By Christi Lain Vest, Rock At Night Houston Correspondent
Venue: Super Happy Fun Land, Houston-March 14, 2016
It’s March in Texas which means music, film junkies and bands from all over the world will be making their way to the SXSW Interactive Conference & Music/Film Festival. This year from March 9th through the 20th more than 50 bands will stop off in Houston for the SXSW Overflow Fest before heading to Austin for the biggest music festival of it’s kind in the world.
The SXSW Overflow Fest takes place at Super Happy Fun Land. An eclectic, avant garde-esq venue complete with a sock monkeys, crochet blankets, old theatre seating, worn couches and chairs that you can sink into. You can perfect your hoola hoop skills while watching a band and if you get hungry there is a pizza van right outside.
Monday, March 14th had a full schedule of bands starting at 6pm with the last band going on at 2am. Among them were Big Ups and Zuli both from New York, Brothers in Law from Italy and a Rock at Night favorite, The Love Junkies from Australia.
All the way from Perth, Australia The Love Junkies describe themselves as a mixture of Indie, Grunge and Alternative. Upon hearing the first chord, I was catapulted back to my tween years. Reminding me a bit of Violent Femmes–only grungier, dirtier sounding. Throughout their set, I was sweating…well, it WAS very hot in the venue but their music kept me from stopping. I felt like I had just consumed three energy drinks and was trying to get to the finish line first. Energy – and a lot of it! Singer Mitch McDonald has a singing voice with a classic, almost vintage sound that you would expect from a big band/swing/rockabilly group – until he starts screaming and it’s all grunge, dirty rock, loud and in your face. Extremely talented and genuinely nice fellows, I enjoyed meeting and chatting with them and loved shooting them live. I wanted to purchase a CD but it seems their merch is traveling around the US without them! Hopefully all of it will make it to the band soon.
The Love Junkies are: Mitch Mcdonald – Vocals, Guitar; Harley Barnaby – Bass; Robbie Rumble – Vocal/Guitar; Lewis Walsh – Vocals/Drums
The Love Junkies
Check out “Television” from their 2nd album “Blowing on the Devil’s Strumpet” – makes you want to jump around!
CHECK OUT THE OTHER BANDS OF THE EVENING!
Big Ups. A “punctual punk, nerdcore, post punk” band from New York. I wanted to keep my lens on singer, Joe Galarraga during the whole set just to catch the funny, quirky and odd things he did on stage.
Check out their song/video “National Parks”
Zuli – a psychedelic/pop band from New York. Listening to and shooting the Zuli band was calm, fun and enjoyable. Poppy and “grooveable” If I didn’t have the camera stuck in my face, I might have picked up one of those hoola hoops and went to town.
Listen to Zuli’s Supernatural Voodoo and get lost. You may want to get a hoola hoop just in case.
Last but not least, All the way from Italy is noise/pop group Brothers in law. Halfway through their set, I stopped shooting and just watched and listened. Dreamlike music – synthesizers, guitars and singer Jack’s sometimes haunting vocals make for a very pleasant sound. Reminding me of a mix between Cocteau Twins and Interpol. I was so hypnotized by their sound that I bought their album on vinyl since they didn’t have it on CD. I don’t even own a record player!
I am pretty certain that these bands are going to blow the SXSW crowds away. I can’t wait for all four of them to come back to Houston, TX and I’m certain they will be playing a much bigger venue when they do!
Brothers In Law
Check out the video of “Oh, Sweet Song” from their album Raise
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Ex-Singer, Ex-Corporate Whore turned full-time mommy and part time portrait/concert photographer – Hoping to become full time photographer by the time my son starts school in two years. I never thought anything could be more exciting and more of an adrenaline rush than when I was onstage singing….Until I shot my first band.
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