GIG: The Jayhawks
DATE: Monday 21st July 2014
VENUE: The Kazimer, Liverpool
COST: £22 including booking fees
OUR VERDICT: Made us Smile

The Jayhawks have been a firm favourite in our household for a long time. Indeed their song "Smile" is one of our favourites of all time, so the opportunity to see them in the UK, and in the small Kazimer club was a gig not to be missed.

The heat in the club was almost unbearable and the band felt it too...... only one towel between the five of them. Still, the danger of electrocution did not deter them and what a blinder of a set they played. Although they didn't actually play "Smile."

A nice point of the night was when someone asked for a request. The band accommodated by trying to play The Beatles' "This Boy" off the top of their heads. The whole crowd took over and sang it for them.

Another highlight was when Kraig Johnson took over the lead and did a couple of Golden Smog songs.

In all, a hot might but brilliant to see The Jayhawks.


GIG: Steven Seagal and His Blues Band
DATE: Sunday 20th July 2014
VENUE: O2 Academy, Liverpool
COST: £28.50 plus extortionate booking fees
OUR VERDICT: It was kinda Bluesey

Minty has idolised Steven Seagal since she first saw his debut film "Nico" so the excitment at actually having the chance to see him in the flesh, after 25 years was obvious. 

Having tracked his UK tour thus far and learned he sometimes arrived at the venue early, we hung around outside the O2 in the afternoon, hoping he would swing by for the soundcheck. He didn't.

The gig was not a sell out, but the venue was respectably filled. In the mosh pit, just a few rows from the front and with a half decent view of the stage, we saw the two support bands (not bad) and then after a bit of anticipation the venue darkened and there he was.  Steven Seagal in the flesh, dressed in his trademark black.

He didn't engage with the audience much, just went straight into his set but the predominently male audience didn't care. Their action hero with an axe was all that was needed.

Steven did a pretty good gig. He is not energetic (he really only exercises his thumb to strum with!) but the music is soulful and bluesey, and his set was basically songs from his two blues albums. 

The sound at the front was a bit muffled and after a wee while in the sweaty mosh pit and getting bumped and beered on, we moved towards the back of the venue - here the sound was actually much clearer and away from the throng of the crowd, it was also much cooler!

Glad to have ticked that one off the list!


GIG: International Pop Overthrow London
DATE: Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th May 2014
VENUE: Surya, 158 Pentonville Road, London N1
COST: £7 Fri, £8 Sat and Sun

This blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in London is an offshoot from the Liverpool IPO which hosts over 150 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! In London there is just one stage, with fewer bands playing so we have the opportunity to see all of them (if we want to). Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from us.

The Reflections, The MonaLisa Twins, Milky Onions, New Electric Ride, Spygenius, The Provisios, West Of The Sun

The Parkas, The Room, Lee And The Lovedaddies, Lovely, Evette Judge, Nathan Persad, Sonya Titus, James Clarke, Paul Orwell, The 286

Dave Rave, Apples I Am, Cellar Door, Peppermint Apes, Sha La La's, The Xapers, The King Zoots, Camera, Sound of Pop Art, Trambeat

After the exertions of the Liverpool IPO less than a week ago, it was now time to have a few days at the annual London IPO at the Surya on Pentonville Road.

First up was The Reflections, this time stripped down with no keyboards and no bass. Gone were the sharp dressed band from Liverpool, replaced by the more casual jeans and even a flat cap. With just drums, an acoustic and an electric guitar we were treated to a set of great songs performed very well. “Haunted House” and “ Nobody’s Fool” having a great 60’s vibe about them.
The guitarist was delighted at the vintage amp supplied by The Beeb, and used it relishing the reverb and getting a great surf sound out of it too.
“Last Chance To Turn Around” worked excellently even in this stripped down set up. We’re really looking forward to more recordings from this band.

