Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cud / Big Ice Gem Barfly Birmingham Saturday March 8th 2008

At the end of a gig-tastic week what better combination than the classic indie rock of local newbies Big Ice Gem classic indie rock of old hands CUD. First up the aforementioned Big Ice Gem, who seem to be attracting a nice die hard local fanbase with a suite (yes...a suite) of foot tapping toons that blend 60's, 70's and 80's influences into a corking noughties hoedown ('re asking a lot of questions today aren't you?).

CUD are one of the few bands that I can remember where I was when I heard them for the first time - Brighton HMV...1991. The track was Through The Roof, a nutty flamenco tinged pop masterpiece with Carl's lush baritone-ish voice and typically odd CUD lyrics (who can forget their classic Prawn In Whitby?). Tonight was rumoured to be one of their last ever dates (after reforming in 2006 to promote a Greatest Hits) and, like the past two times I've seen them, it was a corker. It's a sin that this band never really got the fame and fortune they deserve. Carl has the kind of voice (and look nowadays) that belongs in Vegas (via Blackpool). They've got a rather brilliant 'new' guitarist too, who drives the whole thing along rather brilliantly. No Through The Roof tonight, but we did get a brilliant Rich and Strange (with that slightly slower start) and stonking cover of Tull's Living In The Past. Which, for a good hour or so, I was (The Baron sighs wistfully as he remembers his youth...then, being almost senile, he forgets what he was shuddering about and turns up the heating).

At the end of the night I saw Carl at the bar and couldn't resist a manly handshake, as well as posing THAT question, 'Is it the end for CUD?'

I'm afraid to report...exclusively to The Hearing and direct from the horses is. Shame. Deep shame. Altogether now 'You FAB bastard! You FAB bastard! You FAB bastard....'

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