SXSW - Day Three - A review in pictures - Austin Texas
South By South West is an industry based music conference / festival located in Austin Texas.
An average of 1,500 bands play over a period of four days so it's a great opportunity to watch the latest "up and coming" acts from around the world alongside more established bands playing slightly more intimate venues than they are used to.
The Friday SXSW lineup was the one I was most looking forward to as I had the potential to see two new acts whose music I was really enjoying alongside my favourite live band.
The day started well with a High Noon trip to the Mohawk to watch Nicole Atkins And The Sea playing their outside stage.
I discovered Nicole's "Neptune City" album from 2007 at the beginning of the year and was hoping to get the opportunity to see her perform in Austin.
The sound Nicole and her band make reminds me of the sort of thing you'd find on David Lynch or Tarantino soundtracks as twangy guitars sit nicely alongside Nicole's deep voice, especially on the slower songs like title track "Neptune City".
Nicole and co also sounded great when they moved it up a gear with the rabble rousing "Brooklyn's on fire" a set highlight.
The weather was boiling in Austin and I was having camera trouble during Nicole's set which was stressing me out.However it all came good in the end, enabling me to appreciate Nicole and her gang's performance without any distractions.
After Nicole's set I moved a few minutes down the road to another outdoor venue as duo She And Him were performing a short set for Austin radio.
She And Him consist of Hollywood's Zooey Deschanel and M Ward.
Their album "She And Him - Volume One" is a gorgeous country tinged collection.
It's reminiscent of The Carpenters and Linda Ronstadt but would also be revered by anyone who loved Jenny Lewis's "Rabbit Fur Coat".
It's my favourite album of 2008 so far so it was lovely watching the duo run through a handful of songs, including current fave "This is not a test".
The pair were performing at their official showcase later that evening but I knew that I wouldn't be able to see it so enjoyed every second of their radio performance.
I decided to go along to Cedar Street Courtyard as I planned on watching Lightspeed Champion's set as he was playing after Pigeon Detectives and The Wombats, with the Detectives just taking to the stage as I arrived.
As I'm not a fan I sat in the bar uploading pictures to my Mac and relaxing with a beer.
In the end I couldn't be arsed staying to see Lightspeed as I planned on watching him the following day so headed over to the Fort venue to take advantage of their free Stella and Southern Comfort while I waited for "The hottest act in the UK" to appear!
I visited SXSW in 2007, getting caught up in the huge buzz surrounding Amy Winehouse.I fully expected the same thing to happen regarding Duffy but there wasn't much excitement too be had.
A bunch of generic Indie Rockers (whose name escaped me) were playing to a fairly packed audience before the Welsh warbler with the crowd thinning out when they completed their set.
There was a decent amount of people in the venue but certainly not anything out of the ordinary.
I gave Duffy's album a fairly poor review on this site but was still looking forward to her performance.
It was a short five song set, kicking off with "Rockferry" (my least favourite so it was nice to get it out of the way!).
"Warwick Avenue", "Serious" and "Stepping stone" followed with current single "Mercy" closing the set.
I'm a fan of both "Warwick Avenue" and "Stepping stone" so I was happy they popped up.
I did have fun watching Duffy but I could put it down to the free Southern Comfort!...
After a short break it was time for the evening's entertainment to begin, starting with a trip to Habana Calle 6 Patio to watch Flowers Forever as part of the Polyvinyl / Team Love showcase.
Flowers Forever are the side project of Tilly And The Wall singer / guitarist Derek Pressnall.
Over the last few months Derek has been posting tracks on the band's My Space page turning them into the Flowers debut that was released recently.
It's a good collection of songs so it was interesting seeing them performed live.
I was in two minds whether to leave the venue as I wanted to see Tilly And The Wall's headline set and was wary about not gaining entrance again in time for their performance.
However I decided to throw caution to the wind, making my way to the Pangea venue to watch Nicole Atkins showcase.
I was glad I did as it was even better than her afternoon show.
I was anxious about the time mind you and ended up leaving before her last song had finished.
I entered the Habana venue with plenty time to spare, squeezing my way to a front row position for the Tilly's.
Tilly And The Wall are my favourite live band in recent years.
The Omaha stompers are one of the most fun and exciting acts I've seen on a stage mixing tap dancing with shoutalong anthems creating an amazing party atmosphere.
The band features Jamie tap dancing, Kianna and Neely on vocals, bass and stomping, Derek on vocals and guitar, Nick on keyboards, Mason on guitar and new addition Craig on drums (who also drummed for Flowers Forever).
I first watched Tilly when they promoted their "Wild like children" album in the UK around three years ago and have seen them play live on countless occasions since, including my two previous SXSW's.
The band's profile has recently been raised due to current US single "Beat control" going down a storm everywhere, including mentions on gossip Queen Perez Hilton's site gaining them countless new fans, several of whom had turned up at the packed gig.
Tilly have a new album due in the Summer with their set showcasing several tracks from it alongside crowd pleasers like "Nights of the living dead", "Bad education" and "Fell down the stairs".
The whole thing was a riot, leaving several crowd members including me hoarse from singing along.
I didn't mind though as it was a perfect end to a great day at SXSW!
(Pity it took me hours to get a cab back to my hotel mind you!!)
SXSW 2008 - Day One
SXSW 2008 - Day Two
SXSW 2008 - Day Four
Last updated: 19/04/2018 00:01:37