Welcome to my World is the opening track on TwinsTown’s forthcoming debut album Brankholm Brae. This post is a TwinsTown welcome to the new year.

Always keeping up with the Jones twins next door, this year the Mackay twins are keeping their tree up longer.

TwinsTown’s twins, the Mackays, Stuart and Donald, always keeping up with the Joneses.

“It’s a 2021 trend,” explained Stuart, “and of course we’re keeping up with the Joneses.”

“AYE!” screamed Donald, “the Joneses don’t have an album to release this year, and if they do, it won’t be a patch on Brankholm Brae.”

Okay Donald, keep the heid.

You have to admit though, it’s a stunning display of self-confidence from boys wearing matching Elton John T-shirts.

Talking of Elton, he appears in today’s MusicWeek.

Click the link above, it’s an interesting wee read. It’s all about Elton’s online popularity and success. Actually, I hope the twins don’t click. I don’t want Stuart and Donald turning into green-eyed monsters. Maybe the Mackays are keeping up with the Joneses but Elton is the Rocket Man.

Are you keeping your tree up this year? I hope so. 🙂

Stay alive!

I don’t wanna be hip and cool

I don’t wanna play by the rules

Not under the thumb of the cynical few

Or laden down by the doom crew

Howard Jones

A new year message from TwinsTown courtesy of Howard Jones’ New Song all the way from 1983…

Don’t crack up

Bend your brain

See both sides

Throw off your mental chains

Howard Jones

New Song was Jones’ debut single charting at number three in the hit parade. Talking of debuts, TwinsTown will release debut album Brankholm Brae next year. It’s bound to be a highlight of 2021.

Brankholm Brae coming soon in 2021.

Stay alive!

Better late than never. Not Dovv aka David Stevens, but us, TwinsTown.

On 4th December 2020 Dovv released Backstreets of Your Mind, a stunning new single, immediately striking favourable comparisons with The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.

A little less immediate is our reaction, but we love it!

Let us take you back a week and relive the Facebook announcement.

*DEBUT SINGLE*

‘Backstreets of Your Mind’ is now available on all major streaming platforms.

Recorded & Produced by Alex Burrell at EFR Studios.

Video by the talented Iain Davidson.

Share away!

All the love, Dovv.

https://open.spotify.com/track/5e2AT8yFPsK1etajKfwayq…https://music.apple.com/…/backstreets-of…/1540667739https://youtu.be/jKvw9oG2vFk

Dovv, 4th December 2020

Well done Dovv and all involved, including Ben Sharp of TwinsTown fame. Until very recently I didn’t know about Ben being “the king of all men”. Playing poker in the video for TwinsTown’s Double Trouble, I thought Ben was singing the king of all in. ‘All in’ being a well known poker move. Some might say my only poker move. I suppose we call him B-Sharp for a reason.

You can watch Ben in Double Trouble action with TwinsTown here: https://twins-town.com/video/.

A royal salute from B-Sharp, the king of all men.

Shortly after offering his devoted following a royal salute, Ben the king of all men joined The Stevie Agnew Band sans Stevie Agnew on stage at The White Gates.

Ben Sharp joining The Stevie Agnew Band without Stevie on stage at The White Gates.

“This boy is called Ben,” and he fairly gets around. Next up here the B-Sharp man is at Tpot Studios, Path of Condie, laying down backing vocals for Brankholm Brae, the forthcoming debut album from TwinsTown.

Ben Sharp at Tpot Studios recording for Brankholm Brae, the debut album from TwinsTown.

Before I go and to set the record straight, Ben says he prefers the king of all in. Bad news for me, I fancied that title for myself.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten about Dovv and Backstreets of Your Mind. I’ve often seen David playing The Old Inn and he is always superb. The last time I spotted him was on stage with Oskar Braves at Oakley Miners’ Welfare Club or The 1925 Community Club as I think it is now known after a recent rebranding. They smashed it at what was a great night featuring an audience with music mogul and Creation Records label owner, Alan McGee, telling stories of his work with Oasis, Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and The Libertines, amongst others.

Oskar Braves with Dovv pictured rear and centre.

I love the Oskar Braves photograph above. If anyone knows who took it please let me know. It’s brilliant.

The video for Backstreets of Your Mind is good too. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKvw9oG2vFk.

Please support Dovv and all our outstanding local musicians. These times are tough.

Stay alive.

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.

The Proclaimers twins meet TwinsTown twins.

I could get a broken jaw from being in a fight.

I know its evening when day turns to night.

