The Motorcycle Boy formed in 1987 in Edinburgh with Alex Taylor (vocals, formerly of The Shop Assistants) along with Paul McDermott (drums), Michael Kerr (guitar), and Eddy Connelly (bass) (all formerly of Meat Whiplash), and David Scott (guitar).

Their pedigree was such that they were signed by Rough Trade for whom there was a debut single, Big Rock Candy Mountain, at which point the majors, the shape of Chrysalis Records, came calling.  Two singles saw the light of day in 1989, Trying To Be Kind, and You And Me Against The World, neither of which charted.  As is so often the case in such circumstances, the label got cold feet and chose not to release the already recorded debut album and quietly dropped the band from the roster.

Undeterred, the band, or what was left of them as there had been a bit in-fighting in the wake of the Chrysalis debacle, went with their own label in 1990, Nymphaea Pink, on which there were two singles before they called it a day.

It is one of the great mysteries why The Motorcycle Boy never made any commercial breakthrough.  All five of their singles are excellent listens, as too is that long-lost debut album – Scarlet – which was finally issued by a small Scottish indie label, Forgotten Astronaut, in late 2019.

The label and the release was the brainchild of the above-mentioned Michael Kerr.  He must have been delighted that the initial run of 1,000 – consisting of 500 vinyl and 500 CDs – sold out almost immediately.

I’ve previously featured the Rough Trade and Chrysalis singles on previous postings.  So, here’s the two singles from 1990:-

mp3: The Motorcycle Boy – The Road Goes On Forever
mp3: The Motorcycle Boy – Here She Comes



With apologies to anyone expecting a posting on Burl Ives…..

The Shop Assistants were one of the most highly regarded indie groups to emerge out of Scotland in the early-mid 80s with much of the interest centering around the vocal talents of Alex Taylor. She quit the band in 1987, going on to form The Motorcycle Boy in whom Rough Trade declared an immediate interest with this resultant single issued to great acclaim:-

mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Big Rock Candy Mountain (Velocity Dance Mix)
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Room At The Top
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – His Latest Flame
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Big Rock Candy Mountain (7″ version)

The hype around the band led to a bit of a bidding war which was won by Chrysalis Records. But in the ensuing two-year period in which new material had been recorded and two singles released in 1989, the world of indie-music had changed somewhat and The Motorcycle Boy were considered old-hat. Leather jackets, tight jeans and buzzing guitars were no longer de rigueur.

The planned debut LP was shelved and the band were released from their contract. One more 45 was issued via an indie label in 1990 before they threw in the towel. A real shame, as the singles are all more than decent, albeit I don’t think they bettered the debut.




I was certain that Part 82 would feature Momus, but the 12″ single I was sure I had isn’t to be found anywhere in the big cupboard.  It may have been filed away in the wrong place but I can’t be arsed looking.  Instead here’s wiki on today’s featured act:-

The Motorcycle Boy were an indie pop band formed in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1987 by former members of Meat Whiplash and The Shop Assistants.

The band consisted of Alex Taylor (vocals, formerly of The Shop Assistants), with Paul McDermott (drums), Michael Kerr (guitar), and Eddy Connelly (bass) (all formerly of Meat Whiplash), and David “Scottie” Scott (guitar). They were signed by Rough Trade Records, who issued their debut single, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, which reached number 2 in the UK Independent Chart.

The band were then signed up by Chrysalis Records, with two singles and debut album Scarlet that was never released, but failed to achieve great success despite considerable press attention. The band then split with Chrysalis, with one further single released on the Nymphaea Pink label in 1990, before the band themselves split up.

The band oddly made the cover of the NME on September 19, 1987 despite only having a brief half-page feature. This was because the entire contents of a themed issue on censorship (which would have had a painting used on the Dead Kennedys’ album Frankenchrist, then the subject of an obscenity trial in the United States, on the cover) had themselves been censored, with Stuart Cosgrove sacked from the paper, and a new cover had to be designed at very short notice.

The Rough Trade single is probably the best thing they ever did, and tempting as it is to feature the 7″ version of it, I thought I’d instead go for one of the two singles they recorded for Chrysalis as both 12″ versions are in the collection.

mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Trying To Be Kind (extended mix)
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – World Falls Into Place
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Will You Love Me Tomorrow
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Trying To Be Kind (1,000 cc mix)

The third track above is a more than decent stab at the song made famous by The Shirelles, which in 1961 became the first single by an all-girl group to reach #1 in the USA.

Oh and while I’m here, I may as well post the other Chrysalis single:-


mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – You And Me Against The World
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Under The Bridge
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – Some Girls
mp3 : The Motorcycle Boy – You And Me Against The World (Extended Mix)