While much of Austin is waking up and taking stock of last nights terrible car accident, the festival itself is very much still moving forward. There's undoubtedly a sombre mood downtown, but at the press conference with mayor Lee Leffingwell this morning, the message was clear: this city prides itself on community, and the fact so many people pulled together last night is a testament to that.
Leamington Spa isn't renowned for having a vibrant music scene yet the town has somehow birthed one of the most promising new bands. I popped down the pub with Beck Wood and John Ridgard of Coves recently to talk good-hearted inter-band bust ups, getting your heart broken and their debut album 'Soft Friday'.
Throughout music's rich history, there's been heaps of bands using the feeling of being stuck in a small town to fill their sound with feeling. Stevenage's Bad Breeding are no different. On their debut single 'Age Of Nothing' they bare their teeth and spit bile about "living in a town where nothing really happens, except nothingness itself". It's a barbed, no-holds-barred sonic assault that marks them out as an even angrier, more vicious Eagulls; an aggressive confrontation that’s as darkly exciting as it is terrifyingly in your face.
It's easy, among the likes of Coldplay, Bieber, Kanye, Julian and Gaga, to forget that SXSW is primarily about breaking new bands. That's still the official line here at the festival, and for me personally it still rings true. Although things don't really get into fifth gear until today (Wednesday), yesterday was still heaving with punters, bands and pissheads snaking through the hub of the city while an endless array of acts played 20 minute sets anywhere that would allow them. Best thing I saw? together PANGEA, who I'll mention in a minute. Weirdest thing?
Austin's annual new music showcase SXSW, which kicks off tomorrow, has always been press worthy - last year NME did a Peace cover feature direct from there, no less - but in 2014 it seems even bigger, even more intense. Undoubtedly, a lot of that is down to BA, who've just started direct flights from London to Austin for the first time. This is great news for Brits who love new music - because it's about time the wider world woke up to the genius of the city.