RICHARD SNOW AND THE IN LAWS
DATE: Thursday 27th May 2010
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: it’s supposed to be all free
RATING: Bongo Beat ruled the Cavern again
First the intro blurb and disclaimer…….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.
Our day started in the Cavern Pub, with Cardinal Jack kicking things off. This was a young and inexperienced band that appeared to think a band should yell into the mic and be totally inaudible. Certainly not our cup of tea, and we imagine this would be the sort of music that is played to the residents of Guantanamo Bay! We felt they wanted to be Nirvana, but Nirvana had the great hooks and tunes.
The next band was about the same age as Cardinal Jack and they could not have been much more different. The Peppermint Apes (www.myspace.com/thepeppermintapes) were really polished with great tunes, an excellent lead singer. These are a band to keep your eye on. They are already getting airplay on Janice Long’s Radio 2 show and made a TV appearance in New York! Their songs had a blend of harmony, foot tapping beats and an overall feel good factor and they looked like a pop group too!
Anthony Rivers is an experienced performer but everything seemed to conspire against him appearing at the IPO this year. He made the most out of a not so perfect situation, as his band was stuck abroad and he had to perform an acoustic set with 2 friends of his dad drafted in to help out, and a music machine. It was a struggle and they did not appear comfortable with the situation.
Bruise (www.myspace.com/bruiseuk) is really quite atmospheric and alternative, using a looping pedal to create all manner of sounds from the guitar. They played at a frenetic pace throughout their set, and their songs were deep and heavy but have grown on us the more times we have seen them played live. Isobel definitely goes into her own zone when playing these songs. It is kind of hard to believe that this is the same line up as Kelly’s Heels whose music is really quite different.
After the pace of Bruise, things were slowed down with an acoustic set from Spain’s Yani Martinelli (www.myspace.com/yanimartinelli). Yani fronted the band Navy Blue at last year’s IPO and this year she returned for a solo slot. She has a very Beach Boys influenced feel to her music, being light and summery. She also tackled the complex chords of “Busy Doin’ Nothing” – a song that has more chord changes than most bands have in their entire set!! She has a lovely voice and her guitar playing was very good. We look forward to listening to her album once we are back home.
As mentioned in the intro, bands come from far and wide to appear in Liverpool, and tonight, Laurie Biagini (www.myspace.com/lauriebiaginimusic) had travelled from Vancouver, Canada to perform two sets, one in the pub and later on in the night, in the Cavern Club front stage. She brought with her a bit of sun-shiny west-coast style pop and Richard Snow and the In Laws did a fine job being her “house band” for the evening. She certainly drew in a good crowd and went down very well.
Every year at the IPO, we find a bit of a nugget, a band that we had overlooked whilst doing our “research” on myspace, that turn out to be really rather great. We found this year’s nugget tonight, on the front stage of the Cavern club in the form of The Soundcasters (www.myspace.com/thesoundcastersmusic). This is a young band from Kent (with a drummer who looks like a young Rod Stewart) who are really vibrant, playing jumpy catchy tunes and had a large crowd watching them. One of the things that set them apart from many of the other young bands, was their professionalism, especially when the lead broke a guitar string and rather than stop playing, he continued with an off the cuff number whilst a replacement guitar (a rather nice pale blue Gretsch by the way!) was brought to the stage. They showed that their parents must have an excellent record collection as they included a cover of The Band’s “The Wait” complete with glorious Crosby Stills and Nash type harmonies. David Bash summed up at the end of their set, saying “what an impressive band” and we totally agree. We hope that we will have the opportunity to see them again some time. It may be a bit of a novelty that the band is so young, but at the end of the day, their songs really stand up and set them apart from many of the other young bands appearing at this festival. Speaking with some of our IPO friends after the gig, they all agreed this is a great band.
A firm favourite of Minty is Junebug (www.myspace.com/junebugtheband), a band that has appeared at all of the IPOs we have been to. We have come to expect them to play great powerpop tunes and we were not disappointed tonight.
The front stage was actually running ahead of time, which meant that Richard Snow and the In Laws (www.myspace.com/richardsnow) were already well into their set when we got there! Still, as expected, they played really well, and Richard's Rickenbacker sounded fantastic. They went down really well with an appreciative audience.
The finale of the night was the Bongo Beat Party, (www.myspace.com/bongobeatrecords), which has in the past been a highlight of the IPO for us. This year, they had control of the stage in the live lounge and it was hard to find a spot to sit, given the throng of people that filled the back room. Ralph, who started the party, is the epitome of what a cool jazz/beat poet is all about, the Chet Baker of the poetry world. He was on top form tonight, and during his set, recounted his recent trip to Italy, performed his great song “Billy Fury, Billy Fury” and finished up with a rip roaring “Louie, Louie”. It was great to see Simon from the Plastic Heroes playing bass.
Mike Badger looks like he has had a make-over! He seemed to be quite at home in the live lounge, with a guitar that looks like he has had for years. His last song was “Adios Los Amigos” which got a rapturous applause.
Then the non-stop energy ball that is Dave Rave (www.myspace.com/daverave) took to the stage for a totally awesome, high octane, power fuelled set. You cannot restrain this guy! He is totally infectious and gets the crowd going without fail. His “Rock The Party” and “When Patti Rocked” were particular highlights, as was his song "Anne-Marie" which was written with the real Anne-Marie in mind. The Beeb was invited up to help out on backing vocals for a cover of Brian Wilson’s “Love and Mercy” and he was back up on stage again, (along with half of the audience) for “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” which ended the party in true Bongo Beat style. We captured more fantastic memories that will stay with us for years, so thanks guys.
So Day 3 came to a close. Tonight we saw 12 out of the 25 bands on stage (with one seen twice), so almost back to a 50% hit rate!
See you tomorrow.
And RALPH in the Live Lounge (again, thanks Stephen)
And Dave Rave rocks the party (thanks Stephen)
And what is such a fantastic song "Hey Anne-Marie" - again thanks a lot Stephen for letting us use your Youtube clips.