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The Love Junkies Explore SXSW, Play With Guns & Keep The Party Going

29 March 2016 | 8:19 pm | The Love Junkies

"We fucked around and played with his guns, cute dog and pet snake."

We rolled into our accom in Austin on Thursday 17, about four hours early for check in. The receptionist at the Econolodge was either taken by our foreign charm and wit, or she could tell that we needed showers very badly, but she found us a room anyway and shower we did. 

We only managed to line up one show at SXSW so being the only SX virgin in the troupe, I was stoked when the boys agreed to hit Austin a couple of days early to see a show or two. After we’d performed an extensive and diverse array of ablutions at the hotel we got an Uber to take us as close as he could get us to the festival. Wading into the thickness for the first time left me overwhelmed, it’s like a fucked labyrinth of live sound permeating packed streets of punters and oddities, street performers and food. Beset on all sides by big ol’ beers.

After registration we got some of those beers at Cheer Up Charlie’s and caught sets from Ohio‘s Citizen and some crazy metal band whose name we didn’t catch. We watched an incredible soul band from Indiana at a rooftop bar which left us all humbled and dizzy before deciding to check out the venue we were playing on Saturday night. What I was really holding out for (besides Protomartyr, who we narrowly missed) was a Wisconsin rapper called Milo who pummeled all my feels during his showcase at Karma Lounge. Mitch and Elle bailed for some shuteye but Robbie and I did tequila shots and crossed the river for Doomstarks at Emo’s. Predictably, Doom didn’t show. I heard he might be banned from Austin or something. We tried to walk home shitfaced but caught a taxi after a well earned taco.

Friday was a write off. From breakfast to dinner we cozied up in our shared double beds watching Cops, only straying from comfort to grill a sandwich in our $15 George Forman or indulge in a little of something our taxi driver from the night before gave to us. It wasn’t until about 10pm that Elle and I ventured into town to watch Snarky Puppy, a collective from Brooklyn. Fronted for this show by a Greek singer called Banda Magda, their set was short but impressive.

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Saturday crept up, we checked out of the hotel and took a short stop at Walmart to plot our route into the festival. As it happened, we found parking in Austin with ease and while throwing back free beer at the registrants lounge met a really friendly couple both named Mark. They claimed to splurge on industry badges for SX every year and after drinking with us for an hour or so said they’d come to the show and bring some friends. We played Tellers at 8pm to a swelling room thanks to our new friends, we all got drunk and they bought a bunch of merch. All round a great evening but an extra special mention goes to Rick from Blackmilk. Thanks mate.

To add to our boredom and financial strife, the next two nights were gig free. Luckily Marcie, a friend of our manager’s, kindly offered beds, showers and cable TV for that time, which was spent watching this show they have here called Naked and Afraid. It’s really great, look it up. We watched like ten episodes in succession. 

With two days to get to San Antonio for our show at Bar 502, we set up at a riverside campground in Gruene Marcie had tipped us off to. We drank beer and played Presidents and Arseholes into the night, accompanied by the lazy stillness in the river and the odd stir of foreign birds. I snored like a wild beast and kept everyone up. 

Undoubtedly one of the best nights we’ve had yet was in San Antonio. It was a last minute show and although we played to the other band on the bill and didn’t sell any merch, the venue offered a huge rider and when everything wrapped up the bassist from Black Market Club, Adam, invited us back to his place where we drank beers and played a game like darts they called ‘Fuck Mountain’ until 4 or 5am. At which point, and it’s blurry, Adam said “Do ya’ll wanna hold some guns?” So we fucked around and played with his guns, cute dog and pet snake til about 8am. He was moving house the next day. Damn legend.

Right now I’m watching desert roll past me at 90mph listening to Broadcast’s discography, it’s really goddamn beautiful but I can’t help but think of home, I can’t believe I’m going to miss the Shit Narnia launch.

Written by Harley Barnaby 

The Love Junkies take their new single, Nobody, around Australia this May. For all dates, see theGuide or The Music App.