CUD - University of London Union

THE part of Jim Morrison in the forthcoming Doors bio-pic went to the wrong man. Tonight, in his wraparound shades and black leather trousers, Cad Puttnam is every inch a Lizard King From Leeds; he's even got the resonant, imposing baritone voice to go with the visuals. Dina and Donna, the two fanatical teenage Cudettes behind me, pronounce him 'gorgeous' as he disappears into a billowing fog of dry ice.

These days, Cud do a convincing impersonation of a serious rock'n'roll band, but pay attention and you know they're far too witty and wise ever to be anything of the sort. People who want to be revered do not, after all, write songs with titles like "Beyond Hair" or 'Brain On A Slow Train" Even so, despite themselves Cud command respect. Like just about all the very best music, they can be enjoyed an a whole series of levels

There are cerebral pleasures to be had from deciphering Putttnam's perverse, engaging lyrical visions, while on the physical plane, Cud are undeniably exhilarating. They rattle through rubbery funk rhythms at reckless speed, then race into some nimble but dangerous guitar pop.

Along the way, there are one or two unexpected diversions In "Love In A Hollow Tree", Cud have created a do-it-yourself warped soul classic. Puttnam emotes like Terence Trent D'Arby on particularly good drugs and we're reminded just how effective a singer the chap with the straggly red hair really is. "Robinson Crusoe" is the creamiest, frothiest pop, and the surging "Eau Water" is just the sort of filth we should be flinging at our pop kids ("I want to plunge right into you" croons naughty Carl).

Dina and Donna gasp their admiration Someone back-flips from the stage. "Now!" becomes the most stirring anthem on earth Stompin', chompin' Cud are magnificent Do have a cow man!

Dave Jennings