The Cavern Pub & The Cavern Club
Mathew Street, Liverpool
Friday 19th May 2017

Bands seen today = 17
The JetBeats, Deni Bonet, viseMenn, Miracle Glass Company, The Shudders, Amoeba Teen, Colin’s Godson, Leisure McCorkle, Edward Rogers, Cirrone, Picnic Republic, Squire, Love L.U.V, Caper Clowns, The Real Me, Ladies, The Jeremy Band

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.

This was one of the big marathon days and we managed to take in 17 (yes, Seventeen) bands today.
The JetBeats
Starting in the Cavern Pub, we knew we would love The JetBeats who had come all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is a 60’s style beat group who have nailed the sound without a doubt. They also have a great look, wearing black leather. Immediately we thought they were quite similar to another fantastic beat band from the US, The Beat Rats. We always describe The Beat Rats as The Beatles meet the Ramones and The JetBeats are not so distant cousins here with their punchy beat inspired songs, albeit they are not quite a “punky”. Absolutely loved their set.

Next up was a “quirky” performance from Deni Bonet. From New York. As well as being really talented musically, she was very witty and had us all chuckling about her stories and 3 marriages that inspired some of her songs. She played the violin which gave her that edgy quirkiness, especially on her cover of “Please Please Me”. We liked the fact she went with the flow, changing her set on impulse and her personality rubbed off on the Pub crowd who just loved her. Vocally she is very strong with a naturally great voice.
Deni Bonet & Edward Rogers

For some of her set, Edward Rogers joined her on stage and when we saw him later that evening on the Back Stage, he returned the favour by having Deni on stage with him for part of his set, so these two really do work well together as a double act. 

The back stage performance from Edward was brilliant, although we were a bit disappointed he did not include “Denmark Street” as this would have resonated with a lot of the musicians in the Club. But the exclusion of his song about that iconic London street in no way weakened his set which was in a nutshell, pretty terrific. 
Edward Rogers and Deni Bonet on the Back Stage
Edward has a wry sense of humour and coped well with some of the rabble in the Back Stage who then started to listen up and pay attention. He is an obvious great lyricist and we would say his songs are genuinely poetic ...... He got a fantastic reaction from the audience. He had a bit of an Eric Idle “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” style about him during a couple of songs and Minty thought he had a lovely English accent despite being New York based for some time now. Although we do begrudge paying a tenner for CDs at the IPO, we didn’t mind paying the price for his. It was worth it.


We thought we had walked into a real powerpop sound when we caught Norwegian band viseMenn on the Back stage. With the vocals and backing harmony they sounded great. 

However, they then turned Prog Rock the middle part of their set, with a moody sound that seemed quite Pink Floyd inspired. They finished on a more up tempo number, almost U2 style which suited the lead singer’s voice more than the prog rock. Overall though, not a bad performance.

Miracle Glass Company
Miracle Glass Company
Miracle Glass Company was another potential nugget we had noted during our pre-IPO research We had missed their Thursday performance and had heard other IPO’ers raving about them. We HAD to see them. Today’s set was an acoustic one, versus the electric one they played the night before, and with real sublime 3 part harmony they had a bit of a nod to Gallagher & Lyle / Crosby, Stills & Nash. 

Miracle Glass Company
The audience was absolutely entranced with this acoustic performance and for once, there was a bit of a hush in the Back Stage. 

All three members of the band get a shot on lead vocals and one real highlight was their new single Trouble which was a great foot tapping rhythm, fantastic vocals and had you singing along in your head from the get go. Definitely recommended and another band we were willing to part with a tenner for their album.
Miracle Glass Company
Up next, the full set from The Shudders. This band really do deliver solid harmony filled rock/pop with good vocals. A few of their songs start out quietly and build up to a bit of a crescendo with some good guitar work thrown in and the chorus of their songs are almost anthemic. Again like the day before, they did eek out their last song with an extended guitar solo but it was a really, really strong set. Their second last song should have been their grand finale to finish on – it was a bit of an Irish jig rhythm, that would have had a crowd in an Irish pub clamouring for more!
The Shudders

Amoeba Teen
Punchy powerpop, jingle jangle from a 12 string Danelectro, solid drum beat and vocals all blended together in a superb set from Amoeba Teen

With a sound reminiscent of Gram Parsons and The Byrds, the West Coast vibe of this band really shone through. They were brilliant – powerpop as it should be and the band also looked like they loved being on stage. 

