SXSW Review: MEMES, March 13, Cedar St. Courtyard


Over the course of the first couple of days of SXSW, it became clear that this year’s edition of the festival will have a little bit of a different feel. Aside from the fact that it’s the first time the festival has taken place with the vague threat of nuclear war hanging over our heads, there’s also the matter that we are still pretty much in the midst of a pandemic, though the lack of masks seen in and around Austin might suggest otherwise. Also, people are now bringing their dogs to SouthBy events for some reason. So yeah, things are definitely a bit weird and not necessarily in a fun “Keep Austin Weird” kind of way.

But all of that aside, once the music got properly underway, it felt more or less like the SXSW of days gone by. And once we made it to Cedar Street Courtyard to take in Glasgow’s MEMES as part of Sunday night’s British Music Embassy programming, we were in Panic Manual’s happy place.

Beginning their set while the house PA was still piping out the between set music, MEMES came on strong with a set full of energy and aggression as the duo of John and Paul McLinden bashed out a short but sweet set of post-punk ragers. Upon first listen, my initial thought was this was just another in the recent parade of Idles-esque band, but they absolutely won me over. And by the time they ended out their set with an absolute banger of a tune (“Do you like German techno? Good, ’cause you’re gonna get some!”), they surely had made a few new fans.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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