A Bit of Family History:
Woody came from a musical family. Both grandfathers were music conductors. Leslie Woodgate O.B.E. wrote and conducted music and led the BBC Choral Singers. Erik Ogden (on his mother’s side) conducted light entertainment acts such as Max Bygraves, Shirley Bassey and The Bachelors, he had his own Big Band called ‘The Erik Ogden Band’ and started his career as a violinist accompanied by a pianist at silent movies.
Cousin Leslie East was the principal of the Guildhall School of Music, cousin Nick Woodland is a guitarist, and played on Geogio Moroder’s Munich Machine records in the 70’s. In the family tree there have been band masters, and a distant Woodgate even played violin to queen Victoria.
Mum & Dad:
Woody’s mum and dad met at a party held by Cherry Butlin (Billy Butlin’s daughter) at her father’s flat in Mayfair. The connection was they and Cherry went to RADA (Royal Accademy of Dramatic Art). His father Crispian went on to be a successful photographer and his mum Anne worked for the BBC. Crispian specialised in film and television personalities. Anne worked on TOTP’s, Playschool, Dad’s Army, Are You Being Served, and It Ain’t Alf Hot Mum as a floor manager.
Born 19th October 1960.
Woody learned to play the drums on a piano stool, while his younger brother Nick played an electric guitar plugged into an amp made by Woody from a couple of speakers, and a cassette player.
At the age of 12 he got his first drum kit, made by Ajax and bought at Eddie Ryan’s. Afforded only because of generous donations made by the family, and God Mother Clemence Watt.
First cymbals (Zin) cost £22, and were bought after selling two sovereigns from Woody’s beloved coin collection.
In 1974 Woody, and brother Nick formed their first band called ‘Steel Erection’ playing mainly rock covers at local pubs and schools, but even at this early age began writing their own songs, such as the imaginatively entitled ‘Blue Orange’.
Left school early in 1978 after realizing he was wasting his time retaking exams. Worked as a sign writer /printer in the department store ‘Whiteley’s in Queensway’ to pay for a large 7 piece Premier drum kit bought on HP (Hire Purchase) from the music shop ‘Blanks’ on Kilburn High Road. Paid off the HP, left the job, and did building work/ laboring, in Earls Court.
Joined The Invaders (Madness) in September 1978.
1980: Got married.
Side Projects: Recorded drums with David Bedford (Soft Machine), and Strawberry Switchblade.
Left Madness in 1986, and joined Voice of the Beehive.
Rejoined Madness in 1992, and formed his own band called Fat.
Toured with Fat around the clubs of England, France, and the US. Signed to London Records and released the single Downtime.
1995: Left Fat, and produced a handful of tracks with King Prawn.
1997: Got divorced, remarried, his daughter was born, his father died of cancer, Chelsea won the FA Cup, and Lady Diana died.
2000: Did part time work for a pest control company, killing wasps, then formed his own floor sanding company called ‘Woody’s Floors’, to make ends meet.
2004-2007: Taught Music Technology, and Media Arts at a School in Kent, where he met the singer songwriter Dan Shears.
2013: Formed the Magic Brothers, with his brother Nick, and released the album ‘The Magic Line’.
2015: Released his solo album “In Your Mind” featuring the singer Dan Shears.
Woody has discovered his family roots in photography and music, and has written and arranged songs, strings, brass, and woodwind parts, for both Magic Brothers, Madness, and his own solo project. He programs, produces, records, engineers, mixes, and masters.
Woody is currently working with Madness, while living happily with his girlfriend and fellow artiste in the English countryside.
Woody as a songwriter:
One’s Second Thoughtlessness
Inanity over Christmas
Return of the Los Palmas Seven
Jenny (a portrait of)
On the Town
Hunchback of Torriano
Maybe in another life
Don’t Leave the Past Behind
Another Version of Me
Always Be With You
You Don’t Have to Hide Your Love Away
Welcome to the World
They Tell You
Magic Brothers Part 2
The Magic Line
Do What You Wanna Do
Love You Now (No Lovin’)
Woody Solo Album:
In Your Mind
Come to Me
We’re All Going to Brighton
Friday Night to Sunday Morning
Everything is Sunshine