We Were Promised Jetpacks, Kasabian and more
We Were Promised Jetpacks

In Austin, Texas for this year's South By South West music conference, Paul Melbourne is documenting all the action for Clash. Read on for day one's exploits...


As I sit here at the computer having just surfaced (midday over here), feeling marginally rougher than this time yesterday, I blame the size of the vodka measures here! Yesterday was the first day where showcases were in action in hundreds of venues so there's plenty to report on.

First up was Michael Kiwanuka at the festivals' Conference Centre. Does he live up to all the hype? Well you have got to give him credit, that voice is amazing, but it was hard to get too excited, maybe that was just the venue though, playing in a conference hall full of industry folk seated,and everyone else lounging about on beanbags either asleep or tapping away on their laptops. Straight after Kiwanauka, Alabama Shakes were lined up to play straight after, really keen to see them this week but they're a band to see in a dirty sweaty Austin venue, not a conference hall so we head out in to the sun.

Continuing the tour of how much free stuff we can eat and drink it's straight across to the Canadian music showcase in the park, after some nice bbq brisket and all the trimmings and a couple of free drinks it's time to see some music. After a recent recommendation we stuck around to see Said the Whale. They weren't bad, but to be fair they're in the same category as all the other '...the Whale' bands but not as good!

More free drinks at the registrants lounge courtesy of Titos Vodka, my new favourite drink, Vodka and Ice Tea. As we make our way across town we go past the huge queue for The Drums at Flamingo Cantina on 6th. We're off to Red 7 to see We Were Promised Jetpacks, there seems to be queues all over town for the daytime showcases, after about half an hour in 'the line', we're in and manage to catch a couple of songs from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, with their wigged out extended jams in a similar vein to White Denim am definitely going to try and catch a full set of theirs later in the week.

We Were Promised Jetpacks come on in the outdoor stage out the back, a big favourite of ours, they don't dissapoint. The set is heavily based around new album 'In the Pit of The Stomach'. I think this was the first of about 10 shows they have this week but you wouldn't tell, all four of them put their all into it and it's pretty intense. There's plenty of Jetpacks fans out here and you can see their disappointment as they announce their last song of the set, which isn't their 'hit' 'Quiet Little Voices', but, they close with 'Pear Tree', one which shows the power behind Adam Thompson's voice as he stands way back from the mic bellowing through the last few verses. Definite highlight of the festival so far.

The plan was to try and catch Dev Hyne's latest project, Blood Orange over on the other side of town but we don't get over their in time and the queue was already right down the road. Time for a burrito and back over to Red 7. Thee Oh Sees were supposed to play but for some reason they don't so we catch a few songs from The Static Jacks, these young urchins from New Jersey blast out a few of their garage rock numbers and are definitely ones we're going to check out when we're back. The venue is now filling up and it's back outside to the outdoor stage for Tennis. Centred around a husband and wife duo, this is blissful breezy pop at its best and is mainly taken from their album 'Young and Old' and it's a shame that they don't include early track 'Marathon'.

Kasabian are playing tonight at 1 and the venue is a bit of a way out of town so we head over there early expecting it to be rammo, but it seems they're not as big over here as back at home as we head in to a half full venue. Before they play though we're forced to endure 45 minutes of Neon Trees. To be perfectly honest my memory from this time on is slightly vague now but dogshit is the first word that springs to mind! By the time Kasabian come on closer to two in the morning this aircraft hanger like venue is only half full but Kasabian give it their all and storm through an hour long set taken from all four of their albums. Boys from Leicestershire done good though and by the end of the set most of the venue is going for it.

As we flag down a taxi it's back to the hotel for some much needed sleep as there's already a massive list of things to see tomorrow, including another We Were Promised Jetpacks Show!

Visit Clash's SXSW 2012 hub for more reviews, galleries and antics.

Join us on VERO

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.