SXSW 2017 - Thursday - Austin, Texas
South By South West is an industry-based music conference/festival located in Austin, Texas. An average of 2,200 acts play over a period of five days so it's a great opportunity to watch the latest up and coming music performers from around the world alongside more established bands playing slightly more intimate venues than they are used to.
I didn't have much of a plan for the first half of my day, bar shooting the first few minutes of Zane Lowe's music keynote speech, and catching a late afternoon set from one of the buzz acts of the Festival - Maryland's Maggie Rogers, performing at Antones as part of the "Music Is Universal" showcase.
In the end I decided just to camp at Maggie's venue, grabbing a front row spot, appreciating the acts that came before the "Main Event", including a haunting performance from The Japanese House, and what seemed like a change in direction for singer Tei Shi, who seemed to have a more commercial R and B sound compared to the last time I saw her live.
Maggie's set proved a good un. She seemed a little bit nervous throughout her showcase, but it was fairly endearing, and made me warm to the singer even more.
I venue hopped for a large part of Thursday evening, with highlights coming from Tokyo's biggest synth wave group - Satellite Young at Maggie Mae's, and the Showcase that ended up being my favourite of the week - Kate Nash at the Central Presbyterian Church.
I'd managed to view four of Kate's songs at Latitude 30 before I had to shoot off, the previous evening, thoroughly enjoying what was on offer, but was bowled over by her Church soiree, as it was a great deal of fun.
Kate and her band used the space to their advantage, taking the set to her congregation, nipping up and down the aisles to sing to them, and closing her set rolling around the floor, getting dragged along by one of her crew!
Stand out tracks included her recent single about her dog 'My Little Alien', and 'Mouthwash' and 'Foundations', both taken from her debut album Made Of Bricks.
Kate has just announced an August UK tour celebrating the album's ten year birthday. I doubt I'll make any of the shows this time round, but I'll certainly be back to see her live, when I can.