BMX Bandits Forever

by BMX BANDITS

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Nick Green
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Nick Green Thanks to 'one chord' once more for the heads up- god knows how this artist is new to me....Brian Wilson should have written this... oh,he did! Favorite track: Forever.
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FORMATS: LP [Orange Colour Vinyl] [Numbered Limited Edition of 500 copies] / CD Digipak ➜ On sale clicking here: bit.ly/2oU3qW5 / Digital Album

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Watch the official videoclip of "How Not To Care": bit.ly/2oLqNUq
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Is it possible that, after more than 30 years in the music business, Duglas T Stewart has, in 2017, made his best album? It is clear that the element of surprise in albums like “C-86” and “Life Goes On”, or even in their first singles on the label, “53rd And 3rd”, or the 1992 single “Serious Drugs”, now feel very far away. But objectively, the collection of songs included on “BMX Bandits Forever” could be the best thing in their whole discography. Without letting go of their identity, or even of their obsessions and hang-ups.

If you are just arriving here with the whole 30-year career waiting to be discovered, we should remind you of a few things first. BMX BANDITS is the alias of Duglas T Stewart, who before that was in THE PRETTY FLOWERS (is “Sing Street” based on them?), the band he shared with Frances McKee (THE VASELINES), Sean Dickson (THE SOUP DRAGONS) and Norman Blake (TEENAGE FANCLUB, BMX BANDITS). OASIS did their first UK tour dates supporting BMX BANDITS as a favour from Stewart to Creation label boss Alan McGee. Francis MacDonald (TEENAGE FANCLUB, NICE MAN) was a member of the group and Duglas’ right-hand man until 2005. Kurt Cobain said that if he could play in any other group, it would be in BMX BANDITS. The Guardian says “Britain’s ultimate cult group”. Another major magazine like Q says "Gentle genius". And even with all of that, he has always been a figure in the development of the emerging Scottish pop scene. If you don’t believe us, just ask Ally Kerr and BELLE & SEBASTIAN back then, or to name a few others who aren’t very well known yet, TEEN CANTEEN and HAPPY MEALS.

So, why isn’t this the most famous group in the world? That is part of the legend, of that figure of the secret great man that Stewart transmits, of his brilliance, of his lyrics – sometimes hilarious and sometimes raw. For example, we could remember the release of what many consider to be their best song: “Serious Drugs”. On Radio 1, all the DJs said it was going to be their definitive leap to fame, that all the ingredients were there: Creation Records at its high point, the group in the spotlight, the song… But that week they couldn’t play the song on the radio because it coincided with an anti-drug campaign. That’s just a small drop in the story of a man as passionate as they come, in his own way, like Vic Chestnutt, Stephin Merritt, Daniel Johnston or Jeff Mangum. It’s not for nothing that there was a DVD documentary of his life called, “Serious Drugs - Duglas And The Music Of BMX Bandits”. If you need more, all the good material is there. Up to speed? Let’s move on to the new album.

But let’s do it little by little, because this is a moment to be cherished, and we should analyze every fragment, every note, every second. And there is a lot to work through, because we know that one of Duglas’ “obsessions” is to include a solid handful of songs on every album. This time, we have sixteen. And yes, as always, an unusual cover was slipped into the mix. In this case, a special version of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere”, which was made famous in “West Side Story”, and also a cover of Marcos Valle’s “De Mais Do Que Valsa” (which, by the way, he wrote his own lyrics for, in English). This guarantees that Brazilian touch that normally makes an appearance on BMX BANDITS’ latest releases. We also have the exercise in musical wisdom: “That Lonely Feeling” is a cover of the sister-duo, THE MCKINLEYS, who only released 4 singles between 1964 and 1965, and who worked with bands like THE ROLLING STONES and THE HOLLIES. It’s delicious. And, of course, that “Forever” by THE BEACH BOYS that gives the album its title. It was also recorded by AMERICAN SPRING, the band formed by Brian Wilson’s wife and her sister, whose only album was produced by Brian himself. This is all a statement of intent, that halo of classicism, of emotion, of elegance; of that time when pop was king.

