Thursday, December 07, 2006

Indieobit: Darren Wiz Brown

We've just heard of the death of Mega City 4 frontman Wiz, or Darren Brown as he was to the government.

Formed in Farnborough during the mid-80s, Mega City 4 were one of those tireless indie bands who poured enormous energy both into their music and their pursuit of it; the turns of the nineties saw them in an apparently never-ending slog round the Harlow Square-Liverpool Planet X venue circuit. Deals with Fire, Big Life and Decoy saw them amassing six albums, but they were at their best with the short, punky single: the mighty Awkward Kid, and Miles Apart, their sole entry into the Festive Fifty, pretty much defining what the band were about. A slightly more serious Senseless Things, a slightly more melodic Mudhoney.

Mega City 4 split in April 1996, following which Brown relocated to Canada, taking up guitar with The Doughboys for about a year. He then hooked up with Gerry from the MC4 for the much-admired but seldom heard Serpico. They toured quite a lot during the last years of the century and released a single album, Everyone Versus Everyone in 2001 but seemed to run out of steam shortly after. Brown moved on to form Ipanema, a band which provided much enjoyment despite leaving very little in terms of a footprint in the pop culture consciousness.

Brown collapsed and died yesterday during a rehearsal for his current band, Ipanema. It's believed he had a blood clot on his brain. He was 44.


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