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Bay City Rollers are back with their first ever Christmas song


The Bay City Rollers are back with their first-ever Christmas single, a new picture book and an album planned for next year.

Seven months after singer Les McKeown died, Stuart “Woody” Wood, 64, is masterminding the next stage of the Rollers.

Next Friday, they will release Rollin’ Into Christmas and fans will be able to pre-order Remember – a photo book of the reunion when Woody, Les and Alan Longmuir got back together.

The group also play Edinburgh and Glasgow next month.

Woody admitted he doesn’t want to say Bye Bye Baby to the band he joined at 17, saying: “Bay City Rollers is like a drug. You just want to get back to it again.



Cover of the Rollers festive cracker – Rollin’ Into Christmas

“That’s why I’m still doing it because the reunion was so much fun. And I’ll keep on being the Bay City Rollers for as long as possible.”

The Bay City Rollers formed in Edinburgh in 1966 and debut album Rollin’ in 1974 hit No1.

While they had a string of hits in the UK and US, including Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang, they never made a Christmas record.

Woody said: “It’s been a tough time for Bay City Rollers fans and we decided to do the single to offer some Christmas cheer.



The Rollers in 1975. (L-R) Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood, Leslie Mckeown, Alan Longmuir, Eric Faulkner and Derek Longmuir (bottom). (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“We’ve lost Les this year, last year we lost Ian Mitchell and Alan passed in 2018. It’s our duty to give our fans something to Shang-a-Lang to.

“People always used to ask why we never did a Christmas song. We just never got around to doing it. There wasn’t one that was right.

“I called it Rollin’ into Christmas because our first album was called Rollin’ so it’s a nice circle. It’s a rock’n’roll Christmas cracker.”

Woody is settled after a few turbulent years since the 2015-16 reunion with Les and Alan.



Bay City Rollers

The three thrilled fans at Glasgow Barrowland in 2015 and T in the Park and the Glasgow Hydro in 2016. But old tensions arose, including an STV bust-up when Woody got annoyed with Les for plugging his solo album.

Les told the Record he’d never work with Woody again but before he died he had softened after Alan had passed, and had talked about the pair getting back on stage.

Woody, who joined the Rollers in 1974, claims that the fighting wasn’t as bad as it was made out.

He said: “Les and I were talking about reuniting again. It was a shock when he died. He passed too soon.

“We were heading for making our peace with each other. We had been friends. Age brings wisdom so we’d have probably got back together.

“He had reached out and said, ‘Let’s get back together but do it differently this time.’”

The guitarist points out how happy the three were during the reunion shows – as the photo-book underlines.



Bay City Rollers Remember’s – The Reunion in Photographs.

He said: “I just remember a lot of laughter in the band and a lot of fondness. With Al and Les not being here, it contains all the memories of all those great times.

“We were worried before we went on at T in the Park because we weren’t sure any of the young people would turn up or they’d chuck stuff at us. But it was incredible. They were dancing and singing the words. Our tunes are loved by Scots down the generations.”

Woody isn’t the last Roller from the classic line-up which includes original drummer Derek Longmuir and guitarist Eric Faulkner.

Eric didn’t take part in the reunion as he’d nearly died in 2015 from viral encephalitis which led to post-encephalitic syndrome – a neuro-degenerative condition.

Woody said: “I know Derek doesn’t want to do it again but for Eric, who’s played live since his illness, the door is always open. He’s more than welcome.

“The last conversation we had was he wanted to get away from the Rollers and do his own thing.”



A photo in the new book about Bay City Rollers reunion as the trio do a Beatles at the Barras

Poignantly, Woody will include in the new set list Don’t Let The Music Die, a tune he wrote with Eric for 1977 album It’s A Game in tribute to his late bandmates.

Les’s rock’n’ roll lifestyle reportedly led to his death but Woody was never a party animal.

He said: “I was young when I joined the band and never started drinking until I was 20. In the early Rollers, the only pints I was having were pints of milk.”

He added: “I reckon I’ve still got another 10 years of doing the Bay City Rollers and plan to be keeping the music alive.”

After the reunion had crumbled Woody put together his own band, and since 2018 has been touring the world.

Next year will see a new Rollers album – the first with new material since Breakout’85 in 1985. Woody reckons they have nine tracks, six of them strong, and some co-written with Les and Alan in the reunion.

Woody, who now lives near his home town of Edinburgh after stints in Los Angeles and South Africa, is eyeing a busy 2022 with a new album, a tour and maybe a show at TRNSMT.

He said: “The Rollers were great at T and would be great at TRNSMT. I see songs like Shang-a-Lang being around for ever.”

● Bay City Rollers’ new single Rollin’ Into Christmas is out next Friday. Fans can pre-order the book Remember – The Reunion in Photographs next Friday. They play Edinburgh Liquid Rooms on December 12 and Glasgow Garage on December 13.





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