The Soup Dragons and BMX Bandits a Night of Nostalgia and Fun at Club Academy Manchester October 27th, 2023





Billy Seagrave, went back in time for All music Magazine UK to cover, The Soup Dragons and BMX Bandits: For a Night of Nostalgia and Fun

Club Academy in Manchester hosted a special event: the reunion of the original lineup of The Soup Dragons, one of the most influential Scottish bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band, which had not played together since 1988, was supported by their longtime friends and fellow Bellshill natives, BMX Bandits.

The Soup Dragons, led by singer and guitarist Sean Dickson, rose to fame with their eclectic mix of indie rock, alternative dance, and baggy sounds. They are best known for their cover of the Rolling Stones’ song “I’m Free”, which reached number five on the UK charts in 1990. The band also experimented with different genres and styles, from punky pop to psychedelic rock to ambient techno. They released four albums and several singles before disbanding in 1995.

BMX Bandits, the brainchild of singer and songwriter Duglas T. Stewart, have been making music since 1986. Their music is heavily influenced by 1960s pop, especially the Beach Boys and the Beatles. They have collaborated with many other Scottish artists, such as Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines, and The Pastels. They have also been praised by Kurt Cobain, who said “If I could be in any other band, it would be BMX Bandits”.

The concert was a celebration of both bands’ legacy and friendship. BMX Bandits opened the show with a set of catchy and cheerful songs, such as “Setting Sun”, “Serious Drugs”, and “Your Class”. They also played their classic “E102”, which was co-written by Dickson. Stewart charmed the audience with his witty banter and his photos of his daughter.

Set list.

1/ Setting Sun

2/ My baby loves lovin’

3/ Serious drugs

4/ Wanna fall in love

5/ Razorblades and honey

6/ Disco girl

7/ E102



The Soup Dragons took the stage next, greeted by a roar of applause from the fans. Opening with “Whole Wide World”, They played a selection of their hits, such as “I know everything”, “Divine Thing”, “Mother Universe”, and of course, “no music on a dead planet”. They also performed some of their earlier songs, such as “Too shy to say” and “Hang Ten”. The band sounded tight and energetic, as if they had never been apart. Dickson’s voice was still powerful and expressive, while Jim McCulloch (guitar), Sushil K. Dade (bass), and Ross A. Sinclair (drums) provided a solid backing. They finished with “Can’t take no more”, and inevitably “I’m Free”.

The crowd sang along to every word, danced to every beat, and cheered to every note. It was clear that both bands still had a loyal and passionate fanbase, who had waited for this moment for a long time. It was also evident that both bands still enjoyed playing together, as they smiled and hugged each other on stage.

The concert was a rare and memorable experience for anyone who loves indie music. It was a tribute to the creativity and diversity of the Scottish scene in the late 80s and early 90s. It was also a testament to the enduring bond between The Soup Dragons and BMX Bandits, two bands that have inspired generations of musicians and fans alike.



Set List1/ Whole new world

2/ Pleasantly surprised

3/ I know everything.

4/ Love is love.

5/ Learning to fall

6/ Softly

7/ What you want

8/ Hang ten

9/ Pleasure

10/ Backwards Dog

11/ Divine thing

12/ Head gone astray.

13/ Crotch deep trash

14/ On overhead walkways

15/ Soft as your face

16/ Too shy to say

17/ Majestic head

18/ Mother Universe

19/ No Music on a dead planet


20/ Can’t take no more.

21/ I’m free.