Cattle and Cane Launch Infant Hercules
By Robert Nichols
Wednesday 09 Jul 2014 09:58:00
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It was an uplifting and emotional evening at the Georgian Theatre when Cattle and Cane launched their new anthem for Teesside. The stirring and inspiring Infant Hercules digs deep into the heritage of the area to discover embers of hope for the future.

The single takes its name from a speech made by Victorian political heavyweight William Gladstone clearly impressed on his first visit to the new industrial wonder that was Middlesbrough. Infant Hercules seemed to sum up the optimism of the first railway town. Through Cattle and Cane it could become an peoples' overture to inspire a rebirth for the whole of Teesside.

Cattle and CaneIn many ways the area’s brightest musical hopes, Cattle and Cane were launching their rallying cry for Teesside, Infant Hercules. The launch night sold out almost before the tickets were put on sale and so a second night was arranged for the evening before. That also sold out. A unique occasion then and one in which promoters The Kids Are Solid Gold could be almost as proud as the band they have championed almost from the off.

Before Cattle and Cane we were introduced to a couple of new talents. James Kruman showed a dry wit between songs of a rare lyrical quality and clarity. James is something of the storyteller in his tales of The Aviator and social commentator in Lynch a Millionaire. Heather Story is a Middlesbrough singer/songwriter we are going to hear a great deal about. Whether singing about street walkers in Union Street or delivering a love song Heather has an engaging style with real substance.

Heather felt honoured to be supporting her first ever live band and Cattle and Cane were about to make a big Teesside entrance. The band took to the stage to the rousing brass of the Boro’s Power Game, with commentary of Boro heroes from the past whirling in our ears. They grasped the mood and ran with it with new songs and old that took the audience through a gamut of emotions. Moving harmonies gently garlanded a song picking up the pieces from the shattered aftermath of a friend’s death. By total contrast a second’s pause in the vocals of siblings Joe and Helen Hammill allowed the audience to dive in and sing “my body is yours tonight.”

So for the big number, a 30 piece male-voice choir (I wondered why there were so many white shirts in the crowd) ascended the stage from the audience to back up Cattle and Cane on the wonderful, uplifting, Infant Hercules. Fighting for Teesside Together it says on the CD sleeve and all profits from the single go to the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation for the school hardship fund. It was a special, hairs standing on the back of the neck, moment. A brimming over of Teesside pride and perhaps the start of something special both for the area and our musical champions, Cattle and Cane, who will be finally releasing their long anticipated debut album later this year. There cannot have been a tongue in the house that didn’t wag tunefully along to Sold My Soul or a pair of hands not clapping along to The Poacher.

It was one of those special I was there evenings. Yet something tells me this is only just the beginning.

The core of this review was originally published in the Evening Gazette - photos are from the trained eye and zooming lens of Tracy Hyman.

The Infant Hercules CD is priced £5. It is available at Cattle and Cane gigs, via or via Middlesbrough FC stores or online at


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