Twisted Wheel at the ICA

Tonight, at a disappointingly empty ICA, it’s Oldham’s Twisted Wheel. Arriving uncharacteristically early, I even caught the final couple of tracks from Opera House before them – a band (complete with Micky Mouse sweatshirts) that looked and sounded as though David Tennant had mistakenly plucked them out of 1982. Opera HouseHad I been managing them the first thing I’d have done would have been to warn them off the name. Try typing “Opera House” into a search engine – they have so many doppelgooglers it’s probably the worst band name to do a web search on since (the presumably defunct) Symposium. Never heard of them? My point exactly. Someone came round and gave me a card allowing access to ten downloads, but of course it was lost and I’ve no chance of ever tracking them down, even on MySpace, so their moment in the spotlight ends here.

At their best, Twisted Wheel took me back to student days, but with a modern twist (though one track could have been mistaken for the King of the Hill theme tune). When less good, they spend too much of their time trying to sound like Arctic Monkeys. If I were still at college, I’d have been straight into the mosh pit, a whirl of elbows, pinballing around at the front of the stage. Being the ICA, of course this is a slightly gentler, more cerebral, setting where groupies can sit on the corner of the stage and there’s only a handful of good-hearted moshers entering into the spirit at the front.

Boris plays bassI’m a little surprised by the lack of a crowd, especially as Boris Johnson seems to have taken the night off from mayoral campaigning to play the bass. You’d have thought he’d have been a bigger draw.

They’re a very tight three-piece, presumably named after the northern soul club in Manchester (see what happens if you have a googlable band name?) and you can detect the influence. You Stole the Sun and the Monkeys-inspired Strife are probably the standout tracks, but you get the feeling there’s more to come.

Johnny from Twisted Wheel

Twisted Wheel ICA setlist

And, if Jonny can step further outside the Arctic Monkeys vocal footsteps, you get the feeling it will be pretty good.

You Stole the Sun rounded off the set list (which clearly has no space for an encore), the lights came straight up and we few, we happy few, sauntered away, giving us time to get home and watch the vid of Simon Smith being fired from The Apprentice. What was Sir Alan thinking?
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~ by keithmansfield on April 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “Twisted Wheel at the ICA”

  1. Twisted Wheel. Now there’s a name I’ve been hearing a lot about recently. I’m off to Myspace now to check them out…..

  2. Hi Winston. Hope you like their MySpace site – I’m off to the Academy to check out Portishead! Hopefully I’ll have chance to add some thoughts tomorrow…

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