IPO Liverpool 2013
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Artists From Liverpool
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 Bubblino EP! And check out the folksy versions on their recently released Acoustic Sessions EP!
The Amazing Kappa – Cavern regulars, Liverpool’s own Amazing Kappa combines virtuosity with original songs and specially arranged covers, with electrifying showmanship which has to be seen. Their latest CD, Rodeo Locomotive, will (pardon the puns) grab you like a bull by the horns and bowl you over like a freight train with its shear intensity! Paul Kappa’s voice is so strong, it’s made Paul Rodgers call home and cry to his mama!
Mike Badger and 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!
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! Their debut album, Original Junkie, available via Townsend/Universal Records, was produced by Mark Wainwright (of INXS), and crashed into the iTunes Rock chart at no. 22. Is there any doubt these guys are poised to become superstars? ?
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!
The James Clarke Five – Fans from both Liverpool and Spain may remember Clarke as a member of The Cherry Boys, who were one of Liverpool’s top bands in the early ‘80s, and whose song “Kardomah Café” was a Spanish top 10 hit! Although you won’t really see five members in his current project, what you will get is a dazzling array of well-crafted pop tunes, sometimes annoyingly catchy, never predictable, and never far from the odd surprise or two. Just check out either of his CDs and you’ll hear what we mean! A new one should be available soon!
The Gentle Scars – They feature 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 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 debut full-length CD, Bleaker St, blend the best of Fleetwood Mac and CSNY, while retaining a uniquely Scouse edge complete with breathtaking harmonies. Check it out now!
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!
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 Oasis to 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!
Thomas McConnell – McConnell’s music is largely informed by the work of his heroes, in particular Paul McCartney and Eric Morecambe, and he has been described as having “clever chord progressions and a winning way with a melody” (Seven Streets, July 2012). Fans of psychedelic and Beatle-esque pop will definitely want to check out his single releases…but be forwarned: They will leave you craving for a full length!
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 Mysteries – The band, like their name, are a bit of a mystery, as they don’t yet have any songs posted. However, when their leader is the one and only Glenn Skelhorn (of The Gutterfighters), you know you’re in for some jaunty rhythms and fine tunes with a bit of a Scouse edge and one helluva stage show, as “…Skelhorn has personality to spare, and he puts it to good use as a front man.” (Shindig Magazine). This is one mystery we can hardly wait to solve!
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. Check out their Irony Curtain CD and you’ll hear what we mean!
The Relics – Their music is influenced by everything and anything that rocks or rolls, and will appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Whether your thing is Dylan or Morrissey, Oasis or The Jam, Buffalo Springfield or The Las (or just about anything in between!), you will dig The Relics!
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!
The Suns – This Liverpool-based band’s musical blueprint draws from 70’s West Coast, 60’s Folk/Psych, Powerpop, Post-Punk and Surf Music. The Suns brilliant and haunting new EP, Demons, has just been completed and pre-release copies will be on sale at the festival. The band have also released 3 critically acclaimed albums – Warmth, Wake Up and The New Normal. The Suns will be performing material from their entire catalogue at this year’s festival, so be sure to check their shows out, we know you won’t be disappointed!
Joe Symes & The Loving Kind – Symes 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, and adding the band takes his sound up to a whole ‘nother level – check out their recently released EP, Where Do I Belong?, and see what we mean!
Steve Thompson & The Incidents – Having gigged up and down the UK and Europe and shared the stage with the likes of Mungo Jerry, Suzi Quatro, and The Stranglers (to name but a few!), doing stints in various bands and as a solo artist, Thompson has found his niche with The Incidents. Insanely hooky upbeat pop that rocks like mid to late ‘70s radio used to…and like radio still should today!
Twin Planets – Twin Planets is a four-piece band consisting of vocals, guitars, bass, drums and synth, producing an Alternative New-Wave sound. Their current EP is available on iTunes, Amazon, and other fine online retailers. “Prepare for shattering guitars, shimmering vocals, and explosive drums, heading into the stratosphere.” (Tony Rigg, The Laboratory Project)
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. They’ve just released their second EP, Beats For The Heart, and are planning on touring throughout the UK in 2013. Check out one of Liverpool’s hottest acts!
