>Today’s New Band – Cactapuss

>If you’ve ever procrastinated over anything at all, you’ll know that the associated frustrations of long-term hesitation envelops your mind like a big, stupid bobble-hat with the word ‘indecisive (or is he?)’ sewn on the front. ‘Paralysis through analysis’, the Manic Street Preachers sang on their ace ’96 B-side Dead Trees and Traffic Islands.

Something I find endlessly admirable is the verve and determination of young bands when they start out. Cynics, older minds and failures will label this as youthful naivety, and, if you cast a lazy eye over the sheer number of new bands all fighting for attention, it’s tempting to agree.

But that would be to side with the middle-aged, middle-management, MOR mindset and a tacit admission of the acceptability of mediocrity. Raise your glass, hat or an eyebrow to all the wide-eyed and ambitious youths who blunder over hesitance and shoot for the stars, however unlikely their journey may be.

Today’s New Band, Cactapuss, like their peers, presumably have one eye on the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll of the now and one on the NME cover, number one album and Top Of The Pops appearance of the future. Good. If bands didn’t think like that, we’d end up with more Keanes.

If you were trapped in a lift, but were happy to stay entombed because the lift music was so good, then Cactapuss are all yours. Their music is unassuming, but clever and engaging; the gentle, kind and fun sound that you’d like soundtracking the film of your life.

Wigbar, complete with gentle bloops, doo-doo-doo vocals and a tune you’ll be humming as you’re cooking tea later this evening, is a breezy, light, whistling slice of whimsy. Theme From Stuart And The Ants starts as the bastardised car-chase music from a ’70s cop movie and then cranks up the urgency with funk organs, rolling drums and a driving bassline.

Cactapuss are another of those bands who can draw on 50-odd years of pop music tricks and hooks to create something new/old, sounds that’ll trigger memories you’d forgotten. Listen here, and enjoy whilst indulging in lovely C90 nostalgia (you’ll see).

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