IPO Liverpool 2017
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Artists From Liverpool
Alex and The Boss Jockeys – As the guitarist for The Cubical, Alex has traveled the world, and met some very talented and interesting people, but when you boil it down, he’s a grown man still pretending to be Del Shannon/Buddy Holly/Brian Hyland et al but still not David Essex (and a damn fine singer/songwriter/producer in his own right!) His latest EP, La La La Lucy, the prelude to a full length album set for release later this year, will appeal to vintage pop fans of all shapes and sizes!
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!
Bad Mood – Conjuring the sights and sounds of a low at heel existence living in England’s reluctant city, Liverpool – the message is clear……escapism through music, drink, poetry, dreams and never forgetting your roots. Their lyrics are thought-provoking, with a sound that carves a line somewhere between insight and plain aggression. Expect tales of armchair kings, back alley killers, the 9 to 5 insomniac, and forging a new utopia.
Richard Batty – He’s come a long way from gigging with various bands to writing and performing his songs as a solo-performer and busking in the streets, to having a residency at established venues such as The Cavern Club. He’s supported artists such as The Feeling, Peter Coyle (Lotus Eaters) and Bruce Foxton of The Jam, and Paul Weller’s touring band, The Songbook Collective. His songs are influenced by a wide range of music, some of his favourites being The Beatles, Big Star, Buffalo Springfield, and Television. Check out his debut EP, Loaded Gun, and his IPO showcase!
Rob Clarke and The Wooltones – This Liverpool lad and his bands channel some of the coolest vibes of the ‘60s and make them their own! Their blend of Mersey beat and garage with some warm West Coast psychedelia has earned them comparisons to Gene Clark and Neil Young mixed with The Beatles. On their latest album, Are You Wooltoned?, “[t]he Wooltones pull off some incredible twists and turns. Imagine Donovan writing for early Cheap Trick – or, perhaps, vice versa.” (Goldmine Magazine) Come see and hear for yourself why they rose to the top of the Kool Kat Musik Import Best Sellers list!
The Dassler Jacks – Three Liverpool lads who create an original organic sound, based in large part on their strong friendship of over 20 years. Well, that, and a healthy dose of various forms of pop/rock….The songs on their debut self titled album blend classic Brit-rock with folk, grunge, and a bit of everything in between, and draw in the listener with warm emotive vocals. Fans of artists from Led Zeppelin to Oasis to Ed Sheeran should check them out!
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! Check out their Invaders EP and their IPO showcase and hear for yourself, as they are an amazing live band as well!
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 recent album, Nothing Carries On, now! A brand new self titled album will also be out by the time you read this!!
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. Built on a foundation of strong bass lines, sweet lead guitar licks, and a whole lotta energy, they serve up killer hooks and three part harmonies worthy of their influences – Kiss, Cheap Trick, Nick Gilder and The Sweet!
KingFast – It is very apparent on listening to KingFast’s music that there is a fusion of several genres but seemingly most prominent is a cross between soul and pop. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Belfast (which is where the name comes from) before settling in Liverpool, KingFast melds all of his influences from this varied upbringing on his debut EP, Dream World. His spine-chilling vocal range and tone has been stunning audiences regularly throughout the UK since 2012. Fans of Michael Jackson, Prince, and Stevie Wonder should definitely check him out!
Ladies – A sunny indie pop outfit sure to put a smile on your face, Ladies’ music has been described as “delicious jingly jangly indie pop” (GigSlugz). Fans of The Partridge Family, The Archies, and The Brady Kids cartoons will dig them!
Lloyd & Daly – Dave Lloyd of The Suns 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 show will definitely be one that fans of The Suns and IPO regulars will not want to miss!
Mac & Clague – The musical duo of Jack McAllister (formerly of Watchtower) and Jamie Clague are officially a band, and IPO is glad to have them! Their gypsy folk rock style is characterized by rhythm, harmony, and melody…with just the right touch of whimsy and mayhem!
Alice Nancy – If you like insightful and thought provoking lyrics juxtaposed with stripped down light-hearted folk pop melodies, you will want to check out this 19-year old Liverpudlian songstress. Her song, “‘Light As Stone’ is beguilingly fragile and brittle. It’s quiet, almost serene beauty and poetic, melancholic and deeply personal lyrics mark Alice out as a songwriter with a maturity that belies her age” (The Devil Has The Best Tuna).
Mark Pountney – Having previously led various musical projects, such as The Mojave Collection and Mark Delaney & Friends, Pountney is now performing under his own name, shedding the restrictions of a “band” format and working with no fixed musical style and with an extended family of musicians to have fun and make music. His songs – which you can hear at his IPO showcase and on his recently released album, Mark III – are influenced by everything from The Beatles to The Move to Cat Stevens to Howlin’ Wolf, and a whole lot in between!
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 and the band are constantly gigging all over Liverpool and beyond and spreading their message on the internet. Their cool brand of edgy power pop and Symes’ powerful vocals are sure to please fans of every age and genre, as evidenced by the worldwide airplay and positive press for their debut self-titled album. They’ve begun work on their long awaited second album at Peter Gabriel’s Solid State Logic Studios in Oxfordshire; the album is due out later this year, but in the meantime, you can check out their brand new Acoustic Variations EP!
UK Artists From Outside of Liverpool
Alice & The Lovers – Imagine 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 these Londoners’ debut EP, Valentine!
Amoeba Teen – Founded by critically acclaimed songwriting team, Mark Britton and Mike Turner in the dying embers of the last century, Amoeba Teen meld lush harmonies, hooky melodies, the odd sample and overdriven guitars. Hints of power pop can be heard: Teenage Fanclub, Jellyfish and Big Star spring to mind. But Turner’s raucous guitar and reverb soundscapes keep the vibe punky and a little dirtier. They’re back after a three year hiatus with a limited edition sampler from their back catalog and as a live band, and IPO is glad to have ‘em! One of Stourbridge’s finest!
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!
The Bad Losers – This Bristol-based quartet were brought together by a shared love of ‘60s garage and Freakbeat, and that love is clearly evident in their songs! Although their recent album, Easy, was recorded in a garden shed as opposed to an actual garage, it perfectly captures the appropriate lo-fi ambience to complement their sound. Fans of The Monkees, The Creation, and The Move will want to be sure to catch both of their IPO sets!
