Cast are one of those bands that a 24 year old man like myself remembers from their hits on the arse end of the Britpop era to which I was just a little too young to fully appreciate at the time. In fact I first discovered their music on an indie compilation bought for me when I was about 10, quite possibly the first cd ever bought for me (besides the obligatory stocking fillers with names far too embarrassing to mention) which would prove to be quite influential in shaping my music tastes for the years to come with the likes of the Manics, Pulp, The Smiths etc all gracing my ears for the first time. Cast featured heavily on rotation thanks to this but had already split up and despite moving down in my list of priorities as I discovered more and more music, their music certainly had an affect on me so it was a real pleasure going to see them live.
Stepping into Shepherds Bush tonight was like walking into a timewarp of sorts. It was literally like 1995 all over again, riddled with gruff, angry men wearing Fred Perry’s, parkas, anoraks, bowling around looking ‘ard. The only difference was most of the crowd were going grey or bald, had beer bellys and generally should have known better. The amount of lager consumed alone must have secured the financial safety of the venue for another year at least. I was really out of my comfort zone for this one, I mean a man who runs a moderately popular site is used to discussing Bukowski with tight jeaned, chequered shirt wearing poxy pricks that think they’re kings of the alternative music scene because they served Faris Badwan a tomato juice at some dingy pub on Rivington Street, yet here I am just about avoiding a stabbing from a man with three kids just because I couldn’t name the Luton Town back four but this aside it was a pretty grand show.
Needless to say I was cowering at the back for the best part of this one, especially when a vast majority of the crowd started the ‘We are the mods’ chant but what I saw was exactly what I wanted to see. Their greatest hits set, with the Liverpudlian four piece bounding on stage blaring through hits such as ‘Back of My Mind,’ ‘Fine Time’ and ‘Flying,’ reminding us of just how many great songs these guys had and proving that the dust has well and truly been blown off, they all sounded as fresh as they did back in the nineties and all played with the kind of energy and enthusiasm you would expect from the Cast of the nineties.
Some reunions have been a little ropey at times but these guys looked so comfortable playing on stage again in front of a packed out crowd and the banter was ripe as lead singer John Power declared ‘it’s good to be back on stage with the lads.’ It shocked me just how many hits Cast had, it was just one after another, Sandstorm, Guiding Star, Alright and of course Walkaway with a cover of The Who’s The Seeker thrown in for good measure, this was a real joy to behold, fun times were had and I left feeling great.
Words : Gordon Reid