Cage the Elephant, Cockpit, Leeds

Cockpit, Leeds

Singer Matt Shultz comes on in a dress, stands upon the speaker stacks while banging his head on the ceiling, then teeters over the crowd, to gasps. Alarmingly, beneath his skimpy, flowery creation, he does not appear to be wearing underwear. It is not surprising that Kentucky's Cage the Elephant are picking up a feverish following and a reputation as one of the wildest, most incendiary live bands on the circuit.

Led by Matt and brother Brad, they come over like a deranged fusion of Iggy and the Stooges and Chili Peppers-style rap-rock. They look genuinely odd: Brad like a Krays henchman, while the rest of the band have hairstyles that look as if they have been forced to spend hours in unsuitable headgear. Showbiz it almost certainly is, but there is the unmistakable whiff of danger, such as when Brad goes to playfully headbutt his brother and is rewarded by being pushed right across the stage. Elsewhere, Matt performs swan dives into the audience, and Brad spits phlegm into the air, catching most of it in his mouth, though some lands in the eye of someone in the front row.

With all this mayhem, it is a wonder they have time for songs like the curiously moralistic In One Ear or Free Love, which contrarily advocates group sex. Their songs are like their show - stupid yet knowing - but rock has not seen a band this untamed for an age. Shultz ends up a hero, carried aloft - standing perfectly upright - by the baying crowd.

· At Drummonds Cafe, Aberdeen, on Saturday. Box office: 01224 619931. Then touring.

Contributor

Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
CD: Cage the Elephant, Cage the Elephant

(Relentless)

Michael Hann

19, Jun, 2008 @11:13 PM

Article image
No 268: Cage the Elephant

Today, Paul Lester heads down to Kentucky to find a group led by a preening, prancing narcissist who wants you to have group sex

05, Feb, 2008 @5:22 PM

Article image
Bestival Q&A: Cage the Elephant

They are such nice guys that they will happily throw themselves down in the mud for people to walk on top of them so they won't get dirty

Daniel Martin

08, Sep, 2008 @9:15 AM

Cage the Elephant: Thank You Happy Birthday - review
The Kentucky rockers toughen up and win themselves a fan in Betty Clarke

Betty Clarke

17, Mar, 2011 @10:20 PM

Article image
Cage the Elephant: Tell Me I’m Pretty review – puppyish energy, obvious influences
This fourth LP has plenty of good songs but this Kentucky band are still looking up to their heroes

Emily Mackay

13, Dec, 2015 @8:00 AM

Article image
Elephant Revival – review

This five-piece folk band from Colorado play indie bluegrass with sensitivity and mystery, writes Emma John

Emma John

03, Feb, 2014 @6:27 PM

Leonie Cooper's reviews the latest music releases

Fleet Foxes | Imelda May | Little Joy | Cage The Elephant | Sky Larkin

Leonie Cooper

24, Jan, 2009 @12:01 AM

Cage/MacGregor, Invention Studios, Bath

Invention Studios, Bath

Rian Evans

04, Jun, 2008 @12:00 AM

On the road: With Matt Schultz from Cage the Elephant

With Matt Schultz from Cage the Elephant

11, Oct, 2008 @11:01 PM

Article image
Five albums to try this week: David Bowie, Hinds and more
Stream new music, from Cage the Elephant’s garage-rock to Pusha T’s newly politicised rap, and let us know what you’ll be playing this week

Tshepo Mokoena

11, Jan, 2016 @9:45 AM