Twisted Wheel (band)
Twisted Wheel Performing At Heaton Park In Manchester June 2009
|Origin||Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, England|
|Genres||Indie rock, punk rock, post-punk revival|
|Labels||Columbia Records, Ignition Records|
|Past members||Rick Lees
Formation and debut album
Twisted Wheel formed in February 2007 in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester by guitarist and singer Jonny Brown and bassist Rick Lees, later joined by drummer Adam Clarke. Frontman Jonny Brown heard the name in a Paul Weller track "Into Tomorrow", where the lyrics say "Round and round like a twisted wheel, Spinning in attempt to find the feel" and thought it suited the music. Twisted Wheel were booked as one of the support acts for Oasis's 2009 Heaton Park concerts. Embraced for their strong melodies, psychedelic themes and Brown's irreverent poignant lyrics, the band gained a following amongst old mods/punks and younger heads looking for music which represented their generation. They were labelled as punk rock although influences span folk and 50s/60s bands too. Twisted Wheel cite Davy Graham, Bob Dylan, The Stooges The Small Faces, The Who, The Jam, The Rolling Stones and Oasis among their main influences.
The band signed to Columbia Records in January 2008. 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 four-track EP entitled You Stole The Sun, was released in July 2008. The band's debut album Twisted Wheel, produced in Los Angeles by Dave Sardy (producer of Oasis' Dig Out Your Soul and Don't Believe The Truth) was recorded in June 2008 and released on 13 April 2009. The first single from the album, "Lucy The Castle", was released in November 2008, with the follow-up, "We Are Us", released in March 2009.
The album received mixed reviews, but has gained them a following throughout the UK, at a headline gig at Manchester's Academy 1 in particular. On 10 April 2010, Twisted Wheel announced that the unreleased song Tell The World was to become available as a free download to all of the fans on their mailing list, as a thank you for the support they have received on their tour.
The band have spent the last three years on the road building an audience without major radio play. Despite no immediate follow-up to the album, the fan base has continued to grow. Twisted Wheel have supported heavyweight rock bands like Kasabian, The View, The Enemy and were the main support acts of Oasis in the homecoming tour of 2009. They have supported Paul Weller on tours and played at Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, Glastonbury and other large UK festivals. The band have toured Japan, as support with Jet as well as on headline shows. They were voted PRS second most gigged band in 2009.
Do It Again
The band drifted from the mainstream attention after their mad 2009. During this time, all members (except Jonny Brown) left the band. Eoghan Clifford took over on drums and Stephen Evans played bass and provided backing vocals for a period of time. The band created "more hardcore rock n roll punk melodies" for their second album. The band continued to write new material under a new style. Some of these songs were debuted during their tours of late 2010 to 2011.
Twisted Wheel released their second album, "Do It Again", in September 2012. The album was not, however, recorded in Paul Weller's studio, of which the band had previously been invited to use. In an interview, Jonny Brown said "I think we wanted to get this record done without extra help and prove we don’t need anything other than an understanding producer…and ‘out’ three genius brains! Haha." Brown also described the album as "Nothing but pure as can be classy, balls out rock ‘n’ roll with some beautiful melodic numbers to calm you down after you’ve burnt down your house." The third track, "Ride", has since been released as a single and for free download on the bands official site.
The band continued to tour during late 2012 with this new line up promoting the new album and supporting multiple bands during their headline tours. During this time, the band attempted to "regain our lost fame". Brown embarked on a solo acoustic tour consisting of three dates in Whitehaven, Wakefield and Macclesfield.
Third Album and Touring
The lineup changed once more in 2013. Jonny Brown has continued to provide lead guitar and vocals, Blair Murray has taken over on drums, Adam Birchall has given Twisted Wheel a backing guitarist for the first time, and Max Lees (brother of original bass guitarist, Rick) has taken over on bass duties. In 2013 and 2014, the band has continued to tour furiously, including performances at Kendal Calling, Blackburn Festival and Reading and Leeds.
On 27th December 2013, Twisted Wheel played a sell-out show at the Gorilla in Manchester in front of about 600 people supported by the Velveteen Saints. The show garnered a review stating "The crowd sing the choruses louder than the band and chant ‘Weheeeel’ between each song in a celebration of rock n roll beyond the fringe. This is music without anyone’s permission, street rock n roll northern style and within twelve months the band will be massive if they keep going like this- and they will do it without anyone’s permission- Twisted Wheel are killer live and if the mainstream ignore them they will get there by word of mouth." In early February 2014, the band also played a string of gigs at Kraak in Manchester. The week gave them support from Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (former guitarist for Oasis), an interview from John Robb and a handful of new fans.
The band have confirmed that they are working on a new album. Jonny Brown has said in an interview of the follow up to "Do It Again": "That's really our main priority, y'know? We're gonna do the gigs and that, but what we're really focusing on is the new album ... and especially now with this new lineup, which is certainly my favourite lineup ... yeah, now we're back and better than ever in some ways ... Twisted Wheel has always been a three-piece band but now, thanks to Adam over there, we've got another guitarist ... and we've been working out new harmonies and that, so yeah." Brown also confirmed on his Facebook page that the fans should "Expect new music from The Wheel next year (2014)"
The band broke up on the 13th of July, 2014, this was announced to fans via the bands twitter account, with the tweet simply stating 'R.I.P. Twisted Wheel'. Johnny Brown is rumoured to be going solo.
Their sound has been described[by whom?] as old school gritty rock 'n' roll reminiscent of the early Jam. 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 and invited the band on his summer forest tour in 2009. He has also offered the use of his studios for any recordings. They have commercially-used covers of The Jam's 'That's Entertainment' and The Zombies 'She's Not there'. Their music ranges from the ballads of real characters and situations ('Strife', 'Bouncing Bomb') to punk anthems like 'Oh What Have You Done'.
The band describe themselves as a mixture of 70s punk (Sex Pistols, The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers) and 60s rock and roll (Rolling Stones, Kinks, The Who) with a pinch of Oasis thrown in. Other influences of the band include The Jam, The Stooges, Small Faces, The Smiths, The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses.  .
- Adam Clarke: drums - 2007 - 2010
- Rick Lees: bass - 2007 - 2010
- Eoghan Clifford: Drums - 2010 - 2013
- Stephen Evans 2010-2012
- Twisted Wheel (2009)
- Do It Again (2012)
"An Interview with Twisted Wheel", From Dusk 2 Dawn Magazine, Leicester, 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.