THE COLA JET SET & THE SCHOOL

THE MOTH CLUB 
Hackney, London
Saturday 2nd April 2016


Elefant is a really good record label, with a great mix of Indie bands signed. Tonight was a bit of a showcase for them, and on the bill were two bands we had first experienced at the International Pop Overthrow and have seen a couple of times since.

From Barcelona, The Cola Jet Set have a bit of a girl group sound, but with crunchy guitars. Anna was on lead vocals tonight, reprising the role she left a few years ago as the current singer was unable to travel to the UK. It did not matter that their songs are in Spanish, you get the feel good, happy vibe from every beat and every note and you cannot stop you feet from tapping, and your head from bobbing along.

The Cola Jet Set

Their songs are short, sharp and punchy, with hand claps and harmony. The first part of their set was a selection from their back catalogue and the second half, had songs from their new album, which were rockier and sounded great.

They seemed to have a good fan base who travelled with them, so the space in front of the stage was packed, and a few people were dancing. A great set, and they really seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the enthusiastic audience too.

The School
The main act on the bill were Welsh band, The School.Wearing a t-shirt that said "Writing Songs is For Girls",  Liz, who writes most of the songs, has been transported from The Brill Building and Phil Spector's studio!

Their set was their debut album "Loveless Unbeliever" from start to finish. The gig was running late so The School took to the stage later than planned, and conscious of time and the fact that people had to catch trains home, there was little in the way of chit chat between songs as the band worked through the album, but that didn't matter.


The album's 60's influenced sound was recreated on stage with the help of the usual keyboard, guitars and drums and also 2 violins, a bit of percussion, a trumpet and some lush backing vocals. The drummer was really good, and even threw a couple of extra things in that seemed to be a bit unexpected, but worked!

Liz behind the drum kit

It was a great gig, the sound and balance was very good, even more so when you consider the number of instruments being played.




RUSS BALLARD TOUR

The Stables, Milton Keynes / The Flowerpot, Derby / The Robin 2, Bilston / Nells Jazz & Blues, Kensington London
8th - 18th March 2016

(taken in part from the review that The Beeb wrote which appeared in Russ Ballard's newsletter)

THE STABLES, Milton Keynes (8th March)
A Q&A show in London's Leicester Square Theatre in January had certainly whetted our appetite for the real thing. Now it was time for the first live gig of Russ’s solo career in 40 years......

Nervous? Well, that would be a “Yes” according to Russ when he walked out onto the stage at The Stables in Milton Keynes on the Tuesday night. After a bit of banter, it was straight into “Rene Didn’t Do It.” It was a joy to finally hear an album track, live!

His band, Bob Henrit on drums, Stu Ross on bass, Steve Smith on keyboard and multi-instrumentalist Chris Winter on keyboards, guitar, sax and harmonica had a good time too. First night nerves quickly melted away and the show was a good 'un. 

The set list was interspersed with anecdotes about the various songs Russ has  written and produced throughout his career. The medley of “So You Win Again,” “I Know There's Something Going On” and “New York Groove” epitomised the diverse range of hits Russ has written over the years. Russ' voice soared during his rendition of "I Don't Believe in Miracles" which got a rapturous reaction from the crowd and the set finished with a bit of boogie woogie keyboard, with "Little Queenie".


Russ and The Band have a laugh at the end of the show


The Beeb with Bob Henrit
The show may not have been a total sell-out, but the audience was very appreciative. When the gig was over, there was a bit of after show meeting up in the foyer. It was clear that some old friends were seeing each other for the first time in a while, and for us it was the chance to make new ones, including Sue who is the editor of Russ' Newsletter.

Russ was very generous with his time afterwards, chatting to everyone, and having photos taken with anyone who asked.




