Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 17 January 2007

John Power: New Vigour Via Old Values

So far, there has been no shortage of eruptions and turmoil in John Power's musical life.
John Power: The Cast's Off @ Komedia!

Combined with the other slings and arrows fate has a habit of delivering, they could have been enough to make any musician throw their instrument down and lose faith in what music's actually there for.

But this is the man who's just recorded his best self-penned collection since he first appeared on record in 1987.

The album, Willow She Weeps is an acoustic folk session of campfire songs, rock and roll, blues and other conversations with the ether that invite the listener to gently depart the here and now, and enter a warmer, wiser world.

Alongside the myth-touched songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Lee Mavers, John Power was the other constant member of legendary Liverpool band The La's.

Power joined on bass in 1986, fresh from a city council scheme for aspirant musicians, and would keep the faith for six years.

That group's one album, a tortuously recorded self-titled debut from 1990, sustains a fervent cult of admirers but, according to the group, it never captured the true spirit of the band or the extraordinary set of songs that appear on it.

Power went on to take charge of Cast, a formidable live four-piece with whom he'd sell bewildering amounts of records (1995's All Change was famously the biggest and fastest selling debut album in the history of the Polydor label).

Whether on the charts, on magazine covers or headlining at the Glastonbury Festival, Power the pop star was a phenomenon that lasted nine long years - Cast playing until 2002, when the finally wheels came off with the confusing, over-produced album Beat Route, and an abruptly cancelled UK tour.

But it was not the last we'd hear from him....

Recorded with producers Steve Powell and Ian Grimble, Willow She Weeps was recorded by Power on vocals, guitars and basses, with one-time La's drummer Nick Miniski on bass drums and handclaps — no hi-hats or snares here.

Earthy, exuberant and frank, it gives a strong sense of new vigour via old values.


John Power visits Komedia on Thursday 15 February at 8.30pm.

Tickets are £9 and are available without a booking fee on-line at Komedia Brighton or from the Box Office on 01273 647100.


by: Mike Cobley




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Photo credit: Sante D'Orazio

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