Wednesday, 24 February 2010

International Pop Overthrow, Liverpool

I have a set of countdown to important events, one countdown is for the start of International Pop Overthrow UK. The countdown just hit 90 days!

IPO UK is held in Liverpool every year and is a gathering of power pop fans and bands organised by David Bash. The official International Pop Overthrow site is here - and there are details of events on the myspace page too. (There are lots of IPO events held in the States and Canada.)

In 2007 I wrote the following article about IPO UK and the Cavern Club

International Pop Overthrow at The Cavern
23 Jan 2007, 20:19 
I wrote this for inclusion in the Liverpool Echo Cavern Special but it didn't get selected for publication. At the party on Tuesday it was suggested that I post it here. Apparently it is meant to be on the Echo website version of the Cavern special but I've not seen it there yet. So here goes!

International Pop Overthrow at The Cavern
The Cavern is an iconic megalith in the Beatles legend, but I think the best times I've had down in that cellar have less to do the Fab Four and more to do with the Club as a breeding ground for talent. When it was first muted that the International Pop Overthrow Festival could be coming to the UK, the event was something that I'd heard of but didn't know a lot about. It was Jean Catharell, with her love of power pop, melodies and songs you can actually understand, who was instrumental in bringing the event to the UK and when she approached me about the event I was more than happy to be involved as one of the team running the merchandise stall.
The first year of the event I had no idea what it would be like, but once organiser David Bash kicked off the proceedings there was a real buzz in the air. Bands had come from all over the world to take part and many were thrilled to be performing in the cradle of popular music. It's hard to put your finger on, but the spirit of all the groups gone before live on in the power chords and harmonic stylings on offer during the IPO festivals.
Event one featured Tony Rivers from The Castaways and Harmony Grass as the main attraction, but it was the second year that proved to be the most thrilling for me. That year Bongo Beat Records held an evening showcasing their artists and among the musicians performing was Kimberley Rew, formerly of the Soft Boys and Katrina and The Waves for which he wrote the perennial summer ditty "Walking On Sunshine". It was a joy to abandon my post at the merchandise stall for a while and wander down to the very front of the stage in the back room and watch a guitar player I admire in action.
The festival has been coming to Liverpool for four years now and although the hours at the merchandise stall are long, the atmosphere is electric. As well as anticipating all the new stuff we get to hear, it's become a social occasion, with regular visitors to the event and some of the bands that return each year stopping by the merch stand to say hello, catch up and peruse the CDs on offer. As we set up the stall and get organised for each evening ahead it's great to feel part of an event that is helping to fulfil the musical legacy that was laid out half a century ago when the Cavern first opened its doors.

The above is posted at my profile page.

IPO UK is back for it's eighth year in Liverpool, and hopefully it will return for several years to come. Thanks to this event I look forward to the end of May, not just because I know I am guaranteed a Bank Holiday weekend of fabulous music but because over the years I have made some amazing friends  all thanks to this event. Roll on May 25th!


Saturday, 13 February 2010

Paul Anka - Lonely Boy

Many thanks to Ralph Alfonso for pointing me in the direction of this short film about Paul Anka from 1962.

I've just watched it as a prelude to watching Privilege on DVD.


Anne-Marie Live in NYC.

No, I'm not tired of the novelty of having a song written about me. 8-)
I just stumbled across this fabulous live version on youtube.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Random tunage

I very rarely put my iPod on random. I like to have some control over what I listen to as music can affect my moods etc... However last night I thought I'd hit the shuffle function and see what I got. You need to read the list from the bottom up to be in the order they were played.

King Crimson – The Mincer
Yes – Awaken
Shonen Knife – Twist Barbie
The Moog Cookbook – Rockin' in the Free World

(Links go to the Amazon MP3 store)

On the whole, the random mix wasn't as odd as it could be and I was genuinely thrilled to be reaquainted with a couple of tracks that I hadn't played in a while.


Monday, 1 February 2010

Five Songs Meme

Nabbed from Where Worlds Collide

It’s quite simple – list five songs, preferably accompanied by a word or two explaining their significance. Not your five greatest songs of all time, but five songs you’re really into at the moment in time.

Lieutenant Kije (Troika) by Prokofiev - I realise it's mostly associated with Christmas but I love this piece of music and it's currently getting lots of play on the iPod. I enjoy lots of classical pieces to be honest which occasionally surprises people.

Here You Come Again by Dolly Parton - After catching the end of a documentary the other night I have been listening to a bit of Dolly and this one seems to stick in my head and start playing in there at random moments. You have to admit it is bloody catchy!

Naturally by Huey Lewis & The News - I have been revisiting my love for Huey Lewis & The News lately, and this is one of my favourite tracks by them. It's on the list of songs that make me smile and sometimes that's all you need a song to do.

Nobody Loves You Like I Do by Emerson Lake & Palmer - I like the lyrics first and foremost, particularly the first verse, and the way it builds into an anthem. It currently seems to find its way onto several playlists and even crops up with alarming regularly when I hit random!

The Last Thing On My Mind by Tom Paxton - My childhood was full of all kinds of music, particular stuff that my dad would play on his guitar for us which was mostly folk stuff. I know there is a vinyl copy of the album Ramblin' Boy in the house because I used to play it. I feel like I've always known this song and sinceI added it to the music library on the laptop and iPod it has had plenty of airplay.

So there you go - at the moment it's highly likely that I have heard one of these songs recently or that one is playing in my head at any given time.

To join this meme, choose your five songs, and list them on your blog, Livejournal, facebook, myspace or whatever.


Experiment with a video site

I am playing around on at the moment. If it's worthwhile I may post about it eventually.

But the purpose of this post is to try out their video embedding, so here's the tune from which this blog takes it's title. (It's only a two minute snippet I think.)

(EDIT: -Mmmm..they put an ad on at the beginning.)

(Another Edit: - oooh and it shoves an ad in at the end and goes into the next video - I thought I had opted to embed just the one.)
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