THE FLOWERPOT, Derby (12th March)
A few days later we made it to Derby for the next gig, a SATURDAY, and a chance to meet some friends of our own we hadn’t seen for years. Already it was going to be a great night.
What a difference The Flowerpot was to The Stables. It was a real rock and roll pub venue, a few seats around the edge but mainly unreserved standing. The more than decent sized crowd was crammed at the front of the stage ready for action.

The band came on and it was a blistering show right from the start. The set was  unchanged from The Stables gig, but there was some ad lib stuff thrown in, such as "Concrete & Clay". The band were certainly kept on their toes. 


Russ Rocks

All of the songs went down really well, and a great sing along with “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” was a highlight. The sound was very good (Russ and the venue, not necessarily the crowd singing along!!), and it was great to be right up there, and close to the stage. We think Russ felt the warmth of the crowd too and he really seemed to enjoy it. 

Once again, Russ was out chatting with everyone after the show, and our friends were delighted to have some memorabilia signed. The merchandise available was plentiful, and the signed set list was a real bargain to be had at only £1.

As if the gig wasn’t good enough, we had fortuitously and unknowingly booked into the same hotel as the band! We were kindly invited to join them all for a drink and a chat once we got back there. The world became that little bit smaller when I found out keyboard player Steve Smith and I had a mutual friend. Russ was a bit of a raconteur and had a few good stories to tell. A fantastic end to the night.


Photo Bombed by Russ back at the hotel!!!


THE ROBIN 2, Bilston (13th March)
After spending an afternoon shopping in Derby, we made our way to Wolverhampton, booked into the next hotel and headed straight out for something to eat. Bilston does not open on a Sunday by the way, but we eventually found a Wetherspoon pub!!!

Before the show, we had a couple of drinks in Woodies, next door to the venue. Dedicated to the wonderful local hero Roy Wood, and memorabilia all around, with the soft furnishings, this bar was like sitting in someone’s front room. You get into the actual gig through the back of the pub too!

The Robin 2 was cavernous compared to the Flowerpot. This was the biggest audience so far. Beside meeting up again with Sue, we spent some time in the company of a few head-banging stragglers who had made their way back from Friday's Hard Rock Hell gig in Wales. We thought that was actually an outdoor gig, otherwise we might have been tempted to go there too!

Each gig so far has had something memorable about it…beside the music. This time being a bloke in a Kiss T-shirt at the front of the stage who was able to play note for note on his air guitar, everything that Russ played! I have no doubt that Russ’s attention was on this guy when they struck up “God Gave Rock & Roll" and he forgot the words!!  For all the times he must have played this, he did at least have good grace to laugh about that happening.

It was terrific to see a venue this size being so supportive of Russ. This is a great place to see any band.




NELL’S JAZZ and BLUES CLUB, Kensington (18th March)
The last night of the tour, and a bit closer to home for us, London.
Meandering our way through Kensington to the gig, we bumped into Stu and Steve from the band. After a wee chat with them, we got to the club, and managed to blag a table, right front centre of the stage. Result! The venue itself was really nice, a bit of a modern take on Ronnie Scotts, and the stage area was quite spacious.

The Fender and The Les Paul
This time we met Irene from Amsterdam, who joined us for most of the night. The next table to us had a group of Norwegian guys who’d come over for the weekend. They certainly were enjoying themselves too.

Once again there appeared to be a lot of friends meeting up around about us. It’s been a bonus doing these gigs and seeing such friendliness everywhere. Minty came back from the toilet laughing at one point, having heard a group of young "twenty somethings" talking about Russ and wishing they were twenty years older!!!!

Another highlight for us has been hearing the new song “Time Machine” at every gig. Surprisingly, this is the only song he has played from his new album (only available on download) and it really does stand up strongly against anything else Russ has written over the years. Tonight “Voices” was given the audience participation treatment. The old Chuck Berry number “Little Queenie” has been the finishing song on the tour, and tonight’s version was a real belter. A great way to finish the gig.



But the night wasn’t over just yet. Boyhood dreams came true when The Beeb finally managed to get his hands on Russ’s iconic Fender, yes…the one with the holes in it, and have the photos to prove it! Having had posters of this on his bedroom wall when he was a teenager, he was in seventh heaven. 