The Beatniks – A Mod/Hammond/Garage/Soul/Beat band from Southend in Essex formed on the ashes of previous incarnations, the current line up have been together since the Spring of 2014. In addition to their very authentic rendering of covers both obscure and classic, they’ve been writing original tunes since September 2015. There are some exciting times to look forward to with the release of their first 7”and accompanying video, so look out for the Beatniks playing a stomping set of original songs, cover versions and instrumentals to set your mind a-swirl and your feet a-dancing!
Nathan Bennett – A Birmingham-based gent with an ear for a great melody and a hook that can stick in your head for days, combined with a storyteller’s warmth to his lyrics, Bennett has performed over 900 gigs throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, both as a solo artist and as part of the duo Beneva. He can also occasionally be seen on national TV playing keyboards for Enrique Iglesias. Check out his recent CD, Nathan Bennett Volume One!
Brave New World – Three songwriters? A left-handed bass player? This five- piece, Cheshire-based outfit blend psych, new wave, and folk-rock to create their own distinctive sound. An EP is in the works, so watch for it!
Captain Wilberforce – Beautiful melodies, dripping with layers of harmony and rich instrumentation, replete with subtle hooks and inventive chord changes abound on Ghost Written Confessions, the latest CD by this band from Leeds. Fans of Brendan Benson, Guided By Voices, Squeeze, and Jellyfish – to name but a few! – should definitely check this out!
Central Parade – Hailed as “The best new band I have seen in over 20 years!” by Geno Washington, Central Parade are built upon the remnants of The Last Fakers, who played IPO Liverpool in 2014. They’ve emerged from their remote outpost in the Northeast of England even better than before – with bigger songs, bigger hooks, and bigger choruses, and a bit more swagger, and are ready to bring their music to the masses! Fans of artists from The Jam to Stone Roses to Arctic Monkeys need to hear these guys!
The Charlie Tipper Conspiracy – A quirky pop septet with a Bristolian pedigree as long as your arm…or possibly longer…their credentials include former stints with The Flatmates, The Harpoons, The Groove Squad, and major label outfit, Santa Cruz. Their hallmark is lo-fi catchy pop with interesting harmonies and arrangements, which can be heard on their triumvirate of recent EPs, the last of which is due for imminent release!
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 brand new EP, Love in the Time of Colin’s Godson, sounds like the three-headed love child of Zappa, Bowie, and They Might Be Giants, backed and produced by ELO! Yes, these young Glaswegians are that good – check them out for yourself!
The Dream Factory – Some may remember this Tamworth-based combo (which includes Mark Mortimer of DC Fontana and The Know Escape – see below) from their heyday in the mid-‘80s, but alas, their trajectory to international stardom was blown off-course by the rise of the Manchester scene. Despite their “almost-made-it” status, they were the archetypal proto-indie group of that time, releasing two records on staunchly independent northern soul label, Inferno, and building up a huge and loyal fan base of scooterists and mods. The band’s first ever demo recording – “The Haze” appears on Another Splash of Colour, a Cherry Red compilation of ‘80s psychedelic music, alongside other songs from artists as diverse as The Cure, Julian Cope, The Prisoners, Robyn Hitchcock, the Monochrome Set, and The Barracudas, to name but a few!
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 newest album, Tales of The Expected, adds just a touch of early ‘70s-inflected experimental prog-rock, and made a splash on many a 2016 “Best Of” list!
Fjokra – Born in Dublin and now based in London, Fjokra and his eponymous band have gained a reputation for exhibiting a uniquely bizarre and energetic live show that “combines near-minimalistic, lo-fi electro-pop with retro swing, metal and occasional epic Muse-like explosions.” (Time Out). His Thoughtsteps EP provides just a taste of what you can expect to see and hear live!
Roxanne Fontana – An Italian-American author, singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, poet, actress, and clothing and jewelry designer now based in Herefordshire, Fontana made her name in the New York and LA scenes of the ‘80s and ‘90s, writing and performing with such bands as Ruzenka and The Big Dream. She was even hailed as “The Hippest Lady in New York” and appeared on the cover the local East Village paper Downtown! She comes to IPO armed with an impressive back catalog of albums, singles, and EPs in her inimitable psychedelic folk meets rocker girl chic style.
Fun Of The Pier – The duo of Helen on vocals and guitar and Mark on acoustic bass has expanded, and now includes Richard (of Richard Snow and The Inlaws fame) on pretty guitar jangle and vocal harmonies. Their songs have a lighthearted folky psychedelic feel, but with darker undercurrents. Imagine a very British Judy Collins fronting Nirvana, and you’d come close to what this enigmatic act from Nottingham sounds like. They’ve begun work on a debut album, so watch for it!
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!
The Gallerys – A young trio from Kent who put their own spin on the classic mod meets Britpop influences courtesy of Oasis, The Who, and The Jam. They craft original songs around innovative guitar melodies and driving bass lines, held together by punchy drumming to achieve the unique sound on their recent Paisley EP. All band members add harmonic vocals blending the classic sound of the ‘60s with ‘90s Britpop influences. They’ve received rave reviews based on their appearances on Mod Radio and the BBC Radio Introducing, but are passionate about performing live, so see and hear why they’ve been called “One of the most promising bands of 2017!” (Merc Clothing)
Micah Gilbert – Based in Uig, Highland, by way of Athens, Georgia, Gilbert’s songs have been appreciated on many levels for their distinct and memorable melodies, skillful, well crafted, intelligent lyrics, vivid images, catchy subtlety, and fine details. An artist that fans of Todd Rundgren, James Taylor, and George Harrison are sure to appreciate!
Alison Green – A fine 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 out her brand new Whiskey Ginger Johnson album and her IPO showcase!
The Harriets – A Leeds-based jangle and power pop trio who we think will fit right in at IPO! The songs on their self-titled EP have a ‘60s/’70s pop sensibility, are big on the hooks, with plenty of vocal harmonies… think Big Star, The Smiths and mid-period Beatles…or better yet, just come to see and hear The Harriets!
The Hepburns – A capricious guitar pop act from Wales that appeared briefly with Cherry Red at the tail end of the 80s to the bafflement of the UK press of the day (who weren’t ready for a band that claimed Bacharach, Barry and Morricone as influences). Luckily for us, the folks at Radio Khartoum recognized their genius! They’re back with their vibe-laden, trumpet-spiked brand of melancholia on their new release, There’s No Such Thing As The Hepburns, on which small-town tales of disintegration, existential limbo, and the dismantling of the welfare state glide on a languid and blissful projection of Bacharachian lightness and easy-listening charm. Sunshine pop of the palest order!
