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!


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