IPO Liverpool 2012
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Liverpool Based Artists
20lb Sounds – 20lb Sounds are a three-piece band from Merseyside who blend a wide array of influences into something fresh, fun, and uniquely their own. A touch of bluesy roots rock, a hint of funk, and bits of ska, punk, new wave, and everything in between can be heard on their latest EP!
The Amazing Kappa – Cavern regulars, Liverpool’s own Amazing Kappa combines virtuosity with a unique vocal, original songs and specially arranged covers, with electrifying showmanship, which has to be seen. Their latest CD, Taxi for Voltaire?, is available now!
Mike Badger & the Shady Trio – A veritable Liverpool legend, Mike Badger has been penning and performing his unique brand of Scouse country tunes for a good long time, first as co-founder of The La’s, and more recently with The Onset, The Kachinas, and his solo material, along with his efforts as head of The Viper Label. With his latest band, The Shady Trio, and their self titled EP, he turns the rockabilly up a notch in a way that fans of Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison are sure to appreciate!
Richard Batty – Batty began busking on the streets of Liverpool and Chester before earning a spot as a regular performer at The Cavern Club. His acoustic soft rock-meets-pop stylings bring together influences such as Crowded House, James Taylor, The Beatles, and Big Star. He’s working on a debut mini-album, so watch for it!
The Big I Am – Intricate folk melodies weaving ukelele, piano, and bass with more traditional folk instruments and heartfelt vocals form the signature of this unique band from Liverpool. Their debut album, Collecting Skies, has been called “hypnotic and yearningly beautiful” (Tom Robinson, BBC Six Music). Check it out!
Boomin – A Wigan-based band who really put the POWER in power trio. Their unique take on modern powerpop meets anthemic rock will appeal to fans of artists as diverse as Foo Fighters, Green Day, Fountains of Wayne, and The Beastie Boys! Watch for their debut CD, due out this summer!
Built On Tradition – An aptly named band from Liverpool whose sound is built on a solid indie rock foundation of strong guitar and melody lines, complemented by passionate vocals. The songs on their Flags EP also prove that they can straddle the line between gritty rock swagger and folk troubadour ballad. They’re quickly building a tradition of their own, and are truly the present and future of Liverpool music!
Jo Bywater – Her mission: to deliver words of wisdom, inspiration and tortured souls onto the ears of the public. Bywater’s tunes are an inflection of tasty riffs and blues rawness, a melting pot of styles and influence laced with funk and injected with the rusty edge of vocal honesty. Her solo acoustic debut album, Cycle Grace Pulse Break, captures both the whispering gentleness and raw power of her expression. Liverpool’s answer to Janis Joplin, Ani DiFranco, and Pearl Jam combined!
The Complete Unknown – Their sound is best described as an acoustic driven energetic fusion of sing along choruses with infectious pop hooks & powerful harmonies, with the key of importance remaining very much “less is more”. This is a band that demonstrates an instant likeability by writing mesmeric and incredibly addictive classic tunes whilst not being afraid to shy away from showing key reference points to their guiding musical influences. Classic Scouse powerpop! Watch for a debut CD due out late this year!
The Dockers – A very cool rock n’ funk/pop band who enjoy performing regularly around the Liverpool scene, as well as a yearly gig in France! Their blend of catchy melodies, classic rock riffs, funky bass lines and soulful vocals will appeal to fans of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Boston, and Status Quo, to name but a few!
Avant Gardner – Avant Gardner was borne out of the creation and subsequent demise of numerous bands and collaborations over a period of 12 years. Five self-financed albums and 75 songs later, Gardner’s taken to performing solo acoustic gigs to offer an alternative live take on his recorded offerings, attempting to change the way in which popular music is created and received from the ground up whilst retaining the essence of what makes a good song. His songs, which blend soft pop, folk, jazz, and classical elements, are very good indeed!
The Gentle Scars – Catchy angular pop goodness laced with punk pop, space rock, shoegaze, and garage undertones in equal measure. Cool, quirky, inventive, and hard not to like!
The Good Intentions – Liverpool’s premier Americana band, The Good Intentions music weaves traditional instruments such as banjo, mandolin, and autoharp with male-female harmonies and beautifully lilting melodies. Their Poor Boy CD has been hailed in the country music capital as “…a timeless beautiful collection of Americana…a CD which satisfies the heart’s desire for country, bluegrass, folk and roots…” (Bill Littleton, The Bridge Works, Nashville) Their new album, Someone Else’s Time, also includes pedal steel and doghouse bass!
The Grande – When Liverpool-based band Priory Falls said their last goodbyes, lead singer Ben Sherwen and drummer Phil Stevens set about forming a new band, ensuring no compromises were reached in achieving the perfect sound for the fresh new material. We think they’ve succeeded in doing just that with The Grande. The songs on their greatly anticipated debut full-length CD, Bleaker St, blend the best of Fleetwood Mac and CSNY, while retaining a uniquely Scouse edge. Check it out now!
The Gutterfighters – A band that keeps improving with each successive IPO. “They used to be strictly a pop/punk band, but their sound has evolved into something much more polished and sophisticated, featuring that signature Liverpool sound. Sure, lots of hard strumming on the acoustic and jaunty rhythms are defining characteristics. Lead vocalist Glenn Skelhorn has personality to spare, and he puts it to good use as a front man.” (Shindig Magazine) Their eponymous debut album is now available!
Sue Hedges – If it isn’t remarkable enough that she has met Prince Charles and has performed on bills with Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris, this Liverpool lass has been blind almost since birth! But there are many sides to the prolific Miss Hedges – she’s been known to display her rock diva persona, throw in a jangle-pop song, a bit of country twang, a heartfelt ballad, and then to belt out some soul all in the space of a single set! Check out her latest CD, The Soundtrack of My Dreams!
The Hexmen – Rock ‘n Roll was founded on The Blues, a foundation very close to the hearts of Liverpool’s The Hexmen, and a fact certainly not forgotten by IPO! The Hexmen bring a unique blend of Blues, Punk, Funk, and Mod worthy of the toga party scene in Animal House that we’re sure will make you want to get up and groove! (Togas are optional!)
Hijinx – Pure power pop in the grand tradition of artists such as Badfinger, Nick Gilder, and Cheap Trick! This Liverpool foursome has it all: great rock guitar licks, catchy hooks that stick in your head, and melodies that come bursting forth with three-part harmony vocals. If you were wondering “why can’t they write songs like that anymore?”, then wonder no longer…Hijinx can and do as well as anyone!
Marc Kenny – Whether performing solo, as the lead singer of local Liverpool rockers, King’s Parade, or as the front man for The Northern Allstars, or as a collaborator in any of the other projects he may have going at one time, Kenny’s star quality shines through! Musical influences range from John Lennon to David Bowie to Paul Weller, with a touch of disco house thrown in for good measure! Definitely a man poised to take the world by storm!
