Thursday, 19 November 2009

Hey! Bootleg

The journey through my loosely alphabeticised CD album collection continues this morning. The C’s aren’t as predictable as the B’s and todays pleasant surprise was a Cud compilation made for me by a friend called Hey Bootleg.
As time goes on I was wondering as to include self made or friends made compilations, I mean it’s not as if you can buy it, it’s not as if you may have it and agree or disagree woith my review, but for completeness I decided to keep them in and even if you don’t have a copy of Hey Bootleg, or the BRMC compilation, you may have an interest in the band.
So Cud. When I was young I used to trawl this fair land following The Wedding Present wherever they would play, be it Birmingham, be it Manchester, be it Leeds or be it Coventry. Coventry and the following date on their tour, Wolverhampton, is where I first saw Cud, supporting their Reception Records label mates and ultimately at one point, boss. Cud’s first release was put out on The Wedding Present label, Reception Records, Mind The Gap if my memory serves, and that release is present on this, effectively a greatest hits compilation. The first time I saw Cud at Coventry, they were an odd beast, similar in their looseness and beat driven sound to The Happy Mondays, similar, but infinitely better. They even had their own Bez in this man with a balaclava on and dressed in a silver lame shellsuit. Strange times indeed. I went with a friend of mine called Richard and neither of us knew songs by Cud and were very surprised that almost all of the audience knew pretty much all of the songs. From then on in I was smitten and saw them a number of times between then and their demise, and when they reformed a couple of years ago went to see them again with my wife, who was a fan but never had an opportunity to see them. They were as great then as they were when I saw them at Glastonbury Festival.
So this disc, as I said, effectively a greatest hits, my Cud, with a few singles being the exception is on vinyl, hence the need for this compilation. It spans their career in almost its entirety, from Mind The Gap to Purple Love Balloon. Cud were very good at packaging things up and making you want to buy them, Purple Love Balloon came with a make your own mobile in its 12” vinyl version.
Most of the singles are on this album, Eau Water, Robinson Crusoe and the ridiculously good Strange Kind Of Love, Only A Prawn In Whitby, Hey! Wire and more and more.
A number of covers are present, they did a lot of tracks for Imaginary Records, who were prone to putting out tribute albums, as well as putting out the three best Cud albums in Elvis Belt, Leggy Mambo and When In rome Kill Me. The covers though, go from the Quo’s Down Down, this taken from the NME’s 40th anniversary disc, Ruby Trax, Bohemian Rhapsody from the anti poll tax album, Alvin Lives In Leeds and finally their take on The Family Cat’s career high point, Remember What It Is That You Love.
So across 21 tracks, none unfamiliar to me, all great, all fantastic, superb. 9 out of 10.

Strange Kind Of Love by Cud

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