Duglas T Stewart is the nearest thing we have to pop royalty in Scotland.
Back in 1986, he formed BMX Bandits who are still going strong today. Over the years, Duglas’s band has had almost as many members as have at one time been part of The Fall – the wiki entry on the band has some 25 musicians listed as current or past members.
To be fair, a number of the names were only in the band on a temporary basis, often for a one-off single or as part of a live band for a few shows. Back in 1991, an incredible line-up came together for the recording of what would be the band’s second studio LP and in particular its lead-off single Come Clean which, as the back of the 12″ single says was performed by
Duglas Stewart, Joe McAlinden, Norman Blake, Francis MacDonald, Gordon Keen and Eugene Kelly,
all of whom have, over many many years, been hugely influential in the development of the indie music scene in Scotland as performers, writers and producers amidst a myriad of bands including of course Teenage Fanclub and The Vaselines, but also the lesser known but hugely admired Captain America, Eugenius and Superstar.
Come Clean is a cracking pop song which captures perfectly so much of what was going on musically around these parts in 1991/92 and if it wasn’t for Duglas’s distinctive and unusual vocal style (he’s not the most classical singer you’ll ever hear in your life) then you could have been guessing at a few bands as being behind the songs (no real surprise really given how interchangeable everyone seemed to be).
mp3 : BMX Bandits – Come Clean
The two other tracks on the 12″ contain a song on which Duglas allows someone else to sing (I’m pretty sure its Joe McAlinden) along with a track lifted from the debut album C90 and which remains a live favourite all these years on:-
mp3 : BMX Bandits – Retitled
mp3 : BMX Bandits – Let Mother Nature Be Your Guide
These three tracks appear on one side of the vinyl. Flip it over and you get a tremendous tongue-in-cheek tribute to Madchester and baggy…..or perhaps a sly dig at their good mates Soup Dragons who had abandoned the sort of indie guitar music that had dominated their debut recordings and gone down the route of dance with a touch of the Happy Mondays:-
mp3 : BMX Bandits – Come Clean (Jumping On Someone Else’s Funky Train Mix)