Major Major – With a stunning concoction of influences from all corners of music, Major Major will have you captivated with their original pop sound! Comparisons have been made to Talking Heads, Dr. Feelgood, Franz Ferdinand and Ozomatli. Major Major make an impact anywhere they play, so watch as one of Liverpool’s most exciting young bands tear up the stage in front of you…then offer to pay for any damages.
Midnight Playground – Four Liverpool lads who are not only a band, but also the best of friends. They’ve been making a name for themselves with their sound, which is deep and resonating, and defies being confined to a single genre. A bit of indie or maybe anthemic rock, with pop-like hooks that will draw you in and keep you coming back for more! Check it out for yourself!
The Ragamuffins – They’re a six-piece indie/pop group based in both Liverpool, renowned for their emphasis on harmonies, clear arrangements and catchy melodies. Their jangly, frenetic pop style and groove takes in elements of Northern Soul, Ska, Rock ‘n Roll, ‘80s Electro Pop and ‘60s British Invasion. This is wrapped up in a dark, witty but uplifting lyricism, owing much to profound pop and indie greats such as Elvis Costello, Morrissey, Lloyd Cole, Ian McCulloch, and Stuart Murdoch.
David Sayle – You may recognize him as the main man of Liverpool’s Private Universe, but he’s quickly established himself as solo performer as well. The familiar influences of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction and Pearl Jam can still be heard, but with a more lyrical, soulful, ands organic quality in the vocals and guitar work.
The Shakers – They’ve been called the most authentic Liverpool beat group since the ‘60s, and have got the goods to back it up! For those of us too young (or geographically challenged!) to have experienced what The Cavern might have sounded like in its heyday, The Shakers are here to give us a taste! They’ve got a couple of EPs, and are working on a full length CD for which we can hardly wait!
Stacked Actors -They explore the “heavier” side of pop music, but don’t let that throw you: they never fail to bring the melodic rock with tasty, rugged guitar licks and strong, post-grunge vocals. These guys could have been part of the Seattle scene without anyone finding out that they are actually from Liverpool!
The Suns – This Liverpool-based band’s musical blueprint draws from 70’s West Coast, 60’s Folk/Psych, Powerpop, Post-Punk, Bossanova, Guilty Pleasures, Surf Music and Tropicalia. The Suns appeared at the very first IPO Liverpool 10 years ago, have since released three critically acclaimed albums, and last year gigged with The Zombies! The Suns will be unveiling brand new material at this year’s festival, which will show yet another shift in their ever-changing musical landscape.
Joe Symes – A singer/songwriter who specializes in captivating songs dealing with different everyday issues such as politics; life relationships; friends; heartache; and what’s going on in the world today. A tireless performer and promoter, he is constantly gigging all over Liverpool and spreading his message on the internet. His cool brand of edgy power pop and his powerful vocals are sure to please fans of every age and genre!
Two Weeks Running – If you love edgy indie rock in the vein of artists such as The Maccabees, Oasis, and Blur, you will love Two Weeks Running! They’ve been making a name for themselves around the Northwest, opening for such acts as The Wombats, and getting airplay on XFM and RockFM. Their first EP, Lions, is available now, and a second one is in the works! Check out one of Liverpool’s hottest acts!
Rob Vincent -I PO audiences and regulars in the Liverpool scene may remember Vincent as the lead singer of Night Parade, who wowed us with their classic guitar pop sound and Vincent’s emotive vocals. He’s back doing his thing under his own name, and IPO is glad to have him! His recent Time Bomb EP explodes with acoustic folk rock goodness, thanks in part to childhood influences such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles, but also to Vincent’s life experiences, which shine through in his lyrics.
Viperlace – If you like no holds barred old fashioned rock n’ roll, then you will love Viperlace! These boys from Liverpool exemplify the rock n’ swagger made famous by such bands as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Guns ‘n Roses, while never losing sight of the importance of melody…and lead vocalist Ben Appleton’s styings are like Paul Rodgers incarnate!
U.K. Artists From Outside Of Liverpool
4th Street Traffic – Muscular anthemic rock is the order of the day for these boys from the valleys of south Wales. Gaining much critical acclaim over the short time they’ve been together, they’ve played a prestigious array of shows including a support slot with Welsh rock legends, the Stereophonics, and are firmly securing their spot as the next “must see” band. Check out their recent single, ‘Long Way Round’ on iTunes or at HMV.
The 286 – A seven-piece band from London, which also features members of The Fore (who have played many an IPO Liverpool), The 286 dare to cross the genres of indie rock and classical music. By clashing rock n’ roll riffs with cellos and violins, The 286 create a unique sound that you expect to be reminiscent of a musical collaboration between The Beatles and Ludwig van Beethoven! Check out their A Victory for Battalion CD, and you’ll hear what we mean!
The Ace – A powered-up guitar pop band from Leeds featuring former members of the power-poptastic Freebooting Profiteers, crazed mod garage nutters (Thee Mighty) Uptight, and mod beat masters The Lost 45s UK. Their sound brings together a whole load of bubblegum/powerpop/beat/garage/mod/punk/indie/soul/guitar-pop vibes with a mix of melody and mayhem! They’ve finally recorded a new EP, The Attack Of The Ace, which is about to be unleashed upon the world, and we can’t wait to hear it!
The Anydays – West Coast Sunshine Pop meets Carnaby Street in the music of this three-piece from Oxford! Their infectious blend of ‘60s harmony beat with the modern garage swagger of recent buzz bands such as The Arctic Monkeys or The Fratellis has them poised to capture similar attention! Check out their recent CD, and keep your ears perked for their new Black Cat single, due to be released May 28!
Beneva – Reviewers have compared the overall sound of these gents from Coventry and Birmingham to Jellyfish, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beautiful South, Supertramp and even elements of The Beatles, and with good cause! They create contagious melodies with harmonies galore, and can switch from heartfelt epics to quirky radio friendly songs with ease, as can be heard on their debut CD, I’ll Just Say What I Mean. A new one is in the works, and we can hardly wait!
Megan Blyth – She’s a talented young performer, sure to appeal to fans of PJ Harvey or Joni Mitchell. “Unaccompanied and undeterred, songs about stuck up girls, difficult friends and days out with dad came flowing – She was charming, gentle and used the gravely tonal range of her voice incredibly…Blyth is definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.” (Invernessgigs)
Jake Bolt – The leader of Inverness popsters, The Boosts, who with their exuberantly bouncy sing-along choruses, quirky chord changes, and habit of making free downloads available to everyone on their mailing list, they’re very easy indeed to like! We can’t wait to see and hear what Bolt has in store for us performing under his own name, but we know for sure that it will be catchy and fun!
The Brights – Indie-pop group The Brights are four fellas from Chelmsford who, armed with Trivial Pursuit, their debut album of heartfelt melodies, warm, sparkly guitars and upbeat rhythms, are planning a pop music revolution. If the songs on their myspace page are anything to judge by, fans of classic Motown acts, Burt Bacharach and Paul Weller are sure to flock to their cause!
