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.
Find on YouTube.
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.
Find on YouTube.
Side One ends with Big Heart featuring my favourite bass line on Brankholm Brae, the stunning debut album from Dunfermline indie rockers TwinsTown. I had the pleasure of being there, at Tpot Studios, as Harry Dixon was laying down the bass. The versatile guitar man looked stressed, although his playing was unaffected and the end result is excellent.
Top producer Robin Wynn Evans, owner of Tpot Studios, recently completed the final mixes of all 12 tracks and Harry’s work on Big Heart shines.
Harry, best known as a lead guitarist, who likes to “FLARE IT!” giving his pedals laldy, seems concerned and self-conscious on bass, but he doesn’t disappoint.
Harry aside, the other TwinsTown boys aren’t too shabby either and I love the Big Heart lyrics.
Yes, TwinsTown have a sensitive side. Big Heart tells us they’re all lovely, sensitive wee souls, fragile in the face of heartbreak and lost love. It comes like an antidote to the proceeding song Johnny Depp and ultimately looks on the brightside.
For the sake of brevity (Big Heart is one of Donald and Stuart’s longest reads) I can’t reproduce all the lyrics here. However, trust me, the lads are pouring their hearts out and on tender hooks everyday.
The Big Heart exclamation marks are the songwriters’ own work and they make me think happy endings are a surprise in the works of TwinsTown. Anyway, surprise, surprise, here comes the sun, it’s the optimistic song ending…
Okay, just getting by isn’t the happiest of happy endings but in the context of completing Side One it’s positively glowing.
Welcome to my World is full of betrayal and trauma. Spitfire is war; a rockin’ anti-Nazi classic. Johnny Depp reminds us there’s a world of abuse and calculating narcissists out there.
Then comes Big Heart sending love and kisses to all, and hope, don’t forget hope. Let’s hope Side Two can live up to the rollercoaster ride that is Side One.
Brankholm Brae, the stunning debut album from TwinsTown, is out of the studio, Tpot Studios, Path of Condie, to be exact, and publishing plans are ongoing.
In case you’re wondering why I have wee road signs for the songs, Brankholm Brae is a road in Rosyth and we expect the cover art for the back of the album to be a photograph of the whole band pictured with the actual Brankholm Brae road sign. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 I can’t get everyone together for a photoshoot. My camera is snapping lonely snowdrifts and the like.
As I suspected when posting yesterday, the final master mixes for TwinsTown’s Brankholm Brae arrived last night.
Appropriate really, as the next song to be previewed here is track 4. Something New and it’s the song introducing the band’s current line up, featuring Mark Guyan, Wayne Robertson and Harry Dixon.
Along with Wayne on drums and Harry on guitar, piano man Mark Guyan has added a touch of class to proceedings, a whole new dimension.
I had a wee listen to the new mixes on arrival but I’ll be blasting them later today.
On Something New one wee update incorporated by producer Robin at Tpot is making Harry’s “Flare it!” shouts a bit more prominent.
The green light on Brankholm Brae is drawing ever closer.
Something New also finds Donald and Stuart dreaming of good times to come. Given our current Covid-19 crisis I think we all need the power of dreams right now. Something New either already is, or will be, a reality for many of us during 2021, and hopefully it’ll be something good.
All the best from TwinsTown.
The third track on Brankholm Brae, TwinsTown’s stunning debut album, is Last Romance and it has a cracking intro.
TwinsTown love a pop culture reference and as a fan of The Flintstones I have a yabba-dabba-doo time whenever Last Romance kicks in.
Fred Flintstone first came to our screens in the early 1960s and, beyond the intro, Last Romance continues the sixties feel with a storyline inspired by Neil Simon’s romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park.
Barefoot, a massive hit on Broadway, was turned into a 1967 feature film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.
Redford’s uptight lawyer doesn’t know which way to turn as freewheeling Fonda puts him in a twirl.
The song bounces along, much like the movie, with knockabout humour and snappy lines. This is TwinsTown in top form and Last Romance sits alongside the first two tracks, Welcome to my World and Spitfire, in a triumphant opening to Brankholm Brae. All the signs say this is going to be a truly great record.
In turn, these three songs are smooth, rockin’, and funny. They contrast with and compliment each other in equal measure, and the only way to go is to go on listening.
TwinsTown’s Brankholm Brae is coming soon. The final master mixes should arrive any day now. Producer Robin Wynn Evans is busily working on them at his Tpot Studios in Path of Condie.
While waiting, remember to have a yabba-dabba-doo time and if you do choose to walk barefoot through The Glen please only go with one other person / household, stay 2 metres apart at all times, and don’t dare have a drink. They’ll call it a picnic!
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 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 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.
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.
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.”
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!”
Better late than never. Not Dovv aka David Stevens, but us, TwinsTown.
On 4th December 2020 Dovv released Backstreets of Your Mind, a stunning new single, immediately striking favourable comparisons with The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.