The Verdict – The Verdict are a power pop trio from Liverpool who, in 2012, won the UK government backed ROCK THE HOUSE, performing live at the House Of Commons. Recently described as “The Everly Brothers on Acid”, their anthemic songs and dual vocals combine to create one of the most exciting and current sounds to come out of Liverpool for many a year. The band have been featured on BBC Radio Merseyside’s “Introducing” series twice in the last six months and have just finished recording their debut single in Liverpool’s Parr St studios, to be released on Cavern Records. Managed by Cavern Management, they play every Saturday night at the Cavern and are delighted to be involved with this year’s IPO festival.
Rob Vincent – IPO 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 continues in similar vein under his own name, with songs that fairly explode with acoustic folk rock goodness and soothe with heartfelt ballads, 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. His debut CD, Life In Easy Steps, is finally available…you can even get it in double CD format with a nifty 25 page booklet, so check it out now!
Watchtower – A psychedelic rock n’ blues juggernaut, Watchtower will appeal to fans of artists from McCartney to Creedence Clearwater Revival to The Traveling Wilbury’s to Hendrix…to name but a few!! But as if that wasn’t enough, their powerpop hooks and spot on vocal harmonies will give them even greater appeal! Check out their EP and you’ll hear what we mean!!
Artists From The UK
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 for their unashamedly classic rock with spiky guitar riffs and powerful vocals, and thorax-exhausting harmonies, 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 brand new single, ‘Together We Stand’ on iTunes or Amazon 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! Their new album, Next Time Around, features twelve tracks of garage, beat, bubblegum, pop-pysche, all fizzing with delight.
The Beat Movement – A guitar driven outfit from Greenock, Scotland, who build on the influences of many, many bands, ranging from the great London bands of the ‘60s and infusing those influences with soul, R&B and the greatest Britpop and indie bands of the modern music era. With jangling ‘60s style guitars, contagious melodies and an up beat swagger, The Beat Movement are making waves with their high energy, foot stomping sets! For those of you watching in black and white this one is in techni-colour!!!!
The Breakdowns – In describing their music, Nottingham’s The Breakdowns ask us to imagine a time when pop music dictated the heartbeat of the world, when the pop charts actually meant something. Their mission: creating the perfect rock ‘n roll for the disillusioned masses. On their latest CD, The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Anymore, they do just that – punchy and hook-filled, the disc perfectly straddles the lines between punk pop, garage pop, and powerpop. Fans of Cheap Trick, The Ramones, and Buddy Holly NEED to check this out!
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!
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 debut full-length, Sweet Northern Light, 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.
The Delaplains – Formed and inspired through a combined love of ‘60s pop structures and post-punk shoegaze guitar, the output of this Manchester foursome culminates in a unique, modern guitar pop sound. Described by journalist John Robb as “Guitar pop perfection”, their
debut EP, Gypsy Blood, has been featured on NME.com, the Steve Lamaq show on BBC 6 music, and has enjoyed airplay on many radio stations across the UK and America… and is now also available on limited edition 7” vinyl!
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. They are also quite prolific, releasing two full length albums in 2012, the latest of which, Forty-Eight, was written, recorded, produced and mixed all within 48 hours!
Dropkick – Sibling harmonies reminiscent of The Everly Brothers, sparkling pop guitars, and soft pop melodies with a touch of twang have earned this band from Edinburgh the title “Scotland’s finest alt-country power-pop band.” (Tom Morton, BBC Radio Scotland). Fans of The Jayhawks, Teenage Fanclub, and The Lemonheads will also love Dropkick’s latest CD, Paper Trails, and will hungrily devour their extensive back catalog!
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. Their Sonic Candy Soul album was named one of Scootering Magazine’s Top 12 of 2012, along with the likes of Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, and The Moons. Nice!
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!
Ellamore – London based girl group that should have been born in the ‘60s with their amazing harmonies, glorious riffs, smooth tones and clever lyrics. They are sure to impress with their take on modern Motown and definitely differ from your usual girl group of today. If you love Motown, they are sure to win you over and are certainly a group to keep watching!
The Fast Camels – Glasgow is a veritable fountain of psychedelic garage music, and these guys are quintessential purveyors of that sound. Their trippy, ‘60s-inspired sounds bring to mind such bands as early Pink Floyd, Love and The Byrds. They’ve been scarfing up airplay and fans in the UK, US, and Europe since the release of their 2006 debut album, The Magic Optician, so many will be pleased to know that their second album, Dead Rooms and Butterfly Dreams, will finally be available later this year! We can hardly wait!!
