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SXSW 2012 Video Interview: General Fiasco

By on Friday, 23rd March 2012 at 1:15 pm

One of the bands that I was absolutely dying to see at SXSW this year was Northern Irish band General Fiasco. We’ve written quite a bit about them here on TGTF and I’ve always loved their videos, but had I ever seen them live? Nope. So last Wednesday (14 March) I was treated to a double dose of GF, first with an interview in the lovely Austin sunshine, and then that night at the Northern Irish showcase, where they played alongside Derry’s Wonder Villains and #7 on our 10 for 2012 poll Cashier No. 9 (review coming soon; in the meantime read Cheryl’s 10 for 2012 profile on them here, my Bands to Watch feature on them here).

To expedite the posting of our interviews and to avoid lag times in transcription, we filmed video chats with the bands we met. Special thanks to Ed Blow for manning the camera on this one (I feel terrible as he’d never done it before and had a hand sprain afterwards); cheers for taking one for the team, mate! And if you’re wondering what that squawking was, there was a bird sitting in the tree directly above the band, and evidently he wanted in on the action – a bit of Austin wildlife flavour, if you will.



SXSW 2012 Live Gig Videos: Keane preview songs from ‘Strangeland’ at Filter / American Rag Showcase

By on Thursday, 22nd March 2012 at 4:00 pm

Ah yes, didn’t you know I was an unashamed Keane fangirl? For those friends of mine who were allowed to see my schedule at SXSW for the week, all I got back was laughing and funny look at my schedule for Thursday afternoon (15 March). In red block capital letters, Thursday’s schedule began with “park myself at Cedar Street Courtyard / Filter and American Rag showcase to wait for Keane”. But seriously folks, when else will you get a chance to see this hugely popular mega band on an outdoor patio? Never, except at SXSW.

Keane – now a four-piece with the permanent edition of touring bassist Jesse Quin – played a shorter than normal set in this showcase, but four songs included in their performance are brand new songs that will appear on their forthcoming fourth album, ‘Strangeland’, out the first week of May. I filmed three – ‘Silenced by the Night’, ‘The Finish Line and ‘On the Road’ – along with set closer and fan favourite ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. Enjoy all the videos below.






SXSW 2012: Day 1 – Xtra Mile Recordings showcase at Latitude 30 – 13th March 2012

By on Wednesday, 21st March 2012 at 3:00 pm

Being the editor of a UK music blog, it seemed only fitting that my first night would end at the British Music Embassy’s home for SXSW, at Latitude 30 on San Jacinto Boulevard. To be quite honest, I was planning on an as stress free as possible first night, and when we were having a walk around, I flipped through my book to see with some shock that Frank Turner was playing a showcase there that very night. I expected to completely miss Frank in Austin, as the only official appearance I’d heard about was an invite-only party Wednesday night that I did not get an invite for, even though I asked. I’m really wondering who was invited to that party, but it’s just as well, as being surrounded by punters passionate about Frank Turner was probably better than hanging around stuffy industry types, yeah?

Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun was first on the bill, which was an Xtra Mile Recordings showcase put on in conjunction with AiM. Lockey, from Cheltenham, quipped that the rest of his band was home in England and since they were so jealous he was at SXSW, he wasn’t sure when he returned if he still had a band. I’m not as good of a judge of the singer/songwriter genre as Cheryl is, but I’d say Lockey is a pretty good sample, as the conviction in his singing was obvious. Despite this being his first trip to Austin, he had enough guts to climb down into the audience and perform with voice and acoustic guitar only, playing to a round of new fans.

The next band up is probably not new to most of you; I’d certainly heard of them before but had never seen them perform live. The Xcerts from Aberdeen cranked it up several notches on the awesome scale with their wild and crazy set, with singer Murray Macleod belting his heart out. Several times I expected his teeth and tongue to fall out of his mouth, as he was singing so hard, and maybe his legs to get dislocated for catapulting himself in the air, legs flailing like a rock star whenever possible. (They were so great, I made it a point to see another Scottish showcase that featured them on Friday.)

