This year we sent some of our finest writers to witness SXSW first hand and mingle. This could have been a tale of new friendships, drunken friendships, confiscated platinum passes, lost emails and missed deadlines. Oh, and there was also a lot of music…
Cave Painting | Latitude 30 (The British Music Embassy)
We kicked off day two with a short walk over to The British Music Embassy where Cave Painting, and a very decent bloody mary, where doing a good job of reawakening me after the previous nights shenanigans.
The Brighton quintet’s spacious indie rock and restrained performance was a perfect match for this venue as their sweet melodies filled the air.
Papa | Cheer Up Charlie’s (Echo & Echoplex + Origami Vinyl Party)
Former Girls drummer, Darren Weiss, spearheads Papa who released their first EP, ‘A Good Woman Is Hard To Find‘, last October (2012). With song titles like, “Let’s Make You Pregnant”, who doesn’t want to listen?
Poolside | Cheer Up Charlie’s (Echo & Echoplex + Origami Vinyl Party)
True to form at South By, I caught this band from my must-see list by a chance trip to Cheer Up Charlie’s, which with its quaint, outdoor charm, came to be one of my quintessential SX venues. It was the perfect place and time for Poolside’s warm, groovy tunes. Their self-proclaimed “day-time disco” hit the right tone for this fun-loving crowd lounging on grass-topped cubes with lights-strung overhead.
Japandroids | Mohawk ( Vans + Fat Possum Party)
I was delighted to get a second chance at seeing Japandroids so soon after the previous nights disappointments.
Fortunately, within the surroundings of a good sounding venue, the Canadian‘s came up trumps playing as if possesed. Despite there only being two of them on stage their performance was both tighter and more raucous than most other bands, ever.
Iggy And The Stooges | Mohawk ( Vans + Fat Possum Party)
The line around mohawks had been building forever to catch what was oe of the most anticipated performances of this year’s SXSW.
Once Iggy and The Stooges finally hit the stage there were still a several hundred people crowding around the 150 capacity venue to try to at least hear the set from outside.
Offering a mix of new material and ancient gems, all of which blended into one massive riff, Iggy spent the time between tracks ranting about the themes behind the tracks.
When it all kicked off the rush was incredible as Iggy jumped and flailed proving he has more energy than most of the people in the audience combined.
On a personal level I had seen The Stooges live at my first ever festival several years ago and had now come full circle.
Caveman | IFC Crossroads House (freecreditscore Party)
NPR Music describes Caveman as “dreamily rendered, deftly executed pop-rock” and you can hear the album now, for a short time, on First Listen.
Pickwick | IFC Crossroads House (freecreditscore Party)
Easy listening in the form of soulful R&B. Pickwick‘s vocalist, Galen Disston, is a powerhouse that can’t be ignored.
The Death Set | Lamberts
At the posh upstairs bar at Lamberts I immediately spotted the room had a water pipe running down the middle. The Death Set clearly spotted this too because they hung upside from it for virtually the entirety of their set.
While the interruptions and in-between song banter was slightly enervating but once the trio kicked off with their sample rich take on punk rock you got a feel for why these guys are so well liked.
Despite the room hardly being full an impromptu moshpit kicked off with the Aussie/NYC band making sure to be at the centre of it giving everyone an explosive send off.
Divine Fits | IFC Crossroads House (freecreditscore Party)
Do you not know?! Go listen to Divine Fits, people. Dan Boeckner’s fierce front man presence balances Brit Daniels croon to a T, and the resulting songs have a distinct, new-wave vibe.