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The Hoax Don't Lie About Their Talent

"The Hoax" were discovered by seasoned British blues record producer, Mike Vernon (of Mayall, Clapton, Fleetwood Mac fame). The recent tour of Canada by the British blues band got attention when their drummer was refused entry….

This story By JOSHUA OSTROFF -- Ottawa Sun

Although named after the "phony" crop circles that dotted the U.K. landscape in the early '90s, London's The Hoax could just as easily be about a bunch of young, white Brits faking the blues.

Except, of course, The Hoax -- playing tonight and tomorrow night at Perfect Strangers -- is the real deal.

"It's a problem we're always up against, people's perception of blues. Everyone thinks blues is a load of old people playing old people's music," says 26-year-old lead singer Hugh Coltman.

"We're young, we're exciting to watch, we're a powerful live band."

Coltman and his bandmates avoided the U.K. rave culture that was peaking in 1991, when the teens formed their blues band.

Within two years, a former Eric Clapton producer saw their set and signed them to a Warner-affiliated label called Code Blue.

Their debut album came out a year later and earned them the British Blues Connection award for best album, band and vocalist. They would go on to win the band title four years in a row.

"The truth of the matter is that there aren't that many good British blues bands," Coltman says.

Maybe that's why The Hoax has been receiving media hyperbole on the level of Blur or Oasis. Total Guitar magazine wrote The Hoax are going to be "bigger than the biggest thing you can think of" and Q Magazine compared them to the Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones.

"It's great in a way, especially when people haven't heard of the band. It gives people a good yard stick," says Coltman. "Then it's just down to us on the night to come up with the goods."

In the midst of all this hoopla, The Hoax left their berth at Warner and started their own label, Credible Records. Their first release called The Night Will Come, sold out in two weeks and their full-length Humdinger record has already outsold both Warner albums.

But The Hoax is currently, shall we say, a few bricks short of a load. Their drummer's "mild" conviction for assault prevented him from entering the country. Luckily their promoter found a pinch-drummer.

"We did a TV show today and we had literally never played with him before. But it was great. He learned the song really well so it was all right. Phew!"

28/11/98


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