NEWPORT BANDS

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The Darling Buds formed in Newport in 1986 by the then 19-year-old Andrea Lewis. Their debut single, "If I Said", was released on February 1987 and was well received. The group re-released the single on an established label, Native Records, receiving radio play on John Peel's Radio 1 show. Signing with Sony in 1988, several singles preceded their critically acclaimed 1989 debut LP, Pop Said.... The album ultimately reached the top 30 UK album chart and the band appeared on the cover of Melody Maker twice (24 September 1988 and 18 February 1989). In 1990 the original drummer, Bloss, left the band and was replaced by Jimmy Hughes from Black. Their second album, Crawdaddy, more sophisticated than their first, was not as well received. Pressing forward with their new style, the group followed with their third and final album in 1992, entitled Erotica, a few weeks before Madonna's album of the same name. The album contained the US single "Long Day In The Universe" which was featured on the soundtrack for the Mike Myers movie "So I Married an Axe Murderer". 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. Singles included -
  • Burst" (1988) #50 UK / "Hit The Ground" (1988) #27 UK / "Let's Go Round There" (1989) #49 UK / "You've Got To Choose" (1989) #45 UK / "Tiny Machine" (1990) #60 UK / "Crystal Clear" (1990) #85 UK
  • Part of the Newport scene of the mid-90s celebrated by the likes of the American magazine Spin, 60ft Dolls were a raucous but tuneful rabble-rousing threepiece who never quite attained the success they seemed destined for.

    They shared a love of mod, rock, soul and punk and when the three piece began releasing their own records in 1994, it was plain to see their influences shining through. Richie Parfitt and Michael Cole had formed the band, but it was the addition of Bevan (the son of Rockin' Reverend Ray Bevan) that proved the catalyst for their rapid rise. We chart their rise and fall in more detail here.

    Skindred was formed in 1998 following the disbandment of vocalist Benji Webbe's previous band, Dub War. Skindred's musical style mixes alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and reggae. The group refers to this style as "ragga metal". Dub War was formed in Newport in 1993, and eventually signed with Earache Records. According to vocalist Benji Webbe, "They would not let us record and just wouldn't give us money to live on, this made us fight internally till we had no option other than to go our separate ways or kill someone or each other." Dub War disbanded in 1998, and Webbe formed Skindred with bassist Daniel Pugsley, guitarist Mikey Demus, and drummer Dirty Arya Goggin after Webbe was unable to put together a new project featuring other members of Dub War.In 2002, Skindred released its debut album, Babylon. In the United States, Babylon charted at #1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart, #5 on the Top Heatseekers chart and at #189 on the Billboard 200, and the single "Nobody" peaked at #14 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at #23 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in 2004.In 2005, the single "Pressure" peaked at #30 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.In 2006, Babylon once again charted at #1 on the Top Reggae Albums chart. On October 23, 2007, Skindred released its second album, Roots Rock Riot on Bieler Bros. Records. In the United States, the album peaked at #6 on the Top Heatseekers chart and at #22 on the Top Independent Albums chart.
    Terris were an indie band. Founded in Newport in 1998, they were fronted by Gavin Goodwin, supported by Alun Bound on guitar, Neil Dugmore on keyboards and Owen Matthews on drums. The band released Trial by Fire, their first EP, in 1999 and signed to Rough Trade. This gained them prominent support from the New Musical Express magazine, which featured them on its front cover in January 2000. Also that year, the group co-headlined a tour with Coldplay and won the "brightest hope" at the 2000 NME Brats. The band released their first album, Learning to Let Go, in 2001, on the Blanco Y Negro label. Disappointing sales led to them being dropped in December of that year. The band split up shortly afterwards.

    NME stated "Terris are the best new band in the UK. In fact, we love them so much here at NME, we put them on the cover this week." But quickly it all went wrong. Warner Brothers, expecting huge commercial success with Terris single and album, Cannibal Kids and Learning to Let Go, after the band appeared on the front page of the NME, took control of operations from its subsidiary label, Rough Trade, who had signed the band.

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