Today TwinsTown reveal their cover art for forthcoming debut album Brankholm Brae and it’s a typically brilliant painting by local Dunfermline artist, and friend of the band, Jack Paton. We’d like to send a big thank you to Jack, his effort and support is very much appreciated.

TwinsTown’s twins Stuart and Donald painted specifically for debut album Brankholm Brae by local Dunfermline artist, and friend of the band, Jack Paton. Thank you, Jack.

The work, painted specifically for Brankholm Brae, follows the theft of Jack’s original take on TwinsTown’s twins Donald and Stuart.

The earlier work featuring Stuart and Donald Mackay by Jack was stolen from Dunfermline High Street.

Jack’s earlier work featuring Stuart and Donald (as shown above) was stolen from Dunfermline High Street. For years now Jack has been adding colour to the auld grey toun by strategically placing art in the centre of Dunfermline.

A friend told me, “you’re nobody in this toun until you have a Jack Paton,” needless to say she reached for her mobile phone to prove that her famous fizzog does indeed appear in a Jack Paton.

Unfortunately, I don’t have that one in my phone, but I do have Pars fan Andrew Carnegie and The Skids’ and Big Country’s Stuart Adamson.

Stuart and Donald sharing the limelight with Dunfermline legends Andrew Carnegie and Stuart Adamson.

Here’s more of Jack’s art and I’m sure the boys will love this.

Noel and Liam Gallagher by Jack Paton pictured alongside their heroes Stuart and Donald Mackay. Or is it the other way around. Who knows!?

My favourite Jack Patons are of Billy Connelly and if you look carefully below you might spot the man himself, toun legend, Jack Paton.

This time Double Trouble, Stuart and Donald, are overshadowed by Jack Paton himself and three of his paintings featuring Billy Connolly. Top left is the Big Yin looking down from the gap site towards Dunfermline High Street.

For the back cover of Brankholm Brae we’d like the full band photographed; Harry Dixon, Wayne Robertson, Mark Guyan, Donald Mackay and Stuart Mackay. However, with lockdown and all the Covid-19 restrictions I have not managed a single shot of the full TwinsTown line up, nevermind one with their backing singers, TwinsTown manager Billy George, Billy’s daughter Ellie and former TwinsTown member Ben Sharp.

Billy is planning a vinyl release for Brankholm Brae but with everything going on we don’t have a date yet. Hopefully it will be 2021. Just for Billy I’ve photoshopped a mostly black and white alternative album cover. I like to call it 52 Years A Par. Well done for supporting the band, Billy. You’re a star!

Black and white version 52 Years A Par for long-suffering TwinsTown manager Billy George.

Thanks again to Jack Paton. To view and buy Jack’s art please click here: Art by Jack Paton.

Stay alive!

I’m sitting in the flat above Tappie Toories, thinking about Stuart Adamson writing Big Country songs up here. Now I’m thinking if Harry doesn’t arrive soon we’ll be doing the interview doon The Glen or on the benches opposite The Old Inn. It’s 5.15pm and I’m lonely. Now I’m wondering if we can have a drink outside after six. I think we can but only until a minute past midnight on boxing day.

This is 2020. Five days before Christmas. I had a braw lunch at The Carnock Inn today. Steak pie with two tins of Irn Bru. My social inhibitions have not been lowered for a very long time. News just in, Police Scotland have no plans to establish checkpoints or road blocks at the border. Now I see Celtic celebrating the quadruple treble in an empty stadium. Despite setting his lawyers on the BBC, Tyson Fury is still in the running for Sports Personality of the Year. You couldn’t really make this up.

Where is Harry!?

News just in, Harry’s daughter Frankie is finishing her ice cream. I fetch the tins from the fridge. It’s the benches for us.

Harry Dixon and Tyson Fury, two sports personalities of any year.

Harry the big bad bassist bangs the door. The lights on Bruce Street are beautiful reminding me things could be worse. Thankfully TwinsTown are Covid-19 free. Cree Spowart who lives on Bruce Street told me this year’s lights are a tribute to Dunfermline’s weaving industry. My mum left school to help with the war effort and became a weaver at 15 years of age.

Anyway, the twins in TwinsTown keep telling me they’re in a rock ‘n’ roll band and I need to make them appear all rock ‘n’ roll. That means less blethering pish about whatever. Well, I say twins, Donald is the particular one. Stuart doesn’t give a monkey’s what I write.

“Right Harry, what’s rock ‘n’ roll about you?”

He looks surprised. I’ve surprised myself. I’m angry.

“C’mon then,” I continue, “sitting on a bench at the corner of Maygate and Kirkgate drinking a can of Tennents, rock ‘n’ roll, aye!?”

“Fuck AYE!” he replies.

“You should be in Tappies now, playing to a heaving crowd of 114, or at least a polite, sanitised, socially distanced, reduced capacity 25 all enjoying table service, with both doors open for maximum ventilation. Do you feel robbed?”

“Aye, totally, but we’ll think of a funnier answer than that.”

Ten minutes later…

“I’ve no funny answer, but as a serious answer, I do feel frustrated. We have an album [Brankholm Brae] in production and limited opportunity to promote it.”

Harry braved the cold, scooped a bottle of wine, and told me his role on Brankholm Brae is bass guitarist, and occasionally lead guitar. His favourite bass line is Dive In, an upbeat track about bouncing back after heartache.

“I tried to add texture to Dive In’s bass line by avoiding first position root notes and aiming for greater complexity, whilst keeping it true to the spirit of the song,” explained Harry.

Wow, the wine is potent.

Harry, Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Harry goes on, “I like playing Bed Bugs on a high register. It’s not difficult but it’s fun to play. As is Say Goodbye to the Summer, where no one complains when I crank up the distortion pedal.”

Harry’s catchphrase is “flare it!” as he is notorious for flaring his guitar pedals, anytime, anywhere, any angle, and any song.

TwinsTown pedals.

Harry loves recording in the studio. It’s obvious. Yet his shyness kicks in.

“This is going to sound like a Mr. Men book,” complains Harry as he clams up.

“What Mr. would you be, Harry?”

“Mr. Flare It!” Harry fires back.

His shyness gone, he shows me his new tattoo. ‘Flare It!’ on his chest. Mark, Stuart and Donald have the same. It’s male bonding gone bananas.

Harry at Tpot Studios, Path of Condie.

Hoping for a hard-hitting question, “I hear you’re a big fan of Danny Dyer, is this true?” I ask.

“No, I prefer Sean Bean, in Sharpe, and Ronnie Scotland.”

Harry at big Barrett’s birthday barbeque, thinking of Sean Bean, and Ronnie Scotland.

In other important matters, I wonder who is Harry’s favourite Tappies bar tender. Apparently, it’s Shaunski aka Shaun Manuel Mitchell who was famously hospitalised after falling off the monkey bars in a local swing park.

We’ve been sat on these benches for three hours. I’m freezing. We’ve had a few drinks. You can probably tell.

“We need a sensible finish,” I suggest, hopefully.

“We didn’t finish talking about my favourite track. It’s Spitfire. I get to show off my guitar skills on it,” replies Harry, “and I totally flared it!”

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.

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?”