Cast at The Academy 2, Manchester, UK – 21st December 2014

Posted by Bianca on Sunday Dec 21, 2014 Under 90s, Britpop, Indie

Gig Review by Nic Jones with Photography by James Bissett

Cast

Does anyone else miss Britpop? As a staunch fan of the likes of Oasis, Blur, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans and countless more It’s something I think about often. The wealth of songwriting talent emerging from Britain at that time, the number of working class bands inspiring a generation to dream big and strive for something better and the incredible catalogue of timeless British music it produced made it a truly golden era. The recent reunion of The Stone Roses and the constant threat of an Oasis reformation only prove there’s still hunger for it and a lingering loyal fan base. It’s no wonder that one of Britpop’s finest, Cast, have been back on the road and playing all the old hits for ecstatic audiences.

Cast

Cast

Manchester has put up a decent showing at Academy 2 on this wet and windy Sunday evening just before Christmas. It’s an older crowd, no doubt most of which saw Cast the first time and leaped at the chance to relive that moment. As the lights descend, the band take the stage and first guitar is strummed, it’s like being transported back in time. But Cast aren’t just back on a nostalgia trip, they are also back in the studio. New song, ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ is played early on and well received by the audience. On further listens it’s easily as good a tune as anything Miles Kane (the nearest comparable to the Cast sound in today’s marketplace) is putting out at the moment. The potential of a new album in 2015 suddenly looks like an interesting proposition.

Cast

Cast

A lot of Cast’s ability to still appeal hinges on John Power’s voice and if it has stood the test of time. As Oasis will forever be linked intrinsically to Liam Gallagher’s snarl, Cast would simply not work without Power’s scouse-tinged, powerful vocals. Power’s voice sounds like it hasn’t aged a day. Attitude-filled, loud and never faltering, he ensures that their catchy indie pop still has youth and swagger. But he can’t do it alone; O’Neill’s drum beats keep an exhaustingly upbeat pace over the course of the evening, and Wilkinson and Tyson’s guitars soar so high that the riffs and melodies underpinning Cast’s sound capture their youthful spirit as if the songs were released yesterday.

Cast

Noel Gallagher once described seeing Cast live as being akin to a ‘religious experience’ and there are moments this evening that really feel like that. ‘Fine Time’, ‘Walkaway’, ‘Flying’, ‘Guiding Star’, ‘Beat Mama’ and ‘Alright’ inspire euphoria throughout the room. Cast still have no problem whipping an audience into an absolute frenzy and with classic numbers such as those, it is done with ease. Tonight’s pinnacle comes at the final bridge of ‘Sandstorm’. The audience shout back at the band; ‘Let me take you by the hand, Try to understand, You walk me to a land, Try to understand, Are you nothing but a man?‘ during which the crescendo of drums has everyone with their arms in the air, losing all form of composure. It’s the kind of moment you remember and will keep reliving every time you hear the song from that point on.

Cast

By the end of the gig all four band members are dripping in sweat, having played their hearts out for 90 minutes. Audience members drift away with grins plastered to their faces. If sometimes it can feel like a risk to see a band many years after their original success, you’re in extremely safe hands with Cast. You can buy tickets to watch Cast now and trust that the old hits you still hold so dear will be played exactly the same way; with passion, determination and relentless indie pop energy. We have a young generation of potential indie bands out there in desperate need of inspiration; I can only hope they go and watch Cast and see how it should be done.

Cast

One Response to “Cast at The Academy 2, Manchester, UK – 21st December 2014”

  1. LIVE REVIEW: Cast @ Manchester Academy | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] This review first appeared on Gig Junkies […]

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