Cabbaged has led an enforced stateless existence for the last few months, moving to the Smack (Cabbaged on smack), to Cornwall, Brixton and the Tank. Yes, this refugee status started in our annual summer break from the East Kent, when we all retire to open fields for a few months during the summer, licking our alcoholism into shape, only to have it gloriously erupt once the winter months are looming beyond us once again. This year, however, things have taken on a new and interesting hue, after having been unceremoniously dumped from the EK, after supporting it through all the years of being a run down dive. Once it got a naff make-over ‘Changing Rooms’ would have been proud to call it’s own, we were offsky.
Before our sojourn to Cornwall, where Cabbaged suddenly sprouted culinary wings and flew in the glorious atmos of the first mainland total eclipse in Britain for 70 years, we had a small adventure in the Smack, where a few people were naughty in the garden, but copious amounts of alcohol in the form of our old frothing fave, Hurlimans, was consumed like there was no tomorrow, or the tomorrow there was wasn’t a Monday. This of course is always guaranteed to please publicans, who like nothing better than seeing those readies come over the bar. This venue pleased all the “ex” (“Lend us a fiver?”) junkies amongst us, who could ask in all innocence around the Sunday lunch table, in front of mum and gran, “Where’s the Smack?” and thrilled that holding out streak in all us “never” to be junkies knowing this was the closest to smack we would ever get. Anyway the Smack rocked, more so than on the “Aren’t we great coz we’re lesbians” open Mike night (providing you’re lesbian, or nice to lesbians, or not a bloke, unless you’re Cagey who’s neither. But he likes lesbians. But then who doesn’t.)
After Cornwall, Cabbaged was next spotted at The Windmill in Brixton Hill on Sunday September 26th for a shuffle in the big smoke. Booked by our south east liaison officer (marketing department) Stoney, who forgot to tell us that a band would be playing as well, it was a chance for us to meet up again with some of our new Lizard chums, chew the fat, reminisce (yes, already) and get chilled in a pissed up Irish London environment. Due to start at 4, we arrived at half 3 to find an Irish hurling match (or something) on the wide screen TV and the place full to bursting with locals. So we sat outside in the drizzle, waiting for the match to finish, enjoying the sights and smells of being in London. Like a motorbike being set on fire round the corner from the pub, by a group of pre-pubescent little twats, who goaded the firemen when they turned up en masse for probably the third time that week by the looks on their faces when they spotted the little arsonists. 4.45 the match was due to end, but didn’t till 5.15. According to the posters outside Cabbaged was a DJ who came from Somerset, a carrot cruncher. Jes and Ads turned up looking the worse for wear, (so no change there then) and proceeded to sit in their car listening to the golf. At last, as 5.30 loomed we started carrying in the kit, and in ten minutes it was up and running with Derek C doing the do, unable to move his head because his brothers son had jumped on it earlier that day. As the beer started to flow and words were exchanged, things soon began to look Cabbaged. The Stoke Newy lot turned up and immediately decamped to an Indian down the road to stuff their faces. Loads of people turned up from the Lizard, with some (Simon) coming down from Bristol with a car load. Chloe and Paul were spotted, enjoying their last weekend together before Chloe went to Spain for a year, Suzanne, without Steve, Karen and co and lots of lovely friends from Kent as well. In fact the place was rammed. Def E was on the decks by now and was really making things kick when the band, Glow (that we didn’t know about) turned up. They went on for the next hour or so, and were actually very good, for a band, before Tom and Kier helped them get off by putting on the next record.
Despite management worries about the noise levels, at one point the environmental health turned up and the volume had to be reduced quite considerably, we soldiered on, even when during Lee Jones’ set Seamus practically turned the rig off, before pulling the plug at 1.30 am because “no one was drinking any beer”. On the long drive home back to Kent, the van broke down again, in the pissing rain. The exhaust fell off and Cagey did his best to run over it, then mended it using our very expensive leads used for the rig and totally fucking them up. He also used our lovingly painted backdrops as a mat to lie under the van on, and these backdrops remained scrunched up in a deep corner of HQ where they lay undiscovered until recently, stinking the place out with the smell of rotten water.
Sunday October 24th: the return, if all but too briefly of everyone’s favourite Sunday hoe down, Cabbaged. The kick off point for many happy relations between the culturally starved Whitstable-ites. Cabbaged is back in town, for one night only, and it’s at the Tank.
Everything seemed as normal when we parted with max at the beginning of summer as we normally do and we arranged to come back the first week in September as usual. However, we should have smelt the coffee really, especially when Max’s girlfriend’s drunken attacks on our integrity increased and she started to call us ‘scum’. We should perhaps have realized when Sunday nights instead began to be ‘Folk night’, that we had unceremoniously been kicked(?) out of our birthplace, The East Kent (Or Eats Kunt as we preferred to call it) after five (?) happy years. Five years of putting up with Max’s piss poor loud mouthed antics. Five years of having the most terrible shits after drinking his decidedly dodgy hooligans. Five years of having to put up with the fuck twit darts players, their leader, Barry, resplendent in his camouflage designer combat trousers that Goldie has, with his prototype mobile that never rang, hurling drunken insults at us as we lugged the equipment in through their snarls of “scum” hissed just loud enough for us, but never Max to hear. Five years of dodging sad middle-aged sacks of shite drunken swipes, coked up Arsenal players, swaggering around as though they personally had scored the winning goal, again. No more being accused of nicking the light bulbs, the Jack Daniels, the nice little mirrors in the toilets that were permanently smeared or the parasols from the garden. Four years of putting up with a pub that looked like it had just stepped off a Likely Lads set, an early seventies homage to leatherette seats, flock wallpaper and stilletoe heel holes in the rotten floor.
Five years of ramming them in week after week. Five years of friendships honed to their messy perfection by five years of mashed up Sundays. Of mass crying sessions in each corner. Of drinking 18 pints of Hurli’s, then stumbling back to HQ with the whole pub and instead of chilling starting up the whole bally lot again. Five years of everything, down the drain just coz pissed up, piss poor, pussy whipped Max is sacred of his girlfriend. But then, aren’t we all?
So, on our best behaviour up the Tank, apart from Walerie who was well into her Anna Ford mode . She rang up very apologetically through the week, apologizing for “Slapping the moose”, but we thought Tracey had done that. The Tank easily the best pub in town despite rhyming with wank. Everyone is absolutely gagging for a night out, apart from Crucial Chris who promptly fell asleep in front of the speaker. Cagey phlegmed his way through another five packs of fags gaining another 50 points towards his new gratis points fleece. (50,000)