The Beeb and his dream

These gigs have been such a wonderful experience for both of us. Each gig had its own wee vibe going, and all of them were special in their own way. We really have to thank Russ, Chris, Stu, Steve and of course, the evergreen Bob for all the music and generosity of their time.

A special thanks to Peter Ross from UMU Music, who was very accommodating and helpful too throughout the whole tour.

Well the 40-year wait for The Beeb was well worth it  And if Russ’s next tour is when he’s 110, at least we’ll have 40 years of happy memories to keep us going till then!

The Band.....
Stu Ross
Bob Henrit
Chris Winter
Steve Smith

INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW - DAY 6 (SUNDAY)



GIG: International Pop Overthrow
DATE: Sunday 17th May 2015
VENUE: The Cavern Pub and Club
COST: Club Entrance charge - £2.50 between 1-8pm, £4 all day or after 8pm
OUR VERDICT: Hate Goodbyes

This blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts around 140 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from us.


Bands seen today = 4
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop, The Fast Camels, Las Annettes, Honeybug

Number of bands seen in the IPO so far = 51

CDs:
Blake Jones and the Trike Shop – The Underground Garden / Teasers From The Whispermaphone

Blake Jones and  Theremin
Day number 6……and of the four bands we saw today, there was just one band we had not already seen this year - Blake Jones and the Trike Shop. From California, Blake is a shadow of his former self since we last saw him at the 2011 IPO, and he was looking trim and healthy and sounding great. David Bash primed the audience and told us we would be entertained, and we were. 

This is another band who don’t turn the amps all the way up, and we could hear every instrument and vocal. With a flute and a Theremin alongside the traditional “pop” instruments we loved this band.  

The songs are very well crafted, and this is another US band who do great power pop. The Theremin was used for a great instrumental version of “Goldfinger” and they wound up their set with a very Zappa influenced song (the clue was in the title) “Ross Used To Play Us His Frank Zappa Records”! It was brilliant.


 
Blake Jones And The Trike Shop



The Fast Camels
The Fast Camels in Action
Sometimes it is good to see both slots for a band as you are not guaranteed to see the same thing! The second appearance at this year’s IPO from The Fast Camels was completely different to their Saturday night slot – today we got an experimental set. Starting off with a regular song they perform, “Der Nazi Tea” they progressed to songs we knew less well, or didn’t know at all, including some new songs. All were in the true Fast Camels style, weaving through great guitar riffs, and different tempos with a nod to Arthur Lee’s Love.  
Joe, the drummer was shattered afterwards as all of the songs had a frantic drum beat and he hardly paused for breath. The guitarist from Blake Jones & The Trike Shop completely freaked out and just danced madly through the whole psychedelic set!
If this was a taster for the new album, we want it now!!!

We missed the first part of Las Annettes’ second performance at the IPO, but were just in time to hear “Kiss Me”.  This trio would blend in perfectly on the TAMI show or Ready Steady Go, and despite the reduced stage area in the Cavern Pub, they still managed to do their choreographed dances. Our ears were treated to that 60’s Girl group sound, with lots of “oooh oooh ooohs” and a few “la la la la’s”. This bubbly trio smiled thoughout the whole set - they enjoyed it, we enjoyed it and the sound engineer Andy enjoyed it - he was dancing along and said it was the best thing he had heard all week!  Certainly a highlight of this year’s IPO.

