Saturday, November 26, 2016
Live Review :: Cabbage :: Old Blue Last, London - Nov 24 2016
Old Blue Last, London
November 24 2016
Words/Photos: Kenny Davies,
The Old Blue Last tonight plays host to The Great Escape's First Fifty for 2017, showcasing some of the first artists to be announced for the Brighton festival next year. Mancunian five-piece Cabbage, who have been storming stages around the country throughout the summer at the festivals and more recently on their own headline tour, are one.
As Radio One presenter Phil Taggart introduces Cabbage onto the stage there's a massive eruption of cheers, clapping, and before it can stop the band fly straight into 'Uber Capitalist Death Trade' where scratchy guitars, fast rolling drums and ramshackle, on-point guitar solos build up to a frenzy which already sets the crowd into a whirling mosh-fest - and it's still only the first song.
'Fickle' and 'Indispensable Pencil', which both tip a nod to The Fall and Fat White Family ideas and visions, with stark cynical lyrics set to a glorious dynamic musical backdrop, have the crowd bouncing along, whilst singer Lee Broadbent bounds straight onto the bass drum (covered with the usual 'Cock - Piss - Cabbage' wording) and proceeds to scream "Who do we trust?" during the first of the two numbers.
'Kevin' and 'Dinner Lady' are the best known of the Cabbage repertoire and receive the biggest reception of approval when announced. On the former the band become almost feral-like, tearing through the song; not straight, a bit wonky and off kilter but the fans love it, responding with shouts of "Kevin!" throughout the chorus. During 'Dinner Lady', second vocalist Lee Martin disrobes to take us through a canteen tale of Jack Wills, and, of course the infamous quiche with a certain added extra, along to a chugging repetitive riff and almost funky bass line.
'Necroflat In The Palace' and the USA bashing, 'Free Steven Avery (Wrong America)', close the set. Neither are conventional song subjects. 'Necroflat...' hinting at the Royals' knowledge of the dark underbelly of celebrity behaviour, comes with the scream of "I was born in the NHS, I wanna die in NHS", the singer heading straight into the crowd to be mobbed as the band on stage head burst into a frenzy of guitars, drums and bass that has everyone moshing again.
The 'Making A Murderer' figure is the fuel in 'Free Steven Avery (Wrong America)', and with US recent presidential election still fresh in minds, the crowd seem to love singing along to the line of "death to Donald Trump". And on this evidence, you can't help but love the fun, dark and ferocious magic that Cabbage create on stage. The skies might be dark in their world, but the future is definitely bright for this band.