Friday, 24 May 2013

Looking Forward to June.

As the madness of International Pop Overthrow Liverpool subsides it's time to get ready for June's musical adventures. These include Elvis Costello, a couple of Rick Wakeman gigs and Van Der Graaf Generator.

I also have a bunch of stuff to review from a couple of IPO bands,so hopefully there will be a bit of something for everyone.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dave Rave at IPO Liverpool (videos from the Cavern Pub)

I shot two videos of Dave Rave at the Cavern Pub today.

The first one features Mark Foley on vocals for a lovely cover of Brian Wilson's Love And Mercy

And the second one is The Girl From Southport which they played for the first time yesterday.

Dave Rave at The Cavern Pub (Photographs)

Dave Rave and his band filled in a empty slot at the Cavern Pub this afternoon so I popped out from work to watch. I'm not sure the Tuesday afternoon pub crowd knew quite was hit them. Here's some photos! What a great show! (There's a couple of videos to come too)

SAM_0136 SAM_0141 SAM_0145 IMG_20130521_182440 SAM_0137 SAM_0142 SAM_0148 SAM_0149

Dave Rave - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool

Dave Rave has been coming to IPO Liverpool just about forever.He's always a crowd pleaser and has developed quite a following at the event. Also I am obviously extremely biased towards him as he co-wrote a song called Anne-Marie. Oh yeah, I'm definitely shallow enough to be swayed by things like that. (As long it's a nice song, which this one is.)

I got to see an early show yesterday as Dave and the band (Mark, Simon and Chris) filled for an act that couldn't make it. This was handy actually as it turned out I wasn't able to make the later show, unfortunately.

This year co-writer Simon took over all the vocals for Anne-Marie. I'm told I still sit and grin throughout the song. I'll have to work on looking blasé in future. 

It was a fun-filled set including the world debut of a song called The Girl From Southport. Chris, the drummer, heard the song for the first time via Mark's phone in the band room moments before they went on stage!

Dave has a new CD out and played a new track from that too. Expect a review as soon as I've had time to catch up with things.

 As a grand finale to this unexpected show David Bash, who organising all the International Pop Overthrow events, joined Dave and the band on stage for a performance of Let's Shake.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Surfin Lungs - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool (video)

Fun of the Pier and Honeybug- International Pop Overthrow Liverpool

I'm rolling the two bands I saw on Saturday into one blog. They have a lot in common. They both have lovely people in them and they both possess the power of bringing joy.

The Fun of the Pier set opened the event that morning and I can't think of a more pleasant way to start. Helen and Mark make lovely sounds and for this performance those lovely sounds were further enhanced by appearances from Dave of The Suns and Ni from Honeybug. This is what I love about IPO, friendships are formed and through an appreciation of each other's work things like these guest appearances happen.

Helen dedicated their final song, Inconsiderate, to me. Not because I am inconsiderate, but because I share their frustration at people who pay to get into a gig then talk loudly throughout! Mind you, I was, by then, also developing a healthy hatred of inconsiderate tourists standing in front of my table to pose for photographs, especially as it was fairly obvious had a video camera set up. Big thanks to Dave from The Suns for exacting a little revenge for me there! It made my day!

Following straight on from Fun of the Pier was Honeybug. It was another sterling performance from these chaps. It's still stunning to think how little time they had to pull this configuration together for the event. Mind you they are talented buggers! Lots of audience appreciation from our corner of the Cavern too! A perfect Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Popdogs International Pop Overthrow Liverpool (videos)

The Popdogs were the band of the night for me! They were launching their debut CD Cool Cats For Popdogs which I reviewed at the end of last year. The songs already sounded like old friends and the performance was great. The band looked like they were having a great time and that feeling oozed across into the appreciative audience. It was a cracking way to end my Friday night at IPO.

Magma Brain International Pop Overthrow Liverpool (video)

Magma Brain from Olso, Norway, were a bit different. I liked them as they certainly stood out from the crowd with their quirky vocals and energetic lead singer.

The Ragamuffins International Pop Overthrow Liverpool (video)

Local band The Ragamuffins included a brass duo in their line up which was something a bit different.

Lee & The Lovedaddies - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool (photos)

Lee & The Lovedaddies from Belgium went down very well with their hipster look and fine pop ditties.

