Electric Touch: British By Way Of Texas

In the new country, the only time he catches it for the way he talks is when he cor blimeys into the afterparty and assholes in cultural drag get all insecure in their faux cockney routines and accuse him of faking.

“We’ve been on the road and a lot of people think I’m putting the accent on just to be cool or whatever,” he says. “But I’m not that good of an actor.”

Meanwhile the rest of the guy’s in Electric Touch, all born ‘n’ bred Texans, get to drive that accent around —Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo—and pick up chicks and fans and instant smile-for-the-camera cachet.

But the next-big-thing result of this little exchange program is so much more than leather vests and silver bracelets and haircuts and proper collar length and dapper dialect. The result is some damn fine sophisticated rock ‘n’ roll.

“Squeeze us in between Kings of Leon and The Killers, and I’ll sprinkle some INXS on that,” says guitarist Christopher Leigh during one of the million impromptu sidewalk interviews conducted at this year’s South By Southwest.

The girl with the mic barely hears him. She’s just standing there on American thighs, staring into Shane’s English eyes, listening to him tell her about how he and the brothas are opening up for P.J. Harvey and Indigo Girls and Third Eye Blind outside Stubbs Saturday night, and about how, you know, he’s an Englishman, and how he actually came to America with another group (IV Thieves) for SXSW four years earlier and just fell in love with the place, and the weather and “fell in luv with the guhls…” — The guhl squeals! It’s like he’s taking his shirt off. — “and didn’t end up going home and then when Christopher and I met we started the band.”

“And what kind of band is it?”

That’s when Christopher does the squeeze ‘n’ sprinkle line in just plain American.

Shane nods in English.

“That’s kind of the sandwich that is Electric Tootch right now, yeah.”