Honeybug – Since their first appearance at IPO in 2006, Honeybug has been one of the highlights of the festival, and their main man Ni has been a ubiquitous and welcome fixture on the scene. Ni’s brought 13 other musicians to IPO over that time – most of them several times – and has also played drums (Mini) and sung backing vocals (Fun of the Pier – see above) with other bands at IPO. Masters of self-reinvention, Honeybug has been everything from a three-piece acoustic lineup to a big seven-piece production with seven vocals, and we can’t wait to see what Ni has up his sleeves for this year’s performance! There’s still no CD this year as Ni’s been very busy teaching songwriting and other music-related subjects to the next generation at Edinburgh College where he’s lectured for the last 18 years, so if you want to hear his latest creations – as well as old favorites – you’ll have to catch Honeybug at their IPO showcase!
Kartel-The latest gem mined from the motherload of psychedelic, soul, and power pop goodness that is the Glasgow scene, Kartel are the love child of The Beat Movement and The Blue Lenas, both of whom graced the stages of IPO Liverpool last year. Given the pedigrees of their parents, we’re sure we can expect a healthy dose of ‘60s inspired jangle, funk, and swagger, and a whole lotta fun!
Kascarade – A five-piece band with a retro/modern crossover sound from the city of Bradford, Kascarade formed with the aim of making music that is fresh, full of hooks, riffs and beats with each song having a different direction, vibe, emotion and message to get across. Their debut album, The Start Of It All, will appeal to fans of Oasis, Ryan Adams, and Pink Floyd, and has been getting some recent attention on BBC Radio! Check it out!
King Mojo – An energetic four-piece outfit from Middlesbrough, King Mojo are rapidly becoming one of the area’s top live acts. Their thundering tight, well-crafted songs blend elements of ‘60s psychedelia and ‘70s funk and punk with mod, Britpop, and power pop, and are instantly addictive! Their debut album, Second From Last In The Sack Race, recently recorded at Ranscombe Studios in Rochester with the Legendary Jim Riley, and produced by the equally legendary Graham Day, is set for release this summer – we can hardly wait! and their second single, “Ironstoned”, which they will be launching at IPO!
The Know Escape – The post-DC Fontana project of Mark Mortimer and Donald Ross Skinner, with songs that display a vivacious desire for freedom, and speak of love and loss in a frank way. The Know Escape promise songs that are more lysergic than before, that will blister and soothe in equal amounts. A debut album is in the works, so watch for it!
Kontiki Suite – Kontiki Suite hail from the isolated outskirts of the Lake District in England’s “Deep North”. Their 2015 album, The Greatest Show On Earth, furthers the band’s collective love of melody, harmony, psychedelia and country, displayed on their critically acclaimed debut, On Sunset Lake, and takes it to the next level! Fans of 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! – will love these guys!
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. The songs on their recently released album, Heads Or Tails, are instantly addictive, and have us really looking forward to seeing them back again at IPO Liverpool to do their thing live!
Col Lewis – A gent from Burton-on-Trent with a fine-tuned ear for melody, Lewis has played with a number of bands, including Postcards From Places That Don’t Exist (who played IPO Liverpool from 2010 to 2012). He’s currently working on his solo material with producer Fran Ashcroft, who has produced The Quarrymen, The La’s and many more artists in and out of Abbey Road Studios. 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!
Lifeguard – IPO is proud to host the brand new project of Weston-Super-Mare-based phenom Luke Potter, who’s song “Something More” was just remixed by Andrelli (Hearts & Colors, Lady Gaga) and re-issued on Family Tree/Sony Music in Sweden! He’s got some more new tunes up his sleeves, so expect relate-able lyrics that tell a story, wrapped up in a mix of heartfelt ballads and catchy power pop hooks!
Logan’s Close – Blues, Soul and Rock n’ Roll…nothing more needs to be said for this band. But if you need a comparison, think The Beatles before they disembarked in Hamburg. With their blend of suave ‘60s sensibilities and ferocious live energy, these Scots from the outskirts of Edinburgh could get a mortuary shaking! Check out their debut single “Kitty Cat,” available now on Spotify and other fine streaming services!
The Lost 45s – IPO is thrilled to welcome back one of our favorite bands from Leeds for the 2nd year in a row! Influenced by ‘60s beat, psyche & pop, classic soul, blues & R n’ B and all their bastard offspring, they were the quintessential champions of the Leeds mod/psyche scene before going on hiatus to pursue other projects. Their classic album, What Time Do You Call This?, is available for download from Detour Records, and their recently unearthed “lost” track, “Outta Sight,” has been made available as a Rowed Out Records 7” vinyl! We can’t wait to see them do their thing live again!
Love L.U.V. – If you like that classic garage stomp bubblegum girl group sound, you will love Love L.U.V., as these Londoners do that style to perfection! Fans of artists from The Shangri-Las to Blondie and The Pandoras need to see and hear them!
Magic Bus – A prog/pop/folk rock combo from Devon whose music is best described as “a love-in of late ‘60s early ‘70s Canterbury scene with harmony soaked west coast hippy!” Their recent album, Transmission From Sogmore’s Garden, features intricately woven melodies, intense keyboards and guitars, and lighthearted pop flute. Their brand new one, Phillip The Egg, is a mesmerizing juxtaposion of new age dream pop and experimental prog rock. This is one bus you will want to hop on board!
Magic Seas – The sweeping melodies and gently layered harmonies of this indie rock meets dream pop band from Chelmsford will quickly have you drifting away in a sea of musical bliss as if by magic! A very aptly named band indeed!
Helen McCookerybook – An eclectic singer/songwriter from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Helen McCookerybook has dabbled in every style from punk to jazz to skiffle to folk and psychedelic softpop, all while retaining an innate melodic and pop sensibility. She was even at one time signed to RCS and had a couple of minor hits with her band The Horns before taking time off to be a Mum and earn a PhD in musicology! Her latest EP, Femme Fatale, was recorded with The Charlie Tipper Conspiracy (see above), as a fundraiser for the charity Refugee Action, with all proceeds going directly to the charity. Pretty cool!
Midland Railway – All aboard! Arriving as scheduled on a stage near you this IPO is Midland Railway, on track with a carriage full of noisy guitars, 3 part vocal harmonies, quirky lyrics and barrel-scraping train related metaphors. This 3-guys-and-a-gal quartet originally departing from Manchester have timetabled a back catalogue of tunes on varied topics ranging from online football management, Pokémon, exes, currents, never-weres and punk clichés. Expect feather boas, glitter, eyeliner and stage banter you too can join in on if your voice goes louder than a microphone does.
