SXSW Interviews: Yard Act

Leeds-based post-punks Yard Act were picked out by Joyzine’s Danny Gillies as one of the highlights of this year’s online SXSW music festival for their spiky and sarcastic set – read his full review here.

We caught up with the band after the festival to find out what their experience of the online edition of the annual music industry gathering had been.

“It was great, we sat in a van on the M1 for 5 hours with facemasks on, then a nice man stuck a swab up our noses, we played for 12 minutes and then drove back to Leeds. The highlight was taking the masks off in the van on the way back because we knew we were all clean.” 

Their set was one of 35 organised by The British Music Embassy with the aim of showcasing the best new talent from all corners of the UK.

“British Music Embassy provided us with a super safe and super slick day, thanks for asking us, its nice to be considered ambassadors for one of the UK’s more acceptable exports. Can’t thank BME, the crew and the staff at the venue enough for putting it all together.”

And how did if feel for them to be selected from the thousands of potential options?

“It made us feel like we are better than everybody else.”

For obvious reasons, this wasn’t the usual mad SXSW throng of thousands of people packed tightly into every available space, with the British Music Embassy bands pre-recording short sets in empty venues and studios around the UK. How did that impact the band’s performance?

“I was in a very unsuccessful grind core band for many years, so I’ve done my fair share of 12 minute gigs to empty rooms, honestly it was nothing to me.” 

So with the festival behind them, how has their set gone down, and what are their hopes for what will come out of it?

“The reviews were positive. It would be nice to go back next year and see Austin for proper. I’ve never been and it’s nice having an excuse to see new places in’t it?”

Yard Act have announced a range of 2021 gig and festival dates around the UK and Europe – get the full details on their website.

SXSW 2022 has just been announced for 11th-20th March – get all the latest details at

Interview by Paul Maps
Photography by Thomas Jackson at Tyne Sight Photographic

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