GIG: International Pop Overthrow Liverpool – Day 3 (Thursday)
DATE: Thursday 15th May 2013
VENUE: Cavern Pub & Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: £4 entry after 8pm at the club

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 150 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.

Bands seen today = 8
The Last fakers (twice), Two Weeks Running, Sons of Jet (twice), Dave Lloyd, Midland Railway, Second Symphony (twice), Echo Lips (part), The Sympathy
No of different bands seen so far = 27
CDs: none

Day 3 started a bit later than normal for us and it was act no.4 on the bill, The Last Fakers which were our first band of the day, playing in the Pub. Our interest was piqued immediately when we saw a harmonica player in the band, all geared up with a guitar pedal board and his own microphone. Unfortunately we couldn’t hear the harmonica for the first two songs, but once the mix got sorted, it came through loud and clear. This is a band from the North East of England who really stood out for us. The lead vocals, shared between both guitarists were really good, and were well complimented with backing vocals, and they gave an authentic bluesy/rock kinda vibe. Their set in the pub ended with a cover of  “Time For Action” which was a great choice and really suited their style. A mention in particular has to go to their drummer - he was just superb and had boundless energy.

The Last Fakers during their second set
We caught part of their second slot later on when they played the Back stage in the Cavern Club and they did a slightly different set, this time including a keyboard. This was even better than the pub because of the sound from the back stage is much deeper. Unfortunately the gremlins affected the harmonica again, but once sorted sounded brilliant. Their last song was a cover of the Small Faces “What’cha Gonna Do About It” that had everyone singing the chorus. This was a band that really impressed us. Check them out on

Two Weeks Running
Two Weeks Running were a young band who do the Shouty-Brothers thing. Quite a heavy guitar sound, but once again, another band that seemed to rely on volume to get their songs across, rather than trust the quality of the songs to do the business for them. Unfortunately this is a regular occurrance in the pub where the band has control of the amp volumes and for some reason they feel the need to turn the volumes up to 11!!  We were told that their second set on the front stage sounded much better. A good enough band in their own genre, but not really our favourite listening material.

Regular IPO performer James Styring has appeared under various monikers over the years. Whether it’s Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist, The Popdogs or the new band Sons Of Jet, the one thing you’re guaranteed is quality songs and a great performance. James is an excellent communicator with his audience, and has a good thing going for him by having a very distinctive singing voice. What he touches musically is pure gold. Today, we saw both of their IPO performances, first in the Pub and later, on the Cavern’s front stage. where they gave out free copies of their CD single.
Sons of Jet in the Cavern Pub
Sons of Jet's James Styring

The new songs are just great – really catchy, which you can’t help but tap your foot and bounce your head to. Their rockabilly song “Brother” had people up dancing, and the waltz-like “We Cut Our Hair,” inspired by Stuart Sutcliffe’s paintings is a classic already.

The Beeb was invited up to perform The Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved” helping out with harmonica duties. Obviously he didn’t turn that invitation down.
The Beeb adds Harmonica for "When Will I Be Loved"
Both sets sounded great, but as you would expect, the mix on the front stage was a bit richer. Both venues had a good crowd which really seemed to enjoy the guys playing. You can listen to their CD single here

David Lloyd
On the front stage of the club we caught another favourite of ours, David Lloyd. On his own this time, without his band The Suns, he switched from acoustic to electric guitar during his set, to give us a demonstration of what good song-writing is.

On his own with just an acoustic guitar, you can really appreciate the strength in his vocals and with some of Minty’s favourites in the set such as “Demons” and  ”Soul Desert” it was a fantastic half hour. Unfortunately though, the background noise of the general chit-chat from the migratory club audience did interfere a little.

Over to the Back stage, and Midland Railway were ready to start. With feather boas draped around the microphone stands, you knew that was going to be a flamboyant band. Their set of quirky songs, such as being posh and not apologising for it, was something different and set them apart from many of the bands that play the IPO.
Midland Railway
David Novan from Midland Railway
A couple of technical issues hampered the set a little, but on the whole we enjoyed it. The blend of three vocals gave a strong mix and the quirky songs worked. Like this band on facebook:

We found another nugget at the IPO tonight, a band from Glasgow called Second Symphony. Their first set was on the Back Stage and we enjoyed them so much we caught their second appearance in the pub later on. This five piece (that includes two brothers) had a really great buzz about them, with some nice guitar licks and the audience seemed to really love this band. They have a great sound and moved from rock to blues/country funk to a rock ballad easily. It takes a lot to get a ballad across at the IPO but this band hushed the crowd with theirs – the lead vocal being particularly strong. Indeed we noticed that with just a lead vocal and occasional backing vocals from the other guitarist, this is a testament to the vocal quality, as not many other bands can make this work well.
Second Symphony
Second Symphony in the Pub
They were up against a decent sized midnight pub crowd for their second slot so the ballad maybe didn't get the attention from the audience that it deserved, and (through no fault of the sound engineers) the sound in the pub is not the best, but the crowd did really seem to genuinely like this band. We certainly did.
Have a listen to their music:

Echo Lips

Echo Lips were making their appearance at this year’s IPO on the front stage. Due to clashes with other bands we wanted to see, we only caught the last two songs of their set. With quite a generic powerpop sound, we did like what we heard.

The Sympathy
First time IPO-er’s and the first time they have played outside their native Sweden, The Sympathy debuted on the Front Stage and gave us some Scandinavian rock.

The lead singer with this band is totally mad, and the front stage was not big enough to contain his energy and when he took the rope off from the front of the stage that acts as a barrier between the artists and the audience, we knew what was coming next, and sure enough he mingled with the crowd that were gathered to watch them. Fantastic stage presence. The drums sounded great and this was another band with a harmonica player, the harp being used for their final two songs.

After that, we popped across to the Pub for the last set from Second Sympathy (see above) and then headed back to our hotel. The IPO was definitely hotting up and tomorrow is a full day.

The Beeb has a pint with Sons of Jet, James Styring after the gig

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Minty for your review, we really appreciate your support and we hope to meet you again soon .

    Second Symphony