SXSW Showcase with Natalie McCool, Pip Hall: Jacaranda Phase One, Liverpool

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Natalie McCool

Natalie McCool gave us a taste of this years SXSW festival as four UK based bands performed in Phase One, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley was there for an Independent Venue Week special.

There’s just been loads going on, hasn’t there? Independent Venue Week seems to have exploded on a national scale this year. Last year, Liverpool’s venues seemed to be open all hours to cater for the ardent gig goers who would be out every night of what is effectively a national festival.

It’s testament to the comittment of those gig goers, then, that gigs have continued to be well attended. On Friday night, a special showcase of artists penned to play this years SXSW festival (mostly) came to Jacaranda Records Phase One to be part of the fun.

It’s worth noting, too, that the night, in association with Whispering Pines Collective booking agents, was a mere £4 to access, which is incredible value for money.

It’s no secret that this writer is a fan of Cardiff band Himalayas, and we was gutted to find out that their trip to Liverpool had fallen foul to the weather to deny them of their live return. A real shame. Himalayas snowed in. There’s an obvious irony.

And not only that, but the snow took another act away from Phase One. Algobabez found themselves stuck in Newcastle and unable to make the trip down, double blow.

It kicked off with newcomer Pip Hall, who is set to release her debut album this summer. The venue was silent as she made her way through a delicate, heartfelt set to begin the showcase.

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Then came Natalie McCool, she has a career that spans a good few years already, and having released her last album in 2017 it seems she’s more than ready to kick back off this year.

She had two microphones, and twice the character. She said that she’d gone and broken her guitar earlier in the day, but you would never have known. These songs are set to be on her new album, to be released this summer, and they sound years old – in the best way.

“Ooh, I like this one!” An enthusiastic member of the crowd shouts before McCool closes her set with Take Me To Your Leader. We liked it too.

Images by Getintothis’ Warren Millar

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