SXSW’s Friday consumes all, Getintothis’ Peter Guy breathes in and kicks back in steamy, rainy Austin and finds a new duo who *will* set your world alight.
Perhaps it was the fatigue – or perhaps we’re missing home – or just perhaps it’s us, but a wet, beaten Austin mirrored our slightly introspective penultimate day at SXSW.
Don’t mistake this for solemnity – quite the opposite – but we met so many people and talked through how the chaos and the mess consumes. If this is a little over bearing or perhaps not what you were expecting, then perhaps SXSW is not for you. Because it is exactly that. You can have all the euphoria and fucked up joy you want, but the inevitable come down and yang to your previous ying is just around the corner. It’s just part and parcel of this fairground ride of music. Take Moses – he’s a valet – we meet him on the bus ride home. A cool, smart kid, that’s never left his hometown and clearly in love with the chase and adventure that SXSW offers him – he loves it too – but he’s not even too fussed to get involved. He’d just like to score ‘some drugs and have a beer while watching it all pass‘ and while he’d love to ‘visit England and watch the soccer at a real ball game‘ he has no genuine chance of making it.
Or what about Josh. Another of the kids we stop off with. He’s chewing his face off, despite working all night for a few bucks in a bar. He says he’s taken lots of mushrooms and get me some. He infectiously tells me about how his home is the best place in the world but he’s run down. He loves the festival. But can’t wait til it finishes. But, as he concedes, every day is like this in Austin. ‘We just begin again‘.
Getintothis begun again, after our first seven sleep in over a week – and boy did it feel good. We almost kicked the bedsheets off. An hour later we took in Flatstock and caught up with Gary and Jen – now home-makers over this side of the Atlantic as they continue his Horse poster, artwork and screen-printing business over here – there’s Bill Murray posters mixing it with new t-shirts and still plenty of EVOL designs to remind us of Liverpool.
We don’t stay long, lashing an Aussie BBQ down our neck before a lazy weekend transforms with the onset of thunderstorms, perpetual rain and Run The Jewels in a shit-tip of an outside corporate bar. The set is great, fun and Killer Mike’s dancing cheers everyone up but the weather really knows how to put a stinker on it.
A lazy afternoon in various pubs culminates in The Presbytarian Church with Tobias Jesso Jr (despite four hiccups of True Love) and an incendiary rhythmic, choral, beatific evening prayer by XL‘s new duo Ibeyi rounding off a special double set. Look out for the latter especially, they were one of the finds of the week. Special indeed.
The rest: we’re not sure; we drift in and out of sights and sounds, searching but not really finding what we’re looking for. I dunno if this all sounds like bullshit. But SXSW kinda mirrors what it’s about – a long road of peaks and troughs, infinite highs and lows, lots of peripheral side alleys and all the while your heart’s really trying to get you there. We’re ready for the home straight.