Media Release: Showcasing Scotland at South by South West, 2014

  • Edinburgh-based band, Meursault, join Young Fathers, Prides, Withered Hand, Honeyblood, Casual Sex and Holy Esque in receiving support from Creative Scotland to showcase at SXSW
  • Showcasing Scotland presented by Creative Scotland and the Association of Independent Music will take place on Friday 14 March, 8pm at the British Music Embassy
  • Scottish films, God Help the Girl and For Those In Peril, to screen as part of The SXSW Film Conference & Festival

EDINBURGH-based Meursault are to join Young Fathers, Prides, Withered Hand, Honeyblood, Casual Sex and Holy Esque to perform at South by South West (SXSW) Music Festival – Austin,Texas – in March, with support from Creative Scotland.

Running from Tuesday 11 to Sunday 16 March, SXSW Music Festival is recognised as the world’s most prestigious international showcase for contemporary music and one of the most important events in the music industry calendar.

Creative Scotland and the Association of Independent Music is presenting Showcasing Scotland at SXSW 2014 on Friday 14 March. Withered Hand, Meursault, Casual Sex, Honeyblood and Young Fathers will be joined by We Were Promised Jetpacks from 8pm on the stage of the British Music Embassy.

Prides’ turn in the spotlight at the British Music Embassy comes on Tuesday 11 March at 10pm. While Holy Esque take to the stage of Quantum Lounge at 8pm on Saturday 15 March.

David Weaver, development officer at Creative Scotland, leading on SXSW, said:

“The seven acts we are supporting really showcase the diversity in Scottish music right now. All of the bands are fantastic in different ways, both on record and live, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them perform in Austin.

“Each act is set for a great year ahead, and SXSW is an incredible opportunity not only to make contacts and do business, but also to perform at one of the most exciting music events in the world. I’m delighted these bands will be representing Scottish music in 2014 to music fans and industry professionals from all over the globe.”

Other Scottish acts announced in the festival line up include Nina Nesbitt, Saor Patrol and Cairn String Quartet. For band biogs and quotes, please see below.

Two Creative Scotland supported films God Help the Girl and For Those In Peril will screen as part of The SXSW Film Conference & Festival, running from 7 – 15 March 2014.

Caroline Parkinson, director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland, commented:

“These SXSW film screenings will promote two of Scotland’s most exciting emerging filmmakers to new international audiences and markets. I’m sure SXSW audiences will enjoy both films and the profile achieved will open up new opportunities.”

Following its recent world premiere at Sundance Film Festival and then at Berlin Film Festival, Stuart Murdoch’s first feature film God Help the Girl is screening in the 24 BEATS PER SECOND strand at Paramount Theatre on Saturday 15 March.

God Help the Girl is a coming-of-age story that doubles as an indie-pop musical staring Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray. The film won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance at Sundance and has been and was screened earlier this month at the Berlin Film Festival and has been picked up by Amplify for US distribution.

Co-producer, Carole Sheridan, from Singer Films, said:

“Those behind God Help the Girl are delighted that the film will receive another outing at SXSW, following the wonderful reception the film received at Sundance and Berlin.  With its mix of music and film, SXSW feels like an apt place for the film to screen.  SXSW is a cool festival and we are hopeful the film will be loved by the music and film fans that attend.”

The 2013 BAFTA award winning feature debut by director, Paul Wright, For Those in Peril is screening in the SX GLOBAL strand from Saturday 8 – Thursday 13 March.

For Those In Peril tells the tale of Aaron, a young misfit in a remote Scottish community.  Aaron is the lone survivor of a strange fishing accident that claimed the lives of five men including his older brother. Spurred on by sea-going folklore and local superstition, the village blames Aaron for this tragedy, making him an outcast amongst his own people. Steadfastly refusing to believe that his brother is dead, and possessed by grief, madness and magic, Aaron sets out to recover him.

On being selected for SXSW, director, Paul Wright said:

“It’s really exciting for us all to be part of this year’s SXSW festival. We could not have picked a better place for the film to have its North American premiere than at a festival known for showcasing exciting new talent from around the world and it’s a real honour to be part of this.”


Editors Notes:


Showcasing acts are selected on the basis that they are already well established in both Scotland and the rest of the UK, have enjoyed US or international success and have a clear plan in place to seize the opportunities that SXSW presents.

