Scottish Indie/Pop-Pop/Punk-Britpop band Bis to end up the workday week.
Formed in 1994, Bis grabbed attention from many places. They became one of the first unsigned bands since the 1970s to play Top Of The Pops in 1996. Released several eps on a series of independent labels they had no formal agreements with. Blur and Green Day were huge fans. They toured extensively and were popular in the U.S. – got signed to the Beastie Boy’s Grand Royal label. They were featured in the closing credits of the U.S. TV series Powderpuff Girls. They were opening act for tours by Garbage, Luscious Jackson, Gary Numan and Pavement. Their debut album, The New Transistor Heroes made the charts and sold well, but was roundly trashed by the UK press – with one review from NME referring to the band as “The sinking of the Bis-lark”.
Subsequent singles and albums didn’t sell nearly as well, and the band went into a steady decline until they called it quits in 2003. However not for long, since the band reformed for the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the release of The New Transistor Heroes in 2007 for three shows in Glasgow and one show in London. In 2009 the band announced they were getting back together to play the Primavera Festival in Spain in May of 2010. In February 2014 they announced the release of their fourth album, Data Panick Etcetera on Rough Trade as well as seeing the re-release of their first three albums, and a renewed interest in the band and a discovery of the band by new fans. Ironically, it was NME who offered Data Panick Etcetera as a webstream ahead of its official release in April of 2014. Just goes to show you, you can be trashed one year and loved the next. Funny, the Music business.
As of this year, they are working on a fifth album, scheduled for release in 2018.
So it only goes to prove that things do work out sometimes, and that not all stories of bands are full of what-ifs and might’ve-beens.
As a reminder of Bis in their earlier days, here is their first session for John Peel at BBC Radio 1 – recorded on September 17, 1995 and broadcast on October 14th.