Just Why Do I Look Forward To May so Much?

“Is it May yet?” has become a running joke on my Facebook timeline over the last few years. May brings International Pop Overthrow to Liverpool and if you are familiar with the blog then you know that it means lots of power pop bands arrive to entertain the heck out of us. By lots I means somewhere in the region of 130 bands, all getting two slots each over the eight days of the event.

2018 sees the 16th IPO Liverpool and I’ve been lucky enough to have attended them all. In fact when IPO head honcho David Bash was first persuaded to bring his event here by Jean Catharell, I was recruited as a Merch Girl, a position I held for a few years before becoming just a punter. Working the Merch table led to me becoming friends with several of the bands, not all of them come along any more but the friendships have lasted beyond the event itself due to social media.  The comradery with all involved is very strong, in some cases we may only see each once a year but more often than not it’s like we’ve never been apart once the music starts. Whether it’s musicians, regular attendees I have become great friends with or those who are always in the audience and are but nodding acquaintances it’s all part and parcel of the IPO experience. And it is awesome.

So, advanced warning if you’ve never read this blog during May before. The posts will probably become random (as and when I have time and an internet connection) and potentially incoherent as the event wear on. If I can get data connections in the venues I’ve been known to post pictures and comments as the evening progresses. There may even be the odd photograph that involves me look the worse for wear in the venue but grinning like a happy loon as I am surrounded by my IPO family and they make me very happy.

Useful Links –
Official IPO Website (there are events all over America and Canada plus Liverpool and Stockholm)
IPO Facebook Page
IPO LIverpool 2018 Facebook Event Page

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CD Review – Over And Out by Rick Parfitt

I pre-ordered the Boxset version of this release in February. In the set you get both version of the album on CD (I think otherwise the Band mix version is only available on vinyl) and a specially designed Tshirt from Hauptstadrocker, a clothing firm favoured by Rick in the last decade or so.

The main CD comes in a digipak sleeve with a lyric booklet and the band mix (a more basic version of the tracks) is in a simpler card sleeve. And all of it is housed in a small, sturdy box.

But the packaging is less important than the musical content.

Twinkletoes featuring Brian May on guitar is a rocking opener, in a modern Quo style setting the standard for what is to come. And that is a selection of tracks that although largely familiar in style sound fresh and modern as far as classic rock goes.

My favourite tracks are definitely classic Quo in flavour – Lonesome Road, Everybody Knows how to Fly and Lock Myself Away stand out the most for me.

The more plaintive tracks, Over and Out and Without You certain show a softer side to Rick, the latter may have evoked a tear on first listen.

Much like Twinkletoes, both Fight for Every Heartbeat and Long Distance Love are distilled from the essence of the more modern Quo sound. (And the latter gets extra points for using the words “electronic letter” in the lyrics!) while When I Was Falling In Love wouldn’t have been out of place on a Traveling Wilburys album.

The closing track Halloween was originally written for a mid-eighties solo album that never made it to an official release. It does sound pretty eighties too but that’s not a complaint.

The band mixes have a slightly edgier, more raw sound and make me sadder that this stuff won’t get a live airing. Both versions of this album are a worthy tribute to Rick and his lasting legacy in the world of rock music.


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New Music Alert!!

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One of the best things about the International Pop Overthrow Liverpool event is the number of fab music people it has brought into my orbit over the years, so when one of these people get in touch asking if I want to hear a sneak preview of their latest project I’m going to jump at the chance.

The Ego Ritual is the latest band involving Jim Styring (The Popdogs and B-Leaguers) and the track, Chakra Maraca,  doesn’t disappoint. It starts reasonably quietly and then pelts into a driving bass line littered with guitar hooks that instantly lodge themselves into your brain. Jim distinctive vocals are enhanced with harmonies and backing vocals reminiscent of sixties garage psych while the whole thing is gently garnished with an Indian theme which adds just enough essence of the East. Finally it leads into a mantra-like ending that will live in your head long after the song is over. Honestly, I played it about three times to make the notes for this article and it’s still dancing around in there the day afterwards.

If Chakra Maraca is anything to go by then the full album is going to be a real treat, and I can’t wait to hear more!

To stay tuned for more information check out the official facebook page for The Ego Ritual.

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Pre-Order the Fly From Here Return Trip album from Yes.

Over at pledge music you can pre-order the new version of Fly From Here by Yes. This version features Trevor Horn on vocals which means that the full Drama era lineup appears on the album.

It will be released at the Yes Fan event at the end of March and pre-ordered copies for those unable to send will be sent out after the event.

You can buy it by clicking this link.

Embed from Getty Images

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