SXSW 2012 - Friday - Austin, Texas
The Palm Door was my first port of call for Friday's SXSW to take in an afternoon showcase from Seattle bands. I had come along to view a last minute addition to the bill - Brite Futures - but was pleasantly surprised when tounge-in-cheek rap act Don't Talk To The Cops really blew my SX cobwebs away, getting me in a great mood to start the day as they were tremendous fun.
The Young Evils
were up next, followed by Brite Futures, with a less Claire-centric set compared to the previous day - but just as entertaining.
I moved on to Pure Volume House after BF's gig as I wanted to try and get a decent postion for Canadian keyboard wizard Lights 5pm set, managing to squeeze my way in near the front, sitting through performances from States, Sydney pop punkers Tonight Alive and emo rockers Forever The Sickest Kids.
I had seen Lights at London's Scala a few weeks earlier so was looking forward to see what she up to at SX and was rewarded with a shortish set, pretty much pulled from her sophomore collection Siberia.
My second Cher Lloyd set of the week was at the W Hotel as part of the Nylon party. Cher took to the stage pretty in pink but there were issues with the sound. I could hear the singer from the front row but the sound didn't seem to be travelling. There was a lot of technical faffing about before she appeared but I had assumed that the crew had banished any sound gremlins.
The strange thing was nobody complained about it and it was only pointed out to the singer just before her sixth and final song, which was her debut US single so should have got an airing. Unfortunatly the song was knocked on the head but her audience didn't seem to mind as there were numerous shouts of "I love you Cher!" throughout her truncated set.
After Cher it was time for a bit more relaxing fare, with Austin's own jazzy vocalist Kat Edmonson fitting the bill nicely.
I originally watched Kat play when she was Smokey Robinson's warm up act when he delivered his keynote speech at the Convention Centre a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed what I heard so watched her Elephant Room showcase last year, returning to the venue for her 2012 stint.
Kat's debut album Take To the Sky is a cover-laden gem but her new collection released in April Way Down Low features several new songs, with the live renditions exquisitely heart pulling, especially 'Hopelessly Blue' and 'Nobody Knows That'. It's an album I'm really looking forward to anyway!
My final show of the evening was a complete contrast as I took in a performance from 50 Cent at Austin Music Hall, where he was performing his 2003 album Get Rich Or Die Tryin' as part of the Shady Records showcase.
There were only a couple of photographers allowed in the venue's pit and the picture agency I shoot for asked if I'd get there early to squeeze down the front to shoot from the crowd. As I pay my own way to SXSW there was no chance of me wasting an evening doing that but I did manage to get in 10 minutes before 50 took to the stage and found a spot down the side, so was ready to squeeze off a few shots when Eminem made an appearance during the second song.
After the show I made way down to Pure Volume House, grabbed a couple of free beers, sorted out my Cher Lloyd shots on my laptop and headed back on my shuttle bus after another great day at SX!