Image: Matthew Crawley
That the Connan Mockasin, Lawrence Arabia and Liam Finn spectacular in Auckland on Friday night sold out wasn’t unexpected. That later in the night I’d be standing next to Mick Fleetwood while pissing into a bush was.
As well as public urination, the Fleetwood Mac drummer performed two songs with Finn, Arabia and Mockasin during a surprise appearance at a fundraiser for the Crystal Palace theatre in the Auckland suburb Mt Eden.
The gig was like a New Zealand super indie guitar revue where Mockasin, Arabia and Finn happily fucked around with each other’s songs with a host of different guests entering and exiting the stage.
It’s been sometime since Connan Mockasin has played in New Zealand, but his cult like status seems only to have grown. Performing songs from both his albums, as well as “Out of Touch” the track he penned for Charlotte Gainsbourg, (whose part was sung tonight by Auckland songstress Bic Runga), Mockasin proved to be versatile and charismatic performer.
Midway through the set I ducked out to use the restroom and ended up standing behind a tall ponytailed man as we both waited for the bathroom door to open. “Taking their time aren’t they”, he muttered. “There’s no dignity in haste”, I offered back. “There is when you’re meant to be on stage next song!” he replied in a British accent.
“Here. Do you think if we open these doors we’ll let off a fire alarm? I’ve really gotta piss!” The man whom I now realised was Mick Fleetwood asked.
The next moment Mick and I were standing in a private driveway, happily pissing into a bush, side by side, making small talk about Auckland.
“Righto I’m up next!” And off Mick disappeared.
I hurried back to my seat just in time to witness a flustered Liam Finn introducing Mr. Fleetwood to stage. Mick strode on to thunderous applause and Connan introduced the Fleetwood Mac song “I Need Your Love” as one that had been a big inspiration on his own work.
Check out the live version here with Liam on keys, Connan on guitar and vocals, Lawrence Arabia on bass and Mick himself on drums.
Fleetwood joined the three on stage again later for a stomping version of Liam Finn’s “Second Chance”. While it looked very much like an impromptu appearance it was but one very much welcomed as much by the audience as by Liam, Lawrence and Connan.
The evening ended with Connan’s “Forever Dolphin Love”. The three gentlemen bowed deeply and held their glasses of Central Otago red high above their heads in a salute to the audience and no doubt a certain musical legend.