Twisted Wheel was formed in February 2007 in Oldham
Band members are guitarist and singer Jonny Brown, bassist Stephen Evans and drummer Eoghan Clifford
The Guardian’s Paul Lester commented on the band: ‘The sound of Manchester’s youth snatching back ’60s psychadelia and using it to smash in the windows of ‘77 punk…Basically, the kid from ‘Kes’ has formed a punky skiffle band and he’s pissed off about that dead bird…the band produce a ‘furiously fast rockabilly rumble, so primitive and unrefined it makes the Monkeys sound like ELP.’
First things first…Twisted Wheel are not named after the legendary Northern Soul club of the same name (though they are aware of it), are encyclopedic about their musical heroes and recoil at the thought of being pigeon-holed as a ‘northern band’.
They are, however, one of the most exciting young British guitar bands to emerge in recent years. . With a fan club including Noel & Liam Gallagher (how often do they agree on anything?), Paul Weller, Shaun Ryder, Ian Brown, Kasabian, they’ve been attracting the attention of the great and the good from their earliest incarnation.
As kids growing up in Oldham singer-guitarist Jonny Brown and bassist Rick Lees absorbed the sounds of their mum and dad’s record collection, paying particular heed to the Beatles ‘blue’ album.
By seventeen they’d formed The Children with friends from college. Obsessed with the (Loog Oldham era) Stones and the flamboyant psych-pop of The Small Faces, the band were soon selling out 600 capacity venues and wreaking havoc wherever they went.
Following a gig at the Night & Day in Manchester the band gave Clint Boon a demo, who in turn passed it on to Paul Weller.
Paul rang the band and asked they wanted to record at (the Modfather’s own studio) Black Barn” . “Afterwards he asked them to support him at Manchester Academy.
In late 2007 the band split and Jonny started doing solo acoustic gigs.
He then recruited Rick Lees ( Bass player from The Children) and octopus-like drummer Adam Clarke (aka Clarky), and the newly formed trio embarked on an intense period of rehearsal.
The new the sound was much tighter and more focused and the result was the formation of “Twisted Wheel.”
Their sound has been described as old school gritty rock ‘n’ roll reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys, The Jam and the Clash. The band have been noted as “a breath of fresh air” by Liam Gallagher. They also have a fan in Paul Weller, who came to watch them at London’s 100 Club.
The band spent much of 2008 touring, including an acclaimed headline homecoming gig at the Manchester Academy in September. They supported big names including Kasabian, The View, Happy Mondays, Reverend, Ian Brown, and played the Reading and Leeds festivals.
In January 2009 they were announced as the main support act for Oasis and in June 2009 they supported Oasis on their last ever tour, playing 3 consecutive nights at Heaton Park Manchester to a crowd of over 200,000.
They also toured with the Enemy and went on two tours with Paul Weller
In Dec 2009 PRS ( Perfoming Rights Society ) quoted Twisted Wheel as the second most hard working band in the country. This was based on the total number of live gigs the band played over the previous 12 months.
With no major radio support to date Twisted Wheel have managed to build a massive loyal following simply by playing live and in the long term this is the best way forward.
Their first single, She’s A Weapon, was released in April 2008 to high acclaim by Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, NME and Q. Their follow-up record, a five-track EP entitled You Stole The Sun, was released in July 2008 followed by We Are us in March 2009.
Their debut self titled album was released in May 2009 peaking at No 45 in the UK charts
The band’s self-titled debut album (released April 13th). Recorded with producer Dave Sardy (Marilyn Manson, Oasis, Cold War Kids) at LA’s Sunset Sound studios.
It’s a raucous celebration of life on the margins. If the musical template is a kaleidoscopic mix ranging from The 13th Floor Elevators via The Buzzcocks to Hank Williams, lyrically it’s staffed by a roll call of characters straight from the pen of Ray Davies. Opener ‘Lucy The Castle’ is a pulverizing blast of energy about a lysergic utopia (Jonny:”It’s a metaphor for a special place, where you go in depressed and come out shining”). ‘Strife’ finds us acquainted with characters ranging from Sheila the Dealer to a rifle toting antiques expert called Henry. A feral ‘One Night On The Street’, meanwhile, is the sound of SLF after a long, strange night on the tiles in Camden. ”We were out one night at this club and I lost everyone” explains Jonny. “I got talking to this woman who was living on the streets. In the end I stayed out with her until eight o’clock in the morning.”
Those doubting Twisted Wheel’s capacity to slow things down, meanwhile, should head to the sublime ‘Bouncing Bomb’. An acoustic lament in the spirit of The Jam’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ or The Kinks ‘Dead End Street’ Add in the anthemic ‘Let Them Have It All’ and it’s obvious the next generation of British rock is in safe hands. Tune into these poignant tales of Night Bus traumas and late night epiphanies and you’ll tap into a world which is paranoiac and uplifting all at once: call it urban psychedelia if you like.
“Don’t let the world get on top of you. Get on top of the world.”
TWISTED WHEEL / TRACK BY TRACK
1.) Lucy The Castle
“Lucy can be a person or a place. You go there and you have the best time of your life. The lyrics were inspired by T Rex. Bolan just wrote what he wanted; he didn’t care about the rules. It’s a reminder you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously.”
2.) She’s A Weapon
“It’s the first song we jammed. There are two different riffs going on. It’s about a lad who goes out with a girl who, without telling him, has already been out with one of his mates. It’s about being used.”
3.) We Are Us
“It’s a statement. It is four chords, very simple. It’s about when you’re getting bad write ups or people slagging you off for no reason.
4.) Oh What You Done
“At Christmas I got my own flat and started having parties every night. At the end of it I looked in the mirror and I was in a right state. I got my guitar out and the song just came to me. It was the last song we recorded for the album.”
“It’s lighters in the air time. It will be a single at some stage. The characters in the song are people I’ve met. It’s no big deal-everyone knows a drug dealer or the local weirdo”
6.) One Night On The Street
“We went to the Marathon Bar in Camden, and I ended up staying up all night. By the end I just wanted to go home. That’s why the last line is ‘Hotel/Hotel!”.
7.) Let Them Have It All
“It’s about making the most of your life. Don’t whinge about everything, get some bounce in your soles and go for it. It’s much more ferocious live, but we calmed it down in the studio.”
8.) Bad Candy
“It’s about anything which makes you feel good which is bad for you-like sweets when you’re a kid. It’s the most garage rock song on the album -shades of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators. The Americans seem to love it!”
9.) You Stole The Sun
“With ‘Strife’ it’s the oldest song on the album. I was listening to Dylan, Donovan, John Martyn and Hank Williams. It’s more folky than the rest of the record.”
10.) Bouncing Bomb
“It’s one of those songs which could go on forever. I’ve written at least ten verses for it. If people say it’s like ‘That’s Entertainment’ it’s a great compliment.
11.) What’s Your Name
“It had to be last…It’s a lot more gentle lyrically, with more thoughtful lines like ‘If I told you I was a leader’. It started off as a jam. -and ended up with a really psychedelic, uplifting feel.
Edited by AdamKMM on 20 Jun 2013, 10:26
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