12:40pm Thursday 7th April 2011
By Oliver Gray
"GET a Hampshire angle", said 7 Days. Last year was a doddle, what with Band of Skulls making such a breakthrough.
This year, Chris T-T was due to go, but cancelled. The Bees (Isle of Wight) were listed but also cancelled. But wait! What’s this? Hurrah, The Vaccines feature a Hampshire drummer, no less than Pete Robertson, late of Winchester’s premier girl band The Sense (featuring, I admit it, my daughter).
Pete attended Peter Symonds College. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys as SXSW buzz band of the year, I found them at Emo’s, doing the first of a blizzard of 10 shows in three days.
Bemused but confident, they duly brought the house down with their Home Counties take on The Ramones. Pity they favour white jeans, though, as they bring to mind the curse of Johnny Borrell.
Well, the four days of endless music, tacos, beers and margaritas threw up many trends, of which the most enjoyable were storming garage rock (from the fearless Jesse Malin, Vancouver’s cheery Hot Panda and the completely bonkers Jim Jones Revue).
Recent visitors to Winchester (and full of affectionate memories of the city) were Dolorean (who played in a quaint record store) and Eilen Jewell, whose band had an eight hour drive to the next gig after their show.
Personal highlight for me was getting to be in the front row for a rousing greatest hits set from The Bangles, whose closing Walk Like An Egyptian segued joyfully into The Who’s Magic Bus. Magic indeed.
But where was I to find the Hampshire connection? It happened in SXSW’s most civilized venue, the 18th Floor of the Hilton Garden Inn.
After a blazing set from rising duo She Keeps Bees (recently spotted at the Railway), Wintonian Kate Stables’ folky outfit This Is The Kit were largely playing to friends (on account of the venue’s inaccessibility), but their performance was unique, charming and — above all — restful. Aaah, it made you proud.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group