[B]Cast[/B] prove [B]Tony Blair[/B] was right. Because no matter how often genre dilettantes and [B]Mercury Music Prize[/B] panel judges insist there are only two types of music  good and bad 

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Liverpool Royal Court

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Liverpool Royal Court

If ever there was a time to write a blank cheque at the Bank Of Bonhomie, this is it. Sound City is in Liverpool, the country is listening via [a]Radio 1[/a], Cast are playing to a home crowd, and outside they’re literally fighting to get in. So why is the atmosphere inside so flat?

Judging by the puzzled looks all round, no-one is quite sure. Maybe because like all people convinced of their innate songwriting talent, Cast do not give good show. They’re chirpy enough, thumbs forever metaphorically raised, but the moment they stop playing the singles, it’s nowhere near enough.

Songs like ‘She Falls’ and ‘Compared To You’ (from latest album ‘Magic Hour’) merely end up rummaging in dadrock’s rancid navel, leaving John Power to inadvertently put his finger on what’s wrong. “I wish I had the words to say what I feel,” he stutters, “but I can’t – I hope you can get it from the music.” We can’t.

This is a man who, with an interviewer’s Dictaphone whirring, can speak long and passionately about anything, but give him a guitar, demand a song of similar spark, and he almost always fails.

Bizarrely, then, Cast prove Tony Blair was right. Because no matter how often genre dilettantes and Mercury Music Prize panel judges insist there are only two types of music – good and bad – there’s clearly a third way. It’s the cult of mediocrity. At a hometown coronation, Cast are its kings.