Miracle Glass Company – From supernaturally beautiful songs to seismic mind bending jams, these Edinburgh-based lads represent all that’s best about cosmic rock n’ roll, but it’s their tight vocal harmonies and ingenious song structures that make them an electric outfit worth putting everything else on hold for. Fusing psychedelic rock n’ roll with pop sensibilities, blistering musicianship and three unique voices, their recently released debut album, MGC1, “…conjures up memories of the Lennon/McCartney partnership at the peak of their powers” (The List); no wonder Scottish music guru Jim Gellatly named it as his album of the year!
The Miss’s – Compelling audiences with their distinctive and intense music, The Miss’s are a hidden gem of a Scottish duo; comprised of Audrey Tait and Michelle Low. Fans of artists such as Fleetwood Mac and Fairport Convention will dig their IPO shows and forthcoming album!
Ric Neale – The very talented Mr. Neale has played IPO a number of times with his band The Housekeeping Society, but this year marks his first playing under his own moniker. His panoramic melodies make him a much sought after composer for various musical theatre projects, a capacity in which he most recently served as songwriter, performer, and musical director for the sell-out show “Dancing Bear”, which toured Leeds and Manchester. His new record, All That Counts, sees him return to his roots as a solo piano player and vocalist, and we can’t wait to see him do these songs live at IPO. Always willing to take on a challenge and do something different, he’s asked us to bill one of his sets at IPO as “Ric Neale does Pet Sounds,” so get ready for a special treat!
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 Neighbourhood Strange – A garage/psych/proto-punk outfit from Salisbury, The Neighbourhood Strange play loud West Coast influenced garage-rock tunes that sound like unearthed gems from the ‘60s. Think The Doors meet Buffalo Springfield at a party hosted by The Monkees and you kind of get the idea…or better yet, check out their new Let’s Get High/One Last Chance single and their IPO showcase!
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 keep an eye out for a new release soon, as they’ve been hitting the studio cooking up more melodic goodness that we can’t wait to hear!
Nine Violets – The hooks and harmonies of this Yorkshire-based sextet will instantly embed themselves in your brain! If you like The Beatles and ELO – and, let’s be honest, who reading this doesn’t? – you will dig Nine Violets!
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, but has started 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 recent LP, Take You Away, is available via many fine internet retailers!
Patersani – Hailed as “the most exciting Scottish prospect since Fatherson,” (WOW24/7) and “one of the country’s most exciting emerging acts” (Jim Gellatly, Xfm and The Scottish Sun), Patersani are an Indie/Pop/Rock band from Glasgow, fronted by brothers Craig and Dave Patersani. Their combination of hooky choruses, big guitars, even bigger vocals, and energetic live show is quickly earning them a reputation as a “must see” live band!
The Peace Pipers – Psychedelic grunge/Paisley-pop band extraordinaire, The Peace Pipers’ sound is an ode to the classic, late-‘60s sunshine psych with a twist of lysergic folk and indie-rock thrown in for good measure. Consisting of drums, bass, guitar and bouzouki, their sound incorporates folkloric melodies with a stomping beat fresh from the seedy underbelly of Manchester’s counter culture. Fans of artists such as Pink Floyd, The Hollies, The Beau Brummels, The Zombies, and The Velvet Underground will dig their IPO shows and their forthcoming EP!
Marco Rea – Fans of The Wellgreen take note: in addition to being one of their main men, Rea has also branched out with a fine crop of songs under his own name. The sunny melodies and ‘60s influences are there to be sure, but mixed with a refreshing touch of whimsy! Fans of Burt Bacharach, Randy Newman, Brian Wilson, and (of course) The Wellgreens will love this! One of Glasgow’s most prolific and gifted singer songwriters!
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 seven (and sometimes eight)-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. Their recent double A-side single, Olympus/I Want You (I Need You), provides a taste of what’s to come on their forthcoming album, as they keep getting bigger and better! The eighth Rising is actually none other than Scott Howells, past IPO performer and leader of The Broken Vinyl Club, who adds some cool eastern psychedelic sitar flavour to some of the tracks. We really are looking forward to their IPO shows and their new record!!
Michael Roberts – A Swansea-based artist who merits a listen (or two, or three…) by any self-respecting fan of ‘70s pop! His recent debut album, Suspended In This Space features dynamic hooks garnished with dreamy lyrics that will take you to a magical place of Utopia, fantastically produced into a joyous experience, leading us to predict that he will be one of the favorite discoveries of many of this year’s IPO attendees!
Rogue Frequency – Stockport based IPO veterans, Rogue Frequency are a three piece with classic, prog and alternate rock influences that generally write music that appeals to the darker side of the human psyche. They have, to date, written and self-produced three albums and their forth, a concept album, is near completion. Original, big sounding classic rock influenced anthemic songs-craft that sounds greater than the sum of its parts.
David Sayle – Some may recognize this one-time Liverpool resident (now based in St Helens) as the main man of Private Universe, but over the years has established himself as solo performer as well. His acoustic rock style aims to show great songs at the bare minimalist level, which allows him to better convey his musical ability as a guitarist. It also showcases his vocal style and range and the lyrical detail behind the songs.
The Shudders – With energy, driving rhythm and heartfelt melodies, The Shudders combine their melee of musical influences to produce a refreshing brand of indie-country-rock on their latest CD, No Angels in the Slipstream. Vocal harmonies, screaming guitar, warm acoustic and a commanding rhythm section weave a rich tapestry of noise cut from a cloth made up of Crazy Horse, Bright Eyes, and Wilco! One of Swindon’s finest!
Sleuth – Essentially the nom-de-plume of bookish indie-popster from Woverhampton, Christopher Taylor-Ashcroft, Sleuth’s gentle piano pop and catchy melodies have been called both “lyrically thoughtful and musically enticing” (Songwall). The March issue of Ryan’s Gig Guide used Sleuth’s recently released EP, Coming Up For Air as the cover with an article and review hailing the EP “truly remarkable” and “excellent songwriting”. With this sort of praise, you owe it to yourself to check him out!
Split Sofa – Historically a recording project (with a rather lengthy and impressive back catalog of EPs and albums), 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 recent album, Coloured Dream, “… is full of deceptively lightweight songs that impinge on your consciousness like hazy whispers.” (Geoff Barton, Classic Rock Magazine), and a seventh full length album, Thornby Park, is now available!
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!? A fifth Spygenius album is under development, but in the meantime, you can experience their unique brand of jangle pop madness on their two-song digital album, Highway Code Revisited, and their IPO showcase!