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.
Furry Vengeance – The latest project of Barry MacKay, an Inverness-based gent who played IPO Liverpool last year under his own name, and has spent the last twelve months crafting a set with good friend and former band mate Ryan Golder, offering a modern twist on classic influences such as Noel Gallagher and The Rolling Stones. A debut CD is due out this year, and we can hardly wait!
Grip-Like Vice – For those that like their pop bands rowdy and their songs catchy, we present Grip-Like Vice from Cornwall. Playing edgy post-punk meets power pop with a ratio of song to attitude that walks the tightrope of street cred, these guys are sure to appeal to fans of Joy Division or The Alarm as well as to fans of Cheap Trick and The Cars!
The High Writers – Actually the nom-de-plum of Durham-based singer songwriter, Paul Lewis, but whether solo or filled in with “band” through the magic of modern technology, these songs are too good not to share! Blending quirky Brit-pop chord changes with more classic Beatle-esque powerpop, as well as influences from ‘80s Paisley Underground and early ‘90s radio pop, The High Writers could quickly become the new favorite “band” of many a pop fan!
Honeybug – Masters of self-reinvention, this powerpop combo from Edinburgh is at it again! Having appeared for the past few IPOs as a lounge-pop three-piece, they return in 2013 with a brand new seven-piece incarnation, with some new people, some new songs and all of the stuff you already liked… but even better! 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!
Ben Jones and The Rifle Volunteers – Jones is a very talented singer/songwriter/producer from the London/Medway area who was the main force behind The Lovedays, and has released a couple of excellent albums under his own name. His current project will appeal to both longtime fans of The Lovedays, as well as fans of artists from The Beatles to The Beach Boys, The Who, and Roy Wood! The band’s new album, Shangri-la, is due out this Spring, perhaps even in time for IPO (or at least we certainly hope so!!)
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. Her debut solo album, Strange Charles, is available now! 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 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!
Kontiki Suite – Kontiki Suite hail from the isolated outskirts of the Lake District in England’s “Deep North”. Following on from the 2009 release of their debut Stars EP, and national airplay on various BBC stations, their long-awaited full length, On Sunset Lake, is finally available. The record beautifully displays the band’s collective love of melody, harmony, psychedelia and country, borne out of an appreciation of the B-troika brigade of bands from the mid-1960s to today, such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Big Star, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beachwood Sparks, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, to name but a few!
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 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. Check out Unsigned Revolution’s “Band Of The Year”now!
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 also fit right in in Liverpool!
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!
Peter Marchant – Hailing from the tiny Northamptonshire village of Holcot, 22-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, and has been called “ear candy for the 21st century:” Sweet!
Raymond Meade – Longtime IPO attendees may remember Meade as the leader of the raucous Glasgow outfit, The Ronelles, who played IPOs Liverpool and Los Angeles in 2007. He’s back doing his thing under his own name, and we are thrilled to have him! His current music is a departure from the Ronelles ‘60s/’70s sound and is best described as anthemic rock n’roll. Fans new and old will also love the juxtaposition of down and dirty rock with sparkling guitars, lush orchestration, and heartfelt vocals displayed on his new album, Fables and Follies!
Melic – Melic are a four-piece rock band based in London with a sound derived from an eclectic blend of musicians -fusing a funk-rock bassist, a metal drummer, a classically trained pianist and saxophonist, and a rock singer/songwriter guitarist. In 2012 the band won “Best Overall Band” in the UK Unsigned Awards 2012, run by Play Music Magazine, and have recently been signed to Beatnik Geek Records to release their debut album – due out in June this year!!
Mellor – Catching the eye of the BBC Introducing after just one gig, the Reading four-piece spent their first year sharing stages with the likes of The Kooks, Pete Doherty, KT Tunstall and The Milk. Their debut single “Catch Me Girl” was released to five-star online reviews, and their second single has received national radio play. A debut EP filled with the dynamic sounds of their anthem-worthy Pop Smack is in the works, so watch for it!
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) Check out their new double single, For You/The Coroner!
Midland Railway – A delightfully quirky and enigmatic pop band from Manchester who describe their music as what it might sound like if really camp aliens, in miniskirts and feather boas, alien-napped Weezer and Rilo Kiley and Blur and put them all together and shook them up with a dash of alien music and some prettier people. Intrigued? Then come check out their IPO showcase!
Mothboxer – The musical outlet of Dave Ody (with a little help from his friends), Mothboxer has been releasing music since 2007, has played several gigs in and around London and the South East and has released three albums to date. The perfect powerpop confection, Mothboxer combines insanely catchy hooks, sweet harmonies with lush orchestration, and mind-bending chord changes that fans of Jellyfish, The Beach Boys, and XTC are sure to appreciate. Check out any of their albums – which are recently released in CD format! – and you’ll hear what we mean!
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 Newds – An alt-pop sextet from Bolton whose passion for what they do is evident in their songs. “It’s as if The Newds have stumbled across a musical jumble sale and they’ve picked up the threads of melody dropped off by the obvious greats like Harry Nilsson, Simon & Garfunkel, Lennon and Heather Mills’ ex-husband…” (Austin Collings) If this sounds too good to be true, you owe it to yourself to come check out their IPO showcase!
The Oxides – The latest project fronted by the musical machine that is Jake Bolt, who has graced IPO Liverpool both under his own name, and with his former band The Boosts. Combining alt- rock, punk pop, and grunge into their own brand of hook-filled mayhem, The Oxides are sure to appeal to fans of Nirvana, Oasis, and Blink 182. One of Inverness’ most engaging bands, they are also known to hand out EPs for free – just ask them!
Kyle Parry – Armed with an acoustic guitar and a powerful voice, Parry is one to watch on the singer/songwriter circuit. He’s been playing around his home of Northern Wales for years, and is now reaching out to a wider audience. With an eclectic array of influences from Stereophonics to John Mayer, Band of Skulls, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder (to name but a few!), his music is sure to appeal to pop fans of all shapes and sizes! An album is due out soon, so watch for it!
Phenomenal Cat – An artsy powerpop sextet from Sandgate whose quirky lyrics and pretty melodies will appeal to fans of artists from The Beatles to XTC and The Kinks. Their brand new album, Postcards From The British Empire, is a culmination of having spent 2012 releasing a new single each month, and is available in a deluxe double CD collection with goody bag, postcard, and other secret bonus stuff!
The Popdogs – As much as we loved Lincoln’s Postcards from Places that Don’t Exist, we are trilled that main man James Styring has unleashed his unabashed love for pure powerpop in his latest project! Fans of artists from Big Star to REM and Material Issue NEED to check out their brand new album, Cool Cats for Pop Dogs! (Yes, it is that good!) We’re also thrilled that they’ve decided to make their IPO Liverpool showcase the official release show!
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!
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 music will appeal to all ages and genres, as it ranges from rock to acoustic, glam, and even a bit of prog! Check out their latest CD, Foetal Upon The Tiles, Pt I, and the soon to be released follow up, Foetal Upon The Tiles, Pt II! One of Stockport’s finest bands!
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. Some new material should be released by the time you read this!
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!
The Sons – A Derby-based five-piece, The Sons have released two studio albums, the latest of which, The Prime Words Committee, takes 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). Their third album, Plan B, is in the works, and we can hardly wait to hear it!
Spygenius – Inspired by bands like The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Robyn Hitchcock, Spygenius offer ulta-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, Comforting Suture!
John Cee Stannard – Best known as the main man of Tudor Lodge (see below), Stannard’s solo work will appeal to a wider range of audiences. The folk rock influences are still there, but tempered with everything from jazz to blues to lounge-pop crooner influences. An unexpected delight!
Matthew Stephens – An acoustic guitarist/singer/songwriter from Sheffield, Stephens specializes in Delta Blues and ‘60s influenced material, but also has a wider array of influences – including everything from DooWop to Mod to (of course) Powerpop! Though he’ll be playing mostly originals, don’t be surprised to hear him throw in a cover or two from his vast repertoire!
Emma Stevens – An extremely talented singer/songwriter, Stevens has been playing guitar since the tender age of three (!), but has since expanded her music to include piano, ukulele, banjo, and mandolin! The sparkly upbeat folk pop on her Dreaming Trees EP will appeal to fans of artists from John Mayer to Kate Bush to Hillary Duff! Although she hails from Surrey, she’s scored a #1 hit in Korea, as one of her songs was recorded by Korean boy band “SHINee.” Pretty cool!
Surfin’ Lungs – A group of young beach rats – who knew each other from surfing the same coves along Bracknell’s famous north shore and racing their hot-rods at the local strip – first came together in 1981 to form the power-house of high octane guitar-licks and super-charged Farfisa that is Surfin’ Lungs. They take influences from the golden age of surf music – Dick Dale, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean – and give it a fuel-injected thrust by combining it with the power-pop energy of the likes of The Monkees and the Ramones. They’re released a vast array of albums over the years, and are still going strong, and IPO is proud to have ‘em!
Teenage Casket Company – Unashamedly inspired by the likes of Shampoo, the Top Gun Soundtrack, Go West, and The Ramones, their music is a fusion of melody, catchy hooks and a powerful guitar foundation. They’ve already cut two strong indie releases on their own TrashPit record label, the debut album Dial It Up in 2005 earning them the title of “Underground Album of The Year” in Powerplay Magazine, and they’ve got a brand new one due out later this year! They’re also known for their explosive live show, so be sure not to miss it! Another of Nottingham’s finest!
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! A debut album is due out soon!
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…
Turner – Salfordian singer/songwriter Louise Turner already enjoys a successful career as an in-demand session singer with a string of collaborations and guest appearances on tunes featuring Primal Scream’s Denise Johnson, Manc poet/song-writer Edward Barton, indie outfit Bluebird Kid Clark, as well as being a regular guest with The Electric Stars (see above). “With her platinum bob, panda kohl eyes and expressive voice…Part Dusty/ part Debbie Harry, she’s very adaptable to many styles and sounds” (No Other Press) Check her out now!
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. Classic Rock Magazine rated their song “Eye On You” from their debut CD, Everybody’s Strange, as one of the 100 best songs of the year for 2011! Fans of ‘70s glam and psychedelia a la T Rex, Queen, and The Rolling Stones will love these guys and consider both the debut and their brand new CD, Kill You Again, as must haves! Their explosive live show will make you think Isle of Wight!
Van Susans – Poet meets Drummer Boy meets Guitar Hero meets Piano Man makes rock band. With a passion for harmonic melodies and a gift for love tales, these five fresh creatures from London are creating ear smiling tunes that are sure to raise your spirit. Their pop-rock core is beautifully accompanied by an acoustic influence as well as a more assertive touch, freely tweaked into majestic compositions! Their debut album, Paused In The Moment, is available now! Tremendous live band!
Artists From Outside The UK
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! Returning last year from a brief hiatus, they released their Wake Up EP, and have been going strong since! They are now ready to bring their powerful brand of melodic rock back to Liverpool for the second year in a row!
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’ve demonstrated to their ever-grown legion of fans for the past three years, and we can’t wait to see ‘em do it again! As a testament to where their hearts lie – and to the authenticity of their sound – their new CD, Have Mersey!, was just released on Cavern Records!
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 Charlestones – Here to prove that great indie-laced Britpop need not originate in Britain come The Charlestones from Tolmezzo, Italy. Combining the classic pop melodicism of The Beatles with the shimmering layered guitars of Joy Division and the punchy intensity of Arctic Monkeys, their latest CD, Off The Beat, will appeal to a wide array of pop fans!
Jose Estragos – A singer/songwriter from Madrid, Spain, whose piano pop stylings are heavily influenced by Lennon-McCartney. Just one listen, and you’ll understand why he had to play IPO Liverpool! He’s got a new disc in the works, so watch out for it!
Evacalls – An indie pop/post punk band from Vercelli, Italy, whose music will also appeal to jangle pop and folk pop fans. They’ll be heading into the studio to record their first full length following their IPO Liverpool appearance, but in the meanwhile you can check out their 2011 EP, Unusual Common People!
Femme Fatale – Blasting out of their hometown of Alessandria, Italy with a frenetic pop rock buzz come Femme Fatale! Their latest EP, Domestic Peace, 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!
Fred and The Pentagon – Raised on the sound of the Beatles, and to the beat of a timeless fashion, Fred and the Pentagon just released their first opus, 13 Months, with fifteen original tracks where the rainbow shades of pop music merge and harmonize. Fans of The Turtles or Burt Bacharach will also appreciate their fine-tuned heady melodies, so exquisite to the ear that they are bound to travel through styles and generations! Classic pop from these Parisians!
