Musical entrepreneurial types (aka major label suits) have been trying to bottle the Mancunian air for quite some time now. There's something intrinsically special about the city that creates music and bands that are able to connect on a level your dime a dozen London indie boys just don't quite manage. "The thing about Manchester" - Cabbage frontman Lee Broadbent informs me putting any potential for lazy journalism bang to rights - "is its very easy to hear a new band from Manchester and go: 'Oh they sound like The Stone Roses', 'Oh they sound like Oasis', 'Oh they sound like The Happy Mondays'. It's like any band that now comes out of Manchester people will try and relate them to the history of Manchester. The thing about Manchester is every single band that came from the city came and brought something fresh and nobody sounded like anyone or was directly influence by anybody. That's what made it such a special city."

Cabbage (consisting of frontmen Lee and Joe, guitarist Eoghan, bassist and the band's resident "Martin Hannett", Steve and drummer Asa) aren't from Manchester per se. They're from Mossley. If parts of Manchester felt worlds away from the home counties or our nations capital then Mossley is in another universe. It's the only place that could possibly create these madcap, post-punk wizards. "We're on the foot of the Pennines. It's still classed as Greater Manchester but we're sort of in this massive, glacial hole. Hills surrounding us and no one outside wanting to take part. We're very clandestine. We've had it bred into us that we're a bit of a tribe and everyone else is against us. You always got the runt of it if you told anyone you were from Mosley. We've very much had it all our lives."

This isolation led to the band's own necessary self-exploration. "When you're from a place like Mossley you get a lot of time on your hands", Lee explains and continues: "Time to do some world-searching. We became autodidacts, fans of information. We've always been ones to question everything." It shows in the music - every song is a colloquial, socially charged fable akin to the work of performance poets John Cooper Clarke or band-favourite Mike Garry. Lyrically it must be impressed: expect the unexpected. "We want 'Necro Flat In The Palace' as our next single. It's about Jimmy Saville taking dead bodies to Buckingham Palace. Then we wrote one about our surroundings called 'It's Grim Up North Korea'. That's about seeing the financial and cultural difference between the North and South of England, particularly politically here in Manchester, which has always had a very socialist background. The song is built around the concept of flying over to North Korea, spending a week with Kim Jong-Un and figuring out how he has control of North Korea then taking the idea back to North England and making new beginnings for the Northern Republic of Communist England (N.R.C.E)."

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It's sharp satire with tongue firmly in cheek, but behind the facade, there is a serious message, an advert for the band's political leanings. Cabbage describe themselves as "discordant neo post-punk". Genre can be a powerful tool. Whereas Punk was antagonistic and overly direct with its message, post-punk was always able to be more playful. "It's more intelligent to be clever about being aggressive and I think that's what post-punk music is about," Lee muses. "You can go out there and scream 'Fuck the Tories', but it's more intelligent and accessible for people to jump onto the underground post-punk attitude."

Thankfully not just for Cabbage, but for us all, people are starting to take note. What started as a self-indulgent EP recording session and a chance to "have some songs on our phones so we can have a laugh and play them to our mates" turned into record label interest, festival billings and a chance to support their heroes, The Fall. "It has felt overnight," Lee admits, "but we've been ready for it for the past 5 years. It's funny because I genuinely feel like I'm doing what I've always wanted to do. I'm in the right band and I'm putting out the right message."

The whole canon of musical history makes it difficult for a band like Cabbage with their intrinsic revolutionary streak to offset. Their offbeat rhythms, descending howls and space-age guitar effects make a good case for idiosyncrasy. However, people will keep banging on about the band lyrically because they are honestly bringing something fresh to the table. It makes the band devoid of any derivatives. "Lyrically with the English language and with cultural differences and the individual opinion of today, you're going to explore something that hasn't been explored," Lee points out and continues: "I'm absolutely shocked that there's not a bunch of bands who haven't already said what we've said on 'Necro Flat in the Palace'. I think there's an absolute gateway for Cabbage. I'm sat in the pub talking about these things with my mates all the time. If all the other bands out there are all sat in their houses or the pub chatting about these things and then they pick up their guitar and start singing about love then it's just a fucking waste of time. I'm really quite shocked that no one has really stood up to talk about the Jimmy Saville/BBC scandal, musically speaking."

No one can argue that modern music has lost its political bite. Cabbage provide a vital breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale musical landscape. "There's a pretty good quote by Olinde Rodrigues in 1825. He wrote the avant-garde manifesto, ('L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel'). He claims that art and music is the fastest way for social and political reform and without people in the art world challenging first the rest of us can't. That's the purpose of Avant Garde. To raise the people through art and music and create social and political reform."

Cabbage are a generation X band. Alienated youths, cynical and principled, they may not be post-boomers themselves, they just seem like they should have been. They seem out of time and paradoxically firmly within the present, just not all to happy to be there. "We are 'the' lazy generation. They're trying to get drones used with everything now. The terrifying thing is we're multiplying as a population. Almost like bacteria. Yet we're creating less opportunities for people to serve a purpose. I feel like we're heading for a very dark ending." Maybe, Cabbage can provide some light at the end of the tunnel.


May

Fri 27th, Tynemouth, Surf Cafe

Sat 28th, Liverpool Sound City (Tim Peaks Diner)

Sun 29th, Manchester, Soup Kitchen


June

Sat 4th, Scunthorpe, Cafe INDIEpendent

Tue 7th, Brighton, Patterns

Wed 8th, Guildford, The Boileroom

Thu 9th, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach w/ YAK

Sat 11th, Southampton, Lennons

Sun 12th, Isle of Wight

Sat 23rd, Blackthorn Festival


July

Fri 29th, Kendal Calling


August

Sat 6th, Party in the Pines

Sun 7th, Forgotten Fields


September

Sun 4th, Festival No. 6