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.

Gary Crosbie’s love, life, rabbit cover art by Ruby Rhod.

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.

Gary’s Popular tracks on Spotify match my own favourites. I’m nothing if not predictable.

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.

Teaser video for love, life, rabbit by Gary Crosbie.

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.

Gary Crosbie 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:

Well done Gary and all involved. Another triumph for Dunfermline and Scotland.

Coming soon…

TwinsTown’s stunning debut album Brankholm Brae is due out sometime this year, 2021. Watch this space for details.

Brankholm Brae the stunning debut album from TwinsTown coming soon.

Stay alive!

“Don’t call me Scarface!”

We all have our favourite lyrics. I just love Neville Staple’s “Don’t call me Scarface!” line from Gangsters by The Specials. The whole song is a masterpiece.

Can’t fight corruption with con tricks

They use the law to commit crime

I dread to think what the future’ll bring

When we’re living in gangster times

(Don’t call me Scarface!)

The Specials
Neville Staple, The Specials, don’t call him Scarface.

“Say hello to my little friend,” screams Al Pacino, before blowing up home invaders with his grenade launcher in the movie Scarface. The film’s soundtrack was composed by Giorgio Moroder who co-wrote Together In Electric Dreams with Phil Oakey of the Human League.

I only knew you for a while

I never saw your smile

‘Til it was time to go

Time to go away (time to go away)

Philip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder

The song tells us that love can endure even when the opportunity to properly share in the love is lost.

Sometimes its hard to recognise

Love comes as a surprise

And its too late

Its just too late to stay

Too late to stay

Philip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder

Together In Electric Dreams is a simple, catchy wee track, recorded in only ten minutes, yet it’s poignant. Oakey talks about the Human League taking a year to record singles and failing to achieve the chart success he enjoyed with Moroder and Electric Dreams.

Talking of lost love, here come the Wölves.

You’re an animal

You never loved no one

You’re an animal

Changed our relationship to complicated

I must admit I felt a little jaded

Talking cheap and acting shady

I found your tweets and your Facebook, baby

Wölves
Wölves’ video for animal featuring our very own Donald and Stuart, and me! I’m in there somewhere as an extra. I did see myself once, honest.

Animal by the Wölves is now a modern classic; heartbreak and trauma, expressed through the medium of social media. From Keats and Yates to Wölves, love lost is love lost. The desolation remains the same. What is it with me and lost love, I wonder? Let’s not dwell on it.

Here’s a picture from the Wölves’ video for Animal.

Jason Duffy drumming on the Wölves’ Animal video.

What is it with Jason and baring his chest, I wonder? Let’s not dwell on it. I’m sure the girls like it.

Here’s an altogether more lovable snap from the same video shoot.

Mariam Amhaz during the Wölves video shoot for their outstanding track Animal.

Mariam’s accordion playing being cut from the final video edit is shocking.

Actually I promised Mariam I’d put that picture up in Tappie Toories but that’s now another tale of lost love.

I can’t face the heartbreak of reopening Tappies for a fourth time only to face who knows what restrictions and potentially a fourth closure due to Covid-19, and a third wave or whatever.

Instead, take yer chances at Tesco with unlimited alcohol sales fuelling drunken, unregulated everything. Other super-spreaders and superstores are available.

We’ve had pubs only open until 6pm but prohibited from selling any drink, under any circumstances. We’ve had an 8pm curfew but only if you sell a substantial meal, and a 10pm curfew with hundreds or thousands huddled together in the dank streets at exactly the same time with no taxis available. We’ve had lock-up, lock-down, you know, anything but a sensible, sober, regulated and socially distanced lock-in.

That reminds me.

Serbia 1-1 Scotland (4-5 on penalties).

A great night, a great sing-a-long and an outrageous 20-man conga lauded by all.

Oooohh! Yes sir, I can boogie

But I need a certain song

I can boogie, boogie woogie all night long

Yes sir, I can boogie

If you stay, you can’t go wrong

I can boogie, boogie woogie all night long

Soja Rolf / Dostal Frank

The Baccara disco classic Yes Sir, I Can Boogie was just as good as the Scottish conga line singing the name of penalty-saving goalie David Marshall to Whigfield’s Saturday Night.

Scotland have qualified for the European Championship finals 2020, our first major tournament since 1998. That’s 22 years! Or 23 as it’s being played at least one year late, maybe more. The first major finals I properly remember was 1978…

We’re on the march with Ally’s Army

We’re going to the Argentine

And we’ll really shake them up

When we win the World Cup

‘Cause Scotland are the greatest football team

Samuel Dennison

Ally’s Tartan Army by Andy Cameron contains one of the best lyrics ever. Here it comes…

When we reach the Argentine we’re really gonna show

The world a brand of football that they could never know

We’re representing Britain; we’ve got to do or die

For England cannae dae it ’cause they didnae qualify!

Samuel Dennison

Talking of England, I now work for NHS England and, on a serious note, it has reinforced my view that doing everything we could to keep people safe in Tappies was absolutely the right thing to do. I hope our parliaments, supermarkets, schools, universities, etc., can, in time – hopefully a very short time – do likewise.

Lyrically, it doesn’t get much better or funnier than Ally’s Tartan Army with; “England cannae dae it ’cause they didnae qualify!”

Although, never shy of a challenge, TwinsTown have given it a go. Former member Ronnie Dalrymple sings on Double Trouble…

My name is Ronnie and I play the drums

I’ve got eight fingers and I’ve got twa thumbs

So, lock up your daughters, sisters and mums!