French Boutik – This Parisian ensemble has their musical hands firmly on the pulse of our future while keeping their feet grounded on dance floors of the past. Buzzing and popping with powerful guitar, percolating organ, and sultry female lead vocals, the amusing and troubling sounds perfectly represent French Boutik’s timely marriage of English and French pop. The resulting songs here are social portraits peppered with irony, and delivered with a sophistication not unlike The Kinks, Jacques Dutronc or XTC. Groovy!
Marty Graveyard & The Working Men – Summer Holiday is the first solo album by Marty Graveyard, who was also the drummer/singer of The Madd! It’s a feelgood guitar pop album with catchy choruses and guitar lines to make you feel like it’s summer forever, and ranked near the top of many a 2012 “best of” list…including my own, at #2! He may be from Rotterdam, Netherlands, but his heart is clearly in California – think The Rubinoos, Beach Boys, and your favorite beach party movie soundtrack, and you get the idea! We’re thrilled he’s put the band together to perform at IPO Liverpool!
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!
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 latest installment, Spaceminister, is finally available! 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 Jooks – A new powerpop trio out of Germany, destined to become a favorite of many a fan of the genre. They bring just the right combo of jangle and hooks, with a psychedelic edge and searing guitars to secure their spot in your CD player. A brand new self-titled EP should be available by the time you read this!
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. Check out their debut self titled CD and their brand new 7” vinyl and you’ll hear what we mean…but you won’t want to miss their live show, as Daria is the consummate frontwoman!
The Kaams – A foursome who come screaming out of Bergamo, Italy, with the perfect mix of R&B, garage, punk, and blues nuances, all wrapped up in the kind of catchy melodies that are near impossible NOT to dance to. Fans of The Beatles, The Blues Brothers, and The Animals will love these guys! Plus, how could any band with a record named UWAGA! not be cool!?
Kaela – If you like intense indie rock with killer powerpop harmonies and hooks, than you will LOVE Kaela! Fans of Arctic Monkeys and The Zutons owe it to themselves to check out The Vultures Begin To Sing, the debut EP by these boys from Stuttgart, Germany!
Norman Kelsey – IPO’s favorite soul-man resides in North Hollywood, California, and has recently released his new album, On The Rebound, with producer Adam Marsland (see below), who will be joining Kelsey for his IPO Liverpool appearance. On The Rebound is a continuation of Kelsey’s 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, and is filled with uptempo pop tunes and ballads that will make you think it’s 1978 all over again, but without the polyester!
Lee & The Lovedaddies – Mix a little Blondie, some Buddy Holly & a shot of Lou Reed – shake firmly with the love for poppy melodies: that’s what you get when you put together Lee & The Lovedaddies. Fans of Shocking Blue will also dig their self-titled CD, featuring the song “Sugar Baby,” which last November was chosen by Belgian national radio 1 as the “Vibe Track of the Week,” giving it daily airplay! Definitely one of the coolest bands from Gent, Belgium!
Magma Brain – A power trio from Oslo, Norway who make a slightly retro kind of rock/powerpop with riffs, melodies and kick-ass energy. Fans of everyone from Paul McCartney to T Rex to Pink Floyd will find something here to love! Definitely a band after IPO’s heart!
Adam Marsland – Whether going it solo or playing the maestro as leader of his Chaos Band, Marsland has been cranking out power-packed performances across the US with songs ranging from beautiful harmony filled gems reminiscent of Brian Wilson to some funky blues inspired ‘70s soul-styled numbers. Quite possibly the hardest working man on the pop scene, his nearly ceaseless touring has earned him thousands of fans all over the world! His new CD, The Owl And The Full Moon, is nearly complete and both it and his UK tour were funded entirely through his own online campaign! He pours his soul into every one of his performances, so we can’t wait to see him do his thing in Liverpool!
Kevin McGowan – Currently residing Gozo, Italy, this one-time Liverpudlian (by way of Scotland) and co-founder/lead-guitarist/singer of the Scottish band Coloured Dreams is hard at work crafting a cache of tasty pop songs and preparing to release his next single. 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!
