Wave Machines - SxSW tour diary - Wave Machines
You can't failed to have missed the fuss that surrounds Austin Texas' SXSW festival, as the hungry hordes of A & R, journos, bands, and label types congregate around the sprawling series of events that take place in the Spring of each year. Each one searching for the next big thing(or maybe just the next big Fleet Foxes?). If you're into the hype check out this graph of acts that have caused a buzz at this year's SxSW.
But If like us you find that a bit scientific and you can't afford to travel, or if you're well just a bit lazy, you ask some of the exciting emerging acts attending and playing at this year's events to report back on their experiences of playing and sampling the hype infested musical environment. First up we have Liverpudlian's Wave Machines with their SxSW tour diary, next week we'll hopefully have video/written diaries from North Walian pop darlings Polly Mackey and the Pleasure Principle and fine London/Italian sweeping indie types A Classic Education.
SxSW tour diary - Wave Machines
We have been on tour for a couple of weeks in the US and our final date before SXSW leaves us in Little Rock, Arkansas, a 9 hour drive from Austin. As we eat up the miles we start to see signs advertising guns or jesus or both, the sky gets bigger and the air gets warmer. This ought to be a lot of fun.
Arriving at our hosts' place in south Austin, we find a fridge filled with beer and food for us, bless 'em. We're knackered from the journey, but their offer to take us to a local honky tonk, country music dancin' hoe-down at 'The Broken Spoke' is too good to turn down, so off we go.
Inside the barn you get the feeling that somebody knocked this place together pretty quickly and that not much has changed in the last hundred years. Cowboy hats and country music abound. You are now in a classic Western movie, guzzling Lone Star and dancing with pretty gals, waiting for someone to get kicked out in a cloud of chicken feathers. Nice work Texas, and we've only been here a few hours.
Back home, we try out our hosts massage chair, which clamps onto your legs like a robotic manacle and seems to desire the migration of ankles towards the knee. It has a certain air of menace surrounding it, like a HAL9000 or ED209. We treat it with respect.
Thursday happens. We head to 4th Street, which is full of very cool art spaces and yards, to record a session for daytrotter.com who have this sweet analogue recording studio in a shack. It's all live, straight to tape and very quickly but confidently put together. There's an impressive list of artists that have done these sessions before us and we're delighted to have been asked. The session will be up there soon, in the meantime check out everything else they've done: www.daytrotter.com
We got our first free beers at this studio. There's a lot of free booze to be had at SXSW if you're an artist. Later that night we found the artists' lounge. There's a bar in there where you can get vodka and beer on tap...for nothing. Free. Gratis (we had to ask a few times to be sure). There's a couch next to the bar which we sit on and wait to see how long they'll serve us for. It turns out that you can keep going until closing time at 2am, which as it turns out was ample time. We went home on the freeway in the back of a complete stranger's pick up that night.
Thursday drifted into Friday somehow, we did some promo, interviews, photos, saw some bands, felt groggy, got some free clothes, got a rickshaw ride, ate a rattlesnake sausage (tasted like Raccoon to me) went home early for bed.
Saturday we played two ace shows, one at the British Music Embassy which was rammed from a few hours before we were due to appear, and another at the impressive Driskill hotel round the corner, They were great gigs, despite a few technical mishaps in the early show (we have too many leads and things) and then to top it all James saw Bill Murray walking dow the street. Buoyed by the reception we got at the shows we are making our way to New York for one last performance at the Mercury Lounge before home. We have already missed one flight and are late for the next. We'll let you know how it goes.