The CUD story part 5

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First demo cassette cover
It seems completely improbable now, but there were two weeks between CUD recording a useful demo (their first in a studio) and recording their first Peel session as a result of sharing this demo. Had the rest of their career continued at the same rate, they would have had their first indie record deal a week later (Oh, that DID happen!), a major deal, Top 40, major tours, attempt at breaking US, difficult fourth album, dispute with record company and spilt due to musical differences by spring 88. Instead, there’s another seven years to spread this tale over.
So, the first 3-track demo has been posted to Peel.
Carl’s cellar. A lot of use of hands with face. Paint and a hint of set list on the wall.

8 June 1987
The band get their first airplay on ‘On the Rocks’ thanks to Battle of the Bands judge and BBC Radio Leeds DJ Jerry Hibbard. The song is ‘Don’t Bank On It’ from the demo.

9 June 1987
The band are rehearsing in Carl’s damp cellar, amps on shelves to avoid the floodwater and orange plate fungus growing from the brickwork, when the phone rings.
Carl goes to answer it while his backing band wait and wait, then go upstairs, curious.
It’s John Walters says Carl.
Ha, good joke.
No, it’s John Walters (Peel’s producer, RIP)
Now the band are really curious to find out if Carl is winding them up.
Carl then asks is next Tuesday OK for recording a Peel session?
No, really. Unbelievable!

10 June 1987
Panic stations, trying to find a van to take us and our shabby gear to London. No hire firms want to rent to bands.

11 June 1987
The General Election. Stay up late to watch the inevitable Tory win.

12 June 1987
Wore black, mourning the result.

14 June 1987
Mike and William rush to put up their final degree shows, smug in the knowledge of a Peel session in the bag. Mike did Graphic Design, by the way.

16 June 1987
Maida Vale, a maze of corridors, cheap BBC restaurants, and snobbish orchestras. The first Peel session with Dale (Mott the Hoople) Griffin producing. We have no cymbals. It’s a basic set up of instruments that won’t stay in tune, found drums and less than an album’s worth of songs to choose from.
We go for ‘You’re The Boss’, ‘Mind the Gap’ (about Carl’s home of East London/Essex where Carl left and William would move to), ‘Don’t Bank On It’ and crowd pleaser, ‘You Sexy Thing’, and why not!
Dale Griffin is not impressed with our drum kit. Steve has lined his drums with silver foil, a tip he picked up from Jon Bonham from a book on Led Zep (supposedly to reflect the sound and add volume.) Griffin tears the foil right out, then takes the snare skin to the BBC canteen to stretch it tighter over a flame.
The miracle of studio knowhow turns our basic sound in to something like a snow plough.
Mike drove the van back to Leeds straight after. We got back at 3am, shattered but euphoric.

We pestered Radio One to put the session out before the end of June so we could get PRS royalties in October. We wanted to spend them on a single.

5leedsuni87.jpgLeeds Uni, 1987, in the first CUD T-shirts. Limited edition of 13.

Continue to Part 6