Features

Adventures In Austin?

The Grates? PATIENCE HODGSON gets a gutful of ribs, pizza, beer and bands at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, last month.


OK, let’s start at the start, this is us upon our arrival in Austin, Texas for SxSW. We had so much gear to take over (not as much gear as Sneaky Sound System or Van Halen) and somehow managed to get out of a fair bit of excess baggage. I was really proud of Dan. He couldn’t smoke a ciggie for 24 hours and never complained once! Once we arrived he smoked 13 at one time. Oh, and on the last leg of out trip Anna Faris was on our plane (she’s in Observe and Report with Seth Rogen).

As soon as we arrived we hit the town for some Mexican! We went to Rio Grande, this cheeky little Tex Mex place not to far from Red River (Red River is where Red Riders go to surf) and ate out guts out on black beans, rice, chili, beers, salsa and oily, oily chips. We talked about who we were going to see at SxSW and made plans to go watch The Thermals and T Model Ford the next day.


Of course things change and no one saw the Thermals but we did get to see T Model Ford and The Drones play at Emo’s. Emo’s is a great venue, it’s dark and grotty with cheap beers! We started with $4 Shiners – delicious – then moved onto a local Texas beer called Lone Star ($3.50). Everyone said don’t do it BUT Lone Star is actually a great low cost beer. Then I alone moved onto $2.75 Jomo. Success again.

T Model was awesome, he’s an 85 y o blues guy who played for an hour- -and-a-half and had to be dragged off stage. The Drones were awesome and rocked the stage in the next room. We celebrated the night with a margarita and then a slice of pizza (pizza in Austin during SxSW fkn sux BTW, don’t waste your money. I spent about $30 on gross slices of pizza over the four days. Stick to Mexican).

Like I said, beers in the States rule. Here is a pic of servo beers heaven OMG!!!

OK, so when in Rome, do like the Romans EAT A TRUCK LOAD OF RIIIIIIIBS! We are rib veterans having eaten at Iron Works, Salt Lick and The County Line. By far The County Line is our favourite. As you can see, it is deliciously disgusting. A friend said at out table, “Don’t you feel sorry for vegetarians?”, only to hear, “No. I don’t see any here.? You have to be smart though, once you have pigged out on ribs you shouldn’t eat meat again for at least six months or you may die.

It’s also a good idea to stock up on anti-BS products upon arrival at SxSW. Here is a selection of good quality products you can’t afford to live with out. (Don’t get fooled, it’s not to be used on the locals, it’s for music industry types LOL).


So, day one of the festival we played at The Radio Room on a bill with a fun group of guys who go by the name Starfucker. The show was tonnes of fun and playing after us were Viva Voce and Delta Spirit, so we can thank them for the big crowd who really got into it after few songs. Loading out was a total drag but little did we know it was actually going to be the easiest of the four days. To relax we took a bunch of hookers to this classy hot tub joint, on the same street as our hotel, and drank massive Foster’s (that’s all the Radio Room sold WTF?!).


Day two we did a little sightseeing before our Old Kentucky Blog day show. Now that was crazy. Two stages, one venue, 500 people and a load-in like no other. In the writings of Dan Condon, ?The load ended up being just about as bad as I had imagined it would be. Couldn’t park all that close to the venue and had to lug everything up a whole bunch of stairs that was also being used as the main entrance. No problem, just grit your teeth and do it, man.?

Those Darlin’s played a little before us and totally won the Girls O? Tha Grates? hearts! Alana and I sung, ?I Got Drunk And I Ate A Chicken’ for the rest of the week. Not their best song but definitely their most ridiculous. Later that night (I think it was that night, it’s all very blurry) we went and saw Red Red Meat play at a Sub Pop party. We all loved it sooooo much! Brian Deck plays drums for RRM and to see him on stage was really cool. After RRM we went to Emo’s and hated life before deciding it was time to hit the hot tubs again.

This is me with a dog at the Music For Listeners party we played out the back of a pizza parlour. It was such a cool gig! Laura Marling played, as well as a cute band called Let’s Wrestle and heaps of other gold. Beers were $2!!! We ate free pizza (OK I lied, pizza at Red House Pizzeria is the ONLY pizza you should eat during SXSW) and played to mums, dads, kids, dogs and music lovers. Fact: I am not gay but I did fall in love with a tough waitress and a female English bully.

Things get more and more blurry as the days go on. We played five crazy shows in four days, ate tonnes of ribs and pizza and drank a lot of beer. Some of us added an extra three kilograms to our size and some of us probably shed three years off our life, but we all saw heaps of music while having a good time.

YES! We came and we heard. Thanks for having us Austin, and see you soon Australia.

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THE GRATES? BIGGEST AND LONGEST ADVENTURE TOUR

Friday, May 1
The Hi Fi, Brisbane, QLD
w/Children Collide + DZ

Wednesday, May 6
ANU Bar, Canberra, ACT
w/Children Collide + Tom Ugly

Friday, May 8
The Forum, Sydney
w/Children Collide + Tom Ugly

Sunday, May 10
HQ, Adelaide, SA
w/Children Collide + The Shiny Brights

Tuesday, May 12
Capitol, Perth, WA
w/Children Collide + Harlequin League

Thursday, May 14
Hobart University, Hobart, TAS
w/Children Collide

Friday, May 15
The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
w/Children Collide + Washington