Second on the stage were The MonaLisa Twins. We heard these two girls on Johnnie Walker’s show on the way home from Liverpool, and having missed them in The ‘Pool, this was our chance to catch up with them.
They had a full band, and with the girls both playing cool electric guitars, it was refreshing to see they were not a manufactured band. Their love of 60’s music became obvious right from the start. Unfortunately it was a bit TOO obvious. Four of their songs were actually covers, which was a real shame, because their own songs sounded great.
The harmonies were well worked out and they might benefit from pushing their own songs a bit more.

We knew absolutely nothing about the next band, The Milky Onions, but it didn’t take long for them to impress us. They looked a strange mixture of psychedelic refugees from Haight Ashbury.
A barefooted bass player, Manson look-a-like on one guitar, Jim Morrison on another, they played a great set of quirky electric folk/psych songs. The girl on keyboards also played violin on one of the songs too.
They came across as a fun band and very difficult to compare with any other they were so unique. We really enjoyed this set.
The Milky Onions

It was always going to be hard to follow The Milky Onions, but having instruments in tune may have helped New Electric Ride. The first song sounded as if everyone was playing a different song. The vocals were just as bad. At one point it was hard to tell if one of them was yawning or singing.
The bass player tried his best to interact with the small audience, but it was a losing battle. This may have just been a particularly bad gig for them, but to our ears (and people we spoke to later) nothing seemed to sound right from them.

Pete from Spygenius
Once again we got what we expected from IPO favourites, Spygenius. Peter’s love of Surf guitar was put in the shop window to great effect once again. As was his sartorial elegance. This time his fez was featured atop of his dazzling shirt.
The clever and witty songs performed by this band, alongside the great harmonies that all four members of the band contribute, could teach a lot of other bands a thing or two.
Ruth took over lead vocals once again for her “angry punk rock” song. This is such a contrast to the rest of the set, but if works really well.
You know you won’t be let down when Spygenius play, as was the case here tonight.


We were impressed with The Provisos last year. Their blend of mod and soul music may own a huge debt to Paul Weller at times, but their songs do stand up as their own. The bass player adds very good backing vocals to the guitarist/singer at times.
A stand out track was called “Mackerel Sky”.
The keyboard had a real retro sound, at times sounding like the intro to Sale Of The Century! Great songs well played by a very good band. We got their CD, which unfortunately had no details about the band at all.

It was obvious that West Of The Sun didn’t want to be here. Messing about with mobile phones on stage, and having a singer who couldn’t be bothered to find his personality, it was going to be tough going for them.

In the end it wasn’t. They played four songs before seemingly realising they couldn’t cut it here and left the stage. Maybe if they had a bit of faith in their songs they could have held out for another one at least and tried to win the small audience over. Other bands have.

Saturday didn't start too well, with the the first act getting his dates muddled which meant he didn't show and through the day, other no-shows rearranged the order of play! So things really started from the act no 3, The Parkas. A young mod influenced band, their drummer was late but once they got going they were quite infectious. The crowd was small, but that did not deter this band and they gave it their all, with the guitarist bouncing around on stage. Impressed, we got their CD.

David Bash invented a new genre when he introduced The Room - Prog Pop! Their set was not bad, the songs a bit on the long side for a pop festival, but with the no-shows, were able to play an extra 10 minutes or so.

Lee And The Lovedaddies had no regard for the size of the venue and turned everything up beyond 11. Even though the sound engineer asked them to turn everything down on two occassions, the thump from the bass knocked everything off the amp!! Having said that, the wannabe punk lead singer was actually quite good. A bit like the Go-Gos.

A four piece from Sweden, Lovely were up next. With their Mersey sound, they were distant cousins of The Beatles with a hint of The Chantays "Pipeline" riff with a bit of Chuck Berry and The Searchers mixed in for good measure. We really enjoyed their set of short, punchy numbers. This is what the International Pop Overthrow is all about.

A late change in the schedule, and Evette Judge played a much rockier set than we have heard from her in previous years, with a touch of country. Suported by Paul on electric double bass, she has a really strong voice and sounded good, even if the audience was sparse.

