SXSW - Luis ‘Turbogeist’ Felber’s 2013 diary

What happens behind the scenes at SXSW? Luis Felber from party punk rock and rollers Turbogeist shared his SXSW diary and pics with us, from the band’s trip last year. Turbogeist have been touring with Radkey, and their new single is Comatose from their debut album, out later this year on Spinefarm.


Turbogeist’s SXSW 2013 Diary - by Luis Felber

Day 1. With two members of Turbogeist down - one drummer and one guitarist - we still manage to get it together to go out to Austin for South by South West this year. Alvin Le Ryan filling in for Josh Ludlow on drums and Josh’s brother Tom Ludlow filling in for Jimmys left arm on guitar.

Day 2. Arrive in Austin. Welcomed by lovely weather and wide roads.  We are all staying in a house on a lake filled with guns, drugs and super models. Most of our party decide to stay in and smoke Texan trees. I go out with my right hand musical magician man, Sam, and the lovely Anoushka, on the town for some drinks and get rat-arsed in a few Austin bars round and about 6th street. Fireballs shrink the mind and frazzle our balls.  oooooih…whiskey infused with cinnamon. “SXSW is a good place to catch up with musicians and industry peeps from around the world”… bump into a few friends tonight. Stay out way too late.  See one too many singer songwriters. We have two shows tomorrow.

Luis Felber and new friends

I met these ladies walking down the street being myself and they just wanted a picture. This shit doesn’t happen to me in the UK ever. I guess the British accent is good currency abroad.

Wake up feeling like a pickled pelican’s anus

Day 3. Wake up feeling like a pickled pelican’s anus. Bad idea to drink before playing two shows. Anyway we sort ourselves out at Austin Convention Center and get all our passes and bits. Bump into Nardwuar The Human Serviette - if u are not familiar with him check his website out, he is the best journalist out there. From Vancouver he basically knows everything u need to know about bands, scenes and music. Anyway he said he’d come to the show later and he is a man of his word. 

We don’t suit the outdoors much

First show we play is an outdoor venue called Rustys. If you are familiar with our band we don’t suit the outdoors much. Not much punk and roll does. It is Alvin’s 1st show with us and it’s good . “U only get one shot in front of these yanks and industry types so you gotta make sure the performance is energetic from the get go”… The crowd dug it and nothing’s broken. Yet.

Dirty Dog - Play probably our best show yet

We have six or so hours to kill before our 10pm showcase at Dirty Dog. So we go to get the best burgers the USA has to offer - P. Terry’s . It’s like a gourmet McDonalds and cheap too if u can imagine that. After eats everyone goes their own way. I wander for a bit with Tom and Alvin. Free drink here, live band there. Nothing memorable.  

We all meet up at 9pm for a pre gig fireball and play probably our best show yet. Really great stage at Dirty Dog. There’s some magical bouncy layer of carpet on the stage which gives the performance an extra sense of height.  The crowd is large. Get a lot of love from the Dirty Dog clientele. Nardwuar and Ham show up and invite us to their show tomorrow. The rest of the night consists of going to the east side and more drinking. Day off and a lot of bands to see tomorrow. 

Next up Nardwuar’s The Evaporators feat Andrew W.K.

Day 4. Wake up as early as physically possible - around 10am. Go with Sam and Alvin into town. Caught end of Death’s set at the main off 6th street. The tune Freakin Out put a smile on everyone’s face. Milk Music on next. They were amazing! Been listening to their EP Beyond Living a lot. Live they are very fucking entertaining.  Crazy Horse meets Thin Lizzy meets The Kinks or some shit. Great cover of Johnny Thunders’ Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory .

Next up Nardwuar’s The Evaporators feat Andrew W.K. at Cheer up Charlies on the east side. They have playful songs such as I got a rash - addicted to cheese . So much fun actually couldn’t stop smiling and joining in. Him and his band have a lot of charisma and they r just cool.  Nardwuar seems in his element. It’s fun to watch people have fun. Next up Pony Time - real cool two piece bass and drums. Think Wire meets Death From Above but weird. Merchandise at Scoot Inn - great band from Florida reminds me of Mission of Burma / Stooges fun house era. They have a saxophone.

Nardwuar, Ham, Andrew W.K.

Nu Sensae - girl fronted grunge

Later that eve watch Nu Sensae - 3 piece girl fronted grunge with a ridiculous drummer. These guys are playing Shacklewell Arms next month.  Next we go to see Pissed Jeans at 1100 warehouse - literally the  best thing yet. Their performance encapsulates punk rock for 2013. They really give it on this massive warehouse stage were I saw A$AP Rocky last year and hold back in a way too. Matt their lead singer has mad Nick Cave Birthday Party presence. So amazing.

Nu Sensae

Last act we see is Disclosure

The end of the night is upon us (bars close at 2am here!). Last act we see is Disclosure on same stage. These guys are two brothers 18 and 19 years old. They play electro, dance, house mixed with pop and hiphop sounds, a lot of sub bass to make you feel it in your jugular. I know very little about this music but it was awesome. Got everyone dancing made me feel like I’d taken a lot of ecstasy. The sounds and songs were very good and I’d see them again at Brixton Academy this year for sure. 

The best SXSW yet

Anyway after two more days off like this one we see some more bands (Death Grips, Merchandise and sadly not Prince to name a few), eat BBQ and get a week long worth of hangovers. Our last show was in a students’ house in the green belt of Austin. The show was filmed and streamed to thousands of live watchers. A magazine called BUST put the whole thing on. The music throughout the day at the house was so versatile and it was way too much fun to play in someone’s living room. Alvin asked to use the shower after possibly the sweatiest show we’ve ever played and Britney said ‘no’. All in all this year was the best SXSW yet, its my 4th year and the bigger this place gets every year the better.