Las Annettes

With Honeybug rocking out in the Cavern Pub, and a great audience behind them, it was a good way to draw our IPO to a close. A bit of gentle banter in between songs, it was great to see Ni back on top form and to hear the songs we have heard so many times on a solo basis being done in a true rock style. This is testament to the strength of Ni’s songs – it doesn’t matter if it’s one vocal and a keyboard or backed with a drum, strong bassline and rock god style guitar, it works.
Honeybug

So, our 5 and a half day fest came to a close. See you all next year
 
Our Booty





INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW - DAY 5 (SATURDAY)

GIG: International Pop Overthrow
DATE: Saturday 16th May 2015
VENUE: The Cavern Club (we didn't actually see anyone in the Pub today!)
COST: Club Entrance charge - £2.50 entrance between 1-8pm, £4 all day or after 8pm
OUR VERDICT: Scottish Invasion

This blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts around 140 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from us.


Bands seen today = 10
The Dreamboats, The Supernaturals, The Junipers (twice), B-Side, Las Annettes, The Springtime Anchorage (part), The Wellgreen, The Fast Camels, Electroshock Therapy, Button Up

Number of bands seen in the IPO so far = 50

CDs:
Las Annettes 7” Vinyl, Supernaturals


Day number 5……and we were up early so that we did not miss the second appearance from the band everyone was still talking about – The Dreamboats. Saturday lunchtime in the Cavern Club usually has a transient crowd. The tourists wander in, take a few snaps and then move on. That didn’t happen today. With The Dreamboats totally in charge of the front Stage, everyone who walked in stopped and stayed. We have never seen the Cavern so full (and hot) on a Saturday lunchtime. The foursome from Canada were on top form again. They sounded great, their stage moves were timed to perfection and they totally ripped up the rule book and gave us raw, rock and roll with a 21st Century feel to it. The energy they have is fantastic and the audience absorbed every piece of it. This a band that will be remembered for a long time to come, for all the right reasons.
The Dreamboats
The Supernaturals
The Supernaturals were a hidden gem in this year’s schedule. A seasoned band who have had a few hits in the 90’s (mainly remembered for their hit single “Smile”), they stood out from many of the younger less experienced bands. The amps were balanced to the extent that guitars did not drown out the vocals and they sounded great. The drummer had a great rhythm going on with the bass and floor tom drum (Minty’s favourite drum) and every song had a great beat. Very witty and clever songs too. They ended on their hit “Smile” which sounded superb.

The Junipers
The Junipers have appeared at a few IPOs and they are always a favourite of ours. 

Today we saw this brilliant band twice and both times they took us on a musical journey which filled our ears with lush harmonies and gentle tunes which also warmed the Cavern Club. The songs were bright and breezy, although at times we felt they were too short and we were left wanting more!

It's definitely worth checking out their albums - your ears will thank you.
The Junipers at home in the Cavern Club

B-Side
Next up, and keeping that harmony sound in the Live Lounge (Back Stage) were B-Side. They kicked off with an “Our Prayer” type of a cappella message to David Bash, called “Slow Down”. It had all of the harmonies you would expect from a Beach Boys influenced band. The rest of the set kept that high standard, harmony style and included one of Sean McCreavy’s solo songs from his “Telescope” album. They had a weird way of introducing the audience to their next single, saying the record doesn’t sound the same way they were going to play it!!! But it sounded fine. Ending with their sunshine-y songThe Sun Brings Out the Beautiful Girls”  this really got the crowd going, a song that was so like a Wilson penned tune, that he was given a writing credit!!
From Spain, a band Minty was not going to miss, given her love of all things Girl Groups – Las Annettes. With Paul Bevoir and Mickey Dias (from The Jet Set and the Family Way) in the band supporting this delightful trio, we knew this was going to be a fab set. Our expectations were more than exceeded. 
Las Annettes bring their girl group sound to the Cavern Club
The main vocalist in the group has a great voice, and with the other two girls adding delicious backing vocals, throw in choreographed dance moves, the constant smiles and the general 60’s girl group sound, we were spoiled. Most of the songs were sung in Spanish, so we didn’t know what they were actually singing about, but that didn’t matter. They sounded good, the vocals blended so well and the beat to the songs was really authentic 60’s girls pop. They did sing a couple of Paul's songs in English and the real stand out one was “Kiss Me”, ending with a cheeky kiss blown to the audience at the end. We loved this band.
Las Annettes an the band after their gig

The Springtime Anchorage
We saw part of the set from The Springtime Anchorage. This four piece from Liverpool have a folk/country rock sound, and gave a solid, tight performance. The Front Stage was heaving, and it was hard to get close, but they sounded good at the back!



One of our very favourite Scottish bands, The Wellgreen were up next. They started their set with a jaw dropping a cappella short song (like Our Prayer) and went straight into their set, with an up-tempo number. This is psych-pop at its finest. The Live Lounge (Back Stage) was filled to bursting and the audience lapped up every song in their set. 


Stand out numbers were the title song from their latest album “Grin And Bear It” which has some fabulous “whoo whoo whoo whoo’s” and with a dedication to his father, Dan McGeever delivered lead on a really emotional “She’s the Greatest” which left us an emotional mess, in tears, and the rest of the crowd in awe of such a great vocal experience from all of the band. The harmony was to die for. What a fabulous performance from this vibrant foursome from Glasgow (and Edinburgh).
The Wellgreen, just wowed everyone
Our other very favourite Scottish band, Glasgow’s finest, The Fast Camels controlled the Live Lounge. This is a band we have thought nothing of driving the 400 miles north to see play a gig in their home town and we are big fans of their psychedelic songs. 
The Fast Camels

Drew and Mark - the Fast Camels
This year they have a 5th member, CJ on tambourine and backing vocals which really added to the overall vocal experience. Each song follows its own musical adventure, taking you high and low, fast and faster with some brilliant vocals, fantastic guitar riffs (the one of Penny Pinching Debt Collector really stands out) and the drum beat is terrific, strong and crazy!. This line up has been in place for a few years now and they have really found their sound together. They were great when we first saw them, but they just get better and better every time we see them.
Electroshock Therapy
Next up, Electroshock Therapy, who won the award for the hairiest band of the IPO! With an epiphone and a rickenbacker guitar in the line-up this was a band of psychedelic jingle jangle but with only one vocal the overall sound lacked a little. Still, this was a good set and enjoyable to hear.




Button Up
Our last band of the night was the last band on and we had stayed to watch Button Up as they hailed from The Beeb’s home town of Coatbridge. We would describe this band as having a bit of funk, with a rockier version of Celine Dion singing. Overall they were quite good, but certainly not as stage sharp as a year long tour should have made them.
Anyone to the right of the stage would not have seen the lead vocalist, who was hidden behind a large music stand (acting as a comfort blanket) that was not actually needed as she glanced at it only a couple of times. 
Minty with 3 of the Dreamboats


The Beeb with 3 of the Dreamboats



And so, after another 14 hour music fest we trundled back to our hotel……… see you back tomorrow for the last few bands.

INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW - DAY 4 (FRIDAY)

GIG: International Pop Overthrow
DATE: Friday 15th May 2015
VENUE: The Cavern Pub and Club
COST: £4 after 8pm in the Club
OUR VERDICT: A complete Dream

This blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts around 140 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from us.


Bands seen today = 14
Fun Of The Pier, Zipper, Spygenius (twice), Lady Moscow (twice), Soundserif, Honeybug, Aerial, The Men, The Dreamboats, Royal Parks, The Maureens, RAF, The Jeremy Band, Village Green Machine

Number of bands seen in the IPO so far = 41

CDs:
The Men – Four Good Men and True / Return, One Two Die Four – self titled, Aerial – Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak In School, The Maureens, The Dreamboats 7” vinyl and download, Jeremy – Love Explosion / Searching For The Son / Bright Morning Star / The Solar King

Fun of The Pier
Day number 4……Eek, we were a couple of minutes late today and missed the start of Fun Of The Pier. This duo from Nottingham have played a good few IPOs and we manage to catch at least one of their sets every year. Fans of Crowded House will connect with this pair, Helen on acoustic guitar and vocals and hubby Mark on bass guitar (with a few backing v’s thrown in here and there) as they take you on a happy half hour, where you can leave your doldrums at the door. 

