The Darling Buds

I’ve been meaning to do a post on the Darling Buds for a week or so, and in between marking school work have put together this wee feature.

The Darling Buds were formed in Wales in 1986 (different sources list the band as either being formed in Cardiff or Newport). Taking their name from H.E. Bates’ novel The Darling Buds Of May, the original lineup was: Andrea Lewis on vocals, Harley Farr on guitar (the Chart Show once said that his name was Harley davidson as his dad had been a hells angel!) Original bassist Simon was replaced after the first single ‘If I Said’ by Chris McDonagh. ‘If I Said’ featured a drum machine but from the second single onwards the drummer was Bloss, later replaced by ex-Black (‘Wonderful Life’) drummer Jimmy Hughes. (Reportedly Feeder’s Jon Lee guested on drums, and also Donna Matthews, later of Elastica played with the band on a tour). Though their sound is not dissimilar to many of the C86 bands, like The Primitives they were John Peel favourites but not on the tape itself. They were also lumped in with the so-called ‘Blonde’ movement…oh, you’re ahead of me. Basically indie bands that had a blonde female singer and the rest of the band made of blokes in black looking moody (from what I can see the three main Blonde bands were the Darling Buds, the Primitives and Transvision Vamp; who were fronted by Wendy James, enormously popular in the UK for a while but nowhere near as good as the other two and whose music sounds very dated in 2008).

This was the Darling Buds first single in 1987, available on the CD86 compilation, and originally a self-released single.

Darling Buds -‘If I Said.’ mp3

This was the first of three singles on Doncaster’s Native label

Darling Buds -‘Shame On You.’ mp3
(taken from Indie Top Twenty Volume V)

In 1988, they signed to Epic/Sony, who released three Darling Buds albums between 1989 and 1992. these tracks come from the time of …Pop Said

Darling Buds – ‘Burst.’ mp3

Darling Buds – ‘Hit The Ground.’ mp3

Darling Buds -‘You’ve Got To Choose (New Version).’ mp3 [NOT the album version but a re-recording of the single which was released in July 1989)

Darling Buds -‘Uptight.’ mp3

This was originally on the …Pop Said album as well as the Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 1 compilation

…Pop Said has been re-issued by Cherry Red and can be found at Amazon. The other two albums are unavailable at the present ime

I am still looking for a copy of second album Crawdaddy, preferably on vinyl (but might try here on Amazon). These three tracks have been picked up from the blogosphere:

Darling Buds -‘It makes No Difference.’ mp3

Darling Buds -‘So Close.’ mp3

Darling Buds -‘Tiny Machine.’ mp3

From the 12″ single, Crystal Clear:

Darling Buds -‘Crystal Clear (extended version).’ mp3

In 1992 the band released their third and final album, Erotica, which I found a couple of months ago in an Oxfam shop in Glasgow. This track Sure Thing was their final single, and this version is taken from the 12″ single.

Darling Buds -‘Sure Thing.’ mp3

Some Darling Buds websites are:

here (as part of the Elastica connection)

On Wikipedia

Another fanstite is here

Hope you enjoy this post


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