Continuing Far Out Magazine’s preview of this weekend’s BBC 6Music Festival in Manchester, it is time take a trip away from the main stages to the festival fringe, which will be held in the Victoria Works hotel just around the corner from the huge warehouse venue.
Performing on Saturday afternoon as part of the Public Image Ltd exhibition, Connan Mockasin will be bringing his unique brand of psychedelic pop to the festival.
‘I’m The Man, That Will Find You’ was first unveiled in Autumn last year and gave an initial glance into his second album Caramel – a record that is as left field as it gets (occasionally to the point of being slightly unsettling), but is also anchored by a host of pop hooks that make for an infectious listen.
Mockasin is part of a wave of psych-infused artists from Australasia to have risen to prominence in the UK in recent years, alongside the likes of Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pond and fellow BBC 6Music Festival performers Jagwar Ma.
But if they come from the other side of the world then Mockasin is from another planet entirely. Concept albums about talking dolphins aside, the kiwi not only performs, but refuses to operate outside of his own headspace.
The track tips its hat to the pitch-perfect disco of Manchester legends The Bee Gees and even the Northern Soul movement that was the subject of Debbie Grey’s film that premiered as part of the festival on Wednesday. But the production takes a different direction completely, drawing on the kind of acid-laced sonisphere that defined the city in the late 1980s, amid the height of the Hacienda.
The Victoria Warehouse space that will host the festival is probably the closest thing Manchester now has the legendary nightclub, more regularly plying its trade as the venue for the infamous Warehouse Project programme.
And it is one the dance world’s modern day luminaries Erol Alkan who brought Mockasin to the masses by signing him to his Phantasy Sound label. Since then a number of BBC 6Music DJs, including Marc Riley, Mary-Anne Hobbs and Lauren Laverne have all declared themselves supporters.
What’s more, Mockasin has now pledged his allegiance to the Manchester music scene by setting up residence in the Whalley Range area of the city.
If you can’t make it to the 6 Music Festival this weekend you can listen on air and or catch up live and on demand at www.bbc.co.uk/6music.