IPO Liverpool 2015
Click on artist name to go to their music page
CLICK HERE to see IPO Liverpool 2015 Artist Yearbook Photos
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 both during their live set and on their recent full-length self-titled recorded live CD!
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 Locomotiv, will (pardon the puns) grab you like a bull by the horns and bowl you over like a freight train with its sheer intensity! Paul Kappa’s voice is so strong, it could make Paul Rodgers call home and cry to his mama!
Rob Clarke with the Brown Bears – This lad from Liverpool and his band channel equal parts good ‘ol country honky-tonk with influences from his almost namesake: Gene Clark, of The Byrds, adding a touch of fuzzy ‘60s garage sounds replete with close cropped harmonies to the classic pedal steel and twang! There’s also a bit of Neil Young and Johnny Cash influence, making this the ultimate ‘60s singer/songwriter experience…but sounding like Rob through and through! Check out their recent 10 Country Greats and 1 Other CD – Great stuff!
The Grande – One of the Liverpool’s most mesmerizing acts, The Grande pour their collective hearts into every performance. Well steeped in Americana and Alt-Country influences, their songs blend the best of Fleetwood Mac, Ryan Adams and CSNY, complete with breathtaking harmonies, while retaining a uniquely Scouse edge. Check out their brand new album, Nothing Carries On, 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 belt out some soul all in the space of a single set! She also perfectly channels Donna Summer at the height of the disco-era, as she does on her latest CD, Outta Party!
Hijinx – Hijinx are back at the IPO again with their fizzy mix of power pop and big chords. With guitarist Barry Mckeown now firmly ensconced in the band, they serve up killer hooks and three part harmonies worthy of their influences – Kiss, Cheap Trick, Nick Gilder and The Sweet!
Jimmy & The Revolvers – A four-piece from Liverpool specializing in their own brand of folk music inspired by the eternal genius of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Expect tight harmonies, catchy melodies and a beat you can’t help but move to. Fans of The Beatles, Johnny Cash, and The Everly Brothers NEED to check out their debut EP, Sunday Morning!
The Juveniles – Growing up on a steady diet of Britpop and hip-hop, indie-rock and throw-away pop, The Juveniles went on to find ‘madchester’, new wave, punk and the ‘60s. All of these seemingly disparate sounds and moments in musical history are dear to their hearts and melded into their own harmonious sound. Fans of artists from Oasis to The Doors to The Cure will all dig their recent “Help Me Out” single and look forward to their soon to be released EP!
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…check out the previews of his brand new Yes It Is! album on his website and come to his IPO showcase to hear why!
Dave Lloyd (of The Suns) – Dave Lloyd is the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter with Liverpool band The Suns, who have released five albums and two EP’s to critical acclaim around the world. The Suns current album Cluster (A Collection) is available via iTunes and all digital retailers worldwide. At IPO Liverpool, Dave will be joined by guitarists Nige Whiteley and Lauren Daly. This show will be a must-see for fans of The Suns and festival-goers alike.
Lloyd and Daly – Dave Lloyd of The Suns (see above) has teamed up with talented singer/guitarist Lauren Daly to play some stripped-down easy listening ‘70s classics, with a few gems from The Suns thrown in for good measure. Lloyd & Daly’s IPO Liverpool debut show will definitely be one to watch for fans of The Suns and festival-goers alike.
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). His debut EP, Worried About Thomas McConnell, has received much critical acclaim, and his video of himself performing McCartney’s “New” was shared on Twitter and Facebook by none other than Sir Paul himself! Now one of the youngest musicians ever to be sponsored by Hofner Guitars, and sharing the stage with the likes of Steve Cradock and Ian McNabb, there’s no telling how far this young man’s talents will take him! He and his backing band will be doing some new tunes at his IPO showcase, so come check him out so you can say you saw him before he becomes a household name!
The Relics – Imagine if Bob Dylan could sing, was born 40 years later, and was fronting a hard hitting rock and roll band, and you get 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 La’s (or just about anything in between), you will dig The Relics! They are in the process of recording their debut album, Pilgrim Soul, so watch for it!
SheBeat – A Liverpool singer/songwriter mixing ‘60s influences with those of modern day troubadours such as PJ Harvey and Norah Jones. Expect tales of romantic misadventure and perfect portions of hum-a-long acoustic folk pop. The debut self-titled SheBeat EP is now available via iTunes!
The Springtime Anchorage – A Liverpool foursome who craft beautiful folk-influenced harmony-laced jangle pop in the finest tradition of Crosby Stills & Nash, Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan, and fellow Liverpudlians, The Coral. Their debut album, Labour of Patience, is finally available – check it out now!
Stacked Actors – They took their name from a great Foo Fighters track, and accordingly these Liverpool lads are influenced by The Foos, as well as such diverse bands as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Radiohead, The Beatles, Blondie and The Cure, to name but a few! Like fine wine they have developed an intoxicating complexity with age, since they last played IPO Liverpool in 2006, and we’re glad to welcome them back! Check out their most recent and most excellent Lucky EP!
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!), and 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!
Robert 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 available either on its own or 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 give them an even greater appeal, as evidenced by recent airplay from Athens to Arizona to Australia and points in between! Check out their EP and you’ll hear for yourself!!
UK Artists From Outside Of Liverpool
4 Brothers – A South Wales based brotherhood whose music evokes the rich country harmonies and spirit of a sound that has influenced generations. Their interest in melody and harmony makes for an interesting blend of styles and a truly uplifting live performance experience. Fans of Crosby Stills & Nash, Tom Petty, and Neil Young will want to check out their debut album, These Are The Ghosts!
Aerial – Hailed by many fans as one of the best albums of 2014, Aerial’s Why Don’t The Teach Heartbreak In School?, has been called “a power-pop epic” (Something Else!). With tales of schoolyard frustration, Japanese dancers and broken engagements along the way, as well as crunchy guitars, infectious melodies, and scintillating harmonies, the album is sure to appeal to those already familiar with their earlier work, as well as fans of bands such as The Posies, Big Star, and Weezer. Definitely one of Aberdeen’s finest!
