DATE: Friday 17th May 2013
VENUE: Cavern Pub & Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: It’s all free (£4 charge on the door to get into the Cavern from 8pm though)
OUR VERDICT: Ratted Again!
This is blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts over 130 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Whilst we can’t see every artist / band, we try to catch as many as we can. Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from us.
Things ramp up from Day no.4, with the bands starting at mid-day and going through until 2am!
First on our schedule was Swedish band The Plastic Pals. Just the name itself interested us so we made sure we were at the front stage to see them start. We stayed only for about half of their set though before we headed over to see what was going on in the pub. They were not a bad band, just that there was nothing really stand out about them.
Norman Kelsey had an extra slot and he was accompanied by Adam Marsland. The combination of these two was pretty much the same as Wednesday, with “Our Love Is Known” sounding really lush. There were a couple of surprises in the set as improvisation took over, and we got a great acoustic version of the recent Daft Punk number 1, “Get Lucky”. That had a bit of a “wow” factor about it. The second surprise was when The Beeb asked for “Airport Kisses” a song from Norman’s latest album, and he got it! No rehearsal or practice……. This is what sets some performers apart from anyone else….. those who know their material and can play it on spec.
|Norman Kelsey and Adam Marsland|
|Adam Marsland on the Front Stage|
Just a short time later, Adam was back up on stage, this time the Live Lounge as he covered an extra slot. The sound in the lounge was very good and although the audience was not massive, they were appreciative and very respectful during the quieter numbers.
The next couple of hours were really manic, dashing between bands. Over in the Pub, we unfortunately missed the first bit of the set from Kelly’s Heels. This is a fantastic trio from London who are real masters of a powerpop tune or two, or three or four…….. Although they play the IPO every year, we haven’t managed to catch them over the last couple of years so it was great to have the opportunity to finally see them this time around. Their sound is textbook powerpop, crunchy guitar, great bass, a fantastic solid drumbeat and catchy, foot tapping songs. There was a sizeable crowd in the pub who seemed to enjoy it all.
Honeybug, from Edinburgh, are another band who appear most years, and each time you are never really sure what you will get. The set-up we have seen has ranged from a full band with lush harmonies provided by a group of backing singers, to the main man (Ni), a keyboard and harmonies provided by Laura and Erin. This year, we got a three piece, plugged in...a keyboard, guitar and drums. The sound on the back stage was not mixed right, with the drums and keyboard drowning out most of the vocals which was a shame as Ni does have a lovely voice. The quality song-writing was obvious.
At this point, we took a break from the IPO as we had tickets to see The Katmen in Erics and returned to The Cavern as the last thirty minutes of Friday night ticked by.
|Kelly's Heels on the Front Stage|
Our final band for the night was The Beat Rats. Still wearing their black leather gear, they commanded the Live Lounge, kicking off with their “Beat Rats Theme” which got people to their feet immediately and the front of the stage became a dance floor for the next thirty minutes. It didn’t matter if the twirls and the swings of the audience who seemed to be jiving for the first time ever, were mis-timed or un-coordinated – EVERYONE was having oodles of fun. Feeling the heat, bassist, Tony, shredded his black leather jacket to reveal a black and white dotted shirt which earned a bit of ribbing from the rest of the band with a cry of “turn off that shirt” from lead man Frank Max! Their set included the great “Ever Since You Went Away” which is from their new album “Have Mersey” and is becoming a firm favourite of Minty’s. We make no apologies for gushing about this band. We absolutely love them, we love their music, we love their gigs.
Our only gripe is that their record label is Cavern Records yet they had absolutely NO promotion from this label during their short stay in Liverpool this year. Had CDs of “Have Mersey” been available they would have been flying off the merch table.
|The Beat Rats|
No of bands seen today = 9
No of bands seen more than once today = 2
No of different bands seen so far = 33
Total No of bands seen more than once = 10
Top band today...Might have to stop this bit of the blog...too difficult to pick ONE
Performance of the day... The Pop Dogs in the Pub v The Beat Rats Back Stage - too close to call.