However, the energy in the club reached the boiling point when the next band, screamo Cardiff rockers Future of the Left, took the stage. I’ve seen their name on countless festival bills in the past – and sometimes confusing them with the Futureheads – so I was curious what they sounded like. Well my friends, if a small town American girl liking Future of the Left is wrong, I don’t want to be right. This really isn’t my genre at all – it’s too loud, too frenetic and too hard – but the raucous performance, spurred on by a primarily fanboy audience and combined with an at times blinding light and smoke show, was an incredible sight to behold and music to one’s ears, truth be told.

They even managed to play directly to the crowd when dedicating ‘Robocop’ to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, threatening that if anyone at the show voted for him, they’d…well, actually they didn’t say, but I think the sentiment came through loud and clear. And from the people that were cheering in response to their threat, my guess is that the majority of SXSW attendees aren’t Republicans and/or are very progressive thinkers, so the equivalent I guess would be if We Are Scientists showed up at the Great Escape and complained about David Cameron. Way to endear yourself to the crowd.

After such a fired up performance from Wales, Frank Turner had his work cut out for him. He’s been enjoying an increasingly bigger and more devoted fanbase in the States (good on him), so it’s really not a surprise to see so many people crammed in to one place for the expressed purpose of seeing him play. How unlucky am I: both times I’ve seen Turner, he’s been solo and minus the Sleeping Souls, his usual backing band. But as everyone who has seen him knows, him being by himself doesn’t affect the performance at all. In fact, I’m imagining without a band, he can be more personal and I think it actually works in the singer/songwriter’s favour. He proclaimed half his songs would be the hits and the other half would be new songs. With nearly any other artist, a statement like that would be met with boos, jeers and possible physical confrontation. Not these fans.

One of the standout new tracks was ‘Tattoos’: it’s witty as hell, making fun of people’s tattoos that sag and fade as the years wear on, but with the prevailing message that even though you might not believe in what you did when you got those tattoos, you wouldn’t trade the special memories of those days for anything. I forget the exact line now, but there’s one part of the lyrics where Turner is emphatic, saying he would go back in time and get all the same tattoos all over again, because those memories are so important to him.

A song about tattoos is pretty appropriate for Austin; I never could tell if it was because there were so many music industry types at SXSW (who, as we all know, can be covered in tats as well) or it’s because all the Austin locals have tattoos, but nearly everyone I saw roaming the streets during this festival had at least one arm completely covered or at least part of a back with body art. (On my last day in town, I saw a girl on a bus with tiger stripes tattooed across her face and from the neck down. No joke.)

No tattoos for me so I can’t really relate directly to Turner’s sentiment, but I do share his feelings on never forgetting your best memories. As crazy as SXSW was, looking back at it now, I can smile about the people I was lucky enough to spend time with and saw gig and laugh about some of the accidental run-ins with celebrities. So with day 1 done and dusted, I left Frank Turner’s adoring masses – the venue was rammed so punters were spilling out on to the street – and headed for a couple hours’ rest before the onslaught of day 2.

More photos (and in higher resolution too!) from this showcase can be viewed on my Flickr.


SXSW 2012: Day 1 – Initial Impressions and Oberhofer at Hype Hotel – 13th March 2012

By on Wednesday, 21st March 2012 at 2:00 pm

Tuesday at South by Southwest (which will henceforth be referred to as SXSW) is similar to Roskilde and other festivals in that it’s the calm before the storm. People are settling in to the rhythms (no pun intended) of their new surroundings. That said, after you’ve spent most of your day travelling to “the Live Music Capital of the World” (yes, Austin have trademarked that as their official motto), you owe it to yourself to catch some shows. Committing to a lighter schedule in the midst of your jetlag is the way to go.

And this is probably good advice, as I was told Tuesday is the day most people come to claim their badges and wristbands. As explained in the preview, wristbands are really only supposed to be going to locals with Austin billing zip codes, though unfortunately I could overhear people about badges and wristbands being sold under the table or swapped based on physical appearance, e.g., “I’m looking for a blonde who will buy my badge at half-price”. (I know how desperate some people are to see certain bands. But seriously, not cool.) I was stood in line with hundreds of others in the wristband line. When you’re jetlagged, you’re tired and cranky. Props to the convention centre staff who were giving out bottles of water and bags of Doritos to keep folks from going postal.