The Broken Vinyl Club – A band from who not only wear their ‘60s influences on their sleeves, but fashion them into a musical time machine where you can hear all of your favorites of the period melded into a fantastic whole. They’ve brought back The Beatles’ harmonies, The Stones’ swagger, The Pretty Things’ attitude and The Monkees’ personality. They’ve even had time to raid a couple of Carnaby Street clothes shops and nick Keith Moon’s drum kit! One of Cardiff’s finest!
Bruise – London-area band featuring drummer Jim Kimberley and songwriter/vocalist Isobel Morris (also of Kelly’s Heels-see below), with Bob Kelly added in for taste! Their latest CD, Little Victories, is their best yet! It’s emo for adults, with more “bang” than “pop,” and a folk festival flair, grooving softly and hypnotically, not unlike Eurythmics at their best, although live they really rock!
Captain Wilberforce – Beautiful melodies, dripping with layers of harmony and rich instrumentation, replete with subtle hooks and inventive chord changes abound on Ghost Written Confessions, the latest CD by this band from Leeds. Fans of Brendan Benson, Guided By Voices, Squeeze, and Jellyfish – to name but a few! – should definitely check this out!
Cardinal Jack – Angular indie-rock with a power pop sensibility can be found in the music of this trio from London, which will appeal to fans of The Clash, David Bowie, and Hot Hot Heat. They keep getting better with every IPO, and we can’t wait to see them again!
The Carousels – Following in the great folk rock tradition of such artists as The Grateful Dead and The Byrds, Scotland’s The Carousels produce a sound that is just as folky as it is rocky, just as rough as it is smooth, and just as alternative as it is popular. The songs on their Call Along The Coast EP utilize the classic combination of harmonies, weaving guitars and a solid backline to satisfy a musical wanderlust that flits with effortless abandon from genre to genre.
Cow – A band from London who have achieved an organic acoustic harmony-folk-pop-soul sound that will appeal to fans of Tamla Motown, Carole King, Smokey Robinson, Small Faces, and a veritable stack of Stax and Atlantic singles. They’ve recently released their second CD, Dedicated To…The Mighty Drum, had a track off the album titled ‘Black Harvest’ used on the cover mount CD of the April edition of Mojo Magazine, and have supported Paul Weller. Pretty cool!
The Dirty Royals – This band from Oxford is always a crowd pleaser and we’re thrilled to have them back! Their music is an action-packed celebration of the life-affirming power of rock n’ roll, a head-on collision between classic British Pop and gritty Punk on the Pacific Coast Highway, where Beach Boys harmonies are grazed by the guitars of The Clash and are shattered into shards of surprisingly beautiful new-wave debris. The Dirty Royals are the band you desperately want at your next party!
Dlugokecki – A five-piece pop/rock/indie band who aim to entertain and thrill, led by Ben Dlugokecki, a very talented young singer/songwriter from Southampton who has been compared to the likes of David Gray, Paul Simon, Elbow and Damian Rice. Merge Magazine sums his music up best: “Gentle sound, clever lyrics and meticulous orchestration.”…add to that achingly beautiful heartfelt vocals, and you get the idea. The debut LP, Putting the Tracks in Front of The Train, should be out by the time you read this!
The Electric Stars – A psychedelic pop/rock n’ glam outfit charging out of Manchester, who strive to make beautiful music for beautiful people…and do so quite nicely! They’ve got all the glitz and glam of T Rex, the swagger of The Rolling Stones, with many a nod to Northern soul. Check out their recently released Detour Records single!
Elgazelle – A totally fun band from Manchester whose music remains true to the Northern Soul, garage, and pop-rock sounds of the ‘60s, but punches it up with some modern rock swagger. “What might happen if The Who and The Blues Brothers sordidly snuggled up together after a particularly good party and spawned an illicit lovechild.” (David Edwards, Manchester Music) Yeah, they are that good!
Eskimo Blonde – The band have had a high profile career to date, taking their powerful indie-rock sound far beyond their home of Aberdeen. Highlights thus far include becoming the support act for Ocean Colour Scene, and playing in front of tens of thousands of people, in addition to both national and international radio, TV and media coverage, a song commission for a teen drama series, cinema chain and more! Some new recorded material is coming soon!
Fifty Nine Violets – If you like your guitar pop sometimes jangly and psychedelic, sometimes rockin’, and sometimes hard hitting with punk energy, then look no further than this indie rock/Brit pop band from Hull! Their recent mini album, The Sun and The Stars, has got it all, and it’s all good!
Fun Of The Pier – Fun of the Pier is Helen on vocals and guitar and Mark on acoustic bass. Their songs have a lighthearted folky feel, but with darker undercurrents. Imagine a very British Judy Collins fronting Nirvana, and you’d come close to what this enigmatic band from Nottingham sounds like.
The Herron Brothers – Yes, the band really is comprised of brothers, Paul and Steven Herron, from Derby, to be specific. They’ve been doing this music thing for some time now, in different bands over the years, but finally got their collective arses into gear in mid 2008, and with a lot of help from drumming magic man Roger Millichamp they recorded a pop album entitled A Lovely Spread. Appropriately enough, the album is a quite lovely collection of songs reminiscent of Paul McCartney, Crowded House, or The Band.
Honeybug – Masters of self-re-invention, you never know what this band from Edinburgh has up their collective sleeves. Alternately appearing as a kick-ass fizzy pop four-piece, and a stripped-down three piece lounge pop trio, they’ve also been known to expand to a seven-piece harmony-soul-pop combo, complete with production and dance moves worthy of Motown back in the day! Fans of artists from Elton John to Jellyfish to Prince and Al Green will be thrilled to know they’ll soon be releasing not just one, but TWO, CDs! We can hardly wait!
The Housekeeping Society – They describe their just released album, Postcards, as a song cycle that takes as its central theme the English seaside, from its glory days as the ultimate summer destination to its decline in the face of cheap foreign holidays, in which they indulge in their love of story-telling, setting folk narratives to contemporary arrangements. Brian Wilson fans in particular will dig these gents. One of West Yorkshire’s finest bands!
Paul Hughes – The main man of Manchester’s The Candy Strypers is here to prove that sunshine pop can indeed come from a rainy city! The songs on The Candy Strypers recent ¡contenidos caliente! CD have been compared to The Beach Boys, The Hollies, and The Posies. Pretty lofty comparisons, but also well deserved!
Evette Judge – Judge has graced IPO stages in both Liverpool and Nashville as the leader of DreamCapture, and has played both IPOs Liverpool and London with her more recent project, Evaney. In whatever guise she plays under, her songs blend all kinds of cool country-folk-pop-rock sounds that fans of artists from Fleetwood Mac to Kate Bush to Annie Lennox are sure to enjoy. A new CD is due out by the time you read this! Definitely one of Ayelsbury’s finest!
Junebug – Landing squarely between punk-pop and jangle-pop, as well as between Wirral and Abergele, Wales, Junebug have been building a huge following with regular radio play on BBC stations in both of their hometowns. Their lighthearted music influenced by The Ramones, XTC, The Hollies, and The Beatles is a perfect choice for a summer drive by the beach. Just pick up any of their five CDs, and check them out for yourself!