You really have no warning of what to expect when Nathan Persad takes to the stage and tonight it was just as off the wall as it usually is! Joined on stage by Spencer from The 286 and drummer Dan from the Persad 4, his half hour was filled with some crazy rock and roll covers (The Big-O and Little Richard), some Fore numbers and bits of humourous chat thrown in at a pace that would leave The Bolt standing!.

Nathan Persad (L)

James Clarke
Next up, a London appearance for Sonja Titus, a solo singer we had seen at the L:iverpool festival. Her set was the same as the week before, and her performance marred only slightly by a cough she had picked up along the way. Another solid performance though.

James Clarke (without his Five) with his acoustic guitar entertained us next. "Marianne" was the current single and with no band to support, it was stripped down for tonight's performance. It worked well too, with James' tender vocals. There was a bit of a tongue in cheek nod to the second world war at the end of "Sex Bomb". In all we got a half hour of some lovely songs.

The venue rocked next with Paul Orwell. With just one vocalist who was a bit like a young Dave Davis their set was a mixture of full on rock songs and some slower numbers. Both worked really well and we enjoyed listening to them.

Saturday night rounded off with The 286. We have seen this band a number of times and led by Spencer Hannabuss we love the way they mix classical and rock music. The stage is always filled with musicians and tonight was no exception - violins, cello, guitars - they are all there. "Little Louisa" is a particular favourite - really catchy and forces your feet to tap.

Sunday dawned and we were tired, but got ourselves to the venue in time to see the opening act Dave Rave. The early Sunday afternoon time slot is not the best as London sleeps off the effects of the night before, but the small audience doesn't get Dave Rave down! Dave plays at just about every IPO festival, and just oozes energy and it infects everyone. The Beeb got up on stage (again) and sang along. Even David Bash was on the stage, contributing to "Let's Shake". We got another dose of Dave Rave a little later on when a band did a no show and he graciously filled in the spare slot.

Apples I Am are a nod to Mumford and Sons. They have great vocal harmony and their instruments included a mandolin and a violin. They did a great cover of "Fat Bottomed Girls".

Cellar Door were late so they had to play a shortened set. We felt this was a new act as the singer seemed to be very unsure of what they were going to play, they tuned their guitars repeatedly and they were unable to finish their last song. Maybe more practice needed.

Next up, a band we had seen a few years ago at the Liverpool festival - the Peppermint Apes. Since our first experience of this band (who we liked a lot), they semed to lose their way a bit, with focus on the lead singer to the extent the rest of the band were really just there for him! Seems like he has come back down to earth a bit and they have all grown up now and actually played together like a band. The older songs were the stand out ones, such as "Dance Floor Hero". It was a good set.

The Sha La La's had a drumbeat that resembled Spencer Davies' "Keep on Running" and alongside a Style Council influenced keyboard , this was an energetic and powerful mod band. The audience really seemed to like them, and we thought they were good.

The next band The Capers were not really to our taste. A couple of songs sounded influenced by The Searchers, but on the whole the set was quite monotonous and we couldn't hear the backing vocals at all. They had a few technical difficulties which probably didn't help settle them.

The King Zoots definitely got the thumbs down from us. The lead was John Lydon's lost son and they were pretty offensive with the continued use (unecessarily) of the F word. Billed as Mod influenced, they were really just a knock off Sex Pistols tribute band who constantly  yelled at the audience to "Buy our f'ing CDs". Needless to say, we didn't!

The next band had a 4 star review in Uncut and we wondered just what (or who) Uncut had been listening to!! Sound of Pop Art had a weak lead vocal which was drowned out by the backing vocals, and there were no stand out songs. Looking around the audience, we noticed one of the WAGS was completely disinterested, clapping politely and then checking her watch as though she couldn't wait for the set to end!

The night ( and London Festival) ended for us with Trambeat. This ensemble of many, filled the stage (and more) and gave us a set of Northern soul type sounds infused with a bit of hiphop. It was a good end to our night.


