Interview: SXSW 2011 with Esben and the Witch from Brighton, England

Esben and the Witch
@ El Rey Theatre – Photo by Wei Shi for Grimy Goods

Back in October of 2010 we had caught an extraordinary performance by the British three-piece, Esben and the Witch. The band had opened up for fellow Brits, Foals, at the El Rey Theatre. Their dark and haunting sounds really took us by surprise and completely intrigued us. With foreboding drums and discordant vocals, they’ve mastered a shadowy, nightmarish sound that would probably fit the soundtrack of walking down a dark alley right before an attack. The drumbeats are menacing and Rachel Davies’ voice echoes with an almost animalistic, haunting despair.

Do not miss this neo-goth trio at SXSW. They’re a breath of fresh air especially if you’re sick of all that sugary electro pop.


  • How many SXSWes have you done?
    None. This is the first time we have had the chance to play the festival.
  • What are you most looking forward to at SXSW?
    The sun will be appreciated. We are in Toronto at the moment and it is far too cold for us fragile things.
  • What showcases are you doing this year?
    We are playing about ten shows I believe including ones for Fader, Windish, Huw Stephens and Dazed amongst a host of others.
  • What bands/performers do you want to see at SXSW this year?
    The Antlers, if we get a chance…
  • Is there anything that your nervous about at SXSW?
    We are slightly daunted by the thought of playing so many shows in so few days. It’s both an exciting and frightening prospect.
  • What’s going to be your SXSW drink of choice?
    Whatever we find in our path.


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