Cabbage Patch Club co-founder Bobby King on where it all went right.
I talked to Bobby King, co-founder of the wildly successful Cabbage Patch Club, a weekly event that caters for (but isn’t specific to) Falmouth’s LGBTQ+ community. Having launched in July 2016, the Monday night shindigs have been popular with everybody, from students to locals of all ages and preferences. I met him at a rain-soaked table outside a restaurant to find out how CPC so hastily established itself as a Falmouth nightlife staple.
How did the idea for Cabbage Patch Club come about?
“So, it came about when me and my business partner Jack Cahill were sitting outside Fives at six in the evening, there was nothing happening. We were just Googling around to see what gay nights there were, and we couldn’t find anything. So, we messaged every gay we knew on social media, like, ‘first gay night of the summer, get your bums down to Fives (Five Degrees West) at seven o’clock for some good tunes and drinks and stuff, it’s Falmouth’s first gay night, things like that.’ Within an hour, like 70 people turned up. We thought ‘Fuck! Let’s make this a thing’.”
People wanted to know if the same was happening again next week, and Bobby and Jack were soon contacted by Fives, who asked if they wanted to make it official. For three months they hosted the nights there before being ‘poached’ by Mono, who quickly recognised CPC as an essential commodity. “I probably shouldn’t use the word ‘poached’.” chuckles Bobby, jetting cigarette smoke from his nostrils. “No, but they were really helpful, happy to help out with budgets and things like that. Super supportive.”
Do you feel that before Cabbage Patch, the LGBTQ+ scene was represented at all in terms of nightlife here?
“I don’t feel like it was represented, no. I know the (Falmouth University LGBTQ+) society does many events and meet ups, but it doesn’t go far enough in terms of the social side of it. I feel like the support was there on the uni side of it, but you have to be a student to get involved. See, we’ve always been quite separate things, but our main supporters who’ve been there from the start have been the LGBT society members. If we didn’t have the society, it’d be harder to source the people and the numbers.”
Your David Bowie night was one of the most successful Mono events ever. Did you find that with the growing popularity of it all, you had to expand the amount of coordinators you had?
“Nah, It’s always just been me and Jack, but as he moved back to Brighton a month or two ago, he’s been doing the social media side of it and I’ve been doing the events side of it, and it works really well. If I need support for anything, I have my own DJ, and door and ticket staff, so yeah. It works well.”
What do you think about Falmouth’s attitudes towards Cabbage Patch and how it’s served the LGBTQ+ community?
“I think it (Cabbage Patch Club) was a long time coming, we just provoked the idea. People were feeding it as soon as it started, all we needed to do was create the events and keep people interested. There has been some weeks when we’ve not been able to do the event, or haven’t promoted it as well as we should have, and it does affect the numbers. I’d say about 30% of the people who come are the LGBT community, and the rest, are… lovely straights, and curious, and… Anyone, really.” Bobby is keen to express that CPC is for everyone, and makes it clear on the event pages that it welcomes all walks of life. “We just want people to support. If it changes one person’s mind a week, we’re doing something right.”
Yeah, I’ve seen quite a mixture every time I’ve gone. I’m surprised that the Stannary have never done any LGBTQ+ events.
“See, if I’m honest, I’ve had a bit of trouble with the Stannary in the fact that I’ve always wanted to do a night there, but I don’t feel like it was supported in a way that I would’ve wanted it to be. So, I had the opportunity to do events, but the person I had to go to about it always wanted them toned down, and that’s not what Cabbage Patch is. And I’m not a member of the uni anymore so I can say these things! But we had support from everyone on campus bar a little handful that wanted it toned down, and we’re quite full on, so.”
Do you have more or less complete creative freedom with the events?
“Yeah, I mean, if I wanted to do a nudist night, I’m pretty sure it’d be okay. Mono are incredible in the fact that I have complete creative freedom in anything I want to do. There’s not been something where I’ve said ‘I want to do this’, and they’ve said, ‘Hmm, really?’ They’re like, ‘Fucking do it. If you’re going to do it, do it, go full pelt.’ So, I love the support they’ve given, and Fives were brilliant, as well. It was just a bit too small for us.”
The ever-growing popularity of Bobby and Jack’s project shows just how in need of it Falmouth was. Get yourself down to Mono on any given Monday night to see what all the fuss is about.
Photos courtesy of Simi Davies