The Slade Rooms, named after Noddy Holder’s crew, is one of those venues that is wider than it is deep, giving the whole audience that feeling of being up close to the band, and it’s an expectant throng that awaits Cabbage tonight.
In ‘Fraudulent Artist’, from recent E.P. The Extended Play Of Cruelty, they have chosen the perfect opener and an incendiary version of the song is delivered. One of the two co-frontmen Lee Broadbent, swaps his ‘John Peel Centre For Creative Arts’ t-shirt for an apt ‘Born In The NHS’ one for the second track, the fan favourite ‘Necroflat In The Palace’ (that refrain runs through the song). Somehow, his original t-shirt, thrown into the audience, ends up back on him soon afterwards in an impressive costume change the like of which The Slade Rooms has never seen before.
‘Dissonance’ remains the band’s best track and a souped-up version of the already upbeat song sends the audience, who seem to range from 16 – 66, into a frenzy which continues throughout, not least in next song ‘Asa Morley’, a frantic song which pays tribute to the band’s very own drummer, and shows off the band’s Half Man Half Biscuit side with wonderful lyrics like “Asa Morley makes salad for his family” and “Don’t you know that Jesus was born in Burnage, mate?”.
Joe Martin takes over on lead vocals for ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’; probably the nearest thing the band have (so far) to a bona fide pop hit. It is again lapped up by the crowd, who by now are indulging in a spot of crowd surfing and mass singalongs, while ‘A Network Betrayal’ sees Martin retaining centre stage to deliver the half-spoken, half-sung vocal, a 100mph delivery including gems like “I don’t have time to be hanging around Huddersfield Station’s lovely little cafe / I’m on this train as I have actual places to be”.
The pace is lowered for the epic ‘Grim Up North Korea’, which has echoes of Pete Doherty and takes the mood down, only for it to be immediately restored with a ‘Free Charles Bronson’ (changed for the night from the usual ‘Free Steven Avery’ for reasons which aren’t entirely clear) and the final salvo of debut single ‘Kevin’ and ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’.
Tonight, Cabbage turn in a stellar performance and promise that they will be back next year to promote their long-awaited ‘proper’ debut album, finally to be released (this year’s Young, Dumb and Full Of Cabbage’ was a collection of early singles and E.P.s).
On the basis of this show, the band are going from strength to strength and it will be one to watch.