt awkward holding a guitar like that.
3. Ah me dear old Wilko I have tried that no pick thing and it’s very hard, didn’t cut my fingers though.

Hi Chris,

It’s to early to expect new material this year and you are in the middle of a writing process.
Are there any other releases planned for this year to celebrate 35 years of Madness?
There are still some very interesting unreleased tracks like My Mums Roses And Perfect Place.
Looking forward to see you in Tivoli, Utrecht


Hi Chris forgot a couple of things meant to ask about the rumours of a new Madness beer coming out called Lovestruck do you know anything about it (Gladness is ace) and can you tell me how to get permission to cover Madness as a charity single for children in need (my band is hoping to use the tune but change the lyrics) cheers Terry B

Dear Terry
The beer thing went a bit off the rails, the company went bust sadly but we are looking at a new brewery to organise a pi*s up in. We will be back! Charity you need to contact EMI publishing, should be OK.

Hi Chris.

Could you tell us a bit about your current project working with Gorgeous George. How it started and which tunes particularly of theirs do you like the most? Thanks.

I was put in touch with the band via an old mate [Noel Watson]. I met them last summer, then eventually we went into a rehearsal studio and I re arranged a few of the songs then we recorded them earlier this year and I think the new single “Girls Night Out” is Now available. This is a previous single which I really like. I like a lot of their songs, really.

Evening CJ; I’ve been playing “Wonderful” constantly at the moment. Any chance you could persuade the fellas to revisit some of the gems on this almost “forgotten” album sir?

Dear Sean
I try, I really do. “Lovestruck” seems to get on the setlist, then vanishes. Great song and our last proper big hit.

There is a section in the middle of “Shut Up” a solo bit, which is a bit twangy. Clive Langer [ our producer] said “why don’t you write a whole song like that?” So I did. I wrote some of it on the piano. [The intro bit]
thanks CB

hello chris, ive been meaning to write to you for ages, well since minehead, but i cant wait any longer, i gave 7 copies of my book, a dog called dez to a man whos name escapes me sorry, who is part of your managment team to give one to each member of the band, well im dying to know if you have read it? one of the reasons i agreed to do it was because it was a rare chance to tell the world how much you all helped me through bad times and of course how great you are! it was great to meet you again at butlins 2013 , if a little unexpected, the woman i was with has more front than buck house and the next thing i knew i was saying hello to you and lee, butlins 2012 was just the best being backstage was very special moment for me so i ended the book with it, i do a lot of speaking for guide dogs and promoting the book and it nearly always decends into madness! i demand that everybody there goes out and buys your entire back cataloge, with love and respect chris, from john tovey & dez, [unoffical ambassador to madness]

Dear John
I got the book but I have not read it yet sorry. Very slack at reading books. Thanks for giving it to me and I promise I will put it on my bucket list!


What were your favorite bands growing up? And what artists would you say influenced the band as a whole other than Prince Buster?

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

Kerry Morrison

Dear Kerry
Well Motown stuff then Glam, Reggae, Disco Heavy Metal, about everything really. I suppose Beatles, Kinks , Stones Chuck Berry Duanne Eddy oh I could go on all day. Roxy Music, Alex Harvey, Ian Dury Kilburns and Blockheads I feel very lucky to have grown up in the 60′s /70′s as the music that I heard was so good really. Of course plenty of mush as well..

Hi Chris just a few thoughts as its been a while since I emailed you cos I didnt really have anything important to ask you lately but after going to see Suggs show I wondered if you had thought about getting older as I have since the show and I finally started my bucket list here it is 1 – finish my failed bungee jump 2 – get a full collection of coloured Harrington jackets (almost done) 3 – have a threesome (wife will feckin kill me lol) 4- go to every date on one of madness”s future tours 5 – revisit Gumbet in turkey where we had our honeymoon 6 – renew my wedding vows that is as far as I have got have you ever thought of your list and whats on it and I was also having a trip down memory lane looking at my old Madness stuff and the things I missed out on ( cant believe the grey day pacamacs were only £3,00) did you keep any valuable things for your old age also can you tell me if there are any plans to make the house of fun weekender open to under 16s as I did ask two years ago and you replied that if it was a success it may be allowed in future but it never changed (pleeaasse dont delete this through timewasters as its not about a tour honest) also as I hate the thought of you getting ripped of can you check ebay as there is a seller selling lots of DVDs of you most are old tours which are probably ok but he does list some newer stuff thats not he is selling copies of the new Take it or leave it dvd his ebay name is anyalbumyouwant18paul finaly after seeing the Dublin gig on youtube I thought a great showtime song would be My Way (a la Sid Vicious) if you havent done it before it would sound great cos hopefully the whole band could join in sorry to go on but had a lot so ask hope you are in good health and cant wait till see you all on stage again cheers Terry B

Dear Terry
Sorry about the delay in replying. Bucket list? I have something like that and I am working my way through it but I need to keep it quiet till I’ve done it all. I have achieved most of my dreams really. The ebay stuff yeah what a rip off and hopefully people will not but any of it. I have “sung” “My Way” but in the proper style not like dear old Sid’s version.
thanks CB

Good day to you CB.
Will Madness be doing anything extra special this year at HOF weekender being that it is your 35th year? Thanks to you all for 35 years of indulgent entertainment and many more to come.
See you in Minehead.

By-the-way… I waited outside of Burger King with your pint but I didn’t have the pink hat on you told me to wear. Maybe that’s how you missed me :-)

Dear George
Sorry I missed you. I was bit early this year about 2am. This year I don’t have a clue but it will be fun either way.
thanks, CB

Yo ChipChip , I was on ultimate guitar website and was looking up Never Knew your name, it gave me a 4 chord loop with Amin, Gmaj,Dmaj and Eminor, for a cappo on 3rd fret,, which you don’t use ..do you just play it with out a cappo and use them chords (due to the higher tone off electric guitars) or have you actually fully transposed it (in other words: haven’t a notion of what I’m talking about ?

Shann xxxxxxxx

Dear Shann
It sounds far too complicated for me. I usually play Gm and Dm I think. It’s been a while…

Hello C.B.,
Here are some suggestions for your showtime performances on future gigs : Jailhouse rock , Blueberry hill , Wonderful world , I’m too sexy for my shirt , Waterloo , …

I’m sorry that I’m boring and constantly write about this video, but unfortunately I had to remove the video from You Tube- 4 companies accused me that I wanted to take advantage of Madness and your song to make money on it. I am very sad because I spent few months of drawing to do something nice for Madness not to rob my lovely band. I wish I could have possibility to send this animation by e-mail, but I can understand but if no one will be interested in. I promise that I will not bore you with this. xxx Kasia

Hi Chris

I wonder of you could talk about how the song writing process works. When someone writes a song…does everyone develop their own part of it?


Dear Kerry
More or less, yes. Some songs arrive fully formed, others take a lot of work.Everybody puts stuff and ideas in

Dear Kasia
Sorry about this. There seems to be loads of other Madness songs on Youtube, I don’t know why they are blocking your video.

Oi up young Chip, couple of questions
firstly, (this is something that I cannot take credit for as it was something that came up as a joke on the Chrissy-Boy fan page that yours truly set up on facebook but personally I fully agree) what about doing showtime album…just you??? (even though you don’t like the band doing covers you could a fairly decent job just you on acoustic as a’pose to electric)
following that you can finally change your showtime tracks (seriously the dust on them has to be effecting them!)
Secondly have you ever thought of like youtube teaching ..where like you video how to play madness songs and other songs you like (personally i think it wouldn’t do the band any harm….and it would keep you out of trouble which is a godsend 57 years to late hahaha!

Its abit long so I shall leave it there
Shann xxxxxxxxx

Dear Shann
What a great idea. I was going to do it at Butlins but I don’t want to hog the limelight from the band. yres the ol Showtime is creaking at the seams but some people come to loads of gigs so see the same songs. I don’t think I’ve done “New York, New York” in Dublin before?

no you hadn’t done it before NYE but in honeslty it was about the only place you hadn’t done it until nye hahahahahaaha

Hello again Chris,

I am thinking about the idea of a guitar, I have an acoustic but never got into it because it was awkward to play and I get a sense that an electric might be easier on my short fingers.

