Written by Samuel Barker
Mar 22, 2005 at 08:00 PM
Long-ViewOne of the great things about Austin’s South By Southwest conference is that many bands you’d rarely see hit the road in the United States get a chance to go out on tour. Austin is a good place to begin a tour, especially after getting a charge from the insane crowds that flock to the SXSW show.Being in Houston, a mere 3 hour drive from Austin, a lot of the runoff makes its way to town, on this night, two of the up and coming European acts, Dogs Die in Hot Cars and Long-View made it into town for a small show in the Meridian’s Red Room.

First up was Long-View, playing a shortened set to get the audience warmed up. They opened their set with When You Sleep from their current album Mercury. With a set list that consisted of 5 of the first 6 songs from Mercury, the band seemed intent on pushing their current release’s A-side.

Despite a somewhat small turnout, partially due to the venue’s website saying the show would begin 30 minutes after Long-View took the stage, those who were there screamed requests and received some nice rock star moments as guitarist/vocalist Rob McVey would walk to the edge of the stage for each lead or solo he performed.

Wasting no time with a bunch of talking, McVey only told short tales of each song and let the music do most of the talking, which, luckily for him, the songs were able to do.

With a sound that can infiltrate top-40, yet not alienate fans of the rock, Long-View seems to be on the right path to being a staple in the music scene. All this after only a year of existence is pretty impressive.

Next up was Dogs Die in Hot Cars.

Dogs Die in Hot CarsThis band was a surprise as the name left you searching for genre to expect. Opening with I Love You Cause I Have To, the band took on an upbeat sound complete with keyboard and upstroke guitar that lent itself more to Madness than any current band. Just as I was expecting an 80’s revival band, the band kicked into Pastimes and Lifestyles and changed up the gears to something resembling the Talking Heads and confirmed that they were pulling from the 80s and beyond for their mixture of pop and quirky arrangements.

Guitarist/vocalist Craig Macintosh bounced around and he yelled out the lyrics to the songs spreading the jubilant sounds of the music through his actions.

Not to be outdone, keyboardist/backing vocalist Ruth Quigley bounced around behind the keyboard shaking her hair into a mess the entire set. Even the acoustic numbers were teeming with energy and enthusiasm.

These were two young bands from across the pond who came to show that the US isn’t the only place to find quality music. You would be hard pressed to find two band who play their music better than these acts. It was a fun night and those who were brave enough to head out to the Meridian on a Tuesday night were rewarded.