Gig review: Cast, O2 Academy, Glasgow

As WE move in ever-decreasing nostalgic circles – and, arguably more pertinently, at a time when musicians of a certain age can make their bread and butter on the live circuit as long as they are prepared to trade off that nostalgia – it appears to be time to remember the halcyon dregs of the Britpop era, a whole 15 years ago.

And that’s before we celebrate the return of Madchester icons The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays later this summer.

Cast are part of that lineage of northern indie rock, but theirs is the non-innovative, meat-and-potatoes branch of the family. Frontman John Power cut his teeth as a fresh-faced teenager in cult Liverpudlian outfit The Las, a band whose influence far outweighs their success. You can reverse that relationship for Cast, who delivered more singalong hits but are not especially cited in retrospect.

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Still, a fair number of fans have kept the faith in the decade since the group originally split and turned out to punch the air and stamp their feet to the hits while tolerating the new songs they have yet to connect with.

Cast are never knowingly untuneful and no guitar goes unjangled, but their second-generation psychedelic pop failed to soar or even move up a gear for much of the set, and Power’s regulation nasal vocals quickly became grating.

The band also seemed a little tentative, lacking conviction and finesse even when playing popular numbers such as Fine Time, Sandstorm and Guiding Star and it became apparent that Power was under the weather and not up to an encore.

Drafting in guest vocalists from the audience provided much needed energy injections on Alright and History, but it came too late to elevate the show above the mediocre.

Rating; **