Anyone who’s been to SXSW before will know that day three is the day you crash. Even if you hit your pillow the second after getting back to your hotel every night, by the Friday, legs are weary and eyes are heavy, and we’d been privy to some late night catching up with friends after the bands had finishing too. Day three therefore, was a late starter, although we didn’t let that stop us having fun.
Venturing south of the main action to Bar 96, we were pleasantly surprised to make it in time for Art Vs. Science. Interviewed some issues back, the electronic band put on quite a live show, and while some of their music feels narrow and already outdated, other tracks are awesome, and they pull off the more than slightly ridiculous nature of many of their tracks.
The reason we hit Bar 96 though was for The Romany Rye, and the last remnant of The Colour I had yet to see live. After double We Barbarians the day before (another 3/5ths of the once quintet), finishing the job (after previously catching Wyatt Hull’s Cheatasaurus months ago in LA) was a momentous personal occasion. It was even better then that The Romany Rye were great too, and Luke Macmaster’s band are really finding a groove in folksy Americana. The new songs sound superb, so lookout for another LP later this year.
After a quick sit down dinner (our first proper meal of the festival), we headed to Rusty Spurs for Delorean, only to make a very speedy exit. It was actually Dolorean on stage, however, and not the Subiza-touting lo-fi dance band, so when they did little to inspire, we dashed instead to Latitude 30 for Gallops.
The UK band have been doing well the other side of the Atlantic, and their heavy prog. synth-rock music could catch on in the States. They’re similar to a less spikey early Foals, but much harder in their make-up, and certainly could make big on their promise.
After a number of failed attempts to see We Are Enfant Terrible in the UK, their showcase at Swan Dive quickly became one of our most anticipated performances at SXSW 2011. The French three-piece set to it in front of a busy crowd, and pleasingly it didn’t take everyone long to get up to speed with their relentless, part-8-bit electro. We Are Enfant Terrible feel expansive and unrestrained; very fresh even though there are others quite similar. In song make-up and style they’re similar to Sebastian Tellier, but everything they do is much rockier and more driven. This is where CSS should have gone, but with a debut album waiting in the wings, We Are Enfant Terrible will take over the Brazilians’ place on the music mantle.
Though We Are Enfant Terrible turned out to be a fitting end to the night, our next three shows were a hattrick of non-events. Trekking across town for Yuck, we failed to get into the venue before hitting Palm Door again for A-Trak, and again finding disappointment. Running late, before the French electro master hit the decks we had to dash, only to find MSTRKRFT at Mohawk, perhaps unsurprisingly, was completely full too. A sad end to the day, but on the whole, still a wildly successful third afternoon in Austin.