Friday, 18 January 2013

Cast 'Sandstorm'

Chart Peak: 8

'Sandstorm' was a No. 8 hit for John, Liam, Keith and Peter in January 1996... It followed 'Fine Time' and 'Alright' to become their third Top 20 hit.
If you're taking notes you'll spot that this is the second track on Now 33 that's a follow-up to a single called 'Alright', and no it's not the same song. I've mentioned before - and may very well mention again, as they crop up a lot on these albums - that I always had a certain soft spot for Cast, especially the first album which contains nothing especially original or unique but is a solid assembly of pop songs. Yes, I said pop songs, because  that's what they really are; some of their audience might have disagreed, but I don't think Cast ever were or particularly wanted to be an alternative to anything, they were - are, in fact, as they reunited and released a new album last year - simply an band who happened to be playing this kind of music in an era when it was called "indie".

By the start of 1996 I'd borrowed a copy of the album but did not own it so it made perfect sense to buy a CD single of one of the standout tracks. I was tempted by the bonus live tracks too, having heard that the band were really good in concert (it was a lot cheaper to test this by paying £1:99 for a single than buying a gig ticket of course). As a throwaway slice of Merseybeat, complete with John Power's heavily-accented vocal ("We're just not a pair...") 'Sandstorm' is a satisfying snack. It's all the better for keeping the running time down to about 2 minutes 42, coincidentally almost exactly the length of 'There She Goes' by the La's, by far the most acclaimed track Power was ever involved in. I got my money's worth, even though the live tracks turned out to be a bit disappointing.

Also appearing on: Now 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 43
Available on: Britpop Anthems

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