Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Welsh Wednesday #63

#63: Drug Store Woman by Budgie

Time for some proper Welsh rock. Swansea's Budgie are actually one of the most influential acts to ever emerge from Wales. They have been cited as a major influence by the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden and Queens Of The Stone Age. All these, along with Van Halen, Soundgarden and plenty others besides have covered Budgie songs. They were the first heavy metal band to play a gig behind the 'Iron Curtain' (in Poland in 1982) and were huge in Texas!

Along with the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, Budgie pioneered heavy rock in the 70s and continued into the 80s before breaking up in 1988. A brief reformation to play some live shows took place in 1995, but it wasn't until the turn of the decade that a more solid line-up got back on track, initially playing live, but eventually releasing their first album in 24 years in 2006 with 'You're All Living In Cuckooland'. In 2010, singer Burke Shelley suffered an aneurism and resulting surgery left him unable to perform. The band has been on hiatus since, but not officially broken up.

So, today's Welsh Wednesday track takes us all the way back to 1972 and the band's second album 'Squawk'. Drug Store Woman sounds like it could have come out of the Led Zeppelin songbook of blues standards, but it was in fact written by the then Budgie lineup. Something to get your blood pumping. Gadewch i rocio![1]

[1] Trans. 'Let's rock!'


  1. Good to see the much maligned Budgie getting the thumbs up. OK, I've never listened to them much but there were certainly on the more original heavy rock bands of their era. Sad to hear about Burke as I wasn't aware he'd been ill at all. Swansea? Didn't they come from the Valleys? Tredegar/Merthyr?

    1. Hmm, you had me doubting myself. A little bit of Googling and... it seems we're both wrong. All three original members were Cardiff boys born and bred. I do seem to recall reading somewhere that the band was based in Swansea though. Or maybe I dreamed it...