Austin TV, a raucous instrumental troupe of Mexican post-rockers, were somewhat of an enigma from the start.
I stopped by the Bull & Gate that night with Luke Morton of Front! Magazine and, both barely containing a long-term holiday hangover, we discussed interview questions over a couple of pre-gig pints.
A typically chirpy PR emerged from the deeply stained woodwork and called Luke up for the interview. With nothing better to do, I thought I’d tag along but, with me playing the role of drinks donkey, I realised I just looked like a token wandering drunk.
I’ve always found a slavish tendency towards outfits with masks to be somewhat gimmicky. But, there was more depth to Austin TV’s approach; their outfits were unmistakably DIY and appeared to have crawled from the psychedelic recesses of their collective imagination.
I zoned in and out whilst they were chatting, trying not to appear to be judging silently from over Luke’s shoulder. But, I heard enough to realise that the reasoning behind these outfits was a desire to be perceived as equal. By covering their faces, they made themselves indistinguishable from each other, and prevented their fans from elevating them to a pedestal on the basis of aesthetics alone.
To someone with Oyster card access to one of the most bloated music scenes in the world, their humble ‘ignore us, it’s all about the music’ attitude put some of our resident poseurs to shame. They were ecstatic to be on their first European tour, and to be meeting fans that had supported them from another continent since their inception.
The beams of sharp, white light emitting from their headdresses sliced through the blur of strobes and intense neon that formed the backdrop of this show. It was easy to lose yourself and suddenly emerge in a tropical martian landscape; being led on a fantastical yet somehow ominous journey by this flock of little green men. Here’s Luke’s take on proceedings.
In terms of preparation and development, there’s nothing special about these photos. The lighting was playing all sorts of cool tricks with my iPhone camera, so no editing was needed.