– THE RITZ, MANCHESTER –

Before I talk about Manchester’s new favourite sons and their Cabbage Patch Kids, I want to briefly mention how good The Blinders and Strange Bones were as support acts tonight. It’s not easy supporting one of the most exciting live bands in the UK but both clearly knew what the fuck they were doing, with intense and gritty performances which had everyone in the room bouncing.

The Blinders in particular possessed a horror punk quality that I love. Dressed in black and looking like Nick Cave’s long forgotten sons, the threesome smash down the barriers with an incessant yet darkly intriguing noise that’ll be ringing in my ears for a while. I recommend the plodding and shadowy “Ramona Flowers” single, can’t wait for a full record release.

Strange Bones were equally violent and their more classic punk sound is something that shouldn’t be tossed aside. I’d say if you’re a fan of Frank Carter, Wonk Unit or even Pissed Jeans, then you’ll definitely appreciate this North West band and their EP/Single ‘We The Rats’ (2017).

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Cabbage

Once again CABBAGE have defended their title as one of the best and important live bands around, they shit all over many others with their deplorable, disgusting music which resonates sonically and politically hard. Ripping through tracks from their EP’s as well as a few new numbers, including a song about drummer Asa Morley if I’m not mistaken, it’s a blistering set that evokes nearly manic scenes from the Mancunian contingent.

Opening with one of my favourite tracks “Kevin”, the crowd erupts into a euphoria I’ve honestly only seen with acts who have been established for ten or twenty years. It’s boss to think that through only a few Eps and singles, and a compilation album, CABBAGE have touched the hearts of many and garnered a massive following. Even the newer tracks which I’ve never heard before, despite seeing them more than ten times at this stage, like “Fraudulent Artist” and their latest effort “Celebration of a Disease”, are like instant classics and everyone seems to know the words.

Since their EP compilation ‘Young, Dumb and Full of…’ came out in April, the boys have only gone upwards as their reputation as a quality live band continues to mutate and grow. Playing nearly every festival slot known to man, with appearances at Sound City and Glastonbury already, their busy schedule is testament to how good the music is. Their crowds have gotten bigger, the sound louder and the tightness, well… even fucking tighter! “Tell Me Lies About Manchester” in particular was bang on and sees everyone in boisterous mood with not only their physical behaviour but also their vocal chords. Throats and voices will have been lost with lines like FILL MY EARS WITH A HACIENDA CLASSIC! (If I’m wrong on that then I don’t give a shit, you get the fucking gist!)

Cabbage

The crowd lap up renditions of “Dinner Lady” and “Dissonance” with pleasure, as young kids sit upon the shoulders of their friends and vigorously hold arms aloft. This was very different to my positioning however. Taking it all in, I found myself on the side-lines tonight. I’m usually in amongst it with friends and strangers of a similar mind however, I figured their music is energy inducing enough that wading into the teens and old punk rockers would not do good things to my heart. I’m 21, I feel like I’m getting on abit to be honest. CABBAGE over the many times I’ve watched them have whittled me down with songs like “Fickle” and “Necroflat in The Palace” in particular, acting as some sort of corrosive material native to nuclear power plants and war crimes. Almost stripping back my judgemental attitude towards people and moments of hatred to my fellow human, CABBAGE offer nothing but love and a oneness which in ways goes completely against the Dead Kennedy like music they make and perform.

“Uber Capitalist Death Trade” – which is clearly a romantic homage to Jello Biafra and the classic ‘Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables’ album of 1980 – seems to get the biggest reception of the set. And after the chaos and final buckets of sweat had been unleashed through this hard hitting, neo punk modern class, CABBAGE leave the stage and in turn leave an audience craving an encore… but no encore shall come. The lights go up and I find myself hugging my fellow gig attendee tonight, it was a set of joy and revolution; helped enormously by the occasions of “OHHH JEREMY CORRRBYN” ringing out around the Ritz.

Overall it was another fantastic show from the Mossley quintet and probably the best I’ve seen them play and perform. Frontman Lee Broadbent in particular has a knack of connecting and integrating with their audiences well and after meeting different band members on several occasions, I can confirm they are nice, normal blokes with a passion for punk and appetite to reach the top. Fuck you Teresa May, you cunt.

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I like nothing more than smoking bifters and criticising people much more talented than myself, it’s what I’m good at (I think), well sometimes I can be. I believe that getting wankered at a gig is crucial to the live review, you speak the truth, what you actually fucking thought. Rather than pussyfooting about, I like to be honest. It doesn’t bother me if people disagree with my opinions, that’s life innit. Listening to good music is vital to a healthy lifestyle, as well as the fruit and all that bollocks.