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Cast; Self

The troupe sped through an hour of driving three-chord rock about twentysomething life in the U.K., a selling point back home where their debut album "All Change" (Polydor) has yielded four hit singles. Lyrically, Cast puts a positive spin on working-class life, promoting change within crisp pop melodies.

With:
Bands: (Cast) John Power, Peter Wilkinson, Liam Tyson, Keith O'Neill; (Self) Matt Manhaffey. Cast finds itself in a position not unlike that of Brit pop fave Blur, which has been greeted by a relatively deaf ear from American audiences that have embraced the edgier rock of Oasis. As much as Cast performs with conviction, the band is locked into a style that radio has not regularly embraced.

The troupe sped through an hour of driving three-chord rock about twentysomething life in the U.K., a selling point back home where their debut album “All Change” (Polydor) has yielded four hit singles. Lyrically, Cast puts a positive spin on working-class life, promoting change within crisp pop melodies.

Yet the one track that has attracted airplay, “Sandstorm” and its Harry Chapin-inspired “Cats in the Cradle” hook, energized the sellout crowd. Earlier hit “Alright” generated similar excitement, but the letdown caused by the ballad “Walk Away” showed the group has yet to develop a dynamic stage show. Cast should go further than Power’s first band, the La’s, which had some success six years ago with “There She Goes.”

Opener Self, formerly Matt Manhaffey’s one-man studio project, displayed musical diversity and dexterity, ripping through a solid 45 minutes of funk, samples, rock, hip-hop and more samples. The Zoo Entertainment act drew his biggest response with a parody of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.”

Cast; Self

Production: Cast; Self (Troubadour; 350 capacity; $ 10) Presented by Avalon. Reviewed June 18, 1996. Despite little onstage flair, the Liverpool quartet Cast at least showed signs of enthusiasm during a performance of their well-molded British power pop -- a far cry from the onstage attitude of many current Brit invasion bands. Lead singer John Power works hard to engage the audience with between-song banter, but his thick Liverpudlian accent consistently got in the way Tuesday.

With: Bands: (Cast) John Power, Peter Wilkinson, Liam Tyson, Keith O'Neill; (Self) Matt Manhaffey. Cast finds itself in a position not unlike that of Brit pop fave Blur, which has been greeted by a relatively deaf ear from American audiences that have embraced the edgier rock of Oasis. As much as Cast performs with conviction, the band is locked into a style that radio has not regularly embraced.

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