The Junipers – The gentle psychedelic pop sound of The Junipers have earned them both rave reviews and many fans from far and wide beyond their home of Leicester. Their songs are mellow and yet joyful and uplifting, balancing influences from The Hollies to The Move to The Millennium to the Beach Boys in equal measure. Their long awaited 2nd CD, Paint The Ground, adds a pastoral touch, and has been cited in Mojo Magazine as “heavenly!”
Kelly’s Heels – An outfit led by Londoner Bob Kelly, who has now graced IPO Liverpool with his presence since its inception! His late ‘80s/’90s band The Ashes were awesome, and their 1994 CD, Smashed! is a power pop classic! The latest Kelly’s Heels disc, Playing Into Your Hands, is pretty amazing in its own right!
The Ladykillers – Quirkily charming quintessentially British pop from Birmingham, played up loud and rocking, just the way we like it! Shades of Elton John, The Beatles, and The Coral, as well as Eels, Bob Dylan, and The Beach Boys can be heard on their recent Off The Rails CD. Very cool!
The Last Carnival – As their name might imply, their sound is upbeat, raucous, and fun! Hook filled choruses, soaring harmonies, and all out glitter glam ROCK can be heard on their debut EP, The Golden Age of Nothing. These boys from Cardiff and Brighton have the goods to go all the way!
The Last Fakers – A band from the Northeast of England who believe in big songs with big choruses, a sentiment with which IPO can most definitely agree! Their songs will appeal to fans of other like-minded bands, such as Oasis, The Jam, and Stone Roses.
The LBC Collective – If you like classic rock and funky soul (and who doesn’t?), you will certainly appreciate this collective of Londoners! They describe their music as Otis Redding meets Dr. Feelgood…add to that a hint of The Temptations, and you get the idea!
The Lightwings – Their passion for Merseybeat, Britpop, and Motown help them to create a fresh new sound they call “Beatpop.” The rock n’ roll rhythms and infectious melodies never fail to stir up a frenzy in their hometown of London, and we think they’ll also fit right in in Liverpool!
The Longsands – The last few years have been a journey for The Longsands: Two self-penned singles, battling Take That for HMV’s best-seller shelf-space; two UK tours; and a commission to record the Newcastle United walk-on tune! Their new album, Meet Me in Spanish City, is due out later this summer. None other than Bruce Foxton of The Jam has referred to this Newcastle band as “The best support band we have had, great band, great songs.” You owe it to yourself to check them out!
Loser Token – They’ve got exuberantly upbeat catchy songs, bursts of sweet harmony, and a joyous buzz of fast guitars and even faster drums. While some might call their style of music pop-punk, the Essex quartet prefer the term “Music that makes us and (hopefully) lots of other people happy/happier/not sad.” Armed with their eponymous debut EP, produced by Army of Freshmen’s Aaron Goldberg, they’re getting ready to take the world by storm! You need to see them live to experience their Stevie Wonder medley!
The Lost Boys – A young band from Southampton who have found a sure formula for success. “The Lost Boys are masters of the catchy guitar riff and unexpected, chromatic chord change.” (Guitar Strung Revolution.) Their songs on their debut EP, cheekily titled Not Arf! It’s The Lost Boys, are catchy and bursting with harmony, slightly quirky, but without straying too far from classic Brit pop influences such as The Beatles and Paul Weller. In other words, it will appeal to pop fans of all shapes and sizes!
Barry MacKay – Having spent the last twelve months crafting a set offering a modern twist on classic influences such as Noel Gallagher and The Rolling Stones, Mackay is stepping out as a solo artist, supporting legendary Britpop outfit Dodgy, and reaching out to audiences beyond his native Highlands with his IPO showcase. A debut CD is also due out soon, so look out for it!
Magic Eight Ball – The music of this Egham quartet is a melting pot of powerpop, folk, and soul influences steeped together into a warm and tasty brew designed to rush straight to the pleasure centers of the brains of their listeners. Fans of Stevie Wonder, Big Star, and Manic Street Preachers will want to check them out!
Peter Marchant – Hailing from the tiny Northamptonshire village of Holcot, 20-year-old Peter Marchant is specializing in a revolutionary new genre he calls “Melodramatic Alternative.” Heavily influenced by early recordings by Queen, and other ‘70s acts such as Bowie and Mott the Hoople, the music is characterized by harmonized guitar solos, fancy piano and strong, catchy vocal melodies. A new album is due out soon!
Kevin McGowan – Currently residing in his native Scotland, this one-time Liverpudlian and co-founder/lead-guitarist/singer of the Scottish band Coloured Dreams is hard at work crafting a cache of tasty pop songs for his forthcoming CD. McGowan’s songs brim with poignant, acoustic goodness, strong melodies, an angelic voice, and a bit of intensity. Fans of Pink Floyd and David Bowie will also love his tunes!
The Merrylees – County Western is not exactly the image that immediately comes to mind in thinking about Edinburgh music, but listening to the debut EP from The Merrylees just may change that! “The Merrylees’ engaging blend of country & western and hallucinogenic riffery follows a fine heritage of ‘60s and ‘70s influences. The songs are fleet-footed affairs, all skiffling percussion and deftly handled melodies.” (Ray Philip, Edinburgh Evening News)
Mini – Combining the memorable melodies and pop sensibilities of the Beatles and Crowded House, the hooks, harmonies and handclaps of Jellyfish and Teenage Fanclub and the balls-out rock’n’roll of The Who, London’s Mini are one of the must-see acts of IPO Liverpool. “Perfect heart-stopping pop. Beautifully-crafted, deftly-executed songs of love, loss and bitter-sweet gain” (Tim Barr, The News Of The World). Check out their Must Try Harder EP!
Olly Neasham – An engaging singer/songwriter who has captivated pop fans from Liverpool to Chicago, and up and down the American West coast in his previous IPO appearances, first as the leader of A Foreign Town, and more recently as a solo artist. His work has always had a pleasing indie-pop-folk style reminiscent of Neil Finn or Crowded House, but his solo music adds a more personal touch: part Bob Dylan, part Bing Crosby, and totally enjoyable!
The New Unsociables – Inspired by pop, soul, and mod music of the past and present, Leeds’ The New Unsociables pens feel-good songs that will make you want to get up and groove. Fans of The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, and The Ace (see above) will dig these guys!
New Vinyl – A quintet from Wakefield who really know how to rock! To date they’ve recorded 22 songs and have played hundreds of shows, and show no signs of slowing down! Their sound is somewhere in-between Jet and Oasis, with killer hooks added for good measure. “New Vinyl sound like a band with an instinctive understanding of who they are and where they’re going, and brimming with the confidence and sharpness that’s as much about time together as it is talent…” (Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group)
Paisley Riot – They’re back after a two year hiatus, and IPO is glad to have ‘em! Their music is characterized by a mix of catchy and original songs, tight musicianship and raw energy sure to gain this Birmingham band notoriety beyond their home in the West Midlands. Their new EP, The Buzz, is aptly named, as that is what it is sure to create!
Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist – Mix influences from The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and The La’s, and what do you get? Answer: the quirkily charming sounds of Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist! Their new single, Bones O’ Me/Girl Oh Why, also adds a touch of Roy Orbison! One of Lincoln’s finest!
Punch Drunk Soul – A duo of U.S. raised Meredith DiMartini and UK raised Matthew Fisher, who live up to their name with their “naturalistic”, soulful tunes.
The Q – The praise for this band from Gloucester ranges far and wide. “Sonically Sound – this is the ideal addition and asset to every mod party and every mod record collection.” (Guitars Galore, Germany) With a sound that’s somewhere between Secret Affair, Small Faces, and more modern “Swinging London” bands, we couldn’t agree more!
Raising Maisie – Their lust for strong hook driven melody forced with their high energy performance has seen their popularity soar in the relatively short period of their existence. Their debut album, Etc, Etc., is filled with strong melodies and layered harmonies that encapsulate the best of good old British Pop with a fresh face for the 21st Century. Come to their IPO show, and say you saw this young band from Brighton before they were famous!
The Reflections – Some glowing industry and press quotes have stuck with this four-piece London-based combo as words of encouragement and personal vindication in their pursuit of trying to create an element of melodrama and romanticism in their songs. Their debut self titled album has been called “A lolliping Spector kinda vibe made by people with probably impeccable record collections” (Simon Fraser, Fierce Panda Records). And if you like Gene Pitney, Del Shannon, or Scott Walker, The Reflections debut would make an excellent addition to your collection!
Ringolevio – Originally formed in Swansea, Ringolevio are a three-piece rock band currently living in London. Combining a romantic view of the world with a punk attitude, they write songs about ambition, love, hate, and everything in between. They have just come out of the studio with fresh new songs set for release on their debut EP, so watch for it!
Rogue Frequency – In sticking with their early melodic/acoustic roots, Rogue Frequency hasn’t lost any of its trademark style, while adapting to a heavier sound that came as a natural progression, featuring work on some groovy riffs, powerful anthems, and awe inspiring ballads. Their full-length CD, Spat Out By Machines, will appeal to all ages and genres, as it ranges from rock to acoustic, glam, and even a bit of prog! One of Stockport’s finest bands!
Ross and the Wrongens – BBC Kent’s DJ Andy Garland has taken a shine to the lads, and with good reason: their songs perfectly straddle lines between shimmery classic sunshine pop and modern indie pop, and have earned them distinction of ‘Best Pop Song’ at The Exposure Music Awards in both 2009 and 2010!. Imagine a combination of Rick Springfield, The Beatles, and Dodgy, and you’ve just about got it!
The Roves – A London-based guitar pop band whose songs have a clear underpinning of R&B. Fans of artists such as Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, and Brenda Lee will want to check them out!
The Rudimentary Confusion – A three-piece from Dartford town, Kent, whose unique style is hard to categorise but is possibly best described as ‘indie with a psychedelic twist’ and has previously been compared to Jimi Hendrix, Kula Shaker and The Small Faces. A long-awaited full length album is in the works!
Seagull Kinevil – Part modern punk-pop, part classic psychedelic rock, part quirky indie rock, but all intensely melodic – this is the music of Seagull Kinevil, a totally fun band from Angelsey, Wales. Their recent CD, To Insanity and Beyond, is sure to appeal to fans of bands from The Who to Frank Zappa to Nine Inch Nails! You need to see their live show to believe it!
Second Hand Wings – A five-piece Bolton band, fronted by Heather, Gab, and Gabby, formerly of Out of The Grey, and joined by Sandeep Patel on drums and Olly Neasham (see above) on lead guitar. They play subtle acoustic pop songs with fun harmonies and solid yet playful bass lines that lie on top of down-to-Earth meaningful lyrics. As a band they feel they have found their musical path and hope to please their ever growing audience every step of the way.
Shake 101 – A band from Essex who re-create the visceral feel of ‘60s beat music. Those well-versed in the genre may recognize a portion of their set as being made up of the lesser known songs by bands such as Sonics, The Count V, and The Eyes…but they may throw in a few Beatles covers too!
Richard Snow & The Inlaws – The songs of this Nottingham-based band have been compared to The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Phil Spector, and The Byrds. Their third and latest CD, Am I Really That Boring?, is yet another harmony drenched jangle pop confection, featuring Snow’s penchant for fine melodies and hooks, and with guest contributions from Nelson Bragg and Anny Celsi!
The Sonic Jewels – A very aptly named band from Italy and London (!) whose wall of sound stylings on their debut CD, The Dark Road To Venus, combine the raw psychedelic rock of artists such as Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, and mix it up with a bit of classic Brit pop whimsy and Mersey-meets-Medway garage. Totally cool!!
The Sons – A Derby-based five piece, two of which happen to be The Herron Bothers (see above). The Sons are currently promoting their second album, The Prime Words Committee. Taking its lead from classic pop music, the album is unashamedly song-based, with clever lyrics and unpredictable melodies. “…[C]leverly arranged, psychedelically undercoated and highly infectious” (Rolling Stone). Check it out now!!
The Soundcasters – Maidstone and Medway’s The Soundcasters were formed through a mutual love of a variety of music ranging from latin jazz to ‘70s punk. Influenced by such bands as The Beatles, The Band, The Animals, as well as more current ones like The Arctic Monkeys, their first EP had a ‘60s pop feel to it and received a huge response from a mixed audience. With the release of their second EP, The Soundcasters have returned with a more mature image, feel and sound, which will blow you away!
Spygenius – Inspired by bands like The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Robyn Hitchcock, Spygenius offer ultra-melodic music with a light ‘60s influence. The London-based four-piece play original guitar-based pop for people with an appreciation for harmonies and clever wordplay….and who among us can’t appreciate that!? Fans will also appreciate their latest CD, Red Lounge.
The Standards – These Londoners offer a cool cross between old school jangle harmony pop and quirky Brit pop. Their three-song Out Of The Fire EP is brimming with sonic soundscapes layered over catchy-as-heck melodies and whimsical lyrics. Fans of artists from The Beach Boys to Guided By Voices to Fleetwood Mac to Michael Jackson can all find something here to appreciate! A debut album is due out later this year!
Surf’s Up – Britain’s most exciting Beach Boys tribute band, renowned for their energetic “thinking man’s” set lists, packed with album classics, obscure goodies and hits! The 11-piece line-up for the IPO features the talents of Sean Macreavy (Landys), Jimmy Hughes (Cherry Boys, Exhibit A, James Clarke 5), Ric Neale (Housekeeping Society), Rob Dean, Alex McCambley, Laurence Reid, Matt Bowen, Steve and Jack Blackman (a phenomenal young guitarist) and Laura Phillips and Robbie Tabrett on woodwind. Their Cavern sets this year boast ballsy R&B/Soul reworkings of tracks from the classic Wild Honey album – you’ve never heard The Beach Boys sound this BIG!
These Reigning Days – Coming to IPO Liverpool from Torquay/Teignmouth, These Reigning days are fronted by ex Quails lead singer/songwriter Dan Steer, and they are fast establishing a reputation as an impressive live band playing grown up indie rock layered with synths, keys, guitar, drums and harmonies!
The TimeLarks – An engaging psychedelic folk trio from Somerset, consisting of father and son Martin and Tom Welham, who are joined by Cherry De Portela E Prado. Their sound is a bit reminiscent of the 1960s British folk festivals, which they come by quite naturally as Martin was a member of the ‘60s bands Forest and Full Circle, but also has a timeless quality stretching back to the Middle Ages!
Tudor Lodge – Yes, this is THE Tudor Lodge, who played the British folk circuit in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, including an appearance at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival! Their self-titled album from 1970 is considered a classic of the genre to this day, and their more recent CDs of the past decade are well worth a listen…or two…or three…
Ulysses – Rarely does a band come along and blow us away like this foursome from Bristol and Bath – each song on their myspace player is better than the last, bursting in equal parts with great harmonies and classic rock swagger. Fans of ‘70s glam and psychedelia a la T Rex, Queen, and The Rolling Stones will love these guys and consider their debut CD, Everybody’s Strange, a must have! Classic Rock Magazine rated their song “Eye On You” as one of the 100 best songs of the year for 2011! Their explosive live show will make you think Isle of Wight!
The Upper Fifth – From the ashes of one of the 1980’s most successful Mod Bands, Makin’ Time, we were given the Charlatans, but it’s down to the unmistakable vocals of Mark McGounden that the Upper Fifth keep the flames burning. Their debut album, Take The Fifth, was produced by Nigel Clark of Dodgy, and features a perfect blend of psychedelic mod pop and Northern Soul.
Van Susans – A Pop/Rock sextet residing in London’s leafy suburbs. Consisting of Olly Andrews, Olly Groome, brothers Rob Dullaway, Ed Dullaway, Tim Dullaway and Holly McLatchie, the group have a burning passion for melodic harmonies and tales of love and heartbreak, accompanied by both beautiful acoustic rhythms and assertive electric guitar riffs. Their debut EP, We Could Be Scenery, was released back in May 2011 and showcases the band’s effortless ability to write killer hooks, big choruses and instantly sing-along, well crafted melodies. Their new album, Paused In The Moment, will be available from late May 2012. Tremendous live band!
We.Are.Alien – A mother-daughter duo from Manchester who write songs from the heart. They play everything they feel, no matter what genre or sub genre, with no limitations. The sound is mostly acoustic, but can rock when it wants to. Fans of John Mayer, The Corrs, Sarah McLachlan, and Damien Rice will want to check them out.
The Whisky River Band – The Inverness-based five piece who offer something different – their tight sound, which also incorporates the skills of fiddler Iain Duncan, guitarist Fraser McLean, Chris Ronaldson on bass drummer and drummer Andy Davidson, tips a hat to the past but has its sights firmly set on the future – and sounds so right for now. Influences include John Martyn, the John Butler Trio and Pearl Jam, and singer and guitarist Kris Douglas presents an Eddie Vedderesque vocal that makes people stand up and take notice!
Annie Soulshine – Acoustic indie pop done up right: poppy and catchy, with enough hooks and handclaps to appeal to powerpop fans, but retaining a stripped down quality dominated by clean guitar work and soulful heartfelt vocals to maintain an indie folk ethic. Fans of Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Alanis Morissette will want to check out the debut CD by this duo from Friedburg, Germany. This stuff really should be on the radio!
Ashbury Keys – A straight-up pop rock band from Houston who have garnered multiple nominations as one of the best bands of the city! On their latest CD, Growing Up, you’ll hear trendy pop-rock music and love song lyrics with a sound not unlike Weezer meets The Cars, and that will meet with your approval! Currently returning from a brief hiatus, they’ve just released a brand new EP, called Wake Up, and are ready to bring their powerful brand of melodic rock to Liverpool!
The Beat Rats – These New York City rats are so cool, even cats (or should I say Kats?) love ‘em, as their debut CD, A Cellar Full of Rats, was released on Kool Kat records. Their blend of Merseybeat, surf guitars, and campy pop chic a la the Batman TV Show is totally infectious and almost impossible NOT to dance to! These guys were born to play The Cavern, as they demonstrated to masses of new fans the past two years, and we can’t wait to see ‘em do it again!
Capitán Sunrise – As their name might imply, Capitán Sunrise are all about sunshine pop. Taking cues from such greats as Dusty Springfield, The Beach Boys, Belle and Sebastian, and past IPO performers such as The School and Cola Jet Set, their sound is warm and upbeat, filled with soft harmonies, and bubblegum hooks so sticky you’ll find yourself singing along even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish! Just one listen to their El Chico Más Guapo De La Galaxia EP, and we think you’ll agree they are one of the most enjoyable bands from Madrid!
The Cherry Bluestorms – After discovering their mutual love of ‘60s guitar based melodic rock, guitarist/vocalist Glen Laughlin (formerly of The Dickies) and vocalist Deborah Gee immediately began working on what would become The Cherry Bluestorms. Their debut album by these Los Angelinos, Transit of Venus, is a garden of unearthly delights for those who cut their teeth on the vinyl pressed between 1964 and 1970! We can’t wait to hear their sophomore effort, a concept album called Bad Penny Opera, which is available for pre-order through their website, and should be released very soon!
Clockwise – Their first two releases, Accidentally On Purpose, and Too Little, Too Late identify their sound as influenced by Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Squeeze, tempered with more contemporary artists like Crowded House and The Beautiful South. They efficiently crank out three and a half minute pop songs with hooks that will stick with you long after that initial investment in time has been spent, as evidenced by their latest release, Faders on Stun. A new full length filled with their classic Toronto powerpop is set to be unleashed in the summer/fall of 2012, and we can hardly wait!
Cornerstone – Austria may be known as the classical music capital of the world, but make no mistake, Cornerstone is here to rock. The press has been extremely favorable to the band’s blend of ‘80s rock mixed with the harder edge of today‘s alternative rock sounds. Their new CD, Somewhere in America, is currently released in Europe and The UK, but with its made for radio alt rock hooks, is also sure to find many a fan (pardon the pun!) somewhere in America!
Ed Tulipa – A devoted fan of The Beatles, Sergi Carós (a.k.a. Ed Tulipa) writes songs that clearly reflect his love for the sound of the ‘60s, yet they also have a very special contemporary pop sound. Equally comfortable writing and singing in both English and Spanish, he’s joined on stage by a kick-ass band for a full-on in your face pop rock experience. We think the title of the debut Ed Tulipa album, PopTerapia, says it all….are you ready for a little Pop Therapy?!
