Be careful what you dream of

It may come up and surprise you

Christopher Adrian Layhe / Robert Ian Mcnabb

So goes the opening line of Hollow Horse by The Icicle Works. It’s bound to fill our manager, Billy George, with good Christmas cheer. I know it’s one of his favourites. I think I’m right in saying that, under the guise of Honk Promotions, Billy booked lead singer Ian McNabb for a brilliant gig at PJ Molloy’s.

There was a technical issue during the first four songs and Ian McNabb walked off. Issue resolved, McNabb returned from the green room and started the gig anew. He played the first four songs again, continued on for ages and brought the house down.

I remember it being really loud for a lone singer/songwriter. No bad thing when the sound quality is top notch, which it was once the technical was fixed.

Ian McNabb of The Icicle Works.

The chorus of Hollow Horse is memorable too.

We’ll be as we are

When all the fools

Who doubt us fade away

Christopher Adrian Layhe / Robert Ian Mcnabb

The feel good factor for Wayne…? I’m thinking Jump by Van Halen.

I get up and nothin’ gets me down

You got it tough, I’ve seen the toughest around

And I know, baby, just how you feel

You got to roll with the punches and get to what’s real

Alex Van Halen / Edward Van Halen / David Roth

Aztec Camera recorded a very gentle cover version of jump and Wayne can choose.

Eddie Van Halen on top and Roddy Frame from Aztec Camera below. What will Wayne choose?

I’m torn over a selection for Mark. I’m thinking piano, keys, synthesizers, the mellotron and “the fucking Jennings” as Mark calls his favourite instrument at Robin Evans’ Tpot Studios, Path of Condie.

Mark at Tpot Studios.

The Door’s Light My Fire or People are strange, The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever or Lady Madonna, or Baba O’Riley by The Who? No, I’ve got it, for Mark it’s A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum.

We skipped the light fandango

Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor

I was feeling kinda seasick

But the crowd called out for more

The room was humming harder

As the ceiling flew away

When we called out for another drink

The waiter brought a tray

 Gary Brooker / Keith Reid / Matthew Fisher

As the BBC have shown us this Christmas, changing a famous Pogues song, it’s okay to butcher other people’s lyrics. Here’s my alternative chorus for Procol Harum’s classic.

A night out with Big Daddy

We both ended up in jail

My face, at first just ghostly

Turned a whiter shade of pale

Joe Graham (TwinsTown EDIT)

I know Kirsty MacColl sang “haggard” instead of “faggot” on Top of the Pops and a few years ago Shane McGowan couldn’t be arsed arguing about it. However, Fairytale of New York is a classic and MacColl is singing in character; a marginalised and bitter character. In the voice of that character, the lyric is true. The BBC = lyric police.

Rant over, it’s Donald time!

You can’t touch this

You can’t touch this

You can’t touch this

Break it down!

Stop, Donald time!

Rick James / Alonzo Herbert Miller / Mc HammeR

Okay I made a wee change there too. MC Hammer’s Hammer Time has been compromised. Anyway, my actual choice for Donald is of course Elton John, but not Sacrifice, oh no, it’s I’m Still Standing.

Don’t you know

I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

Elton John / Bernie Taupin

Yes, Donald is still standing – no thanks to Stuart.

Talking of Stuart…

The walls are closing in at night

Ain’t a friend in the World in sight

The boss man like to mess my day

Someday soon, gonna make him pay

Gonna hit him heavy gonna hit him hard

Wreck him in his wreckin’ yard

Wreck him in his wreckin’ yard

Gonna wreck him in his wreckin’ yard

stevie Agnew / Chris smith

Yes, you can count on toun legend Stevie Agnew to put a smile on Stuart’s face.

Anna and Stuart proudly sporting his Stevie Agnew and Hurricane Road baseball cap.

Last but not least, Harry. Last Christmas is too obvious a choice. Staying with George Michael I’ll pick Careless Whisper for The Duke.