I think it’s neat when someone manages to put together a band, get a record deal, get exposure, even record a few hits and work together and go down somewhat in history at least for something or other, but I think it’s one step further when, at least in Madness’ case, I see the band mentioned in novels or books. It’s probably a lot rarer in North America, but I have seen the band’s name mentioned in a few novels I’ve read. There’s a mention in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity (1995) early on in the book, as well as the Inspector Banks novel The Summer That Never Was.
Both books take place in the U.K. which makes sense for the mentions but either way I think it’s a pretty neat honour to have the band a part of works of fiction and I’m always happy to see it name-checked. Thankfully none of you are fictional. You’re not just part of the airwaves at any given moment, you’re also a part of literature. And I think that’s wonderful.

Dear JC
We get a mention in Andy McNabbs “Bravo Two Zero”, too. All the best with the guitar try and get a chord book with pictures of the fingers, as opposed to one with just the dots. It helped me.
yours, CB

Hey CJ; just for a bit of fun – if you were casting the band into roles in “The Godfather” who would play who ? Include yourself as Michael Corleone obviously !!
Kind regards,
Sean Kilminster

hi Chris, have you heard of the specialized project raising funds for teenage cancer trust…..this year its Madness turn to have they’re songs covered and Dave Wakeling has got a specialized collective including members of the specials, the beat, selecter , etc to do a version of our house, would any of the Madness boys be interested and making it the full complement of two tone artists, a la starvation project?

Dear Wayne
I haven’t heard anything about this myself. I wish them all the best with it, a great cause.

Not a lot. I’m quite surprised that we played all the album, more or less. Thanks for putting it online.

Hey kerry, absolutely well done for posting this. I remember the “7″ tour as a 13 year old back in 1981 and it’s brought back a lot of happy memories. The picture and sound quality is superb and it’s great to hear songs like “mrs hutchinson” and “tomorrow’s dream” played live again. Now if only CJ could convince the boys to revisit these songs again ……
Just goes to prove that Madness were so much more than a classic singles band – well done again
Sean Kilminster

Hi Chris:

Hope all is well with you and the lads. I am not going to ask if you are coming back to the States, but if you and the boys are interested in that? Would love to write a follow-up piece about the band returning to the US West Coast.

Now that Bedders is back, do you reckon someone should give him a kick up the bum to get his writing head on. He don’t write much but what he has is always class.

Dear Kasia
I don’t think you need the large Madness logo and the song title being displayed throughout but otherwise it’s really good. Post it up and I’ll link it to the Madness site favourites
thanks, CB

Dear Beatlesmadness
Quite sad really. I took the time to send that CD and ha ha – they sold it! Well it is years later I suppose and maybe they are on hard times. Still – it goes to show why sometimes we don’t sign stuff. I wouldn’t do that again, anyway.

Dear Cressida
Facebook? I have a Facebook account but only my real friends are friends, if you know what I mean.

lol you did i remember it well you said “you and me down the front doing rabbit rabbit and demonstrated a dance :) i knew you didnt mean it anyway :)

Forgot to ask the last Time….Who does replace Lee now and again when he is busy with LTSO
I mean, the man realy dresses up like him but I can see he is much younger (hahaha)…

Hi Chris! How are you?
I’m Kevin. I’m from Barcelona and I wrote to you 2 or 3 years ago. I love Madness, but now I don’t wanna talk about this.
I found in Facebook a page of a “apparel company” with a similar name and image like Madness. I think this is a copy of the “Madness” letters and design of your tshirts.
What do you think? It’s a shame. This is the link of the Facebook page:

PD: I love “Oui, oui…” but I miss your guitar at the end of “Misery” and in the song “Circus Freaks”.

Dear Kevin
Thanks for the merch tip, the team are on to it. Guitar at the end? Is it not loud enough? It never is really..

Dear Chris,
there’s no question here…. but on returning from LA on an 11 hour flight in economy (my employers are so tight!) and faced with no working in flight films (get it sorted, BA!) I successfully managed to get through the ordeal thanks to listening to Madness for 11 hours, and even then I had not exhausted the full canon of work! Listening to some songs I haven’t heard for a while, plus noting how good the NF and Oui Oui songs stand in comparison to the older ones, bloody marvellous! So thanks for getting me home!
Any plans for starting work on another album? so there is a question after all…
Best wishes for Christmas and 2014!

Hi Chris,

I just wondered if you and the guys were aware that NBC here in america uses “Our House” from time to time as a segway to commercials on their Sunday Night Football broadcasts? Good to hear the band getting airtime in the US….

Compliments of the season to you and yours CJ; a question sir, have you kept all of the guitars you’ve used throughout your career or are you not sentimental about your instruments in that respect ? Respect, as ever, Sean Kilminster

Dear Sean
Ha! The ones I am sentimental about seem to be gone. The first one I ever had, I lent to an old school friend in the 80′s. He doesn’t know what happened to it. The second really good guitar I had seems to be missing somewhere. It may be in my loft..

Dear mr. Foreman,

Something to keep you warm and get you through the winter: Dutch firma Gamma (sort of hardware store chain in the Netherlands) uses “Our House” for their TV ads. Did you know this?

BTW: Does Mike still live in the Netherlands?

Dear Twanno
Yes I knew thanks, they had to ask me but I appreciate that. Mike has a house here and I think a flat in Holland.

Dear Chris,

I would appreciate your opinion on this as it will help with the dissertation I’m writing on Madness.

If you can imagine for a moment, that madness never formed as a band in the 80s, and only today decided to form a band called Madness, and go on X-Factor with their brand new song called ‘House of Fun’. how do you think they would be received?

Madness are very popular today, but if you were a new band on the block today, do you think you could be just as successful as you was in the 80s?

Dave Allen

Dear David
That was a big hit and quite catchy so we would probably do quite well, losing out to a dancing dog in the finals. However, if it was “The Prince” we might not have done so well. We don’t sell records anymore in the quantities we used to but neither do most people.

Dear Chrissy Boy

Ive now completed my dissertation on Madness, {For the purpose of university anyway} however I intend to continue witting it in my own time, I was talking with radio presenter Robert Elms about it yesterday, and he made some very interesting points. I really appreciate all the feedback you have given me too.

I wonder if you and the boys would be interested in reading my dissertation, I spoke with Suggs when I met him at a book signing last year, and he said he would be interested in seeing it when it’s done, but I’ve not been able to get hold of him on twitter as of yet. Is there a way I can send it on here? Is a pretty big file.

Dave Allen

Hi Chris,

What is NW5 about ?

I was listening to it and thought it was about a father who is denied access to his child and will never see them grow up. Am I right ?

Dear Malc
It’s whatever you want it to be. That’s the good thing about Thommos lyrics, which I am not worthy to comment on really.

Happy seasons greetings Mr. Foreman , once the festive period is out of the way do you see a new album appearing in 2014 to keep the nutty millions worldwide happy ? All the best – Steve.

Hi Chris I know obviously you guys as a seven piece had your musical influences as a group. But what were your own musical influences when growing up and what got you interested in playing the guitar?

As the new trend for bands is doing a classic album front to back out live on the road, would it be feasible and would you like to take Norton Colgate on the road I think it’s the best thing yous have ever done it would be the dogs in small places ie newcastle academy hint hint ktf

Fair point ,, just bung a few on at the end, the who did at the end of the quadrophenia gig Take care paul hope to see yous this year

Hello Chris,

Finally heard the song ‘Memories’ properly (full song) and wanted to pass on that the guitar introduction is beautiful. It’s the best part of the song along with the piano. Almost makes me want to learn guitar after all these years of self-teaching myself bass and piano.

Dear Chris,

Hello. Hope you are well.

