The Cavern Pub & The Cavern Club
Mathew Street, Liverpool
Saturday 20th May 2017

Bands seen today = 16
Dave Rave & Hailee Rose, Marco Rea, Colin’s Godson, Honeybug, Nathan Bennett, The Hepburns, Yoav Arbel, The Know Escape, The JetBeats, Clown Capers, B-Side, Dream Factory, Kontiki Suite, The Real Me, The Fast Camels, Johnny Remember Me,

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.

Another mammoth day for us with 16 bands caught today.

Since the time Dave Rave has been appearing at the IPO with Hailee Rose, we have not been able to see them perform as they have always been scheduled to play on the Monday/Tuesday slots after we have gone home. So, we were delighted to have the opportunity to see both in action this year, opening the 5th day in the Cavern Pub. 

The set was a mix of songs with leads from both Dave and Hailee, apart from when Simon, the bass player, took control of the microphone to sing what is now an IPO anthem - "Hey Anne-Marie". This is a song we love and which was written during an IPO a few years ago about, well, what it says on the tin..... Anne-Marie.  

The lunchtime pub crowd were tremendous, and the place was getting quite full as people stayed, rather than just wandering in and then back out again. Why were they staying? Well, Hailee has a great set of pipes on her - a really powerful voice that got everyone's attention and Dave Rave is a very personable and infectious performer who has the ability to draw people to him.The good thing about Hailee's voice is that it is a natural voice and she does not feel the need to go all 'Mariah Carey' through climbing up and down the scale and back up again in the space of 10 seconds that so many young female singers seem to think is the right way to sing nowadays!!!  
Dave Rave and Hailee Rose
The set included two covers. Their version of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was slowed down and sounded really good and they finished with a rousing version of "Respect" with Hailee taking the lead and doing Areatha justice. The audience loved it and judging from the smiles on stage, Dave, Hailee and the band loved it just as much.
Marco Rea with Jim on bass

Marco Rea is an amazing singer/songwriter from Glasgow. Not all of his band, The Wellgreen were available for the IPO this year so this was a solo set, Marco on guitar, with Jim on bass to keep things trotting along. 

We got a great set of Marco penned gentle songs and the good thing was the large pub crowd was respectful enough to not overpower an acoustic set with constant chit chat. 

The Beeb

The finale was a rousting version of "Red Light" and we cold see the audience's heads bobbing and feet tapping. We feel they appreciated this set. 

Much later on, in the Cavern Club, Marco did his second slot. This time, The Beeb was on the stage with Marco and Jim, providing some backing vocals and a bit of harmonica. You just can't keep The Beeb down!!!
Marco Rea

Colin's Godson
We managed to catch another performance from Colin's Godson

The set was the same as yesterday's but that did not matter. 

The narrative in between songs was just as hilarious second time around and the songs themselves still held their own.

It was a pleasure to have been with them on their interplanetary journey.

Ni, Honeybug
Honeybug has graced the IPO in many guises since we've been attending the festival, ranging from Ni on his lonesome through to 3 piece, a four piece and even an entourage of seven! One day he'll hit the right formula!! (kidding). 

We never know what to expect each year and that makes it even more fun. This year we got a duo........ 80's Synth Honeybug. 

We got songs such as an old favourite, "Lady Luck" which we have heard in the past completely stripped down to a lounge style, this year spruced up to an 80's disco dance track, complete with the drum and bass machine. Wonderfully inspired. If Ni had been around in the 80's he would have been king of the charts with that set!


A last minute switch in the line up due to a major traffic incident delaying some people from getting up to Liverpool in time, meant we did not manage to catch Fun Of the Pier this year. Instead we got Nathan Bennett in their slot. Whilst it is nice that the IPO host wanted to give Nathan the chance to play, it was grossly unfair to bump other acts to accommodate this, especially as he did have a second slot already in the line up later on..... so it was not as though he would not have been able to play at all.
That aside, he did have a nice voice and looked vaguely like the actor Tom who played Miranda's love interest in the BBC sitcom. However, his set did seem to be a "work in progress" affair, with a disproportionate number of covers and he had to refer to a notebook of lyrics most of the time.  

