So, back in the UK now, but not until after one hell of a final Texan night… After Barton Springs, we headed back to the house before shooting out to Salt Lick, the ‘greatest BBQ Restaurant in Texas’ according to our Texan hosts. And quite a BBQ it was. In fact, we got there and it was so busy, there were no tables we had to get takeaway.
No matter though, because we had one final gig that night. SXSW might have been officially over, but our hosts Pat and Bill Jobe had been so accommodating and supportive all week that we decided to play an intimate little acoustic show in their living room for them and all their friends and family. We headed back to the house with a bag full of meat and a little apprehension – we hadn’t played a full set acoustically for some time, and by the sounds of it the Jobes had invited the whole of Austin. Plus, we didn’t even know if we’d have an acoustic guitar available or if we’d have to make it up on the house piano as we went.
The home show went off beautifully though, we found a guitar in one of the neighbours’ houses five minutes before everyone showed up, attempted to use some children’s play microphones (the plastic ones with the springs in them that make some crazy, weird reverb - there’s talk of using them on the second album now…) and an empty suitcase covered in a towel (it makes a surprisingly good bass drum, trust us…). Everyone was in very high spirits and we played for almost an hour at their request, literally having to make songs up as we went.
A wonderful way to end a wonderful week.
So, with nothing left but the mammoth journey home (which included more getting lost, some immature laughter at the lovely ‘Kickapoo Road’ and a rather rude 6am wakeup call from one Mr. Christopher F. Verney), we started to put together our top tips for an entertaining, successful SXSW.
- Check the can carefully when wanting to drink Coke in the morning. Beer comes in much smaller, redder cans out there and a mouthful at 10am can give you quite a shock…
- Take a vegetarian to the nearest BBQ Restaurant. Just to see the reaction of the staff. And the plate of cheese they’ll have to eat for dinner.
- Apply for the SXSW housing programme – staying with a welcoming local family is infinitely better than an expensive hotel, trust us.
- Fly Delta Airlines. Their excess baggage costs will have you measuring your instruments and weighing you suitcases full of gear every half an hour in the hope that guitar has shrunk 40cm and you won’t incur an extra £350 fee.
- Sit on the nearest grassy area outside Houston airport to soak up the sun before the flight. There’s a high chance it’s a ‘pet relief area’ and you’ll smell like a dog’s toilet for the entire 24hr journey.
- Ever, EVER let a soundguy with a short attention span download an iPhone app called ‘cat piano’, or it will be fired into your monitors the second you irritate him even slightly. Over and over again.
Hope that helps…
So what next for us? Well, we’ve got a handful of gigs lined up, more details of which will be up on our site – tigersthattalked.co.uk - very soon, and then we’re back off to the studio to record the second album! For now, we just need to say thanks for reading these SXSW ramblings, keep in touch, and we’ll speak very soon…
Much Love, Tigers xx