Just a suggestion for the site. It would be really handy if the news blog RSS feed also contained updates posted in your cupboard (always the most interesting bit of the site!) Or even better, a dedicated RSS feed for each band members updates. I’d love to be able to see you responding to questions about Suggs’ sunglasses in real time :-)


Dear Wez
“always the most interesting bit of the site!” I’ve always liked you. Yes that’s a good idea, except I am very slow on replying these days but I suppose it would make me raise my game.
all the best, CB

Hello – You posted where all your old videos where shot a long time ago. Is it still available somewhere? A visit to Camden Town is coming up and would love to take a tour :)

Hello Chrissy,
In a lot of mid 80′s photos circa ‘Mad not Mad’ you seemed to be going through a long haired stage. What was that all about?
Chris Bartley

Dear Bartley
I had a bet with Thommo on who could grow their hair longest. I won. He cut it off for the “Yesterdays Men” video.

Yo dude , I know I messaged you about actorJamie Foreman (thats old news hahaha)
This is more important
Who’s your favourite band and whats your favourite song by them
I know your big on A.C.D.C and The Beatles and a couple of others but I wasn’t sure :-)
as always writing to you has been a plesure

Dear Shann
My New Years resolution was to answer all the questions in my cupboard and you are the first! Happy New Year. It was nice to see you in Dublin, we had a great time. My current favourite band is Dr.Feelgood. Favourite song is “Cheque Book”
In mono.
love, CB

i should of guessed that you would have picked doctor feelgood …love their song roxette and as for their song milk and alcohol (Took a while to grow on me) its pretty class..that ones all right..it’s good (First time i heard it) …you probably have but have you heard their version of “See you later alligator” …and as for dublin..It was amazing to see you too (even if it is your job hahahaha)
can’t wait for next one hahhaa

Dear Chris,
I went to the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry on Friday Nov 1st to see Our House. What a fantastic story, surely there’s a film there? The music could at times be subtly played on radios or pub juke boxes in various scenes. “A Simple Equation” would be a great name for it. Any thoughts? Regards, Coventry’s Cheekiest Charmer.

Hi Chris , I have seen madness on numerous occasions but I am a HOF WEEKENDER virgin as this is my first year I am really looking forward to it , can you give me a small insight to what to expect ie what nights do you play all the best Buster Boy

Dear Buster
1st night something old and different. Second night the usual set, with some added “new” oldies. Have fun.

Hi Chris

I really cant understand why La Luna was not a single ? With air play I’m convinced this would be a hit. How can I tell you and Misery are not in the same league as this song. La Luna is the best song on the album, I know this because i’m still not bored of listening to it !!!!



Good idea Chris to write passwords down on a bit of paper in case you forget it and hence you cannot log on ! Mind you remembering where the piece of paper is hard enough……….

Thx a lot for playing in Duesseldorf with Die Toten Hosen. I guess the audience was a bit tooooo young for excellent music :-) Anyway, I enjoyed it.

Cheers from duesseldorf

Hello Chris

Since you didn’t write the song, I hope I kan ask you this Question: Is Drip Fed Fred about Freddy Foreman (the well known English version of Al Capone) and is there any (family) relation???

Ok young Chris , straight and to the point ! Is this the end again as the end of the Ally Pally Our House has a lot of people worried !
Have the Allen family missed out again !
Yours faithfully
Barry , Anita , Karl & Alyssa

The gig att Alexandra Palace was fantastic! Definitely worth a trip to London! Madness was great as usual and it was fun that you got your minutes in the spotlight. I’m sure Mr Sinatra would have loved your performance! And the crowd was also fantastic – it was not just a Madness consert – it was a Madness party with a lot of wonderful people. Do you know how many we were at the concert? I’d love to see you home in Sweden some time! Best regards, Johan S

Hi Chris,
Great gig as usual at Northants last night, loved the little dance routine you, Lee and Chas did at the start of Madness…. was that a taster of what to expect for the Friday night entertainment at Butlins? ….. very good ‘Jazz hands’ by the way!

Here is a picture of you at your suave and sophisticated best, which I thought you might like for your next profile pic… https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151960143866474&l=9cfe7f816e

You were probably a little ‘refreshed’ to remember…. I did get it on video though, not that I was filming you…. ;)

On the House of Fun music video which one of you is seated on the left (our left) on the looping coaster? I’m referring to the bit right after the terrifying part with the frogs. I have been trying to figure it out for days with no success. Whoever it is looks petrified, yet having the time of their life.

Ahoy Commander!
How are you young man? Been a while, but hope you’ve had a cracking summer!
Haven’t really got a proper question, but I had been thinking something and wondered your opinion. Your old pal Morrissey has been complaining of late (nothing new there) that his new album is all finished, mixed and ready but he doesn’t have a record label. Would it be completely insane to sign him to Lucky 7? Just like the good old Zarjazz days. I know it’s not quite that sort of label, but think what great publicity it’d be for all concerned, and would probably make you guys a decent bit of dosh as well. Plus, having heard some of his new stuff, it’s about time he got back out there.
What do you reckon? I am, as ever, only half joking…

All the best good Sir,


Dear Owen
Morrisey? Isn’t he an author now? Lucky Seven is really a subsidiary of Cooking Vinyl. We don’t have vast amounts of money, or a great big office in the West End. I’m sure Mozz will get by.See you at Butlins?

Dear Chris

Your response to my last post were I informed you of the Dissertation I’m writing about Madness was most helpful, so thanks for that, if I ever have the honour of meeting you one day, I shall buy you a pint! ☺

I know from reading John Reeds book ‘HOUSE OF FUN: THE STORY OF MADNESS’ that you among other members of the band from an early stage were conscious of being tied to the 2-Tone/ska revival flagpole, you are quoted for saying: “ we want people to talk about the madness sound in years to come. We don’t like to be thought of as part of any revival because after that fashion is dead, the groups that they rely on the fashion aren’t heard of any more”.

That said do you think madness as a band has achieved this, or would you admit that the 2-Tone movement has contributed to the success of Madness? Also do you think the ska reunion with the specials in 2009 has contributed to your recent success in any way?

Just to be clear I’m personally not suggesting you guys owe anything to two-Tone in that respect, I believe you are one of the most unique and distinguished bands to have ever come out of the pop industry! But I’m putting this argument forward in my dissertation and primary resources such as comments from you really help to back up the point I’m trying to make. That being that madness should not be referred to as a ska band in the same way as the specials are. You may or may not be surprise to hear that many people that I have met often refer to madness as a ska band and therefore feel somewhat disappointed with you’re more recent work. This narrow mindedness annoys me quite a bit, and that is one of the reasons why I’m putting this argument forward in my dissertation.

Would really appreciate hearing your comments on this point, the pints will be lining up at the bar for you mate lol

Dave Allen

Dear Dave
Sorry for the late reply. The 2Tone thing was great to be a part of but we transcended that really rather quickly.I don’t the Specials were just a SKA band, either. It was just a label.

Dear Brian
That’s so cool! Tip: Next time hold your camera in the landscape position, you’ll get a better shot.
thanks buddy, CB

I was actually getting a pint when the song came on. Luckily my wife was ready for it! Almost spilled the pint running back to my seat to enjoy.

After Chelsea’s win over Man City this past weekend, my daughter was dancing around the house as they showed the fans celebrating to One Step Beyond. Loved it!

Hi Chris
thank you for the interview in Montauban for the french MIS.
I forgot to ask you the story of the song “la luna” please. Why the name in spanish, why this mariachi rythm? anything to do with your trip to Mexico a few years ago ?
Cedric from Guadeloupe island Caribean sea

It was an idea of Chas’s. We were going to Mexico, so he suggested getting a Mariachi band on some of the songs. In the end the band we used was from LA but it turned out great. The name of the song is really Italian, as Suggs wrote it in Italy. He spends a lot of time there.
thanks, CB

Hello CB,

Next saturday ( 14 sep) you guys are in the Netherlands . Unfortunately I won`t be there.. (Recovering from surgery)
I hope you will have a great gig in Tiel and hope you will visit The Netherlands again someday..
(ps . did you recieve the birthday card from us: Rob, Emiek and Iris)

Dear Rob
I’m sorry to hear that you can’t be there. We’ll come again, for sure. Where did you send the card?
all the best, Chris

Usually I like to think it more that the title was changed into spanish since you were joking to suggs during an interview while in Mexico and you told him he should change the entire song into spanish hehe. I guess the chorus idea at least was changed into spanish becasue of that. Estrellas y La Luna . Though the lyrics on the CD booklet has still the lirycs in italian.

