The 2012 SXSW Music Festival kicks off next week with 12 Scottish bands set to invade Austin. Unfortunately the weather forecast suggests that they may be bringing the Scottish weather with them. Nevertheless I’m sure that the barbeques will still be fired up and the margaritas will still flow. On Monday we’ll publish the full list of all the Scottish gigs in Austin but today Uncle Vic has a preview of all 12 Scottish bands.

Scotland at SXSW 2012

by Vic Galloway

For me SXSW is almost like a religious experience… This will be my 10th year in a row at this prestigious music smorgasbord and my anticipation is whetted beyond belief. It’s the world’s biggest music conference and festival with over 2000 bands playing across a handful of days. It has now expanded into a blossoming film festival, and massively successful interactive event too.

I’ve been documenting it over the years for the BBC and elsewhere, trying to bring the sights, sounds and flavours to life on TV, radio and in print. It’s impossible to sum up and put ii into sound-bites, but always worth a try… Imagine the global epicentre for rock, indie and experimental music taking place under a baking  Texan sun, with a side accompaniment of beer and barbecue. It’s that good! In amongst this madness… business gets done, networking takes place and lots of fun is had by all.

This year, 12 Scottish acts officially play and that’s no bad showing… Our big US hitters just now are both signed to Fatcat records and cooking up a storm across the pond – We Were Promised Jetpacks and The Twilight Sad both have incredible new albums and are SXSW veterans.

Twin Atlantic are now rock titans in the UK and are slowly infiltrating the US scene too, so Austin promises to open many more doors for them in 2012. Another rock trio who are making a well deserved visit to the USA is The Xcerts who initally formed in Aberdeen, but have taken to relentless touring wherever and whenever since – hard-working and inspired, they will play their hearts out. Aligned with Mumford & Sons’ Communion label, Three Blind Wolves are creating a buzz around their emotional country-tinged indie rock and have already played some US dates – so watch that space!

Also building up a large following and woo-ing critics around the world is Django Django (Dear Scotland featured last month) who will bring their electro-psyche-pop to the states for the first time.

On top of that, I can see 5 fresh acts hitting SXSW to attempt to make an impact. French Wives have made an excellent debut album of indie-folk-pop that showcases their songwriting suss, depth and delivery; Tango in the Attic take their quirky indie-pop shapes and inject some electronica and experimentalism, hoping to capitalise on their recent Japanese success; and Woodenbox show the Americans what a good, old-fashioned country knees-up can sound like with added Scots vocals, harmonies and mariachi horns! Add to this, NMBRS DJ and producer Jackmaster and Glasgow’s hippest son Hudson Mohawke, and we’re talking a great spread of new and up’n’coming attractions from across our wee land.

If that wasn’t enough, the more mature indie-kids out there will be excited about the Jesus and Mary Chain’s appearance at the festival. East Kilbride’s baddest sons will take to the stage in a reformed and revitalised line-up which promises to draw enormous crowds. There’s also a rumour that Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub will be showing up to pay respect to Alex Chilton on the Big Star tribute bill. All in all, SXSW looks incredible from a Scottish angle… and any other angle for that matter! If you’re anywhere near the Texan capital in mid-March… I’ll see you down the front!



There will be two Scottish showcases at SXSW:

Wednesday 14 March ­ at Easy Tiger from 8pm ­ to 2am

We Were Promised Jetpacks, Django Django, Three Blind Wolves, French Wives,
Tango in the Attic and Woodenbox.


Friday 16 March at the ­ British Music Embassy ­ (Latitude 30) from 2.30 to 5.30pm

The Twilight Sad, The Xcerts, Three Blind Wolves and Jackmaster.


The full list of Scottish artists showcasing at SXSW are:

French Wives

Hudson Mohawke

Django Django


The Jesus and Mary Chain

Tango in the Attic

Three Blind Wolves

The Twilight Sad

Twin Atlantic

We Were Promised Jetpacks


The Xcerts

Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car & She Would Darken the Memory


SXSW: Do it Like a Local!