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The Bluebells are a Scottish indie rock band, active between 1981 and 1986 (later briefly reforming in 1993, 2008–2009, 2011 and 2018).
The Bluebells performed jangly guitar based pop not dissimilar to their Scottish contemporaries Aztec Camera and Orange Juice. They had three Top 40 hit singles in the UK, all written by guitarist and founder member Bobby Bluebell (real name Robert Hodgens) – "I'm Falling", "Cath", and their biggest success "Young at Heart". The last was co-written with Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama (originally recorded on the Bananarama album Deep Sea Skiving) and violinist Bobby Valentino, and made it to number 8 in the UK Singles Chart on its original release in 1984. The band also released one EP, The Bluebells, and one full-length album, Sisters.
The band split up in the mid 1980s, but enjoyed an unexpected revival in 1993 when "Young at Heart" was used in a Volkswagen television advertisement. Re-issued as a single, it was number one for four weeks and led to the band reforming temporarily to perform the song on BBC Television's Top of the Pops. A compilation album followed, The Singles Collection, which peaked at No. 27 in the UK Albums Chart in April 1993.
The band reformed in late 2008, with original members the McCluskey brothers and Bobby Bluebell, to support Edwyn Collins at a show in Glasgow on 23 January 2009. On 29 May 2011, the band performed as part of the Southside Festival. On 17 December 2018, the band performed on a Christmas edition of The Quay Sessions for BBC Scotland.
After the group's demise, band member Lawrence Donegan played with The Commotions and then trained as a journalist and is now a golf correspondent for The Guardian, having previously worked at The Scotsman. The other members of the band stayed in the music business after the split – David McCluskey and his brother, Ken, formed a folk duo. Ken also works as a lecturer at Stow College in Glasgow teaching music business, and David uses music therapeutically with a wide variety of people. Robert Hodgens returned to DJ duties and more recently formed a new group called The Poems who signed to the American label Minty Fresh.
- Bobby Bluebell (born Robert Hodgens, 6 June 1957, Scotland) – guitar
- David McCluskey (born 13 January 1964, Hamilton, Scotland) – drums
- Ken McCluskey (born Kenneth McCluskey, 8 February 1962, Hamilton, Scotland) – vocals / harmonica
- Lawrence Donegan (born 13 July 1961, Stirling, Scotland) – bass
- Craig Gannon (born 30 July 1966, Manchester, England) – guitar
- Neil Baldwin – bass
- Russell Irvine – guitar
- Gary Crowley - guitar and wee peaked cap
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|The Bluebells EP||
|The Singles Collection||
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|1982||"Forever More"||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|1983||"Cath"||62||—||—||—||The Bluebells EP|
|"Sugar Bridge (It Will Stand)"||72||—||—||—|
|"Young at Heart"||8||—||13||—|
|1985||"All I Am (Is Loving You)"||58||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|1993||"Young at Heart" (re-issue)||1||55||1||15||
||The Singles Collection|
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 66. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "UK Albums". Official Chart Company. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "Swedish Albums". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- "UK Singles". The Official Charts Company UK. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "German Singles". offiziellecharts. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "Irish Singles". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "Dutch Singles". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "British Certifications". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-05-18.