All the best Chrissy

Hey Chrissy Boy, first saw Madness here in New Orleans aboard the now extinct but then Mighty Riverboat President in 1983 & been Mad ever since-Anyhoo, can you elaborate on the upcoming release of ‘Take It Or Leave It’ as I was most proud to see the music of one of our greatest New Orleanians, one Fats Domino, included on the album-A Very Nice non-Madness Inclusion indeed!!!

Dear Tuna
Oh wow! The “President steamboat”. I found this picture
That gig was so much fun as we set off down river. Or was it up?. We loved New Orleans. I’m sad to hear what happened to the old girl but who knows, they may put her back together again. I really hope so. We’ve always liked Fats Domino and we used to play “I’m Walking” when we started up rehearsing way back in 1978. I don’t think we ever played it live.
thanks for the memory jog, CB

Backat’cha CB,
Cool Pic, Indeed! Yep, until further notice the Giant Ole’ Boat sits in shambles somewhere in Illinois waiting to be rescued…hopefully! As far as “I’m Walking”, that just seems like such a natural tune for you guys to have gravitated to…btw did you know that Ole’ Fats stubbornly stayed in his house during Hurricane Katrina & had to be rescued from the floodwater & that a restoration group has painstakingly restored his beloved old piano since then…? I did wanna ask you if you knew, had access to or could find the set-list for me to that show that night? I know ya’ll opened with “Embarrassment” but have never been able to piece it all together all these years… it was confusing back then too, because of the Madness USA (pool table-theme cover) Release we were getting a lot of stuff in reverse time-wise—I did notice Suggs had the same suit & red gloves from “The Sun & The Rain” video so I’ve always wondered if ya’ll played that tune that glorious night. But then I know that song & video probably came after Madness’ return to the UK from that US tour, right? OK, appreciate ‘ya, Chrissy Boy-THX!

As it will soon be Butlins time again what do you reckon you might be playing on the Friday night ? Will it be Oui, Oui album and other stuff or are there any new gems to show off ?? And therefore can one look forward to the greatest hits set on Saturday ? Cheers Dannyboy

Dear DB
Every year for the past three years I have suggested us playing old songs we haven’t done for years on the Friday night and call it by public demand”, as we would ask the fans what they want to hear. That would be hard as we have to rehearse but personally I could play “Rockin In Ab” or “Razorblade Alley” right now. The last two years we have played “Oui,Oui” so maybe this year we will do something else..
thanks, CB

Cheers for another good gig on saturday at Blackpool. At one point I did not think I would make it as I did my back in at work on friday, but with the help of alcohol and drugs I could cope with the pain I also made sure I never got into the mosh pit or by barrier. Fingers crossed I’m feeling better for Alley Palley. I hope you liked my version of “Who Are Ya” that I was trying to sing lol. :-)

Dear Dicka
I saw you going under for the third time. Thanks for enduring the pain and coming along, see you soon.
take it easy, CB

Love the new Cupboard. Speaking of new rooms…we just finished a re-do of one bedroom in our house. What does that mean? More beds for you lot when you come to visit us in Manchester, Maryland, USA. Just name the date. Beds for the band, but the string/brass monkeys will have to hole up in the basement.

Hello Chris

Gonna see you Guys again next Saturday in The Netherlands. Great thing, that you show yourselfs in our little country over and over again, for the last few years. Good thing I stayed a Fan for over 30 years.
PS Could you do “Me and Julio” in your SHOWTIME intermission?

Dear Johnan
I hope you enjoy it. I will perhaps do a version of an old AC/DC song that I first perfomed in Holland.

Hi Chris
Firstly,can I just say that I’ve been a fan of Madness since I was 12, (i’m now 45) & you guys have really been the soundtrack ,not only to my youth,but my adulthood too!! Can I thank you for that & say how the world would’ve been a whole heap worse without Madness! Secondly, i’m coming to see you in Blackpool on the 31st for the first time,(feel like a kid at Christmas actually)! Do you have any idea what time Madness are actually on stage, & do you have a support act? I’ve been hearing different reports of showtime being 2pm/4pm/5pm?? Thanks in advance. Looking forward to the show. Keep doing what you guys do- timeless music.

Dear Richard
I have been told “between 5 and 6pm onstage”. So get there by then please, as we won’t wait for you.
thanks, CB

Hi guys, wanted to thank you! Yearly we go with my family to a madness concert Londen, Amsterdam, Brussels wherever.. And now you are coming to Appelpop where I, for 10 years work on the market, painting Temporary tattooz for the kids and what is even better; you are coming ON MY BIRTHDAY so before I forget later: Thanks to all you mad7 for the best birthdaypresent EVER, Love Ellen.

Dear Chrissy,
I hope you can show this one to Chas…

A tribut to Chas

You are good in your time
And we thank you.
You make us feel less alone
And we thank you.
You say more in one day,
Than most people say -in a lifetime..
It is your time and we thank you.
You can always say:
“I am a roving young fellow..
I am a man you don´t meet every day,
I have always a shilling to spare,
So fill up your glasses of brandy and wine.
Be easy and free when you´re drinking with me
I am a man you don´t meet everyday!”
There´s a place in the sun for everyone
Who has the will to chase one?
Close your eyes and think of someone you admire,
I am a man you don´t meet every day.
Say would you let me cry,
On your shoulder I have heard that you try anything twice…
And we shall kiss you.
Your steel-blue- forget- me- not- angel- eyes that make us feel so alive!
We go thru hail and snow to praise you
And our hearts are open to you.
From London to the world, god shall always bless you, because even swallows get jealous
when they get to hear your lovely voice. The sound of a decade what more can we say.
Dancing barefeet in the snow, with confetti in your hair.
Our lovely dear cherub, a blush sometimes rose
Your tremendous smile with so much love within that we long for!
The luck is all before you
Now we have found our safety haven and that´s why we thank you forever…
Thanks Chas for years of madness, spirit and inspiration.

OK “Kiki”, AKA “Baby Jane” and “Bunny Bubbles”. I just checked the IP addresses for those 3 names and it’s the same IP every time! Can the real one please stand up, please stand up? let someone else have a go!
love, CB

Just wanted to say that the Newmarket gig was fantastic (sorry the comment is a little late but I’ve been on holiday).
I do have a quick question too, did Lee ask you to join his Ska Orchestra (knowing how close you two are) or do you have any plans to join him in the future ?
Finally, just wanted to say hello again. We have met a couple of times although the last time was in less happy circumstances, you see I’m Lenny Rodgie’s nephew. It would be great to hear from you.
Keep up the good work!!!

Dear Gary
Thommo asked me about two years ago if I wanted to do a CRUNCH! gig. I was away on the date he mentioned, so he started a band anyway. He has done really well with the Orchestra and was telling me the other day about some of their adventures. Playing covers does not appeal to me, so I am not really likely to join him. I saw the band in Brighton a few years ago and Seamus [Hammond organ] stayed at my house. It was great laugh and to not have to play but just enjoy the music was good fun. They are coming down here in October, so I will prepare the guest room…Oh dear Lennie Rodgie, what a character he was.God bless.
all the best, Chris

dear chrissy,
I found this very heartening image of Chas on the internet and I really love it. I hope the link works..
can you tell me when the image was shot and by whom.
It is very lovely he looks great and I love that he can be seen with a cat on his lap…it is cool and sexy and very romantic.is this available as a poster? it woul be nice if te madness website and the madstore can offer more posters in the future.greetings and kisses Bunny

Dear BB
What a gorgeous looking young man! I’d like a poster too. Chas always had loads of cats, he gave me the maddest one of the bunch once.I think the photographer might have been Eric Watson, I think this picture is from a Smash Hits Madness book.
PS this is really sad. I don’t know how I remembered his name but I just Googled and he died last year. He did a lot of stuff with us for various magazines, he was a lovely man.

thanks Chrissy, he looks so young and very attractive on that one ..it´s my fave photo of Chas and I think it is lovely that he has cats and that you got one too…I checked out the photographer , too thanks a lot for the info…as the image is not available as a poster i will try to enlarge it and hang it up above my bed………oh those dreams we all have smile…(and his expression on the image absolutely brilliant!!!!!)

