With temperatures dropping overnight in Austin, Texas, Australian’s Children Collide braved the chilly weather for Saturday’s early afternoon Showdown at Cedar Street performance.
“I can’t even feel my fingers,” said the power trio’s guitarist and lead singer Johnny Mackay.
Despite threatening clouds, the rain held off throughout the day, allowing several other international acts to continue on with today’s planned showcases.
My personal favorite of the day was Codeine Velvet Club, a Jon Lawler (Fratellis) side project that will release its self-titled debut album in the United States on April 6. The Scottish band started off 2010 in a supporting role for Fender’s signature artist John Mayer during his stops in Manchester, Glasgow, London and Wolverhampton.
The SXSW festival marked Codeine Velvet Club’s first U.S. stop and although ecstatic to be introduced to this Fratellis spinoff, a swanky jazz club seemed a more likely setting for this sophisticated act. Too exhausted to be clever in my description of these guys (and gal), I’ll just quote a review I just came across in the Big Issue when I searched for the album release date.
“Codeine Velvet Club, with Lawler on guitar sharing vocals with silvery-voiced songstress Lou Hickey, is an altogether classier prospect than his other incarnation. It’s glitterballs and vintage glamour. Cocktails and super-sexy high-heels. Suits and skinny ties. A band whose keys, rhythm and brass sections’ playing is as sharp as their looks. The audience might not be bouncing in a Buckie-bonkers fashion like they do for the Fratellis, at least not to begin with, but the band hold us rapt from the get-go.”
Fender-wielding bands Athlete, Boxer Rebellion and Frightened Rabbit continued to hold the audience’s rapt attention throughout the afternoon, bringing the 2010 Showdown at Cedar Street to an end.
The final day at SXSW also included several visits by and with other Fender artists.
Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard and Ben Hooker dropped by this Mexican joint that we found on our way to the Black Keys show at the Mohawk, where Fender signature artists J Mascis and Thurston Moore played earlier in the day. Flotard and Hooker (seen below) had one final SXSW show left Saturday night, and then will be stopping to play Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas on their way home to Seattle.
Meanwhile, back at our Peche location (just upstairs from the Showdown stage), we entertained (and vice versa) AutoVaughn throughout the day. The Fender Road Worn winners eventually departed around 6 p.m. for an all-night drive back to Nashville.
With one final SXSW show remaining later tonight at the Cedar Door, BigBang’s Oystein Greni and Nikolai Eilertsen squeezed in a quick visit to browse our collection of guitars and basses.
Crash Kings Michael Beliveau stopped in just to get a bass tune-up, but couldn’t resist sampling some of the irresistible drinks that the excellent and efficient mixologists whip up at Peche.
Fender would very much like to thank the entire Peche crew for taking such tremendous care of us and our artists at SXSW. You guys ROCK!
For those still in Austin, make sure to stop by the restaurant and bar and try out some of their specials:
Tara Deming and the “Tara’s Brony” cocktail
Ace Manning and his “Pick your Poison” concoction
Jake Adams packs a punch with his “Black Eye Martini”
And lastly Russell Davis–one of four finalists in the country for Bartender of the Year– is known for his flaming “Blue Blazer” and “Devil’s Cocktail.”
Thanks again guys!
Oh, and we’ve got more photos below, and videos on our Fender Facebook page.