Monday, 30 May 2011
Tuesday saw the second of the Bongo Beat/Viper label nights of 2011, but that wasn't due to start till 9.45pm. So after some food we nipped into the Cavern Pub to see The Flaming Moes. The guitarist/vocalist played barefoot - a brave move on a chilly night. I enjoyed the set and even purchased a CD. I hope they are back again as I missed their second set due to it clashing with Bongo Beat night. I hope they had a better audience in the club, as they deserved it. (Too many people trying to talk louder than the band in the pub.)
Venturing into the Club we caught the end of The Fallen Troubadours. They sounded interesting and worthy of further investigation. I was quite surprised to discover they were from Pennsylvania, they have a very English sound.
They were followed by Postcards From Places That Don't Exist, a band from Lincoln who had encouraged us to go and see them as they emerged from their first set at the Pub earlier in the evening.
As this is getting long and hour is getting late, I will cover the Bong Beat/Viper label Night in a separate post tomorrow.
I was in work all day and it was quite odd it not being a Bank Holiday. (The event has been on the Bank Holiday weekend for the last few years.)
Shortly after Honeybug left Dave Rave and The Plastic Heroes arrived! The lows and highs flow fast at IPO!
They were playing the first Bongo Beat night that evening but we were tired and probably would not have made it to the end so our foray into Cavern Club that day was brief.
After work we went off to watch Kelly's Heels in the club. I filmed more than just one song this time so here's a playlist of four tracks from the set. (I hope this works)
She Doesn't Know It's Wrong, Forget You, Same Mistake, Who's Been Cheating Who.
By the end of the set I was flagging but I did manage to catch a couple of tracks from The Suns (who we had seen earlier in the week as support to The Zombies which was a nice bonus.)
It would have been lovely to stay, but I had no energy and I knew that Tuesday was going to be a long night, so we were soon homeward bound.
I took root in the Cavern around lunchtime where the day started with Bruise. I love Bruise. Isobel has a fabulous voice and I'd already bought the new CD - Little Victories - so I didn't have to wait till this event to get my mitts on it!
Stranger In You
Isobel did comment that she knew pretty much everyone in the room, so the audience was very appreciative. And for that time on a Sunday there was a good number of people in.
Following Bruise was a German band called Set Alight. They were very enthusiastic with a lead singer who was definitely easy on the eye. Sadly I don't remember much else about them as people were arriving etc...
Mini performed their first set of the day next. I'm am unashamedly biased and love Mini both as a band and as friends. I was quite pleased to share the experience with friends who had never seen them before. I think they were impressed (even when things went a little awry.) I made sure they left with CDs anyway!
After the opening number they performed all the songs on their Must Try Harder EP (the free CD mentioned in the video) and after a small bumble over a song we we shan't dwell on, they finished with an amazing rendition of Mr Blue Sky. (If I regret anything about this year's event it's that I didn't video it, but to be honest I was too busy enjoying it!)
Following hot on the heels of Mini came Honeybug's second show of the festival.
By the end of the set Lady Luck had become my new favourite Honeybug song!
Again I openly admit that I am biased but Honeybug just make me smile. They make the most beautiful sound and they are beautiful people to boot. I'll stop gushing about them now...honest!
I had to run back to the shop as Honeybug finished to let Stephen see the Mayflowers in the Cavern Club.
We were in the Cavern Pub by 6pm ready for Kelly's Heels. Fabulous set from Bob and co. I did film a song but there's a lot of coming and going of people as we were by the door of the venue.
Stay tuned for my post about Monday though as I filmed a number of songs then too. There's a new Kelly's Heels CD due out, so I'll be eager to get my hands on that! The highlight of this set, and again, something I wish I'd captured on video was impromptu backing vocals on Who's Been Cheating Who coming from Mini and Honeybug. Fabulous and very much in keeping with the mutual admiration between bands at this event.
A band called Radio Days were on before The Mayflowers took to the stage with their powerpop/Merseybeat stylings. The Mayflowers were out busking again on Church Street the following day.
And then it was time for the second of Mini's performances of the day. By now we were all in party mood - which is my excuse for being a tad hazy on the running order! I know that they nailed the tune they fluffed earlier, and did so with style and to rapturous applause from those that had been in the Cavern Club. There was a couple of Wings numbers - Jet and Live And Let Die. And they were joined on stage by Erin and Laura from Honeybug for a version of 9 to 5 which had a couple of people up dancing! However the apex of the show was a mighty mighty version of the Cee-lo Green song Forget You. Ni from Honeybug took to the drums and the hybrid "Minibug" just entertained the living daylights out of the audience with this -
And with that it was time for goodbyes to Mini as they and we headed home, still buzzing from a brilliant day!
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
But on Thursday I did sneak out of work to catch Helen and Mark aka Fun Of The Pier making their IPO debut. It was great to see Helen up on stage after so many IPOs as an audience member. The tunes were lovely and despite admitting to getting one song wrong the performance was fab. I think my favourite song from the set was the last one, Intolerence, all about people who talk through gigs. It definitely summed up a few concert going experiences for me!
After a quick trip back to the shop to deal with the end of the day rush it was back to the Cavern Pub to catch Richard Snow and The In-Laws. Due to a large German tour group causing us to stay behind I missed the start of the set but I did get to catch the new song Am I Really That Boring? I was feeling pretty rotten by then with my cold so made a sharp exit to dose myself up ready for Friday.
