GIG: International Pop Overthrow Day 3
DATE: Thursday 19th May 2011
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Cavern Club, Mathew Street, LiverpoolCOST: £3 cover charge after 8pm for the Club
OUR VERDICT: Wales 12 points!


The BLOG this week sponsored by The Beatles Shop, Mathew Street, Liverpool

Again, 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, once again, 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.

David Bash promotes the official
IPO T Shirt - designed
by Steve Stanley

Day 3 started for us at 4.15pm today in the Pub, with the acoustic duo, Helen & Mark from Nottingham, in the guise of Fun Of The Pier (www.myspace.com/funofthepier). Helen has been coming to the IPO’s as a “watcher” for as long as we have been attending so it was great to see someone we know pick up a guitar and entertain us. Richard Snow helped out on vocals for the first song and after that it was all Helen singing with Mark on an acoustic bass. Their set was gentle and what Minty liked in particular was that Helen wasn’t shouting into the mic, but was singing quite naturally. Reminiscent of Yani Martinelli from last year’s IPO, this does prove that you can be effective with a good voice and a guitar.

Fun Of The Pier

One of their songs, “Inconsiderate,” was about people chattering over singers trying to perform, and what was good about this performance was that the audience in the Pub was unusually quiet (except for a couple of clowns at the bar) and gave Fun From The Pier a lot of respect.

Minty disappeared then to freshen up for the rest of the evening and that left The Beeb to enjoy the King of Sunshiney Power Pop, Jeremy who had this slot due to a no-show.

Jeremy (www.myspace.com/jeremyamorris) is always the consummate performer – he enjoys playing and has unlimited passion and energy that ripples through the audience too, before being a full blown tsunami well before he hangs up his guitar. Just a few highlights were “Hearts On Fire” which is the title track from his most recent release for the charity Sweet Relief, Big House and a few Beatles numbers. His bassist Todd, performed one of his own numbers too, which sounded great.

Jeremy asked for requests and The Beeb asked for “123 Red Light” and he obliged. A surf guitar medley helped to bring the best out of the crowd, and the energy drove Jeremy up onto the stage barrier, to do his high dive but hit his head on the PA system! Hope he doesn’t have too much of headache today!

Staying in the Pub, next up were Richard Snow & The In laws (www.myspace.com/richardsnow) another firm favourite of our IPO experience. His Rickenbacker really does add that jingle jangle to his terrific songs. A highlight for Minty was a track from his soon to be released third album, “Stop Your Crying” which had great backing harmonies from the guys on drums and bass. The set was slick and worked really well, the vocals (lead and backing) were spot on and you could tell the guys enjoyed the gig.

Richard Snow & The In Laws

Every year, there is at least one band who is a bit of a nugget – a band you think sounds OK on Myspace but when you see them at the IPO, they just blow you out of the water. Tonight we saw one of these bands – Houdini Dax (www.myspace.com/houdinidax), from Cardiff.

Houdini Dax
This young three piece kicked off with just vocal harmonies before jumping into quite a country style number.
The drummer used the snare drum predominantly, a bit like Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats and all three vocals were delivered effortlessly, and blended in really well, to deliver a fast paced, catchy set and all in just 20 minutes!!!

The bass guitarist had a Justin Beiber haircut (what is it with that guy??) and also looked a bit like the Monkee, Davey Jones.

Their last number could have been penned by IPO’s seasoned pro, Paul Bevoir with its catchy riffs. One thing we did notice about this band was the lack of set-up (not that they needed it as their performance was spot on) – they did a quick “one-two” into the microphones and off they went!

The next band were also from Wales, The Method (www.myspace.com/methodofficial)  and these too were a fab band. We remember these guys from last year when they turned up to play, but were not ont he bill, but David let them have a slot. We thought they were goof then too!
Their drummer was a young Matt Smith look-a-like (Doctor Who for those who don’t know!), and they spilled out onto the floor in front of the stage to accommodate their instruments which included keyboard, tambourines and trumpet. They predominantly had a very Northern Soul sound that had a great vibe and in some of their numbers, we also heard bits of Fun Boy Three and The Doors, plus a bit of Pyche. Energy knew no bounds with these guys. They certainly loved doing their set and we loved it too.

The Method

At this point we wandered over to the Club – this avoided the 8pm curfew when the £3 door charge came in!

On the front stage David Bash was introducing a band from San Francisco, The Laughing Corners who were not in the programme but we later found out this was an alter ego for Agony Aunts! They were quite folky sounding, but we had The Targets on our list to catch and they were already mid-way through their set on the back stage.

The Targets (www.myspace.com/theuktargets) are a band who sound great on MySpace but didn’t deliver the same goodies for us on stage. We felt they got the audience all wrong, and tried to have us clap and sing along, which is a bit hard to do when the music is quite heavy rock with no chorus to speak of!!! They also did a cover of the Small Faces’ “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” which was unrecognisable to us!

Staying with the back stage, the next act was one we had eagerly anticipated – the welcome return to Liverpool of The Beat Rats (www.myspace.com/beatrats) who had just flown in from NYC that morning. Jet Lag doesn’t touch the Rats and they put on a stellar performance from the word go... well, “One, three, two, four” and their own “Beat Rats Theme”. They blasted through a fantastic set which included some of their new songs, alongside some old favourites of ours, “Thunderella”, included.

The Beat Rats rock The Back Stage

Beat Rat, Frank Max

The Beat Rats first CD, “A Cellar Full Of Rats,” has been played to death at home, and the new songs they played for us gave us something to look forward to when the next album comes out.

David Bash called it correctly when he described their music as ”Cavernesque” The Fab Four indeed! Modern day Merseybeat at its very best.

You cannot beat a bit of The Beat Rats – they are energetic, fast paced and just brilliant!

Next up, from Oxford, The Anydays (www.myspace.com/theanydays). This is a band we have seen a few times at the IPO, and they would not be out of place opening a gig for Paul Weller. They are very Mod Rock and they rock!

Moving across to the Front Stage, which was running about 30 minutes behind, we caught the second half of Sarah Lowes. On Myspace her music is very piano orientated but today she had a band with her which added to the sound. We think she left her set list in the back of her jeans, back in the dressing room, so what we got was an adlib set, and it seemed to work just fine.

Agony Aunts were up next – the same line up as Laughing Corners, but a bit rockier, while still keeping the melody going. The lead girl played an electric ukulele.

We stayed for Richard Snow & The In Laws’ second set of the night. Once again he did not disappoint and delivered a great set of songs which the audience really appreciated. A nice way to close our third night.

Richard Snow & The In Laws

Day 3 Summary:
No. of Bands seen : 11 bands
No. of Bands seen more than once: 1
Best Original Song: Stop Your Crying – Richard Snow & The Inlaws or any of The Beat Rats songs.
Best Cover: Jeremy’s Surf Medley
Highlight of the day: The Beat Rats being back in town

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