And of course, throughout the songs there is that variety of styles that has classified him as a great music-lover all over the world, and that classic spirit that reminds us of Michel Legrand (“My Girl Midge”), Phil Spector (“No Matter What You Say”), Burt Bacharach (“That Lonely Feeling”), and THE BEATLES (“Way Of The Wolf”) is also there, as is that beyond-perfect, lively, vital, colorful, solid pop with Scottish pedigree (“Saveoursmiles” written with Francis MacDonald for the album they made with Yeongene a few years ago, and “Life Without You”). We have a new female voice again, this time with the presence and prominence (not only on vocals, but also on multiple instruments) of Chloe Philip, who is amazing on some of the album’s best songs, like that marvelous “Love Me 'Till My Heart Stops” that moves us and saddens us at the same time, and that she wrote. Pure emotion. Like that “How Not To Care”, a mysterious mid-tempo that slowly lets the light in between synthesized rhythms and cushions of keyboards, halfway between FUTURE BIBLE HEROES and EAST RIVER PIPE. Or the exquisite “It's In Her Eyes”, with that delicious intro that leads into a surprising melody that is agile, skilled, and that takes us to the best moments of Broadway musical. We can evoke a story of love and hate in that musical dialogue that Duglas and Chloe set up. And finally, as the cherry on top, that “Razorblades & Honey” that reminds us so much of Edwyn Collins at his most majestic, and includes the presence of Anton Newcombe (BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE). In the end, we are reminded of what Stewart himself says, “I like art that bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart”.

But if there is a key name on this album, it is Stuart Kidd. Stuart is one of Glasgow's best liked and most prolific musicians. He originally joined BMX BANDITS in 2002 and after a short break away is very much back in the heart of the group. He has played with JONNY (Norman Blake & Euros Childs) as well as being a regular member of Euros Child's band. He has also played with LINDEN, GULP, Ian McCulloch, Nick Garrie, Francis Macdonald, THE PEARLFISHERS, BELLE & SEBASTIAN and more. Also he is a main writer and singer with his own groups THE WELLGREEN, KIDD, DR. COSMO'S TAPE LAB and POUND STORE RIOT. His participation on “BMX Bandits Forever” has been key, both for his production and interpretation work, as well as for his song-writing, giving us practically all the songs a little extra that raises them up to the altar we found them at. He is Duglas’s right-hand man on this journey toward eternity. This is a new journey that has been illustrated, once again, by Duprez, one of our favorite designers, who knows better than anyone how to package BMX BANDITS’ songs and reflect the visual universe that so captivates Duglas.

But we can’t forget something that has always characterized BMX BANDITS’ albums: the search for perfect love in the shape of a perfect pop song, and all the frustrations that arise from a fantasy like that. From fun to rough, expressing things that only Duglas T Stewart can articulate with words. In this case, there are several songs that coincide in the suffering of imagining the world without that perfect, absolute love, but that always let a little bit of light in, keeping hope alive in how important love is in people’s lives.

From here on out, “BMX Bandits Forever” is a classic – for their spirit (why that title, if not?) for their songwriting, for their inspiration, their references, their emotion. This album will definitively be one of the releases of the year for Elefant Records. And probably for Duglas T Stewart’s career. And, of course, for all of us who love pop. And music.

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released May 19, 2017

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Track Name: My Girl Midge
My girl Midge, we met when I was broken
Didn't think it would work
But still I was hoping
she would make me feel alive again
I would see love in her eyes and then
I could grow into a whole person
But I grew too slow oh no
Now she'll never know
what she'll never know

Oh Midge, it's killing me
Our future together will never be
Oh Midge, it's killing me

My girl Midge, we met when she was hurting
Thought I saw something but I wasn't certain
Something buried deep inside I sensed
Thought if I found it we'd be alright but then
It didn't work out like I was hoping
My girl Midge, I lost her, now I'm broken

Oh Midge, it's killing me
Our future together will never be
Oh Midge, it's killing me
Track Name: That Lonely Feeling 
Here comes that lonely feeling knocking on my door
I've known that lonely feeling many times before

What am I to do?
Now that I've lost you
Am I to sit here and cry
Wondering why

I used to be so happy when you were around
But now that lonely feeling's got me tumbling down