Even the songs about not so happy themes sound bright and breezy – when they introduced “Inconsiderate”, their song about inconsiderate people who pay to go to a gig and then talk all the way through caused a ripple of nervous laughter through the Cavern Pub as they recognised themselves in that group!!. The last 2 songs were performed with guest David Lloyd joining them. The second acoustic guitar boosted the sound, and Helen’s vocal really shone through. A nice start to what was going to be a long day for us.

Zipper
The Spanish sunshine was brought to the Cavern Pub by way of Zipper, a three piece from Madrid. The girl bass player did all of the vocals in this band, which at times had a bit of a rocky girl group sound going on with hints of “Be My Baby” fused with the GoGos and The Runaways. 

To be honest the vocal was a bit drowned out by the fuzz of the guitar, but the “ooh, ooh ooh’s” did shine through, along with the overall melody and beat. The audience seemed to like this band as well, it didn’t matter that some of the songs were sung in Spanish – they seemed to love it and were applauding and cheering loudly.

Spygenius, aka"SpyIdiot" in the Cavern Pub
Next up, Spygenius, (this year also called SpyIdiot or Spythreenius, or Ruthless by the band due to the absence of the usual bass guitarist Ruth). We caught both of their sets, once in the Cavern Pub and the other later on in the evening in the Live Lounge (Back Stage).

The pub sound can be hit and miss, and with the jangle of the Italia guitar, the vocals were a bit hidden, which is a shame as the lyrics are very cleverly constructed. 

Having said that, you do still get a great set from this band and the pub audience liked what they heard. Maybe a bit more sedate than we have seen them perform before (same songs, just a bit slower!) but they never fail to impress us. The second set on the back stage with a better mix also went down well with the audience.

Spygenius aka. "Spythreenius" on the Back Stage
Lady Moscow
Up next was the most quirky band we have seen in the IPO so far…. A mad band from Norway, with an accordion, violin, banjo in the mix and they had a very Balkan/Folk style with a big nod to Tom Waits. Lady Moscow was, well….. different,  and we caught both of their sets too!!. The violinist (who resembled Isa from Still Game) danced around without a care in the world whilst fiddling. We were not always sure when one song finished and another started as a few seemed to roll into one another, but once the band did stop for breath, the audience went mad! 

It was full band participation, and a memorable song was “We Are The Circus” which about summed the band up! On the Front Stage for their second appearance, some of the band members came out into the audience and the bass player climbed onto the speakers!! Their last song was a rousing number, which was almost like a Viking call to arms! Brilliant stuff and quite refreshing.
Soundserif from Italy played the Back Stage and we caught just a piece of their set…. With no charisma on stage, a sedentary female (part time) vocalist and a drum beat that just didn’t seem to fit with the vocals, we didn’t stick around too long.
Honeybug
With Honeybug you never really know what to expect. We have seen this Edinburgh band play loads of times and the guises we have seen are a solo keyboardist, keyboard with a couple of harmony backing vocals, an 8 piece band or a full on rock band. When we learned Ramage was in town, we knew we were going to get the latter and that is exactly what we got. 

