After a good sleep and a big buffet breakfast we are ready to take on a full Thursday schedule. Today is one of those get settled and enjoy the sun and kick back and enjoy days. The Aussie BBQ features a lot of Aussie bands today, 2 stages, free food and some free drinks.
We sit back and enjoy the first act up on the stage outside..it's the wonderful Oh Pep. Led by 2 dynamic young women..this summery 4 piece produce some lovely indie folk pop in the sun. When fiddle and mandolin lead your sound, it makes for a nice change. It's dreamy and fun with wonderful voices and clever songs..its a great start to the day
Noire is up on the smaller stage out front. This ethereal vocalist guitarist combo is quite delicate. It's a blend of indie pop shoegaze and doesn't need volume to get people's attention, just a smooth haunting sound that fits the setting
Tempesst is on the bigger stage and they are a big, 5 piece psych/blues band. Stunning harmonies and falsetto mix with a fleet foxes style musicianship and it is a splendid set of psych/pop. Plenty of influences pop up but best for you to listen and see what you hear from these guys.
Change of pace on the front stage and we have Greenwave Beth. Drum/synth loop mix of electro pop is led by singer Charles Rushworth who's voice can sound both dark & delicate. His distinctive singing style fits this small 2 piece band and you can't help but watch.
Vacations are now up..it's engaging indie breezy pop that reminds me of Real Estate. This form of indie pop is really suitable for a patio session with dreamy guitar chords and some solid vocals.
Somehow The Quivers band (all 5? of them) squeeze onto the smaller stage out front. It's cathartic guitar pop and features all 5 members singing together. Guitar work reminiscent of early REM and beautiful melodies..indie pop washes over the crowd on the street as well as in the venue
Castlecomer is now on the bigger stage and they are a particularly glossy and funky indie pop band. All 5 members are "performers" and there is much to watch while they play. With their big sound and big attitude, all it will take is a hit single and they will be off. They work together well and want people to enjoy their set and it's upbeat and fun and with a slight disco groove..it's enjoyable
Zan is up now.. Performing his R&B/dance on his own, it's entertaining enough but it doesn't prepare us for what's next up on the bigger stage. Pinheads are up and they are explosive.punk rock/garage rock..it's best to enjoy from a distance as it is loud and messy and unavoidable. Take a little sex pistols..some Lou Reed..Ramones..it's brilliant and at times overwhelming and great at waking us up from a sweet sounding band slumber
Georgie Kay is now on the smaller stager and she is another indie pop performer. It is a lovely set of songs that are a somewhat welcome change from the blistering punk set and now...more hardcore/punk with Ratking. It's almost a charming hardcore style with a enigmatic and thoroughly likeable lead singer and the band is loud but fun! Can't help but watch and enjoy..these guys love what they do and just want the crowd to have fun. Might not be everyone's favourite style of music but it's entertaining.
Moonlover provides a refreshing breeze of a set on the stage out front. They are a psych /soul indie pop blend of a band and it's trippy and fun. It's easy to listen they draw a good size crowd. Back to the main stage..and it's Kiran J Callinan.. This camp filled set of pop songs from this solo artist is a popular one. This crowd is eating up Kirans dance moves and he sings his way through his own material as well as some covers including a fun version of "Whole of the Moon". It's simple but tastefully done
A straight ahead country set is up next from Aussie artist Catherine Britt. She performs with a guitarist and it's a solid change of pace. Sounds lovely and the locals love her. Bloods are now up, a three piece Aussie indie rock band let by a fiery little singer. Perhaps not exactly what I had expected from what I had heard online, it's still a competent energy filled set. A quick set out front from another indie pop band called Fritz. They perform some competent little songs, not quite sweet but tasty enough
Last band for us here is. They are 4 young ladies who produce some very solid lo fi garage rock and with 3 of them adding vocals, it sounds great. It's a great little end to the afternoon..providing us with the energy of loud garage rock but with the balance of harmonies that work well together.
