Sweets

World Of Twist were the outliers of the Manchester scene and made some cracking records between 1990 and 1992. Sweets was a stab at a hit on the proper charts with a lyric written by Tony Ogden in a deliberate attempt to write an awful lyric- ‘sweets are sweet but you are sweeter baby’. Actually it isn’t that bad. I’ve heard worse. It wasn’t a hit reaching number 58 in 1991. This version is from the 12″ single, produced by The Grid, and is really rather sweet.

Sweets (Barrett 200 Mix)

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Life And Death

World Of Twist, Manchester’s long lost turn of the 90s band, made at least three outstanding singles- The Storm, Sons Of the Stage (one of my favourite records ever) and She’s A Rainbow- and an album which was badly mixed (at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds). Quality Street had some good songs on it but no matter how loud you played it, it lacked oomph. A shame since they had real potential, magnetic stage presence and a sound combining 60s pop, Northern Soul and psych with an early 90s sensibility- a definite sidestep from the Madchester sound, more like a sharper, rawer Pulp. I saw them at Manchester Academy and they were a blast, MC Shells keyboards housed in a giant shell, and spinning round newsagents signs and stage props. Front man Tony Ogden died a few years ago, one of the era’s lost souls. He was devastated after the band were dropped and spent several years doing little but taking smack and watching World War II documentaries. Drummer Nick Sanderson followed the band by forming Earl Brutus but died of lung cancer in 2008. The lp has recently been remixed/remastered and is due for release next Monday, hopefully giving the record and the band the sound it needed twenty odd years ago. A second disc has radio sessions for John Peel and Mark Goodier and b-sides. This is the extended 12″ version of their cover of a Sly Stone song.

Life And Death (12″ Mix)

In this interview clip for Snub TV they are interviewed in Withington baths, just up the road from where I grew up and where I once nearly drowned as a kid (I stuck my finger in a grid at the bottom of the deep end. To see what would happen). Proper swimming baths they were- cubicles around the edge, freezing cold, fag ends and plasters floating in the chlorine.

A Little Bit We Are Weird

We were talking about this the other night in the pub, can’t remember how it came up- Bernard Sumner’s appearance on the BBC’s resurrected 1990 version of Jukebox Jury. Hosted by Jools Holland the panel- Bernard, Pat Cash, someone from Neighbours and Bootsy Collins- pass judgement on various singles, while mystery guest Chris Isaak pops into the studio. The bit we were remembering was when World Of Twist’s new song The Storm was played. Bernard sums the World Of Twist up as ‘a little bit we are weird’ (but wishes them well as they’re from Manchester). The bit you’re looking for is in part 4 from around 1.10 onwards just below. So, Mr B, here it is…

Part 4

‘A little bit we are weird’.

That’s it really.

If you can be arsed…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Out Of Our Minds On The Stage

World Of Twist came as part of the second wave of Madchester bands but didn’t really share much with the rest of them except geography. A riot of northern soul, mod, psyche, homemade stage props (a giant shell, rotating newsagents signs) with a post-acid house groove, this was their finest moment- Sons of The Stage.

The song’s a celebration of losing yourself dancing, being on stage and the euphoria of the crowd-

‘The beat breaks so we pick it up
The floor shakes down but it’s not enough
The beam is up and the kids are high
I’ve seen them move and it blows my mind
The floor’s an ocean and this wave is breaking
Your head is gone but your body’s shaking
There’s nothing you can do ‘cos there is no solution
You’ve got to get down to the noise and confusion’

The picture at the top is from Jeremy Deller’s march through Manchester earlier this year, with a variety of unusual interest groups, We Miss The World Of Twist being one of them. Apparently King of the Dullards Liam Gallagher and his new band have recently covered Sons Of The Stage. Best to remember them this way.

02 Sons of the Stage.wma

World Of Twist ‘Lose My Way’

World Of Twist were the oddballs of the Manchester scene, with their 60s beat and Northern Soul influences and mod clothing. When Juke Box Jury was revived briefly in the late 80s/early 90s Bernard Sumner reviewed them by saying ‘They’re a bit ‘we are weird, but they’re from Manchester so I’ll give them the thumbs up’. They had a wonderful stage show, including MC Shells giant clam keyboard stand and those rotating signs they used to have outside newsagents. Early single The Storm had beat-psyche backing rather than the funky drummer, and Stones cover She’s A Rainbow showed an updated whimsical psychedelic edge. In 1991 they released their stone cold classic, Sons Of The Stage, with it’s acid house-northern soul stylings and celebration of the dancefloor, club and gig. The whole song is like riding a wave, a genius pop single. So it was surprising that the Quality Street album was a bit underwhelming, flat production, all a bit same sounding, too quiet and too few dynamic moments. But Quality Street opened with this song, Lose My Way, their other great moment. Starting with trumpet, then driving drums and a 60s beat-pop lyric and vocal, it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Singer Tony Ogden died in 2006 aged 44. RIP Tony.

01 Lose My Way.wma