I've made a few past references to BMX Bandits, but up until now I've never actually featured any of their songs.
There's many many thousands of people out there who simply adore the band. Equally, there are many many thousands of people out there who just don't get them at all. I find myself caught up in the middle.
The band have been kicking around now for just over 20 years without ever making a real breakthrough in terms of commercial success. While the turnover of musicians isn't quite on the scale of The Fall, something around 18 different folk have appeared in the line-up at one time or another, with the one consistent being Duglas T. Stewart, the singer and main songwriter over the years.
In many ways, Duglas, like Edwyn Collins, is regarded as part of Scottish pop royalty and should be above any criticism. But as regular readers will know, I'm not one for tugging my forelock in a fawning manner.
Lord knows I've tried over the years to listen objectively to BMX Bandits. But I find they're a bit like old-fashioned cough medicines - best sampled in small doses and only intermittently.
They're a band that completely frustrate me. I'd pick up on a half-decent track somewhere, and then I'd invest some cash buying an album. And not once did I feel a little bit cheated as the whole never ever amounted to the sum of the parts.
And yet.....whenever one of their tracks randomly comes round on the i-pod (admittedly, I've only shoved a dozen or so on), I find myself smiling and even singing along and doing daft little dances if no-one is watching me. Such as this:-
mp3 : BMX Bandits - Come Clean
It dates from 1991, and is high on my list of all time favourite singles by a Scottish band.
And the impish sense of humour the band have long been famed for is very much at the fore with the remix version that they put on the 12" edition of the single, released at a time when everyone, was trying to capture the 'baggy' Madchester sound where indie met dance. I often think this is a specific dig at The Soup Dragons, and particularly lead singer Sean Dickson, ex-member of BMX Bandits:-
mp3 : BMX Bandits - Come Clean (Jumping On Someone Else's Funky Train Mix)
A lot of folk, including Comrade Colin, raved about My Chain, the album released by the band in 2006. But fearing it would only mirror past disappointments I gave it a body-swerve.
I did however, just last week, buy the band's latest 7" offering from my favourite Glasgow record shop (along with about 20 other bits of vinyl that came out while I was over in Toronto). The band have got a new female vocalist sharing duties with Duglas. All I'll say is that the 2007 incarnation of BMX Bandits sound as if they have overnight turned into a tribute to The Beautiful South.
Once again, I apologise if any of the above words cause offence.