Artists and bands can only apply to Creative Scotland for support to attend the festival if they have already applied directly to SXSW to appear at the festival. Showcasing acts were selected by a panel of industry professionals including:

  • Paul Cardow of PCL Concerts, Broadcast in Glasgow and Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh
  • Dave McGeachan, DF Concerts, T In The Park and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
  • Vic Galloway, BBC Radio Scotland
  • Jamie Gilmour, Scottish Music Centre and Hail Eris Management

For more information about South by Southwest visit:

Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries. Follow us @scotsxsw and

Band Biogs and Quotes:

Neil Pennycook began performing under the name Meursault in 2006, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has since recorded and released three albums and various EP’s/singles while also collaborating frequently on other projects (Cold Seeds, Bastard Mountain, Whatever Gets You Through The Night). Stylistically, Meursault’s output ranges from the scratchy, lo-fi, electronics of debut album ‘Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing with Tongues’ to the more orchestral and muscular, ‘Something for the Weakened’.  Over the course of these releases, a core band has been developed consisting of Neil (vocals, guitar, electronics), Rob St.John (bass, organ), Pete Harvey (cello), Calum MacLeod (guitar), Lorcan Doherty (keyboards) and Sam Mallalieu (drums). The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their fourth album titled ‘I Will Kill Again’, which will be released mid-2014. Meursault release through Song, by Toad Records.

Find out more:

On being selected to showcase at SXSW 2014, Meursault said:

“We are hoping that SXSW can help us develop our American fan base and help further our relations within the industry, allowing the future release and promotion of our work to become a viable option.”

Formed in 2008, Young Fathers are Alloysious Massaquoi, originally from Liberia, Kayus Bankole, born to Nigerian parents and ‘G’ Hastings, who hails from the Drylaw scheme in north Edinburgh.  The band’s unique musical style reflects their diverse backgrounds. Last year they signed to US record label Anticon and released two EPs: TAPE ONE & TAPE TWO. Their new album, DEAD, will be released internationally in February with Big Dada in the UK, Anticon in the States and Canada and Tugboat in Japan.  Their showcase in SxSW will follow an extensive tour of the UK and Europe and will be followed by more touring in the USA. Their acclaimed appearance earlier this year at SxSW13 brought offers from more festivals across the UK and Europe and confirmed licensing deals with Tugboat and Big Dada.

On being selected to showcase at SXSW 2014, Young Fathers said:

“Once again, Young Fathers are heading to SxSW.  In 2013 their visit to Texas was an introduction to America as a whole and an opportunity not only for the US industry to see them perform but also to meet and discuss with international music people a wider future for the group. The success of this first, brief visit will be built upon in 2014 on their return to SxSW and their subsequent US national tour with label-mates, Baths, which sees them play around 30 cities across America on the back of the release of their first album, DEAD (released in the USA on Anticon/UK & Europe on Big Dada February 3rd).  SxSW is a great place to start the tour and campaign, with pretty much the whole of the US music industry with a presence there, ready to do business.”

Find out more:

Formed in 2013, Prides is made up of singer and keyboardist Stewart Brock, guitarist Callum Wiseman, and drummer Lewis Gardiner, also the band’s producer. Signed to Island Records this Glasgow based band burst on to the internet with Out Of The Blue. The track was quickly picked up by online blogs including The Line of Best Fit, Neon Gold and Pigeons and Planes, the band announced their first shows and the song took up residency in the Hype Machine’s Top Five. After a summer of playing festivals, from Loopallu to Reading and Leeds, CMJ Music Marathon in New York, and finding themselves playlisted on BBC Radio 1, Prides are now back in the studio recording an EP.

On being selected to showcase at SXSW 2014, Stewart from Prides said:

“We’re really excited to start treading new ground, and get our music out to a wider audience.  It’s an incredible time for Scottish music just now and it’s amazing to be involved.”

Find out more:

The long-awaited second album, New Gods, by Withered Hand, aka Edinburgh-based folk-rock troubadour, Dan Willson, will be released in March via Fortuna POP! (UK/Europe) and Slumberland (US/Canada). The album was part-funded by Creative Scotland, produced by Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Mountain Goats, Teenage Fanclub), and features guest appearances from King Creosote, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines, Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit. Dan Willson came late to singing and songwriting at age 30, since then he has received praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Mojo, as well as fans from Jarvis Cocker to Marc Riley. The ensuing years saw him embraced by the now defunct Fife-based musical powerhouse the Fence Collective and his songs picked up by MTV and cult series Skins.