Lee & The Lovedaddies

Lee & The Lovedaddies

Norman Kelsey International Pop Overthrow (Pictures)

I had to nip back to work after Honeybug, but caught Normal Kelsey ending his set with a cover of Love Train.

Norman Kelsey

Norman Kelsey

Honeybug - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool (Friday)

I am terribly biased about Honeybug and make no apologies about. I have now known Ni for about eight years and he is one of my favourite people on this planet. So after skipping an IPO day on Thursday due to illness it was right back into the foray on Friday including nipping out of work for a bit to go and see Honeybug.

Up until Friday morning I had seen two different three piece line ups, a four piece version of the band and a mighty seven piece Honeybug. Friday was meant to be a five piece line up, but things fell through at the very last minute so it was power trio of keyboards, drums and guitar. I doubt most people in the audience could tell that there had been such little rehearsal time in this format. I certainly wouldn't have guessed if I hadn't been told.

Oodles of old favourites, where I have come to know the acoustic versions so well over the years that when the backing vocals weren't there it  was momentarily disorientating. A new song- yay! And cracking cover of Badfinger's No Matter What. (You can't beat a bit of Badfinger, let's face it!) Fabulous!


Friday, 17 May 2013


If I can get a connection in the Cavern Club later I may post here direct from there later on. I'll only have my phone with me tonight so I apologise in advance for spelling mistakes etc... Big fingers on a little keyboard.

I have been trying to get emailing photos to the blog directly from my camera to work but alas it seems that it's not a very good function. (If I recall there's usually a massive delay with emailed posts on blogger)

More later!

Link to Steve Hackett at Hammersmith Review

Great review of a fab gig - they got special guests and everything! :-)

Steve Hackett : Hammersmith Apollo - Trebuchet Magazine

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rockshow on the Big Screen

I skipped day two of International Pop Overthrow Liverpool to go and see Rockshow at the pictures.

This Wings Live footage looms large in my fandom and has done since my first Beatles convention in 1990. Bootleg videos did the rounds of all the penpals getting paler and fuzzier which each copy and then even worse with rewinding favourite bits to watch over and over. There are so many things that we still inject into conversations or do at gigs that stem from this footage.

On the face of it it seems economically silly to pay a tenner to see something once that you can buy on DVD soon for about the same price and that you have already seen a million times, but it was great to see it on a big screen with a bunch of like minded people.

They have remastered the footage, although there's only so much you can do with 70s footage shot in based light with odd focussing problem, and the sound. The sound is fantastic, the instrumentation is clear and you hear things you never noticed as much before such as the sexy bassline for Let Me Roll It.

This is Wings at their peak live performance. The group dynamics mean that Paul isn't the only person to take on lead vocalist duty and I really do feel that Paul is better as part of group rather than as an artist with a backing band. The joy of playing is apparent throughout Rockshow, from everyone on the stage. It also made me realise how much Linda is missed. In the newly recorded introduction to the cinematic release Paul comments that she was very much the cheerleader of the band encouraging the audience to participate and clap along.

The set list is pretty damn perfect -a reasonable smattering of Beatles tunes including a frantic version of Lady Madonna but no Hey Jude, no Let It Be - and all cracking selection of Wings songs including Silly Love Songs which was the latest single release around the time of these shows. The final encore of Soily was worth the cinema ticket alone!

There's no fireworks, no fancy screens, in fact the light show was fairly basic by comparison to other shows of the era, so it was all about the music and that is just as it should be.

And now I'm off to preorder the DVD and gets the beers in for the inevitable Rockshow evening with my mates!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Teenage Casket Company - International Pop Overthrow Liverpool 2013

Sadly work means I don't get out to play as often at International Pop Overthrow Liverpool these days, so tonight was a quick trip down to the Cavern Pub to see one band before heading home to catch up on things and get some sleep for another busy day in work tomorrow.

I had spotted this band on the schedule and thought the name sounded brilliant so wanted to go along and see what they sounded like. I wasn't disappointed. They were brilliantly loud and simply rocked the pub. Erring towards the heavier side of powerpop the songs drove home their hooks with gusto. I was very tempted to stay out for their second set in the Cavern Club later in the evening.  I picked up a free CD so expect comments on then when I get around to playing all my IPO booty after the event is over.

Here's some links!
Official Facebook Page
Official Site
Official Twitter
ReverbNation Page
Official MySpace Page

And here's a video!

There's another video here.

