Look out for the locals at Big Day Out

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The Big Day Out isn't just about international stars - it's also a chance to see a bunch of rising local acts in one go. Here are five we recommend you check out during tomorrow's opening overs:

THE TUTTS

Who: The Tutts, average age 25, from Auckland

What: Dance-rockers with the spirit of the Stone Roses, New Order and Happy Mondays.

Where & when: Green Stage, 1.45pm

Story so far: For a band that formed a little over a year ago, the Tutts have enjoyed a rapid rise. Their single K (the one on the C4 promo) had 40,000 spins on MySpace, spent five weeks in the charts and won a Juice TV award for the video. But their biggest achievement to date? A last-minute support slot for the Strokes.

Says frontman Scott Allen: "In New Zealand, there's quite a few people who go all the way dance or hard rock but there's not too many who sail through in the middle. We play guitar music with some electronics. It's pretty rocky but it's designed to make you dance rather than mosh. It's a party vibe we're trying to produce."

SHAKY HANDS

Who: Shaky Hands, average age early 20s, from Auckland.

What: Energetic and danceable indie rock - like a cross between the Kings of Leon and Blood Brothers.

Where & when: Green Stage, 11.45am

Story so far: As well as releasing a debut EP last year they played 120 shows, including support for the Mint Chicks, the Datsuns, and Shihad, travelled to Australia four times and signed to Australian record label Speak'n'Spell. This year they will record a debut album, attend the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, and take in Los Angeles and New York while there.

Says bass player Philip Hadfield, "Seeing Iggy and the Stooges last year at the Big Day Out really turned us on to the importance of bands with a really good live show, and doing something that you can get soaked up in. At the moment we are writing songs with that in mind and they're more developed and more about what we're into, so some even sound like Bailter Space."

ETHICAL

Who: Ethical (aka Ash Hughes), age 23, from New Plymouth.

What: Rapper inspired by Nas, Jadakiss and the Crips.

Where & when: Performing with Smashproof on the Local Produce Stage, 2pm.

Story so far: After hearing his quickfire rhymes on the Breakin Wreckwordz mixtape, New York-based Kiwi music exec Kirk Harding signed Ethical to his fledging label, Move the Crowd. He has since appeared on releases by Juse, DJ Nino Brown, Tyree, Cyphanetik and Tyna and JB, and supported Jay-Z, De La Soul, Mobb Deep, Ying Yang Twins and Busta Rhymes. This year he releases his debut album and will tour Asia in February with the X-ecutioners' Roc Raider.

"I like to think I'm the middle ground between the golden days of hip-hop with the way I spit, but the beats I'm using are current. I talk about injustices I've seen, having fun with words like a New York-based rapper would do. I'm quite diverse with my topics."

NORTH SHORE PONY CLUB

Who: North Shore Pony Club (made up of duo Aaron Clapton and Matt Lofe), average age late 20s, from Auckland.

What: Bastard disco. A mix of "Daft Punk, Boy George and Michael Jackson and all those types of things".

Where & when: Boiler Room, 11am and tonight supporting Kasabian at the Studio, K Rd.

Story so far: NSPC are a pretty cruisy pair. Put it this way, we talked to Clapton at 1.30pm on Monday and he'd only just woken up. But after releasing a debut EP and playing numerous shows last year they want to release more music this year and "get to play some more parties". Check out www.myspace.com/northshoreponyclub for some songs, including Star Wookie, which is well worth a chuckle and a boogie.

Says Clapton, "My main Big Day Out memory would be passing out in the moshpit at Rage Against the Machine [in 1996] when I was 15".

NEIL ROBINSON

Who: Neil Robinson, average age 18, from Christchurch

What: Quirky pop music trio with influence from the Mint Chicks, Arctic Monkeys and the Streets.

Where & when: Local Produce Stage, 11am

Story so far: The Christchurch-based lads met each other a couple of years ago and were popular winners of last year's Smokefreerockquest. Their single, The Epic Battle of Jude and His Monkey, which won Rockquest's best song award, will be released next month and they plan to hit the road this year playing gigs.

Says frontman Chris Young, "Neil Robinson is a friend of ours and he's a good guy. He's quirky and he fits the tone of the music and what we are trying to do with it so we thought we'd just pay tribute to him."

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