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Ruminant with a view

CUD @ Legends, Warrington, May 1992

CUD have finally mode the breakthrough! Last week the Leeds popsters' new single crashed straight into the Top 40 On its first week of release! Should all of us confirmed "indie" and "altenative" types up here be breaking out the ticker tape in celebration?

Well no, frankly, because Cud are a f***ing disgrace. Cud are a nightmare. I've ignored these snub-nosed rodents' naff approximations of student-disco so only tonight does the enormity, the sheer horror of the rampant abomination that is Cud seep into my aghast consciousness. Cud live are an utter abortion, a homicide-inducing catastrophe. Are you getting that gist yet?

This is how it gets, basically, whensneery irony folds in on itself so many times that you don't know what's real anymore. Cud are so snide they can hardly breathe. Carl Puttnam, a junk Elvis in crap garish clobber, delivers every line in a sardonic sarcastic swagger which betrays the fact that he thinks he's crap, his songs are crap, everything's crap. Oddly, tonight I'm not remotely minded to disagree with him.

The single "Rich And Strange" isn't even too bad, being a pleasantly accessible stab at scratchy jangle-pop in an Orange Juice stylee, but even this mild pleasure is brought crushing dawn to Earth live by Puttnam clumsy excesses, Like, does he mean this daft Las Vegas-parody cabaret turn? Is it a joke? Can anybody really find the motivation to care? His every utterance strives to be a cutting punchline. Sadly, not one of them actually succeeds in this modest aim.

Cud are a puzzling cult, really. They're indie rock like I'd almost forgotten existed. Stump did this for better, but in truth two-thirds of tonight's set reminds me of "Perfect Cockney Hard-On" by the dear departed Noseflutes, a "song" which I always held in high esteem but never remotely imagined had any commercial potential whatsoever. How have Cud made it work? Who buys this stuff? I'm asking so many questions here only because I'm genuinely baffled.

Let's try and find some plus points. I m nothing if not fair. Well, Puttnam seems a nice guy to go for a pint with and he's no mean satirist, but really I'd just rather he went off and used his talent writing for "Private Eye" rather than force us to endure this futile, twisted, stunted, inbred, anti-heroic pratrock. What are the words like? "I remember God looked like a strawberry," I hear him ooze once.

Infrequently, Cud hit on a pleasant rolling rhythm, but they're never mad f***ers like the Mondays, just giggly, nerdy students. They only exist as a negation, a reaction to qualities like ideas, hopes, dreams, tunes, beauty, spontatneity. They're a diminished pleasure, getting smaller by the second, and the fact that their deathly aural pudding has penetrated the charts says some pretty sorry things about the mental state of the inhabitants of this poxy fucking isle.

Last week John Wilde declared that given the option of hearing Cud he'd rafher spend a night under the sheets with a gonnorrhoeal trawlerman a flatulent Dutchman and a Welshman with three plump buttocks, and I thought he was being somewhat harsh. Well, only now do I realise the horrible truth. Look out Jon, I'm coming in...

Ian Gittins