Now I'm all alone
Right on my own
No one to tell me they care
There's nobody there

You begged me not to leave you all by yourself
But then you went and left me for somebody else

Lonely feeling
Track Name: Mais Do Que Valsa (Just A Memory)
My heart is hurting so badly trapped inside this ugly body
These longing nights are just too hard for me
This love has really made me crazy
Much more than any other lady
And loving you this way could end up killing me
Tomorrow I don't want to wake up
If we can't find a way to make up
I'd rather live on as just a memory

My sudden unbridled passion
Is much more than just desperation
No more than you should have got from me
This love has really made me crazy
Much more than any other lady
And loving you this way could end up killing me
Tomorrow I don't want to wake up
If we can't find a way to make up
I'd rather live on as just a memory
Track Name: Rust
Blood will turn to rust
My bones will turn to dust
As I become just a memory
When desire turns to lust and we lose all trust
I kept fighting to keep you close to me

I only want to be if I can be with you
I didn't think our love would end so cruel
And all of my friends may think that I'm a fool
But I've loved and still love

Had a dream about you and me
We were painting a nursery
You were wearing a pair of faded dungarees
Put my hand on your tummy, you looked so sunny
But now I know that dream will never be

I only want my dreams if they can be with you
I don't want to wake up in a world so cruel
And all the world may think that I'm a fool
But I've loved and still love

If you call tonight I won't die
The rust will turn to blood and I will be alive
And if they want to know the reason why
It's my love, my love

Lie lie lie
Track Name: Saveoursmiles
I heard how that boy made you cry
I can see the sadness in your eyes
I've been crying too
Love made me a fool
We can help each other find our smiles

Well I heard how he led you on
How he had you singing sad sad songs
There's other songs to sing about much happier things
We can help each other find our smiles

We'll hold each other tight and part in the morning
It's alright
Tonight I need some you
And I think you need me too

We have both been hurt by love before
Cried so much and our hearts are sore
But here we are tonight I think it would be alright
If we help each other find our smiles
Let's help each other find our smiles
Track Name: Love Me 'Til My Heart Stops
I want to breath you in
Feel the hair over your skin
The constellation of the marks
But I still know you in the dark

Forget the pain
Forget the knocks
Love me 'til my heart stops
It's easier
To take the blame
Love me 'til my heart stops

Should we forget about?
The lies you told so well?
Deceit on deceit
I wish you'd learn to help yourself
Track Name: Somewhere
There's a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere
There's a time for us
Someday there'll be a time for us
Time together with time to spare
Time to learn
Time to care
Someday, somewhere
We'll find a new way of living
We'll find there's a way of forgiving
Somewhere
There's a place for us
A time and a place for us
Hold my hand and we're half way there
Hold my hand
And I'll take you there
Somehow
Someday, somewhere
Track Name: Way Of The Wolf (With Dr. Cosmo's Tape Lab)
I feel I'm trapped alone in the woods
Don't know which way to go
You want to take my hand and show me the way
Help me find my road home

This has been a strange holiday
Not like the break that I planned
Seems like I got lost along the way
Won't someone understand?

You're a little girl lost
How did you find me?
I'll pay the cost
You must to set me free

I've been trying to hold up a light
But you keep closing your eyes
Please don't go away with the wolf
Or fall for his cunning disguise

Well I have to walk my own path
There's no one to blame but me
Open your eyes and reach out your hand
You're safer with me you see

I don't know which way to go
I don't know which way to go

I think I'll go the way of the wolf uh-hu
I think I'll choose the way of the wolf
I think I'll go the way of the wolf uh-hu
I think I'll choose the way of the wolf
Track Name: It's In Her Eyes (With Dr. Cosmo's Tape Lab)
When she says she loves me my soul feels warm
When she says she needs me I'm where I belong
People want to know why she's got this hold

It's in her eyes and the way that she smiles
It's in her words and her funny style
And when we kiss and start to play
It feels love is meant to be this way
We start to dance and she looks in my eyes
We're having fun and it makes my heart smile
She's not just mine she's part of me
I have no choice it's how love's meant to be

He knows me so well like nobody could
Our love started shaky but now it's grown good
People just can't see what he sees in me

