GIG: International Pop Overthrow
DATE: Wednesday 13th May 2015
VENUE: The Cavern Pub and Club
COST: It’s still 100% free today!!!
OUR VERDICT: It’s Getting Better All The Time

This 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 around 140 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!!!! 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 = 12
Housekeeping Society, Harvest Moon (twice), Gentlemen Rogues, David Lloyd, Thomas McConnell, The Ragamuffins, Mikah Gilbert, The Parkas, Onions, The Janne Borgh Identity, Orwell, Esa Linna and The Dawnbreakers.

Number of bands seen in the IPO so far = 18

Harvest Moon EP – In Tow, Ragamuffins EP – Get Cynical, Ragamuffins EP – The Benefits of a Downhill Paper Round.

The Housekeeping Society
Day number 2 started in the Cavern Pub, and Ric Neale’s The Housekeeping Society easing us in with some gentle tunes, and harmony from the band. This band had practised, and played a tight set, moving between songs effortlessly. 

Ric was gracious with the audience, thanking them for coming onto the pub despite the glorious sun-shiney day outside. He also has a great, strong voice which shone out against the backdrop of the guitar, bass and acoustic drum box, and the added backing vocals. 

It’s a shame that the group of people at the back of the pub (friends of Ric we found out after) had a bad case of verbal diarrhoea and constantly chatted (very loudly) above all of the songs. It was totally disrespectful, even more so that they knew Ric!

Next up, a band from the south of Holland, Harvest Moon. The band’s name is of course a nod to Neil Young, and this was reflected in the mixture of acoustic and rock they played. From the first note, we knew this band were going to be good and we sat up and took notice. What really added to their sound was a vintage Hammond organ that was left of the stage (it was just too big to fit on the stage!) and with the two guitars and acoustic 12 string and a little harmonica thrown in every now and then, and they made a really great power pop sound too.
Harvest Moon in The Cavern Pub
As their set progressed, the applause and cheers from the audience got louder and louder, and the reaction to their third song “Wanna See You Dancing” (where the WAGs got up and danced) was phenomenal. We think that is the song of the IPO so far. They moved from real power pop tunes to tender ballads and even did a surf inspired instrumental and the audience lapped it all up. This was a definite highlight so early in the day’s schedule and the rest of the bands would be hard pressed to match them. 
Harvest Moon on the Back Stage

They were given an extra slot in the schedule later on in the Cavern Club, Live Lounge (Back Stage) due to a no show, and this was a repeat of the performance in the pub. Again the audience loved their sound and the applause and cheers were thunderous. One of the IPO's new nuggets.

Gentlemen Rogues
Over in the Cavern Club, we caught the whole set from Gentlemen Rogues on the Front Stage as they filled in for a no show. They were loud and very guitar heavy and not really to the taste of the early evening more ‘mature’ crowd that were in the club at the time. This band from Austin, Texas know their stuff and went straight into each number, hardly pausing for breath. We felt some backing vocals would have counterbalanced the guitar fuzz, and then realised that the other guitarist was actually singing his heart out at times. but was completely drowned out by the guitars. Maybe a bit too heavy for us in the early evening.

David Lloyd
Staying at the Front Stage, local singer/songwriter David Lloyd did his usual good set of songs. This year he had a second acoustic guitar player with him which added to the sound immensely. David has as strong vocal which resonates during the rockier numbers and softens for the more gentle songs when needed. He included a Bossa Nova number this year, which sounded great with a bit of ‘ba ba ba ba’s’ included. For the last few songs, Lauren Daly joined them on stage. There was a good crowd of support which filled the first half of the club too, which added to the atmosphere and his set went down very well.

Thomas McConnell
Wearing a dotty tie and with his trademark tousled hair, Thomas McConnell was seated at a keyboard and was backed this year by a full band, We got the pleasure of an upbeat set, with only a short interlude for a slow, tender number mid-way through.

One particular stand out song was “Please Don’t Slow Me Down” which has a bit of a doowop rhythm going on and his vocals were just brilliant on this. 

You can hear shades of McCartney influence in Thomas’ music but still know it is all original material.  Thoroughly enjoyed this performance from a local Liverpool lad who should be going places.
Thomas McConnell

The Ragamuffins
Next up, The Ragamuffins. Complete with a bit of a brass section (2 trumpets), this Liverpool band are brilliant and really infectious. They have mastered the double hand clap melody and are great performers with catchy tunes, that have great titles!. Loved their set.

Back to the Cavern Club, and a chance to see the second show from Micah Gilbert, on the Front Stage. The US bands really do nail power pop. Great catchy, punchy songs, a fantastic drum beat and the right balance of guitars to vocal. What more could we ask for? Again this set sounded great and was much appreciated by the audience and Micha seems to have a large Japanese following!
Micah Gilbert

The Parkas were on stage in the Pub for their second appearance. There is not much we can say that wasn’t said in yesterday’s blog. This young, vibrant, energetic band are not like any other MOD band, where you only get Paul Weller and The Who wannabe's who are more like a tribute band. These guys have their own style and sound which sets them above everyone else, but when they do a cover of MOD classics such as they did tonight with “A Town Called Malice”, they really do it justice. Another cover done tonight was "She Bangs the Drum" which fitted well alongside their original material. They seemed delighted to have a few extra minutes at the end of their set, and did a spontaneous cover of The Who’s “My Generation”. …. nice one guys.
The Parkas rock The Cavern Pub

The Onions
The Onions were a bit of an unknown for us. Research ahead of the IPO had piqued our interest and we are glad we saw them because we loved their set. 

The three piece harmony was to die for, the falsetto was lovely and the occasional Moog/Synth pieces really stood out. Hats off to the Bass guitarist/Moog player – he had a great big bandage on one finger which must have made it difficult to play!

Next up, from Stockholm, The Janne Borgh Identity. We had seen this three piece perform last year and thought they played a solid set, with great hooks and vocals. Tonight was no exception. Scandinavian Pop/Rock hits the spot again. A stand out song tonight was (we think called) “There Goes My Baby”, which had terrific backing vocals. We look forward to seeing it all again tomorrow.
The Janne Borgh Identity

The final act on the Live Lounge (Back Stage) was Orwell, from the Netherlands. Members of this band have been at the IPO before, under the guise of The Montanas, The Spontanas (and more?) and Orwell are a Prog Rock ‘Work In Progress’ band. The Prog Rock label probably explains the 3 guitars in the band! Maybe not really our niche taste.

At this point we divided and conquered, The Beeb staying to watch Orwell and Minty headed off to catch Esa Linna and the Dawnbreakers for the second time. 

Esa Linna & The Dawnbreakers
The Finnish band did the same set as last night, and sounded great on the Front Stage, strong vocals and some catchy foot tapping music. 

Unfortunately the audience had thinned by this time so the humour in the introductions to the songs was lost a little. Still, they did sound good.

So, weary we left The Cavern. Until tomorrow……..

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