GIG: International Pop Overthrow Liverpool – Day 6 (Sunday)
DATE: Sunday 18th May 2014
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: it's all free today

This is blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts over 150 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Whilst we can’t see every artist / band, we try to catch as many as we can. Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from u

Bands seen today = 2
The Wellgreen, The Junipers

No of different bands seen so far = 53
CDs: none

Sunday was the last day of the Festival for us, and before we headed back home, we spent an hour or so in the Cavern Club where The Wellgreen were making their encore appearance. There was a pretty decent sized crowd for this lunchtime slot and they absolutely loved this quartet. All four of the guys are great singers and musicians in their own right and when they sing together your ears are pleasantly walloped with lush harmony.  Once again, the solo vocal from Dan on “She’s The Greatest” was a real stand out song which got another terrific reaction from the audience. Other stand out songs were “Grin and Bear It” with some great harmonies and “whoo hoos” and their closing number “Southern Rain” which had a real catchy beat.
It was good to see that they completely sold out of their CD and were giving IOUs in promises of sending out copies to the disappointed people who couldn’t get their mitts on one in Liverpool. Nice one guys.

Next up were The Junipers, a Leicester based band who first caught our eye a few years ago with their quiet, melodic harmony. The Rickenbacker really adds to this band’s sound and with a keyboard player who seems to be a jack of all trades, playing acoustic guitar and some percussion as well and with the 3 vocals blending rather nicely, we loved their set. Their set had a light breezy summer flavour to it and if we ever get another opportunity to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (this time in an open topped car) they will be in the CD player. We can totally recommend their albums.


GIG: International Pop Overthrow Liverpool – Day 5 (Saturday)
DATE: Saturday 17th May 2013
VENUE: Cavern Pub and Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: £2 entry after 2pm and £4 entry after 8pm at the club

This is blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts over 150 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Whilst we can’t see every artist / band, we try to catch as many as we can. Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from u

Bands seen today = 11
The Silver Factory (part), The Spontanas, The Fast Camels (twice), The Most, Spygenius, Stootsie, B-Side, The Wellgreen, The Springtime Anchorage, Kontiki Suite (part), Octubre

No of different bands seen so far = 52

CDs: The Wellgreen

Day 5 and the schedule is busy again, and today we need to fit in a break to pop along to Beach Boys Britain's annual hootanany in Liverpool.

Struggling to get up in time, we only caught the last couple of songs from The Silver Factory, doing their second slot on this year's schedule, the band on today in the Cavern Pub. Once again we really liked what we heard and will be keeping an eye out for any recordings and other gigs in the future. The stage is a bit smaller than the back stage they performed on last night, so the space for the lead singer to do his 60's soul moves was a bit more limited. For a lunchtime, the crowd in the pub was fairly reasonable.

Eric Spaan rocks
Over on the back stage when we had the chance to see The Spontanas from the Netherlands filling in at short notice and making their 3rd appearance at this year's festival, when Honeybug unfortunately had to drop out due to an injury. A merger of two bands, The Montanas who we have seen a number of times at the IPO and Buffalo Roam, they definitely get the award for the tallest band members, with vocalists Chris and Eric towering above everyone.

What we got was a set of great, punchy, power pop as it should be, with 3 members of the five piece doing the vocals, they had a really strong sound. Visually this band are also good - in particular, the bass player was really having a great time being on stage, rocking out. This is another band whose enjoyment on stage is transferred to the audience.

We were really glad we had the opportunity to catch them.

The Spontanas

Joe on drums
Next up (after a very brief interlude at Beach Boys Britain), were a band we have known for a few years now, The Fast Camels, from Glasgow. They had two appearances today, an afternoon slot in the Pub and then late night on the Back Stage.

There was already a decent sized drinking crowd in the pub when the set started and they loved the cover of "My Little Red Book". Loads of people took photos as the Camels played a really tight set of songs picked from their two albums. The guitars were at just the right volume, not drowning out the vocals.

This is a band which just epitomises Psychedelic, taking you on a musical journey through each song of different tempos. Ending with "Der Nazi Tea", they got such a thunderous applause we were delighted for them.
The Fast Camels play their Pub set

The drummer, Joe (Big Daddy Smythe) made the day of two special needs guys who had danced at the front of the stage all the way through the set, when he handed them both a pair of drumsticks each. They loved it. The simplest of gestures, but it meant so much. Then Joe had to go out and buy new ones. Top bloke!

