From the sublime to the absolutely fantastically ridiculous.
Over a hundred miles round trip to get to Falmouth for this gig and so we were hoping it was going to be as good as expected. Dave knew of Jo but I was none the wiser and we had both seen the Cornish boys Hedluv and Passman at last year’s Fringe and been impressed by how well they had gone down with the punters.
Starting a bit later than advertised Jo bounced on stage and wasted no time introducing herself (she had lived in Falmouth before emigrating “up country” and making sure we knew her style of comedy – quite clearly telling us that she was a character comedian. Jo started off with a couple of jokes, (not her forte according to her) and then launched into a wonderful imitation of Celia Johnson in full dramatic persona – and what happens when Celia takes a spam phone call from a double glazing salesman is quite something to witness!
Jo gave us other characterisations including Bjork, a “local artist” (who I think some of the local punters recognised by the sound of the sniggering and chortling that was going on around us), a very annoying Cornishwoman with a voice that went off the top end of human hearing, a hilarious cat, and then proved she has a extremely passable singing voice by treating us to a fab spoof jazz medley with some totally filthy lyrics and suggestive dance moves at the end of what was the best part of an hour’s entertainment.
Jo’s act is absolutely sublime, I could just have sat back and let her material and voices wash over me for at least another hour (especially her singing) but we were into a break as the stage was made ready for our double act to end the evening.
Hedluv and Passman bill themselves as Cornish Casio rappers, and rappers they are, but they also experiment with other genres and although it’s been said before, you really have to see them to understand just how original they are to watch. Hedluv is the straight man to Passman’s clown and they aren’t afraid of raising and dropping the energy in the room till it feels like a high frequency sound wave looks. Thirty second downbeat fillers from Hedluv while Passman changed from painfully short shorts, to Y-fronts, to Speedos and back to his eyewatering shorts, we never knew what he was going to come out wearing next, but one thing was for sure, there was a lot of flesh on display!
With Hedluv on the Casio keyboard, Passman on guitar and a drum machine, things get frenetic and funny very quickly. Passman is the most hi-energy on stage mad dancer I think we’ve ever seen. His extrovertism and mania knows no bounds, which points up Hedluv’s much steadier straight guy persona.
Their songs are a mix of Cornishness and modern themes (tin, pasties, beaches, the environment) and the only trouble I had was making out the lyrics at some points in the act but we had some very giggly H and P teenage girl fans in the audience sitting right behind us and that didn’t help!
Audience participation is also all part of the show and we were up on our feet for SatNav and singing in a call and response session. One victim was taken up on stage to play a cowbell (imitating the sound of the tin mine) and the audience was a very untuneful Cornish foghorn.
I was hoping for a repeat of the wonderful Scatman John mix with ‘”Doin’ it Dreckly” that was the climax of last year’s Edinburgh but it wasn’t to be, instead ending on quite a downbeat encore, but still all absolutely wonderful for all that. Hedluv and Passman are going to be back in The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh in August 2014. If you’re up for the Festival, go and get ready to rap’n’roll!
(Dave: Anagrams: Jo Neary – Joy Near (How appropriate), Hedluv and Passman – … And Unshaved Palms)