Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and show and festival cancellations,
no new content has been added here since February 2020.
Read more about this here. | April 2019 update
To connect with us, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

SXSW 2016: Huw Stephens and PRS for Music’s showcase at Latitude 30 (Tuesday night, part 1) – 15th March 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 29th March 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Invariably, I always end up at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy, every Tuesday night when I go to Austin for SXSW. SXSW 2016 was no exception, and as has been true the last 4 years I’ve attended, there was a stellar line-up organised by BBC Radio 1’s own Huw Stephens. The showcase was also being sponsored by PRS for Music, the society of songwriters, composers and music publishers and the people who make sure these creatives get paid when their music licenced through PRS is used and their music is protected.

The evening began with a bang, thanks to Kent’s own Get Inuit. Not to be confused with Eskimos or any sort of native tribe from a colder clime, the group hailing from the town of Sittingbourne provided a nice kick in the arse via their brash, self-described ‘dirty-pop’. Bespectacled frontman Jamie Glass has an unusual voice for a hard rocking band – it’s a little whiny, but that’s what makes it charming! If you’re questioning this, read my review of their single ‘Dress of Bubblewrap’, which explains the pop part of their music.

Get Inuit Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

The result: after hearing a few quiet bars from him on a song like ‘I Am the Hot Air’, you’re in for a total surprise if you’re expecting instrumental backing of the twee variety, as the song gets right in your face and . With its guitars that go from squealing to heavy, ‘Pro Procrastinator’ is another clear example that these lads know how to rock. A debut album is currently in the works thanks to a grant from the PRS for Music Foundation, and I can’t wait to hear it.

Get Inuit Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday 2

From the South East of England, the programming then headed north…west and to Belfast and a different kind of in-your-face performance by Girls Names, who I met in 2013. I should probably point out at this juncture that it was around 32 C during the day on Tuesday, so Girls Name should probably be commended off the bat for sticking to their aesthetic (in their case, leather jackets and jeans) and not compromising because of the temperature.

Girls Names Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

The post-punk group specialise in creating a massive wall of sound, generated by crashing guitars and a heavy rhythm section, and it’s usually so loud and enveloping, wherever in the world you happen to be, you’re left somewhat in awe (and with some disappointment) that the building you’re stood in hasn’t actually taken off the ground yet. Their latest album ‘Arms Around a Vision’ was released on Tough Love in October and in case you haven’t picked it up yet, do, and listen to it in the dark in your bedroom, letting the instrumentation swirl around in your head along with Cathal Cully’s shadowy, existential lyrics.

The third slot of Tuesday night at Latitude 30 last year was occupied by critically lauded political artist Kate Tempest. And for the second year running, another young hopeful not afraid to speak his mind was included on Stephens’ bill. Hertfordshire teen Declan McKenna, only at the tender age of 17, is already signed to Columbia Records and that should tell you something. Making waves with his politically potent single ‘Brazil’ that criticised FIFA, offering a critical view of the international football organisation in the midst of scandal, he’s already proven he’s got talent that’s head and shoulders above and a social conscience well beyond the reach of conventional young pop stars these days. (Watch the video as part of my pre-SXSW Bands to Watch that posted in February here.) I don’t know what I was expecting, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised when the young McKenna took to the stage looking like he just got out of gym class, in a t-shirt and a pair of Lonsdale shorts.

Declan McKenna Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

With a table full of equipment and pedals aplenty, he made quick work of recording vocals and guitar lines live, in a way I’ve only seen Badly Drawn Boy do in concert (though Carrie’s explained to me that Ed Sheeran does this as well). Playing in front of a massive crowd in America might have fazed the most seasoned of UK singer/songwriters, yet McKenna was the epitome of poise, as he played through the organ-led single ‘Paracetamol’ and ended with the audience favourite ‘Brazil’. He might not have too many recordings to his name – yet – but given the amount of shouting and screaming there was for ‘Brazil’, I think we can expect him to do very well over here.

