# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Various - The Twisted Wheel, Manchester 1963-71

  by Mary O'Meara

published: 19 / 6 / 2015

Various - The Twisted Wheel, Manchester 1963-71
Label: Charly Records
Format: CD


Excellent Northern Soul Compilation straight from the turntables of Manchester's legendary Twisted Wheel Club

I wasn't there...and not only that, I can't claim to have an encyclopediacal knowledge of Northern Soul. What I can say is that I love the majority of music I've heard that dances under and over this genre and, listening to this compilation which is apparently a typical play-list of the records being spun in the legendary Twisted Wheel, I do get a sense of the excitement, the sweat, smoke and pace of the all-nighters housed within those famed four walls. This compilation (Vol 2)accompanies another (Vol 1) which is a snapshot of the music you likely would have heard in London's Scene Club. The one I've got playing at the moment is a freeze frame of what could have been spinning in Manchester's Twisted Wheel at various points in the sixties. The venue started as a coffee bar in Brazenose Street in 1963, and oddly enough I was walking down this very street yesterday and tried to picture how things may have looked back in those days. Sadly the visuals can't be reproduced other than in photographs but wonderfully we still have the records. We can still hear the very same 45's that the crowds who flocked here heard and they still carry an incredible energy, the kind that propels us onto the dance floor and somehow loosens the rigidity and monotony of the nine to five. There's a real sense of liberation and abandon in these sounds and, even half a century on, that free-flowing magic remains intact. The Twisted Wheel wasn't just a club that played records. Live music was also regularly performed there and it's almost easier to list who didn't play than who did, so lengthy is the litany of names who stopped off and stepped up. Everyone from the late, great(s) Ben E King and Percy Sledge to Ike and Tina Turner and the Ronettes paid a visit. I'm familiar with about half the records on the compilation such as Benny Spellman's 'Fortune Teller', Bo Diddley's 'Roadrunner' and 'The Boy from New York City' by the Ad Libs. Interestingly it's actually a couple of the unfamiliar tracks that grab me the most. The two I'd single out are Jamo Thomas & His Party Soul Brothers Orchestra with'I Spy (for the FBI)' which remarkably only brushed the outer edges of the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1966 and the wistful 'Long Time No See' by Ronnie and The Manhattans. I know there are a multitude of Northern Soul compilation records out there, and, at the end of the day, it comes down to personal taste and what might be missing in your collection to assist you in making a sound decision on whether this one is essential buying for you. What's special about this compilation is it encapsulates a very specific time and place and emits what feels like the true flavour of the Twisted Wheel. It also comes with a well-written informative booklet that provides a potted history of the venue and legendary DJ Roger Eagle. It also grows stronger on each listen as the grooves etch themselves into your soul.

Track Listing:-

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