Austin is awash with the global music industry. Chet is standing next to Mike who is buying a drink for Cristiano, and they’re all hoping to spot the next big thing.
Course, Chet, Mike, Cristiano et al are viciously tired and incredibly drunk, having only landed in town from the four corners of the earth on Tuesday evening. Eyes goggle and minds boggle.
But of course, South by South West waits for no person. And whilst it was a relatively easy start to the week, the hooch and the complimentary frank n’ beans were already flowing.
The first big event of the week was the NME afternoon BBQ at Stubbs. Unfortunately, inclement weather and the cancellations of Enter Shikari and The View (both visa issues) and Annuals, meant that it was left to The Young Knives and Mumm-ra to hold the fort. In front of a minimal crowd, TYK put in a sterling set, leading us to ask the question ‘where did it all go right?’ We didn’t stay for Mumm-ra.
As dusk turned to an energy-awash evening, the hottest event in the town was the 4AD showcase at Emos. In particular, Beirut had the room packed out and gasping, but queues were snaking around the block long before that. We didn’t watch the gulag-rocking one (we were in search of the perfect metal band), but our sources say that the peaks were mountainous. Close in the race for Most Schmoozy was the NME showcase at Stubbs (yes, them again, there again). Lily Allen was probably artist most desired to see of the day, and she didn’t disappoint, naming her party hosts “spineless cunts.” We love you, Lily.
Other bands causing a stir on day one were To Live And Die In LA, who had a host of UK and US major label representatives turn out at the Dirty Dog to strokes chins and exchange business cards. Cousin Collide of New Zealand also found friends with their reverb and chorus-enhanced rock over at Red 7. Oddly enough, Tiny Bright Light of Brighton probably couldn’t get arrested in the UK, but a slew of UK record people flew 4,000 miles to check them out in Austin. Hmmm.
So what have we learnt tonight? Well, it’s clear that the music community likes a drink, day shows suck if its outdoors AND raining, gigs in churches are awesome and Mexican food rules. It’s been instructive.
On Wednesday, DiS went to see; The Young Knives (UK), It Changes (US), Che Arthur (US), Tiny Bright Light (UK), iLiKETRAiNS (UK), Call Me Lightning (US), To Live and Die in LA (US), At All Fucking Cost (US), Cousin Collide (NZ), SoftLightes (US) – full report next week.