THE BLOG

SXSW 14: A Virgin's Guide Part Two

20/03/2014 14:57 GMT | Updated 17/05/2014 10:59 BST

For the first part of our SXSW blog click here.

Better late than never. I started this on Friday night and finished it on Saturday afternoon. We've been pretty busy. That and the man flu has unfortunately made its way around to me, which couldn't have come at a worse time; we had two sessions on Wednesday and two back-to-back shows on Thursday afternoon!

We had two sessions on Wednesday afternoon and no show - in other words, a day off. I'm not a big fan of acoustic sessions because generally I don't think they show a band in a positive light. I'm coming around to them though and we lucked out today. The first session, for Daytrotter, was in a really nice studio called good Danny's - the slickest session we've ever done. All the guys were super friendly and two of them were called Austin! I decided to call them all Austin for a laugh but in retrospect, I think I may have been the only one laughing. I make so many lame jokes when we do sessions; it's probably quite strenuous. Afterwards, we went to Ally's where we had to do another session for the Skinny. The session included an interview which was conducted by our good friend and music development officer for Creative Scotland, David Weaver. Needless to say, it was the most haphazard interview we've ever done - never get interviewed by your friends.

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Chilling out at The Skinny session

After the session we chilled at the house for a while and had a few beers in the sun (much to Lewis's pale displeasure) before meeting Evan from our US label for dinner. Since we've been eating at Denny's the whole time we've been here, it was a hearty treat to be taken to Flemming's Steakhouse for probably the best steak I've ever had. I mean the steak was the size of my face and cooked to perfection. Evan is a man of fine taste, we'd have been sufficiently impressed with an IHOP.

Later on we took a stroll up to the Soundcloud house on Rainey Street (definitely the coolest part of the festival) to see RAC. However, we got bored of waiting for them to come on and annoyed when we saw a man holding a mic like Sam Callahan and left. Ain't so bad, we're touring with them for the next two weeks.

So, on Wednesday night, we made it to bed by 11pm; a win for Prides. 

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'The Owl' seen from over on 7th

Lewis and I woke bright and breezy on Thursday morning at 8am with a hankering for coffee (as usual). Honeyblood, also from Glasgow, who had arrived in the middle of night were all still asleep in the living room after a long drive. We were too scared to go downstairs and make coffee so we waited until we heard them stir... then went down and annoyed them.

Once the brew was on, I checked my phone, only to be met with a barrage of messages from our friends and families to check that we were alive. We checked on our friends after we read the news of the accident on Red River. Thankfully everyone was safe. Pretty scary stuff though as Nick and Weaver had been stood outside that very venue about an hour before. Certainly made us count our blessings.

After we loaded ourselves with coffee and berocca, we went headfirst into potentially the hardest day. I was apprehensive about essentially playing two shows in the morning but we just stopped whinging and got on with it. For me, this involved necking two beers and doing about thirty pees. The first show at the Filter Cedar Street Takeover was a bit ropey but my side of the stage was bathed in sunlight so I wasn't caring. The show was also sponsored by GoPro so we each had a GoPro right in our faces. Next we visited Lewis and my mecca - the Dr Martens house at Bar 96 on Rainey Street where Stewart got his first pair of Docs - another win for Prides. We were first on in the afternoon and it was nice to see some people singing along.

Once we'd packed and enjoyed a bit of our pals Sir Sly (we remixed one of their tracks last year), Stew, Lewis, Nick and I headed to the Austin Conference centre where the artists lounge is to try and get some free stuff. We did not succeed. Instead, we took a wander down to 6th Street where we stumbled upon a delightful little artist alcove where we got some free vodka and monster energy drink (in equal quantity). As a physicist, I was giddy with excitement to see Austin celebrate international pi day in style by writing pi in the sky. We got chucked out of vodka land shortly thereafter. The rest of the night was a blur.

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Pi in the sky

Our plan for the evening roughly revolved around trying to see Thumpers at 8pm and Honeyblood at midnight. Our thinking was that we would just wing it in between; after all, we were at SXSW - the biggest emerging music festival in the world. We were mistaken. I guess you can't expect, with 3,500 acts playing over 5 days, that everything is going to be good. In fact, in the myriad insufferable dross that we managed to stumble upon throughout the evening (which prompted Lewis to say, "maybe if I push my earplugs far enough in I will go deaf and it will all be over..."), only Thumpers and Honeyblood were any good. Lesson learned. We decided to try and get a taxi home, but be warned, taxi's in Austin during SXSW do not exist. We stumbled around in the dark screaming at each other for about an hour before heading back to where we started, to throw ourselves at the mercy of Honeyblood. They thankfully managed to squeeze us into their van, and incredibly, we managed to be in bed by 1am - another win for Prides.