Twisted Wheel fixed and ready to roll

WORLD famous for its Whit Friday brass band festival, there’s more to Saddleworth music though than cornets and tenor horns.

Richard Allsopp, Jonny Brown and Harry Lavin (picture by Trust A Fox)

Now with its own Festival – Cotton Clouds returns to Saddleworth Cricket Club for a second staging in August – the area is the rehearsal base and inspiration for a number of up and coming bands.

We feature two – Gardenback and The Flatline – plus spotlight the return of old favourites, Twisted Wheel.

While ex Wheel, Rick Lees, is now one of the driving forces behind Cotton Clouds, frontman Jonny Brown is back with a new line-up comprising, Richard Allsopp, Harry Lavin and former Wheel drummer, Adam Clarke who recently replaced James Highton.

It’s nearly four years since Greenfield based Jonny called time on the old Wheel.

The Indy interviewed him in December 2015 ahead of a solo tour but you always suspected he hankered for band support.

“You can’t beat walking on stage, having your brothers on tour with you, that unity between you is a great thing,” he said at the time.

More recently Brown added: “You don’t realise what you actually have until it’s gone.”

Jonny with new drummer Adam Clarke

They might now be different brothers but there are four spokes to the Wheel who also recently announced their ‘Snakes and Ladders’ nationwide tour. There’s an album of the same name for their renowned loyal fans to enjoy.

A number of the dates are already sold out, including Bolton, Preston and the Band on the Wall in Manchester on June 1 where 450 tickets went in several days.

There’s even a select pre-tour, charity event at Hot Banana Music in Holmfirth on Saturday, March 17 where entry is restricted to just 50 people. This gig is now sold out.

In a recent interview Brown said the songs combined “A diverse range of unique sound with many a hook and sing a long melodies, not to mention my lyrical poetry”.

He added: “I would say you should expect a classic album – to be loved by some but not by others.”

A band once recognised for its prolific playing of gigs has a heavy schedule including a number of high profile festivals.

Like Gardenback, the Wheel, once hobnobbing with the likes of Oasis, Paul Weller and Ian Brown, are heading for Kendal Calling in July.

The private Holmfirth show is the only chance of catching the band before the tour starts and the first time in eight years Jonny and original drummer Adam have played live together.

Tickets cost £10 with £5 from each sale donated to the Drugfam, a charity that provides a lifeline of safe and caring support to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use.

Drugfam was set up by Elizabeth Burton-Philips MBE who lost one of her twin boys to drug addiction in 2004 and who went on to write the heart-breaking book: ‘Mum can you lend me twenty quid.’ For more information on the charity visit:

For a full list of Twisted Wheel dates go online.

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