Wednesday 8 October 2014

Welsh Wednesday #6

Sure Thing by The Darling Buds

Returning to Newport for this week's post. Well, sort of. It's actually Caerleon[1], a town just a few miles north of Newport and reputedly where the legend of King Arthur was based. It was also once an important Roman city with an impressive amphitheatre which remains a tourist attraction to this day.  Caerleon was also where the Darling Buds were from.

Andrea Lewis and boyfriend Harley Farr formed the Darling Buds in 1986. John Peel (who else?) championed their debut single and the band signed to Epic in 1988 with whom they released three albums. Chart success was sparse to say the least, with only one single - Hit The Ground from the debut album 'Pop Said...' - troubling the Top 40. They were lumped by the ever-predictable and lazy music press in with the 'Blonde' movement - bands featuring a blonde-haired female singer and dark-haired male musicians - along with the Primitives and Transvision Vamp. Each subsequent album release was met with less and less critical and commercial acclaim, which is a particular shame as they actually got better as they went.

Andrea Lewis in 2014
In 1992 the band released what was to be their final album 'Erotica' which contained the single Sure Thing. By now their sound was louder with punchier and slightly psychedelic guitars. 'Erotica' made number one in the UK album charts that year - but it wasn't the Darling Buds record. No, someone called Madonna had the cheek to release an album with the same name just a couple of months after Andrea and the boys and took all the glory! The Darling Buds' 'Erotica' was practically ignored.

Disillusioned, the Darling Buds split in 1993. They have reformed on a couple of very brief occasions (without Harley Farr), the most recent being just last month at the Indie Daze festival in London[2]

Sure Thing is one of those great lost singles. I debated with myself which track to go for as I like most of the Darling Buds' catalogue, but this one edged it on the day. May well feature another of their songs before this series is out.

    1 comment:

    1. this IS a great song isn't it - i think i just assumed these guys were a bit ordinary for some reason... well, actually, i have their track 'long day in the universe (remix)' off the 'so i married an axe murderer' soundtrack which i quite like, then i reckon i checked out a couple of others on youtube and was slightly underwhelmed, so gave up on them (a bit too quickly it would seem). look forward to seeing what else you put up of theirs