Femme Fatale – Blasting out of their hometown of Alessandria, Italy with a frenetic pop rock buzz come Femme Fatale! Their debut EP, Fading Night Sounds, brings together classic Britpop and indie rock influences lightly touched with psychedelia, and bolstered by powerpop hooks. Fans of Arctic Monkeys, Velvet Underground, or The Kinks will want to check them out!
Lannie Flowers – The latest CD by this Texas gent, Circles, flew to the top of many a powerpop best of the year list, and with good reason! Badfinger-esque in-your-face guitars and vocal harmonies blend with softer shifting sounds more reminiscent of XTC. Fans of artists from The Raspberries to The Velvet Underground will also appreciate this one!
The Hacienda – The Hacienda are a band from Florence, Italy who love soul and ‘60s psychedelic music, as can clearly be heard on their recent CD, Picking Pennies Off The Floor, with its Bacharach meets The Beatles somewhere on Carnaby Street vibe. They are ready to spread their music everywhere, and we think the world will be a happier place for it!
The Honey Machine – Main man Mark Lee is no stranger to the psychedelic beat and mod scenes, having gotten his start in the ‘80s in the East London garage band The Surfadelics, and continuing into the ‘90s with both solo releases and with the band Holly Golightly. Now living in Nürnberg, Germany, he returns to his native England with The Honey Machine, who with their swirling keyboards, snarling vocals, and solid backbeat, were born to rock The Cavern!
Ivan Mudd – Not many bands would take on so ambitious a project as a concept album trilogy about alien abductions, but this band from Tønsberg, Norway, has got the goods to make it work! The first CD, Greetings Earthlings!, is available now, and the second installment should be available soon. Fans of both science fiction and of glam rock and killer powerpop hooks, as exemplified by such bands as T Rex, Cheap Trick, and Queen, will love these guys!
Jeremy – He’s one of the most genuine, nicest people on the pop scene, as well as one of the most prolific pop artists around. His gentle, John Lennon-influenced pop is as spiritual as it is melodic, and you can hear this for yourself on all of his CDs. This Michiganian can stake his rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame as he and his band have played more IPO festivals than almost anyone else!
The Jooles – The Jooles celebrate pop n’ roll on a shag rug carpet; sometimes loud, sometimes low – but always with heart and soul. Influenced by the pop, rock and soul music from the ‘60s and ‘70s and their countless revivals, the five-piece from Berlin spotlights the one important thing: a good song. It’s about melodies that you like to whistle in the metro, about lyrics the listeners could identify with as they remind us of an unfulfilled love, their own human weaknesses or of the last wild night at the club-plus Daria is the consummate frontwoman!
Paula Kelley Orchestra – The venerable Ms. Kelley keeps getting better and better with each release, and has found a home for herself among the Los Angeles indie pop elite! Her last full length album, The Trouble With Success (Or How You Fit Into The World), is replete with the kind of lush, melancholic songs that made The Zombies Odessey And Oracle the landmark disc that it is. Her latest EP, Airports, features four stunning new Paula Kelley songs, blending influences from Al Green to Margo Guryan, and more!
Norman Kelsey – IPO’s favorite soul-man resides in North Hollywood, California, and has completed his new album, So Sophisticated, with producer Adam Marsland. It is a continuation of his journey into disco-pop that began with A Talent For Loving, taking cues from the Brothers Gibb and James Brown, along with the usual Motown suspects. The album is set for release this summer, and is filled with uptempo pop tunes and ballads that will make you think it’s 1978 all over again, but without the polyester! We can hardly wait!
The Lawyers – It soothes, it seethes, it jangles, it pops….just like great guitar pop should be! Murcia, Spain’s The Lawyers do it just right on their O’Clock EP! Fans of artists from The Pixies to Teenage Fanclub to Blur will want to check them out!
Lights From Space – “Lights From Space are an alt/pop/rock band….They…have that buzz of ‘yore’ to them, but they also have a fresh new style and seem to sprinkle in some ‘60s pop into the mix.” (Ryan Swope, Brutal Control Blogspot) Fans of artists such as Nirvana, Black Sabbath, and The Strokes will appreciate the all out rock intensity tempered by pop sensibilities on the debut Six Song Set EP, by this band from Seattle.
The Likely Lads – Over the years we’ve had many a great power pop band from Milan, and The Likely Lads are no exception! Jangly guitars, catchy melodies, energetic drums, and powerful bass lines bring to mind such artists as The Rubinoos, Paul Collins, Iggy Pop, and The Clash, to name but a few!
Lisa Ljungberg – A Swedish singer and pianist, she is a renowned songwriter who has worked with many national and international acts. The songs on her debut album, Pretty Good Life, are an eclectic mix of jazzy ballads, soul and acoustic pop that fans of Diana Ross, Katy Perry, the late great Amy Winehouse, and Disney movie soundtracks are sure to appreciate!
Lovely – Lovely was formed in Linköping, Sweden, in the winter of 2006, and that summer their first four songs were recorded for the most part in main-man Jens’s living room (!). Their influences are planted firmly in the soil of ‘60s pop, with songs reminiscent of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Hollies, and Tages (!). In other words, they were born to play The Cavern…check them out and we think you’ll agree!
Leisure McCorkle – Influences like Joe Jackson, Graham Parker, and Elvis Costello abound by this gent from Brno, Czech Republic (by way of North Carolina!). Don’t think for a minute that the sound isn’t original-as Leisure himself says “I don’t buy records, I make them.” And he does indeed have another one in the making – entitled 5000 Light Years Beyond The Speed Of Sound, if it’s even half as good as his last one, it will be well worth the wait!
Mc Royal – José Mª Royo may be familiar to some as the singer/songwriter of one of Mallorca´s best known groups, Blue Meany. Mc Royal is his first solo venture, a project offering his own fresh and innovative British influenced sound paying homage to the infamous style known as “London calling.” The classical Spanish guitar stylings also add a nice touch!
Midnight Shots – We think the name of this band from Valencia, Spain, as well as of their debut EP, 4 Shots of R&B, says it all! Think late nights up dancing back in the day when R&B first spawned rock n’ roll; think Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and all the famous acts who played The Cavern before The Beatles, and you get the idea!
Johnny Monaco & The Traitors – Though some may know him as the former guitarist for Enuff Z’nuff (who have also graced many an IPO stage in his home of Chicago!), Monaco is a very noteworthy artist in his own right! Needless to say, fans of Enuff Z’nuff will dig his music, and so will anyone with a taste for meaty power pop with strong hooks, and he delivers these songs in a live setting with panache and style! His debut solo CD, Overrated, is full of instant classics!
The Montanas – A power trio of brothers from The Netherlands who play music moving between good old gritty rock n’ roll and tender ballads. Everything The Montanas play is interlaced with masculine emotion, restrained anger and a touching helplessness. Fans of The Beatles to The Searchers and even Deep Purple will dig these guys!
