Cud, Leeds University

Late 1990 / early 1991

Less a gig than a religious experience. Cud are playing to around four times the crowd they had in May, and a sizeable proportion appear to be members of their self-styled "Church Of The Sub-Genius", a sinister organisation whose most notable achievement to date has been the dumping of a local bistro's six-foot rabbit sign in the Aire canal.

They greet singer Carl Puttnam with a strange two-fingered solute, and what must be some biblical quotation, "You Sexy Thing". Puttnam, in weird long garb, looks like an insane preacher, lyrical pronouncements delivered standing rigid in a cloud of dry ice where previously he would twirl animatedly around the stage. The musicians treat us to a selection from their last LP while a masked man dances wildly. "Strange Kind Of Love" sounds like Pere Ubu covering "Summer In The City", while other tunes resemble some warped version of The Move. The new numbers aired approach Happy Mondays' new age psychedelia yet retain Cud's eccentric Turtles beat group approach.

A bouncer takes "Stamp Collector" literally and proceeds to stamp on faces in the front row.

Tension fills the air as Cud launch into a disorienting instrumental climax rather like the Roses' 'Resurrection' through on opium haze. An encore of Tull's "Living In The Past" sees the threatened stage invasion almost succeeding, prevented only by the increasingly violent ripostes of the insecure guards.

Two encores later. house lights on, they're still playing! Religious!

Dave Simpson