Cud live in Glasgow! At long last, I’ve waited a long time for this one.
Judging by some of the folk I met tonight, I’m not the only one!
As folk started to take up their positions stage front, I got talking to a couple of other lone gig goers. Both were from Cud’s neck of the woods originally, Wakefield and Leeds to be precise. Like me they had both waited a long time for this. For Kirsty it was 26 years since she saw them last and for Mark it was going to be the first time he’d seen them. Boy was he in for a treat, well we all were!
It had been 1990 & ’91 since I’d seen Cud live. 1990 was in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. 1991 was, coincidentally, having seen them only last week, at a Pixies gig. The fateful SECC gig which only lasted 3 songs before the stage collapsed. Cud had been great though (of course!)
Before Cud, it was local band Miss the Occupier. A band I haven’t come across before but have been around since 2004. Led by bass player/vocalist Roz Baynham, the band went down well with those arriving early. I found myself enjoying the set more and more as it went on. Some great songs that varied from alternative-pop (Blondie/Sleeperesque) through to punkier tunes with one song in particular having a heavy bass line reminiscent of “A Forest” era Cure. I shall be checking out their back catalogue.
Then it was Cud, and the Glasgow leg of their “Singles Tour”. Given the name of the tour, it was pretty much a given what the set list would be, so the anticipation was building for a great night.
The band took to the stage with Carl Puttnam resplendent in a peacock shirt, dark glasses, hair shorn at the sides and moustache and kicked off proceedings with 1988 single “Under My Hat”.
The band with original members Mike Dunphy and William Potter on guitars and bass and Gogs Byrn, drummer since 2012, were solid throughout (with a couple of minor false starts) forming the perfect foil for Carl’s rich and vibrant vocals.
As I said, for a singles tour it was obviously highlight after highlight. Hey! Wire, One Giant Love (specifically for me as it featured on the playlist at my wedding!) Slack Time – one of my favourite Cud songs. Magic was, well, Magic and reminded me of nights in clubs like Fury Murrys pestering the DJs to play it. I mostly got told to f**k off, no-one would dance to it, to which my refrain was always “But I would!”
At one point Carl announced (tongue firmly in cheek) that Sauchiehall Street was his favourite street in Glasgow, perhaps even the world. Going on to have some banter with one punter who claimed to be the “Mrs McLay” who had been the landlady at a B&B the band had stayed in years ago. Cue much laughter when said punter responded that Carl was barred!
The “hits” kept coming with another of my personal favourites (and judging by the reaction for most of the crowd too). From amazing “concept” album “When in Rome, Kill Me” (check it out non-Cud believers), Only (a Prawn in Whitby) with everyone in the venue singing the refrain.
Exclusive! Apparently, the band will be going into the studio in the next couple of weeks. So Carl was keen to share! And that the next time they played they would have a new single to play. Don’t worry Carl – your secret is safe with me.
Rich & Strange, the bands biggest chart hit (Number 24 with a bullet!) followed the singalong of Through the Roof. Well, lets face it, every song was a singalong tonight. Interesting fact time from Carl! He sings the refrain “Rich and Strange” 34 times during the song. He then started to do the maths about how many times he’d ever sung it. The answer …….. I’m too old for this, infinity times. Oh and by the way the answer to the burning question from one member of the crowd who shall remain nameless. “Well are you?”(Rich and Strange). Carl – “Not even in the least”
After Carl took us high in his Purple Love Balloon, the main set was done, but of course we all knew it wasn’t over. They hadn’t played all their singles yet….
The band returned to play a rousing Robinson Crusoe and were joined onstage by an enthusiastic punter who I can only describe as a “Cud Bez”. Then into their final 2 songs. The storming covers of Lola (replacing cherry cola with local delicacy red kola) and Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing. Amazing!
But, just as we thought it was all over the band launched into one final treat. The brilliant “I’ve had it with Blondes”, with witty opening couplet “I was a teenage stamp collector, I’d lay on my back and you’d stamp on my face”. It had everyone bouncing one last time and singing every word back.
One other couplet in the song states “Let me say it one more time, Things get worse when you get old”. From one happy old man tonight I would have to say not on tonight’s evidence they don’t!
Carl left the stage promising they’d be back. I hope I’m not waiting another 26 years but for tonight at least, it was well worth the wait.
Thank you Cud!