Labelled as “The Who of the 90s”, Liverpudlian rockers Cast headed out on tour last December to celebrate 20 years since the release of their first album, All Change, a record which contained a number of timeless Britpop anthems and became the highest-selling debut for their Polydor Records label. Erin Doyle caught up with a pensive John Power before the former La’s man arrived in Sheffield with the band.
Hi John! First things first, how has it been playing the Liverpool Philharmonic for you as a local lad?
It was fantastic. Originally we were only performing in December to celebrate 20 years since our debut record came out – but we just carried on! I really enjoyed the shows, and it was a much different dynamic to a normal gig where you just get up and plug your guitar in. We split it into two halves and it was much more gentle with the orchestra in the background. On a personal level, the reviews were outstanding – which was obviously nice. To be honest, a lot of people didn’t know we’re even touring again so they need a little reminder! This year we’ve already played seven gigs and the turnout has been fantastic.
Does it feel like 24 years since you first started out with Cast?
Time is a funny old thing. The early days of Cast and all the success we had seems really far back, but sometimes when we get on stage and play old songs live they all feel as fresh as a daisy. It’s better now though. In terms of performing live, I’m more confident and relaxed. Sometimes I think if I knew what I know now I’d have loosened up because I was far too earnest back then.
And what can you tell us about the new material?
It’s all finished! It’s untitled as of yet but we’re thinking maybe Kicking up the Dust as a title. It’s been a really exciting and relieving thing to do. With the last album, Trouble Times, we were really aware of making a ‘Cast: Part II’ type of record but now we’re just running with it. It’s much more relaxed, yeah. We’re really looking forward to people hearing it. It’s really strange because we recorded ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ at the arse-end of 2014, then throughout the next year we just had sporadic visits to the studio and kicked around ideas. It was all a new way of working for me.
So you’ve recently signed to Alan McGee’s Creation Management. Is there a bit of a Britpop revival in the works?
There is lot of love for that era at the minute. I guess 20 years have to go by before we can be objective about it. We were quite embedded in it so once you come out of you don’t wanna go back and be a part of it again. In my mind, music has always been relative. Younger people are now discovering that era – I guess kind of similar to the way we discovered The Clash or The Who as kids. Good art always sticks.
Cast play Sheffield O2 Academy on Thursday 14th April. Head to www.academymusicgroup.com for tickets and more info.