Friday, March 14, 2008

delorentos | SXSW Tour Diary | Day Four

After a few beers in Stubbs, where we bumped into our driver Cathal, we headed back to the venue and watched the band before us play and set up the gear. I scanned the crowd trying to work out who was here from who. When AM Syndicate finished their punky set Cathal gave us a hand moving Nashville band November's gear onto the stage. They'd very kindly leant us their gear for the gig, and we manouvered the massive Marshall stacks onstage and set up our pedals. We had 15 mins change-over and a 35 minute set. With 5 minutes to go, I realised the guitar amp wasn't working. The guitarist from November came over to help out, and it became apparent that the amp was broken. Of course! Come midnight, the rest of the band were scratching their heads and I was down the street begging AM Syndicate to unpack their guitar amp and allow me to use it. They relented, and very kindly allowed me to use it. I plugged it in, made sure it worked and the sound was fine, and ran backstage to change my clothes and get myself ready. If I was nervous before, it was twice as much now.

Ten minutes late, we got onstage and started. Within a song or two I'd adjusted the amps and it began to click. Excitingly, we played a great set. It all seemed to work out, and despite all the messing that went before, we got a great reaction and played every song perfectly. The venue was full by the time we were finished, and when we got off stage we handed out all the cd's we had and got very cool compliments of lots of nice people. We packed up and went outside and had a smoke, delighted with ourselves. Then we got the news, no-one we'd asked down showed up. It was tough to hear. We consoled ourselves that it felt good and people had enjoyed it, and resolved to do the same tomorrow. I couldn't help wishing someone that we'd asked had arrived, but no matter. I was shattered and hoarse so I went home straight away, leaving the lads to go out and have another night on the beer.

All through this tour I've been missing nights out, only imagining the debauchery that is probably going on. When they came back in I was still awake so I asked them what they did. The amazing night out? They had a beer and went to Wendy's...

When we got up at around 11 we booked a taxi to get us into the venue for the Music from Ireland showcase for 1. At half one the taxi hadn't arrived so our host Amber dropped us in and we got there late. The venue was packed and Cathy Davey was in the middle of a great set. We watched her for a while and then brought the gear in the back and set ourselves up for the gig, tuning guitars and drums and checking all the various equipment. There's a lot of bands on at this showcase so when the band finished we quickly arranged ourselves and started into the first song, which thankfully sounded good. i began to settle, and then, at the worst time (during a first song) i broke a string. Pulling the string off in frustration caused a whale of feedback and i felt like just throwing the guitar out the window and going for a lie down. When the song finished i picked my spare, which I'd forgot to tune. The next song started and i tried to tune and sing to no avail, so I couldn't play guitar at all. In line with the rest of this tour, this gig had to be a rollercoaster, so after i tuned up, things started clicking again, and it began to feel good, and i relaxed. Phew. After the gig, it was clear that the people that didn't come last night were here today, and i spent a bit of time chatting to various people all the while trying to sneak a glance at their laminate to see who they were. They were friendly anyway, so it was ok.

We hung around afterwards and watched great sets by the other bands and then went back and got burgers in the same place as yesterday. We split up and I went off to watch some bands. Popup from Glasgow were really good, but couldn't understand them as the singer talked so fast. I saw another band called Pete & the Pirates but they weren't great. The venue was packed though, so lots of others seemed to like them. The streets were packed and all manner of folks were wandering around, some selling, some singing, and lots just looking. Tomorrow is our last gig in Austin and it only feels like we're getting used to it now...

1 comment:

Chalky said...

Good luck with the last SXSW night. Sounds pretty hectic