SXSW 2012 - Thursday - Austin Texas
I started my SX Thursday visiting Haven to watch a short set from Electro Poppers Brite Futures. I first stumbled over the Seattle based band at SXSW a few years earlier when they went by the name Natalie Portman's Shaved Head. The group blew me away at the time and I caught them on a couple of occasions when they played London but hadn't seen them since their name change.
The band's second album Dark Past is worth investigating and the live renditions of tracks from the collection were a fun start to my afternoon, especially single 'Too young to kill' and album closer 'Black wedding", a track that saw female singer Claire England draped in gold tinsel for the song's duration!
I popped around the corner to Cedar Street Courtyard after BF's set, where I would spend the rest of the afternoon. I got there around 2pm to grab a place down the front for a 4pm set from Kaiser Chiefs. I'm not a great fan of the band but thought the Cedar Street show would be worth watching as although the venue is quite large as it's very, very long the actual stage isn't that big so it's more like a venue that hold a couple of hundred people if you're down the front.
I had a bit of wait so luckily found a lot to enjoy from Athens band Reptar's exhilarating set and it was also a pleasure to view Band Of Skulls running through tracks from current album Sweet Sour, throwing in a few oldies for good measure.
Band Of Skulls
The venue was getting fairly rowdy down the front by the time Kaiser Chiefs took to the stage and they delivered a full on performance, with tracks from their current album mixed in with singles like 'I predict a riot', 'Ruby' and set closer 'Oh my God'.
Another UK act Keane were up next. I had originally intended on staying to watch them but felt I needed a breather and had planed to view a gig from another band elsewhere.
As it was that set was cancelled so I should have stayed where I was! It did give me a chance to grab a seat at the Convention Centre though, where I had a bit of a rest then made my way slowly to the Central Presbyterian Church to view my second Fiona Apple show of the week.
The lighting for Fiona's show was a bit hit and miss and it got way worse for the acts that followed, including Claire Boucher - AKA Grimes.
After watching four acts at the Church I decided a change of venue was in order so hit Latitude 30 for one the most entertaining (and funniest) bands around - Foxy Shazam.
The group never disappoint and I was grinning from ear to ear throughout their set.
My evening ended with a trip to Hilton Gardens Inn to watch another set from Ed Sheeran. It was a slightly different, occasionally more intospective set from the night before as it was a more intimate enviroment, with the show part of a showcase for London venue The Bedford.
Ed has played at The Bedford on numerous occasions and he had been billed as a secret act but plenty people seemed to know he was playing as the venue was a lot fuller than when I watched Charlotte Church playing the same "Secret" spot the previous year.
I was really getting into Ed's set but sadly had to drag myself away at 2am while he was still going strong so I could get my shuttle bus back to my hotel. I knew I'd see him one more time before returning to the UK though.