From22 December 2018to13 February 2019


The cast is a rock band hailing from Liverpool, England who formed in 1992. The band released four albums of bright, Britpop-infused indie rock before splitting up in 2001, but in 2010 they reunited for a tour and their first new album in eleven years, 2012’s “Troubled Times”.

It might sound like I’m damning Cast with faint praise by saying they’re only the third most legendary rock band to come out of Liverpool, but that’s only because number one and two on that list are The Beatles and The La’s, respectively. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s highly respectable to come second to them, and it’s still a feather in Cast frontman John Power’s cap all the same since he was the bass player in The La’s as well. In fact, if you listen to the last track on the only album that The La’s ever released, you’ll hear that the line that closes the album is “The change is Cast”. Power, a songwriter himself who was frustrated by Lee Mavers’ erratic nature and their lack of any new material since 1986, decided to leave the band in December 1991 and made that lyric a very prophetic statement indeed.

After leaving The La’s, Power shopped around looking for a band to play the songs that Mavers had vetoed while he was still in The La’s. He started playing some sundry acoustic shows, including one at a free festival in his home city of Liverpool, where he was spotted by another bass player who’d just split from a reasonably successful rock band, ex-Shack man Peter Wilkinson. Taken in by Power’s songs, the two of them met up and Wilkinson became the first addition to the newly formed Cast. They started gigging in the middle of 1992 with a multitude of different lineups, but it was going nowhere fast and he’d yet to extricate himself from the record contract he’d signed with Go! Disks while still in The Las.

Power split up the first incarnation of the band in the summer of 1993 and managed to worm his way out of his contract. Newly free, he set up Cast again with Wilkinson still by his side, and by November 1993 he had recruited Keith O’Neil and Liam Tyson into the fold on the drums and guitar respectively. They started gigging together in January 1994 and it was clear to all who saw them that Power had finally gotten it right, Noel Gallagher himself would later describe the bands live show as a “religious experience”. In no time at all the band secured a tour support slot with Oasis, who was by then pretty much the hottest band in the country, and as a direct result of those shows, they were approached by the head of A&R from Polydor Records, who couldn’t believe that they were unsigned.

Needless to say, they weren’t unsigned for long. They signed to Polydor on the 13th of December 1994, three years to the day that Power left The La. Cast spent the rest of the decade as one of the most acclaimed bands in Britpop, scoring three top ten albums in the forms of 1995’s debut album “All Change”, 1997’s “Mother Nature Calls” and 1999’s “Magic Hour”. They also scored ten top twenty singles between ’95 and ’99, their highest charting effort being 1996’s “Flying”, that peaked at number four on the charts. Unfortunately, they didn’t see in the new millennium so successfully, with 2001’s fourth album “Beetroot” tanking spectacularly and one month after its release, the band split.

Power spent the rest of the decade playing solo, O’Neill became a tour manager, Wilkinson played with his old band Shack and Tyson joined Robert Plant’s Strange Sensations. However, the band reformed in June 2010, initially only for a tour to mark the 15th anniversary of “All Change”. By the time the tour had finished Power had written an entire album of Cast songs, which became the bands’ fifth album, 2012’s “Troubled Times”. Any fan of rock and roll would agree that it’s a pleasure to have one of the best bands of the 1990’s back in the fold, and playing some of the best gigs of their career to boot. For that reason, Cast comes highly recommended.

Saturday 22 December 2018


Liverpool University Guild of Students (Mountford Hall & Stanley Theatre), Liverpool, UK


Wednesday 13 February 2019


Ebisu Liquid Room (リキッドルーム), Ebisu, Japan

December 13, 2018 in