In the early – mid 90’s, England gave birth to – in my humble opinion – one of the countries greatest bands. No, not Blur, or Oasis, and definitely not Pulp. They are called Cable, and you’ve probably never heard of them.
They never really had any hits to speak of, no ‘rockstar overdoses’, and none of them diddled Kate Moss … at least not as far as I know. Cable just appeared, released three amazing albums of quirky post-hardcore pop masterpieces, and a slew of singles, and then just vanished. Now, this would be fine, however, they decided to play their farewell show – literally – the day before I decided to actually listen to them. That day, I decided that Cable were indeed fantastic, and a band that I must see. I’m assuming by this point, dear reader, that my conundrum is becoming apparent.
So, imagine my surprise when a friend asked me if I wanted to drive up to Derby to see Cable a few weeks ago. I immediately ticked the ‘yes’ box, prepared myself by obsessively listening to all the albums, and singles that I own (including the amazing cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire), and fell ill with Gastroenteritis. Luckily, the rare reformation was not a one-off, they were also booked to play a handful of shows with a couple of other bands that I could care less about. So I went to that instead.
Considering that they’d only rehearsed three times before playing, they played a great set. Bounding onto stage with big grins on their faces, to a – frankly – pretty massive crowd. The cynic in me would probably suggest that the huge crowd was mostly there to see the other two bands (also recently reformed for these shows), but I like to think that the music-loving population of London suddenly took the ‘Good music for beginners: Lesson 1 – ‘The Nineties” course, and were all celebrating the completion of the first semester, by going to see some good music…I’m rambling, sorry about that.
Not pandering to the ‘a. reformed band + b. we need to sell loads of old merchandise = c. play the hits’ formula, Cable’s set was actually quite surprising. They seemed to favour their first album ‘Down-lift The Up-trodden’, over the later ‘When Animals Attack’, and ‘Sublingual’, playing outstanding versions of ‘Seventy’, and set-closer ‘Oubliette’. When they did dip into the latter releases, they chose the lesser-known offerings, like ‘Souvenir’, and ‘Brothers and Sisters’, over the more recognisable dittys on their respective albums.
All in all, Cable sound great, and appeared to be really enjoying the hooting and hollering from the crowd, and perhaps maybe, just maybe, we may at some point in the future hear some new material from them. Until that day, I can now rest happy, my Cable needs sated.