I don’t know what happened but I guess the festival pass gods were looking favourably down on me, as I managed to be directed to the fastest moving wristband line and got wristbanded up and my camera tags for press on my equipment in less than 3 hours, so I’m not complaining. But be forewarned, prepare to queue everywhere – for credential pick-up, to get into venues, to get free tacos, etc. Come to think of it, I must have RSVPed to a bunch of brunches, breakfasts and lunches and I don’t think I got any free food, except from the kind woman at the door for the Music from Ireland Irish breakfast Friday morning at B.D. Riley’s who realised I was good people when I explained I’d seen the Northern Ireland showcase on Wednesday night. (Cheers Angela.) I’ll stop moaning now, as I’m sure you want to hear about the bands I saw on day 1…

After a relaxing dinner with a PR friend, we headed over to the Hype Hotel (venue sponsored by the Hype Machine) on Trinity. He had his wristband but I didn’t, so I expected a massive queue like all the others I’d seen around town. Again, I had unusually good luck, as when we asked security on a side entrance if that queue wrapped around the block really was where I was supposed to go, he handed me what I needed and shooed us inside. The Hype Hotel has a very cool vibe; it looks a bit like a warehouse, but it has amazing brick overhangs that give it character. The stage was big but not too big; it reminded me a bit of the Music Hall of Williamsburg except there wasn’t a balcony.

Sneaking in through the alternate entrance and effectively skipping the queue, we were able to catch most of Oberhofer’s exuberant set. Upbeat and full of energy, this was a great band to stick my toes into the water of SXSW, and good timing too: I saw Paul Lester just wrote about the Brooklyn band on his New Band of the Day feature last week, so now I can say, “nyah nyah, I saw them at SXSW and you didn’t!” But no, I’m too polite to be that obnoxious. But trust me, there were plenty of people I ran into who were doing just that and wanted me to dissolve into tears because I hadn’t seen Bruce Springsteen. (I’ve never been a massive fan of his, so missing him entirely didn’t faze me one bit. British indie bands, please!) I don’t really get jealous of this kind of person, as I’ve been incredibly fortunate to see the bands I have in all my years of blogging. I just laugh at them in my head.

More photos (and in higher resolution too!) are available on my Flickr here. Stay tuned for much more coverage of SXSW 2012 in the coming days.


SXSW 2012 Video Interview: Zulu Winter

By on Wednesday, 21st March 2012 at 11:00 am

London by way of Oxford band Zulu Winter – yes, all five of those handsome musicians! – sat down with me at the Austin Convention Centre on the last full day of festivities at SXSW last weekend. I was their last bit of PR before they went to go off and check out other bands, and for some of them, before they headed out to their mates’ Mumford and Sons outdoor show following a film screening (Mixing film with music? Yeah, this is SXSW all right…)

This was my final big meeting at SXSW, so when they left I felt like crying because I wanted to take them all home with me and I was sad they’d gone. And then it hit me: SXSW was really nearly over. If I had to meet anyone, these were the chaps to meet: they made me feel completely at ease and made me laugh about my favourite colour (you had to have been there…) so I thank them for humouring me for this interview. Something tells me that after this and their great show at Cedar Street Courtyard on Thursday as part of the Filter/American Rag showcase (review coming soon), I’ll be plastering myself on these exceedingly nice chaps from Oxford and all their appearances at the Great Escape.

Catch the band live on their first headlining tour this spring; all the details are here. Very special thanks to Dana and Sarah for organising this interview for us here at TGTF.



SXSW 2012 Live Gig Videos: Dutch Uncles preview new songs at the British Music Embassy

By on Monday, 19th March 2012 at 4:45 pm

Dutch Uncles was definitely one of the hardest working English bands at this year’s SXSW; if I’m not mistaken, they did 4 shows in 2 days, including 3 as part of the British Music Embassy’s programming at their home for the week, Latitude 30 on San Jacinto Boulevard. Have a sneak peek at two new songs from their follow-up to 2011’s ‘Cadenza’, rumoured to be out later this year.

First up is ‘Nometo’ performed at the PRS Brunch on Friday morning (16 March), which was served up alongside a supposedly English breakfast buffet but I was informed by natives that it wasn’t authentic; second is ‘Threads’, performed as part of the Northern Day showcase at the same venue on Saturday 17 March. Enjoy both below. Special thanks to Dutch Uncles and their management for allowing us to film these.




About Us

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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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