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.”

Name: Big Daddy aka Billy George.

Billy (centre) on a sunny day with, from left to right, former TwinsTown man Ben Sharp aka B-Sharp, daughter Ellie, son Jack and wife Claire.

As TwinsTown manager you must feel like Top Cat, the indisputable leader of the gang. Aye, the most tip top, Top Cat!

TC was effectual, intellectual, and a VIP… He did outwit Officer Dibble on a daily basis.

Who do you outwit on a daily basis? Well, not Donald and Stuart obviously, they’re far too cunning. I can’t even get them in my car within a half hour of arriving to pick them up.

Yeah, I noticed. Still, TC’s gang adored him: Benny the Ball (Donald), Choo-Choo (Stuart), Brian (Wayne), Spook (Mark), and Fancy-Fancy (Harry). Interviewing TwinsTown, I asked who was their favourite member. After votes for Ainsley Harriott and Tony Bellew were disqualified, you were the runaway winner. Another award for the mantle piece.

The boys say you boldly go where no manager has gone before… Is this a William Shatner joke!?

Oops, caught! Better scrub the one about Steve Bruce. Moving on. Is it true that you have a Wingnuts tattoo? Who have you been speaking to!?

Ellie and Billy George (looking nothing like William Shatner or Steve Bruce).

Oops. Moving on. Did Donald and Stuart really save the Pars by singing their own anti-Masteron song in Fabric after the Save the Pars gathering at The Alhambra? No, Jason Duffy saved the Pars playing Pars songs in The Old Inn on the day of the Pars march. The event was featured in the Scotland on Sunday as a double-page centrefold.

Jason’s a Celtic fan though… As are a few other well-known Pars fans.

Enough said. You’re a frontman in your own right with Honk. I’ve got your album, Eventually. What’s It All About and Love You More are great tracks, and I love you playing Home Fires Burning at the end of every gig… It’s a tribute to a great friend David Bell aka Diddyman who, like many during the miners’ strike, suffered at the hands of Thatcher’s police oppression. He was compensated, but later died in tragic circumstances.

Eventually, a quality album from Honk.
Billy fronting Honk at Leroy Day in PJs.

TwinsTown have a wee political edge too. I assume you approve… Oh, aye.

Your chilli sold out every table in Tappies on Friday and received rave reviews. Did you miss your true calling in life as a chef, and do you now regret music management? Everyday of my life.

I know you love it really... It’s heart over head when it comes to music and TwinsTown are well worth it. They’re excellent. New album, Brankholm Brae, is 12 of the best tunes I’ve heard in ages.

Heart over head,” you say. A bit like your politics… Don’t go there.

Do say: “You’re a better frontman than Richard Jobson.”

Don’t say: “The twins are stranded miles away with no money. You’ll have to sort them out again.”

Name: The Darkness aka Mark

The Darkness: don’t ask what he’s doing.

As a recent TwinsTown recruit I suppose there’s no point asking if you’re in with the Wingnuts or the Wolves. Here’s a pressing question though; are you Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook or Ready Steady Cook? Now you’re asking… it’s too difficult to decide, I think they’re both as good as each other.

A bit like Donald and Stuart… Aye, exactly.

I suppose that makes Big Daddy our Ainsley Harriott. Listen, as much as I love Big Daddy, he’s no Ainsley Harriott.

Maybe no, but he’s a mean chef. Top choices in Burler’s Diner include; Rump Steak with Peppercorn Sauce, served with skin on fries, and a medley of mangetout and steamed baby corn, or Serrano Ham, with pancetta, broccoli, and butternut linguine with creme fresh. I stand corrected. It sounds like Big Daddy is up there with Ainsley. I’d like to see Billy given 10 minutes and a quickie bag.

Some people might not know what a quickie bag is… Well, on Ready Steady Cook chefs are given a bag full of odd ingredients and they get just 10 minutes to create delicious dishes.

Now you know, Billy is a man of hidden talents. Do you have any hidden talents? I can climb a rope.

I see. Moving on. As a piano man yourself, have you heard Donald tinkling the keys whilst singing Elton John’s Sacrifice? Only very late at night and I was too drunk to remember.

There’s a hidden talent, you’re a diplomat! Aye, sometimes.

I suppose you have a dark side as well, hence the name The Darkness? Oh aye, you don’t want to hear about that.

What, darker than Donald, Stuart, Wayne and Harry? Yes, darker than Big Daddy too.

Oaft! I don’t know about that. Big Daddy is like Christian Bale from American Psycho and The Dark Knight. You’re more Ryan Reynolds from Deadpool and The Voices. Aw aye, The Voices, where he keeps Gemma Arterton’s head in his fridge for company. Aye that’s me! That’s why I’m called The Darkness!

When you put it like that, I guess Ryan Reynolds is darker than Christian Bale. Of course he is…

Do say: “Ready Steady Cook.”

Don’t say: “Did that quickie bag come out of your fridge?”

Name: The Wasp aka Wayne.

The Wasp.

Alongside Bruce Watson of The Skids and Big Country, I’ve been known to do an impression of Hale and Pace. Funny you should say that, Harry and I have been known to go on the road as a Hale and Pace tribute act.

I had heard. Bruce and I did Hale and Pace’s ‘The Management’ in Tappie Toories last year. Harry and I were just boys when we emulated Gareth and Norman, but I imagine we were better than Bruce and you. We could do ALL the comedy characters: from the sexually-inappropriate children’s TV presenters, Billy and Johnny, to The Man Who Can’t Take Anything Seriously.

