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Bis performing in 2012. L-R: John Disco, Sci-fi Steven, Manda Rin.
Do Yourself In
|Associated acts||The Kitchen
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Cor Ysgol Glanaethwy
Bis are a Scottish indie pop band composed of Steven Clark (Sci-fi Steven), John Clark (John Disco), and Amanda MacKinnon (Manda Rin). The band's name, rhyming with 'this', derives from "Black Iron Skyline", a lyric from the song "Twilight of a Champion" by The The. Formed in 1994, the band broke up in 2003, but reformed briefly in 2007 for a series of concerts. In 2009 they reformed again, and released a new album in 2014.
The three musicians formed Bis in 1994, when Rin and Disco were in secondary school and Steven had recently finished there. About a year later, they appeared on BBC Television's Top of the Pops performing "Kandy Pop" from their Secret Vampire Soundtrack EP ahead of its release: much being made at the time about them being the first 'unsigned' band to do so (in reality dozens of bands – especially in the late 1970s and 'novelty' acts – had appeared on the show with singles released on labels they had no formal contract with other than as a distributor or, like Bis, on a single by single basis).
Bis released a number of EPs, three of which entered the UK Singles Chart. In the late 1990s "Eurodisco", from their album Social Dancing, became a minor success for the band in Australia as well as the UK.
Rise to fame
The band's early releases were on Glasgow's Chemikal Underground label, run by The Delgados, before transferring to Wiiija where labelmates included Cornershop. In the United States, their records appeared on the underground label K Records, and on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label. They toured extensively both in the UK and abroad— their diverse influences reflected in the kind of acts they appeared with: Pavement, Garbage, Luscious Jackson, Foo Fighters and Gary Numan amongst them.
The group became a favourite of the likes of Blur, John Peel and Green Day, despite a particularly hostile review by Steven Wells in the New Musical Express entitled "The Sinking of the Bis-Lark".
The U.S. first encountered the band during the closing credits of The Powerpuff Girls animated series. Their song "Detour" was also given some radio airplay in the U.S. They enjoyed a period of success in Japan, selling nearly 100,000 copies of their debut album in its first week of release, but future releases failed to be anywhere near as successful.
Split and future projects
The band broke up in 2003, after playing a farewell show at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. All remained active in the local music scene. Steven and John Disco played in Dirty Hospital and Rin acted as a DJ. Rin was also in a band called The Kitchen, whilst Disco joined the ska band, The Amphetameanies, which included members of Belle & Sebastian and Pink Kross.
In 2005, they announced on the official Bis website that together they had formed a new band, called Data Panik with Stuart Memo on bass and drummer Graham Christie. After releasing two 7" singles, however, the band split up.
As of 2006 Rin was working on solo material. In 2007 she teamed up with the Scottish electro-pop outfit, Juno!, and has collaborated on their independently released singles, "Smoke & Mirrors" and "These Boys Are Athletes", as well as regularly appearing live with the band, most recently at the Rock Ness 2008 Festival.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the release of their debut album The New Transistor Heroes, Bis re-formed in April 2007 for three shows in Glasgow, Manchester, and London. A greatest hits compilation titled We Are Bis from Glasgow, Scotland was released on compact disc to coincide with these shows.
In August 2008, Rin released the solo single, "DNA", which she followed up with the release of her debut album, My DNA with "This Is Fake DIY" in September 2008.
More recently, singer Manda Rin provided the artwork for an iPhone game called "All Fridges Are Psychotic". She has also made two guest appearances on the BBC music quiz programme Never Mind the Buzzcocks (on 18 November 2010 and 19 January 2011). She also teamed up with Hyperbubble on a track for their 2011 album Drastic Cinematic.
In November 2009, Rin announced that the band would reform to play at the Primavera Festival in May 2010.
|Title||Album details||Chart positions|
|The New Transistor Heroes||55||19|
|Return to Central||
|Data Panik Etcetera||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- Play Some Real Songs: A Bis Live CD (2001, only sold through the Bis website)
- Icky-Poo Air Raid (1997, Rock)
- Intendo (1998, Grand Royal)
- I Love Bis (2001, Micro Inc.)
