GIG: International Pop Overthrow Day 4
DATE: Friday 20th May 2011
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: £3 cover charge after 8pm for the Club
OUR VERDICT: Beat Rats are the best


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.

Day 4 started for us, gently in the Cavern Front Stage with Rachel Dunn, a local girl with an acoustic guitar and a guy on percussion (well, bongos and a didgeridoo!). With the didgeridoo, we felt they could have done more with the music. On the plus side, she didn’t belt her songs out, so the set was quite listenable.

Following this was the second outing for Fun of The Pier  (www.myspace.com/funofthepier). 1pm in the Cavern is not the busiest of times, so the audience was sparse and any chattering does detract from listening to the music.
Fun Of The Pier
 Sadly the audience were not as respectful as the slot in the Pub, and a group of three clowns (one wearing an AC/DC t.shirt so obviously he wasn’t going to enjoy an acoustic set!) spoke really loudly for the first few songs before leaving. What we did get treated to was some soft, breezy acoustic pop about fun at the pier and being happy, which was perfect for the Saturday morning.

Charge Of The Light Brigade (www.myspace.com/chargeband) , a band from Toronto were playing in the Pub so we popped across to catch their set. The IPO was treated only to Jason Eagan (from Clockwise) on bass and the lead singer, Luke Sneyd with his Les Paul – the rest of the band had not made the trip, so we got a stripped down set. With only a guitar and bass, it was hard to gauge what the full band would sound like, so we bought their CD!
Charge Of the Light Brigade

After that we took a break.... we had to find a place that sold a memory card for the HD camcorder, at a reasonable price, and also took the opportunity to update the blog and then find a place with free wifi that worked to post it!!!. After a bite to eat at the hotel, we headed back to Mathew Street early in the evening to see Houdini Dax (www.myspace.com/houdinidax)  again.

Houdini Dax
This time they played on the back stage and kept the same set as yesterday, with the exception (we think) of 1 song but what a performance again. These guys really do know how to put together short, punchy power pop songs and the drums really give it the great vibe.

A quick dash to the Pub, and we joined the crowd gathered there, just after Honeybug (www.myspace.com/honeybug) had started their set (kicking off a tad early). Honeybug has been one of those bands we must see every time they play the IPO and until they come onto the stage you never know quite know what you going to be treated to!


This time, the line up was the same as last year – Ni on main vocals and keyboard with Erin and Laura providing superb backing vocals.

The weekend had started in Liverpool and the pub had its fair share of the drunks and bawdy people, but Honeybug stuck with it and gave us some lush harmony around some great songs written by Ni, including one about a haunted house (or an Ex!) and a bluesy number called “Storm Cloud” which went down, er, a storm!

Back in the Club, and Liverpool band, The Suns (www.myspace.com/thesunsbanduk)
 were just about to start their set. They played some great rocky pop songs which the crowd packed into the front stage loved. David Lloyd, the main man with The Suns seemed to really enjoy this gig.
The Suns

The Breakdowns
Meanwhile, on the Back Stage, The Breakdowns (www.myspace.com/thebreakdownsband)  were playing. Minty had this band in her Myspace friends from the time she first signed onto the site, and it was great to finally get the chance to see them play live.

They are very pop/rock and David Bash summed them up very nicely with the phrase, “Hooks, Harmony and Energy”. There was a big crowd gathered in the Back Room for this one, and a particular highlight was “Don’t Go” which had a bit of harmonica on it.

Nigel Thomas
Staying in the back room, we learned that The Foxes (www.myspace.com/thefoxesband) would not be appearing due to the drummer injuring his wrist, but what we did get was a fantastic solo performance from The Foxes front man, Nigel Thomas.

He did include one cover in his set – The Beatles “Things We Said Today” but the rest was stripped down Foxes songs and some of his own. “No Reply” had some mad jazz-like chords thrown in which impressed The Beeb and his final song of the night was really upbeat with crazy chord changes! He got a fantastic response from the audience, and he proves that with the right songs, you can do a great stripped down set.

Back to the Front Stage and we caught most of Elgazelle’s (www.myspace.com/elgazelle) performance, and what a performance this was. Northern Soul does seem to feature quite a bit at this year’s IPO and this six piece band sounded great. The lead singer must have eaten sandpaper for breakfast and his gravelly voice, reminicent of Eric Burdon, really suited the music and he played a few percussion bits too. Our chum Davey said that this is what a Dalek would sound like if they could sing! Elgazelle were the surprise of the day and we loved them.
Next up was the band we could not miss – The Beat Rats (www.myspace.com/beatrats) had their second slot on the front stage. This time they were being recorded by a guy from Abbey Road and they had a fantastic, fuel injected set which totally rocked from the first chord right through to the last.

The Beat Rats
The Beat Rats
No matter how many times we see these guys, they hit all the right spots, time and time again. Their set included the Beat Rats Theme, Mine All Mine (especially for a couple who were visiting form America) and we also heard some new stuff, Nyah Nyah Nyah being a great instrumental. The audience absolutely loved this set, and the place was heaving. I don’t think they could have wished for a better gig. The Beat Rats go from strength to strength.

We spent the next half hour or so just milling around the merchandise table area, not really taking in any of the bands playing.

When we did wander into the Back room, a local band Major Major (www.myspace.com/majormajor) were on. They had a bit of a “wow” factor – the first power pop band to include rap and they were great. The front man was really confident and engaged with the audience brilliantly. They went down really well and Minty really enjoyed watching them.

Major Major

After that we called it a night. Day 4 over, Day 5 here we come.

Day 4 Summary:

No. of Bands seen : 11 bands
No. of Bands seen more than once: saw 3 bands we had seen on previous days
Best Original Song: All Beat Rats!
Best Cover: “Things We Said Today” – Nigel Thomas
Highlight of the day: The Beat Rats rocking the front stage and the audience reaction

1 comment:

  1. Loved seeing The Suns at IPO this year, they rocked!!!