One idle Sunday afternoon, I found myself thinking about Cascada. Or rather, thinking about how I'd not really thought of Cascada for a long time. I'd thought about my primary school headmaster more than I had Cascada, and that's a man I've not seen in 15 years. When did you last think about Cascada? Try and recall it. A year ago? Two years ago? So long ago that you've sort of forgotten who Cascada was in the first place? For the members of Team Cascada UK the answer is probably closer to five minutes ago.
Fandom is a strange thing. Like most things it operates within a spectrum. At one end there's your mum who likes Robbie Williams enough for you to know that you can buy his new album for her birthday every time it rolls round. At the other you've got the Robbie Williams obsessive who's stolen clumps of the singer's hair from a barber's bin and is currently in the process of legally changing his name to Robbie Williams. Somewhere between the two lie Vicky Tassart and Laura Atkins, the women behind Team Cascada UK, a 1400 member strong community of devoted fans.
The men and women of Team Cascada UK know their shit when it comes to Cascada. They know that Cascada is the name of the group, not just the singer. They know that Cascada are the most successful German act of the 21st century. They also know are still touring and recording. They know more about Natalie Cascada, Manuel Reuter, and Yann Peifer than Yann Peifer, Manuel Reuter, and Natalie Cascada do. These are the people who sing B-sides and deep cuts in the shower, the devoted fans who live and breath Cascada. I wanted to find out what made them tick. I wanted to become part of Team Cascada UK.
I was fascinated by how Team Cascada were able to invest so much time, energy and unwavering devotion into one act. In recent years I've become less and less personally invested in musicians, writers, artists and filmmakers. I graze rather than feast obsessively. Largely, I feel no better or worse for it, but there's a small part of me that yearns for that sensation of sustained excitement and expectation that's part and parcel of following any kind of artist. I found myself feeling ever so slightly envious of the denizens of Team Cascada UK. Which is why I got in touch with Vicky and Laura.
I wanted to know what exactly it was about a group best known for big, brash Eurodance anthems like "Everytime We Touch," "Because the Night," and "Evacuate the Dancefloor," that kept 1400 or so people entertained and enthralled after all this years. What I found was a community that thrived on positivity and hope. They're positive that Cascada are an amazing group, and hopeful that there's more material to come in the future. They're both friends and fans.
Below are the edited highlights of a conversation I had with Vicky and Laura via email.
THUMP: Can you start by telling me a little bit about how you got into Cascada in the first place?
Team Cascada UK: We've both been huge fans since the very beginning. At the time the whole Clubland thing was becoming hugely popular in the UK and Cascada were doing well in the charts. In 2007 they announced their very first UK tour, and at that point Laura and I were still to meet each other. I remember being sat at work one day and watching the live version of "Everytime We Touch" —it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up! I thought, "Wow, this woman can really sing!" So I went to her gig in Preston and was hooked. Laura went to the Manchester date.
What happened after that?
They came back to the UK the year after for the Perfect Day tour. Laura and I both went to the Manchester gig, but still hadn't met. By this point we had both been members of the Cascada fan forum on the band's official website. Not long after the Manchester gig, myself and Laura got talking on the forum and then directly with each other and soon discovered we lived only an hour apart. From then on, we got on like a house on fire and chatted every day. We met up in Manchester and became great friends.
We ended up going to see them in Dortmund together and Natalie's manager Frank heard about our trip and put us on the guestlist. It was through him that we got to meet Natalie. We waited backstage for her—those five minutes felt like a lifetime. And then she was there! We'd met our idol together. It was amazing to meet the woman who'd brought us together. She was so surprised when we told her exactly why we were in Germany—no fans had ever travelled abroad just to see her before. This was the first of many Cascada trips. We'd got the bug.
Where's Cascada taken you then?
Since that first trip, we've spent a lot of time in various parts of Germany, as well as visiting Spain, Denmark, Holland, France, and Austria. Frank's been amazing and has taken us backstage lots of times to meet Nat, and we've been incredibly lucky and have some amazing memories. We've taken some of the friends we've made through Team Cascada on these trips too.
Is Nat aware of the group?
She is, and she thinks that it's great, and loves the fact that we always stick with her and the group and show them loyal support. Laura even has lyrics from a Cascada song tattooed on her arm. We showed Nat once when we were in Spain and she insisted on having her photo taken with it. The next day she posted it on the official Cascada Twitter account. Natalie's love and appreciation for her fans is amazing —she always thanks us for travelling to all these places and often gives us a little shout out on stage, which is pretty cool!
Is it hard work running the group?
Since that first trip we've seen our followers increase so we both put lots of effort into into keeping other fans informed of tour dates, upcoming releases and such. We love communicating with fans from all over the world, sharing our photos and videos, our tour stories, giving away signed CDs and photos to promote our favourite band.
Finally, what's next for the group, and for Cascada themselves?
We already have more trips planned for the upcoming months, and the band shows no sign of slowing down tourwise. There's new music planned for release this year and we are looking forward to getting behind them and promoting it!