Cast Live at the Holmfirth Picturedome, Our review

Looking around the room at the Holmfirth Picturedrome, you know you’re here to see an indie band with the masses of Adidas and Stone Island that can be seen. The ages however differ from young teenagers right up to people in their 50s and 60s. this shows the timelessness of Cast and the permanent accessibility of their music that has only increased since the 90s.

The lights go down just after nine and the band take to the stage with the acoustic indie hit Timebomb. John’s in fine voice and the band look tighter than ever. The first four songs in the set are indicative of John Power’s new acoustic direction that he’s taken in his solo work. The gentle appreciation of Do That, See That Girl and Four Walls could be seen in the audience who were certainly glad to be back at gigs, John acknowledged this by saying “Isn’t it good to be back”.

A few brief heckles about John’s famous barnet didn’t knock him off his stride and delightfully hilarious quips from his classic scouse wit gave the audience an even bigger reason to love him. After Four Walls, John switches to an electric guitar, plays a few unrecognisable chords to tease the audience and then bursts into Sandstorm. The crowd went wild, an electric atmosphere took over the room, with pint pots flying through the air, jumping and plenty of dancing. Sandstorm quickly stomped into Fine Time which kept the electric atmosphere alive. There was no pausing for thought during this set, the sheer amount of Cast super hits wouldn’t allow for that and they were packed into this show by the boat load.

Things slowed down slightly but the hits kept coming with I’m So Lonely, Magic Hour and Live the Dream merging slowly and beautifully into each other. John pauses to speak and tells us all to love each other and to spread tolerance and peace, issues that have been on everyone’s mind more than ever recently and something everyone needed to hear after a very uncertain year and a half. A short foray into the most recent album came along next in the form of the beautiful Paperchains where proceedings were slowed down further before the seminal hit Walkaway.

The crowds were swaying, people were arm in arm and the love spread round the room like wildfire. Beat Mama brought the crowd straight back up again and we certainly didn’t want the music to be turned off or turned down. A sense of euphoria spread over the audience when John spread his arms out and started singing the first few lines of Flying, several people in the audience copied him and it really did feel like Holmfirth Picturedrome was soaring through the air as a collective.

Cast took no time in getting straight back into the hits with Guiding Star and Free Me coming up next, the room was bouncing and people were hungry for more. The band left the stage at the end of Free Me, leaving only drummer Keith O’Neill onstage. In classic rock ‘n’ roll fashion Keith burst into a sensational drum solo, a lost art in the gigging world and seldom seen in the indie arena.

The rest of the band joined him back onstage after a few moments for an exciting four song encore consisting of Baby Blue Eyes, Tell It Like It Is, History and perhaps their biggest hit Alright. Alright sent them out with an almighty bang, the audience knew it was the last hurrah and more pint pots flew through the air.

As the gig came to a close you could sense in the room that this had been the first gig back for plenty of people and what a gig it was. Cast didn’t just welcome us back by saying it, they welcomed us back through their music and performance. Whoever we all see next will find it hard to beat this spectacular gig that’s for sure.

Words By Laura Beth

📸 Helen Millington Photography