Strangers lead singer Ben Britton & I met at the world’s largest music, film and interactive conference, South By South West (SXSW) back in 2013 when his kick-ass Australian heavy rock band Strangers were selected to play the conference and was I immediately blown away by their explosive live set in the basement at The Aussie BBQ Australian showcase event in Austin (Texas).
The Aussie BBQ SXSW boasted an A-grade line-up of the likes Vance Joy, Hiatus Kaiyote, Flume, Emma Louse, Seth Sentry, 360, Dune Rats, Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Alpine, Jackson Firebird, San Cisco, The Rubens, Jack Carty, Gold Fields, The Beards, The Falls & shit-tons more… 37 amazing Australian bands and artists playing 3 stages in one venue across 13 hours in Texas!!!! Blew my mind!
And for those who haven’t been before, the most wonderful thing about touring the USA with Sounds Australia and all the Aussie bands performing every year at SXSW is that you spend time with your music industry peeps that you know from back home whom you haven’t seen for ages, make a whole swag of new music biz friends and soak up the most beautiful and generous sense of community that Austin and SXSW have on offer. Benny and I kept bumping into each other at different bars and live music showcases around Austin, became buddies that week and I was quite struck by what a friendly, chatty and genuine dude he is.
Flash forward 4 years and I am super excited to feature Strangers launch of their 2nd album ‘Mirrorland’ on Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! Benny and I catch-up to discuss just what it’s like for Australian artists/bands looking to take on SXSW, the differences between the Melbourne and Sydney music scenes, He generously shares his experiences battling anxiety and mental health, which have come to be a massive learning experience and part of the ‘Mirrorland’ album and yep, I’ll even give you an exclusive sneak peek of 3 tracks from the new album by just simply downloading the podcast.
Over the next 2 weeks this Sydney born, Melbourne based 4-piece are carving out their next steps with 2 explosive ‘Mirrorland’ album launch shows in Melbourne (Saturday Just 1st – The Evelyn Hotel) and Sydney (Friday July 14th – The Chippo Hotel).
Last time I saw them play in Texas, Benny was on some dude’s shoulders in the crowd singing mid-set, the guitarist brought his axe out into the crowd too and then I think Mr. Britton capped it all off by stage-diving back ONTO the stage and tackling the drummer and drum-kit in one fell swoop… Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!
Download this shit and come see the show with me in Sydney! #GetSome #RocknRoll 🤘🏼✨🎸
After years of dreaming of attending South-By-South-West, the world’s largest music, film & interactive conference, I jetted off to Los Angeles on March 7th for the experience of a lifetime!
Armed with a swag of amazing Lumix G-series camera bodies & lenses (courtesy of Panasonic), I was excited at attending and working with Sounds Australia and Stage Mothers at their showcase events in LA & SXSW including The Aussie BBQ – LA, The Aussie BBQ – SXSW and the Sounds Australia Official SXSW Showcases (She’ll Be Right, Sound Gallery).
The jewel in the crown of Australian music on the international stage is The Aussie BBQ – SXSW presented by Sounds Australia and is held annually at renown Austin venue, Maggie Maes. Started 11 years ago, by Glenn Dickie and Mary Mihelakos (Stage Mothers) as a BBQ for all the Aussie bands playing in Austin, the 2013 edition featured 36 bands across 3 stages over 14 hours and a free BBQ lunch; the biggest showcase of Australian music outside of Australia and one of South-By-South-West’s most popular events.
The masses lined up outside Maggie Mae’s well before midday and piled through doors once they opened, taking advantage of the delicious free BBQ, crisp cold beers and a stellar Aussie line-up that continued throughout the day.
In alphabetical order the line-up included: 360, Alpine, Anna Lunoe, Andy Clockwise, The Audreys, The Beards, Bearhug, Blackchords, The Cambodian Space Project, Clairy Brown & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Dune Rats, Emma Louise, The Falls, Flume, Georgia Fair, Ginger & The Ghost, Gold Fields, The Good Ship, Hiatus Kaiyote, High Highs, Holy Balm, Jack Carty, Jackson Firebird, Jonathan Boulet, Mitzi, Rites Wild, The Rubens, San Cisco, Seth Sentry, Strangers, Summer Flake, The Trouble With Templeton, Transcription of Organ Music, The Vaudeville Smash and Vance Joy.
Click here for the Hot & Delicious The Aussie BBQ – SXSW gallery
Asked by locals and Aussies attending the event who my favourite artists/bands were at The Aussie BBQ, I struggled for an answer. With such a high volume (pun intended… Dad Joke alert :p) of amazing performers, it’s hard to choose who you love the most on the day. As an example, one 15 minute window sticks in my mind as a snapshot – one minute I was in the Gibson Room capturing Emma Louise “Jungle” live, then downstairs to the Club Room shooting video & still photos in the moshpit of Benny (singer) and Mark (vox/axe man) from Strangers as they climbed from the stage and performed in the crowd. 5 minutes later I was again upstairs as one of Australia’s hottest emerging acts The Trouble With Templeton entertained a packed Rooftop Stage… And repeat.. Madness! 🙂
South-By-South-West is an experience one just can’t describe unless you’ve actually been to Austin during that mad week of March. Thousands upon thousands of people streaming along 6th street every hour from afternoon ’til early hours of the morning across a whole week. And that’s just some of the live music venues & events Austin has on offer..
