TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Rock UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (A-M)

By on Tuesday, 25th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Oh, British rock. Its many facets will be on display at SXSW 2014, judging by the variety of acts been given a shout by the festival this year. In this first installment of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, we take a closer look at bands that play rock, punk, metal and everything in between, starting alphabetically A through M. And away we go…

Band of Skulls
John writes of their latest single: “…we were treated to the anything but a ‘Sweet Sour’ follow-up to Band of Skulls’ aforementioned 2011 record, bonus single, ‘Be Mine’. It hardly starts in true, chug-a-lug-ing Band of Skulls format, with a lingering guitar solo from Russell Marsden building in to the twin harmonies of Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson, underscored by an old school piano melody. The song builds like the back drop to a love scene from a an old western, and I felt the first time that I was walking into an old saloon bar, as the two harmonised, ‘hit me with your love, be mine / all our future’s in the balance'”.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAzDWdHWAns[/youtube]

Bring Me the Horizon
John writes: “Their fourth album is undeniably the moment where BMTH came of age. It’s such a clichéd phrase, but it’s obvious Sykes and co. have a found a sound that truly epitomizes where they are as a band on this record. On ‘Antivist’, we have a trademark display of BMTH bile and vitriol, as Sykes does his best to use the F and C bombs as frequently as he can in one song. Meanwhile, ‘Shadow Moses’ is a beast of a different order, showcasing a BMTH embracing a spot of synth, while still remaining fierce in their breakdowns.”

Read more from John here.

Cage the Gods
Leather, check. Tats, check. Long hair like they just don’t care, check. Yes, this London-based band fits the stereotype of hard rockers out of Britain but here’s something you don’t hear every day: a band that has English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh members playing in perfect harmony. Or maybe the better description is rocking out in thunderous, bluesy accord. ‘Favourite Sin’? Check it out below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjr2dkyBwmw[/youtube]

Casual Sex
John writes: “Anybody looking for quintessential British indie boys will be pretty delighted by what this four-piece have to offer, as Casual Sex appear to be an indie offering cultivated from a mix of what’s doing the rounds at the moment, a la Franz Ferdinand, Royal Blood, The 1975 and Night Engine. There’s a broody, almost sullen vocalist in Smith, backed by Edward Wood providing the dreampop guitar elements, Peter Masson on bass and Chris McCrory tapping away on drums. Mixed in with some pre-1970s goodness for proper measure, they’re a taste of all things British in four-good looking blokes. Marketable and sure to be gobbled right up by the A&Rs at SXSW.”

Read more in his Bands to Watch piece here. Singer Sam Smith also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions.

The Crookes
The Sheffield based band were recently bestowed a generous grant from the UK government for the purpose of making a go of breaking America, but there is much more this group has to be proud of. For one, they’re only the second band after Death Cab for Cutie have released three albums on their London indie label Fierce Panda, with ‘Soapbox’ due out in mid April. With a steadily harder edge since their humbler 2010 ‘Dreaming of Another Day’ beginnings, they’ll be ones to watch this year.

Read my glowing review of ‘Soapbox’ here. The band also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions as a team here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmn9F9vKxzU[/youtube]

Drenge
Martin writes: “…opportunistic recommendations from politicians aside, what’s all the fuss about Drenge? With a slender lineup consisting of brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless and nobody else, the Sheffield pair conjure a mighty brick wall of distorted guitars and scarily thrashed drums.”

Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch piece on Drenge here.

Et Tu Brucé
What would have happened if the Byrds got together with Stuart Murdoch? They’d probably be rocking out and sounding like Et Tu Brucé. The guitars and harmonies are effortless, and if they’re really touring with the Zombies as it says on their Web site, sorry, I think they’ll give those grandpas a run for their money. And clearly from the video below, they have a sense of humour. (Yes!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhsHFGmMolI[/youtube]

Evans the Death
This band already has a Rolling Stone description (huh?): “This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing, whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power.” When you see they’ve been signed to Slumberland Records here in America (‘Allo Darlin’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s American home), it all seems to make sense…

Fat White Family
Ben writes: “Anarchic South London six piece Fat White Family might well be as well known for unveiling a “bitch is dead” banner at their Brixton bolthole in the immediate aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s (debatably) tragic passing, as for their debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’. Gloriously menacing and wildly off-kilter, their unique brand of noise can be heard at British Music Embassy’s parting blow on the Saturday night of SXSW 2014.”


This London duo brings a little bit of everything: grooves, psych rock, lounge club sleaze. As such and with little out on the internet about them, they’re virtually impossible to describe. However, Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan have been quite active, and following on from two self releases in 2013, they’re releasing single ‘Turn Your Light On’ is part of a AA side to be released by fine North East folks and friends of ours Generator in March.

The Kooks
“Are the Kooks still going?” An actual question from a musician friend of mine who asked me who I was most keen on seeing at SXSW. Having nearly as long of a history as one of my standouts from SXSW 2012, Kaiser Chiefs, the Brighton indie rockers do have something to prove: that even though it’s been over 2 years the release of 2011’s ‘Junk of the Heart’, they’re still a viable export. Having at least two showcases at SXSW at high-profile venues (the Parish and Stubb’s), let’s see if they make the most of their opportunity.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvHZ4ddR-4[/youtube]

Morning Parade
The Harlow boys have been around quite a while now and command big audiences back home, but they’ve yet to make a real splash stateside. Is it time for limelight beyond the UK? The dazzling indie splendour of ‘Alienation’, the title track of their 2013 Parlophone-released EP, seems tailor made for mainstream MTV in America.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcm5fJS8jZE[/youtube]

Stay tuned for more in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, coming atcha soon!

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