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.

The Proclaimers twins meet TwinsTown twins.

I could get a broken jaw from being in a fight.

I know its evening when day turns to night.

I can understand why Stranraer lie so lowly.

They could save a lot of points by signing Hibs’ goalie…

Charles Reid / Craig Reid

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 had an uncle who once played for Red Star Belgrade

He said some things are really left best unspoken

But I prefer it all to be out in the open

Billy Bragg / Johnny Marr

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.

Stevie Agnew at The White Gates, Comrie.

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.

Robbie Williams vs. Liam Gallagher.

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.

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

I think Robbie would KO Liam.

‘Fat Dancer’ Robbie Williams looking mean.

Although, you never know…

Robbie knocked out.

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 West storms the MTV Video Music Awards to tell Taylor Swift and the world Beyoncé deserved to win.

Kanye’s protest was badly misjudged and well done Taylor for standing up to his idiocy. However, Beyoncé really should have won.

Beyoncé’s Singles Ladies video.

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.

Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me video.

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.

Linda Ramone, widow of Johnny Ramone, poses in front of a wall-sized photo of the band, with Johnny on the far left. Joey is third from the left.

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.

Beatnic Prestige with Albo far left.

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.

Jamie’s dad Bruce Watson and Stuart Adamson of Big Country playing a live set at the HMV record store in London, 1995.
Mikey O’Reilly, Jamie Watson of The Skids and Big Country, Gumsy, Lord Provost of Fife Jim Leishman and Yvonne Smith playing Tappie Toories, 2016.

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.

The Stevie Agnew Band at The White Gates.

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.

Aye Hobos played Tappie Toories.

Expect to see Stevie Agnew, TwinsTown and the return of many performers mentioned above playing Tappie Toories as soon as gigs are allowed.

Tappie Toories.

Stay alive.

The swat of the class is Donald. I ask TwinsTown; “What’s your favourite Christmas song?” Hornet’s hand shoots up and he’s calling out his answer. He’s put no thought into it, no effort, therefore I’m moving on…

More on Bruce Springsteen later.

Mark offers the first considered answer.

“The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood,” says The Darkness, explaining that, “it shouldn’t even be a Christmas song, but it’s class… the piano and the emotion in the vocals… it’s RAW!”

Okay Mark, no need to shout. I was hoping he’d pick Christmas Time by The Darkness ’cause it’d fit with his nickname and I could slag Justin Hawkins off for being a Grinch. Have you heard the Christmas Time lyrics!?

Feigning joy and surprise

At the gifts we despise over mulled wine

With you

The darkness

Justin and his band mates despise their gifts AND drink mulled wine. No amount of falsetto makes up for being spoilt, ungrateful, and middle class. Although if Justin got the mulled wine at The Georges’ Christmas soirée last year we’ll sweep it under Billy’s hand-woven, velvet pile Axminster and say no more about it.

Donald’s wee hand is still in the air. No Hornet, we’ll come to you later.

Next up, Mark again. Hang on, he’s had a go. What’s that, Mark, Lonely This Christmas by Mud, you say. You’ll be lonely this Christmas if you keep jumping in.

Oaft! And I thought Donald was bad.

However, lo and behold, Smackay wants two goes too.

“Elton John’s Step Into Christmas,” he ventures, adding that, “Elton performed a marvelous version on the Gilbert O’Sullivan show, 1973, whilst sporting an over-sized white feather boa.”

Stuart must’ve been at one of The Georges’ recent soirées. And I thought Donald was the swat.

“Stay by East 17,” says Stuart, wanting his second go.

Harry and Wayne are saying nothing. Billy is busy. He hasn’t completed his Christmas spreadsheet:

  • Douse the Christmas pudding
  • Purchase the Lindor balls
  • Choose scented candles
  • Confirm the wrapping paper colour scheme
  • Investigate the provenance of the turkey…

It must be my go. Oh, wait, Donald is waving his phone in the air playing Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewis. I thought you were all about Bruce Springsteen, you know, Santa Claus is Coming to Town?

“Well, if they’re having two goes…” he pouts.

You better watch out

You better not cry

You better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

John Coots / Haven Gillespie

My go at last and I’m nothing if not predictable.

You’re a bum

You’re a punk

You’re an old slut on junk

Jem Finer / Shane Macgowan

I love the Pogues and I love Kirsty MacColl even more, so to say I was pleased with Fairytale of New York would be an understatement. I know the BBC are butchering the lyrics this year, but not me. I’m already Dunfermline’s most wanted.