CB, the coloured vinyl re-releases of your first 6 albums that have just come out are a joy to behold. Really well packaged and great collectors items. Just wondering, on this and the other recently revived re-releases, how much input and influence you and the rest of the guys have ?

Keep on keeping on !


Hi Chris,
I was just wondering whether you and the band have a favourite song to perform live? I’ve been to 3 Madness concerts and I personally love to hear NW5 (along with every other song of course) but I was just wondering whether you have a particular favourite.
Hopefully see you at a concert soon!

Hi Chris, 5 of us heading down from Scotland on the night bus for Alexandra Palace Gig on 28th Sept, then back up the road at 1am.
As we’ll have all day in London can you recommend any good watering holes that will accept 5 middle age Scotsmen in braces, pork pies and Fez’s!!
Gutted you’ve dropped Death of Rudeboy was one of the highlight’s of the Glasgow show for me.


Dear Parky
It has to be the Dublin Castle, Camden Parkway. Find Henry Conlon and tell him I said you get half price on the first round..
“Death of a Rudeboy?” I miss that one, too

Ahh…The world famous dublin castle, im from the midlands and every time i go to London, i just have to go there!.. With giant Madness posters that adorn behind the bar,and an epic jukebox. It would be a crime not to go there! Even met Graham Coxon there once, but alas have never bumped into the Nutty Boys as yet…. A definate visit before a home Madness gig!

As there is no more tree house, could you congratulate Thommo and his orchestra for the fantastic : The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius. But do you know what a bangarang is? Regards to all 7

Dear Mags
Yes, he is outselling Madness these days.
Banagrang? Is one of the below. [In the instance quoted, probably number 2.]
1. Battle cry of the Lost Boys in the movie Hook.
2. Jamaican slang defined as a hubbub, uproar, disorder, or disturbance.
3. General exclamation meant to signify approval or amazement.
1. “Bangarang!”
2. “What be all that bangarang?”
3. “Dude, I boned my psych professor last night.”

Hi CB… just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday. I will by you a pint at the House of Fun Weekender if I manage to bump into you again this year.

Hi Chris.

Great to see the continuation of the Cupboard on a new look site.

Myself and Owen are spinning a few tunes in the Dublin castle, on Halloween afternoon. Have you got any songs on a Halloween, spooky/monster/horror/witchcraft etc theme that you can recommend get played. Cheers.

Dear Chris, with all due respect I know you didn’t do it (change the website) but I still would like to congratulate the design. Usually when something like that happens it takes getting used to the new layout. Obviously the website creator had user friendly in his/her mind. Kudos to them.

Keep up the good work in making us happy and giving us a good feeling with your music and as Chas always says (and I kind of adopted the phrase not the thought which was always there)

peace and love


Dear Andre
How do yo know I didn’t do it? I have been on a web design course. Ok not really it was mainly Jam our web guy. He has made it simpler to use and navigate.It’s also really easy for me to answer questions and the “Timewaster®” program cuts out all the “when’s the next gig, where’s the next gig”, questions. Leaving me more time to slack off.
thanks, CB

hey Chrissy
the skatalites
chrissy, do you also like the group the skatalites..
checked them out today and really like most of their music especially “After the Rain” would be great if Madness could work with them soon or do a cover of that song ..love your music kisses Kiki

Dear Kiki
Yeah they are great – old time SKA. Covers are not interesting to me, though.
thanks, CB

Me and my daughter went to the gig at the closing of the BBC. We hung around to see the Trotters van and saw you going to the tube station and you ran!!! All we wanted was a pic! I’ve followed Madness for years and never have any luck in getting a photo with a band member! Why did you run lol!

Dear Lisa
Because I saw you? No, I had a train to catch and I had a very important date in Brighton. So, sorry it was nothing personal next time I’ll stop.

there could be a song in that post………………………………”All we wanted was a photograph”

Hello Chrissy boy

House of Fun at Top of the pops! Or is that just Madness?

I have been a massive fan of madness all my life and I am now at university in London studying music composition, and it has come to that time for us to write a dissertation, see title above:

I’m choosing to write about madness with regard to how they have remained successful in the music industry now for over 30 years. And looking hypothetically at the question if Madness never formed in the early 1980s but in this generation, would they be just as successful?

I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on this:

Do you feel that the band is more successful now than it ever was?

Are you aware of the common age group that attend your gigs?

Do you believe this generation appreciate your music or do you think that the bands success relies on the fans that saw you 1st time round in the early 1980s?

Hope to hear from you soon

Dave Allen

Dear Dave
In this generation, it would be far harder. We gave a cassette to Jerry Dammers. Then recorded a single for £300. That then got into the charts at number 62 or thereabouts. We then got a slot on “Top of The Pops” which had about 17 million viewers and all the correct demographics, they were all music fans and buyers. So the next day they could go to their local record shop and buy “The Prince”. Sadly all that has changed and neither “Top of The Pops”, or local record shops exist. We are now far more successful now than in the 80′s as a live band as opposed to selling large quantities of albums. The people who come to see us vary in age, from the first time fans to their children [or indeed grandchildren] and also some that were only 3 years old the first time round.
thanks and good luck with your dissertation, CB

Hi Chris,

It’s Looby, longtime no speak and all that. Hope you are well.

Just wondered what the VIP package included for the Blackpool gig on 31st Aug? See Tickets are advertising it for 3 times the price of the general admission but not stating what you actually get for the extra money…..?

Do we get to see you all dancing around a pole backstage, or maybe an acoustic personal rendition of New York, New York by your good self?

LL x

Dear Looby
Hello there. I would avoid at all costs. Probably better seats, a meet n’ greet etc. I have not been asked to pole dance or otherwise. I live in hope, though.

Dear young Chris
Is there any way you can help ?
I’m after a picture of there rear of Mike’s Morris Minor Van !
Its his artwork he sprayed on the door I’m after !
Tattoo or a car sticker , not made my mind up yet ?
All the best .
The Flash

just wanted to say thank you from Cai he had the best time on stage with you and johnny vegas at haydock park, one very happy 4 year old madness fan and a very proud nannie x

Dear Sheena
ah – so he was with you then? We nearly took him with us, to work on the T Shirt stall.

Hello Chris,
I just wanted to ask if you guys got your inspiration for the OuiOuiSiSi… title by the 60′s song Hey Boy,Hey Girl performed by Millie Small & Jimmy Cliff ? That song also features some OuiOui SiSi and JaJa DaDa’s in it . All the best and see you in Brussels , mate .

Hi, first of all; Approximately 2 hours after I bought tickets for your Alexandra Palace gig with tickets for the airplane and hotel, I opened a letter from my doctor saying “good news! You have time for your long awaited surgery on your foot 1 september”. I will be on cruches or in wheel chair on the concert.No standing in the front row, shouting and dancing…. :-(
And second (thus avoiding Timewaster); instead of saying “No questions about The Madness, Mad not Mad or my reclining hair line”; why not state somewhere on the homepage why they are not rereleased? Whats the problem? Can we do something like writing to your former record company?
Best regards and some appologies,
Johan S, Stockholm

Dear Johan
Those questions have been answered so many times, I just can’t be bothered. Good luck with the leg.

