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 and still works part time for the BBC today.
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.
Met Jane Perry Crockford at Madness’ first gig at the Electric Ballroom in Camden in 1979, and they married at Kings Cross Registry Office in 1980.
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 Jane, and Fat. Met his now wife Siobhan Fitzpatrick, and produced a handful of tracks with King Prawn.
1997: Got divorced, got married, his father died of cancer, Mary his daughter was born, he moved house twice, 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’, and with the help of his wife sanded floors for the next two-and-a-half years, to make ends meet.
2004-2007: Taught Music Technology, and Media Arts at Hayes School in Kent, where he met Dan Shears.
2013: Formed the Magic Brothers, with his brother Nick, and released the album ‘The Magic Line’.
2014: Played a handful of gigs at the Dublin castle, which prompted Nick to realize he was happier at home writing songs with his big brother.
Woody has discovered his family roots in 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. He is happily married to Siobhan, and they live in Beckenham with their two daughters, Iona and Mary.
For the past seven years Woody has been responsible for putting together the Madness Set Lists.
What a guy!
Up to date:
After trying a handful of singers in an attempt to replace Nick, Woody wondered what had become of Dan Shears (the talented student he had taught over 10 years previously).
As if by fate Dan contacted Woody on social media, announcing that, he was doing a solo album.
This was too good to be true, if not a bit spooky.
Dan was still very much a musician, and Woody felt in his bones that Dan would be perfect for the job.
Dan soon laid down his vocals on Woody’s new album, and all the pieces fell into place.
It was meant to be.
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
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’)
In Your Mind
Come to Me
We’re All Going to Brighton
Friday Night to Sunday Morning
Everything is Sunshine