Feature: South By South West - Spring Break For The Industry EVERYTHING IN TEXAS IS BIGGER!
Author: Carla Potter (photography by Carla Potter and Tom Clark)
NZMIC's International Manager Gary Fortune, who oversees the Outward Sound international funding scheme, reckons this year's party was the best yet, with queues for the bbq and bar (sponsored by Kim Crawford wines) starting half an hour into the event. BBC Radio's Steve Lemacq was among guests. He had apparently come along to see Cut Off Your Hands perform and he has subsequently been raving about them, even dubbing them his 'new favourite band'.
|Dave Benge and Liam Finn|
Apparently it's not unusual at this event to play to your soundman but this wasn't the case for our troops. Cut Off Your Hands also had a particularly great response and Elemeno P apparently had an interested Roadrunner rep in their crowd. Although Carly Binding had an intimate showcase for her acoustic set, she was approached by an enthused (and reputable) American publisher immediately after her gig. Die! Die! Die! had a great crowd response for the second year running, performing to over 150 people. Bic Runga's show sold out, with fans requesting songs throughout her brief performance and a major queue wanting their newly bought CDs signed after the gig. So So Modern took a leaf out of the brief Goodshirt guidebook of stage costumes, performing in boiler suits, theirsinger playing Pied Piper, mic and all, out onto the street mid set. The Mint Chicks were headlining a Flying Nun showcase but more intent on redeeming themselves after their altercation-dominated performance back in 2004. Fortune says they played a "blinding showcase", were thoroughly professional and won a lot of people over. They also had a healing kiss and make up session with the local band involved in the on-stage fisty cuffs.
It is hard to immediately gauge the value of being part of an event as overwhelmingly big as SXSW. It can be that one great contact or one influential audience member makes it pay off. It's hard to know just who is watching you. Most of the NZ bands who performed at SXSW have gone on to do further shows in America, the UK and Europe, so watch this space.
|Cut Off Your Hands impress at Co-op Bar.|
|So So Modern boil it up at Blender Balcony.|