C’est La Vie Special Edition

We’re thrilled to celebrate Madness’ first #1 studio album in 44 years with you. We invite you to join us on a 4-month journey from the beginnings of the new album promotional campaign to the 2023 C’est La Vie tour’s final night in Birmingham. Our 24-page Madzine Special is packed with fascinating stories and insights.

madzine (c'est la vie special madzine edition, 2023)


‘Theatre of the Absurd Presents C’Est La Vie’ was released on November 17th, 2023. It is the first album since ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ in 2016. Despite the dark topics of lockdowns, losing one’s mind, and global destruction, the songs still maintain a theatrical feel, albeit quirky, and continue from previous albums, ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate’, ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ and ‘Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da’. The last authentic Nutty Sound came through in ‘Wonderful’ in 1999, with tracks like ‘Lovestruck’ and ‘Johnny the Horse’ were true to the core, but even that album had started to embrace the maturity that is now Madness.

Let’s rewind 14 years to 2009 and discover the Madness album that brilliantly showcases the rich social history of a particular area in East London. This album, titled ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate,’ is a true masterpiece whose conceptualization and execution took nearly three years. The Liberty of Norton Folgate region was not legally independent but had special rights over the land waived by St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1900. The album is very music hall in its style and features some standout tracks that genuinely celebrate the nutty sound. ‘Sugar and Spice,’ ‘NW5,’ and ‘Idiot Child’ (written by Barson/Thompson in 1999) are just a few of the album’s unique tracks. It’s interesting to note that ‘Idiot Child’ may have been originally intended for the ‘Wonderful’ album but never made it there – quite absurd!


  • Prologue
    • Absurd, C’Est La Vie!
  • Act I
    • Playing The Nonsensical?
    • Similarly Late? That’s Life!
    • Options? If I Go Mad…
  • Induction
    • Perpetually Waiting (for the Absurd)
  • Act II
    • Theater Seating
    • Notable Callers
  • Act III
    • The Law According to KOKO
  • Act IV
    • In An Hour or Two
    • Composing 101
  • Epilogue
    • Reflection of Madness
    • + much more!

Title: Theatre of the Absurd presents
Issue: C’est La Vie Special Madzine Edition
Edition: First Edition
Subscription: Not Included

Publisher: Publisher Services
Publication Date: December 1, 2023
ISBN-13: 979-8-3507-1800-3
Year Released: 2023

Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 24 Pages
Size: Digest (5.5″ x 8.5″)

Print length

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24 Pages


icon language



icon publisher

Publisher Services

Publication date

icon publish date

December 1, 2023


icon subsscription

Not Included


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Madzine magazine is a semi-professional and non-official publication for Madness and music fans. For those who love Madness, there is an opportunity for a new generation to experience the charm of a “Fanzine”. Although the original fans from the 80s may be content with their past, this Madzine has a unique look, feel, and character that distinguishes it from other publications. Within its pages, readers can delve into the past with one-of-a-kind articles, in-depth research from the Madness archives, and exclusive never-before-seen photography designed to introduce all fans to a new world of Madness.

It’s been several years since any such issue of a Madness zine landed on anyone’s doorstep. Sure, you can get up to the minute Madness news online, but there’s nothing like sitting down with a good zine and giving yourself a break from a screen – even better, you now own a physical piece of Madness history. So join our vibrant community of Madness enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world! Our subscribers hail from countries like Japan, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United States, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Join us and connect with fans from various corners of the globe.

Sample Pages

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5 reviews for Madzine (C'est La Vie Special Madzine Edition, 2023)

  1. Avatar

    Esther Alcamo (verified owner)

    Madzine has done it- they’ve created a companion piece to not only the album, but the mad journey that is “C’Est la Vie!” From the background and history, to the descriptions of the album editions and formats, everything is there. Darren Bowen remains up-to the minute with reviews of live performances and appearances, creating a consummate account of the experience from as many perspectives as possible. The author shows his talent for graphic design, creating beautiful and dramatic images fully inspired by the album and promotional artwork. . Lastly, I was honored to participate in a bit of the madness; Darren, thank you for the opportunity to write a piece for the ‘zine, tying in the influence of Absurdism and Samuel Beckett!

  2. Avatar

    John Brimble (verified owner)

    Brilliant book always liked madness been a fan for years I will definitely be buying more stuff from here again

  3. Avatar

    Al L’Heureux (verified owner)

    I absolutely love this companion zine to the new album!! It’s incredibly informative, and adds to the enjoyment of the listening experience as a whole. It’s colourful and very well written. I’d certainly recommend it to any Madness fan who hasn’t already purchased it!!! I’m looking forward to the U.S. tour companion issue!!!

  4. Avatar

    Michael Farmer (verified owner)

    Appreciate all the hard work and quality that went into producing this and the other Madzines, no detail left out well done Darren you are an absolute credit to all Madness fans, Wonderful Just Wonderful, Best Fanzine yet, So much information, Brilliant Album deserved this Brilliant Madzine.

  5. Avatar

    Andrew Coulter (verified owner)

    What a wonderful fanzine to accompany Madness’ 1st number one studio album in 44 years full of brilliant facts marketing & song info deffo a nice addition for the collection.🎷🎵👍

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madzine (c'est la vie special madzine edition, 2023)

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C’est La Vie Special Edition

Madzine (C’est La Vie Special Madzine Edition, 2023)

We’re thrilled to celebrate Madness’ first #1 studio album in 44 years with you. We invite you to join us on a 4-month journey from the beginnings of the new album promotional campaign to the 2023 UK C’est La Vie Tour and the final night in Birmingham. Our 24-page Madzine Special is packed with fascinating stories and insights.

You’ll read about the fan-only announcement of a limited edition CD and the crazy online behavior in the feature “Similarly Late? That’s Life!” We’ll take you behind the scenes of the BMG social media promotion and album reveal, which included efforts to play along that became a viral hit in “Playing The Nonsensical?” You’ll also discover the available formats of the new album in “Options? If I Go Mad…” and you get a chance to reflect on the marketing campaign through radio appearances, TV interviews, music media reviews, in-person signings and Q+A sessions in our exclusive article “Reflection of Madness.” + much more!