I can understand why Stranraer lie so lowly.

They could save a lot of points by signing Hibs’ goalie…

Charles Reid / Craig Reid

The Proclaimers have written some tremendous lyrics and the verse from Cap In Hand about Hibs’ goalie is my runaway favourite. I love a football reference and this one rivals Billy Bragg’s beezer from Sexuality.

I had an uncle who once played for Red Star Belgrade

He said some things are really left best unspoken

But I prefer it all to be out in the open

Billy Bragg / Johnny Marr

I love these two songs; they reference football AND they have a strong message. Cap In Hand is a rallying call for an independent Scotland and Sexuality is an anthem to equality, rousing us to shed any and all prejudice based on sexual orientation.

I’m going to stop before All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit by Half Man Half Biscuit gets a mention. It’s too upsetting to contemplate. Dukla Prague did not get an exemption to join my Christmas bubble.

TwinsTown talk. I listen. I hear certain names come up time and time again. Take Stevie Agnew, TwinsTown talk about Stevie all the time. In a good way. After all, Stevie is a toun legend.

Stevie Agnew at The White Gates, Comrie.

When I asked TwinsTown who qualifies as a toun legend, Stevie was mentioned first. He’s a legend in a fantastic town. Yes, Dunfermline is fantastic, and fantastic in so many ways. In music, not only do we have a plethora of talented artists, but they all admire and support each other, with admiration for Stevie off the scale.

So many international acts don’t get along. Has Robbie Williams forgiven Liam Gallagher for calling him the fat dancer? Does Robbie still want to knock Liam out in a ÂŁ100,000 winner-takes-all boxing bout? The last I heard, some 20 years after the initial challenge, Robbie was asking the UK’s top boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn, to organise it.

Robbie Williams vs. Liam Gallagher.

Actually, I’d probably rather see Robbie Williams vs. Liam Gallagher than this coming weekend’s pay-per-view event, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson vs. ‘Captain Hook’ Roy Jones Jr. Two ex-champs coming back at fifty-something is just exploiting a gullible audience.

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

I think Robbie would KO Liam.

‘Fat Dancer’ Robbie Williams looking mean.

Although, you never know…

Robbie knocked out.

Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West is arguably the best known musical feud. The most devastating is perhaps the Notorious B.I.G. vs. Tupac Shakur. Both were murdered with, amongst other things, their rivalry blamed. The funniest is possibly Elton John vs. Madonna. Elton fanboys Donald and Stuart won’t enjoy hearing this but Elton kept taking hissy fits about nothing. He’d apologise before becoming even nastier during his next outlandish rant. Madonna is no angel though, she started a feud with Lady Gaga by claiming Gaga basically stole her Express Yourself to make Born This Way. Apparently the chord progression is similar.

Kanye West storms the MTV Video Music Awards to tell Taylor Swift and the world Beyoncé deserved to win.

Kanye’s protest was badly misjudged and well done Taylor for standing up to his idiocy. However, BeyoncĂ© really should have won.

BeyoncĂ©’s Singles Ladies video.

BeyoncĂ©’s Single Ladies video was an absolute powerhouse: an awesome song, a stunning video and a strong message. Taylor’s You Belong With Me was sweet but far too familiar.

Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me video.

Feuds within bands are all too common: The Kinks, The Police, The Jam, The Beatles, Oasis (they had to follow The Beatles, eh!?), Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, and the list goes on.

Allegedly, my favourite Ramones song The KKK Took My Baby Away was written by Joey Ramone after Johnny Ramone, who held strong Republican political views, stole his girlfriend Linda, who Johnny later married. Whether this is true or not remains a matter of dispute, but either way both died without a good word to say about the other.

Linda Ramone, widow of Johnny Ramone, poses in front of a wall-sized photo of the band, with Johnny on the far left. Joey is third from the left.

TwinsTown will never fall out, but if they did I’d like to think they’d cast the odd black eye aside and write a song about it. Maybe call the song Dark Autumn and play it to me down the phone. It’ll never happen though. It’s like me knocking Harry off a bar stool, or Billy throwing a punch at Stuart. Pure fiction.

Okay, so as Beatnic Prestige told us when performing with The Ordinary Boys at one of PJs best ever gigs, boys will be boys. The talent in Dunfermline can go a wee bit haywire sometimes. Even Stevie has his moments, although he’d never want to fight anyone.

Beatnic Prestige with Albo far left.

Mostly, everyone gets on and people play together. Actually I’ve got video somewhere of Gumsy, Albo (pictured above), Mikey O’Reilly and Jamie Watson of The Skids and Big Country playing together at a Tappie Toories kitchen party. Jamie recalled his dad Bruce and Stuart Adamson writing Big Country songs in the flat when Stuart owned Tappies and lived there.

Jamie’s dad Bruce Watson and Stuart Adamson of Big Country playing a live set at the HMV record store in London, 1995.
Mikey O’Reilly, Jamie Watson of The Skids and Big Country, Gumsy, Lord Provost of Fife Jim Leishman and Yvonne Smith playing Tappie Toories, 2016.

Talking of Tappie Toories reminds me that I owe Stevie Agnew an apology. In four years I’ve failed to organise Stevie a gig at Tappies. As soon as this pandemic ends, I’ll right that wrong.

The Stevie Agnew Band at The White Gates.

I think I’m right in saying that the last three times I’ve enjoyed live music it’s been Stevie or The Stevie Agnew Band. Unlike The White Gates, the band probably won’t fit in Tappies, although you never know. We’ve had a few band’s in Tappies over the past 4 years, including Aye Hobos.

Aye Hobos played Tappie Toories.

Expect to see Stevie Agnew, TwinsTown and the return of many performers mentioned above playing Tappie Toories as soon as gigs are allowed.

Tappie Toories.

Stay alive.

What is Brankholm Brae? It’s the wild, wild west of Rosyth.

Brankholm Brae, Rosyth.

Really? Aye, running from the A985 Rosyth to Kincardine road to Grange Road, the notoriously dangerous shortcut to Dunfermline, Brankholm Brae is as far west as housing development in Rosyth goes.

A notoriously dangerous shortcut to Dunfermline, aye!? That’s not all, notorious twins Donald and Stuart Mackay live there aka Double Trouble.

Okay, now I know why it’s wild, but why is Brankholm Brae in the news? During lockdown, missing all their friends and family, the twins were very sad. Tear-stained beer mats containing scribbled lyrics littered their penthouse apartment. And then, gathering all their resolve, the poor wee lambs transformed themselves into mummy’s little soldiers. They fought back from the brink of despair. Armed with guitars and keyboards, the twins turned those soggy lyrics into tunes so catchy all their troubles evaporated. In a mist of creativity Double Trouble survived. Songwriting saved them and our intrepid lockdown survivors decided to name TwinsTown’s debut album after the street where it all happened, Brankholm Brae. It’s the lockdown legacy.

Wow, that’s inspiring. I spent lockdown playing xbox. That’s why you don’t have a no.1 album in the making.

Bruce Springsteen named his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. making Brankholm Brae to TwinsTown as Asbury Park is to The Boss… Aye, good point, although Bruce’s debut was a critical but not a commercial success. TwinsTown won’t care about critics. “F*** the haters!” is their moto. TwinsTown just want the commercial success; selling out albums, singles and gigs (when gigs are allowed).

Isn’t “Flare It!” the TwinsTown moto? You can never have too many motos.

“Flare it!” one of many TwinsTown motos.

You can have too many rums though… Funny you should say that, Brankholm Brae features 11 brand spanking new lockdown-inspired tracks and one returning Wingnuts classic, Wrath of the Rum, featuring the lyric, “take me to the wild, wild west…”

Is that analogous to the wild west inhabited by Jesse James, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday or about the wild west of Rosyth? Ah, it’s a closely guarded secret. Although, did they have O.V.D. in the old western saloons of Tombstone, Arizona and the like?

O.V.D. rum was first blended and bottled in 1838 on Dock Street, Dundee. It stands for Old Vatted Demerara, a style of rum blending unique to the Demerara region of Guyana. Our emigrants would’ve probably taken it all over the States.

“It’s the devil in me. It’s my O.V.D.”

I get it. TwinsTown enjoy a rum. Any other themes on Brankholm Brae? No, it’s all about rum.

You jest… Aye, there are 11 new songs with themes covering all kinds of mental health issues and sinful behaviour. It goes far beyond binge drinking. Alongside wrath the other six deadly sins appear: pride, greed, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth.

Oaft! Sounds scary… Brankholm Brae delves deep into the dark recesses of the human mind. There’s paranoia, schizophrenia, repression, narcissism, fetishism, obsession, depression, anxiety, addiction, sexual frustration, and the list goes on.

Sounds like a night out with Big Daddy… Sssh!

Didn’t you say Fred Flintstone turns up down The Glen singing yabaa dabaa doo? Yeah, TwinsTown love a pop or cultural reference and the humour of the band shines through on every track. Behind the laughter though there’s the reality of heartbreak, trauma and tears…

They’re not crying about the second wave lockdown are they? Of course not, this is the story of lives placed under intense, microscopic review when locked down in Brankholm Brae with only memories and each other for friends. I’m the one crying about the second wave lockdown. It’s effectively closed my pub, Tappie Toories.

You should write a song about that… We’d need a parental advisory explicit content warning for that.

Parental advisory warning not required… yet.

Where can I buy this stunning debut album? Not where, when is the question. It’s a work in progress. It’ll be released next year and, the good news is, vinyl will be available.

Who is the producer? Robin Evans at Tpot Studios in Path of Condie. He worked with The View on their first EP and he’s doing a great job. Covid-19 is not making progress easy.

Do say: “Can I do advanced booking: one album and two tickets for the launch party at Tappie Toories please.”

Don’t say: “Dry yer eyes, lockdown will end and Tappies will reopen.”

Before lockdown and later restrictions, TwinsTown were busy rehearsing at Scott Gilbert’s Penthouse Practice Suite, situated above the Seven Kings at 2a Chalmers Street, when Stevie Agnew walked in, and joined in.

Stuart Mackay, Stevie Agnew and Donald Mackay at Scott Gilbert’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

You can’t beat a bit of Stevie. Back in summertime I was lucky. My birthday is 7th July and this year beer gardens reopened on 6th July. I wandered down to The White Gates thinking it’d be busy and I’d have a wee birthday bash a day early. It was busy, and even better, Stevie and Jock Boland were there to entertain us. James was also playing but I’ve forgotten his surname.

Stuart starring in a Penthouse Practice Suite ad.

This was before anyone decided to ban singing and it was a brilliant night. I kid you not, Jock was trying to go home for half an hour. The “one more tune” calls didn’t stop. He played some magnificent folk songs. The local talent we have is just astounding.

Jock Boland (right).

Stevie and James were awesome too, playing some well known covers before mixing it up with novelty songs and other oddities.

Stevie Agnew (centre) at The White Gates.

I had a brilliant birthday just one day early.

Stevie Agnew (centre) and the boys at Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

The next Saturday afternoon The Stevie Agnew Band played the roof at The White Gates. It was like U2 playing the rooftop in Los Angeles for their Grammy Award-winning music video. Stevie and his band missed a trick by not blasting out Where The Streets Have No Name.

Stuart and Donald at Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

A little later The White Gates built a new stage on a lower level than the beer garden. From the roof the sound was disappearing up the village. The new stage solved that problem and The Stevie Agnew Band returned for a second scintillating post-lockdown gig.

The Stevie Agnew Band on stage at The White Gates with former TwinsTown drummer Ronnie Dalrymple. Ronnie has 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, “lock up your daughters, sisters and mums,” as you’ll hear on our video page.

TwinsTown love Stevie – who doesn’t!? – and his album Hurricane Road. Informally, just entertaining friends, I’ve heard Donald and Stuart sing Stevie’s Wreckin’ Yard, albeit given a wee TwinsTown makeover. The best cover versions usually have a wee twist.

Anna Heslop and Stuart Mackay wearing Stevie Agnew Hurricane Road hat.

It’s always good to see local artists supporting each other. Until recently Eggman Studios, the home of up-and-coming Fife band Shambolics, sat next door to Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite, and Shambolics popped along to support our TwinsTown rehearsal.

Shambolics watching TwinsTown.

Scott Gilbert aka Toastie recorded his forthcoming single Walk On By at Eggman Studios, next door to his own Penthouse Practice Suite.

Scott Gilbert aka Toastie recording at Eggman Studios.

Shambolics and Eggman Studios have now relocated to Glasgow and all at TwinsTown wish them the very best of luck. Although with their obvious talent and having already signed with Scottish music mogul Alan McGee, who is also based in Glasgow, Shambolics won’t need luck. McGee’s old label Creation Records famously signed Oasis, Primal Scream, as well as Jesus and Mary Chain. His new label Creation23 is focusing on releasing vinyl as TwinsTown intend to do for debut album Brankholm Brae.

Eggman Studios, Dunfermline, is no more. Our own Wayne is pictured 4th from the left.

Amazingly, in almost 4 years, I’ve not managed to book Stevie Agnew or his band to play Tappie Toories. I’ll need to rectify that error asap. How brilliant would it be to have Stevie and TwinsTown in Tappies on the same night. Maybe one day…