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.
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.
“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.
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.
I love the Oskar Braves photograph above. If anyone knows who took it please let me know. It’s brilliant.
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.
The chorus of Hollow Horse is memorable too.
The feel good factor for Wayne…? I’m thinking Jump by Van Halen.
Aztec Camera recorded a very gentle cover version of jump and Wayne can 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Yes, Donald is still standing – no thanks to Stuart.
Talking of Stuart…
Yes, you can count on toun legend Stevie Agnew to put a smile on Stuart’s face.
Last but not least, Harry. Last Christmas is too obvious a choice. Staying with George Michael I’ll pick Careless Whisper for The Duke.
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.
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 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.
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 £100,000 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.
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.
I think Robbie would KO Liam.
Although, you never know…
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’s protest was badly misjudged and well done Taylor for standing up to his idiocy. However, Beyoncé really should have won.
Beyoncé’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expect to see Stevie Agnew, TwinsTown and the return of many performers mentioned above playing Tappie Toories as soon as gigs are allowed.
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.
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.
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.
Stevie and James were awesome too, playing some well known covers before mixing it up with novelty songs and other oddities.
I had a brilliant birthday just one day early.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scott Gilbert aka Toastie recorded his forthcoming single Walk On By at Eggman Studios, next door to his own Penthouse Practice Suite.
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.
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…