The Hepburns, from South Wales, were introduced as being influenced by Burt Bacharach, and the horn player certainly gives this band the Bacharach vibe, in particular the flugal horn which really gave the set a lounge style sound. Close your eyes and you could be forgiven for thinking this was LA Lounge band, Mellocads. Mid way, the tempo changed to a more Latino rhythm before closing on a festival type song. We really enjoyed their set and got their CD too.
The Hepburns

Yoav Arbel
From Israel Yoav Arbel had piqued our interest. He was good, but by this point we had absorbed enough keyboard and left early. 

We heard later he did a brilliant version of God Only Knows. Sad to have missed that one.

The Back Stage was needed to accommodate everyone in The Know Escape. This band is the latest project from Mark Mortimer who is a bit of an IPO veteran and has appeared in a few guises over the years. With 8 on stage, it took forever to get everyone set up, including Mark himself who seemed to need to tune up 3 guitars and then go and get his jacket on! The set up included a large brass section which added volume and oomph, however we left after a couple of songs as they did not set us alight. There was nothing that really stood out.
The Know Escape

The JetBeats

The JetBeats were born to play at The Cavern. Having seen them yesterday in their leather jackets, today they were suited and booted, 60's style and sounded right at home on the Beatles stage. 

They really do nail that 60's beat sound and could easily have been the band on "That Thing You Do", they sound that good! 

Their songs are happy, upbeat and infectious to the point that you cannot do anything other than to bop your head, tap your feet and sing along to the chorus' in your head.  Totally recommended.

The JetBeats

Clown Capers

Clown Capers appeared for the fourth time, filling in for some late cancellations. Every time they have played, it has been a good solid set, with some great tunes. The lead guy's beard is still the best beard of the IPO!


B-Side had a bit of a different sound this year - starting their set in a very Pink Floyd, Prog Rock style with mood and extended guitar solos.

 It was a bit of a surprise, but not bad! Mid-way through they reverted back to their Beach Boys' influenced, summer, happy style songs and we were delighted to hear again, their single "The Sun Brings Out the Girls" which has always been a great crowd pleaser.  

B-Side's Sean Macreavy brings out the Sunshine

On this song in particular you can really appreciate the influence of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys on Sean Macreavy and it would not be out of place on a "Beach Boys Best Of" album, with the harmony and summer feel.

Another Mark Mortimer project, Dream Factory took over the Back Stage with their 9-piece formation who were basically the same members of The Know Escape from earlier in the evening. Having a 4 piece brass section really gave the band a bit of a Big Band / Northern Soul sound. They were good, but the line of music stands and IPad holders across the front of the stage was a disappointment because it showed this band were not really gig ready and you also could not see them either as they were a bit hidden!
Dream Factory
Kontiki Suite

It was a pleasure to see Kontiki Suite back this year. 

From Cumbria, this band has a lead singer who appears to be painfully shy and not keen on chatting to the audience. 

They have moved from a gentle west coast pysch sound to more prog rock variant and the drummer sang some great backing vocals. An enjoyable set and we do like their albums

It was great to be able to catch the second appearance from Spanish band The Real Me. again they delivered a great set of toe tapping, head nodding and sing along in your head  tunes. This is traditional powerpop for sure... brilliant vocals, great guitar and catchy hooks and choruses.
 "Oh Jen" is definitely one of the best songs of the IPO  and hearing their songs for a second time prompted Minty to buy both of their vinyls. 
The Real Me

Andy - The Fast Camels
Next up was one of Glasgow's finest, The Fast Camels. Scheduling on Sunday meant that this was the only opportunity to see Drew, Mark, Joe, Andy and CJ on stage this year. 

What a delightful set they played, kicking off with two new songs which has really whetted our appetite for album no 4. 

They are very psych influenced, with roots that give a nod to Arthur Lee but with a great individuality that means you cannot say "They sound like.....". because they have their own sound, their own style of chord progression. Over these last few years, the boys have really come into their own, being very comfortable with their look and their sound. It is a great group effort too, with everyone contributing, including writing the songs.

Despite consciously moving to a more commercial sound last year, in all honesty they have not really departed from their psych influences. The songs are a little shorter than in the past, but the sound is still their own. Another stunning set from the Glasgow boys, which went down very well.

Drew & Mark,  The Fast Camels

We did catch one more band, Germany's Johnny Remember Me. In our IPO research we had noted these as Joe Meek influenced, with a bit of a sound quite similar to eighties band H2O. Maybe it was late and we are doing them a great injustice, as we had been all banded out, but nothing has stuck in our minds about this band.

No comments:

Post a Comment