The Cavern Pub & The Cavern Club
Mathew Street, Liverpool
Thursday 18th May 2017

Bands seen today = 8
Ben's Diapers, Col Lewis, The Shudders, The Bad Losers, Thee Wylde Fuzz Show, The Gentle Scars, The Spontanas, The Oxides

The International Pop Overthrow is in its 15th year in Liverpool, with around 140 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.

Day 3 started for us in the Cavern Pub, with Ben’s Diapers. This is a band who previously appeared at the festival a few years on the trot and we loved them back then, so it was great to see them return to Liverpool this year. Back home in Turku, Finland, they are a country band but it not a hard move for them to be a bit more rocky and deliver some fantastic powerpop sounds.

We heard a blistering set of feet tapping, head nodding pop tunes. Mikka, the drummer and the main spokesman for the band mentioned that they have played together for 20 years now, so they are seasoned pros – they were slick, obviously knew their songs inside out and delivered a fantastic set. The sound was great too, with the balance such that you could hear the vocals over the guitars and drums (something a lot of the younger and less seasoned IPO bands fail to do). We totally recommend them.
Ben's Diapers

Col Lewis with The Beeb on  Harp
We had a change of plan in our itinerary due to the fact that Col Lewis, who has previously played with Lincoln band, Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist, who were a firm favourite of ours a few years ago at the IPO, asked The Beeb if he could play some harmonica. 

Those who know The Beeb well, know that he is not one to turn down any opportunity for a stage bomb, so the answer was, of course “yes”, even though he had no idea what this invite would entail!!! 

To be honest we have only caught one previous solo set from Col (and that’s Col as in Colin, not Colnel!!) on his first appearance as a solo artist at the IPO. He has come a long way since then, when it was just him and a guitar to battle against the noise of the transient Cavern mob. 

Col played bass and with a full band he did a really good set. His wife is part of the band, adding vocal harmony and playing keyboards, and he had a drummer and guitarist too. The Beeb got up in the second half of the set to add Harmonica on one of Col’s own songs. Col also did a nice cover of “Stand By Me”.

The Shudders
In order to catch the Col Lewis set, we missed a lot of The Shudders on the front stage but caught their last two songs. 

Last year we saw this band as an acoustic 3 piece, due to the drummer not making their first slot and we liked what we heard. Today was the full electric band and they did rock and they sounded good. The lead singer has a Paul Weller look about him.

Their last song was however, a little laboured as they seemed to eek out as much as they could with a guitar solo at the end.

On the front stage were The Bad Losers. Wow, what a terrific band. This is freakbeat from Bristol, complete with great harmonica parts. They nailed that freakbeat sound, sounded so authentic and were totally at home on the front stage. Their songs had great hooks and choruses that you could sing along to, and The Beeb was singing along (well in his head anyhow). The Cavern was packed and everyone really enjoyed this band. We bought their vinyl. The packaging was superb with a double gatefold sleeve and the actual album is cream vinyl. Lovely.
The Bad Losers
Thee Wylde Fuzz Show before their second show
Next up were Thee Wylde Fuzz Show. We’ve seen this band every time they’ve played the IPO and each time we have enjoyed their set immensely. 

This year they seemed to take things up a notch and both of their sets, one on the front stage and the second, later in the Cavern Pub surpassed their previous fantastic performances – it was the best we’ve ever seen them play. 

Paisley shirts have also been replaced with a new look of tailored suits and ties – very smart. 

Jonny from Thee Wylde Fuzz Show

It is always worth seeing both slots from Thee Wylde Fuzz Show as they are different. We think their second set was supposed to be a little less energetic than their first, but that idea was thrown out of the window! 

What do you get from this band? The easiest way to describe them is that they have stepped straight out of a Nuggets Box Set. They have the two most worked Rickenbackers of the IPO, showing no mercy as they thrash out that wylde psychedelic pop with an energy that no other band in the IPO matches. 

There are a couple of covers in their set, a rather nice version of The Small Faces “Ooh Ah” and a superb rendition of Link Wray’s “Rumble” which gives the chance for the band to catch their breath mid-set. 

This is definitely a team effort, with a frenetic drum beat, solid bass and the Jonny and Jase sharing the vocal leads. Loved it all.

Jonny and Jase rip it up

The Gentle Scars
The Gentle Scars are a five piece, four of whom are old punks rekindling their youth, albeit at a slightly slower paced tempo! This band was another example of experience coming through, realising that you did not need to turn your guitars up to 11 and drown perfectly good vocals out. 

Although the bass player was obviously not happy with the sound from the monitors, the sound we heard in the audience sounded perfectly fine. Overall, this was a good solid performance and we enjoyed it.

The second last band we saw tonight was the Montanas’ spin off The Spontanas. From this Dutch band, you get some great powerpop, with good vocals which really brought us back to the roots of powerpop. We really liked The Montanas, and we like the Spontanas too!
The Spontanas
The Oxides

We caught the last band of the night The Oxides, purely because we were still in the pub catching up with Jonny from Thee Wylde Fuzz Show. They were a young band from Inverness who will be deaf before they mature and realise that you do not have turn everything up to 11. 

It was not worth the singer singing because you could hear nothing from him over the fuzz of guitars. After the first song the lead singer asked "How are you feeling?" - we said "Deaf"!!!! 

We have heard loud bands at the IPO, but this was excruciatingly LOUD!

The Powerpop Master of Ceremonies, David Bash was sporting a lovely new shirt today - here modelled alongside the lovely Anne-Marie
David Bash and "Hey Anne-Marie"

No comments:

Post a Comment