SXSW Review: Dry Cleaning, Humour, Ash, March 14, British Music Embassy

20240315 Dry Cleaning

The British Music Embassy has long been a haven for Team Panic Manual, giving us all a chance to indulge in our Anglophile tendencies while in Austin. We’ve seen a lot of great acts there over the years, and this year was no different. One thing that was different this year was the move to a new (and much larger) venue – the backyard of the Downright Austin Hotel. It was a bit of a glow up from the BME’s previous locations at Cedar Street Courtyard and Latitude 30, adding a second stage and significantly more space.

There was great stuff scheduled ay BME all week long, but Thursday’s programming, featuring must-sees like Ash and Dry Cleaning alongside new discoveries like Glasgow’s Humour, made for a strong lineup.

Dry Cleaning

Following a glowing introduction from BBC 6 DJ Steve Lamacq that praised the band’s uniqueness, London post-punkers Dry Cleaning took to the stage and put on an impressive performance. Watching the band lock into a groove while vocalist Florence Shaw delivered her stream of consciousness lyrics in deadpan fashion made for a memorable show. Dry Cleaning was meant to make their SXSW debut back in 2020 and, well, we all know what happened then. It may have taken a few years for them to get to SouthBy, but it was well worth the wait.


Glasgow punks Humour put on a fairly intense performance, with vocalist Andreas Christodoulidis yelping and yowling his way through the set while his bandmates laid down some heavy post-punk grooves. Fun fact about Humour – the band apparently all live together, kind of like The Monkees did on their old TV show. I only caught the last half of their set, but I liked what I saw and am looking forward to hearing more from Humour in the future.


To my ears, Ash’s 1996 debut album 1977 is a perfect album – and yes, that even includes the infamous hidden track “Sick Party.” It’s a solid collection of punky, poppy rock that’s all the more impressive when you consider the fact that it was made by a young group who were still teenagers at the time. Now middle-aged men, Ash are still going strong, with their eighth album Race The Night coming out back in September of last year.

The band took to the BME stage for a late afternoon performance that singer/guitarist Tim Wheeler pointed out was the longest one they’d be playing all week. As such, they were able to fit in a few extra tunes, making this one more like a proper show than the shorter sets usually prevalent during SXSW. Good stuff.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest