Why home gigs will always feel unique for Cast frontman John Power as he gets set to perform at Knowsley Music Festival
4 weeks ago
For Cast frontman John Power, playing live in front of a home crowd feels as unique as it did when he first started out as a teenager playing bass with his mates.
“When I sing something like Sandstorm, it’s in the present of when it was written, it doesn’t even feel like yesterday,” he says. “It’s ageless, I’m not old and I’m not young, I’m just being when I’m singing.
“But there is a different feel to when I play Liverpool, of course there is, and I’m very aware of that. I’m going home and there’s going to be people who’ve known me all my life. A lot of people will have known me when I was younger, when the band first started, or when it was successful or maybe they’re the younger generation just learning about Cast and The La’s.
“I used to be a bit uptight and get a bit nervous leading into a Liverpool show because it felt like it meant more, now I just relax, I go out and do my thing and roll with how it goes. The energy’s there, the audience is there, we’re all from the same place and there’s always a different dynamic.”
That special atmosphere will definitely be there this Friday when he joins fellow Liverpool legend Ian Prowse and talented singer-songwriter ZuZu for what promises to be a memorable night as part of Knowsley Music Festival.
The gig at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park in Huyton is one of the highlights of the Knowsley Music Festival at venues across the borough celebrating some of Knowsley and Liverpool’s most successful musical exports, and giving a showcase to up and coming music talent.
It’ll be a chance for fans, old and new, to hear acoustic versions of some of the tracks which made Cast one of the 90s biggest bands, as well the solo material John’s written over the past decade.
“All those songs transpose magnificently on the acoustic because they were written on the acoustic – they’re really all solo songs until they hit the band so pretty much everything I’ve ever written has been me, on my own, with an acoustic, strumming and looking out of the window …”
In fact, that’s exactly what John’s doing now, in between gigs – sitting with his guitar and writing songs that will either go onto an album of his own, or onto one which is planned for Cast early in 2023.
The band hit a landmark 25th anniversary of the release of their first album All Change in 2020. “It’s just the old adage that your parents told you, that life just gets quicker and it passes by,” reflects the 55-year-old.
“We’ve got an album that we’re going to do with Cast in January and I’d like it to be the last album because I’ve tried to complete the circle.
“You can’t go back, I don’t want to, times have changed and I’m not sitting around free as a bird when £3.50 in my pocket was alright. But what I am trying to do is connect with what a debut album for Cast would sound like now, the same principles and the same inspirations, with all the experience I’ve got now.
“I’ve got songs I’ve been writing for a couple of years, and one seems to be going towards a solo – really troubadour acoustic – and the other is really keen effervescent, garage band rock and roll. In the past I’d have mixed them up, but what I’m doing this time is only putting songs on the Cast album that fit.
“The band album is going to be framed and everything has to be within that picture. I want them all to have something in common – the attack, the energy, the verve, the emotion.”
One of the aims of Knowsley Music Festival is to inspire young musicians, allowing them to access free music and advice from industry experts. One of the events happening will be aiming to do just that. See the details below:
Knowsley Next: Getting into the Music Industry (Saturday 12 November, 1-6pm)
Our Place, Longview Dr, Huyton, Liverpool L36 6EG
As well as experiencing world class music during the Knowsley Music Festival, the borough’s young people will have the opportunity to hear from industry experts on what it takes to get into the music business.
Including ‘in conversation events’, masterclasses, vocal coaching and DJ workshops this will be a chance for the borough’s ambitious young people to get insider knowledge and help them carve their future lives in music.
This event is FREE but ticketed. Find out more info about Knowsley Next: Getting into the Music Industry or book tickets here.
When it comes to following a music career, John is a big believer in the pursuit of dreams.
“What I’d say to anyone is go towards what it is you love, and don’t be cornered into a career you think is going to be worthwhile. You might as well chase your dreams now because if it doesn’t happen then you’re young enough and resilient enough to come back and find something else.
“It’s all about expressing yourself because who wants to live a regret? Be brave enough to try and break out of the stereotype that people throw on you and at least you’ll know you tried to do it, you blew on the embers.”