Manchester’s Cabbage have been coined as the new fervent post-punk kids on the block. But this is more than just deriving punk. This is post-millennial spunk. Cabbage are exerting the energies of this frustrated post-millennial generation. Using the foundations of a genre that has spat in the face of austerity for decades, Cabbage add contemporary cynicism, wit, rage, boredom and stark humour to form a present day norm-defying genre. South London’s Fat White Family sparked a punk enthused anarchy against the norm with their debut ‘Champagne Holocaust’ back in 2014, tonight the modern angst makes itself at home in the north at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge. This unique sound is the new wave of rebellion we’ve all been itching for…

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Decorating the stage with Donald Trump enthused disgust, with banners reading “GRAB EM BY THE PUSSY,” and “LAND OF THE FREE” the band engage us with their satirical jest before they’ve even struck a chord.

 

‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’ screams us into tumultuousness. With new-age spontaneity, sweaty bodies, sticky shirts and a callous energy, there’s a feeling of calamity in the air. Onstage complete with their very own adult-sized baby and defiant gimp, tonight Cabbage give us the feeling that anything could happen.

 

The set free-wheels into a rousing rendition of ‘Kevin’. The tearing grunge-pop song crunches with a pulsating beat, as front man Lee Broadbent wails vocals with a stirring spirit.

 

 

With an intoxicating downward spiralling bass riff, ‘Fickle’ provides the dark cynical beat of this generation. “Well I’m the ficklest f**ker in town… no f**ker is more fickle around. Well I’m low and beneath the ground, failing that f**k all keeps a cabbage down…” sinisterly croons the vocals. ‘Fickle’ is a cynical f**k you to the demands of ‘the barrel of life’, (“if life was a barrel I’d drown.”)

 

Cabbage adopt a dark sarcastic tone floundering post-graduates are all too familiar to resort to when asked; “So when are you going to get a REAL job?” Too many of us are leaving higher education expected to source a “career” with little opportunity in the current job market. Cabbage sneer at societies forced self-expectations and adopt an infectiously callous counteracting cool. The band present a defying culture, as a voice for societies lost youths; “I’ll believe the cabbage catastrophe, oh it bangs and it bangs to austerity…”

 

With a tale of unfortunate fate for a school lunches’ quiche, “Dinner Lady” further epitomises this generations bored frustrations. Guitarist Joe Martin takes lead vocals on this one, cutting a track that once began as a poem, into a live surge of scuzzy guitar laden performance poetry.

 

‘Necroflat In The Palace’ colours a frustration of the possibly imminent NHS crisis. With furiously whirling guitar, the group hurtle us into chants of; I was born in the NHS! I wanna die in the NHS!’ The crowd spits back these lyrics with astounding venom for a track that didn’t see release (on the same titled EP) until the forthcoming Monday after the gig. Four racing minutes illustrate both disgust and satire of a privatised health system in our royalist country ‘I can smell a Corgi…’ Cabbage’s social commentary and arresting sound annihilates the ears with clever and captivating satire.

 

Growling chords and a tongue-in-cheek swagger rolls us into the mocking humour of ‘Free Steven Avery (Wrong America)’. Relentless front man Broadbent emblazons himself with the stage’s ‘GRAB EM BY THE PUSSY’ banner, as the crowd roars ‘death to Donald Trump’ in exasperated unison.

 

So whilst it may be argued we are a generation of cynic’s with little resolve for the problem… there is one thing we are virtuous of in the face of turmoil. We shall battle political discontent the one way generation after generation has astutely known how: with hedonistic disarray. In times of tension, Cabbage provide the perfect debauched soundtrack to lose all Friday night inhibitions to; to gnarl our teeth, distort our bodies and roar relatable protesting lyrics with. Tonight’s Cabbage set sees a group come together as a community, we are together in anarchy of our constitutional unrest.

 

This perplexing globe continues to spin in post-Brexit disorder with the blood-curdling possibility of Donald Trump reaching presidency in America. And thanks to a five-piece band from Manchester, we’ll continue to live the hedonistic life-mantra that ‘f**k all keeps a cabbage down’.

 

 

 

About The Author

Emily Schofield

First Year Music Journalism Student. Particularly focuses on indie and alternative music. Has a keen eye on new and unsigned bands which need a push and promotion. Born in Bolton just outside of Manchester, she is a follower of the Manchester music scene and its history. She also constantly has her eye on up and coming artists gigging in and around London. Twitter: @TheMoverTweets