Alice (from Alice & The Lovers) – IPO Liverpool fans will be treated to a special solo performance from the dynamic front-woman for the London-based quartet, Alice & The Lovers, who sound something like Martina McBride fronting a super-group consisting of The Spice Girls joining forces with The Supremes, with The Go-Go’s as the backing band! Fans of hard-hitting rock n’ roll, luscious pop hooks, and girl-groups both classic and modern will…well, love their debut EP, Valentine!
Alwaystotyrants – A new band out of Sheffield, delivering angular indie-pop with a touch of prog that can be both driven and brooding, or soft and soothing – any way you like it! A double A-side will be available soon, so watch for it!
B-Side – As the name suggests, B-Side are a reassuringly unfashionable smorgasbord of such tasty ‘70s delights as 10cc, Genesis and The Beach Boys, with sprinklings of other favourites, from Talk Talk and Supertramp to late XTC. The “Prog-Pop” six-piece appeared with chums at IPO 2012 as Surf’s Up, and are fronted by three songwriters: Sean Macreavy, Paul McNulty and Marc Stephens. With Rob Dean, Robbie Tabrett and Dave Wellings, they make for an eclectic and unconventional line-up. Hooks galore and a smile on your face guaranteed! Their debut single, “The Sun Bring Out the Girls” was featured on last year’s IPO CD, and they’ve a new one due out soon that we can hardly wait to hear!
Betamotion – A powerpop trio from a trio of towns that helped make the genre famous: Manchester, Stockholm, and Madrid! Their music is a clear structured pop-rock with a certain nostalgic touch and black aromas that could brighten the bluest day or cheer up the usual morning traffic jam, and is utterly infectious! Check out their debut self-titled album now!
Bite The Shark – A Manchester-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! We loved ‘em in 2013 as Boomin’, whose debut album, Original Junkie, was produced by Mark Wainwright (of INXS), and crashed into the iTunes Rock chart at no. 22. As Bite The Shark, they’re even better and their new EP, Tantrum, hits even harder!
Brave New World – A four-piece from Cheshire, influenced by ‘60s psychedelia, folk rock, jangle pop and early 1980s Liverpool scene. Comprised of three songwriters bringing to the pot a multitude of sounds and visions.
Tom Butler – A busker from the London underground (by way of Seattle) and damn fine folk-singer and pop-meister, Butler’s songs sparkle with the nostalgia of ‘60s-styled storyteller folk-pop and the crunchy alt-country of bands such as Crowded House or Traveling Wilburys, complete with a dose of jangly harmonies evocative of bands such as The Byrds or The Eagles, and topped off with catchy powerpop hooks! Check out his IPO showcase and his debut On The Line EP!
Button Up – Glasgow is a veritable hotbed of soul-inspired pop, and Button Up are among the finest examples! With three full length CDs and a slew of EPs and singles to their credit, their Hammond-feuled blend of funk, mod, and soul will have fans of artists such as Martha & The Vandellas, Aretha Franklin, and ? and The Mysterians dancing up to the merch table to check out their whole catalog!
Colin’s Godson – From Britpop to punk-pop to power-pop, glam, prog, bubblegum, orchestrated pop, and everything in between, Colin’s Godson seamlessly blends it all into their own delectable pop confection! Their recent album, Colin’s Godson at the Speed of Sound, sounds like Fountains of Wayne and Weezer, backed by ELO, with Zappa and Bowie producing them! Yes, these young Glaswegians are that good – check them out for yourself!
DC Fontana – We don’t know much about the small hamlet of Tamworth, but if this band is any indication of the wealth of talent hidden therein, we certainly need to learn more! Critically acclaimed for their musicianship and genre-defying blend of psychedelic indie-pop, prog rock and soul, DC Fontana make turned-on music to shake your hips and pluck at your heartstrings. A new full length album will be available soon, but in the meantime, be sure to pick up a copy of their recent Pentagram Man EP, which reached #3 on the International Indie Charts, and check out their IPO showcase!
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!
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, Homeward, and will hungrily devour their extensive back catalog! Good Vibes: The Dropkick Songbook Vol 1, a retrospective collection of songs originally on their albums from 2001-2008, is a fine way to start!
Electric – A trio from Redditch and Birmingham whose music is so catchy, it is…well…electric! Super sticky powerpop hooks with a touch of funk, smokin’ hot indie-rock guitars, and a beat to get the joint jumpin’ – who could ask for anything more? (except perhaps an album, which we hope they’ll do real soon!)
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 and 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 discs by the likes of Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, and The Moons. A new album is due out soon, and we can hardly wait!
Electroshock Therapy – Inspired by the counter-culture movement of the late 1960’s, and with a sound akin to the West Coast bands of the day, you could easily be mistaken into believing that an intense acid trip had sent this quartet from Stoke-On-Trent deep into the space–time continuum, before dumping them here, nearly half a century into the future. Fans of The Electric Prunes, Ravi Shankar, and The Jeremy Band (see below) will want to check out their debut self-titled EP and subsequent singles!
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 2007 debut album, The Magic Optician. Their second album, Dead Rooms and Butterfly Dreams, adds a touch of early ‘70s-inflected experimental prog-rock to the mix – nice!
The Fores – The Fores are Mods & Rockers and Movers & Shakers, inspired by artists from The Rolling Stones to Coldplay, Stones Roses and Oasis to The Verve, Kasabian and Keane and anything and everything in-between and beyond. With an attitude and performance full of energy, the band have been performing nationwide, relentlessly recording and taking the live music scene by storm, picking up fans and admirers wherever they go. They’ve also racked up an incredible 28,400 plays on YouTube for their debut video “Let Go!”, and are currently working on a debut album. Check out this band from Leicester before they take the world by storm!
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.
Luke Gallagher – If you thought mod and folk pop were two different sub-genres, then think again! Gallagher effortlessly blends the two so seamlessly, you’d think this is just how it’s always been done! Come check out this Wrexham-based gent at his IPO showcase, and see and hear what we mean!