I feel so unsure

As I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor

As the music dies

Something in your eyes

Calls to mind a silver screen

And all its sad goodbyes

 Andrew J. Ridgeley / George Michael

Wayne told me that George Michael wrote Careless Whisper and added Andrew Ridgeley to the songwriting credits to ensure his Wham! band mate never had to worry about money.

C’mon Donald and Stuart, fingers oot! None of us want to worry about money either.

Tappie Toories, the spiritual home of TwinsTown. There is a light that never goes out.

It’s a beautiful drive from Dunfermline to Tpot Studies in Path of Condie. Stopping in Kinross for square sausage and bacon rolls only added to the pleasure. I was buzzin’ and looking forward to seeing TwinsTown in action.

Path of Condie. Actual mode of transport may vary.

I was lucky. Doing public relations and photography gave me the second household spot as each of the five band members arrived, laid down their tracks individually, and departed. It made for a long two days but, boy oh boy, it was fun.

I watched all the divas taking tantrums, making unforced errors, losing their nerve, losing their minds and some even lost their hair! I’m sure I could see baldy bits. Embrace the baldness, boys. It’s the price of art.

Prohibited: no baldy bits allowed, say paranoid pair. Be like sound man Robin and buy a hat.

And debut album Brankholm Brae is going to be a work of art. There’s no doubt. We reviewed the final take on each track and when it worked, it worked.

Donald and Stuart Mackay know how to write a catchy tune. TwinsTown manager Big Daddy aka Billy George described one track, Welcome to My World, as REM on speed. I liken Spitfire to Primal Scream giving it laldy singing, “get your rocks off, get your rock off, honey”.

Before the two household restriction, I attended two TwinsTown rehearsals at Scott Gilbert’s Penthouse Practice Suite, above the 7 Kings at 2a Chalmers Street. At the first rehearsal, Zena and I were laughing, singing Wolves lyrics to the new tunes. Wolves being the twins’ former band, after starting out with The Wingnuts. The old lyrics just seemed to fit and we left thinking TwinsTown hadn’t really progressed musically. Fresh lyrics, same tunes we thought.

Zena and Stuart at Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

By the second rehearsal I attended the songs had developed. It took hours upon hours of work. I know, I was there to see it. When TwinsTown arrived at Tpot Studios to record the album the songs had improved immensely, and I watched as sound engineer Robin, socially distanced in a sound proof booth, tinkered with his mixing desk and offered advice to each individual performer. It’s a process.

The end result is going to be worth the effort.

Of course, I’m bias. I’m the band’s PR and photographer. I booked the Wingnuts to play East End Park in support of Pars United, back in 2012 when we all bought and saved Dunfermline Athletic. Beatnic Prestige headlined and I remember Albo giving the sonic twins a guitar masterclass in the green room. They learned well.

Albo, sporting his blue Fred Perry, giving another masterclass with The Stevie Agnew Band at The White Gates.

I also booked the Wolves for The Creepy Wee Pub. It was their first gig and we made the whole upstairs a stage. What a gig that was!

Wolves after their first ever gig at The Creepy Wee Pub.

I also booked The Mackay Twins to play Tappie Toories, their first gig under that name. I’m sure the old TwinsTown featuring Jimmy Clouston played Tappies too. They just turned up and gigged.

The Mackay Twins play Tappies.

What I’m saying is, I’m a fan. I always have been. As a longtime fan I can honestly say the twins’ new material is their strongest.

My old Wingnuts favourite Wrath of the Rum sits on Brankholm Brae alongside 11 brand spanking new tracks. Wrath deserves a return. It’s a classic. It’s not my favourite anymore though. Spitfire has that honour now. I love it, especially the twins’ Winston Churchill impressions. It’s inspirational, it’s funny, it’s TwinsTown. It’s what the boys are all about.

Spitfire a stunning track from Twinstown’s debut album Brankholm Brae.

