THE TWISTED WHEEL
The Left Wing Club in Brazennose Street in Manchester changed to become the Twisted Wheel.
Twisted Wheel membership card circa 1965
Slowly moving from it's roots in, folk and jazz,
to blues and RnB, it was to become the originator of Northern Soul.
Mainly due to the two brothers who owned
and managed the club and its first, now legendary D-J, Roger Eagle.
The Abadi brothers Ivor and Jack let Roger's instincts for RnB guide the
clubs direction. It was Roger who introduced a whole generation to Jimmy
Smith,, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker
and many more. (The first UK RnB boom.)
The Club was a coffee bar, no Booze but lots of blues! And after a
Saturday night with Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame, John Mayall or Eric Burdon ,
who can forget the Sunday morning hikes in the peak district after the All
In the early days a mixture of white UK live artists with recordings
by the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Surf and Dragster, even pop chart and folk
tiles formed the early mixture of sounds. The place itself was in a cellar,
painted black, walls and ceilings , usually dripping with condensation.
In late 63 and 64 the influence of Soul became dominant with the
rise of Mowtown and Stax .
.The Mod scene was here, fashion changing weekly, pop music influenced by blues and early Motown and Stax, and they were very rare records, everything connected with blues and soul was rare in those days, the radio did not play Soul and hardly any record shops had heard of the artists. "Green Onions - you want the green grocers mate!" In any case to like black musicians was seen as not quite the thing. But that sort of attitude simply encouraged us.
The mainstream soul standard classics of today, were at their time
of release rare and difficult to find. This eventually led to the
situation at the end of the 1960's when collectors sought anything rare, just
for the sake of it, recordings without real merit being hyped up as Northern
Soul would not have made the grade.
The Twisted Wheel membership was eventually quite considerable, you
had to wait 24 hours to join, even though the club did not serve alcohol, it
cost Ten Bob. The evolution of
soul culture began here starting at the 'old Wheel' in Brazennose Street
Manchester and moving more and more into total soul sounds at the 'new' Wheel
in Whitworth Street. Where the regular DJ was Paul Davis .
The 'New Wheel'
The Torch, Wigan Casino, Blackpool Mecca; carried on the tradition in the
seventies, however by the end of 1968 the best Soul had probably been produced and
played at the Twisted Wheel the birth place of the Northern Soul scene.
Probably started off by Roger Eagle
at the Old Wheel, even the 'New Wheel' in Whitworth
Street would often end the Allnighter session with WALK ON THE WILD SIDE by
Jimmy Smith - a tradition sometimes followed at the Blue Note by DJ's Dave
Recent picture of the Whiteworth Street Wheel.
Highly recommended book;-
Sounds from the Wheel... Goldmine Soul Supply