The CUD story part 35

85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95

Giant-Love-live.jpg1 Jul
First rehearsals since the tour, trying out five of Mike’s new songs. Some are catchy, others average, but without Carl’s’ vocals, it’s hard to tell their potential.

2 Jul
Work on a couple of my own songs at Old Chapel.

7 Jul
Carl and Mike like both like my new songs and we choose one to work up for a B-side to ‘Strange Kind of Love’. It’s a big songwriting motivator but it also feels like it might be the last chance to get any new songs released.

14 Jul
Jim shows up with more bad news. Polygram Publishing have dropped us. The new regime there includes no one who signed us. We owe about £80,000 and they see little chance of recouping this in the near future. We could be in serious financial straits by Xmas. Songwriting now takes on an urgency, as an aim to get us a new deal.

19-20 Jul
Recording ‘Strange Kind of Love’ at Maison Rouge Studios, London.

Giant-Love-live2.jpg23 Jul
Live at Wollaton Park Heineken Festival. We play pretty average but go down well to a crowd of about 20,000. We needed more rehearsal.

8 Aug
Not a positive return to band practice after holidays. Mike’s suggesting we sign on and he, rightly, complains of our inactivity when he’s away. Still, Carl has words to the new songs and A&M are sending us a cheque for £24,000 for our indie recordings, which will temporarily bail us out.

9 Aug
Steve and Dave begin work on a DAT loop for performing ‘Look on up’ live at Reading later this month.
Martin comes over to tell us we have a busy schedule ahead, with plans to rerelease ‘Magic’ in September.

21 Aug
Recording ‘Before Tomorrow’ and the first Potter/Puttnam credit ‘Judas’ Kiss’ at Axis Studios, Sheffield. Producer, Steve Harris works us hard through several guides till Steve’s drums sound right. I don’t get to start on the bass till a post-curry 10.30pm. Get a reasonable take down by midnight.

one_giant_flyer.jpg22 Aug
‘One Giant Love’ released.

23 Aug
Because of the time spent on drum on day one, Steve has to hurry us through. He wants Mike to play the bass part to ‘Before Tomorrow’ as I’m having problems locking into it. I’m disgruntled but confess he can play it better. This is happening far too often now and I’ve myself to blame.24 Aug
Radio One roadshow in Shrewsbury with Nicky Campbell, miming ‘One Giant Love’ for three minutes then signing autographs for kids who’ve never heard of you. ‘One Giant Love’ scrapes in at a disappointing 43 midweek.
giant_nme_rev.jpg

giant_mm_rev23 Aug
Because of the time spent on drum on day one, Steve has to hurry us through. He wants Mike to play the bass part to ‘Before Tomorrow’ as I’m having problems locking into it. I’m disgruntled but confess he can play it better. This is happening far too often now and I’ve myself to blame.

24 Aug
Radio One roadshow in Shrewsbury with Nicky Campbell, miming ‘One Giant Love’ for three minutes then signing autographs for kids who’ve never heard of you. ‘One Giant Love’ scrapes in at a disappointing 43 midweek.

reading_pass.jpg 25 Aug
Reading warm-up show at the Duchess, Leeds. Despite poor sound and heat we play well.27 Aug
Long drive to Reading made more uncomfortable by Carl’s loud erratic tapes and Godzilla videos. We walk to the festival site to receive our luminous green entry bands and visit the guest bar at dusk. There are a few friends from indie bands there, no one particularly famous. Back at the Up Cross Hotel, Suede’s new guitarist tries to buy Carl’s wine off him for £15.

 

 

28 Aug
Reading Festival show.
Our act was delayed due to a tear in the Melody Maker tent and introduced by a guitar amp failure, but we get into our stride, with Dave Lazenby providing brass for ‘Look on up’.
Watch some of Jeff Buckley’s set in the next tent and the Red Hot Chili Peppers before heading back to Leeds.

31 Aug
‘One Giant Love’ limped into the charts at 52. The rerelease of ‘Magic’ is now on hold as A&M assess what went wrong.

14 Sept
Carl announces he’s moving to London.
Jim announces we’re booked as support on the Spin Doctors tour.
They’re not a band we’re fans of but they’ve had big success with the single ‘Two Princes’. It’s hoped by our record company that we’ll reach out to new fans. For me, any tour is a good thing.
Mike, back from a disappearance, with 20 songs compared to my 2 and Carl’s lack of lyrics, says he’s considering leaving the band if the rest of us don’t work harder. He’s pissed off at seeing my spare bass in the studio, not being used. He threatens to employ a different bass player on the next L.P. should I not improve. I couldn’t deal with that. I’d quit first.
Mike’s standards are high, but I agree that I should be a better bass player after seven years in a band. After his call I feel bad, confused, a little sick, unsure even if I want CUD to continue. A&M have held back the planned compilation CD till next year. Perhaps it should be our epitaph.
But then, for the opportunity to make music, to broadcast it, should it be so easily given up?!
I meet Mike later to retrieve a tape player and my spare bass. Fair dues, I need a kick up the arse.

asked_back.jpg16 Sept
Feeling better after a couple of days committed bass practice, playing to Mike’s tapes and working on my own tracks. It seems daft to give up all this. (At the same time I find myself hoping for a break in comics.) We’ll have a serious band meeting when Steve gets back from his break in Corsica.

21 Sept
Meeting delayed as Carl has gone to London. I work with Steve and Mike on new songs which is a positive move.

22 Sept
Rehearsals feeling more upbeat. It’s good to be back together again working on new material. We’re a band again. Five new songs are sounding good. We consider writing some words to them ourselves as Carl is lax in his ‘responsibilities’.

23 Sept
Carl is back. His girlfriend swears at Mike down the phone, ‘Fuck off and leave us alone for a week!” Carl’s shaved all his hair off. Meetings are being arranged to discuss his move south and the lack of new lyrics.

27 Sept
Steve and I work through songs in the studio while Mike, Jim and Martin talk to Carl. Martin suggests Mike work with a new co-writer, Alan Whyte who’s been writing music for Morrissey.

28 Sept
No show for Carl at rehearsals but I meet him at a party later. He agrees with Mike that the rhythm section is slack, even going so far as to suggest both of us could be replaced. This makes me feel even more ill at ease. If I got offered a comic job now, I’d quit this band. Even while rehearsing new material, I feel concerned that I might not be the one to be recording them for the next album.

30 Sept
Feeling conflicted, I head to London for the UK Comic Convention, trying to get work, hanging out with Philip Bond and Jamie Hewlett. Jamie, absent from the convention itself, turns up at the hotel later with Justine from Elastica and Adam Ant. Adam, fresh from getting his own Tank Girl tattoo designed says he’s just bought the CUD album and wants us to support him on his comeback tour next year.

3 Oct
The atmosphere at rehearsals is fair as we play through our live set for the Spin Doctors tour. These are songs I feel more comfortable with. Carl confesses perfectly understandable personal reasons for not being able to write so many lyrics at the moment.

7 Oct
Girl in the Leeds street shouts “Sell out! Sell out!” at me. Not sure which moment in CUD’s history she is referring to.

Continue to part 36

Advertisements