CUD LONDON ULU, Summer 1990

EVEN IF they tried. Cud could never be stylish and shallow enough to set The Kids on fire. In the face of growing critical and commercial acclaim, a solid second album and some definite dance leanings, singer Cart flaunts his authentically hideous 70s bell-bottoms and a prehistoric Leeds United T-shirt while loping across the stage like a wounded water buffalo.

His bellowed foghorn vocals are still there, but long-needed subtlety and nuance has been built into songs destined to surface on the forthcoming third album. Soaring melodies now shake hands with percussive thumps and scouring burps.

In such company, breakneck skidders like a 'Only A Prawn In Whitby' sound rushed and dated. The heavy funk slab of "Strange Kinda Love" - currently being murdered on vinyl by The Family Cat - tails to ignite its usual stage invasion because of rigid security.

But what more proof is needed that Cud are a 'student" band than tonight's manic crush? But what more proof that they can smash out ragged rock and crunchy dance beats with the best of them than "Robinson Crusoe", a spunky snarl of awesomely organic rhythms. that tempts me to rank Cud with the best live bands in Britain.

Stephen Dalton