hey everyone! here's some current
news from the land of
Table 'O' Contents:
The Official Bio
The people in the band
Fellow Travellers on the musical road.
Side Cabbage: them other bands we play in
- "Black Cabbage: a recording" sold out the first run of 1,000 in two months of release
- the CD charted at #1 on CFRU in
Guelph, #2 on CKMS
in Waterloo, and #9 in Halifax (that's CKDU)
Update 13 May 96: I just found out the Cabbage charted in New Brunswick,
too, at CHSR.
- stayed on the independent chart at Sam's downtown store for over two
months, peaking at #4 (the only non-Sonic Unyon band in the top 5!!)
- broke sales records made by Pearl Jam and the Tragically Hip at Looney Tunes, Guelph
The official bio:
Black Cabbage are an eight-piece configuration of musicians
from the town
of Guelph. They released their 14-song debut album
on DROG records in late August 1995, and have received national
airplay on CBC and campus radio. Since their incarnation in
early 1993 they have:
So what are they about, anyway? They play with a lot of soul
during sets that can last up to two and a half hours. Unlike
other eclectic bands (who might play rock and country!
industrial and thrash!), a typical Black Cabbage set will range
from a funk workout to a raging Rock Experience, followed by a
Latino fiddle tune, segueing into a solo electric guitar ballad,
chased by a chaotic musical beast with sixteen legs.
- become one of the most entertaining, dynamic, passionate
and eclectic live bands in Ontario;
- recorded their debut album with the legendary Lewis
Melville, the lovely Dave Clark (Rheostatics, Inbreds), and the
luscious John Oliveira (Skydiggers, John Bottomley);
- were told after one of their first gigs that they had
that "pan-Canadian sound," whatever the hell that might be;
- had their hometown daily rag define what they do as a mix of
"rock, folk, punk, Motown, blues, African, Celtic, country, and
gypsy influences"... which is about as specific as comparisons
- rented an accordion from none other than Grammy-winning polka
superstar Walter Ostanek one starstruck evening in St.
- played softball against Change of Heart and King Cobb Steelie
at the 1994 Hillside Festival (and got their folkie butts kicked
- watch out for CoH's John Richardson on second base!);
- appeared on the nationally acclaimed Guelph Happens
compilation (it spent six months on the national campus radio
chart; Black Cabbage's tracks were also played on CBC's Brave
New Waves, Night
Lines, and Real
- posed for the cover of the Guelph campus paper (The Ontarion)
with Elvis Costello.
If you want
ready-made comparisons for lazy media types (just add water!),
may I suggest the following: Sly and the Family Stone get picked
up by The Band hitchhiking along the 401; the Pogues challenging
Parliament to ice hockey on a frozen lake in the Canadian
DiFranco and Michelle
Shocked take David Lowery and
Daniel Lanois out on a double date to see the Rheostatics and
the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir.
But seriously, folks, they use a
lot of folk instruments like acoustic guitar, accordion, violin,
and tin whistle alongside electric guitars and your standard
rock and roll line-up.
In case this all makes them sound
like yet another hippie jam band, let me shamelessly appropriate
the word punk (even though their music doesn't fit into the
traditional definition - hey, if you've read
Greil Marcus' Ranters and Crowd Pleasers, the definition can get a little
- their anarchic live shows bubble over
- that's what a lot of them grew up listening to,
and in some cases, playing;
- they believe firmly in DIY; and
- it's a word you have to drop these days for any shred of
credibility, and they're well versed in media manipulation.
So sit back, lower your expectations after the shameless
promotional material you've just endured, and enjoy the debut
recording by Black Cabbage.
- Billy Shears, September
1995 (updated in Jan '96)
of Black Cabbage are:
Michael Barclay (accordion, organ, alto saxophone),
Mark Agnew (drums)
Nick Craine (ac. & e. guitar, vocals),
Sheila Gruner (violin, ehru),
Michael O'Connell (ac. guitar, vocals, bass, e. guitar, percussion),
Tristan O'Malley (bass, guitar, vocals, tin whistle),
Kate Richmond (vocals, percussion, e. guitar),
Dave Withers (e. guitar, vocals, bass).
Some wonderful Guelph musical friends of the Cabbage you might not have heard
of: Aaron Riches, Corduroy Leda, Backdrop Theory, Minnow, Troll, House of
Velvet, Vicki Fraser, Zamboni Jiver, Maxine For Now
Some you might have heard of:
King Cobb Steelie.
Cabbagehead side projects:
The band will be touring out west in June and July at festivals and in clubs. If
you're interested in the band and can help us get some gigs there in any way,
shape, or form please drop us a line.
The band is currently in an intense writing period (spurred on by new rehearsal
space) and hopes to start recording their second album by the
end of the summer.