Cabbage: We're on a secret public enemy list

Cabbage: We're on a secret public enemy list
From BBC - March 13, 2018

Weaving through the back streets of Manchester's bustling Northern Quarter, Cabbage singer Lee Broadbent is trying to find a quiet spot to talk.

"Hang on - I might go down an alley now," he bellows down the phone.

Since the band with perhaps the most absurd name in the business burst on to the scene in 2016 - with a series of provocative EPs and anarchic live shows - quiet spots have been proving harder and harder to find.

But for all the attention, it's also been a difficult time for the group.

Last year, Lee was accused on social media of sexually assaulting a girl while interacting with the crowd during a Kasabian support slot in London. The band denied the allegations, which - after an investigation by the Academy Group - were not taken further.

Now, as they prepare to release their debut album - Nihilistic Death Shots, produced by The Coral's James Skelly - later this month, Cabbage believe they are already marked men.

"It did create a bit of distrust and there is an extra layer of darkness on the album," says Lee, whose band now support the Safe Gigs for Women initiative.

"The way it was taken out of context and brutalised - it did sadden us for a while."

The Mossley five piece had already caused a stir by lashing out at The Sun, just for tipping them for success last year. "Do not buy The Sun... [Rupert] Murdoch will lead us into worldwide demise," they said in a statement at the time.

Lee now admits the attack against the newspaper - which gave them "a really great feeling" - was "reckless" but insists it's something that he and his bandmates stand by.

"It feels like we were put on some sort of secret public enemy list and our time was always going to come when possibly someone was going to strike us.

"With social media there's an actual lack of social conversation anymore... a lot of people want to put half-hearted comments on the internet without actually thinking them through."

He adds: "Now we are in a position though where we have got an album and been back on the road and we feel really confident in ourselves again.

"But I must admit it did take us a while to reform ourselves from what felt like a kicking."

Having put out five EPs already since 2016, as well an effective 'best of' compilation in Young, Dumb..., the prolific BBC Sound of 2017 listees are long overdue their first full-length studio effort.

In truth, they have just been far too busy living in the moment.

"That's why we are calling it the 'difficult debut album'," jokes Lee.

"By the time we have released the album we will feel like we have honed our craft".

Politically-charged live favourites like Uber Capitalist Death Trade, Terrorist Synthesiser and Necroflat in the Palace, which carries the refrain; "I was born in the NHS, I wanna die in the NHS," will soon have to jostle for position in their setlist - with 12 new and equally inflammatory titles.

For example - lead single Celebration of a Disease, the dystopian Obligatory Castration and the BBC 6 Music-playlisted Arms of Pleonexia, which is about "the heinous arms trade which continues to thwart the world".

"A lot of the songs are just about what's been fascinating us at the moment," says the singer, who shares frontman duties with pal Joe Martin.

"For me, any band that has anything about them in a political sense... how could they possibly avoid singing about subjects like that anyway?

"It's a natural talking point for our age group, particularly now there's a social political movement happening with Jeremy Corbyn, and a lot of young people are actually getting involved in politics.


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