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Alumnus amped up to rock KICKOFF

By Matthew Fox

Andrew Wedderburn, BA’01, has September 7 circled on his calendar. The frontman for the Calgary-based indie rock outfit Hot Little Rocket says the band is looking forward to returning to campus (three members are alumni) that day to open for the Sam Roberts Band at KICKOFF 2007.

The Friday afternoon gig is a private show exclusively for U of C students, staff, faculty and alumni as part of KICKOFF, a two-day (Sept. 7-8) celebration to launch the school year. Admission to the concert is free but everyone must RSVP for tickets in advance. To do that, visit www.uofckickoff.com.

Hot Little Rocket has been a mainstay of the local music scene for almost a decade. “Our fans are continually amazed that we’re still together because we’re a long way past the usual lifespan of a Calgary indie rock band,” Wedderburn jokes. “The music we’ve written has kept us hooked on it.”

Wedderburn led his mates on tour across western Canada earlier this summer in support of their new album, How To Lose Everything. It has fared well on Earshot, the Canadian campus radio chart, and for the first time the band has received commercial radio play.

If releasing an album and working part-time at istockphoto.com wasn’t enough, this spring Coach House Books published The Milk Chicken Bomb, a unique tale set in small-town Alberta that received positive coverage in The Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire. During a promotional tour, Wedderburn found his book in the “W” area of the fiction section at a Montreal Indigo store, providing a sense of arrival as a published author and making him wish his surname wasn’t so far down the alphabetical ladder.

After KICKOFF and a possible Hot Little Rocket tour to eastern Canada, Wedderburn will attend the Vancouver International Writers Festival in October where he hopes to have a few chapters ready for his next novel. “I’m finally starting to write fiction again. It took me six years to write the first one and I want to do the next one in a lot less time.”