The original line-up formed in 1970 and comprised founder members brothers John Yardley (b. 7 January 1946, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland; vocals, guitar, bodhran) and Jim Yardley (b. 23 October 1944, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland; vocals, guitar, mandolin), together with Frank Simon (b. Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Eire; guitar, whistles, vocals). Ian Cutler (b. 22 December 1953, London, England), a classically trained violinist, joined in 1975, augmenting his ability by playing viola and keyboards. Colin Reece (b. 28 September 1947, London, England; vocals, guitar) rejoined in 1979, having left the group in 1974. Fergus Feely (b. July 1953, Dundalk, Eire; cello-mandolin, vocals) joined the others in 1976, the same year that Simon left. The band played contemporary and traditional songs and tunes in a rock-based format. Following the release of Enchanted Lady, the group toured Europe during early 1977. The Madmen Of Gotham (featuring Cutler, Reece, Feely and Jim Yardley) included six traditional songs showing that the band had not lost their feel for their origins. Later, in 1981, they were joined by Martin Allcock (b. 5 January 1957, Manchester, England; guitar, bass, bouzouki, mandolin, keyboards), who left in 1983 to form a duo with Feely.
Allcock subsequently joined Fairport Convention in 1985 and later became a member of Jethro Tull, in addition to doing much session work. Feely went on to join the Steve Ashley Band, then worked with the San Franciscan Cajun band Le Rue for a time. Cutler and Reece produced Face To Face in 1982, before Reece went solo, releasing one album, Well Kept Secrets, in 1985. Following a support tour with Elkie Brooks, Reece moved into the cabaret field, backing comedian Jim Davidson. Jim Yardley went on to play in a solo capacity in Norway, while Cutler continued to follow a folk direction, playing in ceilidh bands and Albion Morris.
In 2004 Bully Wee reformed with Reece, Cutler and Feely and later Jim Yardley, and released their fifth album three years later.