It had been a pretty hectic day on the 11th of February as I was dashing through Falmouth, desperately trying not to be late for Headluv and Passman’s 9 pm start at the Townhouse.
As it turns out I needn’t have worried: apparently, 9pm really means arrive around 9, chill for a bit and kick off just before 10. Having managed to squeeze my way through what was most probably the largest crowd The Townhouse’s classy yet average sized bar had ever seen, I grabbed a pint and got out my pen with not a moment to spare.
The opening beats of ‘Doin’ It Dreckly’ rang out from Headluv’s Casio MT-65, filling the room with the sort of Lo-Fi joy you felt as a kid hearing a Gameboy turn on, and all attention turned to the corner which had been allocated as a ‘stage’. Having captured everyone’s attention, the duo energetically launched into what was to be the first of many an upbeat, Cornish themed piece. From that moment, I knew I was in for a fun night.
I could not have been more right – by the time they began their cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, the atmosphere in the room was buzzing. Following a neat keyboard solo from Headluv (sporting an iconic red beanie), things only got better as Passman duly obliged to began a sort of theatre act during the song, involving several bags, some white gloves, and a fireman’s helmet. The song concluded dramatically with a practically naked Passman in his helmet giving us a guitar solo, which for one reason or another, won’t be forgotten quickly. The gig was free entry, but at some point, a donation bucket was handed around over the top of the crowd for people to chuck some cash in, which I thought was a nice touch.
The night continued in a similar fashion, with audience interaction and dance moves, Passman in his underwear, and the occasional ‘powerful’ falsetto (although admittedly, their singing was otherwise pretty damn good). I won’t lie – for a band who rarely use any instruments bar Headluv’s Casio beats and their voices, these guys put on an amazing performance.
Following the gig, I thought it’d be interesting to find out some more about them, so I grabbed a round of drinks and wrangled a quick interview. It went something like this:
How did you feel the gig went?
Headluv: Yeah, it was a really good turnout for the sudden location change. Cheers to Paul [owner, The Townhouse] for letting us play at such short notice.
Passman: Err, pretty good I guess. It was a bit of a restricted space, but I’m quite happy overall.
What’s the ethos behind the donation bucket?
H: We often do paid gigs, but it’s hard to sell us to people who haven’t seen us before. This way works sometimes, ‘cause it’s more like getting people in and then asking them to pay later.
P: Yeah, at short notice it seemed easier. There was interest on Facebook, and we really didn’t want to cancel.
H:“We were just trying to be the best rappers we could be. At first, we didn’t know if we could [rap], then we found out we could, and it became a bit of a responsibility. [We] do take it quite seriously you know, representing the Cornish.
P: We were at school together, at primary school. Some guy came in with a load of instruments, and H was already playing piano, so we started jamming together
Where do you guys see yourselves in the future?
P: I wanna carry on and develop this, you know, do something a bit more visual.
H: I’m just being quite realistic really, but I’m hopeful, yeah, hopeful. We’ve been at this together for about 10 years, and they say it takes 10 years to make it overnight, so who knows, at any point this year we could make it.
I can kind of understand why it might be a little tricky to sell these guys to the unconverted, but frankly, I don’t think that should stop anyone. Whilst there’s a chance the on-stage antics may have at times garnered more attention than the sound itself, in all honesty, that slightly crazy night at The Townhouse turned out to be one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time. So if you ever do get a chance to see Headluv and Passman somewhere, please, don’t turn it down.