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Monday, 9 May 2011

BMX Bandits in Clash

BMX Bandits are set to re-issue their early albums 'C86' and 'Star Wars' on CD for the first time in a decade.

Ah, Glasgow. The masculine identity of the city is deeply entrenched, yet alongside this the area has a dual role as perhaps the cradle of indie pop. From Orange Juice to Camera Obscura the city has birthed countless seminal groups in the genre.

Sadly neglected, BMX Bandits could be set to get their due. Inspired by 60s pop and whimsical indie, the band's initial blast of material was released on 53rd and 3rd - a label run by Stephen McRobbie.

Focussing on their first album, BMX Bandits quickly re-jigged their line up. Singer (and only continuing member) Duglas T Stewart was joined by some indie contemporaries, including Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub.

Debut album 'C86' was a joyous, satirical swipe at the scene which spawned them. The title was an ironic swipe at the infamous cassette, whose tracklisting threatened to push the indie scene into a bottleneck.

The songwriting was a mixture of Byrds style pop and indie, and while BMX Bandits were viewed as twee the band themselves saw their style as being provocative. Rather than a celebration, 'C86' was intended as a threat.

“I saw it as ironic and provocative" explains Stewart. "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.”

For the follow up, BMX Bandits invited another soon to be legendary indie figure on board - Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines. 'Star Wars' deepened the eclecticism of their debut, containing a deep emotional rush.

The version of 'Green Grow The Rushes' is exceptional, while the original material brought comparisons to an indie Brian Wilson.

Due to be re-issued with extensive sleevenotes, this is the first time in a decade that 'C86' / 'Star Wars' have been available on CD. Hopefully allowing the band's influence to be felt, BMX Bandits are still writing and recording and plan to unleash a new album on the world in time for their 25th anniversary.

BMX Bandits are due to release 'C86' / 'Star Wars' in April.

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