Power to the people
The next time Blur and Oasis try a head-to—head singles challenge, they could ﬁnd themselves in a three-way contest with Cast. Fiona Shepherd interrupted the creative process of the Liverpool band’s main man, John Power, to ﬁnd out what makes them tick.
A couple of months ago. you‘d probably never heard of Cast. but in the interim they‘ve scored a considerable chart hit with their debut everything- bar-the-kitchcn-sink single ‘Finetime‘ — and their first album. All Change. is signed. seal and all but delivered.
As though to demonstrate how quickly they move and how prolific they are. this interview with Cast‘s singer John Power begins as he is in the process of writing a song. Far be it from The List to interrupt a top pop pup‘s train ofthought . . .
‘lt‘s alright. ‘cos I‘ve got the idea now.‘ Power assures. ‘l only need the roots of it. l‘mjust trying to
fathom out some idea flapping round my head. I like to leave it a bit scruffy in my mind.‘
Which all sounds like long-hand for ‘there‘ll be no exclusive sneak preview for you. matey‘. Based on what we already know of Cast (which isn‘t much — one single and a few gigs up here. including a well- received T in The Park set). the song currently circling Power‘s imagination will probably be a classically melodic affair with plenty of robust.
jangling guitars and enough imagination to mark it
out from their other melodic robust jangling guitars. When asked what is the most important thing in songwriting for him. Power doesn‘t answer with the inevitable ‘a good tune‘. but launches into a surprising romantic rant. ‘The most important thing is to touch and make that connection.‘ he says. ‘because it‘s a long way from
‘Everyone in the band gets on, not in a stupid, boring, poncey way, but it’s all the emotions you can think of.’
me to you and I don‘t just mean to Scotland. I mean stranger to stranger who don‘t look at each other. If you can write a song that can fly through the air and touch someone that you don‘t even know. that‘s what it's all about for me.‘
Power is yer typical Liverpool lip. a quuacious Scouser fond of coining phrases that don‘t quite make sense but convey som‘e meaning anyway. Like ‘the \A heels cross and turn at the same time and that’s when things happen‘.
He quit Scouse standard-bearer The La‘s a couple of
Cast: when they made this band, they broke the mould
years ago. when they failed to follow up the sparkling potential demonstrated on the modern classic ‘There She Goes‘. a song thought to be as fine as anything Oasis have yet managed. He assembled his players to add their flavour to the songs he had begun writing while still in The La‘s and things moved quickly from there.
He is candid when comparing the only two bands he‘s ever been in. ‘The difference is that that was a memory and this is reality. this is living and breathing.‘ he philosophises. ‘That was something that got me to where I am. There's no comparison. really. it‘s like trying to compare one love to another. You live with whoever you live with now. The minute you leave you start doing all you can for the next cause.
‘This is a lot more soulful for me.‘ he continues. ‘Everyone in the band gets on. not in a stupid, boring. poncey way. but it's all the emotions you can think of.‘
There‘s a single ‘Alright‘ (wasn‘t that by . . . ? nah. never mind) to precede the album. Power reckons it‘s more immediate than the very immediate ‘Finetime‘. As far as All Change is concerned. he reckons Cast are part of the ten per cent of bands who say their
'debut album is going to be boss and then actually
come through with a boss album. But. then. he would say that, wouldn‘t he?
‘l reckon it‘ll well make waves for a debut album. There isn't one filler on it. We want dynamics. sparks flying. I write the songs. no doubt about it. but without the band you‘re just a folk singer.‘
Cast play The Garage. Glasgow on Thurs 28.
The List 22 Sept-5 Oct 1995 33