Last night the legendary Liverpool band Cast blew the roof off a sold out O2 Academy for the first of two amazing nights of music. Our staff photographer and occasional writer, James Ainsworth went along for the ride.
Firstly, at 7:45 we had young band the BOHOs. Having only been going for about five months and being made up from a few of the sons of the members of Cast, The BOHOs where very good considering their young run as a band. Performing half an hour of indie rock sounds such as “Elliot’s Song”, “I’m a Hero” and their up incoming debut single “Monday Morning” however, they seemed very nervous on the grand O2 Academy stage, maybe because of their young age. The band seemingly didn’t capture the, now, very small crowd with only a few members of the audience gently clapping and nodding their head, probably the friends and girlfriends for the college-aged band. However, we do have a large respect for them playing this large of a venue and certainly seemed to have a lot of fun as a band, which is great to see and are sure they will grow up to be a great Liverpool band.
Next, we had another Liverpool band, The Hummingbirds. Arriving at 8:15 The Hummingbirds are another band that are looking to become one of the city’s long list of great bands, only apt that they are playing with Liverpool music veterans, Cast.
The Hummingbirds played a phenomenal set setting out some great acoustic rock sounds inspired by artists such as Johnny Cash and Eagles. The band had great musicianship and wonderful stage presence with each other on stage and the ever-growing audience felt it getting more and more energetic with every minute of The Hummingbirds soul, meaningful songs. In the end the band played a flawless 45-minute set and prepared us all perfectly for the main event.
During the long half hour break, I got myself another drink and thought about how well this show demonstrates Liverpool music. Here we have a classic Liverpool band, Cast. A fast up incoming band, The Hummingbirds and a promising newbie, The Bohos. Liverpool has a tireless history of pumping out great acts and sounds, even way before The Beatles and to me tonight showed the strength of our musical heritage. Part due to the acts playing, part due to the audience singing the chorus of The Beatles‘ “Yellow Submarine” along to the PA system in the room. Anyway, now we have the main event as Cast took the stage.
After a half an hour break, John Power and his wonderful mop of hair took the stage along with the rest of Cast and went straight into it. Cast bashed out some songs of their debut album, All Change including, “Promised Land”, “Sandstorm” and “Tell It Like It Is” along with newer songs such as “Roar” and “Kicking Up The Dust”. Cast proved that they have not lost anything during these years and are still very much capable of playing phenomenal sets. With Power dancing around the stage, lovingly playing guitar on the more instrumental parts of songs and with every other member of the band hold down the fort giving everything they have.
The audience knew it too, with people dancing and singing along and dancing with each other, everyone in the room was fully aware of what a remarkable act this was, seeing Cast playing a sold-out show in their hometown, especially being so close to this festive period, is true magic.
Eventually, after an hour and fifteen-minute set, the band graced off the stage, only to come back and play fifteen more minutes of glorious music right up until the 11 O’clock curfew. As people left and drunkenly fell down the rather dangerous steps of the O2, everyone had the same idea. This was a truly fantastic and memorable night and the perfect end to a rather dismal 2016.
Words and photography by James Ainsworth.
*Correction: First support band name is wrong. Changed from “The GoHos” to “The BOHOs”*