press image

Cud/The Family Cat @ Liverpool University

Cynics may mutter that a combined six years of hogging the upper reaches of the indie chart ensured the success of this fresher's week gig before it began, but tonight sees both proving that there's more to indie than a comfortable image and tunes the milkman can hum. The underachiever tag that has been foisted on The Family Cat and Cud is wildly off the mark: there's an intensity present in each which belies any notion of lowest common denominator, and although they deal with our old friend the relationship, they do so with the kind of wit and insight required to sustain a four-year-andstill-going-strong career. It's not hard to see why the kids like The Family Cat. They're a rock'n'roll disaster area that to be breathtaking making them perfect for a raucous night out and on intimate night in. Here we experience the chaotic side of the Cat, but that's not to say that the sensitive side loses out.

The Cat apply themselves to topics such as: What am I doing with my life? Am I really in love? Will dying be fun? Just the simple stuff. They trade in a positive nostalgic, using the past to make sense of the present. If this is all sounding a bit hippy then good, because The Family Cat are starsailors of the highest order. They breathe epics, soundtrack journeys, consider navels and do everything to touch the heavens except play widdly guitar solos. New song "Now Go" is their ethos in a nutshell: on admission of mortality that manages to be both bitter and optimistic.

Cud ore sex personified (Jesus - Ed), a hip-wiggling, lip- locking, teeth-gritting, trouser-bulging lusty thrusting indulgence. Ugliness doesn't come into it - Cud are the ultimate in sexual confidence, and by flaunting around like Louis XIV in a Chelsea strip, Carl Puttnam stirs up gooey groovy feelings in the entire crowd. Here is a chance for the insecure to play-act sexiness, to dance and make moves rather than simpIy jig, and before you know it the moshpit is awash with adolescent pheremones. Cud celebrate nonconformity rather than shy away from it, stuff their hearts full of guitar-heavy funk n spend 50 onstage minutes telling us it's alright to be ugly, different, foolish. Each song is a serenade, and emotive show of devotion. For anything from a girl to an attitude to a situation. It's no coincidence that the love expressed in the songs is absolute love: they regard passion as a virtue and feel that the strange things you do for love are the best kind of things you can do. They inspire individuality.

Forget any idea that indie means lock of effort. In fact, forget indie. The Family Cat are rock 'n' roll at its most emotional and Cud are groovy smoochy funk sensuality. We don't need a new chart, we need a new attitude. Here's two healthy ones to be going on with.

Ian Watson