Friday was all about Honeybug. I'm very biased of course, but they are my friends and I hadn't seen them since July so I was very excited that they were visiting. I went for food before heading to the Cavern Pub. It was all smiles as we walked in! So awesome to see everyone! The set was marred by the knobheads in the corner by us gabbing all the way through. (I shot some video but one of the afore mentioned knobheads decided to join in and wave on camera! Grrr!)
Anyway, Ni and the girls were jolly good (I don't expect anything less to be honest) and I may have even sang along a wee bit to Open Up Your Eyes. The final song of the set Lady Luck had a very Stevie Wonder vibe to it. I'm off to see them again on Sunday, surprise surprise.
Following on from Honeybug were a band that my friend Phil described as the missing link between the Jam and Cream. (Make your own doughnut jokes!) The description wasn't wrong. And despite not really being a massive of either of the comparison bands I did rather enjoy Sonic Jewels. They certain had their own sartorial style and I'll be honest, if a guitarist is wearing eyeliner and a smattering of face glitter I'm going to at least have a look!
Also playing before I left for the evening were Susan Hedges and Jeremy. Both were crowd pleasers, in fact I couldn't see most of Jeremy's set as there were that many people in the pub by then, all quite mesmerised.
Once Jeremy was done it was off for a cab home. Saturday was spent with my friends from Honeybug and Mini. There was shopping and sight-seeing and general hanging out. And as Sunday and Monday are going to be long IPO days, I was home in time for tea and Doctor Who in order to have a restful and decent night's sleep to bolster my stamina!
Thursday, 19 May 2011
In total they performed six tracks from the newly released Breathe Out Breathe In album, and they blended very well in the set list. Sometimes new material from older bands can seem to jar against the hits or drag a bit for the audience, but the strength of these new tracks was shown by the warm and appreciative reception they all received.
Beyond the new tracks the set was a pleasant mix of Zombies songs and “solo” projects. They performed six songs from the Odessey and Oracle album explaining all the artists influenced by the songs, including most recently Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters.
Colin Blunstone relished performing his hit version of What Becomes of The Brokenhearted as well as his solo songs and an Alan Parsons Project track.
As much as I adore The Zombies stuff the highlight for me was the Argent tracks. Hold Your Head Up featured a glorious keyboard solo that went on for quite some time, and God Gave Rock And Roll To You is a fabulous way to end a gig. (Although they did squeeze in a version of Summertime afterwards – a nice mellow track to send the audience on their way in the night.)
I left armed with signed posters, the new CD (also signed – everything was pre-done before the show) and T-Shirt.
I hope they are back round again soon as it is always a pleasure to
see this band.
More photos on flickr here.
Official Zombies Site
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
It's all happening at the Cavern Pub and Club on Mathew Street.
I'm easing into it all slowly this year, having to get up for work means I have to curtail the late nights.
I did pop down to the Cavern Pub after work yesterday (mostly for a chance to test the latest of my little video cameras) and caught Jack Mittleman's cover of the George Harrison song Give Me Love.
I am a relative newcomer to this band. It is thanks to my twitter friend Tim (check out his blog here) and my gig buddy Phil that I knew what I did of the band before I went to this concert.
I was basically armed with the knowledge of a few songs from the Pass The Clock compilation which I loved, and that the singer on those tracks was no longer with the band.
Arriving at the venue, we were told by the unusually helpful security man that he would find us in the bar when the doors were open upstairs as we wouldn’t need to queue due only around a 100 tickets being sold. However, judge by the number in there by about the third song there were plenty of people who bought tickets on the door.
Sometimes when you go to see a band that has a fan following you can feel a little isolated but I loved this audience. Everyone respected everyone else’s space and just enjoyed the music.
The band were fabulous. Olivia Sparnenn’s voice and stage presence is awesome. The blend of vocals across the board made for some very pleasurable sounds and the musicianship of the whole band was spot on! The sound was loud, but in no way distorted. And Anne-Marie Helder’s flute work was faultless. More bands should had flautists in their line-up I reckon. It works surprising well within a rock band sound.
Confession time now, I’ve had to go searching for a set list to see what was played and the best I could come up with (after a minimal search, I confess) was a list for the night after in Leicester. Thankfully it jogged the memory a bit.
Lots of stuff from the new album Go Well Diamond Heart, all of which was greeted warmly by the appreciative audience. I had bought the CD before the gig began, that’s how confident I was I would enjoy it. Before the interval I was already eager to get it on the mp3 player! I could only afford the ordinary release, but the track from the special edition that they performed did tantalise and I almost considered going over budget and getting that instead. (In the end I was sensible, I have a lot of nights out this week and need to make the pennies stretch!)
The new songs blended in well with the older stuff. As I said I’m a novice with this band, but there seemed no noticeable difference between old and new.
The date of the gig (Friday the 13th) didn’t go unmentioned, especially as before the second song the drum kit had to be gaffer taped into place, or their was a chance the drummer would end up in the audience by the third song. And at one point one of the amps switched itself off!
Highlights – Fading Colours, Go Well Diamond Heart and the “encore” (they never left the stage) of And When The War Is Over and Heroes Never Die.
In all they were onstage from around 8.15 right through to the venue curfew of 11pm, with a 20 minute break somewhere in the middle. That’s around two and half hours of quality entertainment for under £15! Brilliant! Especially as the band appeared to be having just as good a time as the audience. I can think of a few far more expensive concerts I’ve been to that were shorter and didn’t offer any form of audience engagement.