SXSW 2019 PREVIEW: THE BETHS – 3/8/19, Atlanta

Dates: March 8, 2019

Location: The Earl, Atlanta GA

Sold-out club shows make it tough on a photographer; they can’t work the angles as they would like to do, and if they get there late, they are really hosed.  Fortunately, our correspondent sweet-talked the audio guy into letting him share his perch above the fray for a few songs. Venue: Atlanta’s storied The Earl.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Formed in 2015, New Zealand’s The Beths seem to be on a bit of a roll with the release of 2018’s Future Me Hates Me debut LP. They played a sold-out Atlanta club show, with festivals in Savannah and Tampa, before heading to Austin and SXSW, where they will no doubt be one of the belles of the ball all week long.   The crowd here loved every moment of this showcase.

The Beths are Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce, and Benjamin Sinclair and are another in a long line of great pop rock bands from New Zealand, Auckland to be exact.

Check out the video for Future Me Hates Me and you will be hooked:

As lead singer, Stokes is front and center, and her voice will sometimes remind you maybe of Courtney Barnett, but there’s a tight-crunchy guitar band dynamic here that sucks you right into their groove.   These are pop songs with a start and a finish, no 10-minute vamping on a G-chord.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  Plus, GREAT harmonies. (Why don’t more bands learn to sing together, it’s been setting bands apart since The Cavern Club days.)

The Beths are on Carpark (US) and Dew Process (Aus) labels.  After SX they’ve got shows in Houston and Dallas, then on an extensive world tour so these may be the last few chances to catch them for a while, but surely a more extensive US tour is in the works.  Visit https://thebeths.com/ for all things Beths.   And start with the videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVImwSb4EYU

Follow John Boydston in Instagram @johnboydstonphoto, or visit his general category stuff he loves and other band photos in large format at https://jobo.smugmug.com/ and say hi to the guy.

 

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