The Fast Camels - Back Stage
Their next set, later on, was the final one of the day for us. The backstage, with its much fuller sound and more space is the perfect setting for the Fast Camels to play. Their second set was a bit different and included what is now a great favourite of Minty's "Penny Pinching Debt Collector" which really captures everything we like about this band - the harmony, the psychedelic jingly guitars, the smooth flow from full rock out to a slow psych and back to rock out. Although the lads were knackered by this point, this did not hinder their performance and we got another stellar show of fantastic psychedelic pop. This was despite Alan not being of keyboard duty in Liverpool.
The Fast Camels
We urge you, nay, we demand that you check them and their new album "Deadrooms and Butterfly Dreams" out right now!!!

The Most
After the Fast Camels first slot in the Pub, the next band was The Most. This Swedish band were back for their second consecutive year and it was great to see them perform again. With a distinctive Beatleish black and white dress mode, they play short, sharp power pop mod type songs. One of their songs today had a "Be My Baby" drum intro which morphed into a great beat-type song. Very definitely Beatles influenced, but with their own style which the large pub audience really appreciated.

For the rest of the evening we were based in the Cavern Club back stage, and our evening's entertainment started with another band we are particularly fond of, Spygenius. With  a great jingly jangly sound, augmented with an organ/keyboard, this four piece give you great songs with clever lyrics. Their first song started fairly quietly and built to a great crescendo that crashed over the audience. From then on, it was a fast paced set, including three new songs which were superb.

For the last song, Ruth, handed her bass to Matt (on keyboards) and took to the microphone and gave us her "angry song" - a 70's inspired punk ditty about a work colleague she didn't like. After that performance we have sworn to never smile at Ruth again!!! It was totally off kilter with their usual sound, but it was brilliant! Loved the whole set. Check them out yourselves on


Stootsie from Austria was up next. A member of the powerpop group SeeSaw, he was flying solo tonight. His set was a mixture of SeeSaw songs and material from pre-SeeSaw days. We are not familiar with SeeSaw, but you could tell that the songs would have sounded good with a full band behind them. Stootsie himself gave a pretty confident performance that a few other solo acts could have learned from.

B-Side is Sean McCreavey's latest, and very new project, essentially a morph of last year's Surf's Up band. The size of the band and number of instruments meant it took a while to set up but once they got going, they got going. Their single, a summery (very) Beach Boys influenced number (such that Brian Wilson has been given a writing credit!!) went down a  storm and received a great response from the audience.

They ended on a Genesis cover which should have had a backing tape which (thankfully) the sound engineer couldn't get to play (we are not fans of backing tapes)  and in between we got a mismash of different styles of songs as members of the band essentially performed their own material using the rest of the band as backing. Nice enough, with melody and harmony but a bit disjointed in terms of the differing styles of music.  We are sure, as the band develops in time things will fall into place..... it was their first live performance anyhows.


The next band were, according to many people, THE band of the IPO. The Wellgreen from Scotland were performing tonight as a four piece. Previously we have always seen them as a two piece but with the introduction of a bass player and another guitarist/vocalist just added so much to their already great sound.

They have all of the ingredients for success - the harmony was pitch perfect, there was a great (and very sizeable) crowd, and the overall sound was just superb. The vocals were beautiful and one song in particular just wowed us and the rest of the audience. "The Greatest" started off with an accapella from Dan which hushed the audience and enraptured them all before the rest of the band joined in. The whole vocal performance on that song was just incredible. The sooner this gets recorded (with strings PLEASE) the better.

Another highlight was Stu the drummer singing lead on "Grin or Bear It" which had a really catchy hook of "whoo hoo"'s from the others. Brilliant set, brilliant sound and the audience absolutely loved every minute.

