Thursday, February 4, 2021

Take Rides Back in Time With BMX Bandits

Since the recent airing of 'Teenage Superstars' (the 2017 documentary chronicling the indie scene in 1980s Glasgow) on Sky Arts, our little corner of the Internet has been awash with posts on the Pastels, Shop Assistants and many more. Feels like heaven. Wait, Fiction Factory is Perth and the wrong, well, everything. My apologies. Anyway, keep up the good work, bloggers. It has been a pleasure.

I hope all of this attention has Duglas T. Stewart feeling less like a cult curiosity and more like a bona-fide hero. He deserves it. With all of the recent reissues and still more just around the bend, it certainly seems like, especially, the earliest work of BMX Bandits is getting a good reassessment. I picked up a nice copy of 'C86' back in the fall (No. 16 on my list of best reissues), and we have these to look forward to in the near future...

As mentioned in an earlier post, Precious Recordings of London is a new label focusing its talents on releasing BBC sessions from indie-pop's golden age, and these two beauties will drop on or about March 1. The format for each is double 7" with gatefold sleeve and includes sleeve notes from Duglas himself. A few postcards will be thrown in as well. As you can see from the dates on the covers, both BBC appearances are very early. We didn't really know it then, but BMX Bandits was an all-star band in the making.

I should warn you these records do not come cheap, particularly if you have to have them shipped halfway around the world. When the dust settled, my pre-order came out to a whopping $50. Still, if the download of "Strawberry Sunday" I received immediately is any indication, I'm in for a real treat. I love that song. You may remember the live version that was on the 12" of "Sad"/"E102" back in '86. If not, perhaps the studio version found on 'C86/Plus' or the 'Big Gold Dreams' box rings a bell. Well, this version from the Janice Long session is a different kettle of fish. Give it a listen above.

Here's another one for you to consider. On May 4, Last Night From Glasgow's reissue arm Past Night From Glasgow will bring you a 30th anniversary repress of BMX Bandit's second album 'Star Wars.' I preordered this one way back in early December as a companion to that 'C86' reissue I got last fall because...
This 2-in-1 CD is the only copy I have of 'Star Wars.' Quite an ugly and unimaginative cover, eh? I want to thank Rev-Ola for releasing it a decade ago when I was desperate for these albums, but it will be a pleasure to retire this one. What a who's-who of Scottish legends the BMX Bandits were for 'Star Wars.' Duglas was joined by Joe McAlinden, Norman Blake, Eugene Kelly, Gordon Keen and Francis Macdonald. Enough said, really. For those who haven't pre-ordered from Past Night From Glasgow, another option would be Monorail. Stephen will have exclusive magenta vinyl and a signed Risoprint. At any rate, if you don't have 'Star Wars' yet, there's "a new hope." Sorry. That's terrible.

Come Clean


Charity Chic said...

Star Wars has been ordered Brian

C said...

Brian, I thought of you immediately when Teenage Superstars was on! It was superb, and I fell a little bit in love with everyone on it - what a fantastic bunch of outsider characters and scene. I thought Duglas was particularly endearing - "bona-fide hero" sounds right to me!

Swiss Adam said...

Keep it coming Brian. The posts I mean- not the Star Wars puns.

Brian said...

Wondered if maybe you had, CC. I know you're a fan of the label.

Hi, C. I saw that you had viewed it (maybe at Adam's place?). Duglas is a lovable ham. Still putting out some pretty good albums too. I really liked BMX Bandits Forever.

Adam, The force wasn't with me, but it did feel forced.