In absence of our usual regular review of last year's Liverpool International Pop Overthrow event we offer instead a preview of some of the very best bands and artists who are appearing this year who we've seen previously and need to see again. Additionally we provide song links to some of the artists who are new to us who we look forward to seeing for the first time.
Boomin' weave pop, punk, rap, bubblegum & reggae into a heady, infectious mix of frankly outstanding proportions. They are a young, loud and irreverent tour de force, they deserve the world at their feet and if it isn't theirs yet we'll be demanding a steward's enquiry. Debbie reckons they sometimes recall the New York Dolls, which is only part of it – their Chocolate is pure pop perfection, their Buckeroo is totally different but not far behind. Once seen live, they cannot be forgotten, which is why we're back for more.
The Fast Camels from Scotland come from a long line of psyche inspired Celts who know how to inject their pop with that extra fun and inspired elementals. You might detect some early Syd inspired Floyd, but we could of course not comment.
With an impressive discography Kelly's Heels demonstrate an impeccable record of superior and intelligent songwriting with more hooks than a curtain manufacturer. Singer/Guitarist Bob Kelly might come on like the Jason King of Pop, but truth be told he wouldn't be out of place with Glen Tilbrook, Harry Nilsson or Pete Townshend as songwriting bed fellows. The band are no slouches either with inspired musicianship and vocal support in the shape of a Mr & Mrs who were born to Bass & Drum.
Italy's Temponauts are interesting cross-over of garage and pop which remind this writer of the Only Ones – not a bad comparison I hear you say – you'd be right! You must hear their new single 'Elsewhere' which is simply marvellous!
We've seen Robert Vincent grow from an interesting and extra special singer songwriter into somebody the industry is starting now to notice and not before time. It can only be a short matter of the same stuff before his star is catastrophically ascendant.
The Grande blew me away the first time I saw them – country rock complete with aching songwriting, delivery and pedal steel as authentic as any southern US bar band but with that English edge that sets them apart. Can't wait to catch them again this time.
The Junipers are that rare beast, beautifully understated intelligent pastoral pop and roll that engages everytime and always surprises. What they do appears so effortless, but in its absolute beauty and deft delicacy we know this cannot be. We crave the Junipers!
The Carousels like the Grande are that rare commodity - an authentic slice of Americana by way of the British Isles. Also from Scotland like so much good Rock and Roll, in the tradition of class acts like Stealer's Wheel and the Sutherland Brothers the band delivers one Dylan tinged gem followed by a Byrdsian referred cadence, one after another and make it their own.
Ulysses are one of those acts that you can't get enough of. We've seen them 6 or 7 times and are totally hooked on their mixture of Spirit meets Move acid pop mixed with Glam & Glitter, spiked Hendrix rock trio fuzz wah madness. Following their two successful tours with California rockers Rival Sons their new album is a revelation and confirmation of their unadulterated greatness – stadiums can only be just around the corner of country estates in the shires!
Over 130 bands and artists will join together in celebration of IPO thronging this week. It began yesterday but things really start to sizzle today (Wednesday) and grows even hotter towards the weekend. Here are a few links to tantalise which will hopefully prod you into further investigation. We've mixed some of the bands illustrated here with a few who will be new to us and some established. Don't be a four sided equilateral: be there!