Was the latter played by Harry? How did you know that!?

Oh, just a wild guess. Do you know that Ainsley Harriott appeared alongside Hale and Pace? He plays William and walks on holding a blow-up doll moments before the dominatrix appears to whip Billy and Johnny. No, that’s news to me.

Well then, you’re obviously not the top Hale and Pace impersonators you claim to be. It’s just a story Harry and I tell to impress girls.

Tribute act or no, I assume you’re fully committed to TwinsTown now? Oh aye, I quit the band every now and again, or leave our WhatsApp group, but that’s just to keep Donald and Stuart on their toes.

How is the debut album Brankholm Brae sounding? You mean Flare It!

Sorry I forgot about Harry and you preferring the name Flare It! Whatever it’s called, how’s it sounding? It sounds okay.

C’mon, Brankholm Brae is better than okay, it has your unique drumming all over it? True.

Do say: “You remind me of The Who’s Keith Moon.”

Don’t say: “Is Wayne in the band today?”

Name: The Duke aka Harry ‘Jug of Lager’ Dixon.

The Duke.

Are you partial to a jug of lager? No, I’m actually teetotal. My friends are fans of irony.

I see. Was your friend Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew, the world champion boxer, being ironic when he called me an uncultured swine? I’m afraid not.

Did you encourage the Bomber? Not at all. Tony Bellew is now a erudite boxing commentator. Those are his own choice of words.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J. K. Rowling.

With that in mind, choosing TwinsTown seems to be working out for you? The only band I ever wanted to play for. Donald and Stuart made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Mo Johnston said that moments before betraying Celtic when Rangers’ Graeme Souness made him an offer…? Yes, but I’m not an uncultured swine.

No, but you are a fan of Dirty Dancing…? Patrick Swayze could FLARE IT!

Nobody puts Harry in the corner, aye? Exactly, although John Barnes said it best: “Express yourself, its one on one. Express yourself, you can’t be wrong, when somethings good it’s never wrong”.

There’s only one way to beat them, get round the back. Catch me if you can
’cause I’m the TwinsTown man and what you’re looking at is the master plan.

Do say: “Flare it!”

Don’t say: “You do realise that your TwinsTown debut album is called Brankholm Brae, not Flare It, don’t you?”

Name: Hornet aka Donald.

Hornet at Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

Stuart, Wayne and you were Wingnuts and Wolves before TwinsTown. How is the new band going? We couldn’t be happier with TwinsTown. I’m buzzing. It’s fate, us all coming together; Harry, Mark, Billy and you.

Hopefully our next recording trip to Tpot Studios in Path of Condie will be free of Covid-19 restrictions. I hope so, we are booked in for the end of November and it should be a special weekend. Completing our debut album Brankholm Brae is growing ever-closer.

Apart from Big Daddy the manager, I hear you’re the driving force of TwinsTown, a sort of band leader or club captain in football parlance… We’re all captains.

I see you organising and being the most sensible, although I also hear that one of you goes bananas occasionally. Is it you? No comment.

Something about the wrath of the rum…? That’s a track on our debut album, Brankholm Brae. We wrote it back in our Wingnuts days and it’s completely a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents in the song are the products of our imaginations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Why are you consulting with your solicitor…? Moving on. Are you in the news? Yes, the Dunfermline Press, all about TwinsTown recording Brankholm Brae at Tpot Studios in Path of Condie.

Is the recording going well? No one has gone bananas. That’s always a good thing. Not even Robin, the studio engineer, has lost the plot, and he has to spend 12-hour shifts working with Stuart and me.

Your band manager Big Daddy went a wee bit bananas, didn’t he? Well, aye, but that was in Dunfermline the morning before the recording started. Robin and I were house on fire in the studio.

I’ve actually seen you go bananas. Mind that time in Toastie’s practice suite when you roared: “ARE YOU JUST PHONING IN THE CHORUS!?” He wis PHONING IN the chorus!

You having none of it, aye? AYE!

Do say: “Keep the heid,” and “Quick, hide the OVD”.

Don’t say: “Is that Donald going bananas, AGAIN!?”

Name: Smackay fae TwinsTown.

Smackay aka Stuart.

I can’t call you Smackay! What’s your real name? S. Mackay.

I see. Do your pals lack ingenuity? My brother is called Hornet ‘cos he has yellow stripes on his black trainers.

I see. Anyway why are you in the news? My band TwinsTown are releasing a debut album sometime, called Brankholm Brae, and I’m a rockin’ machine.

Are you sure you’re not a ‘rocket’ machine? No, no, “rockin’ machine” for sure. I don’t know who came up with “rocket machine” in our lyrics.

Ever heard of plausible deniability? Yes, and I’m using it to the max, so shut yer pus!

Moving on. Are you really a direct descendant of Winston Churchill? No, our idiotic PR man made that up for a laugh.

Does he do that often… actually, don’t answer that. Just tell me why? I impersonate Winston Churchill on Spitfire, the opening track of Brankholm Brae.

And this is when you’re a rocket… Rockin’ I said.

Sorry. What makes the track such a stand out? Ask the customers and staff at The Istanbul, Dunfermline. That night you bought us one too many at Raffles, we premiered the track with an impromptu performance whilst ordering a pizza at the same time. It’s on video.

Spitfire premiere plus pizza at The Istanbul, Dunfermline.

Do say: “Spitfire, you’re a rockin’ machine!”

Don’t say: “Is that a baldy bit?”