Please don’t think TwinsTown is all about the twins. As Harry Dixon tells us, we’re all brothers. Shame you didn’t remember that, Harry, when you got Tony Bellew onto me. The world boxing champ called me an uncultured swine! I’ll be giving the Gypsy King a call, or are you best pals with him too…

I give up!

Seriously though, I used to watch Harry playing songs about his maw buying substandard t-bags from charity shops and despite the strong lyrics his guitar work was inept. Several jugs of lager too many.

Sober Harry is brilliant, on both bass and lead guitar.

To promote Brankholm Brae we’ll be producing a ‘making of’ video and additional ‘in the studio’ videos showing each band member performing a track individually. I’ve already edited Harry’s video, playing bass on Big Heart. It’s impressive, although look out for his wee hussy fit at the very end, and listen on as Robin counsels him over the headphones.

Wayne is also outstanding. He’s like THE toun drummer in Dunfermline. He was a stalwart with The Falcons for years. I think he’s also featured with The Wingnuts, Honk, Beatnic Prestige, The Modern Faces, and the list goes on. He reminds me of Keith Moon from The Who. He’s steady, keeping the beat, steady, steady, and then he goes off unexpectedly. He improvises. He makes every drum track his own.

Wayne drums like Keith Moon from The Who.

New member Mark keeps calling me Bowser ‘cos I can drink 20 cans of T without paying a visit. Nae wonder we call him The Darkness. He’s a bad man and the less said about him the better.

Only joking, Mark does a mean Top Gun impression and he’s a big Ainsley Harriott fan. These are meaningful credentials in TwinsTown. His piano and keyboard work is next up in the studio, so more about The Darkness will follow in due course.

Mark: The Darkness. He’s a bad man and loves Ainsley Harriott.

Big Daddy says he’s planning on old school vinyl for the release of Brankholm Brae. I know everyone says this, but it’s true, vinyl does have the edge over digital. Digital wins on convenience. Vinyl wins on quality and aesthetics and everything else.

Big Daddy aka Billy George, in the red shirt, with his own band Honk (original lineup).

For my part, I’ll be posting here, taking pics and working on the video The Making of Brankholm Brae, plus individual In The Studio vids for each of the famous 5.

Joe Graham aka Bowser doesn’t like having his picture taken.

Flare it!

Twinstown say Flare it!

Star Wars started with Episode IV: A New Hope. I’m starting with Episode II: Joe’s Blog.

Last night, I explained this to Big Daddy the irascible manager of arguably Dunfermline’s brightest indie rockers, TwinsTown. Billy was very kindly driving me home a day early from Tpot Studios in Path of Condie. I’d had a crisis in the hospitality industry foisted upon me, and my wonderful staff, in my pub Tappie Toories, and I need to deal with the aftermath today.

I should be in the recording studio now with TwinsTown frontmen Donald and Stuart Mackay, the effervescent duo were in dazzling form from morning to very late last night as they laid down the final vocals for their debut album Brankholm Brae, and I was privileged to be the only other household allowed to join them.

I should explain: I’m Joe Graham, and when not in Tappies, I do public relations and photography for Twinstown. This blog starts with episode two as it was actually my second visit to Tpot Studios with the lads. I didn’t blog about my first visit as we only set this website up earlier this week. Episode one will follow shortly.

Anyway, lets get to the point. Big Daddy is irascible. No, only joking, the point is Donald and Stuart are startling. Their final vocals are outstanding, and a massive step up from the early (episode one) rough mixes I have downloaded to my phone. TwinsTown’s debut album Brankholm Brae is going to be an incredible addition to Dunfermline’s rock and pop history. Even the ever-irascible TwinsTown manager Billy George agrees with me. Okay, I’ll stop saying that now. It’s alright, he knows I like a wind-up.

I need to cut this short, you know, new Government guidelines to be appalled about and to try to cope with, a business and a bunch of jobs hang in the balance, and I promise to return with episode one soon.