My last post was about The Stone Roses: a Manchester band which left a mark so deep on our cultural landscape that you can probably see it from space. At the other end of the scale, a band which made barely a dent, but one from the same time and same place as The Stone Roses, I give you World of Twist. They should have been massive.
Thanks to BBC 6 Music (of course), my interest in World of Twist – forgotten Manchester-based purveyors of fine upbeat electronic-laced-psychedelic-guitar-pop – was recently reawakened. Musically sitting smack between The Charlatans and Primal Scream, World of Twist had a brief career, but while it lasted they were marvellous. Hearing their 1991 album ‘Quality Street’ 20 years later, standout tracks sound like could still pack out a dance floor.
For a while in the early 90s, it seemed that all you needed to do to have a shot at musical success was to pick up a guitar, grab a drum machine, and perfect a Mancunian accent. World of Twist were different. Their calling card was ‘The Storm’ – a track which absolutely showcases them at their best. It’s a bonkers assault on the senses – and would be hailed as a classic if a more successful band from the same city, at the same time had recorded it. Follow up single ‘Sons of The Stage’ is the best song Primal Scream never recorded. And, while we’re talking about Primal Scream, or ‘The New Rolling Stones’ (a title that The Charlatans inherited for a brief while on the release of ‘Wonderland’), a highlight in World of Twist’s output is their take on Mick and Keith’s ‘She’s a Rainbow’. It’s ace.
Being from the right place, at the right time, with the right songs clearly wasn’t enough. World of Twist were even anointed by Mancunian royalty. The aforementioned ‘She’s a Rainbow’ was produced by Martin Hannett, while A Certain Ratio’s Martin Moscrop was on production detail for a couple of album tracks (including the stellar ‘On The Scene’). But, sometimes it just doesn’t click with the listening public. It’s a shame.
World of Twist could have been a national treasure.
[World of Twist being introduced by professional Mancunian Terry Christian on The Word…]