The Cavern Pub and Cavern Club
Mathew Street, Liverpool
Friday 20th 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): Spygenius (*), The Armoires (*), Harvest Moon (*), Duncan Maitland, Micah Gilbert (*),COMLESSO GLI ILLUMINATI, Bob’s Yer Uncle, Brave New World, The B-Leaguers (*), The Mayflowers
(*) saw part or all of their second slot or had seen them on a previous day

Friday was the first of the marathon days where we had the best part of 12 hours of music! And it also seemed to be a day when we saw multiple performances for the same artists... well you can never get too much of a good thing, can you?

Spygenius opened our day after they got an extra slot to kick off the day’s proceedings in the Cavern Pub. This was an impromptu set and they played their main set later in their official slot. 

The 12 string Italia came out to play today which gave a real jingle jangle sound and the galloping tom drum on one of their new songs sounded terrific. 

The good thing about this band is that they have a vast repertoire, and this gives them the versatility to play different sets and even improvise as they switch from old favourites to songs from their new album. 


With the sound augmented by the keyboard, and all four of the band supplying some great vocals, they played a blistering set ranging from slower tempo numbers to the usual fast paced to the now quite iconic “Angry song”, which would settle in nicely with the 70’s punk era!

The Armoires
We had the opportunity to catch The Armoires again, not once, but twice. These sets were much better, more relaxed and stronger vocally than we had experienced with their debut IPO performance a few days before. 
Maybe the closer, intimate settings of the Pub and the Front Stage helped, along with a warm audience.  You could liken this pair to Emmylou and Gram (well maybe not Rex's blond hair), not only in looks but in music style too…. a little bit pop, a little bit country, with a jingle jangle guitar and some gentle melody. We got their CD too.
The Armoires with The Beeb and their Bass Player

Harvest Moon

We had another chance to see Harvest Moon today. Essentially playing the same set as yesterday there is not much we can add that we have not said already. The audience reaction was really good as the pub crowd took to this Dutch band. 

The lead singer, Rob, is a charismatic man, and is very easy with the crowd. They take their name from Neil Young influences, yet are not Crazy Horse copies. They have their own sound and style, all of it filled with some great vocals.

Duncan Maitland

Duncan Maitland, appearing at the Liverpool IPO for the first time was really up against the busy Friday lunchtime crowd who were not there to listen to the music. 

Chat grew louder as the Pub got busier which made it a hard task for an acoustic set, but Duncan persevered.

Kicking off with a cover of a Donovan song, Duncan’s set was a mix of covers and originals accompanied by his 12 string. The audience quietened slightly for a cover of Bowie's “Star Man” but they missed completely the humourous ditty about mass murderers. Their loss, we say.

We saw both sets from Micah Gilbert. With the exception of two songs, each set was different; the first (on the Back Stage) was very upbeat with a bluesy rock tempo, slowing down only a bit for “Radio Signal”. Don’t be fooled though as even that song builds to a great crescendo of sound and we were off again into the faster beat, and a little bit of country rock sound. 
Micah Gilbert
The second set was more melodic and suited the front stage perfectly. This is another artist who’s band was put together for the IPO, although none were strangers to Micah. There were some superb backing vocals from the drummer, and some great licks from the lead guitar, and a constant regular bass line (from a bass player who looked like he was really enjoying himself). Really enjoyed seeing Micah play again.

Comlesso Gli Illiminati
From the Vatican City, at first we were not sure if COMLESSO GLI ILLUMINATI were a mickey take or genuine! 

This four piece sang God’s words to the Devil’s music to a packed pub who delighted in the cries of “Hallelujah” with a hard rock, heavy beat. 

The lead singer engaged the audience by moving amongst them, almost delivering exorcisms in his wake. Every song in Italian, we had no idea what was being sung, other than "Hallelujah" and a few Latin phrases referring to God. 

They were entertaining, but disturbing at the same time!

Bob’s Yer Uncle are a powerpop rock band without a doubt. If you like your traditional powerpop, with a four piece, then this is for you. They had a regular beat and a constant sound which made each song sound very similar which ultimately made it hard to differentiate between songs. They had tremendous support from family and friends who filled half of the Pub which gave a really good atmosphere though.
Bob's Yer Uncle
Brave New World followed and again, nothing spectacular stood out from this band.

Jim Styring form the B-Leaguers
Jim Styring pops up (if you pardon the pun!) at very IPO in one form or another and this year we were treated to a hard rock foursome, The B-Leaguers.

Their set was their latest (also their debut) CD, “Death of a Western Heart” played in full, with little time for chit chat in between. 

It was rocky, it was punchy, full adrenaline fuelled and the Friday night pub crowd loved it all.  

You would never think this was a new band, as they powered through their set as though they played it every week! 

The Beeb even added a bit of harmonica on their last CD track and stayed on stage to help them end the night with a brilliant cover of The Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love”. 

They did their second slot, this time on the Back Stage later on in the evening, and delivered another storming performance.
The Beeb adds Harp to The B-Leaguers set

The B-Leageurs, with The Beeb on harp in the Cavern Pub
From Japan, The Mayflowers are known more for playing Beatles songs during Beatleweek, but when they come to the IPO and do a set of their own material, you get a set of short, sharp, feet tapping songs one after the other, with no pause to catch breath. Brilliant stuff.
The Mayflowers

The Mayflowers

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