Cattle & Cane Debut Album And 2 Gigs In 3 Days…

“I will spare you my youthful gushing’s about how great they are. Just one thing. That bandwagon careering down Linthorpe road, yes, you’ve heard it in the distance? Well get on it before it crashes right past you and your only claim to fame in Boro musical history is having seen Journey South having a pint in the Rudds!!!!”

I first reviewed Cattle & Cane in Feb 2010 at the Ku Bar in Stockton. Since then I must have seen them more than 25 times. The above quote was from a review of them playing MUSIC LIVE in the summer of 2010. I’ve been waiting for this debut album since 2011. I’ve been very patient. This week has seen not only the launch of the album but also their biggest gig ever and two in-store appearances that have cemented them in the hearts and minds of their home town. Its been a long wait but this week-end has answered all our hopes, doubts, and has surpassed all our expectations.


Like Lee Mavers, like The Stone Roses, like Lord Lucan we’ve been searching and waiting for this debut for over 4 years. Not wanting to rush anything the band have added tracks, polished older songs, changed bits here and there and like a shiny penny they’ve come up trumps.
Opening with “Skies” a huge tune which stomps its way into our minds and hearts. A great start and worth the 5 year wait on its own. But things don’t stop there. Singles “Come Home” and “Red” follow. Beautiful vocals, surging melodies and thoughtful lyrics.
At the first gig I saw them they played “Belle” and at once I Knew it was going to be a great song. Despite the wait, despite the change of lyric (which I’m getting used to) its superb. Second best track on the album.
So what is the best track? “We were Children”. As my two favourite bands are The Smiths and Joy Division then a song about death would be right up my street. But like both those bands Cattle & Cane have taken a sad song and made it uplifting. A song that I cried to the first time I heard it at the Westgarth. A song that saved my love for Cattle & Cane when they did at the piano at Preston Park. A song so delicate and beautiful it should come with a government health warning.
Then “Sold my Soul” their hit single. Which has never been a hit but who cares. The sing-a-long to beat all sing-a-longs. You would think they had nothing left but song after song keeps coming. Next up is the biggest surprise of the album; “Birdsong”. The only track on the album that I hadn’t consciously acknowledged before but its brilliant. Probably be my favourite this time next year. This time next year?? Yes, this isn’t an album for this week’s chart. A here now, gone tomorrow. This is no Fratellis, this is no Glasvegas. This is not an album to have a sell by date. Its taken them 5 years for a reason. Because in 5 years, 10 years… we will still be listening to this.
I haven’t even mentioned “The Poacher” or “Pull Down the Moon” that is how good this album is. Album of the year? Maybe. Definitely maybe.


Last Friday we went to see them launch the album to their adoring home town public. 1000 people turned up. Drinks were drunk. Songs were song. Middlesbrough University has seen a hell of a lot of improvements in recent years. Having Cattle & Cane play there has seen their stock rise further. I’m sure everyone had a great night although I’m sure most cannot remember. This night was less about the music and more about a statement that a hometown band could do what Cattle & Cane have done.


Two days later they appeared in-store at Middlesbrough’s HMV. I have to admit I enjoyed this far more than the Friday night. This is how I have gotten use to the band. Up close and personal. They did a short set of classics. You could hear every word, see the whites of their eyes. I’m probably going to have to get used to more gigs like Friday nights as small venues will not be able to contain them. I predicted this 5 and half years ago. This juggernaut has broken free from Linthorpe Road it is now making its way around the country causing mayhem.

Remember, you read it here first.




By peter on September 25, 2015

Check out all the pics

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