Goodbye Austin and South by Southwest

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Sunday in Austin, and our last day there. South by Southwest had pretty well finished by now – the streets were a lot quieter, the convention center had been completely tidied, and the doors were locked, and that was left was flyers for bands nailed to lampposts. This was a day off for us guys, so after a quick bit of editing, I met up with my Mum and Dad, who had travelled down from Dallas and booked the night in a local hotel. We went to a mall (yay!) where I got some new clothes. Mum and Dad kindly bought me a jacket from Armani Exchange as well to make up for my iPhone disaster which I’ll write about in a seperate post.

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It was Dad’s 60th birthday just after I was going back to Dallas, so at night we went out for a meal at a nice and very fancy restaurant. When they overheard me saying it was Dad’s birthday, they presented him with a little surprise (above) – which was nice. I let him eat it all himself, but my Mum couldn’t help tucking in a bit!

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After dinner, I waved goodbye to Mum and Dad and went and joined Leah and Gary and Feargal at Emo’s for the South by Southwest official closing party. They had some brilliant acts on. First up was a heavy-metal Bee Gees tribute band called Tragedy. Now you would think that would suck big time, but actually no – they were really, really good – that’s them in the pic above. “How Deep Is Your Love” was my favourite. After that they had live karaoke, with a band who’s name I can’t remember. Leah and I were very nearly tempted to go up and sing, until we heard the quality of the other singers. One guy sang Cheap Trick’s “I Want you to Want Me” which was totally amazing, and then a girl got up and sang Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” and after that Leah and I decided that we weren’t really up to the required standard for singing on stage. Looking back on it I wish I had though! I really, really wanted to get completely wasted that night, but I dunno – maybe it’s because I’d been eating junk for a week, or maybe I was just wrecked from concentrating on editing all day, but I just couldn’t summon the energy, and Feargal had to be up early the next day to catch his flight home.

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So that was the end of my South by Southwest trip. To be honest, there’s no denying I enjoyed the chance of working abroad for a week – the weather was brilliant. The only thing was I really feel I didn’t make the most of the week as I was stuck editing all the time. I missed a load of acts that I wanted to see – Robyn, Annie, MGMT and N*E*R*D – and only saw three bands which we weren’t filming. That’s out of over 1800 bands playing there. I also found out when I got home that I’d missed a Rachael Ray music showcase where she was providing seven layer sliders! I’d really love to go back and just enjoy the experience for what it is. Or not have the pressure of having to get it ready to transmit the Monday after we got back. If I hadn’t had to edit, I would have got a lot more out of the week I think.

Still – I was lucky enough to get there – hopefully I’ll get to go back next year as well! We did have a bit of a palava getting back, but that story is way too boring to get in to.

If you’re in the UK, you can watch ATL TV’s South by Southwest special (i.e. the show I was making out there) on the BBC iPlayer until March 31st here.