Last Night From Glasgow’s sister label Past Night From Glasgow has announced the 30th anniversary reissue of the seminal sophmore LP from the BMX Bandits ‘Star Wars’. The album has been remastered on vinyl and will be out to coincide with May 4th (Star Wars Day).
‘Star Wars’ features the classic BMX Bandits line up: Duglas T Stewart, Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Joe McAlinden (Superstar), Eugene Kelly (The Vaselines), Gordon Keen and Francis MacDonald (Teenage Fanclub) – the album is jam packed full of chiming guitars and catchy choruses, not to mention the odd spectacular ballad.
The sleeve has also been updated (with new wallpaper no less) and now features a die-cut photo frame sleeve with printed inner. This reissue sees the album get its first release on vinyl outside of Japan since 1991.
More about 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 Stewart alongside Frances McKee (The Vaselines), Sean Dickson (The Soup Dragons) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub).
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 of The Pearlfishers and original Bandits lead guitarist Jim McCulloch.
Starting with the exuberant ‘E102’ in 1986, BMX Bandits released a series of singles on Stephen Pastels’ 53rd & 3rd label, where they were label mates with The Vaselines and Beat Happening. Later they joined Alan McGee’s Creation Records. BMX Bandits released three albums on Creation. The group’s most celebrated song is the autobiographical Serious Drugs, recorded in 1991 but not released until 1993.
Stewart split with his long term musical partner Francis Macdonald in 2005 but 2006 saw a new wave of live concert activity and the release of ‘My Chain’. The line up was expanded by the arrival of Stewart’s friend David Scott and new female vocalist Rachel Allison. The follow-up, 2007’s ‘Bee Stings’, was influenced by classic girl group pop plus the mellow A & M sound of the late 1960s and early 70s.
The band’s first album release with Elefant Records ‘BMX Bandits In Space’ in 2012 was hailed by some critics as their most accomplished release so far, “a stunning, brilliant and beautiful album”. This was followed in 2017 by ‘BMX Bandits Forever’. A highly acclaimed feature-length documentary called ‘Serious Drugs – Duglas and the Music of BMX Bandits’ was premiered in Glasgow in 2011, followed by a series of international festival screening and a DVD release.
Interest in the music of the BMX Bandits continues and 2020 saw the re-release of ‘C86’ and ‘Your Chain’ while 2021 brings the 30th anniversary release of arguably their finest album ‘Star Wars’ via Last Night From Glasgow.
The line-up of the group continues to be ever changing with the latest addition to the line up being multi-instrumentalist Chloe Philip. Despite all the changes in personnel the heart and soul of the group remains the same, an extended musical family led by the inimitable Duglas.