Is it possible that, after more than 30 years in the music business, Duglas T Stewart has, in 2017, made his best album? 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 Alan McGee. Francis Macdonald 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”. Q says “gentle genius”. So, why isn’t this the most famous group in the world?
As always, on this new record, some unusual covers are slipped into the mix. In this case, a version of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere”, a cover of Marcos Valle’s “De mais do que valsa”, and the Beach Boys’ “Forever” which gives the album its title. Throughout there are a variety of styles – echoes 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”).
New singer Chloe Philip sets up a musical dialogue with Duglas evoking stories of love and hate, as they search for perfect love in the shape of a perfect pop song. They are joined by Stuart Kidd (who originally joined BMX Bandits in 2002 and after a short break away is very much back in the heart of the group) and a guest appearance by Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre).
1. My Girl Midge
2. That Lonely Feeling
3. Mais Do Que Valsa (Just A Memory)
6. Love Me ‘Til My Heart Stops
8. Way Of The Wolf (With Dr. Cosmo’s Tape Lab)
9. It’s In Her Eyes (With Dr. Cosmo’s Tape Lab)
10. It’s Time (With Dr. Cosmo’s Tape Lab)
11. Razorblades & Honey (Featuring Anton Newcombe)
13. No Matter What You Say
14. How Not To Care
15. Life Without You
16. Mais Do Que Valsa (Reprise)