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April 3, 2006 | by  | in Music |
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A Low Hum:

Connan and the Mockasins, The Whipping Cats, Grand Prix and The Actualities
Indigo, 24th of March

Fresh-faced local lads The Actualities began this month’s A LOW HUM extravaganza. Fresh out of Wellington High they favoured a soulful blend of British white boy crooning and some rather un-Chris Martin like post-punk breakdowns. Jolly good stuff. Stick them in the ‘one to watch column’, which means you should remember their name and go see them next time they play somewhere. Physical Challenge.

Grand Prix did what they’ve done every time I’ve been forced to listen to them, and that is make me cringe in absolute horror. Their racing-as-metaphor-for-life shtick offends me. Their country-tinged music fails to excite me. I wish them complete and total success. Anything to get them away from here and playing Nascar stadiums in America’s Midwest to bemused locals. I spent their set coming up with racing themed song titles of my own. Sadly they did not play ‘Love out

of Gas’ or ‘Broken Hemi Blues’. They got a warm response though, so perhaps I’m in the minority.

The Whipping Cats proved to be the surprise charmers on this night, winning over the crowd with their energetic rawk-n-roll. One of my friends leaned over to me and started screaming something about them being a giant White Stripes rip-off. But I leaned the other way and confided in my fellow Music Editor that they were in fact ‘Hot Shit’. Besides the Stripes don’t seem to write any fast numbers any more, so someone’s going to have to carry the torch of Hotel Yorba-ness. They were certainly

the highlight of my evening.

Connan and the Mockasins laid waste to their gleeful audience, but in a nice way, a cute way. Conjuring up an atmosphere that is both pre-1969 in psychedelic bohemian naivety and post-Altamont in rollicking blues rock, they’re an endearing bunch of atavists. There was guitar playing behind the head, with the teeth and playful double-bass slapping, even an onstage sing-a-long with the Mockasin’s hometown crew lending their lungs. I think they played the song about the sneaky dog; I was drunk and pretending I was in a Russ Meyer flick.

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