Micah Gilbert – A Scottish singer/songwriter (by way of Athens, Georgia), Gilbert’s songs have been appreciated on many levels for their distinct and memorable melodies, skillfull, well crafted, intelligent lyrics, vivid images, catchy subtlety, and fine details. Fans of Todd Rundgren, James Taylor, and George Harrison should check him out!
Alison Green – An acoustic singer/songwriter based in Canterbury with a distinctive voice and quirky folk pop hooks. Fans of Norah Jones, Edie Brickell, and Joni Mitchell should check her out!
The Heavens – The Heavens are a blend of British & American Psychedelia, Rock n’ Roll and ‘90s Brit-Rock that is nothing short of – pardon the pun – heavenly! Fans of artists from The Beatles to The Byrds to The Seeds to Elton John and The Velvet Underground will be thrilled to see and hear them at IPO Liverpool! Definitely one of Leeds’ finest!
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 in gear in mid 2008, and 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.
The Hi-Life Companion – A Bristol-based music collective based loosely around brothers Jonathan and Matt Troy, The Hi-Life Companion’s music is a lush and hypnotic mix of orchestrated pop and driving dance hall beats. The songs on their latest album, Our Years In The Wilderness, are a set of stories spanning the last one hundred years. Taking in themes such as Bristol’s nautical past, child disappearances, adolescent obsessions with tennis players and old mining stories from the Forest of Dean, they draw on a heady mix of local myths and legends and blurred memories of places, times and events. Very cool!
Honeybug – Masters of self-reinvention, this powerpop combo from Edinburgh has been known to appear as a lounge-pop three-piece, a fizzy-pop four-piece, as well as a funky pop 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!
The Housekeeping Society – Continuing to indulge both their love of storytelling that was evident in their prior albums, and their ability to take inspiration from just about any theme and turn it into a beautiful collection of experimental pop songs, The Housekeeping Society’s latest EP, Round Window, was created during a five-day residency at Chapel FM in Seacroft, East Leeds. All of the music on the EP is inspired by the building and its surroundings, and some of the tracks even feature the Chapel FM Ensemble! Brian Wilson fans in particular will dig these gents. One of West Yorkshire’s finest bands!
Scott Howells (from The Broken Vinyl Club) – As one of the main men of The Broken Vinyl Club, Howells melded lots of cool ‘60s pop and mod influences into a fantastic cohesive whole to make the band one of Cardiff’s hottest acts. Now doing the solo thing, he’s picked up right where the band left off with his debut single, “Fall Or Learn To Fly,” and we can’t wait to see and hear what he’ll do next!
Tom Jarvis – With heartfelt vocals and a soulful folk rock sound, Jarvis’ music will appeal to fans of artists such as Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer, but his stick-in-your-head hooks will also grab the attention of powerpop fans. Check out Dream Life, the latest EP by this talented gent from Chester!
Jekyll – Influenced by the likes of Muse, Radiohead, The Smiths, Nirvana, REM, Joy Division, Kasabian and Maximo Park, their music is an addictive blend of melancholic melody. The debut self-titled EP by this Blackpool-based foursome is available now!
Guy Jones – A Birmingham-based singer/songwriter who combines soulful and often intricate guitar playing with soothing rich vocals. His songs have been called “[m]usically soothing and lyrically captivating…” (Beatlebabe Reviews) and the video of the title track off his debut EP, Sunday Morning Light, received thousands of views in just the first couple of weeks!
Rikki Jordan – A a native of Newtownards, Northern Ireland, Jordan picked up his first guitar at the age of ten, and thankfully never put it down! With a mix of rock, folk and old school blues, the songs on Jordan’s debut album, Sands Of Time, combine pretty folk melodies laced with technical skill, drawing comparisons to such artists as Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, and John Martyn. His floating and often haunting vocals have a story to tell and a message to deliver!
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. Their latest album, Pongo Vs. Corporate Vampires, retains the classic feel of their earlier albums, but adds a touch of humor that fans of They Might Be Giants or Bowling For Soup will also surely appreciate!
The Jungfraus – A Manchester five-piece led by charismatic songwriting team Mick Kenyon and Joe Levi, who also share brilliantly contrasting lead vocals. This alongside their telepathic rhythm section of Ste Grimes (bass) and Liam Farr (drums) and coupled with the swirling paisley tinged Hammond of Jonny Rathbone makes for a sound both vintage and unique. Their debut self-titled album blends blinding surf pop, snarling garage guitars and eastern tinged psychedelia reminiscent of such bands as Love, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. A must have for any true psych pop fan!
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!”
Phil Knox – Former lead guitarist of The Deleplains, who played IPO Liverpool a few years ago. Morning Pilgrim, the latest CD from this gent from Manchester, offers songs that blend folk and western with lushly layered pop jangle. Fans of artists from Arlo Guthrie to The Everly Brothers to Elliott Smith will want to check him out!
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, was released in January 2013 to rave reviews. 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!
Last Breath – A band from Blackpool including brothers James and Tom Parkinson, who specialize in intense modern rock influenced by Nickelback, 3 Doors Down, Black Stone Cherry, All Time Low, Paramore, Volbeat, Blink 182, Green Day, et al…but more melodic than any of them, which is why we really look forward to seeing them back again at IPO Liverpool and can’t wait to hear their new album, which should be available later this year!
Col Lewis – IPO is glad to welcome Lewis, who regular IPO-ers may recognize as the bassist from Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist, back to IPO from his home in Burton on Trent, but this time under his own name and performing his own material! If you like simple catchy sing along choruses with an early timeless sound, you will want to make a point of catching his IPO showcase…and keep your eyes open for an EP, which should be available soon!
Michael Loszak (of 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, and with their new album, Happy, due out soon! Loszak’s solo act will be a bit more intimate, but you can be sure that it’s still gonna rock!
Mikey Marks Band – A young singer/songwriter from Redditch who is starting to get some mainstream attention, with recent airplay on The BBC Introducing! His debut single, “Turn Back Time” will have fans of Bon Iver, John Mayer, and likeminded acoustic artists eagerly waiting to hear more!