The Wellgreen

The Springtime Anchorage
How do you follow that? The Springtime Anchorage had a tough job. The irony is that this local Liverpool band got this gig on the endorsement of The Wellgreen!!! They are a country rock band, with a bass player whose fingers dance all over the fret board and a really good harmony sound. The lead guitarist was very good but stared down at the floor for most of the gig. The main harmonies came from the lead vocalist and the drummer and their second song of the night really stood out for us, with all four band members adding some terrific vocals.

The Beeb had signed up for a stint as a Cave Dweller on the front stage (the regular Saturday Cavern entertainment) so we took a small break to make sure he didn't miss his call up. When he was called, he had complete command of the Front Stage and the audience and did a terrific version of "20 Flight Rock", with the house band backing him. Did it sound good? It sounded terrific!!!!
The Beeb does "20 Flight Rock" on stage at the Cavern

Kontiki Suite
Back to the IPO entertainment, we caught the last couple of songs from Kontiki Suite. We had seen them last year and bought their CD. From what we heard, they played a tight set, had a great reaction from the audience and had some lush songs that led into guitar crescendos. Maybe a bit too Doors influenced, but good nonetheless. Still looking forward to the second album.

Next up were Spain's Octubre. They played a good set with a sun-shiney Power pop beat, complete with a Rickenbacker to give that jingly jangly sound. It didn't matter that their songs were all in Spanish - it was the melody sound that hit the spot and infected us all and proves that music has not barriers. They did have a saxophone player for some songs, who sounded a bit more like Sweep from the kid's TV show but that just added another dimension.

Our last band was the second set for the Fast Camels which we have covered earlier. It was way past mid-night by the time they finished, Bed time for us. See you tomorrow for our last day.

The Beeb with The Fast Camels and Jeroen after their gig


GIG: International Pop Overthrow Liverpool – Day 4 (Friday)
DATE: Friday 16th May 2013
VENUE: Cavern Pub & Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool
COST: £4 entry after 8pm at the club

This is blog is intended to be a way for us to capture our personal memories from all the gigs we go to see. The International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool hosts over 150 artists, across 3 stages, ranging from solo acts with an acoustic guitar to full on rock bands covering different music styles from folk, pop, rock and everything in between!!!! Whilst we can’t see every artist / band, we try to catch as many as we can. Some we like, some we love, some are pure nuggets and some are just not our cup of tea. This is just our personal opinion of the acts we see through the IPO festival, highlights and lowlights included. If there’s a band we are not fond of, do still check them out as tastes differ and you could have a different opinion from us.

Bands seen today = 15
Fun of The Pier, The Synchymes, Random Sound (part), The Temponauts, The Marvelous Beauhunks, Match Factory, Jeremy, Tony Hazard (twice), Cocktail Slippers (twice), The 286 (part), Robert Vincent, The Silver Factory, Jimmy & The Revolvers, The Maureens, The Sorrows (part)
No of different bands seen so far = 42
CDs: Cocktail Slippers – both albums, Jeremy

Day 4 and the schedule starts to get very busy, with the bands kicking off from mid-day. Our first band was Nottingham-based husband and wife duo, Fun of The Pier. In the pub, with acoustic guitar and semi acoustic bass, this pair brighten your afternoon with their sunshiney, breezy folk/pop. Friday lunchtime in the Pub means a transient, chattery crowd which can be very annoying when you are trying to listen to an acoustic set, but the pair gamely battled on. This year, alongside their own material, the pair did a Frank Turner cover which went down well. An example of how you can be effective with a good voice and a guitar.

Fun of the Pier

The Sunchymes

Another acoustic act was on the Pub stage next. The Sunchymes, the brain child of Aaron Hemmington, is really a studio band so it was always going to be a challenge for Aaron to reproduce his summery pop sounds with just an acoustic guitar and his vocals. The songs themselves are very good, but with the noisy pub crowd, his confidence seemed to shrink a bit and it was hard for him to engage the audience and bring them into his sunshine world. He'd do well to say more than just the names of the song if he wants to win the crowd.

