MANCHESTER five piece Cabbage are coming to Stockton-on-Tees as part of their 2016 UK tour.

Plugged In caught up with band member Joe Martin (singer/lyricist) to talk about the idiosyncratic, neo-post punk band.

You’re playing KU Bar (Stockton) in November, how familiar are you with the area?

“I’ve been there as a roadie, but this is my first experience performing at KU Bar. Crowds in the North East of England are up there with the best, very proud and passionate and which makes for a swell atmosphere. I’m primed with excitement.”

Do you know much about the venue? As in artists who’ve played their before?

Can’t say I do, but rest assured we’ll take the roof off. Expect theatrics.

Obviously you’ve had success with your single “Kevin” but more recently you released “Dinner Lady”, what can people expect from your setlist? Any unreleased tracks?

“Plenty! We’ve just recorded twelve brand new tracks with Simon ‘Ding’ Archer, who’s produced The Fall’s most recent albums. It’s an accomplished body of work that we’re immensely proud of.

“‘Le Chou’ began life as a collection of ideas, songs that needed to be recorded, but we all had fingers in various different pies and weren’t a band as such.”

Cabbage Artwork.jpg
LE CHOU: Cabbage’s debut EP.

“The new material was honed and crafted in the mill where we rehearse.

“I adore every single one of them, we’ve also covered some pressing issues lyrically. ‘Necroflat In The Palace’ touches on Jim Savile’s cushy relationship with the royals.

“However, it’s written under the guise of Freddie Royal, an Irvine Welsh character from his book ‘Ecstasy’, who is a kids TV presenter in a tracksuit, emotionally driven by a penchant for snagging stiffs.

“I met Irvine Welsh at Festival number 6 and he was thrilled by the song title, he said he baited Savile with the book (released in 96′) and got the impression the ole sod was a guilty cunt, this was many years before Savile was ousted. Prior to its release, he presumed they were far fetched rumours.

“We have another song called ‘it’s Grim Up North Korea’ which speaks for itself, drawing jovial parallels with supreme leader Kim Jong-un’s regime and crushing working class life in the North of England.”


Your music is very political, what made you, as a band, decide to take this political approach. Something very welcomed in the Stockton area.

“It’s a natural talking point for us as individuals, so inevitably it filters into our music. Rather than sit around mumbling & grumbling about the dire state of Conservative Britain, or get drunk and chew the nearest ear off, we’re able to sweat, scream and unleash our angst on stage.

“I feel very lucky to have such an intense, channeled outlet in which to let it all out. It’s healthy. Without it, we’d be riding around on horses, spearing all those who ensure our country’s in an endless state of war and repression.”

Moving on, how was the festival season for Cabbage, which festivals were most rememberable?

“Joyous, chaotic and all round triumphant, each one was better than the last. Tim Burgess and Nick Fraser have been brilliant, allowing us to play Liverpool Sound City, Isle of Wight festival, Kendal Calling and the beautiful Festival number 6.

“Would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mikey Johns, Ted, George and everyone who works really hard at This Feeling. They’ve excelled themselves this summer at Isle of Wight, Y Not and Leeds festival, teaming up with Jack Daniels to bring a new stage into the equation. They’ve really set the bar high in terms of how bands are treated, as well as giving festival goers and abundance of new music.”

Cabbage live.jpg
CHAOS: Cabbage are known for their live performances.


Recently you’ve been picked up by NME’s Under the Radar, what does that mean to you as a band?

“I pilfered the NME religiously for ten years, suffice to say it was a crying shame went it was reduced to a free rag, filled with advertisements, churnalism and Topshp fashion.

“Despite all that, the sentiment remained the same and we were honoured. It turned out to be a decent article.”

Not only that but you featured on a small part of the Guardian’s “Leeds Festival Review” it must be good to see people taking your music seriously?

“Long live the Guardian. The journalist who wrote that, Dave Simpson, wrote my personal favourite book that’s been written about The Fall,  called The Fallen. It begins with an interview with Mark E Smith, and ends up as a documentation of the two years he spent tracking down every man, women and neither of the above who’s ever played in The Fall. It’s wonderfully written.

“Towards the end, whilst driving around the countryside trying to find errant ex drummer and explosives enthusiast, Karl Burns, the author realises he’s become institutionalised by the The Fall (this comes at a cost, but I shan’t spoil it for folk who fancy reading it).

“So, aye, twas brilliant that a writer who I hold in such high regard has taken notice.”

So what are your plans for after this tour? Working on another EP, Album?

“Fancy an exclusive? Well, you’ve got it.

“Our next EP will be released late September, featuring some hard house, soul shaking sprout-rock, the lead single will be Uber Capitalist Death Trade.

“As well as; Tell Me Lies About Manchester, FICKLE, and Free Steven Avery (Wrong America).

“It’s set to be nothing short of momentous. An intense cauldron of angst, humour and tragedy.”

Anything you want to say to the people coming to your KU Bar gig?

“Noddy Holder reckons there isn’t a colourful “don’t give a toss” band around at the moment, akin to how Slade were perceived in the hay day.

“I love Slade, but if you fancy indulging in Cabbage, merely to prove that brummy ignoramus wrong, then join us in fighting for all that is good and pure.

See you there. Thanks for the interview.”

Cabbage will be playing KU Bar in Stockton on November 18th and you can buy your tickets here.

The full tour can be found below:

CATCH THEM WHILE YOU CAN: Cabbage head out on tour this October.



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