Declan McKenna Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday 2

London’s Oscar (surname Scheller), who I’d had the pleasure of chatting with just hours before outside a radio promo spot he did at Buffalo Billiards, was up next. I was slightly disappointed that he changed out of his colourful Disney shirt he was wearing earlier. But he represented dear old blighty well in a Union Jack jumper, making no mistake either the country of his own origin or the focus of the night’s showcase.

Oscar Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

The brightness of his music shone through, though, so it was all okay. While ‘Sometimes’ is the height of fun, infectious guitar pop with a buzzy synth, ‘Breaking My Phone’ is more scuzzy, allowing for the grinding of louder guitars and a feeling of letting go and going with the flow of a fun night out at a show with your friends. This show curated by Huw Stephens was a great official start to my week of showcases at SXSW, but I was soon off to see another four bands up Red River Street.

 

SXSW 2016 Interview: Oscar

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd March 2016 at 11:00 am
 

There can never be too much positivity, optimism and light in this world, in my eyes. Just on the basis of his newest video ‘Sometimes’ – in which he clowns around in Los Angeles at Randy’s Donuts and goes square-dancing with a country and western club – Oscar fits in with this worldview. It would be lazy (not to mention inaccurate) to call his music completely escapist fare, and in this interview I had with Oscar Tuesday afternoon, we do talk about the upbeat nature of his songs, along with his upcoming debut album ‘Cut and Paste’ (out 13 May on Wichita Recordings), which has had quite a long gestation period. I’d also like to mention you just *know* an interview is going to great when your interview subject has watermelons on his socks, am I right?

Stay tuned for my coverage of Oscar’s performance at the Huw Stephens’ curated night Tuesday evening at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy for SXSW 2016. For more on Oscar on TGTF, go here. To check out Oscar’s friends including those square dancers, watch the video for ‘Sometimes’ below.

 

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #105: Oscar

 
By on Thursday, 10th March 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Ahead of SXSW in Austin next week, just as we have in the past 2 years of our preview coverage of the big dance, we’ll be bringing you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2016 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. Today’s installment features the responses from quirky singer/songwriter Oscar, a favourite of Huw Stephens who will be appearing at the ginger teddy bear’s curated night Tuesday at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy for the week. Oscar’s debut album ‘Cut and Paste’ is scheduled for release on the 13th of May on Wichita Recordings. I rather enjoyed reading this…I think you will too.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Soulful. Melodic. Groovy.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Getting some sunshine and drinking frozen margaritas. Handing out my shiny new business cards.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
YES! Alex G, Blaenavon, Santigold, Whitney, Yak, Formation, Danny L Harle, Karriem Riggins, Vince Staples to name a few. Because some are friends and some I’ve heard great things about.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
The sheer amount of Disney merchandise that I own. Thank you, eBay. Manuka honey is also essential if you want honeyed vocals, obviously!

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Rum and Coke is my go-to. But if we’re abroad, then maybe an ice cold G&T, and if it’s on you, then maybe a fancy cocktail!

What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve played to an American audience a few times now and have always really enjoyed the energy that they give. I’ve heard SXSW is pretty mental and can run you ragged. Hangover central. Not for me though, I’m gonna be professional (to an extent). [Famous last words…ha! – Ed.]

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Sitting on my mum’s lap whilst she played the piano.

What was your favourite song as a child?
Spice Girls – ‘Wannabe’.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJLIiF15wjQ[/youtube]

What song makes you laugh?
Shaggy – ‘It Wasn’t Me’.

What song makes you cry?
Lou Reed – ‘Perfect Day’.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Radio Dept – ‘Peace Of Mind’.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Nirvana – ‘Territorial Pissings’.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
Lionel Bart – ‘Where is Love’.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Douglas Coupland.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Chocolatier.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
The Velvet Underground – ‘Loaded’.

