“ROLLERMANIA” is set to begin all over again after the Bay City Rollers announced a comeback almost 40 years on from their 1970s heyday.
Three of the “classic five” – Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir and Stuart Wood – announced at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel yesterday a new album and a reunion world tour after a long and acrimonious split.
The Bay City Rollers enjoyed a string of hits including Shang-A-Lang and Saturday Night, performed sell-out tours and hosted their own TV show, becoming pin-up boys from the US to Japan.
The trio from Edinburgh will begin their tour with “a very special Christmas present” to all fans who have kept faith with them over the years – a performance at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on 20 December.
The event will be the first time they have performed together in public since 2000 when they played a one-off gig for Hogmanay.
Their festive concert will kick off a tour which will take in UK venues plus shows in Japan, Sweden and America.
Frontman McKeown, 59, said: “I think it is going to be great. We are coming back to say thanks to the fans that were there when I was 17, Woody was 16 and Alan was 20.
“We are coming back to entertain those people and the young people who want to see a professional band who were part of pop history.”
He also revealed that he would like the tour to culminate with a homecoming gig at Murrayfield Stadium.
The tartan teen sensations will be playing songs that made the band famous “with gusto” alongside “one or two” new ones never heard before.
We have never lost our female fanbase. They are passionateAlan Longmuir
They are also set to release a comeback single called Boomerang and an album featuring songs based on unreleased or unfinished tracks dating back to the peak of their careers.
Longmuir, who recently starred in the Fringe show And I Ran with the Gang, said: “It’s like going back in time and it will be fun.
“We have never lost our female fanbase. They are very passionate and we have a few new ones now too. As far as the world tour goes, we will definitely go to Japan and America, and Germany and Sweden where we are very big. We have had a lot of offers over the years and we don’t want to knock this one back.”
The comeback follows a long-running feud sparked by a bitter split when McKeown decided to go it alone. The band collapsed after his 1978 departure and bitter battles over money dragged on for decades.
But McKeown has campaigned tirelessly to put the original Rollers back on track.
The trio’s first meeting in many years finally happened just a few months ago and it is hoped that the example set by the reunion may encourage one more Roller to return to the fold.
“The door is always open for Eric Faulkner,” said McKeown.