International Pop Overthrow - Sunday (Day 5)

GIG: International Pop Overthrow Sunday (Day 5)
DATE: May 24th 2009
VENUE: Cavern Pub & Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: it’s all FREE
RATING: Rocking repeat performances

Disclaimer – there are over 170 bands appearing at the IPO this year, ranging from a single performer with acoustic guitar to full on heavy rock bands. Whilst we cannot see all of the bands appearing this year, our blog is our personal opinion of the bands we do see. We cannot be expected to enjoy all of the bands we see - ones that we think are great, others may think are not so great, and vice versa.

Sunday was a big day for the Beeb. It was the nail biting finale to the Scottish footy season and the title was up for grabs so wearing his green and white hoops of Celtic, he headed off to O’Neills pub to watch the match on the big screen. Minty headed to the Cavern Club, Front Stage to catch Super June & The Tiki Waves ( This band has a great beat throughout, with a percussionist using bongos which complimented the drummer wonderfully. There was only a very small audience to begin with (probably something to do with being half an hour past mid-day on a Sunday and most of Liverpool was still in bed after partying the night before) and Super June seemed to be a bit reticent in her performance for the first song. A few more people wandered in and by the end of the 2nd song, she seemed to relax a bit and produced a great set. They did try to get the audience to sing along with one song, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to sing along to “We love sourkraut” without laughing, even if it was very tongue in cheek! Minty bought their CD at the merchandise table, and loves it. The she headed off to join the Beeb watching the footy.

After the footy (we won’t comment on the result!), we headed back to the Cavern Club and caught a small bit of a band that interested us, Mr Kil, from Glasgow. From what we did see and hear, they sounded good, in a Jeff Buckley guitary kind of way. Unfortunately, their set clashed with another great band, Peter & The Penguins, who were due on at the Cavern Pub.

Peter & The Penguins (, played a different set to the one played the night before, including this time, "You Should Have Seen My Turtle" and "Bumblebee". The Cavern Pub does not always give the best sound and do the bands justice, but the vocals for Peter & The Penguins were spot on. With this band, you know what you are getting and they never fail to deliver a great set, filled with catchy pop tunes that have you tapping your feet. You are guaranteed to have a great time, and if you haven’t seen them, make sure you catch them next year.

Next up, on the Cavern Club’s Front stage was another band we had already seen, but were keen to see again, Honeybug ( This is a small stage to take such a big band, and we don’t mean big as in size (there are 7 members after all), but big as in sound. The harmonies are incredible, with every member contributing. At the start of their set, the vocals were masked a bit by the drums and the keyboard, but John the sound engineer obviously twiddled a few knobs and buttons because by the time they did the Jellyfish cover “That Is Why”, the backing vocals were much, much clearer. The guitarist, Ramage, was once again, excellent and his guitar solo in “Video Killed The Radio Star” was absolutely perfect. Although, having since seen video of him hilariously guitar posturing he may be quite embarressed. Bands are suited to different stages and the Back Stage suited Honeybug better, but that is said, taking nothing away from their solid and poptastic performance today, on the Front Stage.

After a short break for something to eat and drink, we returned to the Cavern Club, Back Stage at 7.30 to catch The Peppermint Apes ( This band, from Basildon, had invited us to be their friends on Myspace a while ago, so we were looking forward to seeing them play live. They must have started a bit early, because when we got to the back stage, they were already in full swing, finishing what we hoped was their 1st number before starting “Miracle to Me”. The tempo slowed down for “You’re Not Alone” (the Beeb really liked this one) and things were rocked up a bit with a new song, “Poor Little Rich Girl”. They have real catchy guitar hooks and we understand they are going to the LA IPO to play there. Good luck guys.

A party of lassies from Scotland sat at the next table so the Beeb, being from Scotland himself, struck up a conversation. Turns out the girls were down to support the next band on, The Sears, who were from Coatbridge, which is the Beeb’s hometown so we stayed to hear them. They are a decent enough band, with the female lead singer being interactive with the crowd. However they are more soul than pop, and by the 3rd number, each song tended to sound just like the last one and they could have done with more of the band providing backing vocals to enhance the sound. They did however have a huge crowd as support which was a big plus.

On the front stage, The Lovedays, from London were taking to the stage. This trio played great blues rock, with a barmy bass player and a charismatic front man who seemed to put their hearts and souls into every song. They had a really deep heavy blues groove with “John The Revelator” and the Beeb really enjoyed this gig. Once again though, not a typical power pop IPO band, but great in their own way.

Paisley & Charlie, a duo, from London and Brighton had been likened (by one of our friends) to Dollar. At the start of their set in the Cavern Pub, the sound was awful with lots of feedback. We could barely hear Paisley’s vocals above the keyboard. Once the feedback had been fixed, we realised that this duo let the side down in terms of live music. It was pure synthesised pop pre-programmed into the keyboard, with Charlie playing the odd additional note or two, and Paisley singing along in a karaoke style. We left after a few bars of the second song.

Back across the street, into the Cavern Club Back Stage, The Foxes were well into their set. This young band had a good sound, and we noticed they had brought their own amps. It would have been nice to have caught their whole set, but from what we heard, we liked this band.

Next up, on the bill were GK & The Renegades, a local band who had started to grow on us as a result of listening to them on Myspace. What a disappointment it was to learn that they were a no show. No other band was slotted in to perform in their place (we assume due to very short notice) but it gave John the sound engineer a chance to break and get some fresh air (being well into a 14 hour shift buried in the depths of the Cavern all day!) and it gave us the chance to sit, relax and be able to talk to one another without having to yell over the loud music. The back stage became a chill out zone for 45 minutes!

Then it was back across the street to the Pub, to catch Jeremy once again. Jeremy ( is your quintessential performer and can cope with any set back. Towards the end of his first number, he pulled the strap off his guitar when jumping from the stage and undeterred, put everything back together and started up again, with “Big House”, sharing the stage with local lass, Susan Hedges, who has a real bluesy soulful voice. After that, it was a different set to the one he played the day before, with “Big House” segued into “Revolution” this time before continuing into “Instant Karma”. A couple of covers followed, again with Susan supporting. Jeremy needed to retune his guitar but unfortunately managed to break a string. Rather than delay any further he called for a guitar to be loaned to him for the rest of his set, which included a surf instrumental piece, with Pipeline and Misserlou.
The audience levels at the IPO can be hit or miss and vary for no apparent reason. During Saturday’s slot on the back stage, the audience was sparse. Tonight, the Pub was full to overflowing which gave Jeremy little room to manoeuvre, so he climbed on the stage railings and played his guitar from there! There is not much else you can say about Jeremy – he over-ran his set but the audience really loved him and it was great to see him again.

The Front Stage at the Cavern Club was hosting a band from London, Automat. This 5 piece was colour co-ordinated in red and black and has a sax player among the ranks. The lead singer looked more like an accountant than a pop singer, but they played some chunky pop, with perhaps a bit of a reggae beat underlying it.

Our final band for the night was the second outing for Smash Palace (, playing on the Cavern Club Front Stage at half past midnight. These guys are GREAT, and included a Badfinger Cover “No Matter What”. Being the second (third if you count the acoustic set in The Grapes) time we caught them, a few of their songs really sank in, especially "She." Stephen Butler was another highlight as far as guitarists at the IPO go. And the new album is a gem. A great way to end the night for us.

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