A little less immediate is our reaction, but we love it!
Let us take you back a week and relive the Facebook announcement.
‘Backstreets of Your Mind’ is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Recorded & Produced by Alex Burrell at EFR Studios.
Video by the talented Iain Davidson.
All the love, Dovv.
https://open.spotify.com/track/5e2AT8yFPsK1etajKfwayq…https://music.apple.com/…/backstreets-of…/1540667739https://youtu.be/jKvw9oG2vFkDovv, 4th December 2020
Well done Dovv and all involved, including Ben Sharp of TwinsTown fame. Until very recently I didn’t know about Ben being “the king of all men”. Playing poker in the video for TwinsTown’s Double Trouble, I thought Ben was singing the king of all in. ‘All in’ being a well known poker move. Some might say my only poker move. I suppose we call him B-Sharp for a reason.
You can watch Ben in Double Trouble action with TwinsTown here: https://twins-town.com/video/.
Shortly after offering his devoted following a royal salute, Ben the king of all men joined The Stevie Agnew Band sans Stevie Agnew on stage at The White Gates.
“This boy is called Ben,” and he fairly gets around. Next up here the B-Sharp man is at Tpot Studios, Path of Condie, laying down backing vocals for Brankholm Brae, the forthcoming debut album from TwinsTown.
Before I go and to set the record straight, Ben says he prefers the king of all in. Bad news for me, I fancied that title for myself.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about Dovv and Backstreets of Your Mind. I’ve often seen David playing The Old Inn and he is always superb. The last time I spotted him was on stage with Oskar Braves at Oakley Miners’ Welfare Club or The 1925 Community Club as I think it is now known after a recent rebranding. They smashed it at what was a great night featuring an audience with music mogul and Creation Records label owner, Alan McGee, telling stories of his work with Oasis, Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and The Libertines, amongst others.
I love the Oskar Braves photograph above. If anyone knows who took it please let me know. It’s brilliant.
The video for Backstreets of Your Mind is good too. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKvw9oG2vFk.
Please support Dovv and all our outstanding local musicians. These times are tough.
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.
The chorus of Hollow Horse is memorable too.
The feel good factor for Wayne…? I’m thinking Jump by Van Halen.
Aztec Camera recorded a very gentle cover version of jump and Wayne can 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Yes, Donald is still standing – no thanks to Stuart.
Talking of Stuart…
Yes, you can count on toun legend Stevie Agnew to put a smile on Stuart’s face.
Last but not least, Harry. Last Christmas is too obvious a choice. Staying with George Michael I’ll pick Careless Whisper for The Duke.
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.
Harry is a werewolf. At least, that’s the explanation I prefer. Any other logic I come up with is infinitely less palatable.
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.
As Harry and Jack prepared to leave Tappies, a man throwing darts warned, “Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.”
Another playing chess advised, “Beware the moon, lads.”
A feeling of apprehension fell over the pair. They glanced towards the bar hoping for reassurance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is Brankholm Brae? It’s the wild, wild west of 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.
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.
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.
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: Hornet aka Donald.
Stuart, Wayne and you were Wingnuts and Wolves before TwinsTown. How is the new band going? We couldn’t be happier with TwinsTown. I’m buzzing. It’s fate, us all coming together; Harry, Mark, Billy and you.
Hopefully our next recording trip to Tpot Studios in Path of Condie will be free of Covid-19 restrictions. I hope so, we are booked in for the end of November and it should be a special weekend. Completing our debut album Brankholm Brae is growing ever-closer.
Apart from Big Daddy the manager, I hear you’re the driving force of TwinsTown, a sort of band leader or club captain in football parlance… We’re all captains.
I see you organising and being the most sensible, although I also hear that one of you goes bananas occasionally. Is it you? No comment.
Something about the wrath of the rum…? That’s a track on our debut album, Brankholm Brae. We wrote it back in our Wingnuts days and it’s completely a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents in the song are the products of our imaginations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Why are you consulting with your solicitor…? Moving on. Are you in the news? Yes, the Dunfermline Press, all about TwinsTown recording Brankholm Brae at Tpot Studios in Path of Condie.
Is the recording going well? No one has gone bananas. That’s always a good thing. Not even Robin, the studio engineer, has lost the plot, and he has to spend 12-hour shifts working with Stuart and me.
Your band manager Big Daddy went a wee bit bananas, didn’t he? Well, aye, but that was in Dunfermline the morning before the recording started. Robin and I were house on fire in the studio.
I’ve actually seen you go bananas. Mind that time in Toastie’s practice suite when you roared: “ARE YOU JUST PHONING IN THE CHORUS!?” He wis PHONING IN the chorus!
You having none of it, aye? AYE!
Do say: “Keep the heid,” and “Quick, hide the OVD”.
Don’t say: “Is that Donald going bananas, AGAIN!?”