TwinsTown on A State of Mind Unplugged

A State of Mind, the award-winning podcasters, invited Donald and Stuart to represent TwinsTown, performing a few songs and being interviewed. Apparently the podcasters had met the twins before, when they gatecrashed a Kyle Falconer interview, and knew what they were getting into. Hard to believe, I know.

Later, I discovered top podcaster Paul John Dykes is originally from Oakley. The world makes sense for once. These days I’m glad when something, anything, makes sense.

Donald and Stuart Mackay at A State of Mind Unplugged I.
Donald and Stuart Mackay at A State of Mind Unplugged II.
Donald Mackay at A State of Mind Unplugged.
Stuart Mackay at A State of Mind Unplugged.
Paul John Dykes, award-winning podcaster, A State of Mind Unplugged.
John McMulkin, taking a break from waging war against criminals with his indestructible supercar, KITT.
Top cameraman Kelvin focusing on Stuart as Donald tunes up.
Stuart Mackay and Stuart Rae preparing for a car crash interview at A State of Mind Unplugged.
Stuart Mackay interview ready, in helmet and goggles.

A State of Panic, I mean preparation, A State of Preparation

To prepare for the podcast I watched A State of Mind Unplugged featuring Shambolics. Unsurprisingly deeply earnest in parts (not in a bad way), it had iconic captions to introduce interview segments.

SHAMBOLICS ON… THE BEATLES & KIRKCALDY

My mind boggled. Imagine the TwinsTown captions… taboo doesn’t even begin to describe my thoughts. Unpublishable even on this liberal blog.

In the end diplomacy and clever editing won.

TWINSTOWN ON… FIFE TODAY CALLING YOU ‘A FORCE OF NATURE’

Cut to the Chase, FFS!

This is well worth a watch and thank you A State of Mind Unplugged.

A State of Mind Unplugged featuring TwinsTown.

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Post-Interview

Stuart Mackay post-interview celebration at A State of Mind Unplugged.
Cheers!
A State of Mind studio I.
A State of Mind studio II.
A TwinsTown State of Mind.
A TwinsTown State of Mind including me.

Stay alive!

A State of Mind Unplugged featuring TwinsTown.

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TwinsTown meet My Pet Rocket at Tpot Studios

“We left Oakley at five past ten and arrived here at quarter to twelve,” said Billy, as I claimed we’d been on the road for two hours. We’d been the lead car in a convoy to Tpot Studios, Path of Condie, but Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were nowhere to be seen as we trundled through the Ochil Hills at 7mph.

The arduous journey, complete with leaving Donald behind after a pit stop in Milnathort, was worth it. Watch this video and see what you think.

TwinsTown and My Pet Rocket release their Christmas single I Don’t Know What I Want For Christmas in less time than it takes a convoy to go from Fife to Perthshire.

You can also watch on Facebook here.

Thanks to Shiya for the cover art featuring Mark ‘The Darkness’ Guyan and Tarantino-esque foot fetishism. Christmas time, don’t let the bells end.

I Don’t Know What I Want For Christmas is the new single from TwinsTown and My Pet Rocket featuring Hugh Reed from Hugh Reed and the Velvet Underpants as Santa Claus and a special guest appearance from Billy ‘Rubber Duck’ George. 10-4 good buddy.

Watch out there’s a bear in the air…

Not really, but we do have a bear in the video, and it wouldn’t matter anyway, we’re all expert at foiling the pesky picnic police and their carnaptious covid constabulary.

What’s that? Someone is watching Scotland beat Serbia in a culpable and reckless situation, intoxicated and drinking a can of lager. Nicola must have a law against that. We’ll be there in 4 hours and 20 minutes.

If you don’t like TwinsTown and My Pet Rocket…

https://youtu.be/Sd5ZLJWQmss

Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck

You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon?

Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer shure, fer shure

By golly, it’s clean clear to Tpot, c’mon

Yeah, that’s a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen

Yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy

C. W. McCall

‘Cause we got a great big convoy, rockin’ through the night…

PS3 for me please, if anyone is listening. I’m feeling lucky. Is Santa actually coming down?

