So we came, we saw, and conquered Austin Texas’s famous SXSW festival!! What a truly magical experience to visit a city so musical and so friendly and open to travelling musicians. A great example of ‘Austin Hospitality’ was when we were waiting for the bus into Austin city centre when our manager decided to try hitchhiking. The first truck to pass stopped! And we met Mr Harry Miller, a rancher living in the local area. Not only did he drive us to the city that day, but he also offered to take us around all week!!
Our host for the week was a certain Harrison Yeager. We had been in contact before arriving but nothing could prepare us for the kindness and hospitality he showed us over the week. He even let us walk his dog, Waldo, I swear that dog had a Texas accent when he barked… So many thanks are due to Harrison, he showed us many parts of Austin we would never have seen otherwise and is an all round top fella!!
As for the shows, we were fired up and ready to go, first up was ‘The Britrock Bender’ organised by our good friends at Live4ever.com at the legendary blues venue ‘Antone’s’ in the centre of town. We were a bit nervous as we walked on but as we played we could tell the audience were getting into it so it was just a blast!!
Next up were 2 gigs in one day, starting with a lunchtime set at ‘Jovita’s’, which is a large Mexican restaurant with a big stage right in the middle of it. Was strange to see people putting down their Burritos to cheer between songs!! Our official showcase was next at the 512 club on the infamous 6th street, which is the main drag of downtown Austin. We hit the stage at 1 a.m and we hit it hard!! Then we hit the Tequila even harder! What a night, what a crowd and what a place.
The next day was another case of two shows in one day, the first being at a 5-stage venue in north Austin called ‘Spiderhouse’. We were very chuffed to discover that we’d been booked for the outside stage, playing in the blazing sun right at the front of the venue was an amazing show, memorable for the bouncy stage and crazy-loud sound system!! The second and last show in Austin was at a house party on the street we were staying on, the romantically-named ‘Hollow Creek Drive’ We started with a small, intimate crowd and acoustic instruments, and by the end it was a fully-amped up set and a huge, baying crowd! A truly unique moment and the perfect way to end our stay in Austin.
All for now, suffice to say that we had an absolute blast representing English music, and we are already dreaming about next year!!