Mark Mikel – The main man of psychedelic pop darlings, The Pillbugs, is going it alone these days, and with splendid results. A purveyor of fine Beatle-esque and psychedelic sunshine pop from Toledo, Ohio, Mikel fits right in at IPO L:iverpool! Fans of The Partridge Family and The Fifth Dimension will also dig his latest CD, Cosmic Surprise!
Monkeeman – These Berliners claim a multitude of cool influences, such as Paul Weller, The Jam, The Clash, The Small Faces, The Beatles, The Kinks, Teenage Fanclub, and everything with a heart and a soul! All of these can be heard in the songs on their latest EP, Pressure, (as well as their back catalog of fine CDs) so if you don’t yet own them all, run and get them now!
The Most – One listen to their music – on 7” vinyl, of course! – and you’ll understand why these guys from Umeå, Sweden, just had to be part of IPO Liverpool! They specialize in sweet jangling psychedelia that nicely straddles the line between garage pop, mod and soft pop that fans of The Monkees, The Jam, and The Beatles are sure to dig!
My Buddy Moose – My Buddy Moose is a four member band from Rijeka, Croatia, assembled in September 2004. Different pop music genres, ranging from rock n’roll and punk to soul and country, influence their music. They draw their inspiration from the sensibility of Gram Parsons, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, as well as from the garage energy of The Sonics and The Stooges, and combine these influences with a passion and European flair that is uniquely their own, on their latest CD, Shine! Shine! Shine! IPO is proud to welcome them as the first Croatian act to ever play the festival!
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!
The Plastic Pals – Take the fiery guitars of bands like Television, Flamin’ Groovies and The Dream Syndicate, add a pinch of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground and a dash of magic melodies with a dark edge. Bring to a boil with a soulful and groovy base of drums and bass. Stir well and season to taste with the finest spices from the legacy of rock and roll – from Hank to Hendrix, from Gram to The Long Ryders, from The Beatles to Alex Chilton, from Townes to Paul K, from Coltrane to Television, and the list goes on. There you have the taste and the sound of these guitar slingers from Stockholm, Sweden. Dinner is served – Bon Appetit!
Robert Post – A Norwegian Grammy-winning artist (he won both Best Male Artist and Best Video in 2005 for his eponymous debut CD) from the Fjords whose debut single, “Got None” climbed to #13 on the UK charts, and spent 25 weeks in the Top 40 in both Norway and France! He brings his Paul McCartney meets Rufus Wainwright styled pop back to IPO Liverpool, and we are thrilled to have him! Long time fans and new converts alike will also be thrilled to pick up his latest CD, Rhetoric!
Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse – Purcell had played in a number of bands in his home of Sydney, Australia, before forming his own outfit. His music combined influences from folk rock to powerpop, and with his latest album called Mathew Street, we knew he had to come to IPO Liverpool! “Acoustic guitar and violin are prominent throughout, but it is Purcell’s songwriting that really shines through with a plethora of gloriously catchy melodies tumbling forth from his songs and conjuring comparisons to Big Star, Wilco, The Kinks and 78 Saab” (Doubtful Sounds)
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 three years, with many more to come. Thank you, Dave!!
Rhonda – Swirling organs, great hooks, sultry female lead vocals, and an undeniable beat characterize the sound of this Hamburg quintet. Their latest single, Here We Go Again, sounds like it easily could have been a product of Motown back in the day, so check it out now!
Rooni – Stockholm has long been known as the breeding ground of great powerpop bands, and Rooni are no exception! Whether mixed with a touch of modern indie rock or bubblegum/glam circa 1972, they deliver the insanely catchy goods that powerpop fans live for! Their latest single, Ambulance, should be available just in time for their IPO Liverpool appearance!
Ross – A man and band from Murcia, Spain, Ross combines delicious melodies with some of the most palatable distortion you’ll ever hear, making his music particularly essential to fans of The Posies and mid to late period Beatles. He still doesn’t quite have a full grasp of English, but somehow Ross turns this shortcoming into an attribute, his lyrics effecting an oddly appealing poetic flow. The latest Ross CD, Durante El Fin Del Mundo, displays a softer, gentle electronic side, but is still ultra-melodic and ultra-cool!
The Seasongs – A powerpop band from Madrid who add a 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 and their recent full length release, Out Of The City, bring to mind the British pop sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s!
Soupaczar – A cool indie/alternative outfit out of Parma Italy who put their own unique spin on new wave powerpop, rock, and glam/punk influences. Their songs are infused with a dance club beat mixed with powerpop hooks that are impossible to ignore. Fans of David Bowie, The Human League and Adam Ant will want to check them out!
Steed – Steed offer traditional Britpop of their native 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 their latest disc, Freeboobin’, proves those harmonies are just as tight when the do the power/punk pop thing! Come check out the #1 power surf pop band from Italy!
Surf School Dropouts – Although the water on the coast of Denmark may be a bit cold for surfing, that doesn’t stop this Copenhagen combo from cranking out some of the warmest harmonies around! Influenced by The Beach Boys, Phil Spector and numerous sunshine pop and surf acts, their debut (on 12” vinyl, of course!!) Summer Is A State of Mind, contains harmony-laden songs of sun, fun and love with the occasional dash of melancholia and longing…which is what it seems being a Surf School Dropout is all about!
The Temponauts – From Piacenza, Italy, a band with their collective head in the ‘60s, but their eyes on the present. Always tuned on to the electric waves of the Byrds and The Fifth Dimension, and in everlasting love to the Kinks and the Stones and ‘60s guitar power pop, starting with The Turtles and Easybeats, they take the jingle-jangle sound through the ‘80s paisley underground to the garage rock revival of today. Check out their debut CD, A Million Year Picnic, and get ready as they begin their 2nd expedition into the world of jangle pop with their brand new single, Elsewhere/Gone Too Far!
The Travellers – An indie alternative duo from Bretagne, France, who are inspired by the ‘60s and do a fine job of helping you travel back in time through their music. They blend ‘60s psychedelia and ‘70s grooves with a modern twist, and have an organic feel to their music that translates well to their live show. Fans of Kate Bush or Francois Hardy will surely appreciate Gemma’s lead vocals! Check out their new single, Summer With No Sun!
The Twin-Sets – Romance, the latest EP by this quartet from A Coruña, Spain, is a dream come true to those who fell in love with the radio powerpop of the mid-‘90s, as it’s filled to the brim with tons o’ chord changes and chunky-jangly guitars that sing the melody line at times. Although most of their songs are in English, they sound just as good in their native Spanish!
TypeWriter – Powerpop from the Far East comes to IPO in the form of this quartet from Singapore! Featuring an eclectic array of instruments and guest musicians (including Ken Stringfellow!), their latest album, Indian Head Massage, will appeal to fans of artists from The Posies to Flaming Lips to Wilco, to name but a few!
Vinyl Floor – A three-piece alternative rock band which hails from Copenhagen, Denmark, consisting of brothers Thomas, Charlie and Daniel Pedersen and longtime friend and colleague Rasmus Bruun. Their music blends gentle harmonies with indie rock intensity, searing guitar solos, and all kinds of melodic twists and turns that fans of artists from John Mayer to Elton John to Jellyfish to The Beatles will all enjoy! Their latest album, Peninsula, earned them not one, but three(!), spots on the official 2012 Grammy Awards ballot, and they have just released their new single, A Random Kind of Delight!
Warm Morning – If their name conjures images of their sound, as soon as you pick up their latest CD, Too Far From The Stars, you’ll know this band from Piacenza, Italy hit it spot-on! They consider the album their “…personal tribute to the marvelous 70’s pop music….eternal pop masterpieces by great artists like Roger Nichols, Paul Williams, Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini, The Carpenters, Carole King and many others. It is a collage of everyday short stories, stories about characters who share a continual search…trying to shake off the weight of their everyday problems, aiming to reach, one day, to the stars…..”
What, Really? – The new project of Matteo, whose former band Dagos graced the stage of IPO Liverpool in 2009. What Really? is more modern alt rock, whereas Dagos was ‘60s inspired, but the same melodic integrity is still firmly in place! Check out their debut self-titled EP, and you’ll hear what we mean! One of the coolest new bands from the mountains (Trento) and plains (Bologna) of Italy!
The Wheels – A band out of Caligari, Italy, offering dramatic pop with Britpop inspired melodies and glam pop flair! Their latest CD, Here and Nowhere, will appeal to fans of Queen, ELO, and The Beatles, to name but a few!
Winter Dies In June – A delightful band from Parma, Italy, who specialize in gentle folk-edged indie pop. Fans of George Harrison and Neil Young will want to check them out!