The third track on Brankholm Brae, TwinsTown’s stunning debut album, is Last Romance and it has a cracking intro.
TwinsTown love a pop culture reference and as a fan of The Flintstones I have a yabba-dabba-doo time whenever Last Romance kicks in.
Fred Flintstone first came to our screens in the early 1960s and, beyond the intro, Last Romance continues the sixties feel with a storyline inspired by Neil Simon’s romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park.
Barefoot, a massive hit on Broadway, was turned into a 1967 feature film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.
Redford’s uptight lawyer doesn’t know which way to turn as freewheeling Fonda puts him in a twirl.
The song bounces along, much like the movie, with knockabout humour and snappy lines. This is TwinsTown in top form and Last Romance sits alongside the first two tracks, Welcome to my World and Spitfire, in a triumphant opening to Brankholm Brae. All the signs say this is going to be a truly great record.
In turn, these three songs are smooth, rockin’, and funny. They contrast with and compliment each other in equal measure, and the only way to go is to go on listening.
TwinsTown’s Brankholm Brae is coming soon. The final master mixes should arrive any day now. Producer Robin Wynn Evans is busily working on them at his Tpot Studios in Path of Condie.
While waiting, remember to have a yabba-dabba-doo time and if you do choose to walk barefoot through The Glen please only go with one other person / household, stay 2 metres apart at all times, and don’t dare have a drink. They’ll call it a picnic!
Spitfire, the second track on Brankholm Brae, is bound to be a TwinsTown classic. It’s the most rockin’ number on the forthcoming debut album; you can rock out on it and order a pizza to it. It’s universally good, no holds barred, rock ‘n’ roll. I liken it to Primal Scream in their pomp.
Lovable, easy-going Double Trouble and the boys are uncharacteristically spoiling for a showdown. You can actually hear the Spitfire overhead while they enlist Winston Churchill to the cause.
Asking Donald about Spitfire he replied, “I’d rather Nazi,” and this perfectly explains why I usually just make quotes up.
Brankholm Brae, TwinsTown’s stunning debut album to be released this year, featuring Spitfire, the anti-Nazi classic.
It’s an uncompromising take on modern-day relationships. There’s bloody betrayal, close friendships going awry, the dreaded aftermath, terrifyingly awkward social situations, and folk away in the huff.
It’s frank, honest and meaningful. It makes you think. It’s lyrically strong. It’s TwinsTown’s opening track on their forthcoming debut album, Brankholm Brae.
It’s Welcome to My World.
It’s a belter to open the album. Welcome to My World sets Brankholm Brae up. It’s going to be a walk on the wild side.
The full lyrics don’t disappoint and neither does the music. It’s the finest in indie rock; pop accessibility with noise, experimental and authentic, with a wee bit of ironic posturing (more of that to come, no doubt).
This is how the opening track ends…
TwinsTown’s debut album Brankholm Brae is currently in the final stages of mixing at Tpot Studios with well-known and respected producer Robin Wynn Evans. Robin has worked with many top artists including The View and Manic Street Preachers.
Brankholm Brae will be released this year, 2021. Watch this space for details.
On 1st December 2020, Dunfermline solo artist Gary Crosbie released his album love, life, rabbit. Two months later, I’m listening on Spotify and finding it predictable; Gary written all over it. It sounds good, it entertains, and it makes sense, mostly. It’s almost exactly how I’ve found Gary in real life.
love, life, rabbit is as expected and that’s good, as I expected the best from a singer/songwriter I’ve appreciated for, I guess, about 6 years now. We’ve even kinda worked together when I booked him to play regularly at The Creepy Wee Pub and Tappie Toories.
The only surprise with love, life, rabbit is it’s extremely well produced. I used to find Gary’s own mixing desk preferences slightly odd. Let’s not dwell there. Instead, congratulations to Dominic Hardy at GraceNote Recordings, Dunfermline, on his studio engineering. Together, Gary and Dominic have created an excellent work of art: an album I can listen to over and over again, especially on a lazy Sunday morning like today (I’m on my third listen already).
The cover art by Ruby Rhod is brilliant too.
My highlights from love, life, rabbit start with track 2. Tear. Actually, haud the bus, on checking Tear is track 2., I just spotted that almost all my highlights are listed as Popular on Spotify. Looks like I’m predictable too.