Merry Christmas!

Stay alive!

TwinsTown – Say Goodbye to the Summer (Official Music Video)

Out today TwinsTown’s Say Goodbye to the Summer (Official Music Video) features the band playing at The Twa Tams in Perth. Watch the story of the day as the band and fans set off from the Fire Station in Dunfermline and rock the place with a blistering set before wrestling breaks out with Hugh Reed and the Velvet Underpants.

TwinsTown – Say Goodbye to the Summer (Official Music Video)

TwinsTown and friends at the glen gates, Dunfermline.

Once upon a time I was fine

I knew exactly what I wanted to do

Stop, won’t you pause and rewind

Cos lately, lately, lately I haven’t got a clue

Say goodbye to the summer…

TwinsTown

The superb 40 second intro, quite long for TwinsTown, is followed by a well structured, tuneful and fairly conventional indie pop song.

There’s no more sunsets in your eyes

There’s no more drinking ’til the early sunrise

No more Monday morning long lies

You’re out of holidays and alibis!

TwinsTown

The deceptive complexity of Say Goodbye to the Summer is revealed in the chorus as it points to a deeper meaning.

Say goodbye to the summer

Say goodbye to the sun

Say goodbye to the summer

Say goodbye to everyone

TwinsTown

The last line of the last chorus, “Say goodbye to everyone,” makes me wonder; is this a simple goodbye to the summer, or is this someone on their last knockings, the summer being a metaphor for life.

I suppose I’ll never know. It’s not as if I can just phone these superstars up and ask. They’re busy preparing for their appearance at the EH6 festival on Saturday 27th November.

Buy EH6 tickets here.

Stay alive!

Whanga Records release 1/4 Chubz video and announce TwinsTown gig

Yesterday the new 1/4 Chubz – Cut Me Down video was released, provoking much discussion amongst patrons at The White Gates, especially the former miners who participated in the strike 1984/85.

1/4 Chubz – Cut Me Down (Official Video)

1/4 Chubz standing up in their Cut Me Down video reflecting on the miners’ strike 1984/85.

As you can see the video reflects on the miners’ strike and the miners who stood up to a government determined to defeat the workers with violence and lies.

A miner from Blairhaw was killed at Orgreave, ran over by a coal lorry that didn’t stop. We thought that would never happen. We thought we lived in a civilized country.

Wull Morris, Landlord, The White Gates
Riot police at Orgreave guard the convoy ultimately responsible for the death of a miner from Blairhall.

The Chubz’s video shows the convoy in action.

I knew your lies…

All you do is cut me down

1/4 Chubz

The video is of course a Whanga Records production directed and filmed by me, so thanks to the Chubz for giving me the opportunity to add to the growing voices demanding justice.

TwinsTown play Whanga Records

In TwinsTown news the next gig is at Whanga Records’ studio, 2a Chalmers Street, Dunfermline, on 8 October and here is the braw poster created by Mariam Amhaz followed by Mim’s own description of the event.

TwinsTown play Whanga Records poster by Mariam Amhaz.

TwinsTown gig coming up Friday 8th October from 7pm at Whanga Records – £15 on the door and BYOB. Email whanga@whang-records or speak to the boys for an advance ticket at £10 🙂After party at The Old Inn from 10pm. Limited capacity for this exclusive gig so get your space bagsied now 🎶🍻🥳LIVE MUSIC IS BACK – FLARE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay alive!

Xbox, Whanga, and Laughter – Remembering Callum Paterson

32 years ago today Callum Paterson was born. He’d go on to lead a remarkable life and we’d like to remember him today as a great friend, contemporary and collaborator on the local Dunfermline music scene.

I’d personally like to remember who won when we played FIFA on the Xbox in Tappie Toories. Callum would often arrive in Tappies late on quiet midweek nights and if the Xbox was out we’d play a few games. He’d always insist that he’d gubbed me the previous week or a fortnight ago or whatever but I could never remember. The results were lost in a sea of banter.

