The Bodega, Nottingham
February 1 2018
Words/Pictures: Gav Squires
After recently announcing that their debut album, 'Nihilistic Glamour Shots', will be released in March, Cabbage bound into The Bodega in Nottingham for the second - and sold out - show of their present tour after hot-footing it down from Hull.
It’s a curious thing, as the country falls apart, an insect having its legs plucked off one by one, where is the anger and frustration from our artists? The biggest selling musician in the UK is too busy pointing out that his mum hasn’t changed his sheets after he had a girl round. Thank god that Cabbage are here.
They show the benefits of a summer spent on the festival treadmill as they are incredibly tight but they haven’t lost any of that initial excitement that they generated. The 13-song set opens with new single 'Arms Of Pleonexia', but it’s during the second song, 'Necroflat In The Palace', with its refrain of “I was born in the NHS and I’ll die in the NHS”, that the crowd really get going.
'Terrorist Synthesizer' keeps the crowd bouncing along, while 'Network Betrayal', about the privatised train networks, is more of a spoken word number and featured so many words in such a short space of time that it reminded me of John Cooper Clarke, the bard of Salford. Old favourite 'Dinnerlady' gets a rare airing, generating the most moshing of the evening, but the new songs from the forthcoming album also go down really well.
In terms of haircuts, the band borrow from some of the Manchester greats - Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Fall and while they borrow elements from those groups, both musically and in terms of swagger and unique, passionate vision, they are different from anything that has come before. 'Tell Me Lies About Manchester' is introduced by frontman Lee Broadbent as having a "new drummer for an old song" as they unveil a drum machine for the track, not something that we would have seen from Oasis.
They close an amazing set with 'Uber Capitalist Death Trade' and it feels like if they’d announced a march on Downing Street at the moment they finished, most of the audience would have followed them. As it was, the band leave the stage, drenched in sweat, having given their all to the performance. There’s no doubt about it, Cabbage are the sort of band that we need right now and, fortunately, they have the energy, the anger and the talent to fulfil just that role.