I just knew you guys had something special from the moment I met you.

Billy George, manager and vocals

My wee song previews for TwinsTown’s stunning debut album end here, with the title track, Brankholm Brae. It’s going to be emotional.

I’m buzzing with this album… love you all like brothers, the whole team. I mean it from the bottom of my big heart [Big Heart is track 6 on Side One].

Stuart Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

Being part of TwinsTown is great. We are like brothers. The brethren. Making Brankholm Brae has been one of the best experiences ever, and I think that goes for everyone involved. Even Harry has his mojo back.

Aye, actually enjoyed playing guitar for the first time in about 7 years.

Harry Dixon, bass and lead guitar

We’ve reached the end of an era.

  • No more trips to Tpot Studios, Path of Condie.
  • No more extraordinary feats of producing (and patience) from top sound man Robin Wynn Evans.
  • No more extraordinary feats of everything (including huge patience) from top band manager Billy George.
  • No more recording sessions watching Harry Dixon, Wayne Robertson, Mark Guyan, Donald Mackay and Stuart Mackay putting heart and soul into their work.
  • No more mixing, trying to decide if Harry shouting “FLARE IT!” can be heard during Something New.
  • No more drinking ’til the early sunrise, Monday morning long lies, nor holidays and alibis.

As for the mix. Fucking love it. It’s perfect for me, every track. I’m happy with the drums and the vocals. Wrath has a cool western reverb too.

Wayne Robertson, drums

Of course, you know what brothers are like. It’s not all love and bromance. There’s always the odd fall-out, tumble off a bar stool, black eye, and even the odd dressing down in a dressing gown. The quiet ones are always the worst. You know who they are, and THEY know who they are…

Honestly feeling a lot more confident about everything after [rehearsing] last night. Not going to lie, I was doubting my capabilities quite a bit, but now I can’t wait to get gigging.

Mark Guyan, keyboards and piano

Putting bumps into othewise flat roads is the worst “calming measure” ever. Speed bumps infuriate me. TwinsTown have the best calming measure ever. The Backbone is back! The King of All-In as I call him. B# to some, it’s Ben Sharp. The former TwinsTown man has returned for Brankholm Brae providing all with a sharp dose of reality, bass galore and angelic vocals.

Yep, tunes sound banging… we’ve all put in good work.

Ben Sharp, bass guitar and vocals

Although when it comes to the good, the bad and the ugly of TwinsTown, the B-Sharp man doesn’t stand alone in the good category. Who can forget Donald and Stuart saving Jim on the bridge in the Wölves’ video for Animal.

You are my fucking hero… a life saver! [Donald to Billy].

Donald Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

Last night a DJ saved my life… yes, I can remember when Billy was a DJ. He played one of my office parties at Murrayfield and had a longstanding residency in the classic Somewhere Else famously run by the late Jim Kirkpatrick and Bob Dick. I wonder what those two toun legends would say about TwinsTown now. It probably doesn’t bear thinking about.

Brankholm Brae’s title track is track 12 on TwinsTown’s stunning debut album.

The more I listen, the more I like it.

Joe Graham, PR and photography

Brankholm Brae does grow on you. Arguably the title track more than any other. I just can’t get Brankholm Brae out of my head, it’s indie pop gold from the very first verse…

I’m moving on, I’ve left the nest

I’ve found a safe haven and I’m taking a rest at the Brae

TwinsTown

Track 12 Brankholm Brae is unashamedly sweet and sentimental. Donald and Stuart issue an open invitation to visit and stay at Brankholm Brae, their home. It brings a tear to my eye thinking of the lonely twosome heartbroken, their kind invitation dashed on the rocks by Covid-19’s social distancing.

You can come along in the morning

You can come at night or day

You can come along without warning

You can come to mine and stay

At the Brankholm Brae

TwinsTown

Kindness is the best and there’s tons of it whenever you visit Double Trouble at the Brae. I can testify to it personally and I won’t mention the neighbours.

Don’t be a stranger

It doesn’t matter what the neighbours say !!!

TwinsTown

With the album sorted thoughts are turning to music videos now.

Do you have any ideas for a video that aren’t like a David Lynch meets Quentin Tarantino on acid collaboration?

Billy George, manager and vocals

Personally, I like vampires and cowboys.

Everybody loves a cowboy! We need to do a western for Wrath of the Rum. We can use Erin’s horses.

Stuart Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

Wild, wild horses, I hope.

As well as videos, thoughts are turning to gigs, streaming or at least live recordings.

I think Ben needs to play the bass for the first two it would be like The Beatles without John Lennon playing those songs without your guitar parts Duke, especially Spitfire [Donald to Harry].

Donald Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

As I mentioned previously, I’ve been tuning into Stevie Agnew’s Sunday Sesh on Facebook Live. Food for thought. I can tell TwinsTown are hungry, itching to get going, on something or another.

Absolutely love you and your playing… [Harry to Ben].

Harry Dixon, bass and lead guitar

Videos, gigs, and of course thoughts are also turning to singles. That really will be a difficult choice. Billy was considering Johnny Depp for the first single but…

I might change my mind in the morning though. Such is the fluctuational appeal of this wonderful collection of songs.

Billy George, manager and vocals

I’m the same as Billy, there’s just so many good tunes that there really is no obvious first single. At the moment I favour Dive In which is track 7 on Side Two.

Side Two of Brankholm Brae the stunning debut album from TwinsTown.

Anyway, we’re almost at the end… of the previews, only the previews.

I think the songs speak for themselves, Joe… I like folk guessing what they are about.

Stuart Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

Aw aye, thanks for that, Stuart. Now you tell me, AFTER I’ve written the 12 wee previews. Grrr!

Only joking, I think everyone has their own idea of what a song is about. It actually doesn’t matter what the writer or writers intended. One of the beautiful things about music is that one song can mean different things to different people.

Music for me, and I like music.

Anonymous
Brankholm Brae – Side Two.

Coming soon…

You’ll never guess… it’s only Brankholm Brae, the stunning debut album from Dunfermline indie rockers TwinsTown.

Brankholm Brae – TwinsTown.

Watch this space for details.

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.

Two toun legends, one stunning image. Billy George’s brilliant photograph of a lonely Disco Deek walking along Bruce Street sums up our times, our town and our country.

Billy George’s Disco Deek on Bruce Street.

On the bright side Donald and Stuart Mackay have written a TwinsTown song about it all. It’s called The Girl on the TV. I think it’s currently unfinished. As are we, hopefully. We are unfinished too. The Smiths remind us, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”.

Joe Graham’s Tappie Toories.

Take me out tonight

Where there’s music and there’s people

And they’re young and alive

Stephen Morrissey / Johnny Marr

Talking of toun legends, let’s go for a hat-trick, here’s Mr Dunfermline himself, Jim Leishman, entertaining an enthusiastic and packed Tappie Toories.

Jamie Watson from Big Country and The Skids, Graeme ‘Gumsy’ Macleod and Mr Dunfermline, legend Jim Leishman, entertaining a packed Tappie Toories.
A packed Tappie Toories.

Take me out tonight

Because I want to see people

And I want to see life

Stephen Morrissey / Johnny Marr

Stay alive.