Welcome to Millbrig, the duo made up of myself (Penny Wells) and Steve Allan.
The name 'Millbrig' reflects the agricultural history around here, as 'Millbrig' incorporates the working ‘mill’ and the stream running through it, and the stone 'bridge’ crossing over the stream, which is still in place today. The Scots pronounce ‘mill bridge’ as ‘mill brig’ hence the band name.
The cluster of stone buildings originally housed the mill, more recently one of the outhouses was converted to become a seed merchant’s office. However, the farming family who own this land have families of their own now, and one them has replaced the seed building with a new house, right behind the Millbrig barn. Although ‘Millbrig' has now ceased to be my geographical base, it has become, through our music (past and present), a shared social phenomenon.
Who are we?
I am an ordinary woman, just about keeping my head above the water. I am also a peace activist, although a passive activist, and I am a mother. Like many other single parents, I struggle to provide for my children, and keep a roof over our heads. The advantages of renting Millbrig brought me the freedom of not being tied down, and not waking up in debt to the bank manager every day of my life with a large mortgage. Weigh that up against paying excessive rent to an over eager landlady for the one bedroom barn for two years, whilst sleeping on the floor in the kitchen (my offspring having the bedroom). Add that to having nothing of value, it is hardly surprising I have stayed single for a while...the perfect state for song-writing, in my experience.
And Steve? Well, that's another deep and unsolved mystery.
But less of life's woes, unrequited love, broken promises, desolation and a woman 'cast out' with nothing more than the clothes she stands up in - on with life. We appear to be two creative spirits and have, as Millbrig, developed a collective identity of who we are, whilst growing as two individual musicians. My teenagers are baffled by this sudden, musical turn. And rather than hide this music away, we throw open the barn windows, (much to their annoyance) so that you too might hear our words and Millbrig music if you have the time, or the inclination. And if you don't mind protest and anti-war songs such as ‘Rue The Day’, ‘Old Soldier’ ‘Song for Syria’ etc. However, not all our songs are protest songs....there is the usual sprinkling of story-telling, love, heart-break and melancholia, so common amongst us creative types.
All studio production to date has been done by Steve Allan as Yorlum ( www.yorlum.com) in collaboration with me. He works his magic from a small, cliff-side, stone cottage about an hours’ drive from here, and is as creative, although perhaps not quite as bonkers, as me. He can also play the guitar (and many other things) which contrasts greatly with the few meagre chords that I can muster, and he sings in tune, which I have never claimed to.
We perform as Millbrig much of the time, but prefer a quieter, appreciative audience and good acoustics to a noisy pub. We have also played live sessions on local community radio, although have been unlucky with the sound quality and it's transmission, and we have played at folk festivals in the NE of Scotland for the last two years. But enough talking, and on with the show.
We hope you enjoy your visit to Millbrig.
Penny and Steve
Part 1 - Millbrig unplugged 2017
Part 2 - Millbrig unplugged
Millbrig at the studios - an exercise in mime
All content on this site owned and copyright 2017 to Millbrig Music Ltd.