Jump to content
fenman

The Wheel And Torch

Recommended Posts

Back in the 70`s when I found my spiritual home on this scene, one of the real old hands used to tell me that the Wheel and Torch were the high point and it had been all downhill from there.

When he told us "back then the music was better, the atmosphere was better and the gear was better" we used to smile patronisingly and almost pat him on the head because we were jack the lads and knew it all.

Now that I am an old hand I can imagine the same reaction from the new soulies when we go on about Wigan etc.

Is there anyone out there who can give their opinion on the Wheel and Torch and how they compered to any other of the great venues.

As a matter of interest my alltime favorite venue is St Ives and not Wigan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm too young for Stafford even!

But I've been told by some of the Old Gloucester Boys, that the Wheel was a HARD place for a 15/16 year old. He told me how a friend of his had clothes "TAXED" in the toilets!!!! I'd love to know if this is true (I've no reason to think this guy would tell a lie).

Edited by simonb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never went to the Wheel but went to our equivalent around Northants and Bedfordshire and they were very exciting and ad hoc. It was very new and no one else was doing anything remotely similar, these were the only all nighters and there would usually be one or two a weekend in the whole country. The Torch was great, big enough to be impressive, incredibly buzzy and the very first and big Northern discoveries when there was a full range of sounds to pick from. It was definitely better than Wigan for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never went to the Wheel, as Ady says the Torch was the buisiness,absolutely electric atmosphere,but if you weren´t careful a rough place(everbody friendly not 100% true)

Best place i ever went though was the Catacombs :huh:

Who were the old Gloucester lads Simon?

Steve

Edited by SteveSmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Torch was great, big enough to be impressive, incredibly buzzy and the very first and big Northern discoveries when there was a full range of sounds to pick from. It was definitely better than Wigan for me.

link

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got to agree with Ady The Torch was a awesome venue always packed

and had a electric atmosphere , I use to go to Wigan every Friday

Soul nites even dancin on stage with Major Lance and Edwin Starr

during their visit to the Casino during the Fri nite sessions pre the

Alniter days 72-early 73 .Went to nearly all the Sat niters during its

history 73--81 with a short break due to illness but compaired

to Tunstalls Torch it was defo second best, I went to the Wheel

during its dying days and found it frightening to say the least

for a 16 yr old so i cant say how the Wheel matched up to other nites

One thing I remember which will always stick in my mind was when

Jnr Walker was on at the Torch and afterwards spent about 1 hour

dancing & chattin to myself and Fred Morton from Leigh, Jnr was movin from side to side and kept sayin to myself and Fred.........

MAN THE GUYS IN DETROIT WILL NEVER BELIEVE THIS !!!!

God his huge white eyes where like spotlights as he kept sayin that !

Regards Ian Cunliffe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ciarraÃĮ’Ã"š­bhoy

Only went to The Torch twice, never went to the Wheel. Was a regular at Wigan and as I only lived 11 miles from St Ives, was a regular there as well. Samantha's was probably my favourite though.

Anyone remember Bletsoe ?

Edited by jungletim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

The Torch had charisma and real entertainment value. A playlist to die for too.

The venue housed a lot of personality, something that even Wigan lacked.

Sadly the all nighters lasted barely a year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Torch had charisma and real entertainment value. A playlist to die for too.

The venue housed a lot of personality, something that even Wigan lacked.

Sadly the all nighters lasted barely a year.

link

=========================================

Talkin about the playlist at the Torch Kev ,it was strange we use to know what records where coming on next whenever certain dj,s where on :huh:

Remember waiting to get in when M Lance was doing his live LP

session just as we got to the doors the first bars of Earl Jackson

S.S satisfaction hit us as we walked in awesome BLOODY awesome FEELING !!!!!!!!!!

Plus what about the milkman who use to bring crates of milk in just before closing !!! Great Times never beaten in my opinion !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"back then the music was better, the atmosphere was better and the gear was better"

Our local villiage idiot's a soul boy, was there at the start & is full of glorious tales from the golden days.

A couple of years ago he put a soul night on in the local pub & distributed flyers, proclaiming the night to be a Torch revival featuring original Torch DJ's Russ Winstanley & Kev Roberts.

So that proves one thing, the gear certianly was much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Anyone remember Bletsoe ?

link

The legendary chicken shed with a generator; and caps as big as the eggs. Good enough to make you dance to 'I Don't Want To Discuss It' in DMs!

link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We Stokies were weaned at the Torch....

Being lucky enough to only live 1/2 a mile away, Saturday mornings at the Torch were taylor made for us little trainee soulies...

I'll never forget the first time i managed to pile enough make up on to be let into my first niter there..

We'd all got our stories straight for our parents..

Walked in to that wonderful place, heard 'unsatisfied' and thought i'd died and gone to heaven...

when my dad found out a couple of weeks later, nearly got beaten to death...

oh well whats a good hiding compared to a good night out.!! :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Torch was something special, especially to us Southerners making our first tentative steps on the Northern Scene. For us and I expect many others it was also special because the scene was still very much in its infancy, we were all there for one thing, some good gear and to hear some fantastic records. I also like to think that there was no politics and backbiting in those days, but I suspect some people disliked Levine even then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly far too young to have attended either (unless it was with my mum pushing me around the dancefloor in me pram) but it seems by what people say and looking at the playlists that the Wheel was more like a 'Mod' club (R'n'B, blues as well as up-tempo soul tracks) wheras the Torch seems to have been more like what a 'Northern' night would pass for today. It might sound like wish-fulfillment but I kind of like the idea of there only being one or two top class venues in the whole country that are worth going to rather than a million and one places with no atmosphere scattered all over the place! Oooh, what a Luddite. ranting_1.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Main difference I think was that The Wheel mainly played UK issues, whereas The Torch progressed to US copies, but it had to close when they ran out of money...

cos they bought them all off Ovenchips. ... ranting_1.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Main difference I think was that The Wheel mainly played UK issues, whereas The Torch progressed to US copies, but it had to close when they ran out of money...

cos they bought them all off Ovenchips. ... ranting_1.gif

link

Plenty of "imports" played in the latter days of The Wheel, especially Okeh and Brunswick stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

"back then the music was better, the atmosphere was better and the gear was better"

Our local villiage idiot's a soul boy, was there at the start & is full of glorious tales from the golden days.

A couple of years ago he put a soul night on in the local pub & distributed flyers, proclaiming the night to be a Torch revival featuring original Torch DJ's Russ Winstanley & Kev Roberts.

So that proves one thing, the gear certianly was much better.

link

Trust me any guy distributing flyers proclaiming Russ and Me on at a Torch revival is seriously taking 'bad gear'. Possibly something he saved from 1972!

On a lighter note; Stop What Your Doing-The Playthings, That's The Tune-PJ Proby, Honey Bee-Johnny Johnson plus Tony Jebb playing Sam and Kitty's I've Dropped Something Good, Tony Banks selling his Beautiful Night's, Dodger from Grantham banging the beer tray on his head, Angie Lawrence(hi Neil) and Frank Boper dukeing it out in the dance comps,Mick Smith refusing to sell me Rufus Lumley on Stateside for 8 quid, insisting on 12! Kegsy and me going head on with the Bradford Market load.

THE BEST TIMES EVER!(for moi)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join or log in now!

Comments are members only

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in here.

Sign in now!

Related Soul Music Links

×