Hundreds of bands from all over the world flock to Austin to play South BySouthwest, and that's just countingthe legitimate, "official" SXSW showcase acts. Factor in all thebands playing afternoon parties and busking on street corners, in coffeehouses,and even at the Austin airport, and it seems more like thousands of bands. Music is simply inescapable at SXSW, and whilethat's obviously a good thing, bySaturday it all starts to be just a bunch of noise, making it impossible forall these competing bands to truly be heard.
But one band that had NO trouble standing out was Liverpool'sthe Whip, one of my top three acts of the entire conference. (And the othertwo, Hot Leg and Tinted Windows, featured established, already famous musiciansin their lineups, so they weren'tentirely "new" discoveries.) The post-punk electrorockers' daytime set at the British Music's Embassy'sLiverpudlian-themed party on Saturday practically had me declaring them Liverpool'snew fab four. It really was amazing.
Well, right before that set, I met up with the band's Bruce Carter (vocals) and Nathan Sudders (bass)at the artists' hangout the CarreraCafe, where they demonstrated their budding-star status by receiving swag oncommand. (All they had to say was "Hey, can we have some free stuff?"Being a rock star rules. See them work their magic below!)
There Bruce also tucked into the cafe'sTexas-sized fried chicken platter...and then an hour later he was onstage atthe British Music Embassy, shouting to the sweaty, shoulder-to-shoulder crowd:"I just ate and I'm full ofprotein! Let'sdo this!!"
And do it they most certainly did. Check out the Whip's Carrera Cafe interview here: