Manchester’s Cabbage On Their Absurd Band Name And If They’re As ‘Vulgar’ As Their Lyrics Suggest

Cabbage’s thrilling debut EP ‘Le Chou’, which features five twisted post-punk slinkers stuffed with explicit lyrics and Jack White levels of rage, came out in January. They also look good and rock hard live, and as a result will support Blossoms later this month. Singer Lee Broadbent explains what the hell is going on…

First off, why Cabbage?
“It’s the best anti-band name and sums us up completely. As a musician, I’ve always wanted to become a sort of Marmite-type entity and it really works. Some people love it, some people hate it – it’s great.”

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You’re vocal about current affairs in your tunes. Do you think it’s important for new bands to speak up?
“We’re at the forefront of culture, aren’t we? So in some respects we need to be at least somewhat topical. We’ve got a song called ‘Grim Up North Korea’, which is about going over to North Korea and figuring out how Kim Jong-Un runs his business over there, and one about Donald Trump called ‘Free Steven Avery’. It’s really bad, though.”

You have some pretty funky lyrics, for example: “I had a w*nk in the quiche and watched the headmaster get it stuck to his teeth” in ‘Dinner Lady’. What’s that all about?
“It’s just our black-humour way. I don’t think we’re vulgar people. Maybe some people might think we are. If they’ve seen us at a festival, they’ll probably think we’re vulgar.”

You’ve said you started this band as a joke. Has it gone beyond that now?
“I can’t imagine ever doing anything else with such true intent. It’s like a catharsis. It’s a great way to have a sense of humour and be topical.”

Does your black humour and intensity come across when you play live?
“It’s like a purge, driving round with a circus cult trying to anarchise people.”

What’s the future for you guys? Headlining huge venues?
“I mean, to say that big venues are void of soul… I suppose that’s only the gigs I’ve been to. But to have an ending right now is well too far in the future. I can only think two weeks in front.”

The Details

Based: Manchester
Buy: Debut EP ‘Le Chou’ is available now
Best track: ‘Dinner Lady’
A sort-of-true retelling of guitarist Joe’s time working in a school kitchen, with dark lyrics about bodily fluids set to a slinking guitar riff.
Fact: The Fall’s bassist Simon Archer will produce Cabbage’s new music

Live Dates (On Blossoms tour until October 8):
Birmingham O2 Institute (September 23)
Bristol Bierkeller (24)
Cambridge Junction (26)
Manchester Academy (30)
Newcastle Riverside (October 3)
Sheffield Leadmill (4)
Leeds Beckett University (5)
Manchester ‘Neighbourhood Festival’ (8)
Norwich Sound & Vision Festival (13)
Leicester Cookie (14)
Oxford Bullingdon (15)
Hull Adelphi Club (20)
Doncaster Social Bar (21)
Preston Ferret (22)
Bournemouth Sixty Million Postcards (27)
Manchester Ruby Lounge (28)
Coventry Kasbah (29)
Derby Venue (November 3)
Liverpool Magnet (4)
Bolton Blind Tiger (5)
Reading Purple Turtle (10)
Brighton Green Door Store (11)
Plymouth Underground (12)
Glasgow Stereo (17)
Stockton Ku-bar (18)
Stoke Sugarmill (19)