Their set included a cover of the highly influential powerpop classic “No Matter What” and they nailed it.

Scotland seems to pour a never ending stream of music talent across the border and Glasgow band Colin’s Godson can be added to that list of great bands form North of the Border. Quirky with it too. 

Taking the time and effort to dress in orange boiler suits, we thought they looked like the Numbskulls (from the Whizzer & Chips comic?) or tyre fitters! In fact, they were space and time travellers and their set was based around tales of their intergalactic travels. These interludes to provide narratives in between songs were so funny and they packed so much into the half hour they had. 

They started off asking the audience for apathy as that powered their hypergalactic drive and their first song “Stadium Rock” which had a tongue in cheek nod to big stadium gigs, set a high bar that the rest of the set matched or exceeded. 

Other songs in the set included the discovery of a split Oasis/Blur single from the 90’s, their failure to stop the making of Black Adder Goes Forth and a nostalgic reminiscence of the demise of “Orange Wednesday”. Although we should really have had "Fenian Friday" to balance that! 

After we wiped the tears from our eyes from laughing so much, we really did cheer loudly – brilliant set. This band really does go the whole hog on merchandising and we bought a “goody bag” of CDs, 7”’s and a fantastic comic that was designed by the band to tell the story of their space travels!
Colin's Godson

Leisure McCorkle

The Back Room can be a big stage for a solo artist, especially when the audience is fairly large and in a chatty mood. Unfortunately that was the case for Leisure McCorkle. He had come from the US to play at this year’s IPO, and had a pretty cool looking travel friendly guitar with him (thin and small) which provided a surprisingly good sound. 

He had a very strong voice naturally, but also augmented it through a vocal pedal and this did help in the battle against the constant noise for the audience in the bar area. Whilst he is a good artist, the songs were all quite similar and became hard to distinguish one from the other by the time the middle of the set was reached.

Another band we were really looking forward to seeing after doing our pre-IPO research was Sicilian band Cirrone (pronounced Chir-rone-ee). Knowing there were three brothers in this band was a winner for us. Being big Beach Boys fans, we do like the family connection and at previous IPOs have really enjoyed bands of brothers such as 54321 and The Kinbeats. And this year, Cirrone was no exception to this rule. We caught both of their sets today, the first on the Back Stage and the second much later on, on the Front Stage. You might expect a gentle harmony from a band with three brothers, but no, this band absolutely rocked as much as they harmonised. 

The guitar playing was brilliant even to the point on their latest single they extended the song to include a good five minutes of Van Halen / Slash style rock guitar!!! Well we assume it was an extended version and not the radio edit! A friend of a friend sitting next to us was absolutely awestruck. 
Their Front Stage set was equally terrific – same set played to an audience that totally filled the Front Stage area. The place was so mobbed we could not get any pictures. Again they went down a storm and to be honest, they really suited playing this stage. We could not quite comprehend the interruption from local radio DJ Billy Butler who came on to the stage after the second song to pay homage to the band as this did disrupt the flow, but in the end up the performance was still quite stellar. 

We loved this band. We found out later that they also play at The Beatle Week so we hope to see them again in August.

Picnic Republic
From France, Picnic Republic were totally different to our expectations. From our pre-IPO research we had heard a band who sounded not dis-similar to Crowded House or Scotland’s own The Pearlfishers and this would have been right up our street. 

However, the band that appeared on the stage today had a more traditional “pop” sound. Decent enough and enjoyable but nothing really stand out from this band to make anything stick in our memory other than a Cello player being in the band!