Across, on the Club’s backstage, Random Sound were just getting started. They had done a lot of promoting the night before, with flyers etc, so we thought we would give them a go. We were not impressed at all. They had a good look, but sounded more like an X-Factor type pop act so we didn’t stay for their whole set.

Heading back to the Pub, we caught a band we’ve seen a few times at the IPO over the years, The Temponauts from Italy. They are a really jingly jangly band, with a real authentic, solid, powerpop/rock sound. No Rickenbackers this year, but still highly enjoyable. Slimmed down to a four piece now, this was the best they've been.
The Temponauts

The Marvellous Beauhunks
Following this, a band all the way from Canada, The Marvellous Beauhunks. These five guys played a good set of feet tapping tunes, with a decent beat behind them. They seemed to be a tight group, knowing their music well and appeared to have been playing together for a while (we found out later they have been together for three years).

There was quite a good Friday afternoon crowd in the Pub who really appreciated their sound and gave the band a great reception. It's not very often you see a guitarist rocking out in a shirt and tie and a cardy! The WAGS took loads of pictures (one with the camera equivalent of the Hubble Telescope :-)) and videoed their set. They were very good with the audience too.

On the back stage, a young band from London, Match Factory, had already started their set but thankfully we only missed their first song. They had a fresh sound with a bit of a reggae beat from the bass player who also used a wah wah pedal. The lead vocalist was a strong front man, who also had a good sense of humour asking the audience to come up and say hello after the gig and that “feedback is good. Just don’t make us cry as we have another gig later!”. Certainly worth catching – we liked this band. Great songs.

Match Factory

Todd Borsch
Next on the bill was The Jeremy Band, all the way from the US. Performing at every IPO we have been to in Liverpool, record label boss Jeremy Morris is one of the strongest exponents of power pop you will find. He is a terrific performer and loves sharing his music with everyone. The Jeremy Band is made up of Jeremy, his son Peter, bassist Todd Borsch and drummer Dave.

The set today started off relatively gently, but for the second song, “Rainbow Bridge” which is on his new album “All Over The World”, the amp was turned up and, accommodating the guitar solo perfectly, and the party really started!

Jeremy was on top form, and this was one of the best gigs we’ve seen from him over the last few years. Also included in this year’s set, “I Want To Be With You”  had a bit of Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else” in the guitar riff which sounded superb, and was typically Jeremy with a bit of jangle and a guitar solo that would make Slash crawl away in shame!
The Jeremy Band

Jeremy breaks free from the stage

Their version of “Little Help From My Friends” was awesome and had their mark stamped all over it, including some new lyrics and guitar solo. He over-ran the 30 minute slot, but we didn’t care…… his finale was his signature tune “IPO” followed by his surf set, with Misserlou and Pipeline and at this point we knew the Perspex shield at the front of the stage was not going to confine him to the stage. And there he was almost dancing on the tables amongst the audience. Fantastic set.

The Beeb was heckled by Todd for not heckling! Made us laugh.

On the front stage, Tony Hazzard who has written tons of hits for many 60’s artists such as Lulu, Manfred Mann and Andy Williams, was plugged into his own wee amp, and this softly spoken gentleman made his first IPO appearance.

Tony Hazzard

A mixture of songs and tales, with a guitar and a ukulele,  Tony was entertaining. As with many of the solo or acoustic performances in the Cavern, there was a lot of background noise from the early evening drinking throng who had come in only for  a drink and were not watching the performances which we feel may have put Tony off a bit, as he must have had trouble hearing himself. Having said that, those who were watching and listening to him, enraptured (and there was a good number of these) really enjoyed his show and were very appreciative.

We also caught his second slot later in the evening, on the Back Stage. This later set was different from his first, and included a few naughty phrases in “70 Not Out” inspired by a trip to Honolulu with his aunt that never happened. He is a good songwriter and had a few more tales to tell, including one when he just packed all his documents in a briefcase, put his guitar on the back seat and drove around the country for three months. We all helped him sing “Hangover Blues” after that tale.

