The Cavern Pub & Club
Mathew Street, Liverpool
Wednesday 18th 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): Twister (*), Lovely, Richard Batty, Luke Potter, The Grande, The Ragamuffins, Velettes (*)
(*) saw part or all of their second slot

Day 2 was quite a light day for us, starting in The Pub with Durham band Twister. Looks can be deceiving, as this band were dressed in typical heavy metal gear – ripped jeans, vest, messy/long hair….. and what we got was an acoustic heavy rock set in the style of Kassidy. 
The drummer, with a foot pedal and cajon box drum was having a whale of a time, banging the cajon, singing along , with his long hair flying all over the place.
Their set was fast paced, with a strong beat, catchy hooks and they sounded good. Their second song was a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” and in our corner of the Pub a percussion section emerged, with some fans of the band playing along with tambourines and singing along.

Twister on the Back Stage
Not bad at all, so we caught their second slot later on, on the Back Stage. This time they were fully electric, even bringing on their own HUGE Marshall amps, microphones and cymbals and to be honest they came across as quite pretentious by doing that!. The Cavern puts on loads of first class gigs so if their back-line is not good enough……

They took so long to set up, their set started a bit late. And when it did start, it was really heavy and shouty. 
The lead singer will have back problems later in life, with his guitar hanging down so low, he has obviously not taken on board lessons learned from his guitar heroes! Sorry guys – the acoustic set was miles better.

Lovely from Sweden, dressed in black polo necked tops opened the Back Stage tonight. This four piece, who we have seen before in the London IPO, is the quintessential Beat Combo, with a touch of psychedelic thrown in every now and then. Their short, sharp, melodic tunes were brilliant, and the mix allowed us to be able to pick out every vocal and instrument played.

The vocals were shared between the two guitarists and a Hofner violin bass player and whoever was not singing lead, contributed fine backing vocals, which included the oooohs and Bop She Bops that gave such an authentic 60’s Beat sound. Brilliant.

Richard Batty
On the Front Stage was Richard Batty who is apparently a regular Cavern performer as a Beatles cover artist. Today he was showcasing his own material. He played some nice pop style tunes, and was ably backed by his band, but there was nothing that stood out for us.

Over in The Pub, basically killing time, we saw Luke Potter. Once again, a laptop appeared, and we got a duo singing to backing tapes whilst playing acoustic guitars. We noticed it took ages for them to set up, and really struggled to understand what was so complicated! The only time the laptop was not used to provide backing tracks was when they did a cover of a Justin Beiber song. Not really our style of music, but there were a few in the small audience who really appreciated it.

The Grande is a local band we have seen a number of times at the IPO but not for a few years so we are not sure when they moved to a five piece, without Melanie on vocals.
The Grande
They have a great country rock / Americana sound and we could have sat and listened to them for a lot longer. The front line of the band covered all the vocals, sharing them between each other and doing backing vocals too. The fact this band have played together for a long time was very evident, as the balance of the instruments and even the solid drum beat never drowned out any of the vocals, which blended really well and were crisp enough to make out the lyrics of each song. Even the guitar solos, on the Gretsch White Falcon were subtle, yet effective.

Even though the pub was so quiet (due to the UEFA cup final with Liverpool playing), the audience were really appreciative. A great half hour spent.

David Jaggs from The Ragamuffins
The Ragamuffins usually are a fairly large band, with a brass section included, but tonight it was just the lead man, David Jaggs, due to the band’s drummer breaking his arm. Turning up just at the start of his slot, he showed how quickly you could set up – an acoustic guitar, a quick one-two into the mic and he was away! 

The Ragamuffins songs are very catchy, sing-a-long type of melodies during the chorus. Versatility is Jaggs’ style, and he moved seamlessly between pop and soul with a Nile Rogers style funk thing going!  We did kinda miss the big band sound though.

From London, The Velettes played the Front Stage and we also saw them again, almost immediately afterwards in the Pub as they closed the night’s entertainment. This three piece from London are very influenced by The Velvet Underground (if you hadn’t already guessed from their name), and the main vocalist was the drummer, standing at the front with a Tom and a snare drum, doing a consistent two-one beat and with reverb on the guitar, they had a moody yet oddly pleasant sound. We really liked them.
The Velettes in The Pub

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