With a strong drumbeat, solid bass line, some great rock guitar playing and the added enhancement of the keyboard and strong vocal, Honeybug delighted us with a much rockier set than we’ve heard in a long time. It was strange to hear some of the songs we have heard in the past as full on rock tunes, rather than the quiet harmonised pieces our ears have been blessed with before, but do you know what? It worked, especially in the Live Lounge where you can rock out at full throttle.
Aerial
Next up for us, on the Front Stage was another Scottish band, Aerial. This band had some toe tapping harmony going on and could also rock out, although our pal thought the lead singer was a bit nasally. That’s OK for us as Mike Love from the Beach Boys sounds the same, and we are big Beach Boys fans after all. A great stand out song was the title song from thir album "Why Don't They Teach Heartbreak At School?." This was an enjoyable half hour and we did buy their CD as a result.
The Men from Sweden brought in a huge camera on an equally huge tripod! It was a bit pretentious, especially as space is a bit on the scarce side on Friday nights in the Front Stage. However, that was behind us, and it did not detract from what was a brilliant show. Colour co-ordinated, this band were a great crowd pleaser, with short, sharp, punchy tunes reminiscent of the 60’s mod pop sound, with a clear Yardbirds influence. The lead singer was a great front man, playing the maracas, harmonica and tambourine (not all at the same time!!) as well as delivering a great lead vocal, and all whilst bounding around the stage dancing. This band were tight and professional. They knew what they were doing, they knew how to wow an audience and they did just that. Brilliant to watch and hear.
The Men
Hold on to your hearts ladies……up next was THE Band of the IPO this year. Dressed in white tux jackets, white shirts and black trousers and bow ties, The Dreamboats, a four piece of drop dead gorgeous (Minty’s words!!!) guys, all the way from Mississauga, a suburb of Ontario, Canada won the hearts of everyone at the IPO.
The Dreamboats
Visually they were fantastic. All had a magnificent stage presence and the guitarists and bass player rocked, danced back to back, doing a bit formation dancing and just generally really enjoying being on stage. The drummer was pretty fantastic too. This is how rock and roll should be, as they blasted their way through a set of original material, clearly influenced by the pre 1964 rock and roll era, with just a couple of covers thrown in. They just ripped the whole place up - their energy and level of fun was off the scale. The crowd reaction was phenomenal - we have not seen anything like it, the girls were screaming so loud!!! 
Scenes around the green room after The Dreamboats show
Check out The Dreamboats playing a fantastic version of Johnny B Goode - awesome guitar playing



Royal Parks sounds like a band, but it is a solo guy. Whilst we saw his set, there was nothing to make it memorable. Mind you he was on after The Dreamboats and the Cavern was still buzzing form that performance. With the number of bands we have seen, he was quickly forgotten. No fault of his though to be fair.
The Maureens
The Maureens from Holland are a band that give you a lot of harmony, and are influenced by the West Coast sound. This is sunshine pop. Each song had a good rhythm and with 3 guitars you got that jingle jangle sound, and the vocals blended together very well. It worked for us.

We saw RAF again, having been impressed with them the night before. This time they were on the Front Stage, and it suited them. This band was really infectious and rocketed through their set of Mod Rock Punk, during which, the first 6 rows of the audience were dancing non-stop. 
RAF
A real stand out song was “Zombie Girl”. Despite Minty being a rockabilly at heart, we joined in with the chant “We Are The Mods”. It was a bit weird to see the arms punching the air in time to the chant, as from the back it did resemble the Nuremberg Rally!!! Still, another great performance, and one that got a brilliant reaction from the audience.

Jeremy
The Jeremy Band are a firm favourite at the IPO and we do our best to make sure we catch at least one of their sets. 

We know what we get with this band – catchy, magical pop songs, with lots of guitar and antics from the main man, Jeremy. Tonight was no exception as he spread his message of love through the audience. 

Considering this was the last band on the Back Stage tonight and it was after 1am, the numbers in the audience was pretty good, and really appreciated this power pop sound.
The Jeremy Band
Village Green Machine
Our last band tonight was Village Green Machine. It’s not easy being the last band on, as the crowds seen during the night have mostly dispersed, but there were still a fair few milling around, and this band got their attention. RAF particularly loved them. 

We were already familiar with this band (we have their album “England’s Dreaming Spires”). The programme describes this band as “psychedelic beat music with timeless appeal” and that just nails it. Very brave to perform this as a three piece, but the strength of the songs carried the set. Terrific stuff.

Mod Band RAF dance to Village Green Machine
And so, very weary, after a 14 hour music fest……… see you back tomorrow.