South by Southwest (SXSW) is one of music industry’s most important showcase festivals. Hundreds of bands perform at Austin’s stages, competing for attention from record labels, managements and media. Norway has earlier been represented by such bands as Big Bang and Xploding Plastix.
The two Virgin acts Lerche and Madrugada are about to wrap up a successful year. Lerche’s 2001 Faces Down album has been very successful both in Norway and abroad, earning him raving reviews and healthy sales figures. 2002 has seen the album released all over Europe as well as in the US to wide critical acclaim. Lerche has toured extensively in Europe, focussing on France and Germany. US interest has picked up in the last months: Rolling Stone rewarded his album a favourable review and included it in the 50 best albums of 2002. Showcases and radio gigs have led to a possible tour prior to South by Southwest. Lerche will support an as-of-yet-undisclosed major act.
Madrugada released their third album Grit in October. This four-piece has been hugely successful in Norway, reaching platinum levels on album sales. Madrugada are also one of Norway’s most successful bands internationally. Their two previous albums have sold well in Germany, France and Greece particularly, thus leading to constant touring over the last three years. The band has build up a very loyal following all over Europe, and is focussing primarily on Germany. Madrugada’s records have yet to be released in the US, and the band is not scheduled for any additional touring activity. However, a successful SXSW gig can soon change the situation and catapult the band into a frenzy of North American activity.
Read more about the South by Southwest festival here. sd
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