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

Billy George, manager and vocals

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

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

Stuart Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

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

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

Harry Dixon, bass and lead guitar

We’ve reached the end of an era.

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

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

Wayne Robertson, drums

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

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

Mark Guyan, keyboards and piano

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

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

Ben Sharp, bass guitar and vocals

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

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

Donald Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

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

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

The more I listen, the more I like it.

Joe Graham, PR and photography

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

I’m moving on, I’ve left the nest

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

TwinsTown

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

You can come along in the morning

You can come at night or day

You can come along without warning

You can come to mine and stay

At the Brankholm Brae

TwinsTown

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

Don’t be a stranger

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

TwinsTown

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

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

Billy George, manager and vocals

Personally, I like vampires and cowboys.

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

Stuart Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

Wild, wild horses, I hope.

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

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

Donald Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

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

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

Harry Dixon, bass and lead guitar

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

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

Billy George, manager and vocals

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

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

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

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

Stuart Mackay, lead vocals and guitar

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

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

Music for me, and I like music.

Anonymous
Brankholm Brae – Side Two.

Coming soon…

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

Brankholm Brae – TwinsTown.

Watch this space for details.

Stay alive!

“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!