- Plastique Nouveau (2002, spinART)
- We Are Bis from Glasgow, Scotland (2007, Cherry Red)
- Transmissions on the Teen-C Tip! (1995, Acuarela)
- Disco Nation 45 (1995, Chemikal Underground)
- The Secret Vampire Soundtrack (1996, Chemikal Underground) UK No. 25
- Bis vs. the D.I.Y. Corps (1996, teen-c recordings) UK No. 45
- Atom-Powered Action! (1996, Wiiija) UK No. 54
- This Is Teen-C Power! (1996, Grand Royal)
- Techno Disco Lovers (1998, V2 & PIAS)
- Music for a Stranger World (2000, Wiiija, Lookout! & V2)
- fukd ID No. 5 (2001, Chemikal Underground)
- Fact 2002 (2001, Optimo Singles Club and Other Related Recordings)
- Plastique 33 (2002, spinART)
- "Sweet Shop Avengerz" (1997, Tristar/Sony) – (1997, Wiiija) UK No. 46
- "Everybody Thinks That They're Going To Get Theirs" (1997, Wiiija & Shock) – (1997, Tristar/Sony) UK No. 64
- "Tell It to the Kids" (1997, Sony Japan)
- "Kid Cut (Demo Version)" (1997) (One-sided 7" single given out at gigs in Glasgow and London)
- "Eurodisco" (1998, Wiiija, Grand Royal/Capitol) UK No. 37, BE No. 41
- "Action and Drama" (1999, Wiiija, Shock) UK No. 50
- "Detour" (1999, Wiiija & Grand Royal) UK No. 84
- "What You're Afraid Of" (2001, spinART)
- "Protection" (2001, Tilt)
- "The End Starts Today" (2002, Artful)
- "Rulers and the States" (2014, Rough Trade)
- "Trophy Girlfriend" b/w "Keroleen" – Heavenly/Bis split (1996, K)
- "Pop Song" / "Clockwork Punk" b/w "Rococo Neggro" / "Harrap Ageing Fast" – Lugworm/Bis split (1997, Guided Missile)
- "Signal in the Sky (Let's Go)" b/w "The Powerpuff Girls (End Theme)" – Bis/The Apples in Stereo split (2000, Kid Rhino)
Various artist compilations
- Songs About Plucking (1996, Fierce Panda) – "Super James"
- The Smiths Is Dead (1996, Small Records) – "The Boy with a Thorn in His Side"
- Random (1997, Beggar Banquet) – "We Are So Fragile"
- At Home with the Groovebox (2000, Grand Royal) – "Oh My"
- The Powerpuff Girls – Heroes and Villains (2000, Rhino Entertainment) – "Fight the Power" and "The Powerpuff Girls (End Theme)"
- The Powerpuff Girls – The City of Soundsville (2001, Rhino Entertainment) – "Super Secret City of Soundsville Song"
- The Powerpuff Girls – Power Pop (2003, Rhino Entertainment) – "Powerpunk End Theme"
- "Kandy Pop" (1996)
- "This Is Fake D.I.Y" (1996)
- "Starbright Boy" (1997)
- "Sweet Shop Avengerz" (1997)
- "Tell it to the Kids" (1997)
- "Everybody Thinks They're Going To Get Theirs" (1997)
- "Eurodisco" (1998)
- "Action and Drama" (1999)
- "Detour" (1999)
- "The End Starts Today (Single Edit)" (2001)
- MySpace.com – manda rin – Glasgow, Scotland – Alternative / Electrique / Pop Punk – www.myspace.com/musicmandarin
- Flag Hippo – All Fridges Are Psychotic
- Clash Music – Bis to release new album
- bis, 'data Panik etcetera' – Exclusive Album Stream
- "UK Chartlog". zobbel.de. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "Japan: Album positions". oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "ultratop.be – Discografie Bis". 2006–2011 Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-05-24.