TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Welsh artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

By on Friday, 4th March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2016 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Wales may feel like a whole ‘nother country away from the rest of the UK. And indeed, beyond the fact that there are still around a quarter of the population who speak Welsh, there are many a Welsh man and woman who will tell you Wales is its own place. This year at SXSW, Horizons Gorwelion, a music scheme by BBC Wales in partnership with Arts Council of Wales to develop new independent contemporary music in Wales, will be bringing two acts over, each with their own fiery independent spirit to match the one of their homeland and the red dragon (Y Ddraig Doch) of the Welsh national flag. (We’re also including both ESTRONS and Gwenno in this roundup here, too. ESTRONS have been given a great slot on the BBC Introducing night to be compered by Steve Lamacq on the Wednesday night, and Gwenno is as she’s the true epitome of Welsh national identity in music right now, as you will read below too. Here’s a taste of each of them, in alphabetical order:

ESTRONS – I introduced you all to this Cardiff-based foursome in the preview of the BBC Introducing / PRS for Music Foundation night scheduled for the 16th of March at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy. Their name translates to the word ‘aliens’ or ‘foreign’, which makes a sense from where they came from: they met, randomly, on a local beach, deciding to put a band together made up of misfits and outsiders who didn’t feel like they fit anywhere else. Music, as we know, is the great uniting force, and ESTRONS are a great example of this.

Have a listen to their radio-friendly pop track ‘Make a Man’ below. ESTRONS are scheduled to perform at 1 AM Wednesday night, the 16th of March, at British Music Embassy at Latitude 30.

Gwenno – Gwenno Saunders is no stranger to fame. For nearly a decade, she was a member of the hugely popular girl group the Pipettes. Post-Pipettes, Gwenno decided to do something different: start a solo career, writing and recording songs entirely in Welsh. Her second album ‘Y Dydd Olaf’, which was released by Peski Records in October 2014, got an entirely new lease on life when it was re-released by Heavenly Recordings in 2015. She’ll be bringing her kraut-rock inspired funk with her to Austin, on this first visit for her since going solo. Have a listen to track ‘Patriarchaeth’ below.

Gwenno is scheduled to perform Wednesday night, the 16th of March, at Barracuda, and Friday afternoon, the 18th of March, at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. For all past coverage of Gwenno on TGTF, including David’s introduction to her solo career that posted last summer here, head this way.

The People The Poet – The South Wales indie rock band are no strangers to SXSW; in fact, they made their debut at the big dance in Texas last year. Their engaging sound caught the eyes and ears of BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary, who invited them for a live session on his radio programme. They made waves last year the first time around, so I have no doubt they’ll be adding fans handily every time they play in Austin next month.

Have a watch of the promo video for recent single ‘Matchday’ in this previous Video of the Moment. To read more on The People The Poet on TGTF, go here. They’re scheduled to perform Wednesday afternoon, the 16th of March, at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, and Saturday night, the 19th of March, at Lucille, among other places.

Violet Skies (pictured at top) – Are you tired of wimpy sounding pop princesses? I sure am. Hailing from the southeast corner of her part of the world, Welsh gal Violet (surname unknown for the moment) goes by the breezy stage name Violet Skies. The moniker doesn’t do her voice justice; more piercingly beautiful than those of who’s considered hot these days (Lorde, Elle King, excuse me while I groan). Have a listen to ‘One Day, Three Autumns’ below.

Violet Skies is scheduled to perform Monday night, the 14th of March, at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30; Wednesday night, the 16th of March, at Lucky Lounge; and again at Latitude 30 the afternoon of Friday, the 18th of March.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LH0Nv4Lztk[/youtube]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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