GIG: International Pop Overthrow – Day 4
DATE:: Friday 18th May 2012
VENUE: Erics, The Cavern Pub & The Cavern Club (Front & Live Lounge)
COST: All free (as we were in the Club before 8pm)
OUR VERDICT: Rats are Cookin’

The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts over 150 artists, across 5 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles form folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!!
During our time at the festival, we can’t see every artist / band, but we do aim to see as many as we can. Some of the bands / artists just aren’t our cup of tea, some are good and some are just pure nuggets and our blog is a personal account of what we thought of each day, highlights and lowlights included.

Day four started for us in the Cavern pub, with a band we knew nothing about, The Seasongs, form Spain. It was an early start to the day and audience numbers were very thin until they were near the end of their set. Writing this a couple days after the event, we must admit there was nothing really memorable about The Seasongs – it was a  typical four-piece set up and songs that were not much different to any average powerpop band.

Dutch band Steed were up next, all similarly dressed in charcoal grey drainpipes and white boots. They had brought along some friends so the audience numbers swelled and they powered through their set, of quite punchy songs with strong backing vocals adding a lot of harmony and strength. Their drummer was part of the next band, The Treets (also from Holland) who played a really tight set. The lead guitarist stood out for us, and The Beeb really appreciated the surf inspired numbers.

The Treets

Jeremy’s first slot of the IPO was next on the Cavern Pub stage. Anyone who sees Jeremy will never forget his performance and today was no exception. He is a really extrovert performer who does his best to find new ways to launch himself from the stage into the audience. The pub is now quite Jeremy-proof although at one point he did clamber up onto the speakers, and another time onto a stool and look tantalisingly at the electric fan hanging from the ceiling!!! Andy the sound man just stood there grinning like a Cheshire cat. 

Jeremy wows the audience

Jeremy does bring his own style of powerpop – filled with messages of love and peace, and he performed some new songs from his latest album “Love Explosion”. Today he ventured into a kind of thrash metal genre, with really raw vocals, screaming guitar, playing amongst the audience and ending up in true rock & roll style, on the floor! He also gave us a bit of psychedelic sound with a track from an album done with his new project The Lemon Clock, making use of a loop pedal to give a great psychedelic overdub. He ended his energetic set with his surf medley which went down really well. Fantastic stuff, yet again from Mr Morris.

We popped over to the Cavern Club Live Lounge then to see another Spanish band – Noisebox. They were just that and we were not overly impressed with them at all. Following them was a Scandinavian combo, She Talks, which the IPO programme noted as having five members but only three were on stage. It took longer than usual to get them set up (2 acoustic guitars and a keyboard) and we suspect they may have been missing their two additional members. They had a sweet sound but in all honesty it was a tad too sweet for us.


We took the opportunity to take a bit of time out at our hotel and headed back to the Cavern Club Live Lounge a couple of hours later for Norwegian band, NRWY. They were quite atmospheric with some good rocking crescendos – very listenable.

Next up in the Live Lounge were London three piece The Standards. They appeared to be a bit unsure at the start (we suspect they couldn’t hear the monitors sufficiently) but by the third song which we think was called “Slow Down” they were into their stride. That song had a terrific beat to it as a number of their other songs did.
The Standards

One song “Drowning” segued into a bit of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” which worked really well. We don’t know if that was always the case or just brought in specially following Donna Summer’s untimely demise this week. The vocals were good, a kind of Kinks meets Damon Albarn and we enjoyed this band.

Lights from Space took to the stage next – they had a great look, a great beat but we felt the vocals lacking a bit from what we heard of their set. It took a while for them to get set up so we did not get the chance to really get into their set as we had to dash across to Erics to see Lannie Flowers.

Lannie Flowers

The pedals
The tall Texan delivered some great powerpop. You could tell both him and his band were seasoned professionals, blending really well together and just reeling off the songs one after another. We loved the Texas heart and soul put into this performance and thoroughly enjoyed the set. The Beeb was mighty impressed with the array of pedals and had to get  a picture!

The Cavern Pub had a full crowd for Junebug but the sheer number of people, and the crowd of drunken guys dancing and piling in for photos deterred us from staying too long. That was a real shame as Junebug were sounding particularly good tonight, doing what they do well – lovely little pop songs that you can’t help but tap your feet to.

Back to the Cavern Club and this time the Front Stage, and a German band called The Jooles. This was like watching Marsha Brady on speed, backed by others from the Brady Bunch!!!! (In a good way.)

The Jooles

They totally rocked the front stage, with some really high spirited, happy, energetic pop with some great girl harmonies. The audience was quite large and were going bonkers, the band looked like they were having a total blast on stage and the they were given the opportunity for a one song encore. They chose a cover of the Jackson 5's “I Want You Back” which went down a storm.  Loved it - another nugget at the IPO and another CD in the bag.

The Beeb with 2 of the Jooles

The Turnback
Staying with the Front Stage, The Turnback, form New York were up next. They played a solid set of rock/pop which made you wiggle on the bar stool!!! Not bad at all and the crowd really loved them.

Again, on the Front Stage, the next band up really made us stand up and take note – The Pengwins from Texas. This was a band formed in the late 70’s and included some of the guys from the Lannie Flowers gig, who we had seen earlier!

The Pengwins
They kicked off with a fab rendition of “Route 66” just to warm up the large crowd that had gathered, filling the whole of the Front Stage area, right the way to the back. This is a superb band, and even the drummer sings! Their set was not all covers but we have to mention an acapella version of the first bit from the Beach Boys hit “Cottonfields” which led straight into a real Texas country beat for two Johnny Cash songs, and the guy singing had the same dulcet deep country tone as JC himself. Superb again!
Next on the set was Lannie with a song about “Everyman For Himself” and the backing harmonies were out of this world. They also did a terrific version of the Flaming Groovies’ “Shake Some Action” – talk about amazing, rocking Powerpop at its best. They finished with the Bowie/Mott The Hoople “All The Young Dudes”which, dare we say it, sounded better than Bowie, and which segued into a bit of “God Gave Rock and Roll To You”. Superb again! We LOVED this band and will be raving about them for some time to come!

The Honey Machine

From Germany, The Honey Machine were next up. Watching them was like being taken back to a German beat club, with a cross between Mick Jagger and Eric Burden doing the vocals who got our vote for the best Art Janov Primal Scream factor! They totally rocked and everyone in the club was dancing, which was brilliant to watch. They included a cover in their set “I Put A Spell On You” which sounded great, and if you closed your eyes you were transformed back to the 60’s. Brilliant stuff. 

And our night ended with one of the best bands we've ever seen, The Beat Rats, with their mischievous mix of short, punchy Mersey Beat influenced tunes done in the style of The Ramones. What an effect they had on the audience - everyone dancing and loving this band from the first chord being struck to the very last reverb of the night. Their energy knew no boundaries, and they were cooking without a doubt. They genuinely are the band born to play this front stage.

The Beat Rats Rock the Cavern

With a new album imminent, they played a few new numbers, including “You Were Always Mine” recently recorded for the Cavern Compilation, “Cavern Retro”. This was a fine tune, a bit slower than their usual beat, and had such an authentic Mersey sound we fell in love with it. The vocals were awesome. Everyone should see at least one show from the Beat Rats in their lifetime. Fantastic end to a great night at the IPO.

The Stats
Total number of bands seen today = 17
Number of bands seen more than once today = 0

Total number of bands seen = 41
Number of bands seen more than once during the IPO = 4

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