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.
Where can I find their music? CD and downloads available 19 January 2018
Listen to clips from the new release NOW by clicking on link below:-
OK, so our music has been freely available on soundcloud up to now, but recently we decided to make it available by download from spotify, and i-tunes etc. and on cd from amazon. The release date is 19 January 2018. The album is (funnily enough) entitled 'Millbrig'. Happy New Year!
So who's Penny then?
I'm 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, although not a very good one. Like many other single parents, I struggle to provide for my children, and keep a roof over our heads. I live hand to mouth and have nothing but wages I bring in. And that's a bit sketchy. Hardly surprising I have stayed single...the perfect state for song-writing, in my experience. That is unlikely to change, so I guess I will be songwriting for a while.
And Steve? Well, that's another deep and unsolved mystery, and his business, not mine.
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 the show. We appear to be two creative spirits who have collided in the salubrious world of Aberdeenshire. and have, as Millbrig, developed a collective musical identity of what we do as Millbrig, 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. But I write the songs. The lyrics are getting more complex, and darker as time goes on. You can hear some on the 'music' tab n this site, or by searching soundcloud 'Millbrig'. Some of my best lyrics (When the line went down', 'Dark shores' and 'Insanity') are produced and available on Steve's site. It's complicated.
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. Recently we were played on digital radio in London. 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
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