South By South West is an industry-based music conference/festival located in Austin, Texas. An average of 2,200 acts play over a period of five days so it's a great opportunity to watch the latest up and coming music performers from around the world alongside more established bands playing slightly more intimate venues than they are used to.
Day two's afternoon highlight's included my first set of the day, from the NYC based Charly Bliss, whose ferocious performance at The Blackheart brought to mind 90's band's like Veruca Salt and Letters To Cleo, and the more recent Giant Drag. The band have been together for a few years, so their debut album Guppy is bound to be eagerly awaited by fans. it sounds like it will be worth the wait anyway, going by the tracks already on Spotify.
It was also a pleasure to photograph Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic at the Convention Center, where he talked about FairVote, a non-profit organisation, that seeks to make democracy fair.
My evening started at Maggie Mae's where I was prepped to shoot the very flexible Lemon Twigs. The brothers D'Addario didn't disappoint, but I also came away impressed by the oddball bunch I'd viewed before them, who go by the name Tredici Bacci, fronted by Simon Hayes.
Their music brought to mind 60's soundtracks and it was a very interesting set, with the highlight a slowed down version of Thin Lizzy's 'The Boys Are Back In Town', with the band's female vocalist's delivery reminiscent of a Margaret Thatcher speech!
My favourite band of the day, and joint favourite find of the week, came in the shape of London based band Dream Wife.
I'd popped into Latitude 30, home of The British Music Embassy early to secure a front row spot for Let's Eat Grandma's performance, whose quirky enigmatic set was very interesting to view, coming away with a new discovery.
The three piece band consist of Rakel Mjöll on vocals, Alice Go on guitar and vocals, and Bella Podpadec on bass and vocals, joined on the road by a touring drummer. The group delivered an aggressive Punk tinged performance with several hook driven tracks standing out, including 'Somebody', and the extremely fun and "in your face" 'FUU', where the band promise to "Fuck you up" and "Cut you up", while throwing in a chunk of Spice Girls 'Wannabe' along the way!
My night ended with a trip to the Main 2 to take in a set from Little Simz. Unfortunately I'd forgotten how foul the venue was for taking pictures, as it's just a dark room, with not much in the way of lighting, and a picture killing smoke machine that was in use throughout most of her performance!
I did enjoy what I heard, but decided not to stick to my earlier plan of hanging around for Kano's set that followed, deciding to cherish an extra hour in bed, as I had to be up early to photograph Nile Rodgers keynote speech the following day.