In fact, such is the blurriness between night and day, let’s just call this ‘installment 3’
Loch Lomond @ Red Eyed Fly
Thanks to the majority of SXSW venues being clustered cheek by jowl on a couple of drags, a lengthy queue in 80-odd degree heat at your intended port of call offers serendipitous opportunities not to be passed up a couple of doors along. So, no Handsome Family at the Mint Records Afternoon Hootenany, but a joy and delight awaits at the Red-Eyed Fly in the form of Loch Lomond. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the seven piece somehow manage to squeeze onto the tiniest of stages in the front bar at Red-Eyed Fly – complete with guitars, drums, banjo, viola, vibes, clarinets. At times their orchestral pop is slightly remin iscent of early Belle And Sebastian/Beirut, and simply beguiling. Ritchie Young’s plaintive and at times falsetto vocals narrate lyrics informed by of the Sufjan Steven’s school. Having recently toured widely with the Decemberists, they offer an altogether more low-key and satisfying blend of chamber pop.
Port O’Brien @ Red-Eyed Fly
A more muscular folksiness kicks in on the backroom stage as soon as Loch Lomond take their leave. Having been bestowed with both the M. Ward and Johnny Marr seal of approval, the Californian seafarers cast a wider net. Alternating between a melancholic slo-core a la Pavement and rambunctious sing-alonga shanties with swelling choruses, there’s much to like.
Peter Broderick @ The Ranch
The Bella Union showcase opener at The Ranch on 6th Street is the prolific Peter Broderick. Akin to a hyperactive child with a huge toybox of tricks, the twenty-something scampers about the stage plucking, strumming or sawing away at whatever comes to hand. Using sampling and vocal loops to layer his own harmonies to the point where it’s almost a choir, he is almost bursting with creative energy. At one point a snatches up a rattle from the floor, he darts off stage and into the crowd for an a capella moment, and in a flash he’s teetering atop his piano stool to deliver a frenzied violin solo. Bella Union’s Simon Raymond gazes on from side stage like a proud father.
Photos by Elize Rowan – see the set on Flickr