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  • “BECAUSE OF OUR BUDGET CONSTRAINTS AND THE LIMITED BAGGAGE FOR THE FLIGHT WE ONLY TOOK A TOTE BAG EACH FOR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES FOR THE WHOLE TRIP. WE’D SPEND THE NEXT TWO AND A HALF WEEKS LIVING OUT OF ONE COMMUNAL SUITCASE.”
  • “WHILST IN NEW YORK WE STAYED WITH DAVID FISHEL WHO MADE OUR LAST TWO VIDEOS FOR ‘BIRDMAN’ AND ‘HEAVEN’. WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON HIS ROOFTOP IN THE EAST VILLAGE MAKING VIDEOS - OR IN THIS INSTANCE WE WERE JUST PREPARING FOR A PHOTO SHOOT TO SHOW OFF OUR NEW TOUR TEES.”
  • “I’M NOT USUALLY AN ENTHUSIASTIC PHOTOGRAPHER BUT THE THRILL OF THE NEW KEPT ME CLICKING AWAY. I WAS SURPRISED HOW MANY FORTUNE TELLERS THERE WERE AS WE TRAVELLED THROUGH THE STATES. THIS WINDOW WAS IN THE LOWER EAST VILLAGE.”
  • “AS WE TRAVELLED AROUND WE WERE KEEN TO SAMPLE THE LOCAL DELICACIES! IN PHILADELPHIA WE WERE TREATED TO A PHILADELPHIA CHEESE STEAK IN ROCKY’S NEIGHBOURHOOD. THIS IS DAVE, NICK AND OUR SUPERHOST VICTOR SAT OUTSIDE COSMI’S DELI.”
  • “IN PHILLY WE PLAYED TWO SHOWS IN ONE NIGHT. THE FIRST WAS A LIVING ROOM SET FOR SOFARSOUNDS.COM. WE WERE SURPRISED TO BUMP INTO THE SPINTO BAND ALSO ON THEIR WAY TO SXSW IN THE SAME LIVING ROOM. WE MISSED THEIR SET SADLY AS WE HAD A FULL BAND SHOW TO DO IN TOWN STRAIGHT AFTER.”
  • “AMERICA HAS LOTS OF FINE BEERS AND WHISKEYS AS WELL AS LOTS OF LATE NIGHT ESTABLISHMENTS IN WHICH TO ENJOY THEM. UNFORTUNATELY BY THE TIME WE GOT TO NASHVILLE I’D BEEN TAKING MY ROLE AS NITEOWL AND JUKEJOINT CRITIC TOO SERIOUSLY AND HAD LOST MY VOICE. FROM HERE UNTIL AUSTIN HONEYBEAR WOULD BE MY ONLY POISON. AT LEAST IT CAME IN A COOL BOTTLE! THIS COINCIDED NICELY WITH THE SOUTHERN STATES’ STRICT DOOR POLICY ON BEING ABLE TO PRODUCE ID. I’D LEFT MY WALLET AND PASSPORT IN NYC SO WAS DENIED ENTRY TO MOST ESTABLISHMENTS ANYWAY!”
  • “MARK AND I WERE DETERMINED THAT ONE THING WE SHOULD DO IN NASHVILLE WOULD BE VISIT THE THIRD MAN RECORD STORE. THE WHOLE BAND TRAIPSED AROUND IN THE BAKING SUN FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS BEFORE WE FOUND IT NESTLED NEATLY ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS (LITERALLY!). I THINK WE’D HOPED FOR SOMETHING MORE THAN AN OVERBLOWN WHITE STRIPES MERCH STAND. OUR QUEST GOT US ALL SUNBURNED AND WE RAN OUT OF TIME FOR ANY OTHER ‘TOURIST BUSINESS’.”
  • “LOTS OF THE GAS STATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN STATES SELL ALLIGATOR HEADS. THE ONE IN MY HANDS WAS A MERE $14! APPARENTLY THE MONEY GOES BACK INTO THE ALLIGATOR INDUSTRY, KEEPING THE NUMBERS DOWN, LOOKING AFTER THEIR HABITATS ETC. YOU COULD EVEN BUY AN ALLIGATOR HAND ON A STICK FOR USE AS A BACK SCRATCHER. THEY POKE THE EYES OUT AND REPLACE THEM WITH MARBLES.”
  • “WE GOT TO NEW ORLEANS A WEEK OR TWO AFTER MARDI GRAS. THERE WAS STILL JEWELLERY AND BEADS HANGING IN THE TREES AND OFF ALL THE LAMPPOSTS. MUST’VE BEEN A HELL OF A PARTY!”
  • “THE BRUTES ARE ALL MASSIVE FANS OF CRESCENT CITY MUSIC, BUT AS WELL AS THAT WE WERE ALL DESPERATE TO TRY THE CUISINE. GUMBO WAS HIGH ON OUR LIST OF PRIORITIES AND AFTER AN HOUR OF SEARCHING FOR A RESTAURANT THAT DIDN’T HAVE A QUEUE DOWN THE STREET WE FOUND SOME. THE BOWL ON THE LEFT IS GUMBO, I HAD A SIDE OF RED BEANS AND RICE WITH A SPICED SAUSAGE. IT WAS THE ONLY MEAL WE’D HAD THAT DAY SINCE LEAVING NASHVILLE AND WE WERE STARVING! THE NEXT MORNING I HAD BARBECUED SHRIMP AND GRITS!”
