Austin Space or A “SXSW Diary and Letters Page.”

Hello Monty, I have been handed the task of breaking SXSW down for you in a rap. Here it is in three succinct stanzas:

Tuesday: Arrived in Austin, Texas, dropped off bags with the kindly Paul and Erin who were putting up with us for the duration and headed in to town. The festival doesn’t start until tomorrow but it’s already pretty hectic as there is another festival running which we are playing the closing party of tonight. Our heads are broken from sleep deprivation and general confusion, as mine still is now, all this adds to the energy of our show as well as the quality of my writing I’m sure.

Paul and Erin have two dogs who are now like family to me. This is Baxter, with his legs casually crossed.

Paul and Erin have two dogs who are now like family to me. This is Baxter chilling with his legs casually crossed like a true player

Wednesday: We arise and head out – today we are playing the Levi’s Fader Fort and our showcase at the Chess Club party.  First we get free jeans (always nice) and then head to the stage where we bump in to Esser, who is playing before us. The sound on stage is terrible but the sun is shining and after the set we enjoy a beer with Micachu before moving on and chilling out. At Chess Club we enjoy Wave Machines who borrow much of our equipment, do our piece and then enjoy a bev whilst watching Mumford and Sons, albeit without Ben on keys. It’s weird, we want to stay out drinking but everywhere shuts down pretty early by our standards, so we retire for the night with a final beer back at the flat.

We were all flummoxed by this gravity-defying tap, how do they do it?

We were all completely flummoxed by this gravity-defying tap, how do they do it?

Thursday: Day off today so we get out and enjoy some other bands. First on a tipoff we check out Love Like Fire who are awesome, then a little mission out of town to see Local Natives, who do a Talking Heads cover and didn’t disappoint, top quality.  Next off to see Bang Bang Eche, all the way from New Zealand, an energetic bunch of youngsters who have got a good buzz around them at the moment.  Nice. After this the day gets a little hazy, I think more from sunstroke than beer consumption, I remember Gomez at Stubbs (who were pretty weak), some beer, chatting to the young guy from Third Rock From The Sun (nice chap) and Peter, Bjorn and John (alright, really just wanted to hear the whistle tune). Finally, bed.

Ben from Mumford and Sons starts on our Si after an erronious peanut comment.

Ben from Mumford and Sons starts on our Si after an erroneous peanut comment.

Friday: Today we play West Rocks at Beauty bar, after breakfast tacos in the sun we watch a few bands before setting up, the highlight of these being Chief. After we play I drink quite a lot and then, unable to get a taxi, the kindly Dollyrots give us a lift with our gear – thanks a lot guys! We duly promise to come to their show and then don’t, check out White Lies even though we’ve seen them a million times (they don’t disappoint!), get bought a beer by Steve and then watch Maps and Atlases, who were absolutely the best band of the festival for all of us. They totally blew my mind and I still cry sometimes.

If only we had this in London!

If only we had this in London!

Saturday: Early start as we head to a studio to do a live session for WOXY radio. They have the nicest studio I’ve ever been in and are pretty good guys to boot. This was fun and I think can still be found at woxy.com… This is it, game over and time to get on it, we seek free drinks in as many establishments as possible, completely fail to take in any music, I stumble around like a British tourist and contemplate a tattoo (which I thankfully can’t afford) and then get refused entry to the Vice party despite my protestations (“but I RPSV’d!”). Good work.

Bliss.

Chilling by the lake on the last day - absolute bliss.

Sunday: Most people head home today but we’re staying a day longer to chill out, we spend the day sat by the lake and then spend the evening shooting pool with a load of friends. A relaxing day to be followed by 24 hours of travel fun, but you don’t need to hear about that…

Si was mesmerised by the swan I made. Origami skills learnt thanks to the wonderful Heather.

Si was mesmerised by the swan I made thanks to origami skills learnt from the wonderful Heather.

Finally: We got gigs!

MONDAY @ MADAME JOJOS in SOHO

TUESDAY DJ slot @ NOTTING HILL ARTS CLUB

WEDNESDAY @ BARFLY in CAMDEN w/JAMES YUILL

Check the myspace for more stuff and things!

Lots of love,

Fred

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