Squ!re – Yes, this is THAT Squ!re….the London band that has been cranking out perfect pop gems since the late ‘70s, and has shared the stage with such legends as The Jam! Their sound ranges from psychedelic mod to Beatle-esque jangle to straight on power pop, often with lush instrumental arrangements, and always full of energy and harmony. Check out any of their albums, and you won’t be disappointed! We are truly honored to have these guys back at IPO Liverpool after too long an absence!
The Strangest Feeling – A Birmingham-based quirky pop trio, The Strangest Feeling specialise in short punchy songs with strong melodies, adventurous harmonies, lush backing vocals and intricately-crafted arrangements. Fans of The Kinks, The Zombies, Love, and The Who should check them out!
Suncharmer – Formerly known as The Crew, Suncharmer are a guitar-based indie band from Kent, consisting of 4 long-haired, tea-addicted, instrument-wielding plebs. The band sculpt their songs with colourful melodies and psychedelic poetry that draws influence from Jimi Hendrix, T.Rex, David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, as well as many new artists such as Black Honey and Blossoms. Prepare for an onslaught of psychedelic sight and sound!
Sunshine Bloom – A progressive power pop quartet from Birmingham in the fine tradition of artists such as Jellyfish, Big Star, and Wings! Their sophomore EP, Power Pop Is Dead, proves that it is anything but, as it sees them expanding their sonic pallet with rich textures, harmonies and melodies, drawing comparisons to The Knack and ELO! We very much look forward to seeing them again at IPO!
The Swagger – These boys from North London have been playing shows up and down the UK, causing quite a stir and creating quite a buzz. Their songs are very catchy and gritty, with a melodic punk-rock alternative sound. Fans of classic British punk rock as well as mod will want to check out their debut self-titled EP, which has been described as “a perfect fusion of Oasis and The Kinks, as if [blended]with [a]slowed-down [version]of Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. A perfect start to what will likely be a bright music career” (The Record Stache)!
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 Hit The Sky EP won “Best EP for 2014” from Galaxy Entertainment! Their latest, Changes, is the first featuring new singer, Chris Daley, and they’ve got a couple more EPs planned for 2017! They’ve become one of the most powerful and exciting live bands around, so don’t miss their IPO showcase!
Thirty Hearts – A four piece who span the Pennines with members based in Manchester, Bradford and Leeds, Thirty Hearts strive to find a balance between heavy, dark riffs with haunting hooks and light, melodic pop moments – often delivered with an element of surprise. With a growing catalog of music and an energetic live show, Thirty Hearts come to IPO to further their cause of bringing their music to the masses and networking with other bands!
Toxic Melons – Sprung from the mind of Newcaste-Upon-Tyne-based singer/songwriter/producer/arranger, Pablo Melons, the “band” is comprised of a revolving cast of musicians from all over the world whom he brings in to play on his songs. Said songs are heavily influenced by ‘60s/’70s pop with some ‘90s West Coast flavour! Fans of Jellyfish, ELO, and Elton John will surely appreciate latest Toxic Melons EP, Four Play!
Daniel Trigger – Combining crushing down-tuned guitar riffs with melodic, anthemic choruses, Trigger is an accomplished hard rock artist from Bromsgrove with a pop lover’s soul. His brand new album, Time Of The Titans, will appeal to fans of artists from Deep Purple and Uriah Heap to KISS and Queen. He is also quite the philanthropist, as all proceeds from the album are split between three important charities: Marie Curie Cancer Care, Dementia UK and the Diana-Award Anti-Bullying Campaign. Very cool!
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. “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). Her debut mini album, This Is Turner, showcases the many sides of Turner, all part of her vintage charm, one minute classic Dusty, the next epic Scott Walker style ballads & just for good measure a track that could easily fit into the next Bond Film.
Tytania – Described by many as a cross between One Republic and Lawson, Tytania have amassed a loyal and dedicated following by taking their undeniably infectious and upbeat live show to every major town and city throughout the UK. Their debut album, Higher, showcases not only their upbeat anthemic rock style, but also the Leeds-based band’s awesome harmonies!
Ulysses – Praised in major publications from The Guardian, Shindig! and Classic Rock Magazine, Bath’s rock upstarts deliver quirky pop delights and to die for big riffs with what is fast becoming Ulysses’ own distinct sound – a nether land between psych, glam and rock, guitar stroking and pop sheen. Their latest album, Law And Order, bursts in equal parts with great harmonies and glam rock swagger that fans of T Rex, The Rolling Stones, and Thin Lizzy will love! Their explosive live show will make you think Isle of Wight!
The Viewers – A Cornish rock four-piece who found the world lacking in the kind of music they wanted to listen to themselves, so they did something about it, and we are certainly glad that they did! They play ‘60s-influenced original music, inspired by iconic names such as The Beatles, The Byrds, The Kinks and The Hollies. Their recent Let Light In album is a must have for jangle-a-holics everywhere! Their third album, Universal Sky, will be out soon!
Jack Woodward – A young singer-songwriter from North-West England who writes and performs catchy and intimate songs in indie and pop genres, his debut EP, Fly Away, was the #2 best-selling singer-songwriter album on iTunes pre-order chart and was #82 on the singer-songwriter iTunes chart on its release day! “Honey,” the lead song from Jack’s EP, was also nominated for “Best Song of 2016” by Best of British Unsigned. 2017 sees Jack recording songs for his 2nd EP, and performing at a wide array of iconic venues and festivals, and we’re glad to have IPO be a part of his journey!
Thee Wylde Fuzz Show – The latest 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” will appeal to fans of all things Freakbeat!
Yoav Arbel – We were instantly addicted the moment we heard this artist from Tel Aviv, and we think you will be too! His blend of sweeping arrangements and power pop hooks set to a driving combination of chord progressions and steady backbeat is a classic pop-lover’s dream! Fans of artists from George Harrison to Brian Wilson to Elton John and ELO need to check out his recent One Way to Alex EP (from which one of the songs, “Doesn’t Matter What”, appeared on last year’s IPO CD) and his IPO showcase!
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 KISS and AC/DC will also appreciate their recent Another Day EP!
