fredag 8 juli 2011

The Wheels: Belfast Beat

Victor Catling, Rod Demick, Brian Rossi, Tito Tinsley, Herbie Armstrong

If you think that Van Morrison's Them were the only great beat group from Belfast in the 60's then you are terribly wrong. These guys, The Wheels (The Wheel-A-Ways in the US to avoid confusion with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels), maybe released much less material than Them but they're just as great anyway! The group also had a strong relation to Them: The Wheels covered some of Them's material and Van Morrison even was a member in their very early days and plays sax at some recordings!

The Wheels formed in 1964, and had previously been playing under the name The Golden Eagles. In '65 The Wheels got a record deal with EMI Columbia, and released their debut, a cover of Them's 'Gloria' and a cover of Tommy Scott's 'Don't You Know' as B-side (which Them also would cover). 'Gloria' starts in the same tempo as Them's version, and then gets a little more up-tempo towards the end. 

In February 1966 they released their second and greatest single, 'Bad Little Woman', b/w 'Road Block', two self-penned songs. Both songs are very Them-esque songs, and 'Bad Little Woman' was later covered by The Shadows Of Knight.

The Wheels released another single in 1966, 'Kicks' b/w 'Call My Name'. Both songs are strong covers (Paul Revere & The Raiders and Them). This was the group's last single and The Wheels split up in 1967.

Brian Rossi passed away way too early in 1984.

Below is a tribute video to Brian Rossi by his daughter Tamara Rossi; it features some interesting pictures of The Wheels.

1 kommentar:

  1. Back in the early 90's I frequented an Irish pub and met an older gentleman from Belfast there. Upon hearing Them on the jukebox he declared "That's the best f*ckin' band to ever come out of Belfast". I disagreed and said that The Wheels were. He was blown away and regaled me with tales of seeing both band's at the Maritime Hotel and how the scene there was never the same when both band's relocated to the U.K.