You scumbag, you maggot

You cheap lousy faggot

Happy Christmas your arse

I pray God it’s our last

The boys of the NYPD choir

Still singing Galway Bay

And the bells are ringing out

For Christmas day

JEM FINER / SHANE MACGOWAN

Stay alive.

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.

Harry is a werewolf. At least, that’s the explanation I prefer. Any other logic I come up with is infinitely less palatable.

Harry Dixon transforms as a stunned Rhea Patel-McCrossan looks on. PJ Molloy’s has never before seen the likes.

Legend has it, Harry was enjoying a pot of tea in Tappie Toories, Dunfermline, with his friend Jack. It was so much better than the scaffy tea Harry endures at home.

Harry’s pal Jack chats happily with Tappies’ regulars over a pot of quality tea.

As Harry and Jack prepared to leave Tappies, a man throwing darts warned, “Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.”

“Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.”

Another playing chess advised, “Beware the moon, lads.”

“Beware the moon, lads.” Yes, Rik Mayall and Brian Glover were regulars at Tappies.

A feeling of apprehension fell over the pair. They glanced towards the bar hoping for reassurance.

I can’t remember whether it was Zena or Cheryl working that fateful night.

The bar tender offered no hope. She turned away and opened a bottle of Fireball as Harry and Jack traipsed out onto Kirkgate in the Fife town’s heritage quarter. There was a full moon.

Harry’s friend Jack leaves Tappies.

I’ve not seen Jack since that fateful night. I guess Harry suggested a shortcut through the Public Park where they were attacked by a lycanthrope. A werewolf. Suffering an unnatural death, murdered Jack must now walk the earth in limbo until the werewolf’s curse is lifted.

On the bright side, if Jack is undead and haunting Harry, at least he’ll hear some good guitar licks and catchy TwinsTown tunes. Harry is a scarily good guitarist.

Harry laying down another catchy bass line at Tpot Studios, Path of Condie.

I bet Donald and Stuart could write a decent song about a werewolf, maybe even a guitar-playing werewolf. Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival is a classic.

Donald thinks about werewolfs as Harry sweats.

Bark at the Moon was Ozzy Osbourne’s first music video, heavily influenced by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ozzy’s werewolf terrorizes, is killed, and later mysteriously returns to once again wreak havoc upon the villagers. Meanwhile Ozzy’s mad scientist is committed to the Holloway Sanatorium on the outskirts of London. Another classic.

Stuart thinks about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and looks worried. He knows he’s TwinsTown’s Dr. Jekyll, but how many Mr. Hydes are there!? More worryingly, what is sweaty Harry doing!?

Is it okay to talk about Michael Jackson? My third favourite werewolf song is Thriller and I love that video. It was on in Coady’s the other day, I hadn’t seen it for years, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The voiceover by Vincent Price is a class touch.

Harry after a trip to the Turkish barbers, or Vincent Price? You decide…

C’mon then, Donald and Stuart, write a beezer of a song all about a werewolf. After debut album Brankholm Brae there’ll be that difficult second album to wrestle. Big Daddy has warned you.

TwinsTown’s debut album Brankholm Brae is coming soon. Flare it!

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?”

If you know TwinsTown at all, you’ll know they are nothing if not keen.

TwinsTown with Zena sans The Darkness.

Not that I can talk. I was nicknamed Mister Mustard by my trade union comrades. My old boss called me the “make it happen man,” and my IT colleagues gave me a leaving card showing a rottweiler chewing a bone above the words; JOE ‘BITES-YER-LEGS’ GRAHAM. I understood this to be a reference to both my football and my work. Apparently I was like a dug with a bone until the project was done.

It’s nice to see the band doing the same. The hard work goes on on debut album Brankholm Brae, as scheduled by manager Big Daddy aka Billy George, and in spare time work has begun on the difficult second album. You know pop mythology, the rock ‘n’ roll cliche; an up-and-coming band work for years on an explosive first album but stumble trying to follow-up on their initial success within a year or risk losing their currency. Even taking time can end in disaster. It’s known as Difficult Second Album Syndrome (DSAS).

