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The first two BMX Bandits album recorded in 1989 and 1991 are undoubted highlights of
the Scottish indie scene. In fact, THE indie scene! Not only have the Bandits
inspired later practitioners like Belle & Sebastian and Comet Gain, they virtually
laid the foundations for that very melodic vein of Scottish pop that is now loved
the world over.

To mark the innovative band’s 25th anniversary, their first two albums (not
available on CD for over 10 years) have not only been expanded and remastered but
also offer major insights from Duglas T. Stewart.

C86 was recorded shortly after debut single ‘E102’, in the same studio as Teenage
Fanclub's A Catholic Education. (as the indiely educated amongst you will know, the
two bands shared members in Norman Blake and Francis Macdonald). The C86 phrase had
been invented by the NME as the title to their genre defining C86 cassette. This
included music by jangly indie stalwarts Primal Scream, The Mighty Lemon Drops and
The Wedding Present. Oddly the paper turned down any involvement from The BMX
Bandits... thus three years later they wittily christened their debut album C86 with
a defiant, or more like chirpy, finger in the air. Further still, by the time of the
album’s 1989 release the Bandits were being called C86 in a somewhat negative
manner. Clearly the title worked on many levels. Of this Duglas says, “I saw it as
ironic and provocative. I'd heard a story that Richard Hell used to walk around New
York in the mid-70s wearing a T-shirt with a target on it and the slogan "Please
Kill Me". For me our choice of title was like us holding up a target to those who
might want to shoot us down.” The end result was “an electric set that ranged from
the rumbustuous 'Right Across The Street', through the bossanova swing of 'Rimbaud
And Me' to the ironic folknik hoedown of the title track. Such performances were a
cheeky riposte to those eager to pigeon-hole the group.”

Follow up album Star Wars marked the arrival of Eugene Kelly (The Vaselines) in the
group's line up.  Teenage Fanclub had become a huge concern and Norman and Francis
at this time needed to focus on their own band. Star Wars was a far more
sophisticated album than its predecessor, which saw Duglas’s songs and musical
leanings moving further away from his contemporaries. In a word, this is music that
is: INNOCENT! To this day its influence can still be heard in a legion of new indie
bands, and the record’s sunshine kissed inspirations echo loudly around the
catacombs of the mind. The highlights included the lovely ‘Extraordinary', a moving
version of 'Green Grow The Rushes' and the haunting title track which merged a call
to arms chorus with a Brian Wilson-styled melody.

The BMX Bandits are currently writing new material and preparing for a number of
concerts in light of the quarter centenary. To interview Duglas please contact No

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