- David-Ivar Herman Dune, March 2006
My Two Toms
Field Recordings and Two
Released 30 October 2006
My Two Toms formed in Newport in 2001 and moved to Bristol in 2002. One of them is called Cops, the other one Stubbs. They play instrumental songs on banjo, guitar, ukulele and xylophone.
Field Recordings and Two is their first two albums, originally self-released on CDR, now re-released as one cd, compiled like a jam sandwich with a bonus live track as the filling.
If you’re a fan of Bonnie Prince Billy, the ‘O Brother…’ soundtrack, The Anthology of American Folk Music, Richard Thompson or John Fahey, then this is for you.
“The melodies are direct, memorable, and inseparable from the interlocking harmonies that
are weaved around them. My Two Toms carries the traditions of the most memorable music; the
complexity found deep within the drone of the Appalachian Mountains, the spiraling melodies
of Northumberland pipe tunes, a simple song that stands well the test of time and is remembered not in a crazy-making way but as an old friend.”
– Charlie Parr, April 2006 (from the liner notes)
“It hurt right, like, you know, in the heart, where it's at, it spoke to me, straight,
you know? and I was there, I was a My Two Toms fan. So, I bought their album after the show,
wished they had it spinning 78RPM, it would have fitted their style. And then, well, I still have it, still listen to it, and I’m glad someone’s re-releasing it. I’ll buy it again, I’ll put it on for someone, a good friend and I’ll go: “Hey! You gotta listen to this, man, listen to this tune, man, it’s awesome!” or something like that!”
- David-Ivar Herman Dune, March 2006 (from the liner notes)
“An endearingly ramshackle charm belies the precision of the details”
– Careless Talk Costs Lives, issue 5, March/April 2003
"I've never heard of MY TWO TOMS before. Not unless I can count my two twin brothers
called Tom..... Am laugh a minute me.... You know how we like to straddle genres like the
musical whores we are. This week we're championing some nice old sounding Americana..
This is a comp of 2 x CDR's that the band self released ages ago... they're long out of
print and thankfully Mole In The Ground have wanged 'em out together on one lovely 22 track
disc. It's all instrumental songs utilising banjo, ukelele, guitar and xylophone. It sounds
incredibly authentic, well thought out and constructed and if that wasn't enough it's all
tremendous fun. If you're into John Fahey, Charlie Parr, Will Oldham's Ode Music and the
Roscoe Holcomb LP that Bo Weavil brought out you'll be wanting this. Absolutely brilliant."
My Two Toms are Tom Cops and Tom Stubbs. The duo formed in 2001 after they met on a film shoot in Newport, South Wales. Cops was taking the stills, and Stubbs was recording the sound. They annoyed the rest of the crew by playing banjo during the coffee breaks.
Within two weeks they were asked to play a show at the legendary TJ’s in Newport, so they hastily had to write some material. They continued this quick practical approach by recording their first album later that summer.
The album was recorded in one day, from the back of a van, using a mini disk and a small stereo microphone. “Field Recordings” was released on CDR through Slumber Party, and by February 2002, John Peel had played four tracks.
Both Toms relocated to Bristol in 2002 and became a regular on the Bristol music scene. They released their second album “Two” in 2003.
My Two Toms are currently working on their new record, featuring their sometime collaborators Matt Jones and Kate Wright (Movietone, Crescent).
When My Two Toms write music, they often use broken instruments and allow the remaining strings to dictate the structure and melody. They have a deceptive simplicity that can sometimes trigger images of rural landscapes. Their music is as familiar as an old children’s TV programme. It is also often driving and hints at folk and American country, with a very English slant.
My Two Toms have supported Animal Collective, Chatham County Line, Kimya Dawson, Herman Dune, Jeffrey Lewis, Mirah, Nina Nastasia, Joanna Newsom, and Charlie Parr among others. Their music has appeared on the soundtracks of several short films.
They are also one half of The Lonely Ponies, the other half being made up of the dynamic punk duo Bucky.
Further details and a full history of the band appear on the My Two Toms website at www.mytwotoms.co.uk.