Mayhem, madness and magic probably sum up Cabbage’s biggest headline show to date
Halfway through a UK tour they returned to Manchester to play a sold out Ruby Lounge. Ticket touts outside the venue are an indication that Cabbage really have arrived.
There was a palpable atmosphere of anticipation and excitement once inside as a Cabbage shows are always wonderfully unpredictable. Queen Zee and the Sasstones along with Meat Raffle were the support act and both bands were above average getting the crowds attention and support from what could have been an unresponsive audience just there for the main event.
By 9.15 the front of stage was packed tight as the tension built and then the place exploded as on to the stage walked a man wearing nothing but an oversized nappy followed by a gimp in full bondage gear. The band were behind them and launched straight into Uber Capitalist Death Trade a perfect punk thrash which belies the seriousness of the lyrics.
Within the few minutes of this song the front of stage had become total mayhem as a mosh pit worthy of a Smiths gig developed as the crowd surged and surfed whilst some of those on stage led by lead singer Lee Broadbent dived into the crowd. Beer and talcum powder(the gimp did have a lot of tight leather on!) showered down as the band hammered out their first single Kevin followed by Fickle with Steve Evans stonking bass lines.
Mid set things quietened down a little as Cabbage played their somewhat darkly sinister tribute to Manchester’s music history, Tell Me Lies About Manchester, but the mayhem soon returned with Terrorist Synthesiser and the now legendary Dinner Lady, resulting in a bouncer joining the band to bat away invaders and restore some order!
Despite all the on stage madness theres no getting away from the fact that Cabbage are a bloody good band with a great repertoire of songs and are not hiding behind the theatrical stage show.Asa Morley and Steve Evans are a tight innovative rhythm section behind the blistering guitars of Eoghan Clifford and Joe Martin whilst Lee Broadbent is the perfect extroverted frontman and when he disappears into the crowd Joe takes over vocals without any problem.
The evening continues with more from the EP Le Chou and the newer Necroflat In The Palace, another new song Its Grim Up North Korea doesn’t get any airing tonight but will be available soon and is something to look forward to.
After an hour of this madness Cabbage reach there final song which is surely destined to become a regular encore for years to come. Free Steven Avery is an almost hoedown tune which has everybody dancing whilst the American politcal system is slagged off and the band calls for Donald Trumps death.
So thats it then for Manchester, Cabbage are back on the road next week for eight more UK dates at small venues and then who knows what. What is clear is that Cabbage are going to be big and that this could be the last chance to catch them before they are out of the club circuit and into the big venues. This was one of those gigs to brag “i was there” to future generations!