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SXSW 2009 ARTIST ALERT: Dananananaykroyd

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

Conspicuous South By Southwest consumption is usually all about the barbeque. But on night number one of the Austin musicfest, I chose to hit the kickoff party at the British Music Embassy at the Latitude 30 club, where I instead gorged on a Texas-sized buffet of bangers 'n' mash, cheese-and-onion pie with HP sauce, and sticky toffee pudding. However, while I was there I also enjoyed an unexpected feast for the ears, courtesy of a band I'd never heard of before but in that moment decided I loved even more than delicious sticky toffee pudding: Glasgow's Dananananaykroyd.

Described by me as "janglo" (jangly emo) and by the band themselves as "fight-pop" (I like their description better), Dananananaykroyd put on a show (their first ever in the U.S.) that made even the thirstiest compulsive-drinking Brits and Texans alike step away from the bar and pay full attention. But Dananananaykroyd seemed more like lovers than fighters to me, with all their party-perfect crowd-participation antics: Not only did dueling vocalists Calum Gunn and John Baillie Junior spend more of their time out in the audience than on the stage, but during their final song Calum made a special point of hugging every single spectator in the club, including me. I was subsequently smitten.

So post-show I accosted the band in the most un-stalker-like manner I could muster, waved my Yahoo! business card around to impress them (hey, it worked), and squired them to the alley behind Latitude 30 to have my way with them on camera. I'm classy like that. It was a challenging interview, between their Scottish accents, a BBC reporter bumrushing my interview and stealing away one the bandmates, and a janitor noisily rummaging through a dumpster--but that didn't stop me on my mission. And considering that Dananananaykroyd aren't even signed in the States yet (that's why they're playing SXSW, duh) and have done very few, if any, U.S. interviews, I think this raw clip perfectly captures a raw and exciting new band.

So here they are, in all their back-alley glory, discussing their early impressions of America, their tireless pursuit of SXSW swag, their hope that a certain Coneheaded comedian won't sue them, and how they are quite literally embracing Austin.

And trust me, they're going to get that U.S. record deal, and probably a whole of swag, by the week's end. Hugs WORK!:

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