“If I could be in any other band, it would be BMX Bandits”
BMX Bandits were formed in 1985 by songwriter and lead vocalist Duglas T Stewart out of the ashes of The Pretty Flowers, a short-lived group that featured Duglas alongside Frances McKee (The Vaselines), Sean Dickson (The Soup Dragons) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub).
Here’s my favourite of their songs, ‘Serious Drugs‘ sung by Norman Blake and sounding very like (the wonderful) Big Star and indeed, Teenage Fanclub!
They played The Buzz Club on Valentine’s Day in 1987. We were booking lots of the C-86 bands during this period. I don’t have many memories about the night itself, but I do remember Rudy, the guitarist in my band, Go! Service stepped up and did the sound for us as the regular guy from the West End Centre was poorly, he had never done sound before and made a pretty fine job of it.
This is a photo from that night that turned up in August 2018, part of the treasure trove unearthed by Philip ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson.
Philip, remembers the night very well, ‘I loved this gig! The set was brilliant and they were really nice guys, even if I did hear them having a blazing row afterwards.’ !
Another memory, this time from Buzz Club regular, Chris Moffett, ‘Ah – one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve ever been to! I’m afraid I missed the support acts though as I was too busy drinking and chatting in the bar right up until it was announced the Bandits were on stage.
I dragged along 5 of my friends (we were all at Farnborough tech at the time) who had never heard of most of the bands I was into and the Bandits were no exception. Everyone said they enjoyed the gig though and the 2 girls in the group even joined me near the front for a boogie!
What stood out was Duglas. He was on great form that night – very very funny!
I remember them doing a really funny (and very good) song called Flipper twice, and their last encore was the Record Breakers theme tune ‘Dedication’! Brilliant ending.’
Here’s a live recording again from that night, I think recorded by Dave Driscoll on his handheld Sony Walkman.
Support came from Jowe Head‘s band The Househunters. Jowe was the bassplayer in The Television Personalities, my band Go! Service had toured with The T.V.Ps round Europe in 1985 and we had got friendly with Jowe.
The gig got reviewed by ‘Record Mirror’
And had photos taken by Tim Paton.
First on that night were local band and friends of ours, the very wonderful New Tennessee Waltz. Among the haul Hutch sent me were these photos plus some live recordings of N.T.W..
I’m delighted to say, I will be releasing some of these recordings on the IndieThroughTheLookingGlass label very soon. More news on that soon.