SXSW 2007

This is my travel blog. It started as a way for people to keep up with my trip to Australia to watch the 2006/7 Ashes series, and continued with my trip to SXSW 2007 in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas in March '07.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tonight turned out to a game of two halves. It started well with a band from Glasgow called The Cinematics, who were really a sort of Franz Ferdinand knockoff, but none the worse for it. They were followed by Wombatz, a Liverpool band, at another venue. Nothing very special to write home about there. Then a stab in the dark, based on nothing other than a throw away line in a newspaper interview, the wonderfully named New Violators. They hail from Norway and have a delightfully eccentrically dressed lead singer and produce powerful, melodic songs. Very listenable.
Then followed a bit of a hiatus as the band I wanted to see at 10pm were in such a small venue that it was too cramped to really be able to watch them comfortably. As there was nothing else I fancied close to hand, a quick pit stop back at the hotel was called for. Then followed The Dears from Montreal. Again, nothing to write home about here either. Nothing that grabbed the ear or the soul. I then decided to give Amy Winehouse a try (so to speak!). Having gained entry to the venue & located a good spot to watch from, it soon became apparent I was in the wrong place! A quick check of the all important schedule confirmed I had read the wrong line and was in the wrong club. Fortunately the correct one was just along the road and I was soon inside. The instruments were still being set up, so I thought that Ms Winehouse would be on shortly. Fashionably late so to speak. Again it soon became clear that the next band were definitely not Amy Winehouse. Instead we got a hard rock band in the Limp Bizkit mould, complete with psycho bass player who must be responsible for at least one dismembered body, judging by his 1000 yard vacant stare. He rather reminded me of the pot man from the Wheatsheaf - a sort of Cro-Magnon missing link! Having made a few inquiries, I discovered that the running order had changed and Amy would be on last at 1am. Eventually after what seemed an eternity of instrument setting up and sound checking, we were ready to go.
I wasn't really sure what to expect as I'm not really a great fan of her style of music, but I was really surprised. Her voice is amazing. She's another tiny person with a massive voice. She did about a 40 minute set, finishing predictably with her Rehab hit single. True to her bad girl image she sipped various drinks throughout the set. I doubt one could see her in such an intimate venue in the UK. It was no bigger than the Furnace (Level 3 for you oldies) in Swindon. The crowd seemed to like her anyway, and it would probably been even more packed had some people not left, not realising the running order had changed.
So there we have it. Another day and night of music gone. Two down, two to go!


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