My favorite SXSW showcase, The British Music Embassy (BME), celebrates its 16th year of spotlighting a variety of musical genre and geographical corners of the U.K., from punk and grime, to indie dance, garage thrash, and glam rock. From Northern Ireland and Scotland, to Wales and the Northern Powerhouse of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle, to East of England's Norwich, Suffolk, and Norfolk, through London and down to the rocky beaches of Brighton.
Latitude 30 has been home to BME from the beginning, with shows packing out Latitude 30 and lines forming down the block of San Jancinto. This year DIY Presents returns to kick off the nighttime shows on Monday, March 12. All the hosts and music entities are back as well, including BBC Music Introducing and BBC Radio 1 with Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 2 with Jo Whiley, BBC 6Music with Steve Lamacq, as well as the UK music trade bodies that make BME possible, year after year; organizations that cover the costs to bring these acts to Austin where the talent of the UK can gain exposure to SXSW music fans and the American music market, one of the largest in the world.
In our previous piece on FEWS in anticipation of SXSW 2016, I (and I’m sure many others) expected that we would hear about the band’s debut album fairly soon. And so it is, Means will be released on May 20 on Play It Again Sam. This week FEWS also let go of a new single “100 Goosebumps.”
It's appropriate that one of Catfish and the Bottlemen's most popular songs is entitled "Homesick." The North Wales boys are rarely home, spending most of their time on the road making fast friends with a flurry of penetrating-to-the-bone rock music, willing to play anywhere and talk to anyone, and continuously showcasing their talent along with a deep appreciation for all their adoring fans.
It was great to have Carl Barât back in Austin for SXSW, this time with this three bandmates to make up and The Jackals, shooting a firehose of rock and roll over the Latitude 30 crowd. It had been many years since Barât made another Sx appearance with Dirty Pretty Things. On this night the band came through to deliver on the eagerness of their fans, much in the way they did when I caught The Jackals Coventry gig towards the end of last year.
The London duo in Public Service Broadcasting are all about taking listeners on adventures through time and space. Reflecting back on pinacle moments of the world, triumphs and tragedies, PSB craft historical audio clips with an array of both futuristic and vintage musical textures and layers.
For many years SXSW has seen representatives from all over the world migrate to Austin to connect, promote and learn. In the last five years in particular, more foreign country governments - Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Chile, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore - and have invested in sending their companies and people to SXSW to extend their reach into the U.S. and other foreign markets.
[Photos by Kyle Cooper] I first heard of the Welsh band Catfish and the Bottlemen before I’d actually heard their music. It was during the Association of Independent Festivals Congress, a conference where festival organizers from around the UK and Europe gather to discuss all facets of the business.
For those of us who are fanatics for indie music that emerges out of the U.K., the small venue on San Jacinto and 6th Street, Latitude 30, becomes the haven known as the British Music Embassy Showcase during SXSW. The first glimmer of what’s in store for 2015 has surfaced, as BBC Introducing announced their showcase bands in conjunction with PRS for Music Foundation.