Chris you are a true gentlemen. You understand how your fans feel about what you and the rest of madness has given them. It is something truly special and has gone on far longer than any fan of madness could ever hope for. Your Music is a cure for all ills and can bridge a gap from father to son/daughter. Mate, I don’t know how to thank you enough! It may be a job but you certainly don’t treat us fans as a second rate employee. I wish you and your family all the best. I have had random contact with you for many years now and each reply that I’ve had is something that I cherish.
Thank you.

Dear Alex
Stop it, I’m blushing. We are very lucky to have you. I hope we will be around for many years to come.
Thanks, CB

Hi Chris
It was nice to hear a crisper guitar sound on the last album. I feel that on some of the earlier stuff you sort of get drowned out, i.e. there is a nice sound on ‘Wings Of A Dove’ but you really have to strain to hear it. Were you pleased with the way the album was mixed and do you think you may go down the same route with different producers on any future album?
PS It’s great to see all 7 of you together again!

dear Nuttytoffee
I was pleased but it should’ve been louder on “Circus Freaks”, though.
thanks, CB

Michael Caine and Belle Stars
dear Chrissy,
hope you are well these days..
I thought recently about Michael Caine. Did you meet him personally when doing the song? I loved that you used the sample of his agent thriller…it was great to use this sample and I hope madness will use some more samples of films and stars in the songs because i think it is a great way of starting or ending a song and to transport some meaning..I wondered if the story is true that Michael first refused to appear on the album but his daughter then told him how great and popular madness are and then he agreed to have his voice used on the song…then I am a great fan of the belle stars and especially Miranda Joyce´s style was perfect..the girls looked so tremendously cool and attractive..they appeared on Stiff too and worked with the band madness…(Sign of the times cover) …
I really loved their emancipated way of dressing and styling…did you remember them nicely being in the studio? They were a good start for other female bands to follow…thanks a lot for your comment Coco

Dear Coco
Micheal Caines daughter got him to record it, she had heard of us I think.. We didn’t meet him, unfortunately. The video was a homage to “The Ipcress Files”. The Belle Stars? I liked them so much, I took one home for a few years. She is on the left in my profile picture, the lovely Jennie. She’s still a close friend after all these years. “Sign of The Times” is not the Madness song, though. It was their own song.

yes, chrissy it is not a madness song I just meant cover in the sense of the song title…nice image thanks Coco

Dear Coco
Prince did a song called “sign of The Times”, too. I was listening to it yesterday.

yeah Chrissy checked it out too then I checked some Alex Harvey and Kilburns your teenage inspirations liked them a lot too and found that maybe you started with guitar because of them which was of course a great inspiration as well as Prince Buster……..

Hi chris
Wondering when the 2tone reunion tour is so I can get a back stage pass. If you could let me know where Suggs gets his sun glasses from so i can get some for you to autograph. Maybe we can have a chat about when the madness album will be re released right after we discuss your tailor?
Just kidding! Hello from nz.
Keep up the good work!

Dear Alex
I’ll get on to it. You just overloaded the Timewaster® software, by the way. It went into meltdown.

Dear Steve
That is a really inspiring piece of film, very moving. We all wear reading glasses of some kind.
thanks, CB

Dear Blarney
Yeah, I always moan about that. However, I always moan about everything. For example, “Lovestruck” I’d love to play that instead of say, “Bed and Breakfast Man”. It’s hard as a lot of people want to hear the old stuff. Recently we were playing “Death of a Rudeboy” as the first encore which I thought was great, a quite cool moody song that is new, very catchy and recognisable title, maybe some people will look it up online and hey! – buy the new album? It suddenly got dropped and we now just have “Madness” and “Night Boat”..
thanks, CB

Dear Paul
It was a “limited” edition, so releasing another 5,000 wold not be fair on all the people that bought it. There will be a “Take it or Leave It” set later on this year.
thanks, CB

Dear Chris,
I have got two questions.
First of all I am a big Madness and Joe Strummer (Clash) fan. Have you with Madness ever met Joe because I thought that there where some connections between Joe and the band..I think he was great as a person and I wonder what your opinion is about him. Were you also shocked by his early death? Then I would like to know how songwriting works ..do you scribble words and chords on paper and then present it to the rest of the band. Do you get influences for songwriting mostly at night or daytime? Do you get ideas from daily life and people you meet? Is it always hard to find the right words and rhyms? Best regards Baby Jane

Dear Jane
I met him [very briefly] once in about 1981 [see profile pic] I loved the Clash, it was a big shock him dying so young and very sad. I used to scribble chords on bits of paper but nowadays it’s all done via a keyboard on Logic [computer program]. I get tunes just popping up every now and then and I have got a few mumblings some on my mobile phone. You just reminded me, thanks. I must get them down properly.
all the best, CB

wow how lovely shot the image is very beautiful with Joe …thanks Chrissy for sharing this with us all.
you always look nice on images..you have got the looks definitely! thanks Baby Jane

hi chris,what a fantastic night at haydock,it certainly made up for last years cancellation.Do you remember little cai dancing with johnny vegas on “night boat”?he’s a little star in the madness facebook world!

Alright Chris
Saw you and the boys on Saturday at Haydock never thought I’d see you play in my hometown of sunny St.Helens I had my eight year old lad with me and we all had a top night.Anyway at the end of the gig trying to get away we was shoved into the gutters as three silver Mercedes vans barged there way through like they was royalty any ideas who these impatient buggers were.
All the best Doyle

Hey Chris, love the new cupboard. Very upmarket.

Hope you can answer my musical anorak’s question. Was it intentional for all the songs on Oui Oui to have a natural ending, ie no fade outs? By my reckoning it’s definitely the first time you’ve ever done it. In fact, probably most albums by most artists have fades.

Dear Graham
That’s a good question. It was not intentional. A lot of the songs have been played live which would be one reason.

Chrissy , Just congratulating you on a fantastic performance at Haydock, I live close to that course so was handy, but I’ve watched you many times, Cos it was local many of my mates come to see you for the first time and you won all of them over, The fan base just seems to be getting bigger and bigger yet again, The record crowd at Haydock proves it, We’ll love to see you back here again. But no doubt i’ll be seeing you again before the years out. Anyway well done again mate, so till next time….Long Live MADNESS.. Malc.
ps- The CB solo still wont have Suggsy losing any sleep !! haha

Dear Malc
Suggs is well worried, I keep drinking his magic “singer” drink, onstage…
cheers, CB

A couple of weeks ago I drove the family down to the South West from Yorkshire for a weeks holiday. We decided that, to avoid the traffic, I’d drive us down through the night. We left East Yorkshire at 10:00pm with the missus next to me and the kids in the back. After an hour or so of general excitement everything in the car settled down and firstly the kids then the wife fell asleep. At around 11:30 I pulled into a service station on the M1, got myself a coffee and got ready for the long drive ahead. The roads were clear, the night was warm and my family were safe around me. To get me through the long drive I decided that, once everyone was asleep I was going to have a listen to each Madness album, some if I’m honest I’ve not listened to for years. So, slipping on the ‘One Step Beyond’ album, I was off. Without trying to be too poetic and corny, you know that sometimes in life you get a bit of time when everything is just perfect? Well this was one of those times. My beautiful wife and kids were sleeping soundly in the car, we were going on our holidays, the weather was lovely and I was listening to Madness. Just brilliant. Quietly singing along to ‘Victoria Gardens’ whilst driving past Jamaica Inn at some ungodly hour on a deserted road might not be everyones cup of tea, but for me at that moment it couldn’t have got any better! Its difficult to explain but it was an absolutely perfect night!
Just thought I’d share that with you!!

Thanks and take care
Herbert Anchovy

Dear Herbert
That’s the sort of thing I used to do. They didn’t wake up then? How long did it take?
all the best, CB

Dear Mista Boss (Get it,Foreman-Boss) No?, Okay
Your 7questions up the top..do you not realise some of us are trying to stay in business by the skin of things!!!

O.k What I really wanted to know was what’s your fave guitar (Barr Eopi. SG ) personaly I think your Gibson LP with the wine plec plate actually was what best suited you (Or accoustic ) taking from style of an old “Nutty Boys” vid of you kixxy and woody , aswell as Baggy Trousers slowed down, but in your opinion whats you fave barr S.g ???