It's in her eyes and the way that she smiles
It's in her words and her funny style
And when we kiss and start to play
It feels love is meant to be this way
We start to dance and she looks in my eyes
We're having fun and it makes my heart smile
She's not just mine she's part of me
I have no choice it's how love's meant to be
It's in her eyes
Track Name: It's Time (With Dr. Cosmo's Tape Lab)
Your heart needed a holiday
And so you took your love away
But won't you bring it back to stay
Here in the arms of love

It's time to love again
It's time to smile again
It's time to live again
It's time for us to make a new start

Waited for you to come back to me
Now I hope that you can see
Together's where we should be
Together in the arms of love

It's time to love again
It's time to smile again
It's time to live again
It's time for us to make a new start

People say I should let go and find another
(Let go, let it go brother)
But I say I just can't
Because I love her
I love you, I love you

It's time to love again
It's time to smile again
It's time to live again
It's time for us to make a new start
Track Name: Razorblades & Honey (Featuring Anton Newcombe)
What you hide behind your eyes
I could never get a look in
What lies between the truth and lies
And let's you get your hooks in
The taste of blood is not enough
You've need to have your fill
And you spread your poison around
And make the world feel ill

Right now you think you're something
But soon you're going to be nothing
Right now you think you're something

What do you hide behind your lies?
Razorblades and honey
Eyes that flit like butterflies
But are always on the money
With all the hearts you've gobbled up
You'd think you would have had your fill
You're going to choke on your own poison
It's time to swallow this pill

Right now you think you're something
But soon you're going to be nothing
Right now you think you're something

Eyes that flit like butterflies
But are always on the money
Eyes that flit like butterflies
Razorblades and honey
Track Name: Forever
If every word I said
Could make you laugh
I'd talk forever (together my love)
I ask the sky just what we had
It shone forever my my my
If the song I sing to you
Could fill your heart with joy
I'd sing forever my my my my
Forever, forever
I've been so happy loving you
Together my love

Let the love I have for you
Live in your heart
And beat forever (together my love)
Forever, forever
I've been so happy loving you
Baby just let me sing it my baby
I want to be singing my baby
Baby baby baby my baby
I want to be singing
I want to be singing my baby
My my my

So I'm going away
But not forever
I'm going love you anyway forever
I'm going to love you any old way forever
Track Name: No Matter What You Say
Sitting in the bath couldn't stop yourself from crying
You couldn't believe the things you'd said
You though that it meant
My love for you would be dying
It couldn't been further from dead

I could never give up on you
No matter what you do or what you say
When you said we had to be over
Part of me died that day
Well I'm still here to wait for you calling
I could never walk away
Gonna try to hang on 'case you ever need me
No matter what you say

Walking down the street can't stop myself from crying
Some people stare, while others look away
I get home safe; I don't want to be here
I'm gonna try my best to stay

And if you called and asked me to
I would still run to you
And if you called and asked me to
I would still run to you
Track Name: How Not To Care
Sometimes she'd get so frightened
Like a child but even more
She would cry so hard those times
It must have hurt so sore
Sometimes she'd look so happy
While dancing round the room
I'll miss both her happy and her crying eyes
I wonder if they'll miss me too

With her in my arms I felt most complete
But sometimes just hearing her talk
On the phone would be enough for me
She'd tell me about the cares of her day
And I would try to chase them away
I miss her calls, I miss her voice
Miss hearing what she has to say

Protect her and watch over her
Be kind to her when I'm not there
She doesn't want my love anymore
But I don't know how not to care
Protect her and watch over her
Be kind to her when I'm not there
She doesn't want my love anymore
But I don't know how not to care

No I don't want her to be by herself
But I'd rather go blind than see her with somebody else
I'm sorry but it's true
And I don't know what to do

Protect her and watch over her
Be kind to her when I'm not there
She doesn't want my love anymore
But I don't know how not to care
Track Name: Life Without You
Life is rubbish without you
I miss all the funny things you do
I hate everyday
There's nothing else to say
Life is rubbish without you

Bah! Bah! Life is rubbish without you
Track Name: Mais Do Que Valsa (Reprise) - Instrumental
Instrumental