Recommended gig Sion Russell Jones, Brigyn & Little Arrow at St John's Church, Canton, Cardiff on Saturday 10th November 7.30pm. Tickets available from:
John Rostron's SXSW Highlights
SXSW is a full on event held every year in Texas where hundreds of bands and singers play in every conceivable venue possible. In the past it has seen bands such as the Fleet Foxes come to wider recognition. John Rostron will be known to many of you as one of the key players in the SWN festival and South Wales promoter extraordinaire. We asked him to give us his highlights from this year's SXSW and here is his top 5. As you can tell from his selection the man has impeccable taste!
(Photo by Guilia Mazza)
Without doubt my favourite band at SXSW. I saw them three times in all, and had to stop myself going to see them twice on the final day. A four piece, with real individual characters, not least the drummer who only has a floor tom and snare and so plays standing up, dancing around the entire time. Wonderful fun.
They started getting airplay on 6 Music from almost the second I landed back in the UK. Confirmed for Green Man Festival too after several stunning sets in Austin, including one playing in gloves, it was that cold.
Massive hype around this wonderful one-man band, who in fact played most of his sets with backing from Small Black (who were equally good on their own). Beautiful blissed, Balearic vibes that properly went off during the set at the Mexican Summer party, one of three sets I saw by him I was that hooked.
I'd already got Surfer Blood's great album, Astro Coast, and have them booked to play Cardiff on 6th May, but until SXSW I'd not seen them live. They are wonderful fun. Huge tunes, full of singalong choruses and big pounding 80's guitars. So glad. Having booked them I'd have been gutted if they'd been disaoppointing!
With three records out already (in just over a year too) but very few live shows (the first one I saw was only her sixth, ever), JJ is still a work in progress live, but awesome on record. Bewitching bjork-esque vocals and crisply programmed beats, it makes sense that JJ is currently touring the US with the similarly simple crisp sounds of The XX.