GIG: International Pop Overthrow – Day 5
DATE:: Saturday 19th May 2012
VENUE: Erics, The Cavern Pub & The Cavern Club (Front & Live Lounge)
COST: £2 after 2pm in the Club
OUR VERDICT: Rats rule again

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 five started for us in the Cavern pub, with those crazy Beat Rats ( doing what they do best – rockin’ and shakin’ the stage.

The Beat Rats

They were on fire and no amount of water would have dampened their enthusiasm, energy or passion for playing their great Mersey rock. In fact, the Mersey runs through their veins. For a Saturday lunchtime the pub was pretty full and the reception from the audience was great. One thing we like about this band is that they don’t need any effects to get their sound…… it is raw rock and roll at its finest. We saw a tuning pedal on the floor..that was it!

The Beat Rats

Their set, much like the night before included their “Beat Rats Theme”, “She’s Mine All Mine”, “Thunderella” and the new song, “You Were Always Mine” that is on the Cavern Comp, “Cavern Retro”.

The set was being filmed by the Cavern so there is every chance we’ll see some footage of the gig as well J. After the set, you could hear people who were in the audience remarking on how great they were. Another triumphant result..New York City 4, Liverpool won!

We had a terrible clash today, with Honeybug opening their stint at the IPO at the same time the Beat Rats were playing. So we hurried across the Cavern Club, Front Stage and thankfully things were running a little late which meant we managed to catch four songs from Honeybug’s set. It was the same set up as last year, and with only the piano for accompaniment, the vocals had the chance to really stand out, and they did just that. Ni was on fine form and the backing from Laura and Erin was just totally lush. The Club seemed busier that you might expect at a Saturday early afternoon and the good thing is that people were staying to listen.

London band Mini were up next, this being their 9th year at the IPO, they are complete veterans now! The first five songs in their set were new tunes, really great pop songs which down a storm. Fingers crossed they will get in the studio to record them….. The last bit of their set were a couple of older songs, before they invited Honeybug up to help out on their last song of the day, and as Minibug, they did a cover. They never fail to deliver a great show. Camaraderie..that's what the IPO is all about.


The rest of the day was spent finding out about bands we really knew nothing about, so we were really going in blind. Up on the back stage was Fifty Nine Violets, as we said, we knew nothing about them and took a chance with. They were not too bad at all, quite rock orientated and seemed to enjoy playing their set. Nothing really stand out in terms of songs, but quite watchable and listenable.

Heading out to the pub, we stopped by the Front Stage and caught a bit of The Dirty Royals. When we saw their set up, we wished we had stopped by sooner……. The set up was similar to that of a couple of years ago when an accident meant their drummer could not join the band and the remaining members had to do an acoustic set. This year it was the bass guitar and two acoustics, and some terrific harmonies going on. Nice one lads.

Over at the pub, another band we knew nothing of, The Travellers. Ever inquisitive we thought we’d give them a go. This is a duo, advertised as being from France (but the guy playing the guitar sounded cockney!) who appeared to be trying to set up some kind of backing tape machine. When they eventually got going, the female singer hadn’t even bothered to take off her coat, and when we heard a drum machine in backing to the guitar and vocals we thought it was a bit karaoke and left in search of a live band.

The Q
We found that live band in Erics. The Q are a great Mod influenced band, who emulate Secret Affair, and could give Paul Weller a run for his money. The lead singer could have been Trigger’s brother and delivered some great vocals and at times there a bit of 3-piece harmony going on. The drummer was very good, and kept that Mod vibe going throughout. Certainly worth catching, and another CD in the bag for us.

We had been disappointed on Wednesday when Elgazelle had not been able to play their slot and were thrilled to find out that they were in Liverpool for their slot today. This band is quite amazing, with a fantastic Northern Soul vibe, a great gravelly voice from the lead man (while playing marraccas and occassional harmonica), a trumpet player and some great guitar and drums. We loved them last year and they were smokin’ hot today. Loved them.

Over in the Cavern Club Live Lounge, The Lightwings were half way through their set. This four-piece had a bright pop sound and we kicked ourselves for not getting across to the club sooner.

The LBC Collective
The LBC Collective were a mix of Mod and soul/motown. One of their songs “Lay You Down” was a tad slower than the rest of the set and had a good bass line and smooth, quite motown sounding vocals. The rest of their set quite rocked, and they had a great vibe about them. Yet another CD in the bag (although we did give a donation at the merch table for it).

The Upper Fifth
The Upper Fifth did a great cover of “Pleasant Valley Sunday” in  quite a mod style which sounded great. Besides that, they played a frenetic set, with a drummer who would give Animal from The Muppets a run for his money (even though he kept getting cramp!). The keyboard player was really getting into things too. He came across as the real visual guy to watch. Totally into it. Not bad at all.

The Sunny Boys ( from Torino, Italy had a dream come true playing The Cavern and it showed in their performance where they gave it their all, and hopped around the stage like crazy with big cheesy grins on their faces!!! This is a band quite well known in Italy for being a great Beach Boys tribute band, and tonight in the Cavern we heard their original stuff, and it was really pretty good too. The songs were unique enough not to be copies of Beach Boys songs but still had that great falsetto, backing harmony and a real summery sound. A highlight for us was a surf song about snow, which morphed into the Knack’s “My Sharona” at the end and it worked really well. The audience loved this band, and the rapturous applause and cheers prompted David Bash to invite them back for an encore. They obliged and we got a great rendition of the Beach Boys “Fun, Fun, Fun”. Brilliant. They won EVERYONE over with their verve and enthusiasm.

The Sunny Boys

The Housekeeping Society
After popping out for a bite to eat, we returned as The Housekeeping Society were setting up. It took a while to get the instruments plugged in and working, but when they did we heard some great vocals from front man, Ric Neale singing songs from his latest project called “Postcards” which is a series of songs about the seaside. We weren’t too sure about the pre-programmed drum and the mic on the guitarist was way too low when he took the lead on some songs which was a shame as we could hardly hear him.

The last band for us tonight was Leicester based The Junipers. We have seen them a couple of times before and they are a band we enjoy watching and listening to. The debut album is a fave of The Beeb's. Theirs is a mix of pop and psychedelic songs with some lovely vocal arrangements. The main man, Joe Wiltshire, had an array of guitars to suit all of the styles they played, including a double necked guitar which provided the necessary 12 string sound for their psychedelic melodies. They did sound great and that was yet another CD in the bag for us.

The Junipers

 The Stats
Total number of bands seen today = 14
Number of bands seen more than once today = 0

Total number of bands seen = 53
Number of bands seen more than once during the IPO = 5

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