  • “IN NEW ORLEANS WE WERE HOSTED IN A HOTEL. A FRIEND MANAGED TO BAG US A TWIN SUITE FOR FREE! IT WAS GREAT TO SLEEP IN A BED BUT THERE WERE FIVE OF US AND ONLY TWO BEDS. DAVE, ONE OF THE TWO NON-DRIVERS, OPTED FOR THE FLOOR. WE USUALLY TRY AND MAKE SURE WHOEVER’S DRIVING GETS THE BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP. HOWEVER, WHEN YOUR DRIVE IS NEARLY FOUR DAYS LONG THIS CAN MEAN A LOT OF UNCOMFORTABLE NIGHTS FOR THOSE NOT BEHIND THE WHEEL!”
  • “SXSW TATTOOS WERE TALKED UP A LOT BEFORE THE TRIP SO ONCE WE’D REACHED OUR DESTINATION DAVE AND I HEADED DOWN TO TRUE BLUE ON RED RIVER IN AUSTIN. I GOT MY FIRST EVER TATTOO THAT DAY. I’D SHOW IT TO YOU BUT IT DOESN’T EVEN COME CLOSE TO WHAT DAVE HAD DONE! THAT’S RIGHT. EYES IN THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.”
  • “DAVE’S NEW TATTOO GOT A LOT OF THE ATTENTION. ANY TIME HE STOPPED STILL LONG ENOUGH SOMEONE WOULD BE TAKING A SNEAKY SNAP OF THE BACK OF HIS HEAD. I MANAGED TO GET THIS PICTURE OF HIM TAKING A PICTURE OF SOME GRAFFITI. BEHIND HIM TWO PEOPLE WERE PRACTICALLY QUEUING TO TAKE A PICTURE OF HIM!”
  • “TRIBES CAME DOWN TO SEE US PLAY OUR OFFICIAL SXSW SET WHICH WENT REALLY WELL. WE’VE KNOWN THEM FOR A WHILE. JOHNNY SANG AS PART OF OUR BRUTE CHOIR ON OUR FIRST ALBUM. HE AND DAVE USED TO LIVE TOGETHER.”
  • “BEFORE WE LEFT NEW YORK DAVID FISHEL GAVE US A ROLL OF STICKERS TO PUT OUT. IT’S FOR A GUILT HOTLINE. IF YOU’RE FEELING BAD ABOUT SOMETHING YOU CAN CALL THIS NUMBER AND CONFESS TO AN ANSWER MACHINE. THE RECORDINGS ARE ALL ANONYMOUS AND ARE GOING TO BE MADE INTO AN ART INSTALLATION SOMEDAY.”
  • “AFTER SXSW WE DROVE ALL THE WAY BACK TO NEW YORK VIA NASHVILLE AND PHILLY. THAT’S ONE KILLER DRIVE! WE STAYED IN PHILLY LONG ENOUGH TO RECORD A COUPLE OF DEMOS OF NEW SONGS WE’D WRITTEN. THE IDEA WAS TO LEARN TO LIP-SYNC ALONG TO ONE AS IT WAS PLAYED BACKWARDS.”
  • “THAT WAS ANOTHER ONE OF FISHEL’S BIG IDEAS. WE’D DECIDED TO SHOOT A QUICK VIDEO ON OUR LAST DAY IN AMERICA, IN REVERSE, ON DAVID’S ROOFTOP IN NEW YORK. RECORDING TOOK LONGER THAN WE EXPECTED IN PHILADELPHIA AND SO WE DIDN’T GET INTO NEW YORK UNTIL 2:30AM.”
  • “WE WERE UP AT 4:30 FOR A DAWN SHOOT. THERE WERE LITERALLY BUCKETS AND BUCKETS AND BUCKETS OF BLOOD! THINGS GOT PRETTY MESSY. I SPENT HALF OF MY LAST DAY OF THE TOUR WITH MARK AT THE LAUNDROMAT. THE PICTURES LOOK GORY BUT THE FINAL VIDEO SHOULD LOOK PRETTY QUIRKY AND NOT QUITE THE BLOODBATH THESE SHOTS MIGHT LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE! WATCH THIS SPACE!”
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Interview With SXSW: The Brute Chorus

MOM. DAD. THERE’S STRANGERS IN THE YARD.

The Brute Chorus (who made us this freely-downloadable mixtape last year) sold everything they own to pay for flights to America so they could play at SXSW and slot together a US mini-tour taking them from New York to Austin and back.

This is the story of that trip to Texas. It contain tattoos, gumbo, beards, fortune tellers and graffiti and takes in New Orleans, Nashville and Philadelphia, Third Man Records, Rocky’s neighbourhood and a whole lot more in between.

You can hear their latest single My Testament below and check out videos from the tour here. If you like what you’ve seen and heard then you can show your support by investing in the band’s pledge campaign, thereby saving them from part-time work clogging their capillaries up Whitechapel chimneys.

The Brute Chorus‘ next show is at Queen Of Hoxton on Tuesday 3 April.

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