The Left Wing Coffee Bar

Being so old, I remember the 'Wheel' when it was the 'Left Wing Coffee Bar'.  John Rowlands, who later played with John Mayall's Blues Syndicate, used to run the all night jazz sessions there.  We used to drop in after a Saturday night gig if we were passing through town. 

John would sometimes import a 'name' in from London but the only one that I can remember seeing there was tenor player Don Rendell, one of my favourites.  Don later had a quintet with Graham Bond who at that time was playing alto.  Graham of course went on to play Hammond Organ, finally meeting a sad end under the wheels of an underground train. 

I can't be sure who played with John Rowlands but it might well have included the likes of Roy Hilton and Hughie Flint (McGuiness Flint). 

To give you some idea of how long ago this was, I can remember coming in to town in the early hours of a Sunday Morning after a gig just to look in Looker's window (the car dealers on Deansgate) to see this revolutionary new car  that had been unveiled at midnight that night.  It was the Mini.

Brazennose Street being almost opposite Lookers, we probably went on to the Left Wing for a cup of coffee and a dose of jazz.

Pete Crooks

Advertised 11 March 1961

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Comments (7)

Topic: Left Wing Coffee Bar
Brian Spooner says...
Can remember calling in after gigs around Manchester. Was told it was set up by some graduates from the University one of them eventually becoming something senior in the motor trade
3rd December 2015 9:38pm
Geoff Brown says...
Set up by four members of the Labour Party all of whom became MPs, including Joel Barnett. It tried to combine music and politics. It organised discussions, CND met there.
17th January 2016 7:25pm
john evans says...
Two of the other future Labour M.P.s involved, in addition to Joel Barnett were Bob Sheldon and Edmund Dell. They all subsequently became Treasury Ministers in the 1970s Wilson/Callaghan Governments.
9th April 2016 7:50pm
Geoff Brown says...
The interesting question is why did four talented activists who went on to be senior figures on the right of the Labour Party set up the Left Wing Coffee Bar? What were they trying to do?
9th April 2016 8:15pm
Alan Bailey says...
I remember,the Manager was Bob(?) Kapp, who told me once, that he had been in charge of catering for the 8th Army in WW2. He started the all-night Jazz sessions with Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes and the "legendary" Phil Seaman. Some friends ... Read More
26th June 2016 4:17pm
Steve sharples says...
I was at the Jazz couriers gig

sat on the edge of the stage and fell asleep only to be kicked away by Ronnie Scott
21st February 2017 3:07am
Chris says...
Heard a great West Indian guitarist, Ernest Wranglin, at one of the all nighters
1st May 2017 7:46am

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