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
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
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