McCrei – Sisters Leanne and Shannon McCree began sharing their experiences through their songwriting and started gigging on the Camden acoustic circuit, but have quickly expanded beyond their simple beginnings, having now performed at over 250 gigs including the O2 Academy, The Hope, The Cavern, Distillers, Rochester Castle and various other venues throughout England, accompanied by their kick-ass band! Inspired by an introduction into traditional Soul and Funk, while staying true to their signature style, McCrei’s influences include Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Joss Stone and Aretha Franklin. Their double A-side debut single, “Show Me,” is being released on Disco Solid Gold (DSG) Records, and should be available by the time you read this!
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!
Monster Jaw – A dynamic three-piece from Bradford and Leeds, the band have evolved rapidly from raw garage grunge sounds to a more sculpted, atmospheric style of chorus-driven alternative indie rock. Monster Jaw deliver a very tight, thrilling and often dark stage show, with memorable songs and poetic lyrics. Their new album, Basement Sessions, (due out imminently!) strips things back to a pre-digital recording age, creating a warm, authentic sound by using a 25 year-old Tascam chrome tape recorder. Very cool!
The Mourning After – A Sheffield quartet who mix ‘60s psychedelic and garage rock with a touch of ‘70s punk to create an irresistible sound that fans of The Kingsmen, The Yardbirds, The Electric Prunes, and The Troggs are sure to enjoy! Quintessential garage punk, raw and raucous (just the way it should be)!
Olly Neasham – An engaging singer/songwriter from Bolton 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 and member of The Grande (see above). 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 pick up a copy of their Ready EP and come check out their IPO showcase!
Onions – A delightfully quirky combo from Manchester who combine memorable melodies embedded in a wealth of classic pop influences – from The Beatles to Belle and Sebastian to The Kinks to Super Furry Animals to ELO and Queen, et al.– with wacky changes of chord, tempo, and instrumentation to leave audiences both guessing at what they’ll do next and at the same time begging for more! Check out their latest EP, Here Comes The Rage, and their IPO showcase!
The Paper Trains – Formed in 2011, Southampton’s The Paper Trains are a modern three-piece string band with a distinct repertoire of elegant and distinctive arrangements of little-known back-porch ditties and high-energy gritty foot stompers. Their recently released debut album, The Mule, is a record of evocative and vocally-fuelled originals, drawing influences from Americana, blues, roots, country and folk traditions. Yee-Haw!
The Parkas – The Parkas are a band who believe in giving people what they truly deserve out of modern day British music; a powerful sound, catchy melodies and meaningful lyrics. They’ve played everywhere from beer festivals to Battle Of The Bands contests (they won their first!). They also performed outside the Lambretta clothing store in Carnaby Street and were quoted as being “the best band that had played” by the store’s manager! Fans of Oasis, The Jam, The Beatles, The Kinks, and T Rex will want to pick up a copy of their recently released debut proper album, In Stereocolour, and keep their eyes and ears open for an ever growing base of new material by this band from Hadlow!
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, et al, his music is sure to appeal to pop fans of all shapes and sizes! His brand new LP, Take You Away, is now available via many fine internet retailers!
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 last album, Postcards From The British Empire, was a culmination of having spent 2012 releasing a new single each month, and they’ve now embarked on an even more unique and ambitious project: a rock n’ roll soundtrack and accompanying graphic novel entitled POP WASTELAND, released in regular installments (e.g singles, ep’s and various length editions of the graphic novel). Check out Modernism, their most recent installment, now!
Luke Potter – An up and coming phenom from Weston Super Mare, influenced by the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Jason Mraz, Fountains of Wayne, Goo Goo Dolls and the music of his father who played in bands way back when, Potter decided at age 17 that he wanted to be a singer/songwriter, and has not looked back! In his short career, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the finest producers in the industry including Steve Power (Robbie Williams, McFly, Andrea Bocelli), Eric Rosse (Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos), Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac, Colbie Caillat), and Bleu, and has had his debut single “We’re Alive” picked up by Hard Rock Cafés worldwide! His debut CD, So Sugar, is chock full of super sticky powerpop meets bubblegum hooks and uplifting ballads that were made to be heard on the radio!
The Ragamuffins – They’re a six-piece indie/pop group now based Manchester (but who got their start in Liverpool), renowned for their emphasis on harmonies, clear arrangements and catchy melodies. “[E]xactly what British indie pop needs right now; charm, originality, but most of all, damn fine song writing” (Preston University Press). Their jangly, frenetic pop style and groove takes in elements of Northern Soul, Ska, Rock ‘n Roll, ‘80s Electro Pop and ‘60s British Invasion, all 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 their brand new disc, Get Cynical!, which should be available soon, and you’ll hear what we mean!
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! Their upcoming album is going to retain those classic sounds, but with a lot more bite! Watch for it!
The Rising – A Southampton six-piece who have many influences which they unashamedly wear on their collective sleeves, ranging from the Hammond driven sound of the ‘60s, the chaotic late ‘70s punk scene and the ‘90s Britpop era. Their debut self-titled CD earned so many rave reviews from various blogs that it attracted the attention of Detour Records, who have made a re-release available with bonus tracks, and are working with the band on a follow up set to be released later this year – watch for it!
Rogue Frequency – In sticking with their early melodic/acoustic roots, Rogue Frequency hasn’t lost any of its trademark style, but incorporating a heavier sound 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 CDs, Foetal Upon The Tiles, Pt I, and the follow up, Foetal Upon The Tiles, Pt II! One of Stockport’s finest bands!
Jake Sharpe – Having performed all over the UK, first as a session player, and later as a songwriter/band member of Minus-Something and South Yorkshire pop punk trio Silverwood, Sharpe has recently taken his songwriting in a more personal acoustic direction. “Don’t Say A Word,” his debut single under his own name, gained worldwide airplay and was awarded “Best Music Video” at the BMAAwards in December 2014. His debut album will be released later this summer, so watch for it!
The Skull Kids – With a trombone slide here and confetti canon there, like caricature artists, The Skull Kids and their troubadour players comically and anarchically exaggerate music, conjuring the circus, vaudeville, Eastern folk, the forest, etc with their descriptive melodies and beautifully crafted stage props. Fans of Queen, Sparks, Brian Wilson and Zappa in particular will appreciate this cheeky band of Devon-based youngsters!
