The CUD story part 24

85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95

rich&strangepicdisc.jpg(above) One of the packaging options. Below useless glasses so you can mock-up your own sleeve.This sleeve was a college painting by Carl that was adorned by glasses by friend, Graham. How Leeds Poly must have enjoyed seeing their failed graduate’s work pasted around their building!

18 May
Rich and Strange released.

19 May
Steve goes AWOL as the band head to Nottingham to record for a TV show. He gets to the studio just in time before we have to book a session drummer. We perform the single and Carl does a funny interview with Garry Rice.

richglasses.jpg21 May
We’re number 20 in the midweek chart!? A&M are pulling out all the stops to ensure their choice of single does well.
First proper gig of the tour: Sunderland Poly. It’s poorly attended, apparently as everyone’s revising (yeah, sure!)
Former manager, Martin Baker, surprises us with a visit, with his wife.

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rich_bad_review.jpgReally good and truly bad reviews, as usual.
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22 May
Carl and I do a lively interview for Manchester Piccadilly Radio. We do our bit for the single, buying a couple of cut-price copies in a chart-return shop. (We’re getting day-by-day positions now. Down to 21.)
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(photos) Warrington Legends show for 500-odd stage divers, getting in the way and meddling with Mike’s settings. Still, it must have looked a riot.

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24 May
Middlesborough Arena
Backstage we’re nervously listening to the chart rundown.
There’s a problem with the Gallup computer delaying the chart. It feels like every song is six minutes long and there are too many jingles and tense pauses. We’re waiting, praying to hear the first bars of ‘Rich and Strange’, losing faith that it’s remained in the Forty. Bruce Springsteen, The Inspiral Carpets, even Benny Hill. The chart enters the Top 30 and we’ve still not been played. We’re close to despair. Then, 24!!!! a loud cheer, polite handshaking and champagne in plastic glasses. Went to the Arena office to ring home, on the verge of tears.

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richtour_celebrate.jpgHow can be CUD be in the Top 30?!? The gig was kind of average, but we were all high knowing we’d finally got there.

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25 May
We get 30 seconds video play on TOTP.

richtour_carltowel.jpg26 May
Derby Wherehouse. Rammed gig. Church pew used as a stage barrier had to lifted out of the way, then the monitor, as the crowd pushed forward.

27 May
Wakefield Rooftop Gardens. Steve nips out for an assignation at soundcheck time, so we invite NME journo, Andrew Collins to play in place of the man he named The Drummer in CUD’. Steve makes it back in time for the show, mind.

richtour_kerri_dave.jpg29 May
Norwich Waterfront. First of a long string of dates. Did a daft photo session for MXPress magazine, and one of many interviews, no time to relax.

30 May
Northampton Roadmenders. This place was a dump last time we played but it’s been spruced up, with the best backstage facilities we’ve encountered, even syringe disposal buckets (for bands with diabetes, I assume.) We showed our appreciation by putting on our best performance of the tour so far. It was just as well, as Jim had come over to bollock Carl for what he’d heard were lacklustre efforts. After an argument Jim revealed A&M and Polygram had taken up our option for another year. Phew!

richtour_backstage.jpg31 May
Night at the Columbia Hotel. Mike and I join Mike Joyce (ex-Smiths drummer) and John (Magazine/Banshees) guitarist now touring with PiL in the bar. It’s Mike’s 30th birthday. They’re friendly guys with some sound advice on the music business. We drank till 5.30am…

1 Jun
…and, God! did we feel shit in the morning at an A&M art dept. meeting over the next single sleeve. A&M, thankfully opted for a new recording of live favourite, ‘Purple Love Balloon’ over ballad ‘Once Again’ as the ‘Rich and Strange’ follow-up. Carl has the idea of covering the sleeve in the prostitute cards found in phone booths but we all agree on an aubergibe theme.
Portsmouth Pyramids Centre turns out to be a carpeted Leisure Centre, impossible to fill. We play a fine show though and are rewarded with stage dives and a groupie!?!

richtour_wetcarl.jpg2 Jun
Brighton Zap Club smells rank from leaking drains. The Worthing comics crew turn up. The crowd move in waves from the back to the front of the club, knocking the mixing desk into Dave’s lap.

3 Jun
Folkestone Metronome. The port is quiet, full of pensioners, trumpeters in bandstands, chip shops and yobs hanging round the amusement arcades. Only 50 tickets have been sold in advance for tonight’s show. The dressing room has only just recovered from a flooding and stank so. Our rider was a pittance and Keri fears we might not even be paid. We get about 150 in as it turns out. Keri tells us to go on but be prepared to leave if our guarantee isn’t paid. We played every song as if it was to be the last, then left, pissed off with the management.

4-5 Jun
Two nights at the London Camden Underworld, both shows sold out in advance.
We have another meeting with A&M to look at the Purple Love Balloon sleeve. An aubergine seed-packet design is offered. I suggest the brand, Alpert & Moss, but it’s not allowed (!) so we go with an blend of our own surnames, Putter & Dunwin. The sleeve is of a flying aubergine – Led Eggplant, anyone?
First show is great fun, all push and shoving stage invaders, then out to Syndrome Club with Jim and Dele Fedele, the first NME guy to interview us back in 1987.

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Day Two and only three of the band brave hangovers to meet gig promoter Jeff Craft from Metropolis. The evening’s show was not so lively, but we enjoy Leed’s Ringo’s High, our favourite band of the moment.

richtour_sos.jpg6 Jun
Van breaks down. It takes us eight hours to get back to Leeds.

Continue to part 25

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