SXSW Review: Noire, Oh Pep!, Electric Billy Club, March 14

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“It’s hard to sing sad songs when you’re having a good time.”

So said Oh Pep! singer Olivia Hally at the beginning of their early morning show as part of the Aussie BBQ party (10:30 am during SXSW is practically 6:30am) and it’s hard to disagree with her. With the sun shining on one of the first really nice days of the week and plenty of food, coffee and alcoholic beverages already going around, it’s nigh impossible to stay bummed out. Besides, sometimes you just want to hear a sad song.

Luckily, Oh Pep! didn’t end their set right then and there, running through a short set of melancholy yet sweet tunes that got the day off to a good start.

Following Oh Pep!, Sydney based duo Jessica Mincher and Billy James, otherwise known as Noire (pictured above) kept things going on the front yard stage at Lucille with a similarly mellow vibe that worked just as well on an outdoor stage in broad daylight as it would in a moody, dimly lit night club.

I moved then from the sounds of Australia to the sounds of Tulsa, Oklahoma, heading over to the Tulsa party at Augustine to check out the interestingly named rock trio Electric Billy Club. And I’ve got to say at first, they didn’t really grab me. It started out as standard meat and potatoes riff rock – nothing special right off the bat, but it seemed good enough to occupy my time while I polished off a light beer. But then they broke out the synths and all of a sudden, it was veering hard on a detour into Tangerine Dream territory and I’m very OK with that. All in all, a solid set of heavy psych.

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Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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