Welcome to the Magic Brothers
By Classic Pop | September 4, 2013
Woody, drummer with the legendary Madness, and his younger brother Nick Woodgate are the ‘Magic Brothers’. Having written a number of songs together for Madness, they have recently written and produced the glorious ‘The Magic Line’ which will be released 30th September on DW Records. The album is a dazzling melting pot of inedible pop songs, nostalgic affections and nifty songwriting.
Woody often refers to his brother, Nick as the “quiet genius” of the two. His first musical outing came when Woody and his mum bought him a guitar that he instantly fell in love with, practicing up to 14 hours a day. Later, he joined Woody on his 1993 side project, FAT and they have continued to write songs together. They both collaborated with Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson on the song ‘No Money’ from the 1999 Madness album ‘Wonderful’, and Madness guitarist Chrissy Boy often jokes that Woody and Nick wrote the new album Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da. In fact, only two of their collaborations made it on to the album; ‘Kitchen Floor’ and ‘Leon’. In 2010, Nick suggested to Woody that they should write a few songs together which would eventually form the basis of ‘The Magic Line’.
“This album is a culmination of the music we grew up with, and loved. Our tastes are far reaching, and obvious to anyone who likes the 70s,” says Woody. “Nick and I love writing songs together. Nick is a brilliant musician, and at heart a real sentimentalist. Mix that with my pop sensibility, and big production values and you get the Magic Brothers.”
‘The Magic Line’ draws from a wide range of influences, from the Beatles to Pink Floyd. Written and produced by both Woody and Nick, it bursts with rich vocal harmonies reminiscent of ELO and Supertramp, enhanced by Woody’s wife Siobhan Fitzpatrick who was guest vocalist on Madness’s ‘Small World’. The family affair doesn’t end there, with daughter Mary also lending backing vocals on the sweet and catchy ‘Sunshine’.
Uptempo, uplifting songs such as ‘Always Be With You’, the psychedelic stomper, ‘Downtown’, and ‘They Tell You’ boast big brass arrangements rich in style and content. ‘You Don’t Have to Hide Your Love Away’ echoes Madness and the Carpenters, while ‘Magic Brothers Part 2’ and ‘The River’ both show off Nick’s accomplished guitar capabilities. ‘Frank’ is a song about an old man Nick met at a bus stop in Romford suggesting an Ian Dury influence while the closing track, ‘The Magic Line’ takes you on a train journey back to 70s Britain.
With a little help from some close friends including BAFTA award winning composer, arranger and keyboardist Simon Hale, plus Mike Kearsey leading the brass section (Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Beyonce, Radiohead) and Mike McEvoy on bass (Ian Dury, Steve Winwood, and Soul to Soul), ‘The Magic Line’ is a delightful, idiosyncratic journey through childhood, life and music.
“There’s a special bond that only brothers can have, an unspoken connection,” says Woody. “We just wanted to make a feel good album, something we’d both be proud of.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Magic Brothers.