The Sorrows – IPO Liverpool is honoured to have at the festival (for the second year in a row!) one of the founders of the freakbeat movement! Yes, it’s The Sorrows, who fans of ‘60s UK rock ‘n roll will surely know for their hit single and album, Take A Heart. More than 50 years on and they’re still going strong, led by one of the founding members, Don Fardon, who had a hit with “Indian Reservation” before The Raiders! This is truly going to be something special!
Nick Spencer – Though currently based in London, singer/songwriter Nick Spencer (aka Spencer Nickson) is no stranger to Liverpool, as he was also one of the main men behind local favorites Built On Tradition before moving to London and branching off on his own. His debut EP, Be Loved, is a collection of sweeping melodies and heartfelt vocals with electronic embellishment and radio- or soundtrack-friendly pop hooks!
Split Sofa – Historically a recording project (they’ve got three EPs and six full length albums already to their credit!), but more recently converted to a live band, these gents from Derbyshire have developed their own fresh new sub-genre of pop and prog that they like to call “Sofa Rock.” Influences include: Pink Floyd, Love, The Doors, Caravan, Gong, Kula Shaker, The Beatles, & music from the late ‘60s early ‘70s prog/rock/pysch. Their latest, Coloured Dream, “… is full of deceptively lightweight songs that impinge on your consciousness like hazy whispers.” (Geoff Barton, Classic Rock Magazine) A seventh full length album, Thornby Park, is in the works, and you can stay tuned to watch it all develop by following them on Twitter! Cool!
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, Comforting Suture!
The Supernaturals – Many IPO fans will recall this Glasgow combo, known for their strong ‘60s pop influences, and who had seven UK top 50 singles and two top 40 albums in the mid-‘90s. Their third album, What We Did Last Summer, was released in 2002 on Universal Records, but sadly was their last….until now!! After reconvening in 2012, the original lineup have just released their fourth album, 360, which marks a resounding return to form with their knack for offbeat, wry story telling welded to classic melodies, which we can hardly wait to hear them play live at their IPO showcase!
The Theme – A South London fusion of Britpop and post-punk Mod rock, The Theme are not trying to re-invent the wheel, but are focused on playing quality rock ‘n roll. This is not ‘60s flower-power, it’s hard-hitting rock music in the best traditions of bands such as Ocean Colour Scene or The Who. Their recent Hit The Sky EP won “Best EP for 2014” from Galaxy Entertainment, and they have a new full length due out later in 2015, so watch for it!
Tokyo Taboo – A London electronic pop combo with a heavy dose of glam, new wave whimsy…and sex! Their latest release, Porno Star, is an upbeat, synth pop driven EP with high energy and anthemic hooks. Produced and arranged by Stereophonics’ producer and co-writer Jim Lowe, Porno Star showcases Tokyo Taboo at their best exploring themes of sex, freedom and….more sex. Fans of Cyndi Lauper or Gwen Stefani will love these guys!
The Transmitters – Though their choice of classic instruments would not look out of place in a 1960s mod club, this is definitely a 21st century outfit. Taking influences from ‘60s and ‘70s powerpop and R&B, real ale, single malt whisky and the English way of life, the Bolton-based quartet create a melting pot of original music that combines energetic beats and thunderous bass lines with colliding guitar riffs and snarling vocals. Check out their debut EP, Catch The Sun, which should be released just before their IPO showcase!
Tytania – Described by many as a cross between One Republic and Lawson, Tytania spent most of 2013 touring throughout the UK, helping them to establish a loyal and ever growing fan base. Their new album (to officially be released this summer!), Here & Now, is unplugged, further showcasing the Leeds-based band’s awesome harmonies!
Village Green Machine – What started as a Mark Lemon solo recording project on their debut, Dreaming Spires, has turned into a full fledged power trio cranking out psychedelic beat music with timeless appeal. Influences range from ‘60s psychedelic garage to Motown/Stax and Blues as well as ‘70s punk, West Coast jangle, and a whole lot in between! Their latest LP, The Likely Girls, will appeal to fans of The Monkees, The Byrds, and The Kinks, to name but a few!
The Wellgreen – The Wellgreen combine classic ‘60s songwriting, early powerpop and psychedelia on top of vintage recording techniques to create a familiar yet fresh and original sound. Written, recorded and produced by Marco Rea & Stuart Kidd in their spiritual home of The Barne on the outskirts of Glasgow, their latest album, Grin and Bear It, is their second on their own The Barne Society label! A new LP, in collaboration with Spanish label Pretty Olivia Records, is due out soon, and will feature both new and a few old Wellgreen songs. Fans of Neil Young, CCR, and George Harrison will dig ‘em!
Thee Wylde Fuzz Show – A brand new project featuring “Thee Wylde Jonny,” who many IPO fans will remember as the main man of Leeds’ The Ace. Thee Wylde Fuzz show is…well, “Wylder” and “Fuzzier” while retaining Jonny’s penchant for penning mod garage rockers, and cranking the harmonies and hooks up a notch or three. Their debut single “Stunner/Thinking About It” will appeal to fans of all things Freakbeat!
Las Annettes – A trio of lovely ladies from Barcelona, inspired by ‘60s girl groups, bubblegum and sunshine pop. The songs on their La Luz Del Sol EP will appeal to fans of the Supremes, Belle & Sebastian, The Left Banke, and their Elefant Records labelmates, The School, et al! Check it out now!
The Arcadeans – Take Phil Lynott’s energy, Eric Clapton’s melody and Keith Richard’s subtlety, blend for four minutes and add course helpings of Nic Cester’s (Jet) vocals and you get The Arcadeans, a four-piece melodic rock and indie blues band from Cork, Ireland. Fans of Green Day and The Rolling Stones will also appreciate their Big Blue LP!
Autos Detroit – Their name might make you think they’re from the Motor City, but think again, as these powerpopsters are actually from Barcelona, Spain! Their recent Startup Completed album blends classic powerpop influences from the ‘60s to the ‘90s, and is a fine addition to the record collection of any fan of the genre!