To this day I have no idea who won any game. All I remember is the carry on and us laughing at anything.

That’s how I’ll remember Callum today, as an outrageously entertaining and funny raconteur who could possibly play Xbox FIFA or mibbies no.

You can hear the man himself singing in the demo that he sent to Stuart MacKay from New Zealand, where Whanga was his Maori name, in TwinsTown’s cover of Callum’s Broken Song.

The demo appears at the beginning and end of this video produced by TwinsTown and Whanga Records for the anniversary of his birthday today. I managed to feature Callum in the video itself too via the magic of Facebook, both old stills and old video clips.

TwinsTown – Callum Paterson’s Broken Song (Official Video)

It’s no surprise how often he’s laughing in the video clips.

TwinsTown’s Donald MacKay covering Callum Paterson’s Broken Song during the official video filming at Whanga Records.

Happy heavenly birthday Ceeps ❤️ Love and miss you always ❤️✨

ANNA Heslop
Michelle Robertson, Caitlin Mitchell, Anna Heslop and Goldie Looking Chain at the Callum Paterson’s Broken Song gig, Whanga Records. Oh, and I just spotted Mim Amhaz in the top right-hand corner.

…yous will not be fucking behaving up there…

Troy Leggat (who lOst his dad one year ago today)
1/4 Chubz Troy Leggat playing at the Callum Paterson’s Broken Song gig for the official video filming at Whanga Records.

Happy birthday Callum. This place just isn’t the Same without you! Love you mate. Til we meet again ❤️

Greig Morrison
Paying fitting tribute exactly as Callum would’ve wanted it is co-founders of Whanga Records, 1/4 Chubz’s Stuart Barrett and Birrell or Biscuits’ Craig Birrell, and all during official video filming for Broken Song at Whanga Records.

RIP Callum.

Birrell or Biscuit – Anthemesque (Official Video)

Our Whanga Records executive Craig Birrell is rock ‘n’ roll.

Birrell or Biscuit – Anthemesque (Official Video)

Watch Craig giving it laldy by clicking the link above.

Craig Birrell, before giving it laldy in the official video for Anthemesque.

Directed and filmed by our PR and photographer, Joe Graham, at Whanga Records’ rehearsal and recording studio at 2a Chalmers Street, Dunfermline, Craig gives an amazing, dramatic performance, like a modern-day Richard Burton. Sorry young yins, let’s say Joaquin Pheonix or Daniel Day-Lewis instead. I watched There Will Be Blood recently and Day-Lewis was astounding.

Actually, there was blood in Anthemesque. I was agog. I only said that because I love that word, agog. I fully expected spectacular method acting and full commitment from Craig. I’ve not known him long but he is an extremely talented writer, producer and performer who gives it his all, every time.

It’s an angry song…

Craig Birrell in a scene from the official video for Anthemesque.

Thanks go to Whanga Records’ marketing executive, Mariam Ahmaz, who sourced the still working TV for scenes reminiscent of the Sex Pistols or the Clash. I think we forgot to switch it on though. I’ll take the blame for that. Apologies to Mim who was working in The Old Inn and missed out on her usual cameo role.

Thanks also go to Harry Dixon. The Duke appeared in the Anthemesque video; he’s the one fiddling while Rome burns, or more accurately, playing bass whilst Birrell destroys Whanga.

TwinsTown’s Harry ‘The Duke’ Dixon crowns Craig Birrell with a straw hat at Whanga Records, Dunfermline.

We asked Harry to look disinterested as Craig’s mad turn grows but I couldn’t fit him into the main shot. Like the true professional that he is he worked his way in and fulfilled his role perfectly. Respect to The Duke, the Robert De Niro or maybe Keanu Reeves of TwinsTown.

I love Harry Dixon in Anthemesque. The Duke! Flare it!

Coming soon

Craig co-founded Whanga Records with Stuart Barrett and big Barrett is rock ‘n’ roll too. Look out for him in the forthcoming 1/4 Chubz video for Cut Me Down alongside band mates John Simpson and Trroyy Lleggatt (spelling from Facebook – that can’t be right!?).

