danana1

A few minor catastrophes like storm clouds over Houston and flight delays may have gotten us into the thick of SXSW a few hours later than planned on opening day.  However, after racing to get fitted with wristbands, we found our way over to Latitude 30, once again, the British Music Embassy’s official clubhouse, for the British Music at SXSW Launch Party.  As one chap there put it, why not have a few margaritas courtesy of the British government?

We were just in time to witness the Glasgow band who wins our vote for best band name, Dananananaykroyd.  The two duelling vocalists quite literally started their set off by jumping head first into the crowd, stealing fans’ hats and thrashing around for nearly the entire euphoric set.  One standout was their dizzyingly good single “Pink Sabbath”, but with a performance this high octane, it was hard to pick a favorite moment.  No wonder they’ve toured with Foals and will be joining Primal Scream for a SXSW showcase tomorrow night.

grates

Back in the middle of Sixth, we popped in Rusty Spurs, thinking we were going to catch Nico Vega, but it turned out to be VEGA.  Alright, not Nico Vega, our mistake.  There, the “shot girl” was a volunteer firewoman and the Lone Stars were almost $67,000 each, so needless to say, we left there pretty quickly.

Later, we ventured over to Radio Room on 6th Street for the My Old Kentucky showcase.  The Grates, who are perhaps Australia’s happiest band, played a predictably fresh and poppy show.  Patience, the adorable drummer Alana and John are a trio who are easy to love, and when Patience festooned the air with her swirly, long, purple ribbon, the set became a celebration.

viva

Portland-based Viva Voce, fronted by Kevin and Anita Robinson, were the earthy, psych interlude of the evening.  Unfortunately, Anita’s vocals were low in the mix and made it hard to hear song melodies, but played a deft set despite the technical glitch.

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Delta Spirit was clearly the band the crowd was here to see. The San Diego quintet played several songs off their album Ode to Sunshine, including “Strange Vine,” “Streetwalker,” and a rousing version of “People C’mon;” they closed the set with a Tom Waits cover that led into their song “Trashcan,” during which multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich pounded out the rhythm on an actual trash can lid.–MVW and Eileen Murphy