GIG: International Pop Overthrow Day 5
DATE: Saturday 21st May 2011
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: £1 cover charge after 1pm and £3 after 8pm for the Club
OUR VERDICT: Hot, hot, hot


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.

We had a light IPO day today - It was Scottish Cup Final day today, so that took priority for The Beeb. However, The Beat Rats (www.myspace.com/beatrats)  were playing an extra slot in the Pub and that could not be missed! It says a lot for The Beat Rats that the first half of Celtic playing in the Scottish Cup final was given up to see them live again!
Being Saturday afternoon the pub was really busy. Hen and Stag party victims made up a good percentage of the audience. It didn't take long for The BRs to win them over and clear any cobwebs from their ears.
Once again the band rose to the challenge and wowed the crowd, even if one dizzy girl asked if they could play any songs she know! Tony had the perfect retort.."We only play this shit we write!"

The rest of the IPO was put on hold for us until later that evening. Grudgingly paying our £3 we got to the Cavern Club at around 8.30pm and saw most of The New Untouchables set on the front stage. They were really excellent, having a real 70’s Shaft style guitar sound at times, and the lead vocals were shared between the keyboard player and one of the guitarists. The other guitarist looked a bit like Rodney Trotter!

At this point, the front stage was given over to The Cave Dwellers, a resident band at the Cavern and the IPO moved solely to the Back Stage. This meant that any band on the stage from that time onwards had a captive audience!

We caught the last 3 songs from The Beta Rays, who played some really great powerpop. The back room was already full (seemingly with many family and friends of The Beta Rays) and with the audience moving in from the front stage, it swelled even more and the temperature was almost unbearable.

Next up from London, were The Kinbeats (www.myspace.com/thekinbeats) who were an absolutely fantastic band. This is another band made up of brothers and a cousin and you could tell this from the fabulous harmonies that filled our ears. They reminded us a bit of the Jayhawks, and in some cases, The Eagles or Long Ryders. Even the drummer had a shot at singing, and one song was just vocals with a little bit of guitar which sounded awesome. This band was a particular highlight of The Beebs' IPO
The Kinbeats
We haven’t heard harmonies like that since The Avenues appeared at the IPO in 2008 and brought the house down. Their last song was a bit different to what we had heard from them so far, with a bit of a guitar shred at the end, which showed us they could really rock too! We learned they are also playing at the London IPO, so hope to catch them again.
Octubre, a Spanish band, who had brought their own fan club along were up next. They were really quick to set up and did their complete set in Spanish. It was real pop, and the temperature in the room was such that the sweat was dripping from the lead singer relentlessly.

We felt the bass player was trying to steal the thunder of the lead singer a bit on the last song, whilst he was playing a good bit of guitar, as the bassist was standing at the front playing his bass, hiding the lead guitarist from view!

Next up, Ulysses, a band we had seen last year. This year we felt they played better than they had last year, but they didn’t really seem to enjoy being on stage. That may have been down to the intense heat, which the lead singer likened to playing in Malaysia! The drummer was very good (one of our friends likened him to animal and also the 118 118 guy in the TV adverts). They did sound good, but the amps were turned up so high our ears were really buzzing afterwards and they would probably be better on an open stage at a festival at that level. They do take themselves a bit seriously in our opinion though. Paul Weller and Lou Reed probably smile more on stage than these guys.

Mellowmen (www.myspace.com/mellowmen) from Sweden were next on stage, introduced by David Bash as being his favourite band at the IPO for the last 4 years running. The rhythm guitarist was quite laid back and seemed to be quite happy playing the chords in his own wee world, while the bass guitarist really adds some fantastic backing vocals to every song. Having a percussionist also adds to the tremendous vibe.
The main man of Mellowmen is the keyboard player and he is a real character. At one point he picked up a pair of maracas and jumped off stage, sat beside someone in the audience and passed one of the maracas to him to play! The best song of the night was from this band – Party at 11 O’Clock – it was a bit past that hour, but there was certainly a party going on, on stage! It really is an EVENT when these guys play
After that performance, we called it a night and wandered back to the hotel for some sleep. Tomorrow was going to be our last day at the IPO.

Day 5 Summary:
No. of Bands seen : 7 bands
No. of Bands seen more than once: 1 band seen on a previous day
Best Original Song: “Party At 11 O’Clock” - Mellowmen
Best Cover: we didn’t hear any covers
Highlight of the day: Discovering The Kinbeats

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