SXSW Day 1 – Cashier No 9

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I wouldn’t say that I am superstitious in general. But I do believe in good luck charms. And after years of going to the SXSW Music Conference, I’m pretty convinced that if the first band I see is really good, I’m going to see a lot of good music.

For that reason, I’m very lucky that the British Music Embassy sets up shop early in the week and tonight was the “Northern Ireland” showcase.

I was there to see Belfast-based band Cashier No. 9, who Anne Litt has been spinning, and they impressed me immediately. A six-piece squeezed on a small stage (3 guitarists – including the singer – a drummer, bass player and percussionist) and they had this confidence about them that drew me in. It was catchy, melodic Brit rock with California harmonies, but then they would launch into a honky tonk jam.

They recently signed to the Bella Union label – home to Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, Beach House, among others — for European distribution of their record so here’s hoping we get it in the U.S. soon.

General Fiasco was up next and I loved how they attacked their songs. They were more pop-punk, perfect if you like to pogo up and down at a rock show. The singer played bass and had the set list written on his arm. It was on the emo side but they gave it all they got and it was fun to watch.

More to come!