So when Lee Maver's from the La's sang the immortal words “Everything must pass the change is cast” who knew that it would lead to the birth of one of the biggest bands of the Britpop era. It’s true that I mostly write about the less popular bands of the Britpop explosion but I cannot pass up writing about one of the iconic bands from that moment in time.
So a year after he left the La’s John power set up his new band Cast in 1992 and after a few line-up changes and support slots they signed to Polydor in late 1994 just in time for the British music scene to explode. If you look back now at the band when they first hit the charts they had four incredible singles taken from their debut album, each will impose a vision of those fantastic days in the early 90’s. The first single taken form their debut album would be Finetime and would set the sound for the band over their first two albums and would storm the charts to the heady heights of number 17. Least we not forget how hard it was for a band to reach anywhere in the top 40 but with the British music scene starting to change and bands rebel against the grunge movement of America it was a prospect that would shake the charts and put bands in the top 10. Finetime is a one of a handful of songs that mean Britpop when you first hear it thump through the speakers with its chest punching beat and distorted guitar combined with John Powers’ scally vocal. This song meant the world to me and to this day still does, it had everything an indie song of the early 90’s should possess. The single to follow this would be a song that was kicking around when Power was in the La’s and would be the song that shoved the band into the limelight. Alright was the single and it would be forever featured on every Britpop complication album ever released and it’s no wonder why as it was one of the catchiest songs of the era. Two more singles would be released from the album that would seal the deal in finding a new audience for the band with Sandstorm and the soundtrack to a broken heart Walkaway.
After releasing the Single Flying the band had reached the top 10 in the Uk charts and would be ready to release their second album Mother Nature Calls in early 1997. Shaking the sound of All Change they embraced the rockier element that would be found in some of the bands of the era. Reaching the top 10 in the album charts it would include the three top ten singles Guiding Star, Free Me and Live The Dream and finally the last single to be released from the album I’m So Lonely. So with Britpop fading and the British music scene imploding we find Cast releasing their third album Magic hour. With a sound that mixed beats and samples with the traditional indie fare it was moving away from the sound of their debut and as a result of the dying scene the album was not promoted as much as it should have been.
So finally in 2001 the band release their final album Beetroot and was sounding like a completely different band altogether. Acoustic, Loops and Flutes was my first thought and I never gave it a chance as I lost all enthusiasm with British music at the time. The band disbanded in 2001 and went their separate ways.
Maybe it was my fault or maybe it was the influx manufactured teen pop that was awash in the charts that would ruin my love of British music at the time. Now I have had time to reconsider my actions and listening again I find a band who were trying something new and approaching song writing techniques and music making from a different angle and for this I love them. So with the band reunited and touring behind the 2011 release of their album Troubled Times things are looking good. It’s good to know that they are still around playing and making music because without them we wouldn’t have the memories of our beloved Britpop and we wouldn’t have the chances that bands have today.