BMX Bandits (band)
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|Genres||Indie rock, indie pop|
|Labels||Elefant Records, Creation|
|Associated acts||Teenage Fanclub, The Soup Dragons, Eugenius, The Vaselines, The Primary 5, Superstar|
Duglas T. Stewart
Sushil K. Dade
BMX Bandits are a Scottish 1960s-influenced guitar pop band who have been making music from 1986 to the present day. They have shared members with other Bellshill bands Teenage Fanclub and The Soup Dragons.
BMX Bandits were formed by songwriter and lead vocalist Duglas T. Stewart out of the ashes of The Pretty Flowers, a group that featured Stewart alongside Frances McKee (later of The Vaselines), Sean Dickson and Norman Blake. The group have had many line up changes throughout the years.
Their songs mix melodic qualities and humor with, at times, raw and heartbreaking pathos. Stewart has written many of the group's works solo including "Your Class", "The Sailor's Song" and "Doorways" but also has collaborated with many of the other members. Stewart's most regular songwriting partners have been Francis MacDonald, Norman Blake and, more recently, David Scott of The Pearlfishers.
The group's most celebrated song is the autobiographical "Serious Drugs", recorded in 1991 but not released until 1993. The song featured in the movie This Year's Love and was covered by American stadium power pop group Gigolo Aunts. Oasis did their first UK tour dates supporting the Bandits as a favour from Stewart to Creation label boss Alan McGee. BMX Bandits admirers included Kurt Cobain, who was photographed wearing a BMX Bandits T-shirt. Cobain claimed on a New York radio show that if he could be in any band it would be BMX Bandits.
Stewart split with long term musical partner Francis MacDonald in 2005 but 2006 saw a new wave of live concert activity and the release of My Chain. Stewart's writing on the album was compared to Brian Wilson, Michel Legrand, Ennio Morricone and even Alan Bennett. The line up was expanded by the arrival of Stewart's friend David Scott and new female vocalist Rachel Mackenzie (now Rachel Allison).
The follow-up, 2007's Bee Stings, was influenced by classic girl group pop plus the mellow A & M sound of the late 1960s and early 70s. Bee Stings features Allison singing lead on half the tracks including "Our Secret Life" co-written by Allison and former band member Norman Blake.
A feature-length documentary called "Serious Drugs – Duglas and the Music of BMX Bandits" was premiered at Glasgow Film Theater as part of Glasgow Popfest 2011. Jim Burns the producer/director is initially targeting film and music festivals before releasing a DVD/Blu-ray version of the film.
Original group member Jim McCulloch re-joined the group and was Stewart's major writing partner on the next album release. BMX Bandits in Space was released on Elefant Records in 2012. The album also featured contributions from original BMX Bandit member Sean Dickson, Argentinian multi-instrumentalist Cineplexx and Japanese rock group Plectrum. Shortly after the album's release Rachel Allison departed the group. Chloe Philip joined in 2013 providing vocals, flute and keyboards. "BMX Bandits Forever" the group's tenth studio album was released by Elefant Records in May 2017. Stewart's main writing partner on this album was Stuart Kidd who rejoined the group in 2014. The album also contain a collaboration with Brian Jonestown Massacre leader Anton Newcombe.
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- C86 (BMX Bandits album) (1989 Click)
- Star Wars (1991 Vinyl Japan)
- Life Goes On (1993 Creation/TriStar Music)
- Gettin' Dirty (1995 Creation)
- Theme Park (1996 Creation/Big Deal)
- Down at the Hop (2003 Shoeshine)
- My Chain (2006 REVOLA)
- Bee Stings (2007 REVOLA)
- In Space (2012 Elefant)
- Forever (2017 Elefant)
- Duglas Stewart's Frankenstein (1996 Vinyl Japan) (solo album featuring contributions from other BMX Bandits)
- Gordon Keen & His BMX Bandits (1992 Sunflower)
- E102 (1986 53rd & 3rd)
- The Day Before Tomorrow + What a Wonderful World (1986 53rd & 3rd)
- Figure 4 (1987 53rd & 3rd)
- Islands in the Stream flexi single (1989 Waaah)
- Come Clean (1991 Vinyl Japan)
- Someone To Share My Life With split single with TV Personalities (1991 Clawfist)
- Serious Drugs (1992 Creation)
- Kylie's Got a Crush on Us (1993 Creation)
- Little Hands (1993 Creation)
- Serious Drugs + Little Pony (1994 Creation)
- Gettin' Dirty (1994 Creation)
- That Summer Feeling (1995 Creation)
- Help Me Somebody + Golden Teardrops (1996 Shoeshine)
- We're Gonna Shake You Down (1996 Creation)
- Whirlpool + Honey Honey (1996 Emma's House)
- Doorways + The Sailor's Song (2006 Click!)
- Hello Young Lovers (2007 PoppyDisc)
- BMX Bandits Love e.p. (2009 Elefant Records)
- Listen To Some Music (2012 Elefant Records)
- All Around The World (2013 Elefant Records)
- Beautiful Friend e.p. (2013 Elefant Records)
- My Girl Midge single (2014 Elefant Records)
- C86 Plus (1992 Vinyl Japan/Elefant) (compilation)
- 53rd and 3rd Years (1999 Avalanche) (compilation)
- On the Radio, 1986–1996 (2003 Vinyl Japan) (compilation)
- Serious Drugs – the Creation Years (2005 Castle) (best of... compilation)
- The Rise and Fall of BMX Bandits (2009 Elefant)
- Totally Groovy Live Experience (1989 Avalanche)
- Hidden Agenda (with Kim Fowley) (1997 Receiver) (without the group's blessing)
Over the years the membership of the group has fluctuated. Only vocalist Duglas T. Stewart has been a permanent member.
- Norman Blake
- Jamie Cameron
- Sushil K. Dade
- Sean Dickson
- John Hogarty
- Gordon Keen
- Eugene Kelly
- David Scott
- Martin Kirwan
- Francis MacDonald
- Joseph McAlinden
- Gareth Perrie
- Rachel Allison
- Willie McArdle
- Brian McEwan
- James McEwan
- Gabriel Telerman
- "BMX Bandits – news, lyrics, pictures, reviews, biography, videos, best songs, discography, concerts, gossip, pictures and tour dates". Nme.com. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- "Music Scotland – The Vault – Biogs". BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Ankeny, Jason. "BMX Bandits". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- "BMX Bandits". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Film, British Council. "British Council Film: Teenage Superstars". film.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
- "BMX Bandits". BMX Bandits. Retrieved 2017-07-11.