GIG: International Pop Overthrow Day 2
DATE: Wednesday 26th May 2010
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: it’s all free
RATING: Clocking off on a high


First the intro blurb…….International Pop Overthrow, organised by David Bash visits Liverpool every year, and puts on a fantastic free music festival for a whole week in the land of the The Beatles. It attracts Powerpop bands from all over Europe and the rest of the world (including this year, Japan, the USA and Canada). It is impossible to see every one of the bands as 3 stages are on the go simultaneously but we try to see as much as we can. We can’t promise to like all of the bands that play and certainly we will favour some over others, and indeed, some bands we like the sound of after checking them out on Myspace, may not be great performing live (and vice versa for that matter) but in this blog we offer our own personal opinion on the bands and the music we hear.

We were once again running a bit late today, and missed the kick off to day 2. We wandered into the Cavern Live Lounge at 6 o’clock just in time for Spygenius ( This was obviously an experienced band and the main man had a bit of personality about him, getting a bit of banter going, including recounting the tale of his first argument with his wife (the bass player) whilst on the Magical Mystery Tour. The second half of their set was the strongest, with “Pineapple Drive” a fun, summery type of pop song and a switch from a 6 string Rickenbacker to a 12 string Rickenbacker. Their last song was called “Surf” which had a pounding drum beat, with which you could imagine the surf building. We did however feel that the keyboards drowned out quite a bit of the Rickenbacker so we didn’t get to hear the full jingle jangle sound.

Next up were Clockwise, filling in with an extra set due to another bands’ absence. This band is what powerpop is all about, and we found out that their song “Boom Town” had been played on BBC Radio Liverpool earlier in the afternoon. The highlights of this set were “Everday” and “No Matter What” and the band attracted a decent size crowd towards the back of the room.

We stayed in the Live Lounge and caught a band from Norway, The Quay Porters. This was not a band on our list of “must see’s” and they really were not to our taste at all. There was only one vocalist and he seemed to lack depth, tone and emotion and the other guitarist was either new to the band or was filling in as he had to refer to sheet music throughout. Both guitarists seemed to play the same chords all of the time so there was no variety to their music. The size of the audience at the IPO can be unpredictable and some great bands have played to an almost empty room but we suspect the lack of audience here was down to the music. However, many people like Joy Division, so who are we to judge!

We popped across the street to the pub and took the opportunity to see a few numbers from the Montanas (, a band we had seen last night and liked a lot. They had attracted a really big crowd who really seemed to appreciate their music and we were certainly pleased to hear “Josie” again.

Back across in the Live Lounge, a band from Italy, The Jackie O’s Farm ( had complete control of the stage as they powered through a fantastic set. They had some very punchy numbers including their single in Italy which made them quite famous – Mrs Kali. There was some nice Gretsch guitar playing and the keyboardist, who had taken up the maracas for the rendition of their single, along with the lead singer, really looked like they loved being on the stage and performing their music.

The Live Lounge was becoming our second home for the night, as we stayed to watch Postcards from Places That Don’t Exist ( We found out later that this was only their fourth appearance live, and they did a pretty good job. This was another band where the lead singer was just the lead singer and didn’t play any instruments, and he was a bit like Mike Love of The Beach Boys, even down to the beard and cap! Their songs had all of the right ingredients to make a good powerpop mix – they were short, punchy and quite catchy, although some did end quite abruptly! We think that this band would benefit from some backing vocals to add that extra layer of harmony to the great songs they have in their set. And one word about the bass player….. walking about in the dark with sunglasses on isn’t really that cool!
Then was our highlight of the night – Clockwise ( took to the Live Lounge stage again for the third and final time. This set, slightly different to their previous appearances was totally powered up and absolutely rocked and there was quite a large gathering of people who came to listen, albeit they were a bit shy and huddled towards the back of the room! Even David Bash was taking photos of the band! They finished up on “Peace Love and Understanding” which really resonated throughout the room. Nice one guys – we really, really enjoyed hearing you play.

The Italians were out in force today, and on the front stage, we saw The Bad Love Experience ( a young band from Livorno, Italy. Indeed the lead singer let us know that today was his 18th birthday, and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him! The guitarist had a blonde Epiphone, John Lennon re-issue which had The Beeb all a quiver! This band had a very raw energy which was quite infectious and they really did stand out from the crowd.

Our last band for the night was the same as last night - The Grande ( Tonight, the lapsteel had a prominent place in centre stage and we could hear it much clearer. They opened with “Don’t Let Me Down” which sounded very strong and there was no let up in quality as they went through their set, ending on a really crowd pleasing number which had some people line dancing, and others swinging balloons around! We get the feeling that this band enjoys their music, and love a good crowd as well.

So day 2 over…. Out of the 22 bands that played today, we caught 8 (only 8??) and one band we saw twice so our hit rate was not so good. On to tomorrow………..

1 comment:

  1. 8 bands in just over 6 hours sounds a pretty good hit rate to me!