Blake Jones & The Trike Shop, Gig Review. International Pop Overthrow 2015. The Cavern, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

The title of Lords of the back stage at The Cavern of this year’s International Pop Overthrow might be fought over with the same ferocity as men would have squabbled, bickered and fought over the throne of England in the days when such things mattered, arguably though one of the main contenders would surely be the inventive and insanely talented Blake Jones & The Trike Shop.

Certainly the best name of a band to feature at the 13th annual I.P.O. in Liverpool, the music is strangely addictive also, a smorgasbord of delight that lingers in the ether and in the mind long after the day has folded into history; the day may never be captured again but the freshness of the music on offer by this terrific group will somehow remain floating in the memory ether.

The spectre and ghostly shape of a Theremin cast its long shadow over the stage and to some may have looked like a dusty relic more attuned to the sound of the Progressive than the sounds of California power pop but the audience were soon to be enamoured by this musical nectar, an instrument that always seems to be in the hands of Heath Robinson when not played with concentration and skill.

With songs titles such as Even Van Helsing (Needs a Piece of Cake Every Now & Then), Ross Used to Play Us His Frank Zappa Records/Cold Pepsi and Crutouns and Every Train Stop and lively, almost as surreal as could be expected, version of The Beatles song I am the Walrus, the set was one of tremendous, energetic and animated pleasure. It offered everything in search of a smile and the added bonus of Maxi Dunn joining the band for a while on stage did much to make the smile broad and the cheering from fellow I.P.O. stable mates The Fast Camels only ensured that this really was a gig to remember.

Some sets are memorable for the songs, some for the display and others for what you learn about your hopefully increasing range of music compatibility, rarely do you get an afternoon in which all three are combined and delivered with such overwhelming heart. A terrific set by one of the quirkiest, supremely enjoyable acts of this year’s I.P.O.

Blake Jones & The Trike Shop will be performing at Zanzibar on Friday 22nd May.

Ian D. Hall