LIVE: Cabbage, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 23.02.17

The world’s a bit of the mess at the moment. You can’t deny it. Trump’s still going on about building that wall, Brexit Britain is slowly becoming a reality, and well, we’ve still got Theresa May. At such a messed up time, someone needs to take a stand and say something. Good thing we’ve got Cabbage.

After giving the middle finger to The Sun last month, Cabbage aren’t the sort to care about what people think. From the offset, they make it known they’re not here to be nice. Confidence-knocking taunts of “you find yourself alone again” in ‘Dissonance’ collide with the unhinged riffs of ‘Indispensable Pencil’ to create a welcome more powerful than Trump’s bank balance.

The early dropping of ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’ is a nice treat for the crowd, as they go from swaying across the room to uniting over needle-loving Nancy. Their satirical and political message would go amiss with the booming sound of their loud-mouthed, brash façade, but it’s all part of the show. Its post-punk done well. There’s no glitz and glamour tonight.

The swift move into ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’ welcomes the return of ravenous melodies, commanding chants and all-around turmoil. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, frontman Lee Broadbent pushes his way into the crowd, to be quickly swallowed up and his well-being only known by the foreboding snarls of “I don’t wanna be alive” still being heard from the mic.

Royal corgi bashing ‘Necroflat in the Palace’ oozes post-punk fury and brings together the crowd with communal hatred of the State. Though at times sounding primitive, it’s the simplicity that makes it work. They aren’t about awe-inspiring guitar solos that’d put Hendrix to shame, or donning themselves in glittery, eye-catching outfits to make the world fall in love with them. They’d rather put on a 50-minute ode to everyone who’s questioned the world in the past, present and future. Marx would be proud.

They bring things back to where they started for the finale. Their debut single ‘Kevin’ offers one last chance for explosive, yet deranged rhythms to take over the five-piece on stage. The band’s mastery of black humour persists right until the closing strum, drum beat and lyric. Whether it be about wanking in a quiche in ‘Dinner Lady’ or the nature of consciousness in ‘Kevin’, Cabbage have already perfected how to make a statement their own way.

Who knows if Cabbage will be remembered in the same way as the punk heroes from the 70s? Their “idiosyncratic, satirical attack in the form of discordant neo post-punk” has hit some nerves, but Murdoch’s cronies are championing them. Should this matter? They’re getting people talking about the state of the world while getting their music out there, and they manage to put on a proper rock ‘n’ roll show at the same time.

They haven’t even released an album, yet over the past year they’ve made a bigger name for themselves than most politicians. But still, don’t rely on the papers. Don’t make up your mind before you give them a chance. See Cabbage for Cabbage. Believe me, you’ll be singing about wanking in a quiche in no time at all.

Becky Rogers