A Leeds band who specialised in absurdist takes on pop classics and po-faced indie styles with a groovy funk backbeat.
They released a Peel Session in 1988 and the singles Lola and Only (A Prawn In Whitby) in 1989. They also had an album release, When In Rome, Kill Me (1989) on Imaginary Records – the label behind the tribute album fad.
The 21-minute title track was a series of seven dry jokes – the Morrissey tweak of Only (A Prawn in Whitby), the quirky-pop Bibi Couldn’t See, the vintage Britbeat of Push and Shove, the garage psychedelia of When in Rome, Kill Me Again, etc. – all linked by spoken drama.
The second album, Elvis Belt, mostly collected up Cud’s unfocused and dull early singles (going back to 1987) and covers – including a previously unissued annoying high-speed interpretation of the Bonzo Dog Band‘s Urban Spaceman.
Produced by XTC‘s Dave Gregory, Leggy Mambo brought Cud’s surreality closer to serious accessibility with good playing, clear sound (finally) and less specific musical satire. Despite a few cool pop tracks, though (such as the Buddy Holly-esque Not Exactly D.L.E.R.C and the inevitable Madchester spoofs of Magic and Syrup and Sour Grapes), Leggy Mambo was pointless and dull.
By the time the group got a US release, Cud had shaken off much of the parodic obscurity of its early releases and embraced a groove-heavy mix of power pop bounce and hard-rock guitars.
The Cud Band E.P. took four of Leggy Mambo‘s catchier tracks, added a dance remix of Magic and set a course for the band’s unfortunate beeline to bargain bins everywhere.
The subsequent release, Asquarius (1992), delivered on the rockist promise only hinted at in the band’s embryonic efforts.
With Carl Puttnam’s cocksure faux-Vegas delivery and generally upbeat lyrics, the Stonesy guitar raunch of Sometimes Rightly, Sometimes Wrongly and joyous boogie of Rich and Strange and Pink Flamingo sound downright fresh.
Showbiz (1994) would be their last album. Potter was replaced by Mick Dale, who would later join Embrace, shortly before the band broke up in early 1995.
Cud reformed in 2006, ostensibly to support the release of a double album of their greatest hits entitled Rich and Strange – The Anthology.