SXSW is mind-blowing and a journey I can’t recommend highly enough to any industry professional or fan that has an unsurpassed passion for all things music. I felt like I only touched the surface with this trip, but found the perfect balance between working my backside off, cheeky bevies and hangin’ out with some of the coolest people on the planet.
Special thanks to Sounds Australia, Stage Mothers, Virgin Australia, Studios 301 and Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras who made my trip possible. Thanks to Sounds Australia and Stage Mothers for all their hard work in exporting Australian music to the international stage. Much love to Millie Millgate, Glenn Dickie, Alicia Kish, Van Picken, all the artists/bands, managers, music industry professionals, punters and everyone involved who made The Aussie BBQ into an amazing day and my 1st SXSW an experience I will never forget. One which I hope will be the first of many.
Hot & Delicious: SXSW & LA. Roadtrip USA proudly supported by Panasonic Lumix G-series Cameras
Featured images shot with Lumix GH2 with 12-35mm / F2.8 lens, Lumix DMC-G5 with 20mm / F1.7 lens
The Aussie BBQ – South By South West (SXSW) playing times have been announced!
Presented by Sounds Australia, The Aussie BBQ – SXSW 2013 kick-ass line-up at Maggie Mae’s includes:
360, Alpine, Alison Wonderland, Andy Clockwise, Anna Lunoe, The Audreys, The Beards, Bearhug, Blackchords, The Cambodian Space Project, Clairy Brown & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Dune Rats, Emma Louise, The Falls, Flume, Georgia Fair, Ginger & the Ghost, Gold Fields, The Good Ship, Hiatus Kaiyote, High Highs, Holy Balm, Jack Carty Trio, Jackson Firebird, Jonathan Boulet, Mitzi, Rites Wild, The Rubens, San Cisco, Seth Sentry, Strangers, Summer Flake, Transcription of Organ Music, The Trouble With Templeton, The Vaudeville Smash, Vance Joy and What So Not
Back in 2003, Glenn Dickie and Mary Mihelakos (Stage Mothers) started The Aussie BBQ as a small BBQ event to help showcase Australian artists/bands attending the world’s largest music, film and interactive conference. With the hard work of event partners Sounds Australia and Stage Mothers, 11 years on The Aussie BBQ has grown to become the biggest showcase of Australian music in the world, with events year-round on 3 different continents.
36 Australian artists/bands on 3 stages over 14 hours in Austin, Texas.
This is going to be a ripper!
Sounds Australia Presents The Aussie BBQ – SXSW 2013
323 E 6th St
Date: Saturday March 16th
Doors: 12 midday – 02:00am
Special thanks to event partners Virgin Australia and Studios 301
Want to know more? Check out The Aussie BBQ – BPM documentary
“I don’t know why, but we do…” with Blue King Brown, Paul Dempsey, Bliss n Eso, The Jezabels, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Henry Wagons & more!
SXSW playing times right here!
|Rooftop Stage||Club Room Downstairs||Gibson Stage Room|
|12.15 – 12.40||Andy Clockwise||12.00 – 12.25||The Good Ship||12.00 – 12.25||Transcription of Organ Music|
|1.00 – 1.25||The Audreys||12.45 – 1.10||The Cambodian Space Project||12.45 – 1.10||The Falls|
|1.45 – 2.10||Vance Joy||1.30 – 1.55||Rites Wild||1.30 – 1.55||Summer Flake|
|2.30 – 2.55||Alpine||2.15 – 2.40||Bearhug||2.15 – 2.40||Ginger & the Ghost|
|3.15 – 3.40||The Rubens||3.00 – 3.25||Blackchords||3.00 – 3.25||Jack Carty Trio|
|4.00 – 4.25||Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes||3.45 – 4.10||Jackson Firebird||3.45 – 4.10||Georgia Fair|
|4.45 – 5.10||The Trouble With Templeton||4.30 – 4.55||Strangers||4.30 – 4.55||Emma Louise|
|5.30 – 5.55||San Cisco||5.15 – 5.40||The Vaudeville Smash||5.15 – 5.40||High Highs|
|7.00 – 7.40||Holy Balm||6.00 – 6.25||DUNE RATS|
|9.00 – 9.40||Hiatus Kaiyote||8.00 – 8.40||The Beards|
|10.00 – 10:40||Gold Fields||9.00 – 9.40||Jonathan Boulet|
|11.00 – 11.40||Flume||10.00 – 10.40||Mitzi|
|12.00 – 12.40||Seth Sentry||11.00 – 11:40||Anna Lunoe|
|01.00 – 01.50||360||12.00 – 12.40||Alison Wonderland|
|01.00 – 01.50||What So Not|