IS CONNAN MOCKASIN THE WEIRDEST MAN IN NEW ZEALAND MUSIC?

Short answer yes – as you’d expect of someone who describes his latest project as follows:

“It’s a fictional story… it’s mostly about a student whose grades are so poor, and he has to do anything to get good grades or he has to go to military school. And he walks into his first music class, and the teacher is attracted to him, and he realises that quickly, but the teacher thinks he’s a girl, so he runs along with that and it goes from there, really.”

That neat summary, the plot of a five-part film born from the childhood mind of Connan Mockasin (real name Connan Tant Hosford), is the latest piece of purely bizarre creative output from the elfin singer and songwriter – following in the footsteps of other projects such as ‘Please Turn Me Into The Snat’ and an album which included five different songs each called ‘It’s Your Body’.

New Zealand has a history of producing musical acts slightly left of the centre (think Split Enz, most of the Dunedin Sound and even Lorde) but none are quite so outright odd as Mockasin. It’s difficult to categorise him – his music is the aural embodiment of sleaze and stickiness.

His contemporaries include Lawrence Arabia and Liam Finn, alongside whom he has performed several times. The first time the trio appeared, at Auckland’s Crystal Palace Theatre, was an interesting time. Despite the weight of the family name and the prestige of a Taite prize, as well as a surprise appearance from Bic Runga and Mick Fleetwood, it was the small, blonde Mockasin who people had come to see, judging from the applause. A sprawling, almost 15-minute-long version of Forever Dolphin Love brought the house down even more than a Fleetwood Mac cover with the Fleetwood Mac drummer.

Jassbusters has received rave reviews from critics, with the ten-minute lesson in seduction ‘Charlotte’s Thong’ a standout. Have a listen, make the call, and prepare to feel sticky.