X RAY: THE DARLING BUDS

Led by singer Andrea Lewis and guitarist Harley Far The Darling Buds formed in south Wales around 1986 and quickly became one of the UK’s most promising acts. Taking influences from the trashy guitar sound of the Scottish girl band The Shop Assistants mixed with a love for Beatlesque style pop The Buds recorded and released their debut single the double A side “If I Said”/”Just To Be Seen” on their own label. Thanks to a chance run in with the cleaner at the NME office the single was reviewed in the following weeks issue of the NME and gained them a nice little fan base including the likes of one Mr. John Peel.

Helped along from several NME and Melody Maker covers critics couldn’t help lumping them into what writers refered to as the “blonde movement” with fellow blonde female fronted acts The Primitives and Transvision Vamp who all bore a similar look and sound. Though the movement was often dismissed it did help to create a bit of a buzz with the three bands involved.

After releasing a few singles for the indie label Native Records the band struck a deal with Epic records in ’88 and released their first LP Pop Said which earned them their first top 40 hit with “Hit The Ground” plus an appearance on Top Of The Pops!

The band continued with tours of Europe and abroad as well as releasing their second LP Crawdaddy but with a more sophisticated sound from the debut the second offering wasn’t as well received as their opener. Still the band pressed on releasing their final album Erotica in ’92 which contained the US single “Long Day In The Universe” But dispite the song being featured in the movie So I Married An Axe Murder and a full scale US tour the band began to loose steam and finally disbanded in 1993.

The Darling Buds never got to be household names especially in the US but in my mind I sort of think they are ok with that. The Darling Buds were a band on a mission. A mission to have fun and a few laughs and that’s exactly what they did. Check out a few of my fav Darling Buds clips including their first single and a special bonus interview of Paul Court and Tracey Tracey of The Primitives discussing their feelings on “The Blonde Movement”

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