A little rest is needed, and some dinner, so it's off to our hotel where a couple of bands play while we eat! Kidsmoke are first up. Not enough room for all 4 of them but 2 of them do well enough. Hard to tell exactly what they would be like with all 4 members but we can tell they are a solid indie pop band. When they decide to do a Teenage Fanclub cover ..they have won me over Next is Seazoo. They are a lovely fuzzy indie pop group and they play well for a restaurant crowd that is half paying attention. Clearly Kidsmoke and Seazoo have become close friends and they have cheered each other on since we arrived and it's made for a great meal time showcase
After dinner it is off to the Ireland showcase.
Up first is ROE. this young lady has been described as performing grumpy electro pop but it doesn't come across that way. She stands alone playing her guitar and operating her drum machine..and using her extraordinary voice to sing beautiful songs about how hard life can be. She sings about depression and injustice but in a way that does not overwhelm you with sadness but a sweetness of hope. She is one of the most endearing and talented young performers we have seen and truly believe this is early days in what will be a huge career
Next up is Irish singer songwriter David Keenan. His songs about the streets of Dublin, and about depression and apathy and his voice changes in pitch and intensity while he tells his stories. He sometimes spits out his words in anger and that just makes the songs come to life. He has a wonderful voice and as he strums his guitar, he is a powerful force. The combination of back to back sets from ROE & David are a treat to start this night off
Still plenty to see tonight. We are off to the Barracuda to its multiple stages and plenty of bands to see. Oh Pep is on the main stage when we arrive so we watch them for a short while and then move onto the stage outside It is here we find Mattiel. Backed up by a fantastic band, this young lady produces some energetic 60's rock fused with a wee bit of blues and soul..and some country. It's a great start to the evening
Inside we have to check out Dylan Leblanc. Been a fan for quite some time. Americana roots music done at the highest level. He performs some old favourites as well as plenty off his upcoming album. His band is fantastic and Dylan seems much more comfortable on the big stage then he did a few years ago. He writes some pretty great songs and performs them with passion and desire to please the crowd. He is a performer and is one you should check out.
Back outside and we have the Black Pumas. This huge sounding 8 piece soul funk band is the real deal. Back up singers provide a gospel feel to the show and this much buzzed about band does not disappoint. Big keys mix with and a dynamic lead singer and he commands the stage outside. He leads this band in a wonderful set of massive songs and the crowd loves every minute.
Inside is another big show from UK soul artist Celeste. This young lady has a spectacular voice..she has been compared to Amy Winehouse and Macy Gray and that's some heady territory. It is accurate though. Accompanied by sax, bass and guitar, it's a wonderfully smooth set. Her voice is powerful and pure and she sings from her heart and it's a set that is over too quickly
Outside..it's insane. Amyl & The Sniffers are a huge punk band led by a very tiny but powerful spark plug of a young woman. I have no idea what they are singing about but it's crazy up there on stage. These guys do punk really really well and the fact that the lead singer is under 5 feet tall..it's rather magical. She spits and claws for attention and shakes her head to the point I swear she should be dizzy and on the ground. She climbs on the crowd and crowd surfs while singing and you can't not pay attention. The drummer is now stripped down to his underwear..the security are removing people from the stage, the lead singer is throwing drinks at the crowd..this is something that will be remembered
I only catch one Kierra Luv song inside due to a extended set from Amyl ( I think they were too afraid to cut them off) but it's solid hip hop inside..but no match for what I just saw Banes World are up and they are about as smooth as you can get. They have a short set due to Amyl but it's dreamy and sweet but at midnight, after Amyl, and Black Pumas, it's a tough sell to the crowd who quickly lose focus while listening to this psychedelic bedroom pop.
I am getting tired now so I stick around for a couple of songs by Reading guitar rock band The Amazons. They are good enough ...and their sound is full and usually something that would keep me interested but...it has been a long day so I am off
It's almost 1:30 am but luckily my walk home takes me past the Brit Embassy and inside, The Blinders are kicking up quite the storm. As I stand outside, I can tell it is much louder inside! I can safely watch from the front window, stay awake on a comfortable but cool Austin night, and see this trio you English youngsters pound through some guitar based frenzied punk rock. These kids can rock and they buzz with energy. I can only catch the last 2 1/2 songs of their set but it's a phenomenal end to the evening.
It's been a long day