Cheers Oscar for taking the time to answer our questions!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Huw Stephens with PRS for Music and British Music @ SXSW at the British Music Embassy – 15th-16th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 29th February 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The British Music Embassy will return to Latitude 30 at 512 San Jacinto Boulevard, right by the heart of the action off 6th Street during SXSW 2016. Get ready, because the lineups are looking pretty brilliant! In this post, I’ll be previewing the talent on show from Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening. We’ll be running additional previews of the BME’s programming later this week, including another one by me on the artists of Thursday’s bill and Carrie’s own to tip the offerings all day Friday and Saturday to close out the festival.

As he has done for many years running, BBC Radio 1 specialist presenter Huw Stephens will be hosting the opening night of festivities at Latitude 30. This year, this showcase is being put on with the auspices of the UK music copyright, licensing and royalties body PRS for Music. Huw has put together an eclectic bill with no two acts in the same exact genre. Get down to the venue early to experience Kent’s self-described ‘dirty pop’ quartet Get Inuit (our past coverage of them here), who are currently working on their debut album, with help on its financing thanks to the kind backing of PRS themselves. Lo-fi post-punk will be provided by Belfast’s Girls Names (our past coverage of them here). They released their fourth album ‘Arms Around a Vision’ on Tough Love Records last autumn. The scuzz in your ears from the first two bands will be washed out by the social commentary of Hertfordshire teenager Declan McKenna, who I profiled last month in this SXSW 2016-flavoured Bands to Watch feature.

Pop continues on in an equally unique but slightly different way with the quirky yet lovable Oscar. He will be releasing his debut album ‘Cut and Paste’ on Wichita Recordings in May. For the next act on the bill, a head up to the North West is in order for Liverpool’s Clean Cut Kid and their bouncy, indie pop melodies and amazing harmonies. Rebecca profiled them with recent tourmates and fellow SXSW 2016 showcasing band Fickle Friends back here in January. The night will be closed out with the pomp and oomph of hip hop of South London’s Loyle Carner, using his rhymes to express his perspective on life.

The music continues Wednesday afternoon at the British Music Embassy. Chad Valley is Oxford’s own chill wave artist Hugo Manuel when he’s not busy with his other band Jonquil or remixing the work of his mates Foals, among others. He’ll start the day’s activities with synthy goodness. He’s followed by Welsh band The People The Poet, one of BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary’s favourite discoveries from last year’s festival (read our past coverage on the band here). The bill then turns its focus to Cheshire-bred singer/songwriter legend Jane Weaver. The lineup stays in the North West for former Liverpool choir boy turned pop artist Banners, who released his self-titled EP last month on Island Records (read our past coverage on him here, including Rebecca’s Bands to Watch from January). The afternoon’s programming ends with East Hampshire trio and Transgressive Records signees Blaenavon. Their in-your-face sound was recently reigned in for this recent Burberry Acoustic video for ‘Dragon’ live in Manchester.

Latitude 30 will reopen for Wednesday evening at the British Music Embassy for the previously previewed BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation night. It will begin with a touching tribute to the late Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry. The band from Warrington were due to open the BBC Introducing night before they who lost their lives tragically in a car accident in Sweden last month. We encourage all to attend and pay their respects to our fallen friends.

 

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2024: Oscar

 
By on Thursday, 25th February 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

What can I say about Oscar. Well, to be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about him, except that Huw Stephens adores the dude, so my guess he’ll be appearing at Stephens’ curated night at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 at SXSW 2016 next month. Full name Oscar Scheller – okay, I get why he dropped the last name, it does nothing for him – shows off his quirky brand of pop in this video for track ‘Sometimes’.

While the description of his sound on a press release as “a more than worthy addition to the lineage of eccentric, classic British pop” remains to be seen as Scheller progresses in his career, we’ll be sure to pay attention when his debut album ‘Cut and Paste’ is released on the 13th of May on Wichita Recordings. In the meantime, you can watch Oscar groove with his guitar and hordes of very different folks throughout this promo for ‘Sometimes’ below.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.