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Bis - John Peel Sessions 14.10.95 and 16.06.96

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 19 / 1 / 2024

Bis - John Peel Sessions 14.10.95 and 16.06.96
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


In our Re: VIew section, in which we look back at records from the past, Dave Goodwin examines two Peel Sessions from 1995 and 1996 from Scottish indiepop trio Bis, which have just been released on 10" vinyl by Precious Recordings of London.

Those lovely people at Precious have done it again. Yet another release in a long line of live recordings that include the likes of The Soup Dragons, Even as we speak: The Bodines, Boyracer and BMX Bandits. This one, or should I say two, as we are doubling up on this one, is all about Scottish act Bis. Forming in 1994, Bis have turned out to be the morphs of the North, their style and sound changing at will, is legendary morphing from Synth-pop to Riot Grrrl to DIY Punk and beyond, delivering their one brand of peculiar yet wholesome songs. With names like Sci-Fi Steven, John Disco and Manda Rin, how could they not catch the eye? Well, the first offering back in 1995 was the Disco Nation 45 EP which hit the decks around the time when Britpop was in its death throws. The ‘Secret Vampire Soundtrack’ was unleashed next, and almost overnight Bis were playing ‘Kandy Pop’ on 'Top of The Pops'! Making history, they were actually the first unsigned band ever to appear on that show, gaining high entry into the national 'Top 40. After much interest, they signed for Wiiija Records in the UK and the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal label in the US. Selling over 100,000 copies in Japan, the debut album ‘The New Transistor Heroes’ came out in early 1997, and saw the band support acts as diverse as Bikini Kill, Pavement and Foo Fighters across Europe and the US. By the turn of the millennium and the album ‘Social Dancing,’ the band had morphed again to a more electronic, polished sound and the single ‘Eurodisco’ is typical of the newer sound of the band. Along the way they have been responsible for being the first ever band to play the main stage at Coachella Festival, gracing hundreds of stages across the globe. Bis are currently releasing their sixth LP, ‘Systems Music For Home Defence,’ and according to Sci-fi Steven, this album is the best Bis have ever written. However, here the Glasgow punk perpetrators take us back 28 years with their debut BBC session and their next installment for John Peel. The first four-song EP from 1995 features versions of fan favourites ‘Icky-Poo Air Raid’ and ‘Teen-C Power,’ along with their hit single ‘Kandy Pop.’ The track ‘Super James’ is blinding good as well. This little snippet into that period is a pointer of their enthusiasm for everything, full of sarcasm and one liners and is just essential. Move forward a year and we see the band supporting the likes of Ash and Bikini Kill and their next session in 1996 includes versions of the singles ‘Sweet Shop Avengerz’ and ‘Keroleen,’ a session that showcases their heavier side nicely, with Manda in full yell and on this little gem you get a one-off tribute to John Peel as an unexpected fifth track. The first EP includes sleeve notes from Sci-Fi Steven and the second from Manda herself, and both packages come with a set of five postcards with rare pics – plus free download codes, but be quick – these are limited to 500 copies each.

Track Listing:-

Band Links:-

Play in YouTube:-

Picture Gallery:-
Bis - John Peel Sessions 14.10.95 and 16.06.96

Bis - John Peel Sessions 14.10.95 and 16.06.96

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I Love Bis (2015)
Excellently presented compilation of early singles and EPs from chaotic 90’s Scottish noise pop trio Bis, who have not lasted well over time
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