Cabbage, Afghan Sand Gang, RongoRongo: Arts Club, Liverpool



Cabbage kicked off their UK tour with a date in the Arts Club Theatre, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley was there to see a stellar lineup.

Ah, Cabbage. A few years back they were the hottest tipped band coming out of the North, if not the whole country. They became known for their political, divisive, chaotic live performances and nailed many a support slot aside from touring the country with their strong band of fans.

Their debut album was worth the wait, too, Nihilistic Glamour Shots, was released last year and collated together the fruits of the lads from Mosley’s labour.

In February, they released Torture, a single from an upcoming body of work that this writer was keen to hear tonight as fans came down to the Arts Club for an outstanding EVOL lineup.

RongoRongo are much loved local heads, and Mick is the epitome. On stage, and also stepping into what was an admittedly large space immediately in front of the stage, he encapsulates the audience.

“This one’s for Mark Hollis, Scott Walker, and the band Her’s.” He introduces one as the venue begins to fill out.

They close with a floorboard shaker, and like an irate manager on a touchline, Mick kicks every thundering beat. He exits, the band remain, and they deserve credit too, a more poppy sound offers a different angle, perhaps there’s a new direction to explore.

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Afghan Sand Gang are an interesting proposition in name alone, tipped by Cabbage‘s Lee Broadbent a couple of years back, they are the main support for this tour.

You can see why, too, after two tracks they introduce themselves as: “from Moseley, England“, not only that, but they have taken Cabbage‘s synth elements and added a slab of rockabilly guitar. While it may not be new, it’s done well.

“Does anyone know what the score is?”

It’s 0-0 at the time, and even fans of the team, two teams, three teams involved tonight are confused as to what they want. But fans of tonight’s headliners aren’t.

Cabbage have always been treated well in Liverpool, and bodies begin to hug the barrier despite there still being half an hour to go until stage time. New single Torture is where they start, before launching into Uber Capitalist Death Trade which sees Liverpool launch itself into each other.

“I’m fucking ready for this!” frontman Lee says: “We’ve only been going for three years, but I guess this is what could be called a classic.” They kamikaze into Fickle.

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Perhaps their most acute political kidney punch is Arms of Pleonexia, Joe takes the lead on this, while Lee sidesteps to give the synths a whirl – they combine, as ever, epically.

A second new tune, Raus, manages to lay out its live credentials in seconds. Despite not knowing a word, or a chord, the Arts Club crowd go berserk.

The next track is dedicated to hometown hero Ray Bonnington from The Piccadilly Rats Tell Me Lies About Manchester. The final new tune, You’ve Made An Art Form, completes an impressive first listen to what’s coming up for Cabbage. It booms in heavy before unveiling a killer chorus, ideal.

When they close with Necroflat In The Palace, the venue drips with sweat, and it’s a job well done on night number one for Cabbage.

Pictures by Getintothis Chris Everett