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BMX Bandits

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Bellshill, Glasgow, United Kingdom (1986 – present)

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 humour 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.

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 include 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 other 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 2006 release of My Chain. Stewart’s writing on the album was compared to Brian Wilson, Michel Legrand, Ennio Morricone and even Alan Bennett.

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