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

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.

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


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

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

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.


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

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.

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.
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.
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. 
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.

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.


GIG: International Pop Overthrow
DATE: Thursday 14th May 2015
VENUE: The Cavern Pub and Club
COST: £4 after 8pm in the Club
OUR VERDICT: A bit of Wylde Mod and Ska

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 = 9
The Remington, Betamotion, The Herron Brothers, Thee Wylde Fuzz Show (twice), The Reflections, Watchtower (twice), Donkey Hot Pink, The Backlash, RAF

Number of bands seen in the IPO so far = 27

Thee Wylde Fuzz Show Single, Betamotion.

The Remington ( in The Club)
Day number 3……kicked off for us with the second act on the bill, from Italy The Remington. The programme says this band is a quintet, but today we got a trio. Their songs were very good, and the lead singer sounded a bit like John Hiatt at times, and was also a great guitar player. The drumming was colourful, with the drummer giving it some serious welly behind the kit and every song sounding different. As a trio they were great, and we wonder what the five piece would sound like. 

After completing their playlist, they still had some spare time so we got an impromptu Woody Guthrie cover. We had considered getting their CD, but at £10 felt it a bit overpriced. We did also catch the tail end of their next slot over in the Cavern Club.

Betamotion are a trio and this was a “filler” for us. We were actually pleasantly surprised with them. Their set started with some pre-recorded voice-overs at the start of the first few songs which we initially thought “oh oh” but each song had a great beat to it and each took twists and turns  and sometimes was mashed with bits of well-known hits, such as Bowie’s “All The Young Dudes”, The Doors “Light My Fire” and “Eleanor Rigby”. The guy on lead vocal was extremely  strong with a terrific range and they did sound great.

The Herron Brothers
Derby boys, The Herron Brothers were up next. This duo sound very like Crowded House, with two vocals blended together over two acoustic guitars. It was nice to see Fun of The Pier singing along too. Their set appeared to be fairly spontaneous, and they were up against a rather noisy pub crowd this evening. Hats off to their unique re-marketing idea for their album (recorded 4 years ago) – Marmite Jars containing a USB stick with the album on it.

Thee Wylde Fuzz Show features Jonny who has appeared at previous IPO’s with his old band The Ace. This new band is a mix of psychedelic, mod and garage. We saw both of their sets today, each was different apart from the two common songs that make up their CD single and was a mix of original material and a few covers, but these were mostly obscure and they fit in with the band’s sound seamlessly. 
Thee Wylde Fuzz in The Cavern Pub

Thee Wylde Fuzz Show rock the Cavern
With two Rickenbackers in the line-up, you know you are going to get a jingle and a loud set. Their first set kicked off with a cover of “Shakin’ All Over” and continued at a frenetic pace. The drummer was very good, providing a great rolling beat. 

There must have been some consumption of energy drinks between the end of their first show and the start of the second because the second one started where the last one left off……high octane, high energy which really put the W into Wylde. The band powered through the second set, and Jonny literally threw himself around the Cavern Stage. A great debut for this band at the IPO, who incidentally have the youngest Bass player in the festival at the tender age of just 13!.
Our friend Kerri, her Thee Wylde Fuzz CD and the Band after the show

The Reflections
The Reflections, a band who have appeared at many IPOs have developed over the last couple of years and are more psychedelic and rockier now than in the past. The lead singer is more animated, and the keyboard adds to that 60’s psychedelic sound.

A stand out song tonight for us was “Girl I Used To Know” which had a strong vocal and a neat little lead guitar solo. A new song was included tonight, “New Shoes” which had a bit of a “Pipeline” guitar and drum feel to it and it sounded just fine. Unfortunately the back stage seemed to be running a bit late so their set was cut a little short, ending on the title track of their EP “Haunted House”, which finished with an eerie “whhoooo” in true ghost style from the lead guitarist.

Another filler for us was local Liverpudlian band Watchtower and boy are we glad we saw them, so much so, that we also saw their last ever gig across the road in the Pub later on. 

A quartet of young local lads, this was their last night together as a band so it was quite poignant (and emotional) for them to be playing the Cavern stage. This band is a bunch of real characters, and Jackson the lead guitarist really stood out as a fun, mad, (in the nicest sense) kind of guy. He was as flexible as a pipe cleaner, bending this way and that, pogoing around the stage and had the most amazing facial expressions. A mixture of Slade's Dave Hill, and Wilko Johnson. He was also a rather good air drummer too! 

