GIG: International Pop Overthrow - London Day 3
DATE: Sunday 29th May 2011
VENUE: Bull & Gate, 389 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2JT
COST: £8


Due to other commitments, we missed the first two days of the 1st annual IPO in London, but day 3, we were raring to go, and got to the Bull & Gate mid-afternoon and just in time to see The Soundcasters ( &!/group.php?gid=32683261704) setting up. The Sunday afternoon audience was very sparse so we almost got our "up close and personal" gig, but hats off to the band, as they played their full set, with the same gusto we saw in Liverpool. Again, their James Brown (via The Moody Blues) cover was awesome.

The Soundcasters

4th Street Traffic
Despite not long arriving we took a small break to grab some food, and came back mid-way through the set from 4th Street Traffic ( &,  a four piece from Wales. What we heard, we liked. They played some decent rock tunes, and created a big sound. Vocally they were great with the bassist adding great backing vocals to the strong lead. This band certainly has great potential in our book, and have already supported The Stereophonics and were off to play a gig with The Charlatans in Cyprus next! Their songs sound like they were written for playing in stadiums. Oh, and their CD was given away free!

Black Sun
Next up for up was the SHINDIG Showcase, starting with Black Sun ( from Sunderland. They weren't on the programme of London bands, but had played the Liverpool IPO, so we imagine they were added at fairly short notice. The lead singer had an echo in his mic, and was extremely influenced by Liam Gallagher, not only in looks but sound also. Maybe a bit too much.  Their set included a cover of "Come Up and See Me" which was a decent attempt, but fell short when there was not a bit of backing vocals added.

Dave Rave ( , from Ontario Canada was next on the bill and he kicked off his party with "Let's Face It". A highlight for us was "Anne-Marie" which is such an infectious song, we love it loads and his set was topped off with "Rock The Party" and "Let's Shake", which are two trademark Dave Rave songs and great crowd pleasers, albeit still a relatively small crowd.
Dave Rave with Marc and Simon

Dave was backed by Marc and Simon from Plastic Heroes and encouraged people to dance along with him on stage. Our host, David Bash was not shy here and jumped up right away.
David Bash joins Dave Rave on stage

Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson ( took to the stage next for an acoustic set, playing a 12 string. Chris has played with The Flamin' Groovies and also The Barracudas and he obviously has a following, as the audience was middle aged men, who knew the words to every song, even Chris' solo stuff, and there were rapturous cheers after each song.

Minty thought he sounded a bit like Uncle Bob Dylan, even when he sang an old Scottish traditional Robert Burns song. David Bash summed up his performance as "powerful and moving". The Beeb thought he was great, and had the opportunity to share a few Scottish anecdotes afterwards when they found out both of them grew up in Glasgow.

Next up, Mellowmen from Sweden ( We have seen this band every year in Liverpool so we knew what to expect from their set - a fast paced, frenetic set delivered by a band who lap up being on stage like a sponge. All of the band have stage presence, and in particular the rhytmn guitarist, who was singing along, despite not having a microphone and the drummer. who had great facial expressions, really getting into the groove!.
The main man with Mellowmen plays the keyboards and jumps around really enjoying himself, even coming out to play the maraccas in the audience.

Their song "Party at 11" really went down well (this was a highlight from their Liverpool set too). They had brought a few friends along, which swelled the audience numbers somewhat and gave a great atmosphere.

Next on the bill was the main attraction for Shindig, a band really endorsed by the magazine, Ulysses ( Jon Mills from the magazine introduced them to the stage, as "the future sound of classic rock".
On myspace their music sounds great, but when on stage, their amps go beyond 11 and we found that much of the vocals were drowned by the buzz and shred of guitars which were just that little bit too loud for the size of the venue. One of their songs reminded us a bit of "Dancing In The Street" and although there were a fair number in the stage area, about the same number of people were outside in the bar and not taking in the music.

Last up tonight was The Kinbeats ( a band we had already seen in Liverpool, and although based in Kilburn, London are originally from Germany. In Liverpool we were struck by their harmonies, which did not come as a surprise due to the fact the band is made up of three brothers and a cousin.
The Kinbeats
By this time many people had left so it was a small audience that remained to enjoy the sounds from this band. Not only can they produce some great harmonies - their song "Falling Slowly" is an almost acapella song (just a small pluck on guitar strings as accompaniment), to some great rocky numbers. All four members of the band get a chance to sing lead, and the drummer's vocals really stood out.

"Long Way Home" particularly caught our attention, and "Sail Away" had a really catchy chorus. It's a shame there weren't more people in the venue to hear them.

And a bit about he venue itself.....
This was the first time we have been to The Bull and Gate and it is an OK venue... the music room is separated from the main bar and the venue is a very basic, stage and cleared floor area with benches and tables along the perimeter. The sound is very good, and tonight's engineer, Owen set up the bands quickly, and made sure things like redundant microphones and cables were out of the way.
The ladies loos were kept clean, but you had to be careful when entering otherwise you'd knock into anyone standing by the dryer for their hands! We'll say nothing about the gents..... other than disgusting.

1 comment:

  1. Funnily enough, my highlight of a Dave Rave set is "Anne-Marie" too! ;-)

    Definitely tempted to try to do a couple of London IPO days next year.