P.S Im not lil anymore Im all growded up hahaha

Dear Big Growed Up Shann
I have the good ol’ Les Paul. It’s very heavy, though.
love, CB

Chris hope you are well. I’m looking forward to Haydock Park Saturday thanks to you and Jamie.
It’s been an amazing time recently to be a Madness fan, I can only imagine how good it’s been for you and it is richly deserved. I’ve been listening to the complete Qui Qui album recently. How can I tell you brings a tear to my eye. Oh my love is fantastic, you have produced another It Must Be Love in my opinion.
So……. a question….. What’s it like being a national treasure?

All the best

hey mr c j foreman just a quick hello to your new look broom cupboard I must say its rather swanky also to say how gutted I was not to make it to the Newcastle racecourse gig as work kind of took over but hey ho maybe in another life who can say who can tell !!!!! i’m sure that was from a song any how take care and keep moving as the last night boat is about to set sail

dear Carl
I’m sorry you couldn’t make it, I sung “Blaydon Races”, a top evening all round..

School time

Dear Chrissy,
how was your school time? Do you look back with horror or confidence? What school did you attend and how were the teachers like? Did they have confidence in your future work as a musicians and did you take music lessons to learn the basics? Are you still in contact with old teenage friends of that time today? I wonder what music you were listening too at your teenage years and when did you realise that you are going to be a musician. By the way what are your hobbies apart from Madness? Maybe some traditional ones like gardening or rose breeding? (smile)

lots of regards Carla Cookie

Dear Carla
Best times ever. Oh what fun I had as the song goes but at the time it…actually didn’t seem that bad. One big laugh. My music teacher was awful however and I never had much interest in the subject. I am still in touch with some of my old pals but not as much as I’d like to be. Teenage year was Roxy, Alice Cooper, Kilburns, Motown, Reggae, Hawkwind, Alex Harvey, the lot, really.I have been growing some vegetables but my wife does all the work really.

Dear Liam
I have loads of vinyl and a record deck. However, I rarely play them these days. If you mean Madness albums I have a lot of them in the loft.
thanks, CB

cheers for that chris just looking at my madness vinyl and found old gigs tickets finsbury park first one and only £20 what a time we had must of been good looking down at us my best gig ever ,getting back to vinyl do you no the most sort after madness record , and saw madness first time in brighton in 1982 all them skinheads what night for a 15 year old

Hello I have enjoyed last week very much the gig in Lyon, this was great as usual.
I was just a little embarrassed when you have played “la marseillaise”, there were some nazi skins which have not yet understood who you are and this has had an impact on their behaviour. This <as the 8th time I was to one of your gigs and the 7th in France, this is the first time you play this. WHy did you do so?

Thank you for your feedback.
All the best


Dear François
It’s just something the brass guys do, related to the country we are in. It’s not a Nazi anthem – it’s your national anthem, so don’t let them spoil your enjoyment!

My wife and i are having our first baby girl on Oct 9th calling her Sophia. So a new maddie to add to the many fans out there. I just hope(lol) your still doing gigs in 10 years. So i can bring her and show her some of my mad pass and great music i was into. Sadly i cant make any of you gigs this year or even next as the new maddie has to come first. But loved it at the O2 last exmas with the wife. First time she has seen you live, and could not stop dancing all the way home. She is from Belarus :)) Be good, keep writhing, playing, and good health to all old bean x

hi. I have a scooter club do in October all money raised will go to Wiltshire air ambulance . I was wondering if you could donate a t shirt or signed cd for the raffle ??? regards Chris McBride. Devizes sweet sensation sc

dear Chris
I have asked “the team” and they should get in touch with you asap.
all the best, CB

How do I go about asking madness if they will do something very special for my autistic son joe Frazier who will be 18 on the 25thaugust joe absolutely adores madness he has limited speech but can sing whole madness songs joe has had such a struggle through his life no muscles Not walking till he was five after extensive physio double incontinence which has come through it all still needs one to one as no awareness of dangers please please can you help xx

dear Mandy
The poor lad. I have sent this on to our backroom boys, so hopefully you will hear something soon.
love CB

I saw you on monday 8th of july in argeles sur mer (southe of france)
Congrats for the show it was fantastic…
My question is did you enjoy playing in Argeles and how do you found the public ? (be carefull in the answer you’ll give ;) )
and can yous give me the phone number of Chas… he was just in front of me during the gig :))) and we communicate without words during the show !!! lol

kisses from south of France


Dear Agnes
It was great, a really good festival, a great audience. I cannot divulge Chas’ number, sorry.

Thanks for your answer Liza Minelli :)

For the phone number of Chas, there is no problem.. so give me Suggs’ number !!!!!!

Merci beaucoup !!!!


Agnès B

liza minelli of course…. for New York New York !!! :)
perhaps you have the same legs :))))))
kisses xxxx


hello I brought my husband (tim) a ticket to see you at Newmarket races for his 45th birthday back in may. he is a huge fan and has all your on music on vinyl
and cds the has also seen you before is there any chance could meet you it would the best late birthday surprise for ever for him .

many thanks vickie

Dear Gavin
It all depends if someone has any words. We haven’t recorded an instrumental for ages. So there are plenty of lyrics around, I deduce
thanks, CB

Dear CBF,

Were the songs such as “obsession” included on the deluxe version of Oui, Oui… recorded after the songs on the main album or at a similar time ? Also Obsession has this interesting structure- two different chorus as well as a bridge ? How did that happen or was it just by chance ?

Dear Lord
They were recorded at the same time and then finished off and mixed much later. My Obsession I don’t know, that’s just the way it came out.
thanks, CB

Where can I buy your albums in cassette tape format?
I have every single, picture disk and album in vinyl but no cassette type.
Kind regards, Ian

Hi Chris, what’s your favourite bit of guitar you have played in a Madness song? I love the intro to Hunchback of Torriano and the end of Driving In My Car, which you have to listen to very carefully to hear.

Dear Richard
That Hunchback riff is good, I loved doing that. I don’t know what else it’s all a blurrrrr.
thanks, CB

Will there be a North American tour? Friends and I have seen The Specials, Bad Manners, The English Beat, and soon The Selecter. We’re all waiting for Madness to come to Toronto!

Chepstow racecourse gig was THE highlight of my holiday. The Brits know how to have a good time. I’m glad I paid the tenner for covered seating though. Took me an hour to warm up from those welsh winds. Keep on doing live gigs as my next holiday will definitely be a ‘Madness Gig Stalking Tour’.

Dear Barb
Did we meet you once in a hotel? Or I have answered some questions from you before? Thanks for braving the elements.

At the house of fun weekend at Butlins, do you stay on site or somewhere away that’s nice ??P.S is there any signing sessions ?? ;-))

Dear Crazytattooman
I stay on site in a luxury chalet, with hot and cold running room service. The rest of the band are at a hotel somewhere nearby.

Hi !!!

I was at the gig in Lyon last night at the “Nuits de Fourvière” with my 13 old daughter. Actually it was her first big gig! And thanks to you, it has been such a magical night! Waouh !!!

- “But, they arent’t old!” That was her first reaction… nice and tender to hear that, isn’t it? I told her that you were playing for more than 40 years.
- The second one was “I’m no longer your daughter if you start dancing like this! (we were in the stairs, people were just starting to move and dance).

So, first, thanks for this wonderfull show… I guess it’s the nicest gig I ever saw in my life… so festif, cool, punchy, groovy, etc… as if you were driving a kind of deluxe and nutty and joyful berline.

Could you please provide me a setlist of the show? Not the whole titles – excepted if you get it soon ready. I know almost all the tracks… but I miss some of them… for instance the name of the cover of Max Romeo you played? I recognized also 3 ou 4 tracks of your last album.

It’s not of capital importance, maybe by surfing the net I will get this pieces of information.

