LIVE REVIEW: Cabbage - Live at ULU - 05/10/2017

CABBAGE - Announce London Headline Show

“Indie rock's lowest common denominator.” This is how Cabbage describes their sound. What inspired this five-piece band from Mossley, 8.9 miles east of Manchester to form in 2015? Answer: Coronation Street. Most notably “Peter Barlow when he falls off the wagon. Also, Dev Alahan downing a bottle of his shop's whiskey.” Hilarious, but does this sound like a band you should take seriously? Well, James Skelly (The Coral) does; he signed Cabbage to independent label Skeleton Key Records. Cabbage also supported Kasabian on tour earlier this year.

There is a more serious side to this band. “Unless you’ve had your head in a washing machine for your entire adult life, how are you not writing about something political?” Political influences find a home on Dinner Lady, Terrorist Synthesizer, Kevin and Uber Capitalist Death Trade. Cabbage is concerned about Manchester’s future. “Someone needs to blow the cobwebs off. You only have to walk down the street and see all the Liam Gallagher-alikes with their sideburns flapping in the wind to see it. It’s 20 years since Knebworth, and people are still talking about it.”

Cabbage has also expressed concern that there is a “distinct lack of believable, interesting and attitude-driven characters within today's music scene.” From the moment they emerged on the stage, Cabbage showed determination to prove they are believable, interesting and attitude-driven. It’s all or nothing.” Perceived gloriously or horrendously, we aren't bothered which. Just as long as it's not considered 'sort of alright'.” Cabbage definitely doesn’t want any bandwagon jumpers. When The Sun tipped them for stardom for 2017, the band tweeted suggesting that The Sun: Read into the lyrics and you'll find how much we despise your odious, backward nationalism…

The devoted crowd were already pumped up owing to a fantastic set from main support band Queen Zee and the Sasstones. Cabbage did not allow the crowd's adrenaline to falter. For one hour, Cabbage offered a sound comprising of newer bands such as Slaves and noughties bands including The Libertines. Free Charles Bronson will remind you of The Great Delaney. The Libertines I get along is also embedded in Cabbage’s sound. Also The Cooper Temple Clause. Within 24 hours post gig; Film Maker will be added to your playlist. The influence of punk legends the Ramones, The Buzzcocks and The Fall on Cabbage is undeniable. The cherry on the cake is the seldom and probably unintentional mix of Black Sabbath.

How much of their live energy is owed to the youth of Cabbage’s fan base? Not as much as one would expect. Cabbage is getting the youth of today to do something so many bands cannot get young people to do (or at least do well): put their smartphones away, move around, form a mosh pit and even agitate security with crowd surfing. Is Cabbage often banal? Definitely, maybe, there are Oasis influences (albeit seldom) in their sound. Co-frontmen Lee Broadbent and Joe Martin share vocal similarities to Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys). Whether this matters or not is an individual choice; Cabbage is offering a new generation of indie music thirsty youth a traditional and honourable rite of passage into the world of live music.

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