• James Booton

Glamour @ The Ritz - LIVE REVIEW


What a past couple of months it has been for new music, with a whole host of new albums from Blossoms, DMA's, Courtney Barnett and many more. Perhaps the most significant of these new releases was 'Nihilistic Glamour Shots', the debut album from Cabbage. Wait... their debut album? Well yeah, we'll get to that in a minute, but to celebrate the record, the Mossley quintet hosted an extravagant night of their favourite new artists, all bringing with them an expected level of political/social messages and full-throttle punk attitude. We managed to head down to catch the last few acts and witness one of the most striking UK bands perform in their prime.

Avalanche Party / PINS

Well first of all we were met with a major disappointment. We had initially planned to arrive in plenty of time to see one of the UK's most exciting acts, The Blinders, yet due to the failings of public transport we missed it. Yet, from what we have heard it was a cracking set, and this is to be expected considering the high level of music they have been releasing! They have released two new singles under the new wing of Modern Sky and both are just what we wanted from them. So take it from us, give them a listen now and catch them on tour this June before they get too big...you can guarantee that we will be there. Although we missed The Blinders we still managed to see these two little gems, who both impressed us in different ways. First Avalanche Party, who played on the smaller stage downstairs. This cramped, humid environment suited them down to the ground. They embraced the awkward corners, vision obscuring pillars and off-centre stage, and made that room their own. Bursting with angst-filled vocals and the atmospheric swell of heavy riffs, the stage became an audible magnet, drawing everyone present towards the inescapably raucous sound of tracks such as 'Solid Gold'. You couldn't help but get caught up in the tightly packed mosh-pits that are inevitable with such an electrified outfit. If this sounds a bit too on the angry side for you, perhaps PINS may be of more use. They still boasted the punk energy of Avalanche Party, yet they presented it in a slightly different style. Less in your face, more subtly enticing. Prowling the stage with a brooding swagger, the the front three of the all-female five-piece provided the showmanship that mesmerized the crowd. Meanwhile, perhaps most visually striking was the unusual use of two separate drummers. One took charge of any electric drum/synth elements of the track while the other stuck to a classic kit. However, at some points the first would compliment the songs standard drum beat with a more stripped back tom rhythm that gave the songs a whole new layer of infectious depth. It all really came together when, in a few moments, the two drums became in sync, playing note for note the same beat and even the same fills! The difficulty of this can't be underestimated, and it transformed not just the sound, but more significantly the visual experience that PINS provide. Two fantastic acts that set the stage perfectly for the main event.

Listen to them both, along with The Blinders & Cabbage via our Spotify Playlist!

Cabbage

So...as we said before, this entire event was to mark the release of Cabbage's debut album. You may think that their 'Young, Dumb and full of...' record was technically their first album but that was more a collection of singles. They did of course play some of the fan favourites from this, notably the two tracks 'Uber Capitalist Death Trade' and 'Terrorist Synthesizer' which were incredible. Three anonymous individuals in the Terrorist Synthesizer attire were brought on stage, dancing comically to the satirical lyrics that everyone sang in chorus. However, 'Nihilistic Glamour shots' is the first record with the majority of songs being previously unreleased, and it was the first time we have been privileged to see the new material performed live. Opened by a spoken word poet (Patrick T. Davies) who criticized the state of the music industry today, the band were clearly set out, as always, to deliver a social message to their cult-like following. When we first came across them a couple of years ago, we feel in love with their uncompromising sound, but felt that their political motives were slightly obscuring their musical side. However, as we have continued to follow them, we have become increasingly convinced that this is not the case. Their first track, 'Preach To The Converted' (also the first track off the album) is the perfect example of this. A song that we first felt was a shoddy attempt to cram in some social preaching of themselves, yet after multiple listens, and especially after seeing it live, you understand where they were coming from, and what there songs actually are. This can only be fully felt after you have seen them live. 'Post-Modernist Caligula' (our personal favourite from the album) summarised the energy of the night, with the songs grungy atmosphere all culminating in a frenzy of wild screams with the lyrics themselves merely providing the backdrop to this. You did not need to know the song word for word to get caught up in the moment. You could have simply shouted anything along to the final ending, and this is the beauty of Cabbage. They have deconstructed 21st century music as we know it and provided the youth of today with primal sounds that draw on our love for music itself and not the pretenses that engulf a large section of the music industry.

#gig

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