The Backlash – They may hail from Milan Italy, but their music is characterized by a British sound made by a mix of Britpop, shoegaze and psychedelic rock. Their recent 3rd Generation EP is influenced in equal measure by the ‘60s British Invasion (artists such as The Kinks, The Who, The Animals), and the British music scene in the late ‘80s and ‘90s (bands such as The Smiths, Charlatans, The Verve, Blur), but has an intensity all it’s own!
Coke Belda – One half of the duo Cokeroque, a multi-band-tribute (Jellyfish, The Rembrandts, The Posies, Toy Love, Squeeze, Roxy Music and many others), this gentleman from Stuttgart Germany (by way of Spain) is also an artist to be reckoned with in his own right. His debut album, simply entitled Coke Belda I, features gentle jangly powerpop melodies, intricate instrumentation, and a host of chord changes that fans of Jason Falkner, The Merrymakers, Paul McCartney, and the aforementioned artists to whom he pays tribute as part of Cokeroque will love!
The Janne Borgh Identity – The solo outlet of Stockholm-based singer-songwriter-guitarist and bassist, Janne Borgh, who certainly knows his way around a great melody and a catchy hook! He was a member of the first Swedish mod-revival band, The Moderns, who released an album on EMI-Parlophone and toured the UK with Echo & The Bunnymen in 1980, and Liverpool audiences may also recognize him as a member of The Repeatles, who played every International Beatles Week from 2003 through 2010. Being a fan of the Beatles, the Who, and later bands like Badfinger, the Raspberries, the Records, and Big Star, powerpop has always been close to Borgh’s heart, but his music is also informed by influences of solo artists like Nick Lowe or Brendan Benson, as well as a not so secret torch for harder rock such as Thin Lizzy and Rush. Fans of these artists should definitely check him out!
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 Instucciones Para Silbar Bajo el Agua album or any of their EPs, and we think you’ll agree they are one of the most enjoyable bands from Madrid!
La Classe – A Parisian pop ensemble who blend everything from soft pop and sunshine pop to baroque pop and smooth jazz to easy listening, and give it their own special brand of soulful hook! Fans of The Fifth Dimension, in particular, will dig their recent Gold is Cold EP, and want to keep their eyes and ears open for their debut album, First Classe, due out later this year!
Donkey Hot Pink – Back for a second straight IPO Liverpool, Donkey Hot Pink have recently adding the drumming prowess of Diego Haro to Ashley’s strong vocals and powerful guitar and Dainius’s classical approach to bass to provide a unique blend of exceptional technique, power and memorable songs! With influences drawn from punk to Rossini and loads in between, they move seamlessly between anthemic ballads and wild rock antics (and we DO mean antics – their live stage show is not to be missed!). Check out these rising stars from Mojacar, Spain!
The Dreamboats – A band brought together by a true passion for an era when ice cream cost a quarter, milk was delivered to the door, and people danced to live music! The Dreamboats capture this era at live shows through their angelic harmonies, rockin’ guitars, matching uniforms, and famous spinning “starlight” lamps (to set the mood, of course). Mixing their original Retro-Rock n’ Roll tunes with classics from pre-1964, this quartet of handsome young Canadian boys is making sure that the punch is spiked and the dance floor is hopping!
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! Check out his Facebook and YouTube pages for sneak preview clips of songs off his soon to be released Jose Estragos vol 3 album!
Evripidis and His Tragedies – Evripidis and his Tragedies is Evripidis Sabatis’ musical alter ego. Born in Athens and living in Barcelona, he plays and sings piano-based, highly melodic tunes where love, lust, and loss intertwine; summers are long and lazy; nights are haunting memories; childhood is naughty; memories are bittersweet; men are cruel; humor is black; and ghosts take the living for rides in cars. Fans of baroque, cabaret, and Brill Building pop will all appreciate his recent …And It Was Good While It Lasted EP and will want to keep an eye out for his soon to be released 3rd full length CD!
Lannie Flowers Band – Although Flowers and the band hail from the great state of Texas, they’ve done what no other artist in the history of the LA Music Awards has done…namely, taking home four awards in a single year in 2013! His latest CD, New Songs, Old Stories, picks up where his earlier disc, Circles, left off, but rocks even harder! Badfinger-esque in-your-face guitars and vocal harmonies blend with softer shifting harmonies more reminiscent of XTC, but that fans of artists from The Raspberries to The Velvet Underground will be sure to appreciate! We also appreciate that he and his band have played the IPO festival in many cities throughout the world and continue to do so, with no sign of slowing down!
Eric Frisch – With influences range everywhere from the Beatles and the Beach Boys to Sam Cooke and the Four Tops to Bob Dylan and Jackie Wilson, Frisch combines elements of ‘50s and ‘60s pop music with a more modern sound, creating a unique call to the past while still pushing forward into uncharted territory. This young New Yorker’s latest CD, Goodbye Birdcage, rollicks and rocks while providing a symphony for the soul!
Gentlemen Rogues – Drawing inspiration from UK visionaries like The Who, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and The Jam, while steadfastly blasting their own course through an American indie-rock canon shaped by Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Jawbreaker, and Superchunk, Gentlemen Rogues crank out catchy, amplified treble kickers, mixing powder keg intensity, classic melodies, and brash theatrics into a 200-proof distillation of brazen rock n’ roll. Their latest single, Mocking Love Out Of Nothing At All, is available on transparent purple vinyl with download and their brand new EP, A History So Repeating, is now available! Check out this Austin-based quartet now so you can say you saw them before they were superstars!
Harvest Moon – Started in the ‘90s as a band of three brothers from Son in The Netherlands, their music has always been influenced by the American west coast sound of the ‘60s and grunge of the ‘90s, but as the band has expanded to include new members, their influences have also grown to incorporate a heavy dose of Britpop and a touch of reggae to form their own unique and compelling sound. Their latest EP, In Tow, will appeal to fans of Neil Young, The Libertines, and Nirvana, to name but a few!
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 final installment, The Supreme Plateau, has just been released! Fans of both science fiction and of glam rock with killer powerpop hooks, as exemplified by such bands as T Rex, Cheap Trick, and Queen, will love these guys!
