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SXSW 2013: Pre-Festival Shenanigans with the Dig at Clive Bar and the NI@SXSW showcase at Latitude 30 – 10th and 11th March 2013

By on Thursday, 21st March 2013 at 2:00 pm

You may think it’s mental showing up a full 2 days before the madness known as SXSW officially begins on a Tuesday, but it was part of my concerted effort to ease myself gently into the maelstrom. That’s the benefit of having been through the craziness at least once before; not only do you not get lost every 5 minutes in Austin, you also have the foresight to take it easy as you can.

I arrived in Austin Sunday afternoon after a very bumpy, turbulence-filled plane ride from California shaken up but undeterred with the upset stomach and the chill in the air. (Not kidding. I must have looked strange wearing my winter coat and hat around town the first 2 nights and I am sure everyone knew I was from the East Coast, but I was freezing!) My first night’s goal was to see Brooklyn’s the Dig play the imgur / Brooklyn Brewery SXSW Interactive party at Clive Bar on Rainey Street, on the far southeast corner of downtown. It should be obvious that any party offering up free booze will translate to a good time, and in this particular case, the good people of the Brooklyn Brewery hosted this night of Brooklyn bands, with punters plied with all the free beer they wanted.

The Dig imgur Brooklyn Brewery party

This night was unusual in the sense that on Sunday before the Music portion of SXSW, the only people in town are Film and Interactive festival attendees, so the vibe was different but cool all the same. Not sure it it was the booze or it was because Interactive was winding down, but the Dig had plenty of fangirls and boys squealing to their music and kicking up their heels to their music. The majority of songs they played were either from 2012’s ‘Midnight Flowers’ or were brand new songs only that night seeing public light of day for the first time, so I felt very special being there for their premiere. The lighting wasn’t great but seeing that it was being supported by imgur, it made sense in the SXSW world that animated images lit up the tent under which they were playing. The next day I also sorted an interview with the band, which we posted on TGTF last week; listen to it here.


Monday was another relatively relaxing day, with few shows going on but really only one showcase I cared to catch. alt-J was playing some showcase on 6th Street and the only reason why I knew this was there a massive queue in the middle of the street and I finally had to stop and ask someone who they were queueing for. (Yawn.) Me? I was headed for the NI@SXSW showcase at Latitude 30. Not sure why they do this but the Northern Irish contingent likes to have a showcase the night before the festival properly begins, so I was glad I was in town to see it. (According to the video above, they do 2 days at SXSW before going on to Nashville.) The line-up had been up in the air for some time and it was not until I arrived at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy for the week, that I saw the final bill.

Girls Names SXSW 2013

First up was Belfast’s Girls Names. (No, that’s not a mistake, there is no apostrophe in their name. In an interview coming up soon on TGTF, all will be revealed…) How is it possible that I have not heard of this band before? Guh. It is hard for me to describe what they sound like to anyone else because I had such a visceral reaction hearing them for the first time. A little shoegazey, a little Joy Division-y, a little Smiths-esque, with gorgeous, gorgeous guitars. I cannot overstate how amazing their guitars sounded with Cathal Cully’s dreamy vocals. It reminded me why I stepped away from dance in the last couple of months and have been hankering for guitar music again; there is so much artistry that can be made from a person’s hands on the fretboard of a guitar that too few people in the world truly appreciate. One song had plenty of guitar feedback, with Cully walking straight into his amp; it’s not just for Ritzy Bryan anymore, folks! Check out their new album ‘The New Life’, you won’t be disappointed.

Tim Wheeler SXSW 2013

There had been a rumour that Tim Wheeler sans the rest of Ash would be performing. I think everyone had assumed he would headline the night but he didn’t. As expected he played some of Ash’s major hits, but what was more heartwarming was his closing number, in which he covered the Undertones’ ‘Teenage Kicks’, as if he was offering up a love letter to the Northern Irish music scenes of the past. I chatted with him briefly, telling him I barely recognised him without his beard and him wearing a three-piece suit. He replied glibly, “I like to confuse people!”

