Twisted Wheel (band)
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Twisted Wheel supporting Oasis 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|
Jonny Brown |
Formation and debut albumEdit
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". 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 1950s/1960s 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.
Their sound has been described 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' 'She's a weapon'.
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 was recorded in June 2008 at Hillside studios Los Angeles and produced by award winning producer Dave Sardy ( Oasis Dig Out Your Soul and Don't Believe The Truth) Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, Wolfmother, Band of Horses, Marilyn Manson, Jet and LCD Soundsystem to name just a few.
The album was 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 many positive reviews and gained them a loyal following throughout the UK. On 10th April 2010 at a headline gig at Manchester's Academy 1 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, this as a thank you for the support they have received on their tour.
Twisted Wheel have supported heavyweight rock bands like Oasis, Kasabian, Paul Weller, Happy Mondays, Ian Brown, The Stranglers, The Courteeners, The View, The Enemy and many more. They band have played at the majority of UK festivals including Glastonbury, Leeds & Reading, T in the Park, Kendal Calling, Festival No 6 and many others. The band have toured Europe a number of times as well as supporting Jet in Japan and playing the Fuji Rock Festival. In 2009 they were quoted by PRS as being the UKs second most gigged band. Twisted Wheel have always been known as a hard working band. The band have spent many years on the road building a loyal audience, this being achieved without any major UK radio play. The band are strong believers that in order to build such a loyal fan base, it is imperative to play at and support Grass Route Music Venues across the UK.
Do It AgainEdit
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. Brown 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 band's official site.
Break Up/Band ReformEdit
The band broke up on 13 July 2014, this was announced to fans via the band's Twitter account, with the tweet simply stating 'R.I.P. Twisted Wheel'. Since October 2014 Jonny Brown has embarked on a solo acoustic tour.
In December 2017 Jonny Tweeted and mentioned on facebook that at the end his last acoustic gig at Manchesters Band on The Wall (15th Dec) there would be a surprise in store. This surprise announcement turned out to be the reformation and return of The Wheel and he welcomed on stage the new lineup - Harry Lavin (bass),Richard Allsopp (guitar) and James Highton (drums). The response from the home crowd was positive and the band went on to finish the set by playing two tracks from the bands first/second albums "We are us" and Double Yellow lines" and five new songs including "Jonny Guitar" "Get Over Yourself" "Rebel" DNA and "Freak" some of which will feature on the new album to be released in October 2018. On the 12th January 2018 Twisted Wheel issued an official statement on Facebook that The Wheel were rolling again followed with a press release. In January 2018 Adam Clarke Twisted Wheel’s original drummer returns to the band
FACEBOOK TWISTED WHEEL REFORMING ANNOUNCEMENT 12/1/18
Yes, there back. Back again. Twisted Wheel has been rocked and rolled, smashed up, fallen off the wagon, run solo, found its groove and is back, unstoppable and relentless, very much up and running.
For those that know, Twisted Wheel delivers consistently the familiar anthems and stomps yet with the inspired rock ‘n’roll random which is becoming ever rarer to find and impossible to replicate. You never know what to expect – apart from good real music – from the outfit fronted by Jonny Brown. This is for the faithful followers who have stuck with the band despite the various deaths, resurrections and reboots which have mirrored the actual life of Jonny. Yes, they had it good, yes they blew it but the fans never left and this is for the ones who continued to believe in The Wheel. Now it’s back, with a vengeance and with tunes to make up for time lost.
The four spoker (Harry Lavin, Adam Clarke, Richard Allsopp and Jonny Brown) has a gang of songs above and beyond their previous best, recording in February with new singles out in April and September. A new UK tour ‘Snakes and Ladders’ starts in April, festivals and a further tour before the album release in October/November. ‘Snakes and Ladders’ is a fitting title to the biography of a band. It is also one of the songs penned by Jonny about the ladders of opportunity - and the obstacles and temptations - that pull us back down the board of life. Here’s hoping this time the snakes get stomped on
LATEST PRESS RELEASE 12/1/18 TWISTED WHEEL SNAKES AND LADDERS TOUR
For Twisted Wheel, Snakes and Ladders is not just a board game, it’s a CV. Born in the backwaters of Oldham in 2007, the young band, fronted by the feral, precocious Jonny Brown, roared into the race of indie rock with such anthems as ‘You Stole The Sun’, ‘She’s a Weapon’ and ‘Lucy The Castle’. Their irrepressible energy and ability to deliver inspired rock’n’roll gained them the support slots with Oasis, Kasabian, Paul Weller, The Courteeners, The Happy Mondays and Ian Brown to name but a few, as well as sell-outs on their first UK and European tours.
