Woody, drummer with the legendary Madness, released his debut solo album, ‘In Your Mind’, yesterday (6th July) on DW Records. Receiving critical acclaim as the Magic Brothers with younger brother Nick and the 2013 release, ‘The Magic Line, ‘In Your Mind’ is an impressive and highly personal collection of songs with Woody’s pop sensibility and big production values ever present throughout the record.
With the Magic Brothers put to one side due to Nick’s on-going battle with mental health issues, Woody was keen to get back in the studio, bursting with song ideas, and he has delivered another collection of fine upbeat retro pop which is sure to win further plaudits.
‘In Your Mind’ is a complete and joyous affair with an eye for childlike wonder and pop sensibility…
From the power pop of ‘Magic Train’ to the direct, jaunty ‘Something’; it is a collection of songs that offer pure unadulterated fun which bound along like a high speed locomotive.
The bouncy breezy ‘In Your Mind’ bursts with a rich sense of brotherly love – an ode to a younger brother battling with his demons. ‘Come To Me’ continues the theme – idiosyncratic and undeniably catchy, it stings the senses in all the right places including a bristling brass section.
‘We’re All Going To Brighton’ shares childhood memories with an easy going, seaside feel while the ska-tinged ‘Friday Night To Sunday Morning’ recollects the nutty boy’s slick, big production pop.
Nick’s influence can be heard throughout the record. Having suffered mental health problems in his teens and twenties, he was sectioned under the mental health act age 27, eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. This has led to Woody’s recent collaboration with the UK charity Rethink Mental Illness in which he acts as an ambassador alongside Dame Judi Dench and Alastair Campbell.
Woody manages to successfully fuse a quintessentially British melancholy to a bouncy pop aesthetic
… throughout his debut solo record. Writing and arranging the songs including the strings, and brass parts, he also programmed, produced, mixed and mastered the record.
The bright ‘Everything Is Sunshine’ and the playful ‘Flower’ offer woozy ELO influenced psychedelia while the 70s pop rock classicism of ‘Mother’ and ‘Shaman’ are reminiscent of McCartney or Squeeze, with a bit of Pink Floyd thrown in for good measure.
The most reflective moment on the record belongs to album closer ‘Thank You’…
… a soothingly melancholic ballad complete with strings and horns, Woody’s most intimate and affecting song on record to date.
With a little help from some close friends including South London born singer-songwriter Dan Shears (vocals), Tim Maple (guitar/keyboards), Dan Drury (bass), The Brass Monkeys (Madness’ brass section), wife Siobhan Fitzpatrick (vocals), and brother Nick (Oohs, Aahs, and guitar solos), ‘In Your Mind’ floats along on a sea of nostalgia and sing-along appeal.
Still very much part of Madness, Woody has been a regular contributor to the Madness archive of songs down the years. Their success has never been greater and this summer they are to embark on the ‘Grandslam Madness’ Tour – a series of performances at iconic sporting venues across the country, including cricket grounds, rugby grounds, football stadiums, racecourses and racetracks.
You can watch the video for new single ‘In Your Mind’ here:
Look out for Woody Woodgate solo shows soon.
www.dw-records.com / http://www.rethink.org/ / www.woodywoodgate.co.uk
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