Girl from Mars
Burn Baby Burn
A Life Less Ordinary
Oh Yeah
Shining Light
Teenage Kicks (Undertones cover)

The Lost Brothers SXSW 2013

The next band were the Lost Brothers, an Irish duo who, according to their Soundcloud, actually met in a library in Liverpool. They look the part of world-weary folk performers, with their long hair and leather outfits, but they are the real deal, straddling that all too fine line between country and western and folk. Their harmonies are peerless, as if they had been separated at birth and reunited by the stars to make music together. At times they could be bluesy in the Johnny Cash way, and other times they were more straight forward folk. When I was small, my mother had a running joke with my father that country and western songs were either about being in love or having a broken heart. In the case of the Lost Brothers, they have both happy and sad songs, but they are all marked by excellent guitar playing and those all too beautiful harmonies.

I did not hang around for Belfast techno purveyors Psycatron; the evening had begun an hour and a half late and I was already flagging. Besides, I needed my strength for the official start of the festival the next morning. I was ready to take whatever Austin and SXSW 2013 would dish out.


SXSW 2013: Watch Dave Grohl’s keynote speech in full and his interview with the AU Review

By on Monday, 18th March 2013 at 5:17 pm

Good news. If you weren’t able to be there in person for Dave Grohl‘s keynote speech at this year’s SXSW in Austin last week, you can watch the speech in its entirety from this uploaded video on Youtube. Watch it below. Also below is a brief red carpet interview our friends at the AU Review did with the man.




SXSW 2013 Interview: Jon McClure of Reverend and the Makers

By on Friday, 15th March 2013 at 3:14 pm

I still don’t really understand why none of my British friends are fans of Reverend and the Makers. And when in Rome, err…Austin, you take an opportunity to speak to the Rev himself, frontman Jon McClure, to talk about the support system back in Sheffield, the band’s reception here in America and their first album release here in the States after the band’s winning performance at the Wednesday British Music Embassy day showcase at Latitude 30. Listen to the interview below.


SXSW 2013 Interview: Adam Kane of Cave Painting

By on Friday, 15th March 2013 at 3:05 pm

Singer Adam Kane of Brighton’s dream pop band Cave Painting was kind enough to sit down with me before the band’s performance on Wednesday’s British Music Embassy day showcase at Latitude 30. We talked about the band’s musical influences, their wonderful debut album ‘Votive Life’ released last year and much more. Listen to the interview below.


SXSW 2013 Interview: The Dig

By on Wednesday, 13th March 2013 at 3:00 pm

Brooklyn’s The Dig came to Austin just prior to the official kick-off of SXSW 2013 this week, first to play a show at Clive Bar as part of the Brooklyn Brewery’s showcase there on Sunday night (10 March), and then at the indoor stage at Stubb’s on the Monday night (11 March). But before their set on Monday, I grabbed the guys, headed for a tranquil spot by the river, and chatted with them about their arduous journey to get to Austin by van, new material headed our way and much more. Listen below.


(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #264: Dan Croll

By on Tuesday, 12th March 2013 at 12:00 pm

“Very nice track.”
“Solid goodness.”
“Love it, great song!”
“Niiiice song.”

These are all comments left by fans on the Soundcloud page of the up and coming Liverpudlian folktronica singer/songwriter Dan Croll. I’m aware that an elongated “nice” from a random stranger on the Internet is not the most reliable of endorsements, but with Paul McCartney and numerous Radio1 DJs also behind him, he’s definitely one to watch in 2013. And that includes his appearances this week at SXSW 2013.

Considering ‘Compliment Your Soul’ is only his second single, Croll has gotten about quite a bit Having already supported Michael Kiwanuka and Bombay Bicycle Club; he is currently touring America with Darwin Deez as we speak.

A breath of fresh air yet remaining vaguely familiar, the Scouse singer fits snuggly in your iTunes library perched between Metronomy and Vampire Weekend. He utilises his Ben Howard-esque pipes with actual pan-pipes and it works. Imagine if Howard went on a spiritual journey through Africa and returned re-awakened. That’s Dan Croll.

Croll’s angle is a refreshing one: he blends beautiful folk melodies with a busload of instruments to create a chaotic blend that’s very easy to get lost in. Released at the beginning of April, ‘Compliment Your Soul’ (stream it below) is the perfect example of this. It features a huge chorus backed by African folk beats, it’s unbelievably catchy. If this is the man’s second single, then I am incredibly excited for his future.

Probably the most exciting release from a Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts graduate since Liam Lynch’s United States of Whatever’ (remember that?), Dan Croll is looking to have a very successful 2013.


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 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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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