After Tony’s first set, we saw an absolutely brilliant band from Norway, The Cocktail Slippers. We absolutely LOVED this band and judging by the reaction of the audience, the crowd watching them on the front stage felt the same. These girls are produced by Little Steven from the E Street Band, so you know there is something good here, and not only did they have the fab 60’s girl group look with a black and white theme, they had a “Go-Go’s meets the 60’s” sound too.

The Cocktail Slippers - the splits
With a beautiful, engaging, main singer who was so athletic she did the splits, the other members of the band were real musicians who all looked lovely and could sing too, adding some terrific girl group harmony sound. They nailed it. Most of their set was punchy, punky tunes with harmonies and a particular highlight for Minty was a slightly slower number, “Castle In The Sand” which was sung with such emotion and feeling it was incredible.

The Cocktail Slippers
This was another band where we caught both sets. Later on, in the back stage, there was a sizeable dose of male testosterone in the air as the girls sparkled once again. The only thing missing from this second set was the splits!  They really enjoyed their stint in the Cavern and gained quite a few fans. Both of their albums were purchased!
Check this band out :

The Cocktail Slippers wow the back stage

The 286
We saw the last number from The 286 on the back stage and what a great number it was. It has whetted our appetite for their London IPO performance next week. The 286 are a mixture of pop and classical, described in the programme as “clashing rock n’ roll riffs with cellos and violins” and that is exactly what they did – it sounded superb.

Robert Vincent has a country feel about him, with a feel good factor added. This year on the back stage he had a full band, including keyboard player and with three of the band adding backing vocals, his music had a real depth and sounded lovely. His vibe is quite Jayhawks / Grand Drive.  There was a lot of support for this guy so the back room made some noise after each song, and rightly so.
Robert Vincent

The Silver Factory
Next on the back stage was Leicester based, The Silver Factory. We had seen this band at the London IPO last year and liked their look and their sound. In the Cavern, they sounded great. A mid-60's mod look, but jingly jangly psychedelia is their sound and record label owner, Jeremy appeared to be really impressed with them.

They have a great front man, and Minty has never seen anyone play the tambourine and look so sexy (sorry Beeb) and the rhythm guitarist added some terrific backing vocals. As a group these guys are vibrant, and with the room filling up, the audience seemed to like them a lot. We certainly did. Hopefully it won't be too long before they lay down a few more tracks and release their music. In the meantime, check out their facebook page and listen to some of their tunes.

The Silver Factory

Imagine Brian Setzer meets Johnny Cash and you have the sound of local band, Johnny And The Revolvers. Here was a band that were thrilled to be on stage, and had lots of support. A hen party in tonight, rock n’ roll chicks dressed in 50’s style polka dot circle skirts with net petticoats boogied to the tunes throughout the set. The drummer particularly stood out for us and the front man, constantly smiling endeared himself to the large audience and the cheers and whistles got louder and louder as the set went on. One number had a great doo wop style start and their last song included a bit of a drum off between the drummer and the lead singer who played the bongos. A brilliant set and a great addition to the IPO.

Johnny and The Revolvers

The Maureens
The Netherlands always sends us some great pop acts who have some fantastic harmonies. Last year we got Surf School Drop Outs and  this year, we had Beach Boys’ influenced The Maureens. Close your eyes and you could imagine being in Jeff Foskett’s front room, or mixing with the Explorers Club. The harmonies just washed over us, wave after wave, tingling our ears. Magic.

We caught the final three songs from last minute addition to the IPO bill, The Sorrows, a band that actually formed back in 1963. Dressed in their own branded black T.Shirts, this group spanned a few decades, with a mix of some original members, and some youngsters and what we heard was pretty darned good. A mix of 60’s blues rock with vintage stars, the last song was a really terrific version of “Lucille” after which the audience went wild. We wish we had had the chance to have seen more from this band.

The Sorrows

Our last act of the night was the second set from Cocktail Slippers (see above) and then we headed back to the hotel. What a terrific night of music.
And here is The Beeb having a fab night..........
with The Cocktail Slippers

and meeting Tony Hazzard