GIG: International Pop Overthrow Liverpool – Day 1
DATE: Tuesday 14th May 2013
VENUE: Cavern Pub & Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: It’s all free
OUR VERDICT: a great kick start

This is blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories form 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.

David Bash opens the 2013 IPO Liverpool

The Amazing Kappa
Day one was kicked off in the Cavern Pub by The Amazing Kappa, a local band consisting of a girl drummer, a girl on bass and a male lead singer / guitarist wearing snakeskin shoes. The pub was surprisingly busy for this time of day and after starting with a bluesy rock number this band entertained us all of the way. The guy’s vocals were very Steve Tyler-ish from Aerosmith and his guitar playing was just filled with lots of slick licks and pedal effects ending up with hints of Brian May. They were LOUD! At one stage he played his guitar from behind his legs, and then with his teeth! The momentum was kept going throughout the set, moving seamlessly into each new song. Not a bad start the the festival.

Next up, a four-piece, Typewriter who had travelled 16 hours, all the way from Singapore and we were encouraged by the lead singer wearing a Pet Sounds T.Shirt. Their second song “Enemy” had a really great beat to it and sounded great with added harmony from the other guitarist and the bass player. Their third song slowed the pace down a bit and gave us a bit of the jingle jangle powerpop we love so much. The crowd had started to thin out during their set, as is the way with the IPO as the Pub gets a passing through kind of crowd, rather than it being a reflection on the bands actually playing. They ended on a high with a lovely little head nodding number, we think was called, “Take Me Away”. They were given an extra slot at the end of the night due to another band’s no-show but we were not able to catch that one.


Having done our usual research ahead of the IPO, we had checked out the bands playing and the next one up, The Relics, had sounded good, with a lot of guitar reverb so they were on our list of bands to see. We were actually quite disappointed with the live show, however. The singer sounded a bit like early Bob Dylan when he sang and he seemed quite disinterested in playing this gig. When he introduced songs, his voice trailed off and he wasn’t exactly an enigmatic front man, although that may have been part of him trying to be all moody and rock and roll, we weren’t sure. The drummer was good though and kept a good beat going. Any of their songs were OK, but song after song it became hard to tell one from the other. With some of their own songs turning into a bit of a mash with The Faces and The Rolling Stones tunes, they did at the end up seem a bit too derivative.

Teenage Casket Company in the Cavern Pub
Band number four was Nottingham based Teenage Casket Company.  This was a great band although they have lost their claim on “Teenage”!. They loved being on the stage, really enjoyed what they did and gave a terrific performance. All four of the band have their own personalities and all shone through, whether it was the glam look from the front man, the guitar twangs from the lead guitarist, the joking nature of the bass player or the drummer who looked like he was enjoying every beat. They had a great heavy guitar sound, and with one of their new songs (which was the strongest in their set) “You Only Love Me When You Hate Me”, we heard our first good key change of the day. The bass player kept trying to flick his plectrum up and catch it and more often than not, he completely missed them and the things were flying everywhere, The Beeb suggested they rename themselves the Flying Plectrums! Their set went down a storm and we loved them.

We headed over to the Cavern Club, and into the Live Lounge, where we caught local boy, Marc Kenny. The Live Lounge can be a big place for a solo acoustic performer but Marc has such a rich voice he filled the room with his sound. We had not planned on seeing this artist but we are glad we did as he held our attention the whole time and after hearing his last song “Thank You”, which just resonated through the Club, we had to buy his CD. This was a wonderful set.
Marc Kenny

Ashbury Keys rocked
Staying in the Live Lounge, next up was Texas band Ashbury Keys. They performed here last year and we loved them. Their drummer does his stuff standing up, an unusual way to play, but boy, was it effective. The harmonies that come from this trio of Texans is amazing and the two really stand out songs in their set were “Hero” and a brilliant cover of Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds”. This might not be traditional "Texan Blues", but it was a blistering rocker of a set.

We stayed to catch Teenage Casket Company for their second slot. They had promised us that their set in the Club was going to be bigger and louder than their earlier set in the Pub, and they were not wrong. David Bash introduced them as “dynamic rock and roll….glammy….melodic…punk” and that really does describe what this band is like. Their second performance of the day was just as fresh as their first, and our friend commented that this was the first stadium band he has seen playing the IPO!! With a bit of audience participation at the end, Teenage Casket Company found a few new fans today, that’s for sure.
Guitar heaven from Teenage Casket Company

The Jooles

We headed through to the Front Stage where The Jooles (from Berlin) were setting up. Last year we caught their set, and likened the lead singer to being Marsha Brady on speed. This four piece, made up of two boys and two girls are a delight to watch and their soulful pop is great to listen to. Daria the lead (and the Marsha Brady lookalike) is infectious and the crowd (with some drunk men) really loved her, and she lapped it up, flirting and teasing, swinging her hips and kicking ass.

 Daria from The Jooles
We dipped in and out of the Front Stage where the next act was Rhonda from the German city of Hamburg, synonymous with the Beatles and the Live Lounge where Watchtower, another Liverpool band was entertaining a sizeable crowd. Rhonda was a blonde Amy Winehouse, complete with tattoos, who played a white Gretsch but whose music didn’t really set us alight at this point. Watchtower was full on rock pop. They had a bit of an odd drum beat every now and then, but they left the crowd cheering for more with their closing number, a cheeky cover of Little Richard’s “Johnny Be Good” which had some really good guitar playing and a fantastic drum solo included. We tumbled back to Rhonda again only to find they had really stepped up a gear and were now sounding excellent. Our first impressions were wrong then!

The Ragamuffins are another local band, a trio of lads with keyboard, acoustic guitar and trombone (no drums). In our research and planning for the festival, we had noted this band as having pop guitar and a mad 80’s keyboard. They were really quite quirky in a good sense of the word and we thought their set was really good. Their songs have a local influence, singing about how “It Never Rains in Mossley Hill” and “Last Train to Sub-Lime Street” and a bit of nostalgia, singing about flying saucers and sherbert dips. One to catch if you can.
The Ragamuffins
Staying on the Front Stage, The Ashbury Keys had an extra slot due to another band’s no-show. Again the drummer did his stuff standing up, which meant his hair was brushing the low ceiling. What a storming set they did – much the same as their Live Lounge performance but to a bigger and much more enthusiastic crowd. The place was jumping, literally. Again the stand out songs were “Hero” and “Suspicious Minds” which had everyone up and dancing. You couldn’t fault this performance – strong bass line, great guitar, thumping drums, an engaging front man, good vocals and tight harmony. All the ingredients to deliver fantastic stuff.

The Ashbury Keys with a storming set on the front Stage

Our last band for the night was the final band on the Front Stage, Fifty Nine Violets, a four piece from Hull. They had brought along a few friends who danced through their entire set at the front of the stage. One of the guitarists and vocalists looked a bit like Paul Weller and they had a great powerpop / rock sound, with jingly guitars and some good vocals and we were glad to have stayed the distance to see them. This band has obviously played together for a while as musically, they were very tight and knew their stuff. This was a good end to night number one.

No of bands seen = 11
No of bands seen more than once = 2
Top band...Teenage Casket  Company
Performance of the day...Ashbury Keys with Suspicious Minds.

1 comment:

  1. Loved Teenage Casket Company at the Cavern Pub!