Sounds Like: The icons of old Manchester being torn down
For Fans Of: Fat White Family, Sleaford Mods, Happy Mondays
“The simple fact is that we don’t like anything dull or boring, we always want to be entertaining,” says Cabbage guitarist/vocalist Joe Martin. “There’s a lot of mundanity and routine in modern life. If you can bring some black humour into that, it’s a really effective way of getting your message across.”
From their “anti-band name” band name to their lyrics about wanking into quiche in the name of class warfare and wishing death upon the US president-elect, no-one could ever accuse Cabbage of being dull. Martin likens his band to a Frankie Boyle standup show – the four EPs they’ve released thus far might strain the boundaries of good taste, but they also have a lot to say about the state of the world we live in. “We’ve come out of the traps with songs about necrophilia, war and capitalism,” he explains, as if reading from a checklist of well-trodden paths to pop stardom. “When David Cameron called Jeremy Corbyn a terrorist sympathiser, we took a stab at that, too. Those kind of talking points come naturally to us. But we don’t want to be pigeonholed as a political band. It’s already happened, just because we sing about relatively serious issues, but we want to move onto something else, socially, musically and politically. We’re keen to explore different realms as soon as possible.”
It’s that desire to do things differently that originally brought Cabbage to prominence in their native Manchester, where they emerged from beneath the “Britpop ash-cloud the city’s still choking under,” and has seen them feted as rock ’n’ roll’s great white hope for 2017, not least by the BBC, who included them (somewhat incongruously) in their annual Sound Of… poll. For good or ill, they’re not the sort of band you can ignore, and however their debut album – due later this year – turns out, you can bet it won’t be boring.
“As long as we get that album out, I don’t care how it’s perceived, or if it gets played on the radio,” says Martin. “I want it to document what we’re doing at that time, whether it’s the highs of the glory or the depths of the struggle. So if it comes out sounding like a fucking car crash, if that’s how it is at the moment, that’s what we’ll release.” Barry Nicolson
Our goal for 2017 is: “It’s quite simple: release an album, improve our headline shows, and stay alive. These are tough times.”
The one thing you need to know about us is “We’re not going fucking anywhere.”
See them live: On tour throughout February.
Essential track: ‘Tell Me Lies About Manchester’