I expected Cut Me Down to be the first music video directed and filmed by me for a few years now, however I was delighted when Craig asked me to do Anthemesque in only 24 hours and fortunately I was available at short notice.

Apologies to the 1/4 Chubz, although I’m sure that, like me, they don’t mind accommodating a friend and musical colleague.

In the meantime you can watch both Whanga founders in TwinsTown’s official video for Callum Paterson’s Broken Song. Barrett is on the bass and Birrell is pretending he knows how to work Big Daddy’s camera (although he knows now as I gave him a crash course after he bought his own camera).

TwinsTown – Callum Paterson’s Broken Song (Official Video)

Other official music videos you may like

Birrell of Biscuit – UFO Space Disco

TwinsTown – Dive In

TwinsTown – Welcome to my World

Stay alive!

Behind the scenes with TwinsTown – Dive In music video shoot

On the trail up we found executives from Whanga Records going back to their Scooby van for more drums. Who decided to hump a full drum kit to The Blue Pools at Powmill?

TwinsTown PR and photographer Joe Graham aka Bowser

I’m somewhat underwhelmed, it’s eh, no what I expected…

TwinsTown manager Billy George aka Big Daddy

Well, I think it’s beautiful… Staycation written all over it – if only more people knew!

Whanga Records marketing executive Mariam Ahmaz aka Mirror

TwinsTown wouldn’t be TwinsTown without a mixture of opinions.

Big Daddy and Mirror reflect on The Blue Pools.
“Where’s the f***ing chinstown c***s?”
“If I knew I was going to swim in my pants… I’d wear nice pants.”
“This is supposed to be a rock ‘n’ roll doc.”
Mariam Amhaz and Anna Heslop star as lifeguards as the sharks flounder. Just for once this blog has a serious point to make; please remember that lifeguard’s are essential and take care in and around water.
Lager, fags and a shark suit, maybe, maybe. Shark suit and fur coat in the water, no, no. Just ask Smackay.

Watch Rory Cowieson’s official TwinsTown video for Dive In on YouTube

Stay Alive!

Joe blogs: Gary Crosbie – love, life, rabbit

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!

TwinsTown’s Brankholm Brae Album Cover Revealed

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.

TwinsTown’s twins Stuart and Donald painted specifically for debut album Brankholm Brae by local Dunfermline artist, and friend of the band, Jack Paton. Thank you, Jack.

The work, painted specifically for Brankholm Brae, follows the theft of Jack’s original take on TwinsTown’s twins Donald and Stuart.

The earlier work featuring Stuart and Donald Mackay by Jack was stolen from Dunfermline High Street.

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.

Stuart and Donald sharing the limelight with Dunfermline legends Andrew Carnegie and Stuart Adamson.

Here’s more of Jack’s art and I’m sure the boys will love this.

Noel and Liam Gallagher by Jack Paton pictured alongside their heroes Stuart and Donald Mackay. Or is it the other way around. Who knows!?

My favourite Jack Patons are of Billy Connelly and if you look carefully below you might spot the man himself, toun legend, Jack Paton.

This time Double Trouble, Stuart and Donald, are overshadowed by Jack Paton himself and three of his paintings featuring Billy Connolly. Top left is the Big Yin looking down from the gap site towards Dunfermline High Street.

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!

Black and white version 52 Years A Par for long-suffering TwinsTown manager Billy George.

Thanks again to Jack Paton. To view and buy Jack’s art please click here: Art by Jack Paton.

Stay alive!

Happy Birthday Rabbie Burns!

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.

Midge Ure sings Burns’ A Man’s A Man for A’ That. Click the link above to watch TwinsTown’s favourite.

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.

Coming soon…

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.

Alloway’s Robert Burns by Dunfermline’s Jack Paton.

To see and buy art by Jack Paton please visit: Art by Jack Paton on Facebook.

Happy Burns Night.

Stay alive!