The Cavern Pub and Cavern Club
Mathew Street, Liverpool
Thursday 19th May 2016

The International Pop Overthrow is in its 14th year in Liverpool, with around 150 bands playing throughout the 8 days. We see as many bands as we can, some we like, some we love, others not so much. This is a personal review of each day and even though some bands may not have been our cup of tea (we can’t like them all!), they are still worth checking out for yourself. Have fun, that’s what music is all about.

Bands seen today (10): The Shudders, Harvest Moon, Fun Of The Pier, Thee Wylde Fuzz (*), The Lost 45’s (*), Tray Full Of Poppies, Alison Green, Lovely (*), Spygenius, One Two Die Four,
(*) saw part or all of their second slot or had seen them on a previous day

Day 3 was a busy one for us – lots to see. The Shudders are supposed to be a four-piece but with one band member missing, we got 3 guys, with acoustic guitars, with gentle tunes reminiscent of a folk get together around a camp fire All three essentially sang complimentary vocals, but the 3 voices together sounded very good, almost soothing. They were not bad and there was a bit of harmony on the last song where the one lead vocal sang about “Missing You” and the other two provided some really nice, lush backing vocals with some ooo’s and ahh’s, which made it a real stand out number. 

With one band member down they still produced a decent set and we might just check them out again when they revert back to a four piece tomorrow.

The Shudders

A firm favourite of last year’s IPO (indeed David Bash introduced them as one the top bands from last year) is Harvest Moon, from the South of The Netherlands. 

Harvest Moon
The band are big fans of Neil Young (hence their name) but their sound is not a copy of Young. In fact, you can’t really label them into a “type” because today we heard pop, ballads and surfy instrumental.  

It was a very welcome return and with their strong drum beat and clear vocals, they did draw in a bit of a crowd. The lead man of the band, Rob is really enthusiastic, and has a great voice which made us forget about the pelting rain during their song aptly named “Summer”. 

Last year one of our favourite songs was “Dancing” and we were delighted to hear it again. It still has a really fresh sound which made you bop on your stool (it was too early to dance!) and the keyboard shone through on this one.

We got a couple of new songs, a bit more rocky, but still well within their style and we do really look forward to these being recorded and made available on CD. One highlight was as song we think was called “Non Stop Barbarella”, a surf-style instrumental which totally rocked, maintaining that strong drum beat and included some great guitar.
Ending on a ballad, the set was over way too soon. We really do like this band.

Fun Of The Pier
We have not seen hubby and wife combo, Fun Of The Pier for a couple of years due to clashes and it was brilliant to be able to hear them play again, and also on the Front Stage. Think of any acoustic duo who are fans of Crowded House and this is what you get from Fun Of The Pier. 

What a difference a couple of years makes too. Helen was so much more confident, and her lovely voice rang out as we were treated to happy, jolly tempos. 

There was a decent sized crowd gathered in the front Stage to appreciate it too. Joined by David Lloyd for a couple of songs, it added a bit of variety, but you can never take away the thrill of hearing “Inconsiderate” again, a song all about people who talk at gigs! Unfortunately this is something that is par for the course at the IPO.

Thee Wylde Fuzz Show rock the Front Stage
Thee Wylde Fuzz Show, totally rock – so much so we caught both of their sets. 

Their raw garage, psychedelic sound is driven on pure energy and high octane, and the members of the band are also fuelled by the same! 

A frenetic fast paced set, with little pause for breath, you get a full-on psychedelic garage rock experience from start to finish with a bit of jingle jangle from the Rickenbacker guitars, all of which leaves you breathless, yet wanting more. 
Brilliant stuff. 

It is hard to get a decent photo of this band because they move just too darned quick!
Thee Wylde Fuzz Show in The Pub

The Lost 45's
Close your eyes and you were in 60’s Mod London (or Leeds as the band would no doubt correct us!) as The Lost 45’s powered through a brilliant , mod beat set with a hint of Weller-esque influences. 

Open your eyes and you are still there as this band dress for the occasion too. 

We liked them so much we caught both sets as well. In the Pub, a few of the crowd were dancing, and over on the Front Stage, they yelled for more! Vocals were very strong, from the guitarist, the bassist and the keyboard player, and the keyboards really added to the sound. 
Top stuff. No wonder people yelled for more.

Tray Full Of Poppies are Lovely stripped bare! Two of the band are a duo, delivering some slow, ballad style tunes, reminiscent of the Everlys. On the Front Stage, the guitars were a little too loud, so it was hard to hear the vocals over them, but pleasant enough all the same.

Alannis Morrisette had better watch out as Alison Green is about to take her crown! Alison who we last saw as a demure, shy first-timer at the IPO, has now grown into an angry young woman on stage (not in real life), her voice punching out angst which would rival Meredith Brooks, whilst her guitar resonated the same! The Beeb told her afterwards she had broken his ear-plugs and she just laughed at him! A cool kitten.

We had the opportunity to catch Lovely again tonight, playing on the front Stage, which is home to The Beatles and this Swedish band were comfortable on it, with their Beatles-esque sound and 60’s Beat look. 

Once again, the vocals stood out against the instruments, while they powered through their set of short, sharp punchy beat numbers, and their sound drew in a bit of a crowd.

Spygenius are no longer Ruthless and they owned the Back Stage tonight, letting our ears wrap around some new tunes, as well as delighting in some old favourites. Starting out with a song that was a bit mean and moody sounding, they drew in a curious crowd who wanted to hear more. 

Pete from Spygenius keeps his eye on us
There is a lot of intellect in this band, and each song has clever lyrics. It doesn't matter if you don’t get them all, as the melodies work and still satisfies the ears. “Imagine you are on a beach”, Pete, the lead vocalist who sports a rather nice Italia guitar instructs us, and sure enough the tempo of the song that follows evokes a sense of sitting in a hot clime, sipping on a cocktail in a Tiki Oasis. 

Our pal thought this was the best of the set, and we would agree it was up there with the best.

Ending on “The Shouty Song” a song that would not be a stranger in a classic punk gig, a couple in the crowd were almost pogo-ing at the back of the room! Welcome back Ruth – we missed you. Just remember to ask for forgiveness tomorrow!

Last year we heard a great buzz about Sweden’s One Two Die Four but sadly never caught any of their gigs. Tonight was different. What a sound, from this large ensemble. The singer is almost operatic in his delivery and has a sound not dissimilar to Sparks. Pretty good stuff going on.

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