TwinsTown

You really have to see it. Find Ronnie and TwinsTown in the Double Trouble video here: Double Trouble

Ronnie sings arguably the best lyric ever as Donald pretends he can play poker.

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!”

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.

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.”

Before lockdown and later restrictions, TwinsTown were busy rehearsing at Scott Gilbert’s Penthouse Practice Suite, situated above the Seven Kings at 2a Chalmers Street, when Stevie Agnew walked in, and joined in.

Stuart Mackay, Stevie Agnew and Donald Mackay at Scott Gilbert’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

You can’t beat a bit of Stevie. Back in summertime I was lucky. My birthday is 7th July and this year beer gardens reopened on 6th July. I wandered down to The White Gates thinking it’d be busy and I’d have a wee birthday bash a day early. It was busy, and even better, Stevie and Jock Boland were there to entertain us. James was also playing but I’ve forgotten his surname.

Stuart starring in a Penthouse Practice Suite ad.

This was before anyone decided to ban singing and it was a brilliant night. I kid you not, Jock was trying to go home for half an hour. The “one more tune” calls didn’t stop. He played some magnificent folk songs. The local talent we have is just astounding.

Jock Boland (right).

Stevie and James were awesome too, playing some well known covers before mixing it up with novelty songs and other oddities.

Stevie Agnew (centre) at The White Gates.

I had a brilliant birthday just one day early.

Stevie Agnew (centre) and the boys at Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

The next Saturday afternoon The Stevie Agnew Band played the roof at The White Gates. It was like U2 playing the rooftop in Los Angeles for their Grammy Award-winning music video. Stevie and his band missed a trick by not blasting out Where The Streets Have No Name.

Stuart and Donald at Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite.

A little later The White Gates built a new stage on a lower level than the beer garden. From the roof the sound was disappearing up the village. The new stage solved that problem and The Stevie Agnew Band returned for a second scintillating post-lockdown gig.

The Stevie Agnew Band on stage at The White Gates with former TwinsTown drummer Ronnie Dalrymple. Ronnie has 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, “lock up your daughters, sisters and mums,” as you’ll hear on our video page.

TwinsTown love Stevie – who doesn’t!? – and his album Hurricane Road. Informally, just entertaining friends, I’ve heard Donald and Stuart sing Stevie’s Wreckin’ Yard, albeit given a wee TwinsTown makeover. The best cover versions usually have a wee twist.

Anna Heslop and Stuart Mackay wearing Stevie Agnew Hurricane Road hat.

It’s always good to see local artists supporting each other. Until recently Eggman Studios, the home of up-and-coming Fife band Shambolics, sat next door to Toastie’s Penthouse Practice Suite, and Shambolics popped along to support our TwinsTown rehearsal.

Shambolics watching TwinsTown.

Scott Gilbert aka Toastie recorded his forthcoming single Walk On By at Eggman Studios, next door to his own Penthouse Practice Suite.

Scott Gilbert aka Toastie recording at Eggman Studios.

Shambolics and Eggman Studios have now relocated to Glasgow and all at TwinsTown wish them the very best of luck. Although with their obvious talent and having already signed with Scottish music mogul Alan McGee, who is also based in Glasgow, Shambolics won’t need luck. McGee’s old label Creation Records famously signed Oasis, Primal Scream, as well as Jesus and Mary Chain. His new label Creation23 is focusing on releasing vinyl as TwinsTown intend to do for debut album Brankholm Brae.

Eggman Studios, Dunfermline, is no more. Our own Wayne is pictured 4th from the left.

Amazingly, in almost 4 years, I’ve not managed to book Stevie Agnew or his band to play Tappie Toories. I’ll need to rectify that error asap. How brilliant would it be to have Stevie and TwinsTown in Tappies on the same night. Maybe one day…

Star Wars started with Episode IV: A New Hope. I’m starting with Episode II: Joe’s Blog.

Last night, I explained this to Big Daddy the irascible manager of arguably Dunfermline’s brightest indie rockers, TwinsTown. Billy was very kindly driving me home a day early from Tpot Studios in Path of Condie. I’d had a crisis in the hospitality industry foisted upon me, and my wonderful staff, in my pub Tappie Toories, and I need to deal with the aftermath today.

I should be in the recording studio now with TwinsTown frontmen Donald and Stuart Mackay, the effervescent duo were in dazzling form from morning to very late last night as they laid down the final vocals for their debut album Brankholm Brae, and I was privileged to be the only other household allowed to join them.

I should explain: I’m Joe Graham, and when not in Tappies, I do public relations and photography for Twinstown. This blog starts with episode two as it was actually my second visit to Tpot Studios with the lads. I didn’t blog about my first visit as we only set this website up earlier this week. Episode one will follow shortly.

Anyway, lets get to the point. Big Daddy is irascible. No, only joking, the point is Donald and Stuart are startling. Their final vocals are outstanding, and a massive step up from the early (episode one) rough mixes I have downloaded to my phone. TwinsTown’s debut album Brankholm Brae is going to be an incredible addition to Dunfermline’s rock and pop history. Even the ever-irascible TwinsTown manager Billy George agrees with me. Okay, I’ll stop saying that now. It’s alright, he knows I like a wind-up.

I need to cut this short, you know, new Government guidelines to be appalled about and to try to cope with, a business and a bunch of jobs hang in the balance, and I promise to return with episode one soon.