The Armoires – Led by the paisley-clad duo of Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko and hailing from Burbank, CA, The Armoires have turned heads worldwide with their unique harmony-driven, jangly songcraft, blending the sounds of SoCal legends like The Byrds, X, and hits-era Fleetwood Mac with a lyrical sensibility that’s all their own. It’s on display on their acclaimed debut album Incidental Lightshow, with more to come on a follow-up release later in 2017. Renowned as community builders on the global pop scene, they’re also the founders of the Big Stir: Power Pop & More concert series in LA, which has blossomed into a record label and touring company. They will follow their IPO appearance with a whirlwind tour of England, Scotland and Ireland alongside Plasticsoul, Huxley Rittman & the Rusty Hitmen, and a who’s-who of the UK’s top power pop and pop-psych bands, as the Big Stir Traveling International Roadshow. Look for tour dates in your home town after the festival!
The Beautiful Art of Decay – Influenced by The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and Ziggy Stardust era Bowie, this Stockholm quintet are “the other ones…the ones on the other side of the street…the ones your mother warned you about”…in other words, they write and play great rock n’ roll. Check out their We Are The Other Ones EP to see and hear what we mean!
The Belmondos – A Parisian quartet of false brothers and sons, brought together by their combined love of the musical heritage of the ‘60s and desire to distill it with the best of today’s modern rock – think The Remains, The Sonics, or The Zombies combined with Tame Impala or Arctic Monkeys. Their recently released second album, Good Mistakes, is a perfect example of their unique sound: pop and melodic in writing, rock and energetic in interpretation!
Ben’s Diapers – Not many bands can boast a 20 year history, but these guys from Turku, Finland can!! They’ve been delivering feel-good guitar pop band since 1997, operating to an aesthetic emphasizing timeless classic values of a good song and humble, down-to-earth attitude. Their latest release, Up In The Mountains, Deep In The Sea, like it’s predecessors, is chock full of feel-good harmony driven folk-pop! It’s been a few years since they last played IPO Liverpool, and we’re glad to have ‘em back!
Deni Bonet – Having played with the likes of R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, and Cyndi Lauper, as well as fronting her own band, Deni Bonet brings her quirky, melodic, violin-based pop-rock across the pond from New York to Liverpool for IPO! Her recent It’s All Good album is fun, energetic, roots-based pop, rock & folk at its finest, and features appearances by Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Fred Schneider (B-52’s), Steve Holley (Wings) & many others. A new album is on the way, so watch for it!
Sarah Buckley – Steadily gaining attention on the Irish music scene with her distinctive vocal and song writing style, Buckley has been included in recent Emerging Artist Shortlists by RTE Radio1 and Pure M Magazine, all while still attending Music College working to hone her craft and recording tunes for her debut album! “Her style blends intuitive songwriting with a raw, honest, soulful vocal twang that recalls some of the best acousto-folk and country singers of all time” (YouBloom Blog). Fans of artists such as Joni Mitchell, Edie Brickell, Suzanne Vega, and Sarah McLachlan should check out this young songstress from Cork!
Caper Clowns – A quartet of young Danes from Odense who made an immediate splash on Danish radio and the world wide power pop blog underground with the release of their debut The Buca Bus late last year! The lead single “Pockets”, was immediately chosen as the “weekly hit tip” on Danish national radio station DR P4, and has continued to receive airplay on a daily basis ever since. With multiple comparisons to the likes of McCartney and ELO, it’s understandable why they rose to the top of several year end “best of” lists and were an obvious choice to join us for IPO Liverpool!
Jose Casas y La Pistola de Papá – Whether singing in their native Spanish or in English, the music of this band from Seville is full of jangle and harmony that blend a bit of ‘60s inflected psychedelia and mod with power pop and soul, just the way we like it! Their latest album, Memorias de una pistola invisible, calls to mind such greats as Paul Weller, The Kinks, Big Star, and The Plimsouls! When not doing their original music, they also double as The Village Green Experience, a tribute to The Kinks…just in case there was any confusion about where their influences lie!
The Cherry Bluestorms – After discovering their mutual love of ‘60s guitar-based melodic rock, guitarist/vocalist Glen Laughlin (formerly of The Dickies) and vocalist Deborah Gee immediately began working on what would become The Cherry Bluestorms. Their debut album, Transit of Venus, is a garden of unearthly delights for those who cut their teeth on the vinyl pressed between 1964 and 1970! Their latest release, an ambitious concept album called Bad Penny Opera, turns their classic style and psychedelic haze up a notch, and has been garnering stellar reviews! They’re working on a third album, which we can hardly wait to hear!
Cirrone – Alessandro, Bruno and Mirko Cirrone: three brothers, three voices (they all take turns at singing lead, and come by their sibling harmonies naturally), three minds, ONE music! They compose catchy pop-rock melodies with a sound that has obvious nods to the seventies but remains firmly implanted in today. The sound of the sunshine of their home island of Sicily is mixed together with the genuine influences of the Britpop to create something truly special on their critically acclaimed album, Uplands Park Road, praised for its tight harmonies, breathy cool vocals, and powerful guitar sections. A new album is in the works, and set for release later this year, so watch for it!
The Corridors – A band from Tel Aviv, Israel, currently based in London, who bring a unique combination of Chill Out and Electronic sounds mixed into their music, which – make no mistake – can really rock when it wants to! “…Why unique? Because their sound is made up of a multitude of instruments and sounds creating something contemporary, alternative and upbeat at the same time. Imagine INXS crossed with U2 and throw in Placebo or Smashing Pumpkins, you get one awesome mix. These guys are a real pleasure to listen to. Vocally Fantastic. Lyrically Brilliant and the music is ace” (Rockbandom Magazine) Their brand new End Of The Times album takes their sound to a whole other level, with soaring harmonies, haunting soundscapes, and intimate, relatable lyrics!
Jose Estragos Band – A singer/songwriter from Madrid, Spain, along with his band, who have become a much anticipated fixture at IPO Liverpool for the past four years, and are back to do it again! Their songs are heavily influenced by Lennon-McCartney and other Merseybeat greats, and their on-stage energy and obvious love for what they do is infectious! Check the merch tables for a copy of their latest Jose Estragos vol 3 album!
Family Values – A sparkling, hook-driven power pop five-piece from Oslo, Norway. Catchy melodies with one intention: Get inside your head. Their recent Time Stands Still EP achieves this ambition quite nicely, with its harmonic jangle and folkloric soft pop flourishes complementing the power pop energy!
The Generous Days – Any band who lists the year 1967 as one of their main influences is bound to peak our interest, and this band from Oslo, Norway is well worth the listen. Their sound borrows heavily on that jangly bouncy ‘60s sunshine pop style, but the songs on their These Are The Generous Days also rock enough to satisfy those who crave power in their pop. They’re back after a hiatus working on other projects (including one of our favorite alt country pop outfits NRWY), and IPO is glad to have them!