The New Investors – A band from Copenhagen, Denmark who claim they are on a mission to become a leader in the field of catchy indie pop music…and judging by the tunes on their website, they are well on the way to succeeding! Their sound is a delicious cocktail of ‘60s psychedelic sunshine and soul-influenced pop, artfully blended with ‘80s synth pop. Fans of The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, and Flock of Seagulls will all find something to like!
Noise Box – There must be something in the water of Murcia, Spain, that infects the body with a penchant for writing great jangle pop, and it’s definitely infected this band (and we hope nobody “cures” them)! In their particular case, the jangle is tempered with angular shifts, and sometimes wrapped in shoegazey layers of noise, and available for your listening pleasure on a mini album of rarities, entitled Rarezas 2001-2005. Check it out now!
NRWY – The latest project featuring Erik and Per Christian Grov, of The Generous Days, whose ‘60s styled sunshine pop was (and is!) always welcome at IPO. While at its heart still uplifting and jangly, with NRWY they add a folk rock intensity and indie rock bite that will appeal to an even wider range of audiences. Fans of Neil Young, The Jayhawks, Teenage Fanclub, and Wilco will want to check out these boys from Oslo, Norway!
Ocean Cloud – Four lads from Parma, Italy, who play the music they love, and we think you’ll love it too! They grew up on Oasis and the ‘90s sound to eventually broaden their taste to the new English and American rock wave of the ‘00s. They mix this with influences such as the Smiths and the Beatles, and the result is extraordinarily catchy, shifting from angular staccato bursts of energy to pure powerpop, and back again. Check out their The More You Have, The Less You Are EP, and you’ll hear what we mean!
Bjørn Pellebakke – One of the main men from Silverdrop, a band from a small town in Norway called Akkerhaugen, but who came alive on the island Madeira in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The songs on Silverdrop’s CD, Kraka-Boom will appeal equally to fans of both ‘60s harmony pop and modern indie rock. Pellebakke’s new sound retains the same appeal, but with a few cool surprises for us up his musical sleeves!
The Pengwins – A band of buddies (including Lannie Flowers-see above) who had their heyday in Fort Worth, Texas in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, back when powerpop was king! Taking cues from the greats such as Badfinger, Cheap Trick, and The Raspberries, their music is powerpop all the way….and they can still deliver it better than just about anyone, as they proved at IPO Dallas, and are about to prove once again at IPO Liverpool!
Dave Rave – He began popping very powerfully indeed a near quarter century ago as part of the legendary Canadian bands Teenage Head and The Shakers, and has often been referred to as “The Canadian Nick Lowe.” His latest CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs “Anne Marie”!! He’s played every IPO the past two years, with many more to come. Thank you, Dave!!
The Seasongs – A powerpop band from Madrid who add a little mixture of folk, garage and psychedelia to their sound, influenced by bands like The Who, The Kinks, The Beatles, David Bowie,The Byrds, Small Faces, The Creation, Led Zeppelin, Supergrass, Ocean Colour Scene, etc, etc…it’s no wonder that the songs on all four of their EPs bring to mind the British pop sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s!
The Secret Tape – A garage rock n’ pop band from Parma, Italy who exude raw energy that blends the modern rock swagger of bands such as Jet with classic British Invasion influences such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Their debut disc, Archive 1, will also appeal to fans of modern mod!
Set Alight – Indie pop with a rock n’ roll heart is offered by this foursome from Germany. Keyboards and programming interweave with anthemic rock vocals, strong bass lines and a hammering backbeat sure to get you moving. Fans of artists like U2, Muse, and The Killers will want to check out their debut album, Sparks!
She Talks – This five-piece from Copenhagen blend country-tinged soft pop, beat music, and folk pop into a beautiful whole. Lead vocalist Inge alternately channels Kate Bush and Susannah Hoffs, laid over intricate instrumental arrangements and subtle chord changes worthy of Brian Wilson or The Byrds. Yes, they really are that good! They’re doing special three-piece acoustic performances for IPO Liverpool, so you know their awesome vocal blend will really shine!
Shiva Racket – A band from Milan who make a veritable pop racket with their wall of pop rock sound! Fans of both late ‘80s upbeat Britpop and modern radio-friendly indie rock will surely appreciate the songs on their self-titled EP.
Speed Of Light – Sweden has long been known as the source of many powerpop delights, and the music of this band from Hogsater is no exception! In their former incarnation as The Movers they enchanted us in Liverpool in 2010, and released an EP called Soundscape that has it all: a bit of jangle, a bit of glam, and that rollicking ballsy no holds barred rock ‘n roll attitude we all love! Think Cheap Trick and T. Rex meet The Byrds and ELO! Speed of Light carries on in the same vein and has a bright future ahead, if their performances at IPOs New York and Toronto are anything to judge by!
Steed – Steed offer traditional Britpop of Dutch origin, and the songs on their debut CD, With A Curious Case of Countless Clues, take influences from artists such as The Jam and The Clash, and give them a fresh new twist. Extremely catchy, and with a powerful horn section, this is a band that deserves to be seen live!
The Sunny Boys – No longer just a Beach Boys cover band, The “Sunnies”, as the fans love to call them, are constantly touring in Italy, Austria, France, Spain, Finland and Switzerland, and after more than 300 concerts, they keep on revisiting the Beach Boys harmonies in their Surf/Rock original songs. Their debut original music album is cheekily named Beach Sounds, and they’ve got a follow up original music disc due out later this year. Come check out the #1 power surf pop band from Italy!
Sweet Tangerine – An acoustic pop duo from Uppsala, Sweden; fans of The Zombies, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and Nora Jones – just to name a few! – will appreciate their intricate vocal and guitar harmonies.
The Travellers – An indie pop duo fronted by Gemma, Italian vocalist, and Robert P, Anglo-Swedish guitarist, who have been recording and showcasing their music across Europe. Always inspired by the 60s , their music sounds like a mix of indie pop folk and soul, particularly on their newest tracks!
The Treets – Upbeat catchy rock ‘n roll with undeniable hooks and a solid groove to get you out on the dance floor is what this band from Alkmaar, Netherlands, has in store for us….and we can hardly wait to see them do their thing live! Mixing British Invasion-styled mod, soul, and beat influences with a modern rock swagger, we can tell we’re in for a real (pardon the pun) treat!
The Turnback – As their name might imply, they take much of their inspiration from the past, but these guys from the boroughs and environs of New York have a sound that is also sure to appeal to fans of modern indie rock jangle and psychedelic garage pop. Check out their debut CD, Drawn In Chalk, (as well as the movie to which the CD serves as a soundtrack, Drawing With Chalk), and you’ll hear what we mean! They’re a band born to play The Cavern stage!
The Yellow Melodies – New Identities, the third and latest disc from this band from Murcia, Spain, offers 12 exquisite songs with an optimistic, positive and lively soul, with harmonies arranged by sumptuous lines of trumpets, flutes, clarinets, backing vocals, strings, and synths. It’s a collection of sophisticated pop gems with creative, gifted, bright and fresh tunes, crystalline guitars and angelic backing vocals that shares the spirit and charm that enlightened the pop dreams of the sixties!