World of Twist shone brightly but burned out very quickly...
When Does The Mind-Bending Start? The Life and Times of World of Twist
by Gordon King
Nine Eight/Bonnier Books
I've loved World of Twist since they emerged from the Sheffield/Manchester vortex around 1990. One great album, a few singles, a couple of radio sessions, a very psychedelic appearance on The Word and gone within 12 months. Some members ended up in Earl Brutus and, latterly, Quatermass 3, some just disappeared, and two are sadly no longer with us.
Nick Sanderson,the drummer, who also drummed for The Gun Club and Jesus and Mary Chain died of cancer in 2008 and his passing deservedly received much attention in 2008. However the sudden death of World of Twists singer and charismatic front man Tony Ogden at the age of 44 was barely noted at the time. This book,written by World of Twists guitarist and other songwriter Gordon King, goes a long way to redressing the lack of appreciation of Tony Ogden's undoubted talent. In fact King has described his book as a love letter to Tony.
As is the way with most bands that appear suddenly,burn brightly,and disappear again just as quickly, World of Twist were around for several years before they were 'discovered'. Though mostly from Manchester/Stockport they formed in Sheffield in the mid-1980s, originally with Jamie Fry, brother of ABC's Martin Fry on vocals and Tony Ogden on drums. Various lineup changes later and a move back to Manchester and Tony Ogden was now the singer and main songwriter. World of Twists unique sound which is accurately described here by King as a cross between Hawkwind, Northern Soul, and 60s bubblegum pop has coalesced. Coupled with a very colourful stage show they were both a pleasure to watch and listen to.
As I've already written, once the secret was out they shone brightly but burned out very quickly - just drifting apart rather than splitting up full of recriminations as is the usual pattern.
Tony Ogden retreated into the background, still writing, and helping out with other bands - check out Mum & Dad
on Twisted Nerve Records - another band worthy of reconsideration - but Tony himself released nothing and sadly faded into obscurity.
The Life and Times of World of Twist is a lovely tribute to the band and to Tony Ogden and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
As for listening, World of Twists meagre catalogue is on all the usual streaming sites, though I do recommend that you avoid the remixes by djs du jour. Also check out Earl Brutus and Quatermass 3, and, especially Mum & Dad. There are also a few snippets on YouTube to, sadly mostly of them miming but at least you get an idea of what they looked like live.
The Life and Time of The World of Twist is available now - here's Bear Books Bookstore link to it