I have to admit. I was expecting a phoned-in performance from a band that might not be all that arsed. How wrong I was. They sounded better than ever.

Date: November 13, 2015

Venue: Rescue Rooms

Cast were once dubbed “The Who of the nineties”. That description may be an exaggeration, but there’s no denying that Cast orchestrator John Power wrote some of that decade’s finest moments.

Now, 20 years on since their debut record, their relevance in the charts may have diminished, but this near sell-out crowd couldn’t give a monkey’s about the ‘hit parade’. Which is just aswell, because they start with Time Bomb, a non-charting single from their little-known 2012 album, Troubled Times.

However, we’re then transported back to 1995 with tracks from that debut, All Change. Tell It Like It Is and Promised Land sound as fresh as a daisy, but it’s on singles Sandstorm and Finetime when the memories flood back.

Power’s voice has withstood the test of time well. He’s like a fine blend of Lennon and Liam Gallagher, while his one-time fresh-faced lead guitarist Liam Tyson now sports an impressive six-inch beard. Drummer Keith O’Neill completes the register of original members, with another hirsute bassist guest appearing

“This is a new one called Baby Blue Eyes”, announces Power in his rapier sharp Scouse brogue. “Download it, do what you want. Used to by vinyl in my day”, he laments, showing his age proudly. It actually does sound a little bit like The Who. Maybe that comparison wasn’t too far-fetched after all.

Elsewhere, the acoustic I’m So Lonely and Live The Dream are distant cousins of their classic Walkaway, while Flying is them at their bombastic best. It’s followed by the Hamburg era Beatles-y Guiding Star.

They finish with the uber-90s anthem Alright, with its chugging guitars and clap-happy vibe, but it’s Walkaway that steals the show. It still sounds as spine-tinglingly awesome today as it did in 1996.

They may not be en vogue, but Cast never sounded so good.


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