SXSW Review: Steve ‘n’ Seagulls, March 15, Austin Rowing Club


I have a bit of an affinity for the Nordic people, having done a bit of travelling around Scandanavia, so when I noticed that a Nordic music showcase was being hosted at the Austin Rowing Club (temporarily rebranded for the day as the Nordic Lighthouse), I decided to make that my first stop on the first official day of SXSW music. The day’s program was filled with a number of bands from Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Dolce impressed with their set of somewhat mournful country-ish ballads, much of it sung in Norwegian and The Great Discord definitely stood out as the most unique performance of the afternoon, sounding somewhat like an alt-metal band fronted by Alanis if she were also a goth mime. I have to give them serious props for not only committing to all black, all long sleeves outfits, but also to the singer for going with full make-up in the heat.

The band whose set I enjoyed the most was Steve ‘n’ Seagulls, a Finnish group that plays bluegrass versions of classic hard rock and heavy metal songs. Their brief set included banjo and accordion filled covers of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” and “Aces High” along with ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” The latter even featured a whistling passage. While the band definitely ham it up a bit with the animal pelts and overalls, they overcame any novelty factor and absolutely impressed with their arrangements and musical skills.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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