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The Twistettes

Sisters doing it themselves (with Jo and Nicky D'arc)

By • Nov 2nd, 2018 • Category: features

Rock is littered with tales of sibling rivalry – from the Gallaghers to the Kinks, the closest of family relationships can become strained when together put in a tourbus.

But Fife-based duo Jo and Nicky Darc have got to the difficult second album without any ill effects. Like their debut ‘Jit The Jive’, The Twistettes’ new long player ‘A Strange Play’ is a grungy stripped back 11 tracks that captures their live sound perfectly.

“We were always going to maintain that raw punk vibe,” says bassist Jo. “It’s what we do and we love to play this kind of music. We recorded and mixed the full thing in two days so it’s got a relatively rough and ready sound. We stray a little more from the punk drum beats in one or two tracks while trying not to lose the simple feel.”

Fortunately the songwriting process is a simple one, as Jo reveals.

“Musically, we have a pretty standard writing method that doesn’t really invite rivalry. I usually come up with the lyrics and chords on acoustic guitar then we jam it out to give it form. Either that or we might jam around a riff then I go away and write the song based around that.”

The collaborative process is one which could be a minefield for some bands.

“Nicky isn’t slow in telling me if what I’ve written isn’t good enough,” Jo smiles. “It works well and we don’t get offended. You need a bit of brutality in the songwriting process.”

Which is as well, with Jo also taking on writing the words – and on this occasion compiling them in a lyric book.

“Yes, all our music has a message – we address society, love, hate, sexuality, capitalism, womanhood and a load more. But I like that different people take different things from the songs, so I don’t really like to define them too much.

“I suppose the main thread is expressed in the title,” she continues. “The world is a ‘strange play’. There are lots of things going on that are
abhorrent to us and the frustration of this is immense. Sometimes we feel like we have control, others we feel like we are being led like a puppet around every corner without even being aware of it. The questioning of why do we do what we do, say what we say, think what we think is key.”

The two sisters have played in bands together since their teens – they even plan to release a long-standing trip hop mini-album next year. And as well as DJing, Jo also finds the time to lend her talents to a host of other acts including The Girobabies and Colonel Mustard.

“I love music and really see it as something I need to do,” she enthuses.

But although they have played in three and four pieces, working as a duo is where the sisters’ hearts lie, it seems.

“I love the simplicity of the two-piece set up, with both Sleaford Mods and Slaves being favourites of the band. It minimises politics with fewer people to keep happy and it certainly does make logistics much easier.”

So the sibling rival cliche doesn’t apply? Nicky joins us, right on cue. “Do we have any? I thought all that kind of thing went when we left our teens. We work pretty well together”.

Jo agrees.“We definitely came to blows a few times as teenagers over one of us pinching the other’s clothes, make-up or some other equally
irrelevant thing. Nowadays it’s not a thing though. We really are lucky, we are sisters, bandmates and best pals all rolled into one. “

‘A Strange Play’ is out now. More at www.facebook.com/thetwistettes

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