Nevertheless, thanks again for this great pleasure last night, I never saw my daughter so enthousiastic and happy… poor little girl, now she will think that every gig is like that, and I’m afraid she will be disapointed. Sometimes it’s so boring to have the impression to wait for a poor expected hit ! ;-)

All the best !

Hello, Chris,
As a madness vinyl collector (not a completionist) I have bought mostly everything madness related that I had the chance to.
But there’s is one that I am still wondering when will it come true.
Wonderful, has ever had a vinyl release?
If not, can you consider it?


Nutty regards.

Mr Paul 75

were was you chris? carlise saturday. are you still running to catch up just like the donkeys we put bets on.x missed your show time.suggs said you have hurt your knee,was you drunk!Get well soonxxx It wasnt the same without you

Dear Di
I was in Prague on a Stag Do. I couldn’t avoid going, it was arranged well before the gig and is my fourth wedding, so I had to go really..
thanks, CB

Dear Andy
We don’t request it. Bring one anyway. As long as it’s not a long lens professional one.

Hi Chris, loving the new website. Do you think you’ll still be sat in your cupboard in 20 years time? Just how long do you think you guys can keep going? Love every album you’ve done, do you think there will be any more? Keep up the inspiring good work. Cheers Craig

Dear Craig,
I’m glad you like it. I will not be in here in ten years time, I hope.It is a lot better now though. Easier interface.Same with the albums. We have a few more left in us, I think.

Hi Crissy Boy – Lucky enough to have tickets for Friday at Henley…can you share the list of songs you will be performing…Cant wait…will be fantastic..good luck

Sorry Mark, I was away and had no time to answer this and in any case the set list is a closely guarded secret. I trust it met with your approval?

Hi Chris, I wrote on the old version and I had no answer, now I understand. Nice new website.
I wanted to know if you could do “pig pag” and “NW5″ for the Montauban concert as my little 5 years old daughter will be there for his first concert, and this 2 songs mean for us (I sang NW5 to her before she wasn’t born yet all the time). Then I’m trying to have an interview for the French Mis in Montauban but have no answer from your manager.
Last question: perhaps for my 40th birthsday on november I will go to the house of fun weekender (even if I normally live in the caribean french island of Guadeloupe) and it would be great to have a special unplugged show or with only B side as we all are real fans. Hope to see you in Montauban

Sorry Cedric
I was away and I only just got this. Also I am a bit slow. I hope she enjoyed the show anyway, despite us not playing “Pigbag”. The Butlins selist I suggest that idea every year and we never have time to rehearse the old songs..
merci, CB

This may have already been thought of, but surely Madness the musical would be a hit in the UK? Similar format to the Mama Mia venture for Abba. I think it would be awesome?

Hello CB,
Have you got a spare F*ck Art Lets Dance mug in your house anywhere? My Mrs broke mine and I’m not talking to her currently. Can you send me it if you have?
Thanks AH

Dear Andy
Dammit! I knew I should have added this as a category.I haven’t got any of those mugs, either. Look online?

Dear Chrissy,

Can you tell me who I need to talk to about obtaining a licence to use one of your tracks in a film I have been commissioned to produce.

Kind regards

Dear Richard
Try EMI publishing for the publishing aspect and Pete Gardiner at Union Square Music for the physical masters. Any problems, let me know.

Nice new look, CB. Loving the expanded list of taboo questions. Are you not adding “When is Bedders/Lee/whatever name is appropriate coming back?”
Looking forward to Haydock very much…seen you so many times we’ve lost count but this is half a mile from our gaff and will be our first night out as a couple since the birth of our daughter. All the best!

Dear Ian
Is that big E? Congratulations on the daughter, I hope you enjoy the show. I was never asked that much about Bedders. At the moment we have the full set of 7, so hopefully no more absconders. I will miss a couple of shows this summer. One is in France.

It is indeed Big E, Chris. The interview you kindly did via email has just reached print in my Mad Not Mad zine. Care for a peruse? I’ll gladly send a copy…

Hello Chrissy,
first of all I´d like to tell you how great the new homepage is so many different sections it´s amazing thanks a real blessing for every madness fan. Then I would like to say how fantastically the album “Keep moving” is it is lovely arranged and one of my fave of Madness. I love March of the Gherkins, Samantha and One Better day as well as Samantha. Is Samantha really existing as a person? The song is really fantastic. And also about the song time for tea- it is great with Willy who comes not home for tea a sad song too. By the way how do you remember the producing of Keep moving in the studio? I also love the sporty cover …where did you made the cover on which sports ground? I am also a big Morrissey fan and would like to ask if the band is planning to work with Moz again in the future? Suggs sung backing vocals on Piccadilly Palare and I love it so much also Bedders worked with him. Are you as a group still in contact with Moz?
Thanks for your time to answer all my question…
your dear fan Cat

Dear Cat
I have always hated that cover. However your comments are very kind, I’m glad you like it. I used to be in touch with Morrisey via mutual correspondence and he used to come and see my other band The Nutty Boys. I liked him then musically and socially and I still admire him from afar. I have not heard from the great man since the time he didn’t turn up for the second Madstock [August 1992], which was a shame. Blimey, that’s 21 years ago…
all the best, CB

thanks for answering Chrissy….anyway I hope the band will once refresh the contact with Moz for some further work that would be very very fertile…I suppose some combinations in life just produce masterpieces !!!!!!

I took my son Markus (16) to see you guys last year ar Nokia Live in Los Angeles. He really loves you guys. He is starting his own ska band and I would really be honored if you sent him an email to inspire his musical quest.

Thanks, Tom (Markus’ dad)

Hello CB, is the band gonna play in Belgium on the Brussels Summer Festival on August 11 ?
It’s not on the gig list, but you’re actually top of the bill on that day . Anyway cheers mate !

Dear Tiann
Did you read the intro to my page? I assume we are, in fact you know more than me.

With numerous awards, albums, tours, made a couple of films, Our House the musical, Olympics, Palce etc….so much you have all achieved….where do you go from here…any other adventures you believe could be possible?
All the best.

Hi Mr CJ Foreman. Top of the morning to ya!!! What about ye? Liking the bright new shiny site. Glad they’ve found a little corner for your cupboard in your new “home”. A cosy fit indeed! Anyway, hello from us, and much luck in the 2nd half of 2013.

Chris, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed you show at Chepstow recently. on stage you all seemed to be enjoying the show as much as we were enjoying watching you (especially your rendition of singing in the rain) Did you really get on the wrong train?

Dear Moggs
Yes, I did. We were at Paddington. Barso was late, as he thought we had to meet at Kings Cross. He was directing his cab there till they realised. Thommo was missing too. I looked at the departure board and knowing our train was at 3.15, I went to platform 4. I got on the 3.15 train to Penzance. Bedders rang me and I got off just in time…I didn’t know they had three trains departing at 3.15…

I’ll have my Fez on my big Dutch Barge, moored behind the floating stage at Henley next Friday. Pop over for some hospitality ! Capt. Slick.

You weren’t joking when you said the site is going to have a major overhaul, WOW ! please take note I have used punctuation marks this time ?!£$%^&*()!!

Hello Chrissy Boy
Could I get :) an autograph on a backstage pass of the next very secret gig at the Saturday Club (i can’t see it in the section), please? You will recognize me, I have the sunglasses that Suggs left on the 2 Tone tour some years ago.
In wonder being a Good Boy

Hi There,
I was wondering who to contact. I run an internet TV show in the Netherlands and would like to interview the band before or after they perform on the 14th of September in the Netherlands.

Regards Arjan Boes – Netherlands

Dear Arjan
You need to contact our management via this site Let me know how you get on.
all the best, CB

Hiya Chrissy Boy did you ever think that when you first started the group you would have as many follower’s and that Madness would be loved as much as it is xx

HI, I have just purchased some of the 30th year commemorative CDs. To which I have a question- which album is No.7?
1- One Step Beyond.
2- Absolutely.
3- 7.
4- Rise & Fall.
5- Keep Moving
6- Mad Not Mad
8- Wonderful.

Which one is number 7 as I cannot seem to find it here, or Amazon etc…
Thanks, Gareth