The Darling Buds
With their Beatles-influenced vocal harmonies and hook-laden melodies, the Darling Buds were one of the most promising bands in Wales during the late '80s and early '90s. Firmly entrenched in the "blonde" period of British indie music, the group is remembered for the singing of blonde female vocalist, Andrea Lewis (born: March 25, 1967) and the beatnik-like black clothing worn by the band's instrumentalists. Formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1986, the Darling Buds took their name from a comic novel, Darling Buds of May by British author H.E. Bates. Releasing their debut single, "If I Said," on their own label in February 1987, the group began attracting considerable attention. Reissued by the Native record label, the single was heard numerous times on John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show. Signing with Epic in 1988, the Darling Buds released several singles before issuing their debut full-length album, Pop Said, in January 1989. The album quickly reached the British Top 30 and led to an appearance on popular British TV music show, Top of the Pops. Just as it looked as though the Darling Buds were headed for stardom, things began to fall apart. Original drummer Bloss was replaced by Jimmy Hughes, formerly with British rock band, Black. Although they reached for a more-sophisticated sound with their second album, Crawdaddy, they lost the raw edge of their initial sound. The release of their third album, Erotica, in 1992, did little to recapture the Darling Buds' early glory. Released a few weeks before a Madonna album with the same name, it faded into obscurity before making a dent on the charts. Although they toured the United States in support of the album for a year, the members of the Darling Buds grew increasingly frustrated by their lack of commercial success and disbanded. Moving into acting, Lewis worked for a Cardiff theater company before agreeing to host a show, The Slate, for BBC Wales. ~ Craig Harris
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