CUD Live Review

Powerhaus London, Spring 1989

CUD have a very busy bee in their very big collective bonnet. So insistent is the bee that it has inspired them to write "If Only We Were From Manchester" (I guess) - a wry comment, so it's said, on independent pop prejudices. This, readers, is the present state of pop aspiration: obsessions with sex, fame and fortune have been reduced to the wish to be of the very dependable, but essentially flawed Mancunian sort.

Oops, the Bernard Manning figure to my left, cheerily poking me in the ribs, tells me it's only a jape. Ah, I'd forgotten -the inanity of forced student fun, and Cud at their worst are a walking rag mag. You know the lineage - from The Dickies to Half Man Half Biscuit, the sideshow of pop lyric as a joke.

It's a shame they're taken by such parochial concems - Morrisey's eating habits ore the subject of the next single - as their f**ed-up funk has its moments. When serious (as opposed to surface) madness is allowed to warp the conventionally frenzied sound - "Bibi Couldn't See", "Push & Shove" - when vocalist Carl - in a good light Richard Jobson, in bad Mick Hucknall - decides he's Billy Mackenzie and takes to a wonderfully pretentious operatic operatic swirl, well then it seems like fun. But mostly Cud are a rush through the implacably straight and narrow.

Robert Yates