French Wives: SXSW tour diary

French Wives are previous winners of the Scotsman's Radar Prize. Picture: Euan Robertson
French Wives are previous winners of the Scotsman's Radar Prize. Picture: Euan Robertson
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GLASGOW five-piece French Wives were one of a handful of Scottish bands to cross the Atlantic to perform at South by Southwest (SXSW), an arts festival in Austin, Texas showcasing some of the world’s most cutting-edge bands and artists. Scott Macpherson shares his experiences of the Stateside soiree.

How did the gig go?

We played six shows whilst we were at SXSW, but obviously the big one was the Scottish Showcase. The lineup was amazing and thankfully the night was really busy throughout - so we were able to play to a pretty decent crowd. We had a lot of fun and hopefully it went down fairly well with those who were in attendance. We didn’t really know what to expect about it crowd-wise, in that we weren’t sure if it would be a bit of a clipboard fest populated solely by ominous looking people in delegates badges. Thankfully, however, there was a pleasant mix.

How did you find the festival in general?

It was incredible. It was our first time at the festival and we were all completely blown away by it. The size, the atmosphere, the free stuff...! We arrived on the Sunday when it was relatively quiet but by the Friday evening it was unbelievable. We couldn’t really comprehend the extent to which the festival completely took over the city. It certainly had its advantages over previous festivals we’ve played. Since they’ve all been in Scotland the weather was a massive boost!

Which bands did you particularly enjoy watching?

At times it was so busy that it was really hard to get to see the things we wanted to see. We had a show on the Friday evening slightly off 6th St and as a result of that learned that on the Friday if you want to go in somewhere, get in before 9pm as otherwise you’ll really struggle! From the bands I did see, though, we saw an American band called Miniature Tigers who were pretty great, and one night Jonny and I indulged in a guilty pleasure and went to see Andrew WK. All the songs sounded like Party Hard. Not a problem in my book!

Any festival mishaps?

It was our first time out at SXSW and we’d organised pretty much everything ourselves with little or no experience of doing that before. Due to this we were expecting a mishap to occur at any point. Thankfully, though, nothing major happened and most of the week went off without a hitch. Wish I had a better story, or at least one that could be printed for this, but I’m afraid I don’t. Sorry!