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The CUD Story, pt.16
Observatory bar. Good idea to hide the singer's face in a promo
The year begins with a £60,000 publishing deal on the table and the likelihood of signing to Silvertone. A new single, Magic from the well-received Leggy Mambo album is ready, and a tour to promote it booked.
Photo session at Leeds Observatory bar for Magic. The band are awkward and rarely looking at the camera in most of the pix (see above and below).
An enthusiastic A&R guy, Martin Tower from A&M Records visits Leeds to see CUD. Hes so young looking, the band choose to call him Young Shaver. It seems an odd choice of label to CUD, with its roster of Sting and Sheryl Crow, but the legacy of the Herb Alpert and Sergio Mendes days is appealing.
CUD take the train to London for a series of meetings. Today its Alison, the lawyer, dealing with contracts and a Melody Maker interview with Michael Bonner (who coincidentally wrote a comic strip William drew for Speakeasy magazine.)
A Thai lunch with Paul Adam from Polygram (The band so relish being taken out to restaurants!) and a trip to E.G. Records office. This latter meeting is unlikely to lead to a deal, but gives the band a contrast. E.G. seem rather stuffy and focussed on the songwriting, while Polygram seem more enthusiastic about the bands career.
William stays behind in London for a interview on the BBC World Service, while the rest of the band head to Leeds. It feels an odd time to talk to the world as a US ultimatum to Saddam Hussein ends and troops gather on the borders for an invasion.
Desert Storm 1 begins.
Polygram agree to CUDs terms. A date for signing a publishing deal (and signing off!) is imminent.
Manchester powwow with Jim and a belated meeting with BMG. Nice to know theyre interested in the publishing, but the band have already made their decision.
Start filming Magic video with director, Steve Shone at The Leeds Observatory Bar. Its packed on a Saturday night and the band are conspicuously dressed in ill-fitting suits, with hair brylcreamed down, and playing chess (Wha?!). The resident DJ keeps pointing out the filming and sends punters to the Upper Bar where you could be a star! You might be on Top of the Pops in a couple of weeks!
Day Two of filming, the same suits, but an empty bar. While Carl strolls about, singing into a period microphone, the band perform sombrely, Mike on a borrowed semi-acoustic, and William on a double bass. It is hardly the bands image. CUD resemble Roland Rivrons comedy act, Raw Sex. The band are impressed by a new toy, the Steadicam, though.
The keen-eyed amongst you may recognise Paul Adam, on the right, as a fomrer judge on Pop Idol.
(left) The deed is done. Mike signs his life away to Paul Adam from Polygram. Note XXXX 'Dutch courage' on table.
Ex-business manager, Eric Longley finds out and has his lawyers demand 10% of the deal.
The band meet to watch the edited Magic video and head out for a rare non-working social evening. The mood is very positive.
Magic Tour begins at London ULU.
There is some brief filming at the soundcheck to add to the Magic video.
CUD are told 15 record companies are showing up for the gig, plus the press. Pressure? What pressure?
As it is, the gig is a sell-out, the band play a blinder and the crowd are fantastic and persistent stage invaders.
(Informal tour photos, top: Carl & Gordon in van, bottom: Rose and Carl at cafe)
Edinburgh, The Venue
Glasgow, Queen Margarets College
Bournemouth International Centre.
This venue is too large and unsuitable brightly lt, decorated with plants and connected to a sports centre! Still, the 600 folks who showed up helped it go well.
Gordon and Chris, the road crew are assigning nicknames to the band.
Carl is Mixed Grill for his penchant for hearty breakfasts. Mike is Les (for the Les Dawsonlike uniqueness of his guitar solos) of Adolf for his dictatorial tendencies.
Single Magic released.
Ltd ed. 7 (two mixes, Farsley Mix by Dave Creffield, Stockport Mix by Chris Nagle, whos worked with The Charlatans and Inspiral Carpets.
12 bw Beyond Hair/Marjorie
+ CD and cassette
Artwork is by Steve's current girlfriend, Carla Abraham.
Probably the best performance of the tour.
Carl, Mike and William go to see Neds Atomic Dustbins Leeds show.
A&M have made an offer and want the band to start recording ASAP.
Live session in Manchester for Mark Radcliffes Hit the North show.
Train to London to meet lawyers and A&M. CUD get introduced to the staff and invited to Stings party. The deal is not yet agreed. A&M demand the band get medicals for life insurance.
With deals signed and imminent, Mikes writing like a demon. There are now six new songs practised and ready to roll.
CUDs last hours as an indie band are spent on a train packed with Yorkshire rugby fans on their way to a London final.
A small gathering of A&M staff, and Paul Adam join the band for the signing, champagne and prawn sandwiches in the Hammersmith offices. Carls signature is typically much larger than anyone elses.
Now the band has a deal and regular income, the band agrees to pay for a childminder for the Dunphys, so Mike is free to continue songwriting.
The band continue celebrating back in Leeds with more bubbly at The Faversham.
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