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Cabbage review: ‘Full of energy, passion and anger’

PUBLISHED: 14:18 14 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:18 14 April 2018

Cabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul Jones

Cabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul Jones

Paul Jones

Cabbage, the five piece band from Mossley, Tameside returned to The Arts Centre in Norwich last night to deliver another set of political post punk rowdiness to a packed crowd.

Cabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul JonesCabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul Jones

Only forming in 2015, and quickly signed to Skeleton Key Records, vocalist Lee Broadbent and guitarist/vocalist Joe Martin take centre stage and seem happy to absorb the attention of the crowd. In particular Broadbent moves around the stage, full of energy, passion and anger as they drive their songs home.

Their political stance is strictly to the left as they sing their affection for the NHS, their dislike for the Royal Family and Donald Trump, and their absolute outrage against austerity.

A decent mosh pit developed in front of the stage during their more rambunctious numbers with the younger members of the crowd well in tune to the band.

Cabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul JonesCabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul Jones

There was plenty of energy in the room at stages, and several of the tracks they spit are pretty catchy.

My only criticisms would be the limited crowd interaction between songs by the two vocalists. I’d like to see them create more of a synergy between them and the people who have paid to see them. Perhaps this will develop over time, they did after all form less than three years ago, and their personalities will shine through more.

Also, their slower numbers perhaps need a polish. Despite the morally decent nature of what they are saying I was glad when these were over and they returned to what they are best at; rampaging, anger fuelled, system-challenging punk music to get people jumping and raging against the current state of affairs. And good on them.

Nods must be given to the two support bands. Fellow Mossley natives Afghan Sand Gang sounded tight in the opening slot playing to a smattering of people, followed shortly after by She Drew The Gun fronted by the charismatic Louisa Roach.

They were the perfect support for Cabbage seeing as not only are they too signed to Skeleton Key Records, but also deliver strong political messages about racism, inequality and again, the NHS.

Their overall ethos of Roach is to promote feminism and empowerment of women. A sizeable proportion of their crowd was female who provided support and whoops as she delivered a couple of spoken word poems between songs.

Cabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul JonesCabbage performing at Norwich Arts Centre, 13th April 2018. Photo: Paul Jones

As always Norwich Arts Centre is a fantastic place to enjoy music, with its unique acoustics and gothic arches. The atmosphere is always special when the place is packed and the staff are all fantastic with a love for music and the arts.

I’m personally looking forward to returning there soon to enjoy more good music.

As for Cabbage. They are on an upward curve, and prolific too being two albums in and winning TV spots. They have been seen recently on Football Focus and Soccer AM.

I first saw them play the BBC introducing Stage at Latitude Festival in 2016, followed by the much larger NME/Radio 1 Stage at Leeds Festival in 2017.

Seeing as the next gig I will see them at is a headlining slot on the Dr Martens Stage at the Live @ Leeds Festival in May I think the era of Cabbage may be dawning.

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