Tear starts ominously, the bubbling brook from track 1. Call My Name, a heartfelt love song for Hippies, is still bubbling as track 2. Tear begins. The eerie musical shudder tells me something bad is about to happen.
In only 4 minutes and 8 seconds Gary is heartbroken. From lying side-by-side in bliss, listening to her breathing, he’s now counting his loses and making his escape. It’s over, the call and response ending is bitter, appropriately heavy on drums, and angry. I feel like the album could end here. Maybe that’s just me.
I won’t spoil the ending of all the songs, but you can probably guess things aren’t going to go well for the wee rabbit caught in the headlights. I hope that doesn’t reflect Gary in real life, although he has been playing that song for a long time. YouTube tells me I videoed Gary playing Rabbit at The Monarch Bar, Halloween 2016.
Along with Tear and Rabbit, Life and Love are also strikingly good songs. Life’s frivolous cuckoo clock intro quickly turns into a hard, driving, blues-orientated number. It provides contrast; giving shade to an album full of light.
Life and Love blend seemlessly together and I suspect Gary (with producer Dominic) is trying to tell us something. Both tracks display influences from The Beatles, although maybe I’m just saying that ’cause I can’t stop playing the 2018 remix of Helter Skelter – something else worth looking up on Spotify.
Talking of influences, Gary’s penultimate track Diamond features an outstanding guest vocal performance from Laura Crosbie and the song reminds me of one of my favourite bands, The Beautiful South.
There’s also an ever-so-catchy guest vocal from Misha Sutherland on track 4. Just Another Day. Misha’s strong stage presence gives way here to a cute cameo performance, something fans of indie popsters Saint Etienne will love.
Last but not least Ian Clyne plays tasty bass guitar throughout.
Gary Crosbie’s Links
To help you find and buy love, life, rabbit I’ve copied and pasted links from Gary’s Facebook:
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.
The work, painted specifically for Brankholm Brae, follows the theft of Jack’s original take on TwinsTown’s twins Donald and Stuart.
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.
Here’s more of Jack’s art and I’m sure the boys will love this.
My favourite Jack Patons are of Billy Connelly and if you look carefully below you might spot the man himself, toun legend, Jack Paton.
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!
Thanks again to Jack Paton. To view and buy Jack’s art please click here: Art by Jack Paton.
Burns Night is tonight and I’ve polled TwinsTown to discover their top three works from Scotland’s National Bard.
3. A Red, Red Rose
In 2008 The Guardian reported that Bob Dylan was asked to name the lyric or verse that had the greatest impact on his life. Rather than quoting his idol Woody Guthrie or poet Dylan Thomas, from whom it is thought that Robert Zimmerman took his name, Dylan selected ‘A Red, Red Rose’ written by Robert Burns in 1794.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
A brilliant verse in what is essentially a Scots love song. For the climax, Burns puts The Proclaimers’ efforts to shame.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.
Craig and Charlie are lightweights compared to Rabbie. 500 miles indeed. Oh, and 500 more, is it, aye!? That’s twins for ye! Try 10,000 mile and I bet Burns didn’t fall down at her door. No half measures for Rab.
2. Tam o’Shanter
Hmmm, I wonder why Tam o’Shanter is number two? Could it be that Tam liked a drink and spending time with his pals… enough said for now. Here we go.
O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum.
Who’d have guessed TwinsTown would like a waster, a rambling, blustering, drunken boaster!? I suppose they like me well enough. I really should have stopped before stumbling into that conclusion.
Anyway, it’s time for number one, the top of the hit parade, and it’s undoubtedly the greatest egalitarian song ever written. It has even been covered by Midge Ure although his choice of venue was questionable.
1. A Man’s A Man for A’ That
Nothing if not predictable, I hear you say. Well aye, but it is good, and appropriate. In TwinsTown we have two actual brothers, but the rest of us are brothers too, you know…
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.
Brankholm Brae the stunning debut album from TwinsTown is coming soon. The album cover has been painted by local Dunfermline artist Jack Paton and it will be featured in our very next post, also coming soon.
In the meantime here is one of Jack’s portraits of Rabbie Burns.
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.
“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. 🙂
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 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 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.
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.
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.”
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!”
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.