SXSW is here and once again this reporter will be braving the beautiful weather, free beer and not to mention in excess 2,000 bands to update what is still by far and away the best music festival around. With over 60 small venues and bars playing host to a whole load of bands from across the world showcasing their talents, in some cases their talents and in others a lack of it.

As always there’s the odd big name here too, including Razorlight from back home, and some American band called Metallica. It is going to be a crazy five days and nights.

Even though the music part of SXSW does not officially kick off until the Wednesday (today, March 18), there is still plenty going on during the nights building up. Arriving on the Monday evening, no sleep for about 24 hours and slightly jet lagged we popped up to Mohawks, scene of so many great gigs last year, to see how long we could last before the jet lag really kicked in. The first band on were pretty poor but thankfully I was too busy getting friendly with my long lost love, Shiner Bock beer.

We did also have a couple of comedians, including Eugene Mirman, as well as seeing The Lemars, who were sounding pretty good but the hallucinations were kicking in at this point so it was time to call it a night.

St Patricks day is always weird in America, loads of Americans walking around pretending to be Irish just because they were wearing green. I did get to celebrate with a couple of pints of over priced Guinness and watching some local bands butchering traditional Irish songs. So, to escape the craziness out side it was off to Emo’s for ATP’s film launch pre SXSW any other excuse of a party to see Micah P. Hinson, Sleepy Sun and The Drones play, out of which San Francisco’s psychedelic band Sleepy Sun were by far the most impressive with their male and female combination front people. Honey Pie Brown, the female singer was definitely enjoyable to watch with her crazy dancing and the occasional attack of her colleagues.

Today sees the start of the real stuff, with R13 friends Fighting With Wire, Future of the Left and one of the finds from last years SXSW, Nico Vega all playing during the day. Already on the first night there are so many clashes, who knows where I will end up!

Check back on Thursday afternoon for another update.