NIRVANA'S Kurt Cobain once said, "If I could be in any other band, it would be BMX Bandits".

The Scottish indie legends still "love to make melodic music", as their website's opening credits proclaim, and will be doing so at The Crescent Community Venue in York on Sunday night with a new album, BMX Bandits Forever, in tow.

"With this album we wanted to build a monument to eternal love and pure pop. We hope you will like it," says songwriter and lead singer Duglas T Stewart, who first formed the group in the former industrial town of Bellshill in 1985, rising from the ashes of The Pretty Flowers, his band with Frances McKee (The Vaselines), Sean Dickson (The Soup Dragons) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub).

BMX Bandits Forever was released in May on the Elefant Records label and yet BMX Bandits may not have been forever, as Stewart reveals. "BMX Bandits Forever started with a song that David Scott and I wrote and recorded together in an afternoon at his home in East Kilbride called My Girl Midge. At the time I was totally convinced that it would be the last recording I would make. I just couldn’t see a way forward for BMX Bandits at that point."

York Press:

BMX Bandits leader Duglas T Stewart and newest member Chloe Philip

So, what changed his mind? "I started recording and writing new things with Stuart Kidd. I couldn’t have done this without Stuart‘s generosity, encouragement and incredible musicality," says Stewart.

"Making this music was a kind of therapy, a way of trying to make something beautiful out of a pain that was tearing me apart and at other times the flip side of that feeling where love fills you with such a joy and energy that you want to shout out about it from the highest mountain. Hopefully it reaches more ears on an album than being shouted from a mountain top."

Through the years, BMX Bandits' songs have mixed melodic qualities and humour with, at times, raw and heartbreaking pathos. In the words of Stewart, they are "his world put to music".

It all began with the exuberant E102 in 1986, the first in a series of singles on Stephen Pastel's 53rd & 3rd label, where BMX Bandits were label mates with The Vaselines. Later they joined Creation Records, the home of Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream.

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BMX Bandits' Chloe Philip and Duglas T Stewart

The group's most celebrated song is the autobiographical Serious Drugs, recorded in 1991 but not released until 1993. Oasis played their first tour dates supporting the Bandits as a favour to Creation label boss Alan McGee.

Stewart split with his long-term musical partner Francis Macdonald in 2005 but 2006 brought a new wave of concert activity and the release of My Chain, for which 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.

The feature-length documentary Serious Drugs - Duglas And The Music Of BMX Bandits was premiered in Glasgow in 2011, followed by a series of international festival screenings and an international DVD release, and in 2012 the album BMX Bandits In Space emerged on Elefant Records.

This year, the ever-eloquent Stewart features in another documentary, Grant McPhee's account of the pre-Britpop Bellshill and wider Glasgow music scene music scene, Teenage Superstars, premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June.

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BMX Bandits...forever

Now the focus falls on BMX Bandits Forever, their darkest album so far but still full of love and hope, with Stewart being joined by the Bandits' newest recruit, multi-instrumentalist and singer Chloe Philip, along with Stewart's main collaborator, the aforementioned Stuart Kidd, who first joined the band in 2002.

Philip contributed Love Me Til My Heart Stops to the new record, while she and Stewart visited Berlin in the summer of 2016 to record Razorblades & Honey with Brian Jonestown Massacre leader Anton Newcombe. "It was great watching Anton work," says Stewart, who co-wrote the song with Newcombe. "Like us he likes to work real fast to capture a special kind of raw energy and magic that I think can only come from doing it that way."

Summing up BMX Bandits Forever, Stewart concludes: "All of the songs on this album are filled with the purest kind of love, whether they are happy or sad, from It’s In Her Eyes to How Not To Care. I have always believed in the power and magic of love. It’s something even non-believers can believe in. This album is dedicated to real love."

BMX Bandits play The Crescent Community Venue, The Crescent, York, on Sunday. The 7.30pm support act will be the newly re-formed Aberdeen indie five-piece Jasmine Minks Jasmine Minks, once long-time artists on Alan McGee’s Creation and Poptones label. Tickets cost £15 via or in person from The Inkwell, in Gillygate, York, or Jumbo Records in Leeds.