World Of Twist were one of the first bands to be making quirky retro
electronic pop music of the kind of that bands like Pulp (who at
one point supported WOT live), Air and Stereolab would later be
exploring and gaining wider success with.
World of Twist Initially formed in
Sheffield in 1985 the band line up was James Fry (Vocals), Andrew
Hobson (Bass), Gordon King (Guitar), Tony Ogden (Drums), Rory Conolly
(Saxophone), Nick Phillips (Organ) and Andy Robbins (Synthesiser).
This World Of Twist soon fell to pieces and it was another three
years until a new Manchester line up would emerge.
The 1989 version of World Of Twist
had Tony Ogden (Now singer and co-songwriter) and Gordon King (Guitar
and co-songwriter) joined by Andy Hobson (Synthesisers), Alan Frost
aka Adge (Visual effects. Synthesisers), Julia aka M.C. Shells (Swirls
and Sea Noises), Angela Reilly (Visual Effects). Nick Sanderson
(Drums) joined a little later.
A four track demo tape (The Storm,
Blackpool Tower Suite, The Spring, She's A Rainbow) released early
1990 had considerable local alternative radio play and rave reviews
in the local press - the inevitable London A & R frenzy soon
World Of Twist finally settled for
Circa Records, believing they would meet the bands creative needs
better than anyone else. Within a the year, they had released the
critically well received singles The Storm / She's A Rainbow (one
of Martin Hannet's final productions) and Sons Of The Stage. Both
only just failed to make the top 40.
The band toured the UK and Europe
gaining a cult following along the way with their extravagant and
eccentric stage shows. The music press all the time showering them
with excellent reviews. It seemed nothing could go wrong.
This and excellent Radio 1 sessions
for John Peel & Mark Goodyear hinted at what the debut album
might sound like, but when Quality Street finally did appear it
failed to live up to the expectations for many - including most
reviewers. The fault lay mostly with the lacklustre production (by
the Grid) which failed to capture the colour and energy of either
the band live or the earlier singles. That said, the charm of the
songs underneath is still there, and if you can turn a blind eye
to some occasionaly un-inspired production there's a great collection
of songs lurking within.
Quality Street was a modest success
and Circa continued to have faith in the band. Work soon began on
a follow up album and there were plans for further touring. However,
problems emerged when Tony Ogden decided that he no longer wanted
to sing and this reached the point where auditions were held to
find a new singer. Additionally, creative difference's within the
band and also pressure from Circa to have a hit all started to contribute
to a breakdown.
However, work on the album did reach
a stage where there were a dozen demo versions of new songs by Tony
and Gordon. Some had vocals by Tony and some by Viv Dixon (who sang
on Sons Of The Stage and the seminal Voodoo Ray), others remained
only instrumentals. All these tracks have a fragile and beautiful
quality about them that suggests that WOT would have produced greater
things had the ride been smoother. The final track on this album
is an epic cover version of McArthur Park sung by Tony Ogden, which
coincidentally, the song which the first single, The Storm, made
references to with the line "I've left the cake out in the
storm". Things had neatly come full circle, and as soon as
Circa caught wind of Tony's decision not to sing they were reluctant
to re-new the bands contract. World Of Twist offically ceased to
be in June 1992.
So, sadly the future never happened
and what remained, if you like, was World Of Twist's very own 'Smile'
album that few have heard. Ironically, in true Beach Boy's style,
Tony Ogden soon after disappeared from the Manchester music scene
and became something of a mythical and reclusive Brian Wilson character.
Occasionally there are rumours that he's been seen out, but as no
one really knows what he looks like other than he has long hair
and a long beard. According to the handful of people he occasionally
speaks to, he's working on an albums worth of tracks under the name
Bubblegum with fellow musician John West. Despite everything, his
flair for song writing appears to be alive and well. A four track
demo tape for Bubblegum quietly circulating the local scene has
it's fans - including Badly Drawn Boy!
Written by http://www.global-trance.co.uk/World_of_Twist.html