One of the best pieces of advice Rhys Darby has given us on this trip is to always “go in at the high level”. We gave this a go when we went to Sydney, and not only did we get our own rooms, but we were also chauffeur driven to our shows in a Range Rover.
If you haven’t been following us on twitter and Facebook, here’s a little of the latest. Sometime last week, to New Zealanders watching the news, it may have looked as though one of their favourite comics had had some kind of ‘spiritual awakening’ – or just simply lost his mind. He had something that he had to share with the rest of the world. It couldn’t wait – it was too important. It was Casio-rap. He REALLY likes Casio-rap. Or should we be calling it “casino-rap”? That actually does sound better. I would listen to that.
“Where did you get the idea for ‘casino-rap’?”
“Well, we spent nine years doing Casio-rap until one day Rhys Darby spotted us, flew us out to New Zealand and made an announcement about it on the news……”
In 2012 we were mistaken as a comedy act and offered a month long run at the Edinburgh Fringe. We don’t get many chances to play to people outside of Cornwall, so we leapt at the chance. Besides, people would soon realise that we weren’t a comedy act, and just enjoy our unique take on rap music.
But this time we were mistaken.
People didn’t just laugh. They laughed A LOT. What was being mistaken for stand-up was simply me and Passman standing up. On a stage.
Maybe it was because we were at a comedy festival.
Anyway, we’re going to be at another one now. Pretty much as far away from the only place where our references are understood as we can go. But there are Cornish people in New Zealand right? My Nan says I have relatives there, but she doesn’t know where.
Welcome to 2013 in the world of hedluv + passman. Last year saw us embrace our ‘comedy rap’ tag, and it met with more success than the release of our ‘casio rap’ album the previous year. It earned more stars anyway. Less money though.
We did a total of 37 performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, and the issue became not whether or not we were a comedy act, but whether or not we were actually funny. The debate raged. Even USA Today got in on the act
‘Two rappers get booked at the Edinburgh comedy fest. But are they funny?’*
The Guardian wrote that it was ‘Hard to say’ but that it was ‘oddly mesmerising’*. However, Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords tweeted that we were ‘Dancing in the aisles funny’… Chortle were less generous, pointing out that in fact, we had ‘no trouble in persuading the miniscule audience to dance in the aisles’*
But despite the confusion, I think everyone agreed there was potential. Will it be realised in 2013 or will we continue to do it dreckly? Who knows what might happen. We certainly never saw this coming a year ago:
(45 seconds in)
Five years ago I released my debut Casio Rap album, Cosmic Sounds. It had been a learning experience from beginning to end. At the beginning I didn’t even know how to install Cubase (I still don’t know how I did that), and in the end I had no idea how to sell it. To be fair my hopes were unrealistic. I thought Radio 2 would pick it up. During the two-and-a-half year writing process I had envissaged everything from being overrun with orders to winning the Mercury Prize. Neither of these things came even close to happening; I had been naive. But on reflection, Cosmic Sounds did alright. It gained a small but loyal support and a few copies even made their way to the Americas.
If you are not lucky enough to own one of the original CDs (join the club) you can now download Cosmic Sounds here
At last you can buy WE ARE WEIRD teeshirts with metallic GOLD lettering from our online shop. There’s not many left in size small though – so be quick!
We spent this August at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where we performed over 30 shows. This is our story…
Day 1: In search of a pasty
We go on the hunt for a pasty shop, but find a pie shop
Day 2: Passman finds pasties
They say they’re pasties, but they look weird – there’s no crimp.
Day 3: Panic sets in
We walk around asking people if they’re Cornish. They’re not.
Day 4: 17 kilos of flyers arrive
Day 5: Rhys Darby
While out flyering the show, I hand one to Rhys Darby. He says, “This sounds interesting, I’ll definitely check it out.”
Day 6: Rhys Darby checks it out
Halfway through our first song, Rhys Darby enters and takes a seat towards the back of the room. Passman is too busy spinning out that there’s a girl from school sitting in the front row to notice.
Day 7: The Rhys Darby tweet
“I caught ‘Two Cornish Rappers and a Casiotone’ last night -12:30am in the Gilded Balloon. I was totes amazed! GO SEE THEM.”
We take the rest of the day off.
Day 8: No one comes to the show
Day 9: Back on the flyering
I find one that’s been dropped on the floor. Quite upsetting.
Day 10: Continue to search for Cornish people
We look round all the grassy places, and find a girl eating a pasty.
Day 11: The Pasty Shop
It sells a ‘fish, chips and mushy peas pasty’ – no way am I buying a pasty from here.
Day 12: We bump into Rhys Darby in Sainsbury’s
He says that he’s coming to our show again tomorrow
Day 13: I’m so nervous I nearly explode
I go to my safe place. An empty 5 a-side football hall. Just me, the hall and the ball. The show goes well. Rhys Darby and his wife seem to enjoy it anyway.
Day 14: The reviews start flooding in
A 5 star review calls Passman the ‘ginger Freddie Mercury’, but a 2 star review calls our show a ‘malicious trap for late night punters’
Day 15: ‘gnomic’ – The Guardian
The Guardian gives us 3 stars and describes us as ‘gnomic’. Either they mean ‘mysterious and often incomprehensible yet seemingly wise’ or they were referring to my hat.
Day 16: New stage unlocked
So far we have collected 10 stars. It’s all starting to feel very Mario Galaxy.
Day 17: Postal pasties
We order 12 pasties from Ann’s pasty shop in The Lizard.
Day 18: We begin to miss Rhys Darby
We watch all his YouTube clips on Passman’s Blackberry, including the hp adverts.
Day 19: The pasty plan
We invite Rhys Darby to our Pasty Party.
Day 20: The pasties arrive
They’re cold. Rhys Darby doesn’t come to our Pasty Party either… in fact no one does – but as it turns out they’re really nice pasties, and it had been a good excuse to hoover the flat.
Day 21: Rhys Darby!
Rhys Darby comes to our show for the third time. He says he’s sorry he missed our Pasty Party, but he thought we meant Pasty Party. He also says that him and his wife have been watching all our YouTube clips…
Day 22: Pasty madness
We finish off the last of the pasties for breakfast.
Day 23: The shirt off my back
With audience figures low, I try to raise some cash in other ways.
Day 24: Henning Wehn comes to our show
He doesn’t appear to like it much… he doesn’t tweet about it anyway.
Day 25: Sean Hughes comes to our show
He doesn’t appear to like it much… but the next day he tweets about it.
Day 26: The Sean Hughes tweet
“Check out two Cornish rappers and a casiotone at gilded balloon for two more nights at 12.30am. Fun fun times.”
We take the rest of the day off.
Day 27: The end?
That night we have a curry with the Darbys. We sign some CDs for them and they agree to follow us on twitter. We perform our final show and then head straight upstairs to do a slot on the infamous Late ‘n’ Live where, as far as I can remember everything went brilliantly.
Day 28: May contain bones
We arrive at the station. Find the right platform. 20 minutes until departure. I realise I’m standing right next to The Pasty Shop.