Those who’ve managed to catch Cud’s late night packed out set’s in Centre Stage at the last Shiiine On Weekenders will know that Minicruise goers are in for a treat.
Ahead of their performance on the good ship Shiiine we catch up with Will and Carl from the band to find out what’s in store…
Hi Will and Carl, How are you and where can we find you answering the questions today?
Will: I’m dosed up on my regular medication, in the mellow lounge of the Dying Embers Retirement Home for Indie Reformers.
Carl: I’m in the opposite condition. Cold turkey, having not drunk alcohol (so far) in January.
You’re playing the Shiiine cruise in March – how are you looking forward to that?
W: Much so. It’ll be our first show of 2018, an unusual setting and an adventure! We’re also looking forward to it being our in-roads into the lucrative cruise-entertainment market, with an eye on the Caribbean.
C: Once more I have an opposite opinion to Will. It’s going to be very messy on the way back. Can’t wait…
Will you be sticking around for the full weekend aboard the good ship Shiiine and the day time antics in Amsterdam?
W: Of course! I wasn’t aware we could escape on a lifeboat, but we’ll be sticking around to check out the competition and sing some shanties on the poop deck.
C: Oh Yes! but it’s Rotterdam that I’m most looking forward to seeing.
It’s something of a unique setting for a gig (ie somewhere in the middle of the North Sea!) – have you played any other bizarre venues in your career?
W: We were the first rock act to play Tower Bridge, something the Victorians didn’t plan on. It was like playing a long corridor. Thankfully, we didn’t have to cut the set in half to allow a tall ship through.
C: And we played an outdoor impromptu show, middle of the night, at Old Sarum, near Stonehenge. Only 10 minutes, two songs, then the police arrived.
What is your most “rock n roll” tale from your time in Cud?
W: Bwah ha ha! That time we gave Bobby Gillespie three sugars in his tea instead or two! The look on his face!
C: Our road crew were thrown out of the Columbia Hotel for letting themselves into the cellar workshops and mending furniture (true!)
What is your favourite Cud album?’
W: ‘Leggy Mambo’. It’s where we found our pop feet. The glitter boots to dress them in came a year later.
C: ‘When in Rome, Kill Me’. I just love the “concept”.
Would you ever look to touring an album in full?
W: That seems to be the rage these days! We’re not into rage but we have done this in the last few years, even playing two different albums on consecutive nights. Last year we themed our tour around all the singles. In 2018, for our anti-Brexit tour, we are going to perform our set in a different European language every night. (I haven’t told our singer Carl this yet.)
C: I have been mooting the notion of an “All the best songs!” tour. It’s a winner!!
You sort of just missed out making it into the mainstream back in the day. Did that surprise you at all given your huge followings?
W: We were the pre-Britpop Britpop! While we did have our share of Top 30 hits, it was disappointing that we couldn’t launch a West-End musical based on our repertoire.
C: We even had our own genre given us. The NME called us “Lion Pop”. A prename of ye cursed BP.
What were your musical influences back then when you were starting out and which artistes are you into these days?
W: In the early days of CUD, I was listening to De La Soul and Public Enemy. I think that hip-hop influence comes across strongly in our early singles.
C: We all used to joke that Steve, our drummer was into reggae. Because he smoked. A lot. I liked Steely Dan and now I like Cheap Trick.
How do you find playing live now compared to when you first came out?
W: The joy of playing live remains, and the ’Space CUDets’ are as enthusiastic as ever. But, there is now no record-company pressure and less competition between bands, which is welcome, and I’m a bit fussier about which ciders I drink.
C: Absolutely… We just please ourselves and we’re a lot better for it.
You’ve played Shiiine Weekender before, what do you like about the event?
W: It’s a blast playing Shiiine – a great venue, well organised, with an always up-for-it crowd and impressive line-up of bands. Great to see old friends. And gulls.
C: I’m not a great fan of festivals, except Shiiine. I want a bath in the morning and why shouldn’t the punters have one too.
A lot of people think the likes of Shiiine is a “retro” festival but a lot of the bands are still great performers and a lot still putting out great albums. What’s your thoughts on the stigma?
W: CUD don’t fit in any time so it’s hard for us to be retro. We are writing and releasing new material, albeit slowly. It’s great to be able to both enjoy our past and look to the future.
C: If it feels good do it. And when you look at what is touted as “new” it’s hard to take those kind of criticisms seriously.
Finally, do you have a message for those coming on the cruise?
W: Leave your inhibitions in Hull.
C: Don’t leave your shoes in Amsterdam.