INFLUENCES: The Fall, Fat White Family, John Cooper Clarke, GG Allin
HOMETOWN: Mossley, Greater Manchester
After a drought of bands that resonate with the people, we had the pleasure of interviewing the Mossley band Cabbage. The band who are a seamless blend of artistry and activism are quickly emerging as one of the great, idiosyncratic talents to come out of Manchester. Frustrated by the lack of bands saying anything meaningful and lashing out at the world’s many injustices, Cabbage are made up of the ever so friendly, charming Lee Broadbent (vocals), Joe Martin (vocals, guitar), Eoghan Clifford (guitar), Stephen Evans (bass) and Asa Morley (drums). In the past year, they’ve covered some of history’s most recent controversial events and issues, taking on everything from political corruption, to Jimmy Saville’s covered up atrocities. Live, the band are a mind blowing, fearless mash up of inexhaustible pandemonium and subversive humour. Ready for grown men in nappies and dancing gimps? How about a wee tune about Jimmy Saville shagging dead bodies? Cabbage are not for the faint-hearted.
Were you all brought up in Mossley? What was your upbringing like, did it have any effect on your songwriting?
LEE: Well were about 60% all Mossley and not really, I didn’t really do anything up until I was about 16.
JOE: It’s been a nice place to grown up, I think your dads had a big impact on you hasn’t he Lee?
LEE: My dad (laughs) I don’t agree with anything that man says, though.
JOE: He’s had an impact on your political views though “You’ve got to get fired up and go let it out on stage” (laughing)
LEE: He’s my hero my dad but I think he’s a silly man when it comes to his political views.
I heard your thoughts on Manchester are there’s been a lot of great bands but you feel it’s got kind of stuck and there’s nothing new coming out of there. What do you as a band think you can bring to the table to change that?
LEE: Don’t…… copy……. Oasis!!!
JOE: Well all the great bands have probably said this before but they were all like other worldly and they didn’t sound like anything of their time and the predecessors that came before them, like Joy Division had next level gloom, they pushed boundaries but now you’ve got a lot of Manchester bands that have been so heavily influenced by previous Manchester bands it’s just a saturated version of a band of yesteryear.
LEE: I think it almost comes as a right as well, where people think ‘Oh we’re from Manchester and that means we deserve it all on a plate just because of the history of the city!’ and then what becomes the real art is just contrive fucking nonsense.
STEPHEN: Bands have just become caricatures of what was a great scene in Manchester, they’re just copying.
JOE: Our good friend Matt Whitehouse said that he believes there was like a renaissance period on Manchester from the late 60’s well up until about 1994, I think the great Manchester bands are something truly original, not that we are but you know…. (laughs)
You write and sing about current and political affairs and events, as a band what do you think the economic and political revolution is regarding austerity?
LEE: Nuclear War!!!
STEPHEN: Next question!
JOE: Austerity well that’s just a tool kind of fleece the working class really isn’t it.
LEE: The money doesn’t disappear it just get tighter in everyone’s pocket.
JOE: Exactly, so austerity enables fucking capitalism (laughs) “BREAKS INTO SONG”
Do you think that bands these days are afraid to write and sing about current events?
LEE: Either that or there just erm.. well we’ve come to a period in our generation where narcissism is the controlling sort of focus for a lot of people, so I don’t know whether it’s that there scared of or they just don’t give a fuck because they just like looking in a mirror.
JOE: It’s definitely a bit of both because you know there’s lots of other things you can occupy your mind with.
LEE: No one self-deprecates anymore do they, I think it’s the best way to get any point across and if you make a fool of yourself and put yourself on a pedestal and create yourself an identity then who’s going to listen to this sort of folk character that you’ve created for yourself, self-deprecation is honesty and that’s what we put into our art.
JOE: Absolutely you can only write about what you know, and I think some music can age so badly because it’s about things that are current at the time.
LEE: I mean we are topical aren’t we but…
JOE: I don’t just mean lyrics, it’s like all these band names that are stupid, like when they put a letter in that’s backwards, they have literally run out of words in the English language, it’s very important that it looks cool and hip but it’s meaningless.
LEE: Yeah, I mean CABBAGE, you’re not going to type that into fucking google are you.
JOE: And fashion dominates too, it goes around in circles and it does age.
Do you think labels and managers, try to mold bands into what they think people want to see?
LEE: To be honest, I don’t know anything about the music industry. Our only experience has been fucking positive so far, we’re given the freedom to do whatever, I think we’re like a pet (laughs), they will tell us where to go and we’ll do it, they always seem to love what we do, especially when we write songs about Jimmy Saville shagging dead bodies, you’d think a manager would go hang on this isn’t fucking right, but no there not.
STEPHEN: I’m sure there are cases of management trying to mold bands into a certain niche, but we haven’t experienced that ourselves.
JOE: Our managers just emailed us and said the lyrics, ‘Necroflat in the palace and I can smell a corgi, death is no sanctuary’ which basically means not even death can save you from being molested’ He said in the context of the song they were great lyrics so we certainly have freedom.
You are tipped to be the next big thing, how’s that feel?
JOE: We’ve not even made it to a year yet so I don’t know the way people received us is very quick.
LEE: I suppose good management helps too, I mean if we didn’t get the management we would still be fucking spitting fake blood at each other at a shitty venue in Manchester and probably take it even further with bits of shit and what not.
JOE: Management is great, the first headline gig we did at Atmore was all self-done, self-promoted, we made the posters ourselves and we made the place look fucking mint and loads of people turned up and it was people we didn’t know.
LEE: There was a lot of Polish and Romanian there and it was a bit strange.
JOE: There’s still loads of posters plastered all over and stuff. You can’t expect the world to fall at your feet, get out there, write a few songs, do a few gigs, you really need to put the work in and if bands around start doing well, just because you’ve been going longer than them it doesn’t mean you’ve got a divine right to be doing well ,you’ve got to put the work in and believe in yourself.
LEE: I think it’s a full-time sacrifice as well to be an artist, I mean like the way success has gone for us and how were doing, I’m not saying it’s been a mass struggle or anything like that but were not making any money but it’s that sacrifice you must make.
JOE: People expect you to be making money.
LEE: Yeah like get us a pint your minted, aren’t you?
JOE: Fuck off and buy a t-shirt you twat.
How do you feel about becoming rich and famous?
LEE: We’re never going to be rich and famous, well I don’t think anyway, we will just spunk it up the wall.
JOE: What did George Best say “I spent the money on booze, birds and cars, and the rest I just squandered “, but yeah because the worlds so fickle if you get to that point it doesn’t fucking matter, I mean one song can be big.
LEE: Any money will be a bonus because I’ve already planned that I’m going be poor for the rest of my life so if I get any money it would just be nice but like I said it’s been accepted that I will not be impoverished and enjoy it, anything else will just be the icing on the cake.
What upcoming bands do you support?
JOE: THE BLINDERS from Doncaster!
The band play the first of their practically sold out tour at Hebdon Bridge on the 26th January.
Remaining tickets for the tour are available here……
Cabbages year full of work is now available on their EP Compilation.
Young, Dumb and Full of… Available on the links below.
Header Image: Imogen Thomas