Iconic nineties Brit-pop band Cast, celebrate the 25 year anniversary of All Change. The band’s debut offering spawned four hit
singles and went on to become the fastest selling debut album in Polydor’s history.
An accolade indeed, considering Polydor also released the debut albums of ‘The Who’, ‘The Jam’ and the legendary Jimi Hendrix.
Cast’s Frontman and songwriter John Power had already enjoyed a wealth of success as the bass player with short-lived but much acclaimed band The La’s, but it was upon leaving the La’s and forming Cast that Power came into his own.
Speaking ahead of the gig, Power said “The All Change album will always be a special one. It captured the energy we had and the feeling of hope we were experiencing at the time.”
Hope formed the basis of much of our conversation as we took a nostalgic look at the highs and lows the band has experienced since the album’s release and most recently, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the music industry as a whole. Power seems enthused.
“We’ve been busy, I’ve written a new album, it’s almost ready, I am so proud of it and excited to put it out there. This may well be Cast’s last ever album and I wanted it to be the right record, the best we have ever done, I think for us it is a defining time and the album reflects that.”
The pandemic has been catastrophic for the music industry as a whole and as lockdown eases and audiences begin to enjoy live music again, Power is naturally anxious about the future for musicians. “We have witnessed the slow erosion of people’s liberties during this pandemic, it has devastated bands. I never got into the whole live streaming thing, I was so busy writing and even baking that I didn’t really have time and it’s just not the same, is it?”
The first time I saw Cast was in 1994, as a support band at the Tivoli in North Wales, they were just emerging onto the indie scene. “That was the really early days. I remember that gig, it was weird, we made it back to Liverpool in the van after in something like 15 minutes. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure it wasn’t legal”.
Fast forward to Sunday, 11th August 1996, I, along with 125,000 people at Knebworth experienced the gig of a lifetime. On the bill alongside fellow indie bands, Oasis, The Charlatans, Manic Street Preachers, Kula Shaker and Dreadzone. Cast were now a household name and selling out venues on their own. “It was a mad time, after some switches, we had the line up of the band just right, we were tight.” Power comments.
I asked John about rehearsing during lockdown. “We haven’t really, we know each other so well now that we just get on with it”. While many bands have withdrawn from the music scene, Cast, despite some lengthy hiatuses have never really bowed out and are as on form as ever. “We are really looking forward to playing the Warrington gig. We know people are uncertain about attending venues again, but we hope they come.”
Noel Gallagher once described seeing Cast as “a religious experience”, so get your tickets, if you haven’t already.
It’s going to be biblical.