There is something pleasing linguistically as well as socially and creatively that a night about Cable was actually much more about connection. Marking the twentieth anniversary of their second album When Animals Attack, there was a steady flow of people into Black Rebel Coffee House, to who the album and the band had meant something, still meant something.
Presided over by the opening still from the When Animals Attack promo film on the venue’s big screen, of a pensive Matt Bagguley, this night ebbed and flowed in how much it was focused on the band and their music. Discussions that have been happening between fans for two decades were resumed as When Animals Attack and Sub-Lingual were considered (little chat about Downlift… interestingly), favourite b-sides and rarities were shared, and titbits of the band’s history were passed around. The album was given a full play through – still sounding not-quite like anything else around in the best possible way – and 7″ from Twinkie, Cato, and Bivouac all hit the turntable too. This was the relaxed sort of night where you sort of know people – have been scene acquaintances for most of your life – and are still held together in conversation by the music you love.
Talk also turned to Derby’s music scene since Cable – current members of Unqualified Nurse Band, Prizefighter, Goddesses, and SeiSui all hanging out as well as the past surfacing as Cato, Lightyear, and In-Flight Programme all gave us reason to reflect on really what we had, and what we do have in Derby (and the wisdom of an ice rink on Duckworth Square).
The scene here seems to ebb and flow regardless of the ingrained permanence of the ‘nothing ever happens here’ mentality. We talked about the way this apathy and negativity about our own space and activity is almost part of the identity for so many Derby folk, that when something good does happen the gut instinct is to reject it, to deny it, so as to protect the thing we take pride in most: Nothing Ever Happens Here.
We talked to how this is fed to us from the media, from authorities, and shared between us all. How it is now even written on St Peter’s Street to remind us all. We talked about how we are bored of this, how the city scene is waking once more and Everything Is Happening. And how we need to make more time between those who are catalysing and creating this stuff to talk it through, to find connections, to support each other and remind each other that despite all its faults, Derby can actually be proud of what it has as much as what it hasn’t.
Cable were our reason last night, and twenty years ago unknowingly sparked a creative flame in many of us still on the Derby scene and beyond, to put our shoulders to the wheel and do things our way, but to do them. There’ll be more events from Storge which build on the more general conversations about the city and look to strengthen the community that is building – not by enforcing a structure upon the people and the things happening but by being led by them, as a part of it too. Look out for announcements soon on that and in the meantime – whether you know the album inside out or have never given it any time, play When Animals Attack today and feel the self-determination, the pragmatism and the hope in every night.
Cable Week continues on Storge:
- our reappraisal of When Animals Attack
- live review from their 2012 hometown reunion show at The Venue
- still to come…the last legacy on the local scene, and Cable on film.