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From the backwaters of Oldham, TWISTED WHEEL roared on to the scene with bloody great big indie anthems ‘You Stole The Sun’, ‘She’s a Weapon’ and ‘Lucy The Castle’.
Fronted by the feral and precocious Jonny Brown, that sheer energy and dirty rock’n’roll got them on tours with Oasis, Kasabian, Paul Weller, The Courteeners, Happy Mondays and Ian Brown.
And now the newly reformed Oldham four-spoker (Harry Lavin, James Highton, Richard Allsopp & Jonny Brown) is back like a dirty rock’n’roll Lazarus with tunes and spunk to make up for time lost.
New album and tour ‘Snakes and Ladders’ is closer to the bone than ever before. 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 Johnny 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 built a great foundation through grassroots venues such as Fibbers, one the genuine ladders for Twisted Wheel’s success. A decade later, and those spaces are still how Twisted Wheel gain access to the game – this time avoiding the pitfalls.
Twisted Wheel were the hardest working band 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.
He says, “We’re not just in a rock ‘n’ roll, punk box. I write a range of songs. This time, more of my poetry will focus 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!