TwinsTown behind-the-scenes at Tpot Studios 1

Donald phoned me up the other day asking if we could share some TwinsTown behind-the-scenes at Tpot Studios video and I think the best place to start is us having a bit of fun during the recording of Brankholm Brae.

TwinsTown having fun at Tpot Studios, Path of Condie.

Find on YouTube.

Stay alive!

TwinsTown interviews: hurry up Harry

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 interviews: Christmas songs

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.