Due to unfortunate worldwide events it’s not quite the 25th, “it’s more like the 27th now to be honest”, says frontman John Power with a laugh.
“Here we are playing these songs that I wrote when I was younger about societal change, and 25 years later we’re playing them even better than I could have imagined” says Cast frontman John Power, as we spoke about the band, gigging, society and All Change.
Originally released in 1995, All Change became the highest selling debut album in the history of the Polydor label.
The album was recorded and mixed at the Manor and Sawmill studios with producer John Leckie, resulting in the top 20 hit singles ‘Finetime’ followed by ‘Alright’; with ‘Sandstorm’ and ‘Walkaway’ both reaching the top 10. But taken as a whole the album was a deliberate call to arms.
“The band just seem to be at a level where everything just ‘clicks’, I know ‘classic album’ gets bandied about a lot but if you’d have asked me that a few years ago I would have had a different take, whereas now when I recently listened to ‘All Change’, it just sounded great.”
“We were playing the songs again and everything was just tight. When we went in the studio everything just seemed to fit together seamlessly, you know? We weren’t looking for that click or anything, we just had all of it sorted.”
“With the tour being postponed a couple of times, it just feels like the audience and the album has become a proper classic album and I mean that in its truest form.
Not just in the way that we can sing the songs and people sing along, there’s a certain ``I can't find the word”, “a vibe?” I say, “exactly, that.”
Do you feel worried or apprehensive about getting back on the road, performing this album once more?
“I kind of feel like with the band that after so many years, you kind of hit that slightly legendary status and I just feel like they’re really roaring on the album.”
It’s a rare emotion to feel, when you go out on stage and it’s not only that people have bought into the music you’re playing, it’s being on a wavelength.
“I feel like we need the crowd, they need us… we all need each other. But on a practical thing with the album, and a couple of the songs that I haven’t played in such a long time just hit differently, getting a real rapturous… like wow.”
“We’re not going through the motions, we’re exploding on stage. And we need the energy from those guys. We’re loving it”
The line up comprises the inimitable John Power on vocals/guitar, Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson playing guitar and Keith O’Neill – drums, with Jay Lewis on bass duties. This tour sees the group returning to their roots with the tracks that first shot them to stardom, it’s a big set as well, clocking in at one hour and 45-minutes.
“I remember when we did Promised Land and it had lyrics like;
‘All the oceans turned to sand, ain't nothing left of our promised land
Got to learn to change our way, if we want to live and breathe another day’
And the critics were saying, ‘oh my god, has he written an environmental rock song?’ It was full of ideals, and naive and young, I thought we could change the world.”
An understanding if you will. When it originally released on 16th October 1995, I remember being in school when I first heard songs like the brilliant ‘Alright’ and took on board the eco-awareness tinged lyrics of Promised Land, it felt as though the album was a call to arms in its own way.
“There’s a lot of division and bile, you can see it. I honestly thought that we were going to change the world. You know, racism, poverty, homophobia, sexism, all of the things that hold us back. Then you realise, without realising, that you’ve just got older and things remain the same. But there’s a younger generation and people are on it, in some ways we’ve made ground.”
“You’ve got this slightly hidden crappy nationalism, people are angry and continually distracted by division with these constant headlines of hate. They’re angry because their lives are s**t but you know, there are always opportunities to change for the better.”
Cast will be performing at The Foundry, Sheffield on 20 January, 2022. You can get tickets for their Sheffield show and the rest of their UK tour here.