Constant touring across the UK, Europe and Japan the UK (thanks to the Grass Route movement and the big festivals) led to a solid fanbase despite the dramatic trajectory of its frontman, Jonny Brown - or maybe because of it. Twisted Wheel has indeed rocked and rolled, been smashed up, fallen off the wagon, gone solo, kicked to the kerb – before finding its groove and getting back on it, full speed ahead.
The unlikely combination of elegance and raw inspiration, the familiar coupled with the random, make Twisted Wheel an undeniably popular act that delivers the goods in a way few bands can. But ‘Snakes and Ladders’ is a tour and album far closer to the bone that anything previous. The band has grown up and Brown’s song structures and lyrics are on another level, beyond haggard experience now, worn in with wisdom and wit. As he says: ‘The song ‘Smash It Up’ epitomised me. I set out to do things and was on the road comfortably and then I turned off and smashed it to bits. I get stuck into things with a passion and then I have to destroy it when the passion’s gone. Mess everything up so that I’m free again to reinvent, create.’ And ‘Snakes and Ladders’ is frankly about the band blowing the ladders of opportunity they were given – and the snakes which led to them falling off the board. It’s a tour about getting back in the game, finding opportunity again and avoiding those slithery serpents.
Twisted Wheel is back like a man from the dead and with tunes to make up for time lost. The Oldham four spoker (Harry Lavin, Adam Clarke, Richard Allsopp and Jonny Brown) has a gang of songs above and beyond their previous best, recording in Preston as this goes to press. A new UK tour starts in April plus a single, festivals and a further tour before the album release in the autumn. The band built a great foundation through the Grass Route venues which were the genuine ladders through which Twisted Wheel gained its success. A decade later, and they are still how Twisted Wheel gain access to the game – this time avoiding the pitfalls.
Twisted Wheel were one of the hardest working bands in 2009, gaining the PRS Award for playing the most gigs of any young band. They are grafters, rock n rollers but with the edge of genuine poetry; few can forget Jonny’s ‘Bouncing Bomb’ or ‘What’s Your Name?’ but audiences will be hungry for his more poignant blues numbers on this tour. ‘We’re not just in a rock ‘n’ roll, punk box. I write a range of songs. This time, more of my poetry will come out which focuses on things that matter, a commentary on what’s going on in the world. Bands play it safe because they don’t want to upset people. But your job as an artist is to say what others can’t, to speak the truth.’
Twisted Wheel – it may have been bad, bent and broken but it’s back, a band with integrity, fun and experienced authority.
So for now, with a tour on the horizon and brand new material being recorded we'll leave you with 'Oh What Have you Done', which has never been to radio before, taken from their self titled debut album, 'Twisted Wheel'. Recorded at Hillside Studios, Hollywood, California Produced by Dave Sardy – (Oasis, Wolfmother, Marilyn Manson, LCD Soundsystem)
Release plan – Singles May/Sept – Album Oct/Nov 2018 For Tickets vist See, Skiddle, We got tickets, Ticketweb, for London gig at Dingwalls Fatsuma
- Jonny Brown: vocals, guitar.
- Harry Lavin : bass
- Richard Allsopp: guitar
- Adam Clarke: drums
- Adam Clarke: drums – 2007 – 2010
- Rick Lees: bass – 2007 – 2010
- Tom Peek- Bass
- Eoghan Clifford: Drums – 2010 – 2013
- Stephen Evans: Bass 2010–2013
- Max Lees: Bass: - 2013-2014 
- Blair Murray: drums - 2013-2014
- Adam Birchall: guitar - 2013-2014
- Twisted Wheel (2009)
- Do It Again (2012)