The Stone Roses, The Second Coming (Geffen, 1994)

This is the pinnacle of DSAS. It even inspires an argument in Shaun of the Dead when Simon Pegg resists frisbeeing the vinyl to stop advancing zombies but Nick Frost wants it frisbee’d. Heavy nods towards Led Zeppelin couldn’t find critical favour and the Mancunians split up before they could record another note. On the upside, it gave us Ten Storey Love Song, an absolute triumph reminiscent of the Madchester sound on the band’s debut, featuring typically jangly guitars and warm harmonies. Riff-heavy and intense Love Spreads is another highlight.

Simon Pegg watches Nick Frost frisbee vinyl at advancing zombies in Shaun of the Dead.

Elastica, The Menace (Deceptive, 2000)

The eponymous debut sits proudly in my record collection. This does not. Like The Second Coming it was five years in the making and still failed to inspire. On the bright side, it didn’t compare itself to Jesus.

Terence Trent D’Arby, Neither Fish Nor Flesh (Columbia, 1989)

My pal Murray had a copy of D’Arby’s debut The Hardline According To…, and I used to play it. Murray moved into my house when his three house-mates eliminated him from the equation by deliberately moving from a 4 to a 3-bedroom rental. His housemates were risible, pretentious and all too self-important. Exactly like D’Arby’s second album. We frisbee’d it into a boby-building neighbour’s garden.

Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II (Geffen, 1991)

Not one but two successors to Appetite for Destruction, weighing in at an overblown two and a half hours. Enough said.

The Clash, Give ‘Em Enough Rope (Columbia, 1978)

I actually really like this, but the reviews were mixed, therefore it makes my list. Only at No.5 though as it’s pretty good by most standards, just a wee bit disappointing by comparison with the eponymous debut and the magnificent London’s Calling, The Clash’s third and best album by some distance. Highlights include: Safe European Home, English Civil War, Tommy Gunn and Stay Free.

Back to TwinsTown

Actually, I don’t want to call it the difficult second album. I’ll need to give it a working title.

FLARE IT!

Flare It is the obvious choice as it narrowly missed out to Brankholm Brae to be the name of TwinsTown’s debut album.

We currently us Flare It! as a slogan. Who knows it could be the second album.

Therefore, work on Flare It has begun. All socially distanced of course. We’ve gone hi-tech with video conferencing, online multi-user project sharing and the best audio quality available.

War with Myself

The first song completed for Flare It is War with Myself; a man lies in turmoil, his heid is bursting, his thoughts running amok, there’s only two hours before he needs to get up for work, yet he can’t get back to sleep. We’ve all been there. Have you gone to war with yourself about it? I think you probably have. It’s really annoying. I know I have.

Our sleep-deprived hero Hornet aka Donald Mackay chooses full contact martial arts for combat with his psyche. His very soul is at stake. His inner demons must be defeated.

Mixed Martial Arts

He remembers the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the most influential martial art in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, used by Royce Gracie to define mixed martial arts as a sport. Donald is now onto something…

Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. Gracie used Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to consistently defeat Shamrock winning UFC1, UFC2 and UFC4. They drew at UFC5.

Meanwhile, twin telepathy has Smackay aka Stuart Mackay sitting up in bed. He’s threatening kamikaze to save his bro.

The Wasp aka Wayne Robertson can’t help he’s stuck in an English asylum, Broadmoor. He probably couldn’t sleep either.

“One up, all up!” shout the twins. The Duke aka Harry Dixon and The Darkness aka Mark Guyan are rudely awakened, dragged from their pits, and bundled into The Mystery Machine aka big Barrett’s camper van. They’re breaking Wayne out tonight.

The Mystery Machine sans big Barrett.

TwinsTown v Nazis

The action rages from Tappie Toories to Bratislava where there’s Nazis to chase with Lady Gaga doing the krav maga (it’s so tempting to sing magaga at that point) arguably the most efficient and deadly martial art. It was developed in late-1930’s to fight Slovakia’s Nazis and is famously used by the Israeli Defence Force as well as Willie Doig when manager at The Old Inn.

Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee is on viagra (I didn’t see that coming). I won’t dare tell you what Jackie Chan gets up to. This is no Shanghai Knights. Thank goodness.

Shanghai Knights.

Not so difficult…

War with Myself is the full TwinsTown monty. For me it’s up there with The Wrath of the Rum, the Wingnuts classic making a well deserved return to appear on Brankholm Brae. It’s maybe even as good as Spitfire, my favourite, most rockinest track on Brankholm Brae. It’s a great start to Flare It (working title) the maybe not so difficult second album.