We really enjoyed the Bass player’s song about having a job you hate – it had a great ska melody with a bit of “whoo hoo, ha ha ha” as the chorus. He was also a very good bass player and jumped, danced and moved around the stage just like the two guitarists. 

For both performances they had a great crowd in, which left little room to move, and we have to say their ska influenced rhythm and general overall synergy and stage presence was a winner for us. This is the first band of this year’s IPO that have had an encore, and they did a sensational version of Led Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love” which was very true to the record and sounded pure brilliant. Their pub set was pretty much the same (without the Led Zep song) and their final song was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode” which had the whole pub jumping and  thumping. What a way to end.

Donkey Hot Pink, from Spain had command of the Back Stage and we were not overly impressed with this band from Southern Spain. They just didn’t do it for us. To each their own though.

We caught part of the set from Italian band The Backlash and gave up after two songs as what we got was an Oasis tribute act. They did provide two of the funniest moments mind you. The band started playing, and we thought someone had taken a wrong turn and had wandered on-stage by mistake. It was in fact the singer, who we reckon was waiting for the big audience cheer that didn't happen. Then we witnessed a first at the IPO. They finished the first song to a deafening silence.

Our final band for the night was all the way from Portland, Oregon, a MOD outfit called RAF. All suited and booted, this band was a cross between The Who and The Ramones, and gave us 30 minutes of high powered, brilliant Mod Punk Rock. 

They played original material which actually, would not be out of place on a compilation of 60’s Mod, and did only one cover, their final song, The Kinks’ “David Watts”. 

This is another group whose professionalism shines through, playing a tight set. We did enjoy seeing this band but it is unfortunate that the lead singer looked a bit like Nigel Farage!!!

Until tomorrow guys and gals ……..


GIG: International Pop Overthrow
DATE: Wednesday 13th May 2015
VENUE: The Cavern Pub and Club
COST: It’s still 100% free today!!!
OUR VERDICT: It’s Getting Better All The Time

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 = 12
Housekeeping Society, Harvest Moon (twice), Gentlemen Rogues, David Lloyd, Thomas McConnell, The Ragamuffins, Mikah Gilbert, The Parkas, Onions, The Janne Borgh Identity, Orwell, Esa Linna and The Dawnbreakers.

Number of bands seen in the IPO so far = 18

Harvest Moon EP – In Tow, Ragamuffins EP – Get Cynical, Ragamuffins EP – The Benefits of a Downhill Paper Round.

The Housekeeping Society
Day number 2 started in the Cavern Pub, and Ric Neale’s The Housekeeping Society easing us in with some gentle tunes, and harmony from the band. This band had practised, and played a tight set, moving between songs effortlessly. 

Ric was gracious with the audience, thanking them for coming onto the pub despite the glorious sun-shiney day outside. He also has a great, strong voice which shone out against the backdrop of the guitar, bass and acoustic drum box, and the added backing vocals. 

It’s a shame that the group of people at the back of the pub (friends of Ric we found out after) had a bad case of verbal diarrhoea and constantly chatted (very loudly) above all of the songs. It was totally disrespectful, even more so that they knew Ric!

Next up, a band from the south of Holland, Harvest Moon. The band’s name is of course a nod to Neil Young, and this was reflected in the mixture of acoustic and rock they played. From the first note, we knew this band were going to be good and we sat up and took notice. What really added to their sound was a vintage Hammond organ that was left of the stage (it was just too big to fit on the stage!) and with the two guitars and acoustic 12 string and a little harmonica thrown in every now and then, and they made a really great power pop sound too.
Harvest Moon in The Cavern Pub
As their set progressed, the applause and cheers from the audience got louder and louder, and the reaction to their third song “Wanna See You Dancing” (where the WAGs got up and danced) was phenomenal. We think that is the song of the IPO so far. They moved from real power pop tunes to tender ballads and even did a surf inspired instrumental and the audience lapped it all up. This was a definite highlight so early in the day’s schedule and the rest of the bands would be hard pressed to match them. 
Harvest Moon on the Back Stage

They were given an extra slot in the schedule later on in the Cavern Club, Live Lounge (Back Stage) due to a no show, and this was a repeat of the performance in the pub. Again the audience loved their sound and the applause and cheers were thunderous. One of the IPO's new nuggets.

