Cabbage have emerged seemingly from nowhere over the last few months and tonight they aren’t wasting the opportunity to wow the Coventry audience with their special musical blend, which sits somewhere in the vicinity of the unlikely meeting place of fellow Mancunians Happy Mondays, The Libertines at their most frenetic and Half Man Half Biscuit. It is such a genius concoction that one wonders why no-one has attempted this very particular sound before.
The band have recently picked up plays from 6Music, Radio 1 and Beats and the signs are that they will continue their upward trajectory into 2017 – tonight they sound fresh and powerful and have no doubt converted a few more to the Cabbage cause. They even have an obscure Alan Partridge reference on their drum skin (“Cock piss Cabbage”). What more could anyone want? A mighty display in front of their label boss, who happens to be James Skelly from tonight’s headliners The Coral.
Following Saturday’s triumphant homecoming at Liverpool Olympia with a show on a wet, December Monday night in Coventry may not sound like an obvious recipe for success, but The Kasbah is a wonderful venue that always seems to bring out the best in bands. For instance, The Cribs, who have no apparent link with Coventry, treat the place like their second home.
After a Summer playing a fairly large number of festivals, the band are probably relishing the chance to throw in the odd lesser known gem (The Invisible Invasion‘s extraordinary ‘Arabian Sand’, for example) in front of their ‘own’ audience. The hits are here too though, and after an opening salvo of ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’ and ‘White Bird’ from this year’s excellent album The Distance Inbetween, perennial radio favourites ‘Pass It On’ and ‘In The Morning’ are thrown in early – but not before fan favourites ‘Simon Diamond’ and ‘Jacqueline’ have had an airing.
The band are often lazily compared to Oasis and The La’s, presumably as they hail from the North West and play guitars, but this is really doing the band a disservice; they don’t get anything like enough recognition for the artistic risks they take. Not many bands tipped to be ‘the next big thing’ would consider releasing a single like 2002’s ‘Skeleton Key’ early in their career. Their palette is broader than they are sometimes given credit for and they turn in a set this evening with a really nice balance from across their whole career.
The Coral’s recent direction heads off into Midlake Americana territory; 2010’s Butterfly House is represented by just one song, but what a song: 1,000 Years is delivered with the luscious three-part harmonies perfectly intact. The band are a modest bunch, front man James Skelly offering only an occasional humble ‘nice one’ to the appreciative crowd. The six-piece line up is able to deliver mighty renditions from the group’s impressive back catalogue, expertly covering for the departure of key player Bill Ryder-Jones a few years back.
After just more than an hour, the band leave only to come back for a double-header encore of dramatic early single ‘Goodbye’, which is given a Doors-style elongated makeover in the live setting, and a sing along sign off of ‘Dreaming Of Me’.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.