Almost a year ago to the day, we posted our featuring a jawdropping Manchester band who were creating quite a stir, not just locally, but on a wider scale. In the past 12 months, False Advertising have played a host of music festivals, bagged enviable support slots and have been the toast of tastemaker blogs. So it comes as no surprise they were invited to showcase at SXSW in Austin, Texas a couple of weeks ago and we asked them to employ their discerning ears to seek out the best bands they came across. Let’s see what treats Jen, Chris and Josh have to share…
Hey we’re , we’ve just returned from playing four showcases at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Other than playing ourselves, we also took a lot of time to check out a bunch of bands who were playing out there. Here are a few of our top picks.
Chris: The first band I saw, we had headed to the British Music Embassy to suss it out ahead of our show. These guys remained at the top of my list of discoveries, their combination of eastern, modern and contemporary influences came across completely fresh, tempered by the interesting nature of each individual character and their continuous instrument swapping.
Chris: One of the strangest shows, holed up in a Texan church, pews and all - and far louder than typical for a Jazz outfit, GoGo Penguin were mesmerizing. Josh and Ben (a Chinese businessman we had made friends with along the way) did however fall asleep. Understandable perhaps as the lounge music sections and stellar musicianship can be very soothing.
Chris: I had seen these guys several times over the course of the festival but their final set at the British Music Embassy felt like a real occasion. The place was packed out and the band had brought their A game. It had been a pleasure getting to know these guys over the course of the festival, seeing them get one of the best crowd responses I saw at SXSW had me grinning like an idiot. They deserve all the success, I have no doubt they will go far.
Chris: By far one of the best performances by a frontman I have ever seen. Vocals like a cross between Mark E Smith and Ian Curtis, deranged speeches between songs, climbing all over the bar, using the mic as a mind reader, staring wildly into the crowd. I was completely on board. The band kicked ass rising to the occasion of closing The British Music Embassy on the final night.
Josh: On the Thursday we ended up at Maggie Mae’s - one of my favourite SXSW venues. I had no idea what Sløtface would sound like, but right from the off - damn, they are full of energy! Each member of the band is really engaging to watch as they all really get into their own. Although the fundamental is punk, as the set develops you realise they are far more than that; clever rhythm twists from bass and drums and dynamic guitar and vocal changes catching you unawares.
Jen: I’ve been listening to their excellent debut album ‘Body Is Working’ for a while, I initially checked it out because I’m a big Sky Larkin fan (Katie Harkin from SL sometimes plays in Living Body), but I ended up liking the album for similar reasons that I like stuff like Dirty Projectors and Neutral Milk Hotel. They played in a venue called Esther’s Follies which is a weird, murky theatre place on 6th Street with a bunch of fold-out chairs set up. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the dynamics of watching them in such a strange space. They’re exceptional live too and have absolutely mastered the art of building tension in their songs. Great harmonies! You should check them out when they come back to the UK.
Jen: On the first night of SXSW we had befriended Pinact, an evening that had involved a lot of free beer and a Smash Mouth concert (!). I finally got to see them for the first time on the Friday at Mohawk Indoor and they didn’t disappoint. Super fuzzy, super frantic, super energy. Highly recommended. Can’t wait to hear the new album properly because the new songs are sounding superb.