Where Are They Now? - CUD

Q Magazine Feb 1998

Not since 1994's Showbiz album (A&M) has the world heard from Leeds' cuddliest combo Cud, creators of such classic tracks as Only A Prawn In Whitby. Saddled with a reputation for jocularity - wacky lyrics and Hot Chocolate covers a speciality - and the indie tag of the day, Cud managed two Top 30 hits (Rich And Strange, Purple Love Balloon), but limos and invites to Madonna's pad were not forthcoming. Where are Cud now, asks James Finlayson of New Cross?

CARL PUTTNAM (vocals): "We only officially split about 18 months ago. You can only go on for so long. We had so much bad luck, like me breaking my leg after moving to London, so I was on crutches for 8 months. Two months after I was back on my feet, A&M dropped us. It makes people who've been stuck together for years start sniping at each other."
Puttnam moved back to Leeds 18 months ago. His solo project, simply named 'Carl', has major label backing but recording has been delayed since March while his chosen keyboard player and producer are finishing Embrace's album, "which is driving me nuts".
He is also acting (an extra on Emmerdale as "one of the trendy people in the wine bar" and a Smarties ad ("dressed as a blue smartie"), painting ("I'm still ripping off Jasper Johns, and doing pre-renaissance perspective stuff"), writing a pulp novel, titled Student ("in the first person, Richard Allen style, basically about loads of idiots running around thinking they're really groovy") irregularly hosting a late-night show on Galaxy FM ("I have to play some repetitive beats but otherwise it's anything I like") and DJing in Leeds clubs Sugar Daddy and Speed Queen ("anything I like again").
As for Cud, "we're still friends but we don't go out of our way to see each other. I've been a bit upset but there's enough evidence to say that we did the right thing. I'm proud of everything I did."

MIKE DUNPHY (guitar): "We all had different opinions about the way things should go. Everyone around us was offering advice, like whether to write songs like we used to or to reinvent ourselves. After getting dropped, one solution seemed to be to take a breather instead."
Dunphy produced some local bands and now manages Polydor signing Cube, "a big sounding rock band. Offers were on the table only weeks after they played showcases." He is relinquishing production duties - "from experience, I know they need an out-and-out producer relationship." Admits that "I hate to sound like an old codger but I got more of a buzz watching Cube play than being on stage myself." That said, "it's sad Cud isn't going, but I wouldn't write off the fact that we're foolhardy enough to do something again."

STEVE GOODWIN (drums): Joined Lazer Boy: "It's experimental psychedelic music with a pop sensibility, like early Pink Floyd mixed with Can, plus some sampling." Released debut album Forget Nothing in 1996 (On the Freak label) and the demos-based Fallen World (Probe Plus), with second album proper The Man On The Street Where He Lives (Fourth Corner) following shortly.
But music has to compete with cycling. "I hit 30 and realised I wasn't as fit as I was, so I ended up cycling between venues." After training five days a week, he raced in the World Masters 3000-metre pursuit in the 35-39 age bracket and came seventh. "I just wanted to see how I would do. I'm thinking about doing the Tour Of Ireland in May next. Band time permitting."

WILLIAM POTTER (bass): Left band before A&M dropped them. "I wanted to concentrate on my comic artwork, and finance my own comic book." Moved to London and began drawing the Nommo comic strip for Deadline magazine, then writing Sindy and Sonic The Hedgehog whilst publishing his own comic Red Herring, "a kind of punk Stingray, with humour, a three foot sea monkey professor, talking dolphins and the like. Lots of stories end up related to the sea."
With comic work at a premium, he now works as a software testing co-ordinator. As for music, "I miss it enough to find going to gigs difficult, because I'm jealous, and I'm thinking I could do better. But I never expected to be a 40-year-old musician anyway."