Tony Ogden

Frontman of World of Twist


Anthony William Ogden, singer and drummer: born Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire 30 May 1962; died Bramhall, Cheshire 26 July 2006.

Tony Ogden was the charismatic frontman of the early Nineties band World of Twist. If World of Twist never became as big as many of their contemporaries on the Manchester music scene, their influence has been massive. Noel Gallagher of Oasis was one of many who were enamoured with the band - he nearly called Oasis "Sons of the Stage" after a World of Twist song and was always at their gigs around the city.

World of Twist's bubblegum pop was the perfect bookend to the Manchester baggy scene which was drawing to a close in the early Nineties. But, although they came out of the tail-end of "Madchester", the band's true roots were in Sheffield.

Born in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, in 1962, Ogden had moved to Sheffield and formed the band in 1985 with Jamie Fry (brother of the ABC frontman Martin Fry) on vocals and himself on drums. Pulp were also struggling in Sheffield at the time and the two bands shared a kitchen-sink glamour and an esoteric love for great pop and Northern Soul atmospherics.

With the explosion of interest in Manchester's music in the late 1980s, Ogden moved back from Sheffield. Changing the band's line-up, he switched to vocals, with his long-term creative partner Gordon King (they had met at Stockport College) remaining on guitar. World of Twist emerged from the city's southern bedsit land in 1989 with a sound all their own, a sleek combination of the sass of Roxy Music, the speed-driven dance-floor stomp of Northern Soul, the English eccentricity and soundscapes of Joe Meek and even a dash of the Stooges with a touch of prime-time English psychedelia. In short, they were magnificent.

Their first demo, featuring the classic song "The Storm" was the best demo I had heard for a long time and it was quickly passed round town. World of Twist were swiftly signed by a record industry still picking over the crumbs of the Manchester scene and there was a big press buzz around the band.

"The Storm" stalled at 42 in the charts and their brilliant updating of the Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow" (incidentally one of Martin Hannett's last ever productions before his death in 1991) also just missed the Top Forty. World of Twist's début album, Quality Street (1991), although marred by a too-slick production, sold strongly and the accompanying tour was a sell-out. Many still get misty-eyed over their date at the packed Manchester Ritz, one of the best live gigs ever in the city. Ogden went on stage completely wrapped in tinfoil and spent the first song getting unravelled. This sort of fantastic art-school japery was the mark of the man - Ogden had the innate cool and nervous charm to pull it off.

With expectations still high, World of Twist started work on a follow-up album but it all ground to a halt when Ogden decided he didn't want to be the singer any more. Although auditions were held for a new singer, the band imploded and the second album was never released. The demos for it are brilliant and point to their potential. Not only Pulp but St Etienne, Intastella and a whole raft of shiny new pop bands were influenced by them, whilst bands like Air and more recently Goldfrapp have proved how successful World of Twist might have been.

Tony Ogden disappeared. Burnt out, he retreated back home to live with his parents in Stockport. There was talk of occasional projects, but also long silences. There were occasional sightings of him in Manchester - I last saw him a couple of years ago, almost unrecognisable, with a beard, driving through town - and he still had that spark about him, that twitchy charisma and fiery enthusiasm.

At the time of his death, he was working on demos for a new band, the Bubblegum Secret Pop Explosion. They are great songs, and proof that Ogden's unique pop vision still remained intact.

John Robb

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst - Bristol

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - An outstanding high level opportunity...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick