It took a
great deal of effort to get me out of my bed on my second day of SXSW. After
heavy drinking, eating and almost 40 hours of no sleep, I had a good deal of
catching up to do. You feel bad when you sleep in at SXSW – there’s always so much going on that you just don’t want to miss a minute of it! Suffice to
say, I made up for the loss of my morning with an unbelievably packed up day.
First, it was onto the Convention centre for the SXSW Block Party – an event
put on at the Sounds Australia booth featuring acoustic performances from Paul
Dempsey, Washington (pictured above),
Via Tania and Darren Hanlon – plus free beer and pies. Unfortunately I missed
the pies – there was a marching band trumpeting through the halls that
distracted me en route (see picture below). There was also the task of collecting cookies, popcorn,
cupcakes, and whatever else I could get my hands on, to serve as my breakfast
for the day. Let’s just say I blew most of my budget in my first night…
was up first, with Megan playing the keys solo to the crowd – some expats, but
mostly curious onlookers. Everyone seemed impressed. During their 25 minute performance, I spoke to quite a lot of people who wanted to know more about the Queensland artist. And so
they should! Darren Hanlon (pictured below) followed, playing his quirky tunes on the guitar,
and briefly with a guest keyboardist. He was in fact a lot less serious on stage than I ever thought he'd be - joking through the entire show, alongside tongue-and-cheek lyrics - it made for a supremely entertaining set.
And with tracks like "Elbows" and "Happiness is a Chemical", how could
you not have a good time?
I had to bid my Aussie brethren adieu at this point, and I headed over to the
Sounds from Spain
day party, where
were blasting out some tunes. I only caught a few
tracks of the Spanish band, and I can’t say that they grabbed me – but then
again I couldn’t stay around for long (I went to interview
you’ll see on the site very soon), so feel like it’s an unfair assessment.
I returned from my interview just in time for some Paella, and
(pictured above) – a stand
out act of the day. While sung completely in Spanish, the speaker of any
language would be able to connect with and appreciate their raw talent. It was
truly entertaining, foot stomping, rock and roll – yet only loud when it needed
to be, and usually preceded by an impressive build up. Their final track was
one in which the build up was so sensational that the rest of the world needs
to stand up and take note – because THAT is how you win a crowd over.