Gentlemen Rogues
Over in the Cavern Club, we caught the whole set from Gentlemen Rogues on the Front Stage as they filled in for a no show. They were loud and very guitar heavy and not really to the taste of the early evening more ‘mature’ crowd that were in the club at the time. This band from Austin, Texas know their stuff and went straight into each number, hardly pausing for breath. We felt some backing vocals would have counterbalanced the guitar fuzz, and then realised that the other guitarist was actually singing his heart out at times. but was completely drowned out by the guitars. Maybe a bit too heavy for us in the early evening.

David Lloyd
Staying at the Front Stage, local singer/songwriter David Lloyd did his usual good set of songs. This year he had a second acoustic guitar player with him which added to the sound immensely. David has as strong vocal which resonates during the rockier numbers and softens for the more gentle songs when needed. He included a Bossa Nova number this year, which sounded great with a bit of ‘ba ba ba ba’s’ included. For the last few songs, Lauren Daly joined them on stage. There was a good crowd of support which filled the first half of the club too, which added to the atmosphere and his set went down very well.

Thomas McConnell
Wearing a dotty tie and with his trademark tousled hair, Thomas McConnell was seated at a keyboard and was backed this year by a full band, We got the pleasure of an upbeat set, with only a short interlude for a slow, tender number mid-way through.

One particular stand out song was “Please Don’t Slow Me Down” which has a bit of a doowop rhythm going on and his vocals were just brilliant on this. 

You can hear shades of McCartney influence in Thomas’ music but still know it is all original material.  Thoroughly enjoyed this performance from a local Liverpool lad who should be going places.
Thomas McConnell

The Ragamuffins
Next up, The Ragamuffins. Complete with a bit of a brass section (2 trumpets), this Liverpool band are brilliant and really infectious. They have mastered the double hand clap melody and are great performers with catchy tunes, that have great titles!. Loved their set.

Back to the Cavern Club, and a chance to see the second show from Micah Gilbert, on the Front Stage. The US bands really do nail power pop. Great catchy, punchy songs, a fantastic drum beat and the right balance of guitars to vocal. What more could we ask for? Again this set sounded great and was much appreciated by the audience and Micha seems to have a large Japanese following!
Micah Gilbert

The Parkas were on stage in the Pub for their second appearance. There is not much we can say that wasn’t said in yesterday’s blog. This young, vibrant, energetic band are not like any other MOD band, where you only get Paul Weller and The Who wannabe's who are more like a tribute band. These guys have their own style and sound which sets them above everyone else, but when they do a cover of MOD classics such as they did tonight with “A Town Called Malice”, they really do it justice. Another cover done tonight was "She Bangs the Drum" which fitted well alongside their original material. They seemed delighted to have a few extra minutes at the end of their set, and did a spontaneous cover of The Who’s “My Generation”. …. nice one guys.
The Parkas rock The Cavern Pub

The Onions
The Onions were a bit of an unknown for us. Research ahead of the IPO had piqued our interest and we are glad we saw them because we loved their set. 

The three piece harmony was to die for, the falsetto was lovely and the occasional Moog/Synth pieces really stood out. Hats off to the Bass guitarist/Moog player – he had a great big bandage on one finger which must have made it difficult to play!

Next up, from Stockholm, The Janne Borgh Identity. We had seen this three piece perform last year and thought they played a solid set, with great hooks and vocals. Tonight was no exception. Scandinavian Pop/Rock hits the spot again. A stand out song tonight was (we think called) “There Goes My Baby”, which had terrific backing vocals. We look forward to seeing it all again tomorrow.
The Janne Borgh Identity

The final act on the Live Lounge (Back Stage) was Orwell, from the Netherlands. Members of this band have been at the IPO before, under the guise of The Montanas, The Spontanas (and more?) and Orwell are a Prog Rock ‘Work In Progress’ band. The Prog Rock label probably explains the 3 guitars in the band! Maybe not really our niche taste.

At this point we divided and conquered, The Beeb staying to watch Orwell and Minty headed off to catch Esa Linna and the Dawnbreakers for the second time. 

Esa Linna & The Dawnbreakers
The Finnish band did the same set as last night, and sounded great on the Front Stage, strong vocals and some catchy foot tapping music. 

Unfortunately the audience had thinned by this time so the humour in the introductions to the songs was lost a little. Still, they did sound good.

So, weary we left The Cavern. Until tomorrow……..