Cud was formed in Leeds, England in 1987 by Carl Puttnam (b. Ilford, Essex, England; vocals), Mike Dunphy (b. Northumberland, England; guitar), William Potter (b. Derby, England; bass) and Steve ‘The Infamous Drummer From Cud’ Goodwin (b. Croydon, Surrey, England; drums). The quartet sprung into existence when they discovered the remains of a deserted drum kit in a rubbish skip. They debuted on the Wedding Present’s Reception label and spent two years building up a small but fanatical north England following with a comical hybrid of funk and the uglier elements of independent music. Threatened by a not entirely undeserved ‘joker’ tag - helped by Cud’s desire to perform absurd versions of Hot Chocolate and Jethro Tull songs - 1990 brought ‘a new sense of sanity and professionalism’ to the band. Critical acclaim coincided with a more nationwide spread of supporters, and their new-found attitude reaped commercial dividends when the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ single reached number 86 in the UK charts, closely followed by ‘Magic’ peaking at number 80.
With financial viability suddenly outweighing the band’s odder idiosyncrasies, major labels tussled for their signatures until Cud decided to go with A&M Records in 1991, for the simple reason that the label’s logo ‘had the trumpet’. This move marked the release in the summer of 1992 of Asquarius, which earned the band glowing reviews. However, the transition from indie chart to mainstream pop territory was not as easy as this early victory might have suggested. A&M launched the band with a seemingly endless collection of promotional gimmicks (balloons, mobiles, etc.), but failed to reap significant commercial reward. Despite this, the critics were still kind to the follow-up Showbiz, wherein Cud provided a less insular pop sound and ‘mature’ lyrics (mature in comparison to previous efforts, but hardly by anyone else’s standards). Potter was replaced by Mick Dale shortly before the band broke up in 1995. Puttnam, Potter and Goodwin reunited in 2006 for a series of live gigs, with new guitarist Felix Frey rounding out the line-up.