Royal Blood // 2014
Hard to ignore and easy to love. Royal Blood woke up all of South by Southwest's lanyard wearing industry bods with a full blown sonic smash to the face. A few years down the line and they're selling out shows around the world and having their songs sung back to them with unrelenting passion by the masses at festivals. Good going boys.
Florence + the Machine // 2008
Only Florence could provide a moment like this. Her US debut at South By' contained a glorious cacophony of screams, pounding on a defenseless floor tom and a spontaneous dip in the paddling pool positioned at stage right. Fast forward seven years and she's staying true to her roots on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, but sadly her 2015 headline set at Worthy Farm didn't feature any swimming or paddling - apart from the punters negotiating the mud.
Jack Garratt // 2015
Music industry showcase events aren't exactly known for having electric atmospheres. Crowds tardily come and go as they try to tick bands off their lists, darting about town from one venue to another. Jack Garrat being Jack Garratt meant that this performance was a rare South by Southwest moment of spine tingling brilliance. Austin's intimate Latitude 30 venue was completely full, one in one out, banished tastemakers watched from the street outside and Jack just did his thing, blissfully ignorant to the cauldron of commotion he was creating.
Little Simz // 2015
Austin loved Simz. An unquestionable talent, mixing genres and styles, oozing confidence and doing her thing with a smile. This was an emphatic early stateside performance from an accomplished artist, ready to conquer the world and continue on a career of artistry that knows no bounds. Her fans now include Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, 'nuff said.
Blossoms // 2014
BBC Introducing in Manchester told us they were good, 6 Music's Steve Lamacq told us they were good and this performance convinced the men and women of the international music 'biz' that Blossoms were indeed very, very good. There was no fanfare, no fuss, no gimmicks: Tom and the boys delivered Stockport's unique brand of indie-pysch with a swagger, converting an early evening crowd of festival punters. They've not looked back since.
SOAK // 2015
The beauty of an event like South by Southwest can be found in the startling gems you discover when you least expect them. Songwriter SOAK produced a performance of such magic, it managed to stun the audience into total silence. Even the more excitable festival goers abandoned their whistling and daft heckles, frozen to the spot by the sounds coming at them from the stage. It was a truly mesmerising, moving moment.