Los Glosters – This very prolific psychedelic mod pop band from Tarragona, Spain has a slew of EPs and albums to their credit, and is still going strong 20 years after their formation! Their trademark mix of keys, guitars, harmony, and a crazy beat that fans of The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, and Austin Powers movie soundtracks, as well as fans of mod and new wave punk, are sure to dig, is updated for 2017 with a more elegant but no less energetic sound that we can hardly wait to hear! Groovy Baby!
Deborah Henriksson – A Västerås-based artist who finds her most heartfelt expression yet, bringing her ethereal voice to the 12 tracks ranging in genre from singer-songwriter to folk to world to Celtic with a little scent of country and pop on her latest album, Traces. Skope Magazine even gave it 5 out of 5 stars! “[U]nique musical offering, thoughtful and stellar sound! I rarely write words like this – really!” (Brad Halverson, Skope Magazine) A new album is due out in August this year – watch for it!
Ruud Houweling – A natural born songwriter from Zandvoort, Netherlands, Houweling strives to capture his feelings in his songs in a way that others can also relate to them each time he plays. Influenced by classic songwriters such as Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Jon Brion, Houweling’s work has a similar timeless folk-pop quality. His latest album, Erasing Mountains, also takes cues from his native Dutch folk music heritage. Beautiful stuff!
Jengi – A brand new band from Biel, Switzerland, featuring Christof Schmid (who some IPO Liverpool audiences will remember as one of the main men of Carnation). Expect a combination of classic rock swagger, power pop hooks, and a touch of garage and Blues. Fans of The Rolling Stones, Jet, and Rod Stewart (who is the subject of one of their songs) will dig 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 Kalamazoolander and his band can stake their rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!
The JetBeats – A band from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on a mission to bring back the excitement from the high energy live shows of the early 60’s Beat Music era, The JetBeats seamlessly belt out British Invasion, rockabilly, and R&B classics from 1957 to 1965 alongside their own original tunes in the same vintage style. In one listen to either their debut EP, Sonic Boom Boom, or the recently released follow up EP, Mach ‘64, it will become crystal clear why they had to come to IPO Liverpool, as they will certainly appeal to any fan of Merseybeat!
Johnny Remember Me – A sextet from Hannover, Germany, who pride themselves not on producing songs, but rather, on producing sugar-coated bullets that aim straight for your heart. Their debut album, No One Is Ever The Same After, accomplished this task quite nicely, as it blends influences from ‘60s baroque soft pop to Beatle-esque harmonies, and modern indie pop. Sure to be a new favorite among many at IPO Liverpool!
La Paz – Deep, dark, and intense, while retaining an uplifting folk pop sense of melodicism: This is La Paz, a three guy/1 gal prog pop outfit from Stockholm. Imagine Stevie Nicks fronting Rush, and you almost get the picture…or better yet, just come to the IPO showcase to see and hear them for yourself!
Luck, Now – Rising from the ashes of What, Really?, this Mantuan duo of Manga and Vicky proudly proffer their version of power pop, 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 like-minded artists should check out their Just Another Lucky Start EP and their IPO showcase!
Paul McCann – A singer, song writer and multi-instrumentalist from County Cavan, Ireland, who has been singing and playing various instruments in bands since 1996 (including power pop band The Plan and the highly acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute, Get Rhythm). He has also performed with Pugwash, The Strypes, Duncan Maitland, and Nelson Bragg (Brian Wilson Band/Beach Boys), among others. Paul is currently recording the follow up to his highly acclaimed debut EP, The Magician. Fans of the aforementioned artists, as well as others, such as Jason Falkner and Manic Street Preachers, will appreciate his blend of elements from rock, power pop, alternative, folk and country music, to creates a unique sound with guitars and uplifting harmonies.
Modigliani – A group from Bassano del Grappa, Italy, who create pop and rock songs in the vein of McCartney, Bacharach, The Beach Boys, Weezer, and The Rolling Stones. Yes, they really are that good…just listen to their recent album, Sides, and you’ll be a believer! They like nothing more than sharing their music through performing live, so expect them to pull out all the stops for their shows at IPO Liverpool!
Leisure McCorkle – We’re always grateful when this gentleman makes his way to IPO (several of them!) all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina! Fans of Joe Jackson and Graham Parker will love his sturdy rock ‘n roll, as he possesses a voice so strong that he really doesn’t need a microphone! Check out his classic CD, Jet Set Baby, and his brand new disc, 5000 Light Years Beyond The Speed Of Sound, and you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about!
Peer – Accessible indie rock, with energy bouncing off in every direction, the on-stage the chemistry between these four youngsters from Middleburg, The Netherlands, is palpable: dynamic rock with an Arctic Monkeys edge and memorable melodious choruses. VPRO’s 3voor12 believe these guys have the potential to conquer the country. Their just released EP, Mad For It!, will also appeal to fans of The Jam and Stone Roses!
Christine B Phelan – As lead singer/writer with indie band Parallel, Phelan released two studio albums, after which she set forth as a solo singer-songwriter. Her debut EP, Sapphire, consists of elements of folk, blues, pop and country, depicting influences such as Gillian Welsh, Lucinda Williams, Imelda May and Sheryl Crow. “Phelan has put together a wonderfully whimsical collection of songs that are loaded with passion and spirit….a smooth and accessible blend of pop and blues….energetic and infectious”(Dave Simpson, Pure M Magazine). A second EP from this Cork County, Ireland, songstress is due out this summer, so watch for it!
Picnic Republic – An ensemble from Aix en Provence who characterize their music as a cross between The Beach Boys and The Pixies. True to their influences, the songs on their recent self-titled EP are pure sunshine pop with a hint of power pop and garage that fans of The Beatles will also love!
Plasticsoul – Celebrating the much-anticipated release of their third and most rocking album Therapy (on Big Stir Records), LA-based Plasticsoul are a hook-propelled American spin on the history of British rock from The Beatles to the Bunnymen to Oasis, blessed with the powerful voice and sharp-edged tunes of front-man Steven Wilson. Expect Therapy to follow in the footsteps of the band’s prior releases, both of which won multiple Album of the Year awards and rave reviews. With a formidable and propulsive live act that’s pure rock and roll energy and a deep catalogue of finely crafted and emotive songs, Plasticsoul is currently at the height of their considerable powers. Catch them on tour after IPO with the Big Stir Traveling International Roadshow as they travel the UK alongside The Armoires, Huxley Rittman & The Rusty Hitmen, and a dazzling array of the UK’s own top power pop artists!
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.” A recent CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs, “Anne Marie.” In addition to being one of the most entertaining and hardworking power poppers around, he’s also extremely versatile, often displaying his jazzy/bluesy side on several collaborations with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter, Mark McCarron, including their latest Memphis Midnight, and recently showing a flair for ‘60s inspired soft-pop jangle on Radio Rave, his latest release with The Governors! From 2010 to 2014 he played 50 IPO festivals in a row (yes, you read that right), and he still plays many of them…and we look forward to many more. Thank you, Dave!!
The Real Me – Although they come to Liverpool from Almeria, Spain, The Real Me come by their Anglophilia quite naturally, as singer/guitarist Dave Bailey was born in Woking, a small town in the county of Surrey, 40km from London. Their music is influenced by British and American pop, rock, and mod of the ‘60s and ‘70s: artists such as Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Weller, Teenage Fanclub, Big Star, Style Council, and The Beatles. Their recently released album, 12 Songs About Love & Stuff, channels those influences, and displays their clear love of exquisite melodies, vocal harmonies, and the rich counter play of warm acoustic guitars with the immediacy of the electric ones. A “must have” for any self-respecting power pop fan!
The Revox – A power trio from the hedonistic francophone mountains of Switzerland, the Wallis, where jet-setters and cavemen collide, these warriors of primitive Rock & Roll are here with the intention of destroying the entire world with fuzz guitars, pounding rhythms and wild screaming. The Revox are huge record collectors, you hear it on their debut Voodoo Rhythm Records single, Talk About Her / Sick Of You, as their music is inspired by the original Swiss garage and beat scene from back in the mid-‘60s: The Sevens, The Dynamites, Les Aglions, The Slaves, Les Sauterells etc. These men are dangerous and they are coming to explode your ears and brain cells with their ‘60s garage-punk style!
Huxley Rittman &The Rusty Hitmen – Rightly viewed as the great young hope of the melodic pop-rock world, Huxley and his Boston-based band are riding the wave of a series of rapturously-reviewed EP’s and putting the finishing touches on a debut album that promises more finely crafted-songs blending the sardonic with the heartfelt. Steeped in the whole of guitar-rock history but with a unique modern energy and topped with Huxley’s distinctive and addictive baritone delivery, the band is well poised to take the world by storm, commencing with IPO Liverpool and continuing on as part of the Big Stir Traveling International Roadshow alongside Plasticsoul, The Armoires and a revolving cast of the UK’s best in melodic pop rock.
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 latest album, Glass Marbles, has been called “…an…epic masterpiece: it’s his Sandonista, or Blonde on Blonde, or Here Come The Miracles” (New York Music Daily).
Hailee Rose – Any artist talented enough to become a protégé and backup singer of the venerable Dave Rave (see above) is bound to be worth a listen, and this up and coming young lady from Toronto is certainly deserving of such. Her debut album, Introducing Hailee Rose, features a mixture of classic covers and Rose’s original tunes. Her style ranges from power pop to soul to blues and the power of her voice will blow you away! She is quite the dynamic live performer!
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 full album, Buscando el Sol, bring to mind the British pop sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but mixed with a sunny Spanish flair! Their brand new 4-track album Dias y Noches, was just released by Clifford Records on colored vinyl that is almost as beautiful as the songs on it!
Serie B – Many say that rock is dead, but Serie B are a rock band and are here from Valencia, Spain to prove that rock must be understood as visceral, exciting, intense music….and alive, very much alive! Their references on their Heaven Underground album are broad: from Elvis (and before him) through the Who, The Kinks, Cheap Trick, Slade, Motorhead and on and on through the vast rock continuum, but imbued with the spirit of today!
Ships Have Sailed – Since their inception, LA’s Ships Have Sailed have always struck a balance between exuberant pop and substantial alternative rock, a formula for success that has earned them both a loyal following and numerous accolades from ISC, Unsigned Only and The John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Whether doing it slick and electric, as they do on their debut album, Moodswings, or mellow and acoustic, as exemplified by their EP, Whispers, their soaring melodies and heartfelt delivery will stick with you long after the last note of their songs! They were the first band ever to play all six stops in a row of our West Coast tour last summer, and we’re honored to welcome them to their first ever IPO Liverpool!
Sidderales – A band from Marbella who specialize in energetic power pop meets indie rock just the way we like it: in your face, full of catchy hooks, harmonies, and searing guitar shreddery! Fans with a similar loce of both genres will want to check out their IPO showcase and their recent Siete album!
Slyboots – This new band featuring KG* Noble and Margaret LaBombard, whose guitar hero glitter glam and solid bass lines were the power behind the great Lily Sparks, held their debut performance at IPO New York last fall, so we’re especially honored to be hosting them for their first appearance in Liverpool! Expect cleverly crafted songs, an engaging performance, and the rock turned up to 11!!
The Spontanas – After two years of absence The Spontanas are back on stage at the IPO festival. With a new lineup the Dutchmen are tighter and brighter than ever before. Stomping and catchy power pop with a splash of surf, a whiff of country and every now and then a shift in gears to rock. With some blasts from the past, but also lots of new ear candy.
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!
The Vinylos – These islanders who hail from Tenerife (in the Spanish Canary Islands) are passionate about the sounds of the first half of the ‘60s. They swing between beat, mod, garage, and R&B, staying faithful to the era they admire, but giving their songs their own identity. Their recent Clifford Records self-titled CD will appeal to fans of The Sonics, The Kinks, Small Faces, and the Motown girl group sound!
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!
Waldorf Histeria – The songs on both their 2010 debut and 2014 follow up albums (both eponymously named) are characterized by pop melodies, punk guitars and literary hooliganist lyrics (in Spanish) that are so hooky and harmonious that it really doesn’t matter if we understand any of the words to know that we’re excited to see this band from Madrid at IPO Liverpool! Classic Spanish power pop at its finest!
Warm Morning Brothers – If their name conjures images of a lazy warm summer day, you’ll know they hit it spot-on with just one listen! The Simon & Garfunkel (and Cat Stevens) of Piacenza, Italy, who have also added a backing band so they can rock harder when needed, are inspired by soft folk pop sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and they invigorate that sound for the modern era in all that they do. Their latest album, A Bunch Of Weeds, is eleven grotesque, melancholy and sometimes disturbing everyday life stories, told with a kind of bitter sweet irony, sung and played with the freshness and joy of Sunshine Pop. Beautiful stuff!