The Jeremy Band – The eponymous band led by 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 Michigander and his band can stake their rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop – Hailing from the unlikely hamlet of Kingsburg, California, this ensemble uses just about every instrument under the sun to create some bizarre, witty, quirky, yet ultimately melodic sounds, and have become an IPO fan favorite from LA to Liverpool! Their latest CD, Teasers from the Whispermaphone, is a rollicking romp through a Seuss-ian soundscape painted by Frank Zappa! Definitely something a little bit different!
Kenedy – From sunny Seville, Kenedy’s music maintains a perfect balance between jangly sunshine pop and melancholic indie rock, as well as influences from American ‘60s pop and from the British pop rock scene of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Guts, their debut full-length CD, will therefore appeal to everyone from fans of The Byrds to Ocean Colour Scene, and everyone in between!
La La Love You – Lighthearted sunshine pop meets powerpop meets punk pop describes the music of this band from Madrid. Their Umm…Que Rico! album will appeal to fans of artists from The Beach Boys to The Ramones to Farrah and Weezer!
Lady Moscow – The band has excelled with its nontraditional approach to popular music, and offers a remarkable combination of askew notes and stylistic diversity. They Salute Balkan-boogie and folk’n-roll in equal measure, flirt unashamedly with the circus and still find time to notoriously cheat with folk, rock, jazz and tango. Their latest CD, Things to do in Lehre, will appeal to fans of Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello, but you do NOT want to miss their energetic live show! One of Oslo’s most enigmatic and entertaining bands!
Esa Linna & The Dawnbreakers – Hailing from Jyväskylä, Finland, Linna is a former bass player/vocalist of punkpop band Time Flies (1990 – 1997) and grungy powerpop trio 86 Yourself (1998 – 2000), as well as the current bass player and backing vocalist for Finnish language rock group Itämaa. His debut CD under his own name, This Is Who I Am, is definitely more powerpop than rock, but with the emphasis on clearly still on power, and features guest performances by Roger Joseph Manning Jr. on backing vocals and keyboards. Fans of artists from The Raspberries to Jellyfish to The Move will dig it!
Tommy Lorente – Whether backed by his Biarritz-based band, Le Cavelerie, or armed with just an acoustic guitar (as he will be for IPO Liverpool), Lorente has always worn his love of powerpop and American heartland rock clearly on his sleeve. The songs on his debut album, Un Cruel Manque de Tendresse, will appeal to fans of artists such as Tom Petty, Nick Lowe, Cheap Trick, and Warren Zevon – check it out now!
Luck, Now – Rising from the ashes of What, Really?, this Mantuan duo of Manga and Vicky proudly proffer their version of powerpop, consisting of short songs with catchy melodies and punchy guitars with synth accents, just the way we like it! Fans of The Posies, The Lemonheads, or other likeminded artists should check out their brand new Just Another Lucky Start EP and their IPO showcase!
Malene Markussen – After seven years as the lead singer for the Oslo-based melodic hard rock band Acelsia, Markussen has embarked on her solo musical adventure, and IPO is glad to be a part of it! Her own music, as exemplified on her latest single, “Too Close To The Truth,” takes a softer, more melancholic approach, and speaks of emotions with the goal of really touching the listener.
The Maureens – If you like all things “west coast pop” and ‘60s inspired powerpop, you will love this band from Utrecht, Netherlands! The Beach Boys-like vocal stylings combined with the jangly powerpop of bands like The Posies on their debut self-titled album will blow you away! A new album is due out in September, and we can hardly wait to hear it!!
The Men – IPO is proud to welcome this “supergroup” from Lund, Sweden, formed out of four classic Swedish pop-garage bands: The Sinners, The Girls, Thee Expression and Colubrids, who got together in early 2000 to form the ultimate live-band, explosive, stylish, tight, groovy, cool and fun (No shoegazers!) -a band the members themselves would love to see! Their latest album, This Way, gives added depth and clarity to the combination of gritty garage, ‘60s soul and R&B, and three-part harmonies for which they’ve been known from the start!
Neweva – Back for their second straight IPO Liverpool under their new name (they played last year as Random Sound), this melodic pop rock quartet from Värnamo, Sweden, has an emphasis on strong vocals, fusing bits of soul and funk into their songs, drawing comparisons to artists such as Maroon 5 and Coldplay. The release of their latest album, The World As We Know It, has earned them recognition beyond Swedish borders, with airplay on radio stations in various parts of Europe. They are also known for delivering a great live show that you will not want to miss!
One Two DIE Four – Formed by combining the talents of former members of Swedish pop band Becky Sharpe and metal band Centicore, Örebro and Stockholm-based One Two DIE Four create hooky harmony-laced pop-rock with attitude! Their recent album, Another, will appeal to fans of ‘90s-era Swedish pop, Queen, and ELO!
Orwell – A brand new psychedelic pop-art/prog-rock combo from Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, some of whom are no strangers to IPO Liverpool, as they have been members of mod-garage-rockers, The Montanas, and the equally rockin’ indie pop outfit, The Spontanas. Orwell’s music is equally dynamic, but draws on folk and prog influences as well as rock. Fans of artists from Pentangle to Led Zeppelin to Frank Zappa (as well as fans of their other projects) will want to check out their IPO showcase and be on the lookout for their soon to be released debut album!
Pacific Soul Ltd. – We are honored to welcome this latest collaboration of three noteworthy Los Angeles-based musicians (and our good friends), Adam Marsland, Norman Kelsey, and Teresa Cowles, to IPO Liverpool. Together they weave American Beach Pop and ‘70s R&B sounds into an exciting new musical collaboration that must be heard to be believed! Their debut double A-sided single “Blue Summertime”/”Tomorrow Brings Tonight” was produced by Marsland and features the dynamic vocal chemistry of Kelsey& Cowles.
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 when they last played IPO Liverpool in 2012, and are about to prove once again!
Matt Purcell – 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 back 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)
RAF – A “British Inversion” band from Portland, Oregon, RAF embraces and exudes all things MOD! They were brought together for a single purpose: to create punchy, danceable, music with as much style and attitude as possible, so we just knew they had to make the trip across the pond to play IPO Liverpool at The Cavern! Be prepared for a full frontal assault of catchy three-minute songs delivered in sharp suits and vintage instruments – and to dance!