Steve Hackett - Liverpool Philharmonic 12th May 2013

I'm going to start with a confession, I really haven't listened to as much Genesis as I probably should. I have a lot of their stuff but I have just never got around to dedicating some time to give it the good and proper listen it needs. Consequently I have no clue about a lot of stuff at the gig. I do hope you won't hold that against me and read on.

The tickets for the show were obviously printed in advance and stated no support, however upon arrival at the Philharmonic I was quite pleased to discover that Anne-Marie Helder was opening the show. An unexpected treat.  Her set was acoustic, her voice filled the hall magnificently and she was received very warmly by those that were in their seats. I assume a lot of those who hadn't entered the auditorium straight away were still queuing at the Merchandise stall to get things signed by Steve Hackett. It was quite a queue when we took our seats about quarter of an hour before the start of the support.

The main feature was excellent. The band are great. Steve makes it all look very easy while remaining passionate about the music and it looked like they all had a whale of a time on stage. I loved it. Nad Sylvan was dramatic, whimsical and thoroughly entertaining throughout. Everything about the show felt spot on. The audience reaction was positive and it just felt good to be there. Quite often I would find myself drifting off, not through boredom, but just off with the music for a while before gently coming back to reality.

The visual aspects of the show, the lights, the screens and the four huge anglepoise lamps enhanced the experience rather than dominated it as can sometimes happen. It was all a pleasant experience that has made me realise that I need to play the Genesis Revisited 2 album a little more often and I should really just book a couple of days off work to listen to some of the original albums and take them all in properly.

Link to concert photos on flickr.

Friday, 10 May 2013

International Pop Overthrow Liverpool 2013 Starts On Tuesday

I love this music festival and have done since it hit the UK eleven years ago. The Liverpool event is massive and free (apart from a peak time charge to get into the Cavern Club). Spread over two venues and three stages there is just so much happening all at once that it's very easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, if you are armed with your handy festival programme you should be okay. The beauty of so much happening all at once is that if a band isn't quite to your taste there's another playing on another stage that may be your cup of tea.

From 14th to 21st May The Cavern Club and the Cavern Pub plays host to over 130 bands and fans from all over the world, all passionate about powerpop. The full schedule can be found here and information about  the participating artists can be found here.

Over the years I have made some amazing friends at this event and eagerly await their arrival in Liverpool every May. There are some notable people not attending this year and they will be missed, but that won't spoil the fun.

For more details about International Pop Overthrow visit the official site with information about the events in the USA, Canada and London.

Instead of flooding this blog with lots of short posts from the event I have set up a tumblr account here, but I will be posting stuff here too, and I recommend keeping an eye on Minty And The Beeb Go Gigging for regular updates too! 

A Couple of CD reviews.

There's been a bit of a backlog of things to review at SisterBlueBird HQ lately. As International Pop Overthrow Liverpool starts next week here's a couple of brief reviews of discs from participants in the festival.

Norman Kelsey - On The Rebound
The former Rush Hour Soul front man moves from tunes that make you boogie to slow, soulful seductive numbers with ease on this release. It's nice and easy to listen to, but you wouldn't file it under easy listening. It reminds me a lot of 70s soul offerings. The songs feel comfortable and familiar quite quickly and it's almost impossible not to tap your foot or nod along to tracks like So Sophisticated or Huckleberry Finn. If comparisons have to be made I would plump for a mixture of the essences of Prince and Smokey Robinson with the commercial air of The Stylistics.
Special mention must be made of the track "Supermodels With Gatling Guns" A title with a lot of promise that doesn't disappoint!

Norman Kelsey is appearing at the IPO Liverpool event on Thursday May 16th at 5.45 in The Cavern Pub, and on Friday May 17th at 5pm on the back stage at the Cavern Club (get there early for that one and check out Honeybug as well who are on before him!)

Official Website


Ashbury Keys - Wake Up
This five track disc offer edgy guitar driven power pop full of hooks that will worm their way into your brain so days later the riffs will be running through your head at random moments. Each track is a lesson in well constructed tunes. The stand out track for me is Oh My God with it's slightly more punky tone. 

The Ashbury Keys are playing IPO Liverpool on Tuesday May 14th at 7.30pm on the back stage at the Cavern Club and on Wednesday May 15th at 9.30pm at the Cavern Pub.

More International Pop Overthrow Liverpool teasers and goodies later!
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