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THE BUDS
www.thebuds.net
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The Buds were first formed in 1997 when three truant schoolboys were brought together by a love for The Beatles. Inspired by the four mop-topped Liverpudlians, Brían Crotty, Colm Diamond and Jim Lee set out with a later recruited Peter Constant to write songs for the musical onslaught that they would later inflict on Cork.

The band had no sooner started when Brían and Peter left The Buds to pursue a musical career with "The Superbugs Of The 90's". Colm and Jim staggered on regardless inspired by the challenge of starting fresh. Colm, an already prolific songwriter, went on to hone in on his guitar playing skills. The results were encouraging so the song-writing duo sang and drank through a very beneficial year.

The Buds' drummer was a 13-year old Ringo Starr look-alike, Cian O' Mahony; a classmate of Colm's younger brother. Cian fit very snugly into the already Beatles influenced band. With a complete formation, The Buds began showcasing their music at small venues around Cork City. These early gigs gave the band a taste for the novelty and wonder of live music; many of them being little more than an excuse for good friends to get together and have a great time, and make dreams a reality.

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, two aspiring musicians were composing their own unique brand of folk rock. George Boyle and Ruairí Ó Brien, life-long friends put their creative influences together and created a montage of lyrically apt and musical ballads… a reflection of the turbulence of misspent adolescence. Their tried and tested song-writing style of getting wasted and then recording proved successful, and was later incorporated and still used by The Buds today.

Colm, Cian and Jim experimented, fine-tuning The Buds' songs for about a year until a spat saw Jim leaving the band for a night. To his surprise, Ruairí and George had joined the band in his absence. Jim returned the next day and work started on their set list. Their melodic and easy listening music was received well in Cork venues for about six months until Colm then left in the spring of 1999. The Buds now faced one of their toughest decisions; would they tamper with the band's composition or would they take on fresh blood? The answer came with the recovery of a lost band mate, Peter. This remained the line-up for the next number of years, as they went on to record some of their best achievements.

Their first recording, entitled 'Boober', consisted of four tracks and was made in the last four days of May 2001. Boober became the start of a new era as it helped them to receive patronage from a local bar owner. This opened up new possibilities for The Buds and they made swift progress in the following year, with radio airplay and newspaper articles in the local media. They entered the 'O2 New Band Competition' in 2002 and won the regional final, only to be beaten in the national final. A buzz of anticipation quickly surrounded them and, at a time when many of life's important decisions had to be made, they agreed to persevere - still inspired by the years of fulfilment their music had given them.

In early 2003, they earned the support and trust of another bar owner. This marked another level of commitment for the band. They took out a loan for €15000 and bought a van and equipment, with the intention of travelling the country. This they did for the next year, tirelessly playing venues in unknown territories. Success, however, did not come as easily as they had hoped. Youth and inexperience began to catch up on them as the harsh reality of the national live music scene took its toll. Overindulgence in alcohol at late night pub lock-ins caused tensions in the band to mount. The music suffered as a result. Decisions became more Machiavellian and, in a dispute over commitment, Ruairí left the band and was replaced by Colm Walsh.

Colm's guitar-playing style differed greatly from The Buds' traditional sound and the band developed artistically. The new music became more eclectic. They experimented. Practice and gigs continued but tensions were still high within the band. The abuse of alcohol and other drugs persisted to the point where they had to cancel a gig because George had disappeared, fully submerged in an acid trip. Colm stayed with The Buds for a year and played on the band's first full-length album. 'Pints, Shots, Pious Riots' was radically different to Boober in style and tone. Shortly afterwards, artistic differences caused him to leave. The intrinsic troubles escalated almost to breaking point, and all remaining band members began to reconsider their positions.

But once again, the band endured. After this dark period they set out to rediscover their love of music. They decided not to incorporate another guitarist and instead remain a 4-piece. Their new songs are more like the original Buds' light-hearted, melodic rock. The challenges they had to overcome have brought them closer together. They are older and wiser but still retain the vibrant and hopeful energy of youth. They now represent the things that they came together for in the first place… making music and having a great time doing it.

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