On being selected to showcase at SXSW 2014, Withered Hand said:

“Attending the SXSW Music festival in Austin, Texas with my band is the perfect platform from which to promote my album New Gods and make important contacts for the year ahead. It is an important part of the album campaign which will enable me to establish a team to continue to bring my songs to an audience in the USA and further afield, in collaboration with my new US label, Slumberland Records.”

Find out more:

Honeyblood are the Glasgow-based two-piece of Shona McVicar on drums and Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale vocals and guitar. Since their formation in early 2012 the duo have supported acts including Sleigh Bells, Crocodiles, Palma Violets and Deap Vally, played shows for the likes NME and Vice, as well as festivals everywhere from Brighton’s Great Escape to Talinn’s Music Week; but they started out with humble beginnings putting on a show themselves at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow to release their debut two-track cassette ‘Thrift Shop’ on CATH Records. Signed to FatCat the band released their first viny Bud.  Honeyblood are heading out on a US tour supporting label mates We Were Promised Jetpacks straight after SXSW.

On being selected to showcase at SXSW 2014, Honeyblood said:

“We are delighted to be a part of SXSW 2014. It’s a great platform for bands to play internationally and promote upcoming releases. Also, a great experience and chance to discover the music industry.”

Find out more:

Casual Sex is made up of vocalist and guitarist ,Sam Smith, guitarist, Edward Wood, bass player, Peter Masson, and Chris McCrory on drums. The brainchild of Sam Smith, Casual Sex was formed at Sam’s workplace The Green Door Studio in the West End of Glasgow. The band’s showcase at SxSW 2014 follows a successful trip to America in October where they performed at the internationally renowned CMJ Music Marathon in New York and toured with Franz Ferdinand. Following the release of their five track EP Bastard Beat EP in October 2013 through We Can Still Picnic, the band are currently working on their new album which is due for release in Autumn 2014.

On being selected to showcase at SXSW 2014, Casual Sex said:

“We are delighted to be returning to America as part of the SXSW programme and we are incredibly grateful for Creative Scotland’s support on this. Without Creative Scotland’s support, we would not have been able to tour with Franz Ferdinand or perform at the CMJ Music Marathon first time round; let alone return as part of the SXSW Programme. With the support of our American team we’d like to find interested labels when we head to Austin in March.”

Find out more:

Holy Esque was formed in 2011 by four young Glaswegians: vocalist and guitarist, Pat Hynes, Keir Reid on keyboard, guitarist, Hugo McGinley, and drummer Ralph McClure. Following the release of their self-titled debut EP, Holy Esque went on to tour across Europe with The Raveonettes, while 2013 then saw the release of the single ‘St‘ and appearances at Glastonbury Festival and SXSW. Their debut album is due for release in 2014.

Find out more:


God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel, with co-producer, Carole Sheridan, of Singer Films and associate producer, Beth Allen of Forest of Black providing on the ground support for the film in Scotland. The film stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray.

Shot in Glasgow, the story follows Eve who is in hospital dealing with emotional problems, and starts writing songs as a way of getting better. Song-writing becomes her way forward, leading her to the City where she meets James and Cassie, two musicians each at crossroads of their own. What follows is a story of renaissance over the course of a long, dream-like summer.

For Those in Peril is written and directed by Paul Wright and starts George MacKay, Kate Dickie and Nichola Burley. For Those in Peril is produced by Mary Burke and Polly Stokes and is a Warp X Production with support from BFI, Film4 and Creative Scotland in association with Screen Yorkshire.

Shot on location in various Aberdeenshire villages, For Those in Peril tells the tale of Aaron (George Mackay) the lone survivor of a fishing trip that claimed the lives of five men including his older brother, Michael (Jordan Young). Unable to remember the details of their trip, and feeling the weight of the community’s collective grief, Aaron’s sense of helplessness escalates into the belief that Michael and the other men somehow survived. Beautifully-=shot and sensitively performed, Paul Wright’s folkloric film imaginatively explores love and loss.

Media Contact

Sophie Bambrough
Media Relations & PR Officer
Creative Scotland
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Contact: Sophie Bambrough
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