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.” In addition to being one of the most entertaining and hardworking powerpoppers around, he’s also been known to display his jazzy side on several collaborations with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter, Mark McCarron. His recent CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs, “Anne Marie”!! He’s played nearly every IPO for over four years running (including as many as 50 in a row!), and we look forward to many more. Thank you, Dave!!
The Recalls – As if their name doesn’t say it all, this band from Sttutgart is all about recalling the days of vintage Vox amps and Rickenbacker guitars, played loud in a garage with lots of reverb and fuzz (and no small dose of harmonies and handclaps)! Their Wait For The Sun album will appeal to fans of the Beatles, The Creation, The Animals, and The Kinks, and many others!
The Rejetnicks – A thoroughly modern garagebeat trio from Munich, The Rejetnicks take the growling guitar sound and overdriven vocals that influenced a whole decade in the ‘60s and skillfully combine this with modern electronic elements to create their own insanely catchy sound! Fans of The Kingsmen, The Kinks, and The Sonics (among others!) will totally dig their recent EP, R!
The Remington – Like any good market, you can find all sorts of tasty treats in Italian Market, the recent CD by this quintet from Milan! Influences range from The Byrds to The 13th Floor Elevators to Big Star to Bob Dylan to Marc Bolan to The Flamin’ Groovies to REM and The Boss, and a bit of everything in between – in other words fans of all kinds of garage, powerpop and jangly country-tinged alt-rock will dig it – yum!
Charlie Roe & The Washing Machines – An indie rock band inspired by the sound of British pop and rock, born in 2013 as a collaboration between Swiss-Italian singer/songwriter Charlie Roe and Giuseppe Pugliese of the Mammut Project. Their debut EP, Pomgranates Attack, has earned them radio play in both of their home countries. Fans of artists from Edie Brickell to Amy Winehouse to Lady Gaga will want to check out the EP and watch for the soon to be released full length album!
Edward Rogers – New York-based Rogers comes by his Anglophilia honestly. He spent the first twelve years of his life in Birmingham, England, where his youthful imagination was captured by the booming British music scene. Influences from David Bowie to Iggy Pop, The Kinks, The Left Banke, and The Zombies have permeated his music throughout his career. His fifth (and latest) album, Kaye, “…dedicated to the late, great Kevin Ayers (of Soft Machine fame), and filled with intense, image-laden and melodic songs…is as good as an album can get. …A must.” (Popdose.com)
Royal Parks – Actually the nom-de plum of Amsterdam-based artist Diederik Nomden, who set out to do his own thing after having been the keyboard and guitar player for legendary Dutch bands Johan and Daryll-Ann. The eponymous debut album was praised by press and fans alike for its richness in melody, harmony and tasteful arrangements, and received extensive national airplay. The follow up disc, which combines Beatlesque melodies with the typical melancholy of mourned seventies-songwriters like Tim Hardin, Nick Drake and Lowell George, creates an awkward realm of gloomy comfort and luminous distress, and is due to be released imminently – so watch for it!
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 of their work, including their most recently released album, Buscando el Sol, bring to mind the British pop sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but mixed with a sunny Spanish flair!
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!
SoundSerif – It’s a pretty good guess that any band who names their first CD 12 Pieces In The Shape of An Apple is inspired by The Beatles, but the influences of this band from Rome don’t stop there! Traces of XTC, Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, Squeeze, Jellyfish and, more generally, English and American pop and powerpop of a wide variety of styles can be found in their songs. It’s been five long years since their last IPO Liverpool appearance, and we’re thrilled to have them back!! They keep getting better and better – just check out their Reverbnation page to hear their latest singles, “Destiny Left To The Sea” and “Dear Nobody” and hear what we mean for yourself!
Stootsie – Some of you may recognize this gentleman from Salzburg, Austria as the main man of The Seesaw, who have played many an IPO festival and who achieved major label success in their home country! As a solo artist, Stootsie carries on the band’s trademark quirky chord changes and fun, upbeat pop melodies! One listen, and you’ll see why he and the band achieved so much success back home!
U.F.O. Club – Formed from the ashes of The Pleasure, these gents from Germany’s Black Forest region are here to blow you away with their hooky brand of vintage rock. Expect loud guitars, vibrating Leslie organ, deep steady bass, crashing drums, and an in-your-face harmonic vocal attack – who could ask for anything more?
Los Últimos Bañistas – The debut eponymous album by this Cartagena quintet was recently named as one of the “Best Spanish Records of the Decade So Far” by Bloodbuzzed (no easy feat, considering the wealth of Spanish talent represented at IPO alone!), and their second disc, Expedición, only adds more depth and diversity to their classic sound! Simmered songs without losing the essence of their bright melodies and personal lyrics incorporate direct experience and experiment with new structures. Expedición is a diverse album that speaks of memories, useless traditions and love but also money that will appeal to pop and indie rock fans alike!
viseMenn – viseMenn are a Norwegian alternative rock band that plays atmospheric and melodic dream-rock. Characteristic for the band is their diverse song material, soulful melodies and virtuoso guitar playing. Sonically they belong somewhere between U2, Sigur Ros, Coldplay, Mogwai and Radiohead. Having released two CDs with lyrics in their native Norwegian language, the band is now working on material for their third album, where the lyrics will be in English…check out the latest single, “Begging You Please” for a taste!
Warm Morning Brothers – 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 ‘70s 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…..” They’ve been working on their next opus, and a new single just might be available in time for their IPO appearance! The Simon & Garfunkel of Piacenza, who have now added a backing band so they can rock harder!
Zipper – A band from Madrid who loves the c-86 sound and fit right in with the bubblegum meets punk pop meets twee pop ethos of the Cloudberry, Elefant, and Dufflecoat record labels (all of whom have had the honor of putting out a Zipper EP or vinyl single release over the years). Their latest EP, Worst Day Of The Week, finds them singing in English, and will appeal to fans of The School, or of fellow IPO Liverpool performers Las Annettes and Capitán Sunrise (see above)!