Thursday, August 03, 2006

INDIEOBIT: Tony Ogden

As we reported earlier, the death has been announced of Tony Ogden, singer-drummer with World of Twist.

Ogden was born in Stockport and formed World of Twist with Gordon King in 1985. Although bearing little more than the odd bassline in common with the Madchester and baggy bands, they were lumped in to that scene for geographical reasons. As with Instastella, attempts to market a more intelligent and eclectic approach to dance music alongside the more simplistic approach of having Bez onstage flopped somewhat. Although songs like Sons of the Stage were superior to anything Blur had to offer at the time, the Twist were never able to follow their Colchester colleagues in throwing of the curse of baggy, and after one album - Quality Street - the band effectively came apart.

King headed off to start up Earl Brutus; Ogden pushed ahead with a new World of Twist in ever more frustating conditions. Ogden set about creating an album which, mythology would relate, rivalled the Beach Boys' Smile album in terms of reach, inspiration and success. His label, however, didn't share the vision and Circa (then part of Richard Branson's fiefdom) stopped underwriting the costs and set him free with a demo tape.

The tape wound up in the hands of Alan McGee, who planned to sign the band to Creation but never quite managed it. Ogden slowly became disillusioned, and started to give up making music, as Twisted Nerve's Gary Clarke, a friend of Ogden, told the Poptones website last year:

“The truth is that in the very end (after the demos) he stopped making music because he had a nervous breakdown and became a recluse and stopped seeing anyone - and still doesn’t. he’ll speak to me on the phone quite a bit. but he’s very cagey about meeting anyone.”

Ogden had started to make music again - he was reported to be working on demos for the Bubblegum Sceret Pop Explosion before he died.

World of Twist left an impressive underground reputation - I swear I saw a grown man gurgle with delight when he discovered a mint Sons of the Stage in a second hand shop.

The cause of his death has not yet been announced; he was 44 years old.


3 comments:

ian said...

"Ogden's But Gone; Wake."

Such a shame. Quality Street is one of my favourite albums.

wodge said...

It's sad that he dead so young. He was only 44.

andy paz said...

i now know that i live in a strange alternate universe, where Pulp became huge,as opposed to the great World of Twist. Tony was one of the most engaging frontmen ever. Sinister and funny. Early Ferry and Rigsby. Oh well,guess we'll have to make do with Jarvis.

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