So last week I disappeared to Austin, Texas for SXSW. I've never been before and really didn't quite know what to expect. Loads of people had told me about it and said they had loved it, but I got so much more than I could have hoped for. It was literally INCREDIBLE. It was possibly one of the best weeks of my life.
After catching a taxi to Heathrow with kev and ivano from bsm our journey began with a pint of guinness at Heathrow at 6am to celebrate St Patricks day. The flight left at 8.50am and we arrived in Houston texas early afternoon after a 10 hour flight. Time was passed by using the onbaord entertainment system to have battleships and othello wars, as well as mini-golf, films and tv. The crew from FTH/Hassle were onboard too as well as Micachu and some bands that looked indie.
We picked up our hire people carrier and drove to Austin, stopping on the way to be amused by their sweets, drinks, taco bell and dudes in cowboy hats. Ariived at the hotel which was wicked - pool, gym, starbucks int he looby and a really good room. I was sharing with peter white (co-rolo manager) and bean (joe tomassi bass). Went out for a drink with Peter, Mark Primary Talent, Mark Walker (kilimanjaro) and Al Smith (island records/data select party etc). We had the hugest ribs ever at a meat shack. Witness -
I ate 3 of the biggest ribs ever, after taco bell and stuff. I felt so full. We then walked to see White Denim play on a patio behind a little bar. Not bad for a first evening.
Awoke stupid early on Wednesday due to jetlag and had breakfast at a place called The Hideout - began a daily ritual (ie came here and had this every morning) of breakfast tacos (sound awful, taste incredible), cinnamon buns and big black coffees. Awesome.
We then collected our passes from the convention centre, which took ages and meant we had to go through 3 different queues. Bumped into Gallows, Finian 'rolo tour manager/sound man/organisational king', and Kev and Ivano bsm again. Most of us then went to see Anathallo who i noted seemed like a twee-slipknot. Ie lots of drums/instruments/members - but more on the side of interesting progressive indie. Good stuff.
After a quick lunch with Kev and Ivano I went to see Young Widows on my own. It was everyone elses loss - they fucking rocked. Missed the last song to go get Rolo Tomassi to their first gig. Shouldnt have bothered missing that song - obviously no-one else was going to be as prompt as me with the hotel lobby call! The first Rolo show was in a supposed lesbian bar away from the main strip. It went well despite the minimal PA and the location. There was a good smalll crowd of people who seemed like fans rather than industry and seemed excited to have Rolo there.
After driving back to the hotel me and Bean began our mammoth night at Red 7 for Hatred Surge, Mammoth Grinder, Iron Age, Bitter End, The Jonbenet and other lesser bands. Met a load of people, other from our crew turned up - awesome evening.
Thursday began with The Hideout again, before getting Rolo to the Kerrang/Guitar Hero show. My good friend Alice Thomas turned up and afterwards we went and saw Edie Sedgwick and DD/MM/YYYY - the latter of whom was really good. Simon Morley was also in tow for these. Me and Alice then went and saw Gallows play, which was really cool as they played amongst the audience, then a bit of Irepress who were really good too. I then remembered I was supposed to be at a meeting with Rolo Tomassis US lawyer and ran to the four seasons hotel for that. Free drinks again didnt hurt. Gin and tonic by the river. Then met Alice again for She Rides, who were kinda average. Saw some awful band called Fuckshovel too with Ed Tomassi, then bumped into Wez from FTH/Hassle and had a chat. Rounded out the evening with a bit of Tera Melos playing on the street.
Friday was breakfast as usual and then met Kev BSM to go to a seminar entitled 'Innovations in Digital Music' which was really informative and useful. Then met up with most of Tomassi and saw HEALTH who were totally amazing. Me and Joe Guitar Tomassi then went to the SPV records 'metal bbq and booze' party - which did exactly what it says - it gave us shit loads of free bbq and beer. Sweet. I then walked off the main strip to go and see Pygmy Lush do a 'quiet' set on the back garden of a small independent bookstore. There was sweet free beer too. I was kinda drunk after this. We loaded in gear for Tomassi for their late friday show, then i went and saw Tombs who were good and really fucking loud. I then went and saw Dixie Witch, Rwake and Black Tusk at Red 7. Red 7 was becoming the rockin' hang out of choice clearly. Tomassi then played a late show (1am) and went down a treat.
Saturday was the final day of SXSW. Obvious The Hideout was killer for breakfast, then I called into the American Apparel 'flea-market' and bought a t-shirt that was too small and a stupid pair of glasses, which I proceeded to wear all day. Im sure photographic evidence of those will crop up on facebook or something if you actually know me. Rolo then played the 'yorkshire' party (free gin and tonic!) then me and Simon Morley went and saw Pygmy Lush and Pinebender who were great due to playing all my favourite songs and then ending, upon the soundman telling them they had 2 minutes left, with a 13 minute dirge. Sweet. Rolo then played a 'british music aborad/mojo' party. More free beer.Hot Leg played and justin Hawkins watched Tomassi. Apparently the Proclaimers played too. I then had mexican - some kinda flour tortillas colour blue (!!!!) with pork, rice, beans, veg and an egg on top. Insane. We then tried to meet up with Diplo and his manager as Diplo is into Tomassi. It didnt happen, oh well. Some of us then went to watch HEALTH again, followed by Past Lives (ex blood brothers, rubbish) and AIDS Wolf (not very good). Then caught some rip-off of The Hives whilst waiting for Trash Talk who were the best hardcore band ive seen in ages. The vocalist kept doing backflips into the front row, there really wasnt enough people at the front for him to safely do backflips! Some American girl made me cover her whilst she pissed between two toilets. It was odd. I was drunk.
Afterwards I went with James Tomassi to get a hot dog, but accidentally brushed my hand against a bottle of 'Insane' sauce when i went to pay. Looking at my hand and not the bottle, I thought it was tomato sauce and licked it off my hand. Big mistake. It was the hottest thing ever. It felt like my throat was being raped by a hot poker. My eyes went bloodshot and i could still feel it an hour after the hot dog and can of pop. Too brutal. We then tried to get into MSTRKRFT and failed. So i went to bed.
Sunday we got up and drove back to Houston, ate loads on the way/at the airport (including a great cream cheese danish!) then caught our plane and arrive at Heathrow just after 7am. Goodbyes were said, and the most awesome trip ever was completed.