The Wheels were led by Brian Rossi one of the main movers in the Belfast scene of the mid-60s. They moved from Belfast to Blackpool. The Wheels played the Stoney Lea on many occasions. They were friends with the also Blackpool based Rockin’ Vicars and at one time shared a farm together!
There are strong links with Van Morrison's Them: not only they came from the same place and shared a stage together in the early days but they had a very similar repertoire and their first single was none other than "Gloria" backed by "Don't you know" written by Them's producer Tommy Scott and also recorded by Van & Co.
Fair enough The Wheels lacked in original material but they did great versions of numbers by John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and the likes, also the staple of many other great acts from England at the time such as the Animals for example.
Six-member version of the Wheels from left:
Tito Tinsley, Victor Catling, Rod Demick, Brian Rossi, Eric Wrixon and Herbie Armstrong
To many this was the definitive recording of Gloria surpassing even Van Morrison’s version.