Next up, on the front Stage was a real Mod-revival band from London, Squire. They used to come to the IPO year in year out, and they are favourites of ours to the extent we have also seen them play outside the IPO environment. We have not seen them at the IPO for a while so it was terrific to see father and son Anthony and James Meynell back on the Front Stage. Minty was absolutely delighted to hear “Girl On A Train” which is her favourite Squire song. The Rickenbacker really adds to the sound of this band. The audience in the Cavern were not a typical Mod audience, but they loved this band. Terrific stuff. Come back again soon!


Love L.U.V.
Every now and then the IPO attracts bands that have a bit of a girl group influence / sound – highlights in the past have been The School from Wales, Las Annettes from Barcelona and the more rocky Cocktail Slippers from Norway. 

This year it was London’s turn, and LOVE L.U.V. were a band Minty was really interested in seeing. They had a good look – 60’s influenced and they really did storm through a brilliant set that the audience just lapped up. 

The lead singer was the main face of the band and she was a cross between the sweet voice of Clare Grogan from Altered Images and the power of Mary Weiss from the Shangri-las. Excellent backing vocals (and a lead vocal for one song) was provided by the keyboard player who also had that 60’s mod girl look and of course the drummer had got that “Be My Baby” drum beat down to a fine art. 

A couple of songs had influences drawn directly from  the 60’s, for instance a bit of “The Stroll” and the “Aaahhhhs” that the Beatles stole from the Isley Bros! Love L.U.V. really hit the spot. It was however a tad disappointing that their merchandise did not include any CDs as they would have flown off the merch table….. maybe next year?

Caper Clowns
From Denmark, Caper Clowns won the award for the best beard of the IPO (that from Dave Wilcox and seconded and thirded by us!). 

Again, our pre-IPO research had highlighted this band as a must see, and we were really impressed with them. Their set was varied, starting with the typical Power Pop sound before slowing down mid-set to a more gentle beat and then back to full power. 

The fact that 3 of the band delivered the lead vocal through the set added to the variety. 

They gave a really strong performance and we managed to enjoy their set, despite the sometimes obnoxious crowd that seeps into the Cavern on a Friday night!

The Real Me

We were impressed with The Real Me who gave us some really harmonious melody. "Oh Jen" ” has all of the powerpop essentials - a great vocal, brilliant drum beat and all round spot on sound. The lyrics "Oh Jen, it's good to see you again, Oh Jen, I hope that we can be friends....." just kept going around in Minty's head. A truly lovely song.

Another song, “Hurt Me” had a distinctive Doo Wop feel to it and sounded terrific. 

This band were really tight musically and were right at home on the Front Stage. The fact that the band really enjoyed their set added to their overall performance. Loved it.

Chaz from The Ladies
The Ladies essentially did not turn up for their second slot, and it was left to just one of the band, Chaz, to do a solo stint, rather than pull out all together. 

The blurb on this band likened them to the Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch – and we understood why. Not in sound, but in looks with Chaz sporting a very 70’s teenage boy hairdo. 

Hats off to him, he played a really good set on his own. He was up against it a bit with the noise of the midnight Cavern Crowd which can be a bit relentless but he did the full slot and got a great reaction from the audience.

Jeremy Morris
The last band to round off our marathon day was The Jeremy Band. Jeremy Morris is the King of the IPO, playing all around the US and every year he makes the trip to Liverpool from the US and never fails to entertain. 

The Beeb and The Jeremy Band

The Beeb was invited up to play a bit of blues harmonica half way through the set, and never one to let anyone down, he obliged. Jeremy’s set rocked, and included (at the behest of host David Bash), his song about the IPO and to Minty’s delight, his surf selection where he includes a blinding version of "Misserlou".

Being last on, the only thing that can stop Jeremy is the Cavern’s own 2am curfew, and Jeremey timed it to perfection when at 1.59 the final twang of the guitar faded and the amps were turned off. However this was not before Jeremy made the audience gasp with anticipation as he leapt from the drum platform and launched himself onto the water pipes that run across the stage ceiling…… not once, but twice! A brilliant end  to our marathon day.
The Beeb with The Jeremy Band after the Cavern closed

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