Scotland Rocks at South by Southwest

Image for Scotland Rocks at South by SouthwestNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

In March, 2,000 bands descended on Austin, Texas hoping to make a splash at the world's largest music festival - South by Southwest. Among those keen to launch their careers in the USA were a clutch of Scottish acts including Rachel Sermanni, Unicorn Kid, Withered Hand and Admiral Fallow. ArtWorks Scotland followed them to the four-day festival to see if they had what it takes to crack America.

Music Played

32 items
  • SXSW


    South by South West (SXSW) is the world’s largest music industry festival. Every year 2000 bands from around the globe descend on Austin, Texas trying to make an impact.

    The documentary follows some of the Scottish acts who have been lucky enough to be selected for this year’s festival:

  • Rachel Sermanni

    Rachel Sermanni

    Rachel Sermanni was the surprise hit of this year’s Celtic Connections and is friends with Mumford and Sons. Not a bad start for this 19 year old from Carrbridge!

    Rachel Sermanni myspace
  • Unicorn Kid

    Unicorn Kid

    Unicorn Kid’s computer-game influenced dance-music is beginning to take off. He’s signed to the legendary ‘Ministry of Sound’ label and has even remixed a Pet Shop Boys track.

    Unicorn Kid website
  • Withered Hand

    Withered Hand

    Withered Hand has been called ‘a Caledonian-tinged Neil Young for the Facebook generation’. His songs mainly deal with sex and religion.

    Withered Hand website
  • Admiral Fallow

    Admiral Fallow

    Admiral Fallow are a 6 piece indie band whose music has created quite a following. The band melds clarinet, flute, and two jaw-dropping voices to deliver their joyous but heart-filled orchestral songs.

    Admiral Fallow website
  • The Twilight Sad

    The Twilight Sad

    The Twilight Sad are the bad boys of Scottish indie rock; their performances are loud and raucous. Their dark lyrics and screaming guitars go down well with US crowds.

    The Twilight Sad myspace
  • Kid Canaveral

    Kid Canaveral

    Edinburgh indie-popsters Kid Canaveral have come to Austin under their own steam, shelling out their own hard earned cash to get to here. But they’re certainly working SXSW hard; 8 gigs including some with legendary, Fife-based, singer-songwriter King Creosote.

    Kid Canaveral website
  • Bronto Skylift

    Bronto Skylift

    Noise-rock duo, Bronto Skylift are staging a guerrilla gig which unsurprisingly attracts the attention of the Austin police force.

    Bronto Skylift myspace
  • Twin Atlantic

    Twin Atlantic

    Twin Atlantic are an alternative rock band from Glasgow, they already have made inroads on the US market.

    During their Scottish Showcase performance Sam McTrusty has to cope with every front man’s nightmare… a knackered guitar!

    Twin Atlantic website
  • The documentary follows the acts from Scotland to Austin.

    It covers airport stories, different venues, accommodation and includes some exclusive performances in unusual venues; like Admiral Fallow in the local soup kitchen for Austin’s homeless and Withered Hand in the Central Presbyterian Church.
    We see live performances at the Scottish Showcase in 6th street in downtown Austin.
    There is also coverage of exclusive parties and gigs featuring the likes of Edwyn Collins, Erland and the Carnival, the Bangles and Duran Duran.
    It also takes in the flavour of the festival; the madness of 6th Street; the main hub of SXSW, Tears of Joy; a hot chilli sauce emporium, Jodie Foster and Dave Grohl at the film festival and an interview with a band from Patagonia who call themselves Inverness.

  • The programme features interviews with acts who performed at SXSW in the past;

    The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall, Mogwai, Camera Obscura, Frightened Rabbit, Glasvegas and Franz Ferdinand.

  • Creative Scotland

    Creative Scotland

    Making this programme would not have been possible without the help of Creative Scotland who organised the Scottish Showcases at SXSW and helped to fund some of the Scottish acts.

    Creative Scotland
  • Crew


    BBC Scotland SXSW crew Heather Mitchell (sound), Folko Boermans (director), Marisa Privitera Murdoch (research and additional camera), Vic Galloway (presenter), and Rick Walker (camera) celebrate the end of the shoot.

  • Vic Galloway

    Vic Galloway

    Presenter Vic Galloway poses in front of the British Music Embassy in Austin Texas during SXSW 2011.


Folko Boermans
Series Producer
Andrew Lockyer


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss