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Cast – All Change (Digitally Remastered)

Cast, All Change

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

HARD to believe but Cast’s debut album, All Change, is now 15 years old and yet it still sounds pretty fresh.

Upon its release in 1995, All Change became the fastest-selling debut in Polydor’s history, outstripping The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Jam.
The album sold over one million copies and spawned four Top 20 singles in Alright, Sandstorm, Fine Time and Walkaway.

Listening to it now, it’s easy to hear why it became such a high flyer, with its sharp mix of indie pop hits, sing-along appeal and crossover possibility. It also came out at the right time.

Cast were formed by John Power and Peter Wilkinson after their respective bands, The La’s and Shack, had split. Both men knew what it took to make a hit and both had strong guitar playing prowess, whether taking the lead and generating memorable hooks and riffs, or supplying quality bass.

But with Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson and Keith O’Neill providing extra guitar support and drums, respectively, Cast became a formidable force, buoyed by songs that contained excellent guitar work, memorable vocals, strong choruses and a timeless kind of vibe.

Songs like Alright, Sandstorm and Fine Time continue to sound fresh… thanks to their keen mix of the above. But the diversity of the band is also marked by their ability to deliver a telling ballad… as the cigarette lighter moment Walkaway proves.

They could mix the hip with the smooth.

And they weren’t confined to the hits, with tracks like Promised Land, Mankind and Four Walls also standing out and showcasing their ability to mix a contemporary vibe with classic elements that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the ‘60s or ‘70s.

The digitally re-mastered, 2CD re-release of All Change therefore represents a fantastic trip down memory lane, as well as a chance for newcomers to become re-acquainted with one of Britain’s great bands… just as they reunite to tour and record new material.

It contains the complete album in crisp, cleaned up form, as well as a wealth of extras.

Prominent among these, on CD1, are the stand-alone single, Flying, which reached Number 4 in the UK charts, and is still a classic, and the brilliant B-side Hourglass, which also showcases Cast’s ability to rival Oasis in delivering bonus tracks that are every bit as strong as the singles they support.

CD2, meanwhile, is packed with demos and out-takes, as well as live versions of album tracks that further underline what a great live band they were (I was lucky enough to see them twice, and each time they blew me away).

In fact, such a glorious reminder of all things Cast is this re-issued album that you can’t help but feel really excited by the prospect of new material from them next year.

Download picks: Alright, Promised Land, Sandstorm, Fine Time, Walkaway, History, Flying, Hourglass, For So Long, Fine Time (Demo), Alright (Live), Walkaway (Live), Four Walls (Demo)

Track listing:
Disc One

  1. Alright
  2. Promised Land
  3. Sandstorm
  4. Mankind
  5. Tell It Like It Is
  6. Four Walls
  7. Fine Time
  8. Back Of My Mind
  9. Walkaway
  10. Reflections
  11. History
  12. Two Of A Kind
  13. Instrumental [Original Hidden Track]
  14. Flying
  15. Better Man
  16. Satellites
  17. Follow Me Down
  18. Meet Me
  19. Hourglass
  20. Mother
  21. For So Long

Disc Two
Demos

  1. Sandstorm
  2. Who You Gonna Ask
  3. Two Of A Kind
  4. Finetime
  5. Alright
  6. Four Walls
  7. Follow Me Down
  8. Tell It Like It Is
  9. History
  10. Alright
  11. Flying
    Alternate Mix
  12. Back of My Mind
    Out-Take
  13. All My Days
    BBC In Concert
  14. Back Of My Mind
  15. Sandstorm
  16. Reflections
  17. Walkaway
  18. Finetime
  19. Alright