“Bands can get obsessed with their online persona; get drawn into a fucked-up, meaningless world that’s a load of old gubbins. With Cabbage, people want to know about our music and our message. They don’t care that we’re as ugly as fuck and that we stink.” Joe Martin
“Politics tends to be the only thing we talk about as a band. We try to put out a manifesto of how we feel the world should be.” Lee Broadbent
At a time of constant political chaos, when we’re governed by politicians so inept their villainy is cartoonish, it’s surprising Cabbage are viewed as controversial. Surely more bands right now should be this idealistic, and view everyday life with as much splenetic gallows humour?
Still, even at a time when so many bands are more interested in their follower count than their message, Cabbage would stand apart in any age.
Equally drawn to politics and titting about, devotees of both big choruses and anarchic totems like GG Allin and Butthole Surfers, precious few bands are so nuanced, capable of both the intoxicating, intelligent, infectious pop marvel ‘Celebration Of A Disease’ and the knockabout chaos of ‘Asa Morley’.
Most bands spend whole careers trying to forge songs so disparate. Cabbage casually present those divergent joys on the same EP, ‘The Extended Play Of Cruelty’. Which then offers up an epic paean to rail nationalisation, ‘A Network Betrayal’, just because Cabbage can.
“We’re not conscious of anything we do,” reasons Lee Broadbent, Cabbage’s excitable, puppyish joint frontman alongside the calmer, more considered Joe Martin. “If it feels good, it works,” says Lee. “That’s an old proverb in music, but if we didn’t follow it then we wouldn’t feel true. Our songs come about from going ‘Oh, that sounds good.’”
It’s a simple enough philosophy, but one that’s led Cabbage to be one of the most talked-about bands for years, not least for their determination to stay principled. Which should be an absolute basic tenet for a band but, as Joe points out: “Back in the day, you just had to do an interview and a cool picture and that was your image. You could keep a level of mystique. You have to be behind the camera at all times now. It’s a lie and it’s terrifying. Identity is waning, and it negates the risk of offending anyone. Individualism is being sucked away.”
There’s little danger of Cabbage not being individualistic, nor of them taking for granted a passionate fanbase drawn to their idealism and marauding tunes. “We’re fortunate our gigs are extremely balanced,” enthuses Joe. “We don’t seem to have a gender split. The nature of our music is fast and driven, but we don’t have an intimidating crowd. That gives us an inclusive feeling. There’s no bravado, and gender is irrelevant at our shows. There’s a boisterous mob at the front with a lot of bands, and that’s not very inclusive. We’ve got a mixed, positive crowd and the atmosphere is great.”
Despite young people finally having an idealistic figure to vote for in Jeremy Corbyn, relatively few musicians have tapped into that sea change. “Young people have always been idealistic,” says Lee. “But, previously, there’d been nobody worth voting for. So when Jeremy came along, there was a feeling of ‘Hang on, he’s not like the others.’ You can sense he’s telling the truth, that he won’t bow down on his morals. I like reading the letters page in Metro, where Bill from Birmingham complains about ‘These bloody students’ and why the voting age should be raised to 21. I’m a white male, so nothing can really offend me, but that attitude is shocking. You just think ‘You cheeky bastard!’”
New Cabbage EP – ‘The Extended Play Of Cruelty’
Cabbage have announced their latest …
Cabbage have announced their latest EP ‘The Extended Play of Cruelty’, featuring 5 tracks set for digital release come July 21, then available on CD, cassette & 10” green vinyl from August 25. You can pre-order your copy including signed versions here and listen to the first single ‘Celebration Of A Disease’ below.
The band will also be on the road throughout September and October, embarking on their ‘The Healing Brexit Towns Experiment Tour’. See full list of dates and buy tickets here.Listen here
At Blue Raincoat Songs we’ve …
At Blue Raincoat Songs we’ve signed Cabbage, the Manchester five piece regularly pegged as one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now. Having released their debut ‘Young, Dumb And Full Of…’ LP the band have just embarked on their busiest tour schedule yet.
Consisting of Lee Broadbent (lead vocals), Joe Martin (vocals, guitar), Eoghan Clifford (guitar), Stephan Evans (bass) & Asa Morley (drums), they’ve been included in the longlist for BBC Sound of 2017 alongside artists such as Anderson .Paak, Rag’N’Bone Man, RAYE & Nadia Rose.Listen here