HEDLUV + PASSMAN have once again been nominated for Best Comedy Act in Cornwall. What would an accolade like that mean to a rap duo, still battling to be taken seriously, ten years after the release of their critically acclaimed debut album? I arranged an interview over the phone to discover where it all went wrong for 'Cornwall's answer to Outkast'.
It is apparent that they are not entirely blameless for this 'mix up'. Having first become aware that they were being mistaken as a comedy act when they were listed under 'comedy' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, they went on to make a series of videos explaining to their potential Edinburgh audiences not to expect much comedy. These videos were subsequently featured on Daily Motion and USA Today, under 'comedy'. They also wrote a joke:
This was in 2012, and it was during their time at Edinburgh that they were 'spotted' by Rhys Darby. Then, as legend has it, things got a little weird. The man who plays the manager of Flight Of The Conchords onscreen, became Hedluv + Passman's manager in real life. I asked them if this was true:
Now with the backing of a comedy superstar, they spent 2013 performing at comedy festivals in New Zealand, Sydney, Inverness and Edinburgh, and launched a mini web-series, 'Doin' it Dreckly'; six episodes of surreal comedy with varying degrees of success and a 'bonus special' set in London. Here is the pick of the bunch:
That's a lot of comedy for an act that 'don't do comedy'. And we haven't even got to the live show yet! Who doesn't walk away with an aching face after witnessing a full blown manic performance from the insanely brilliant Passman?
And perhaps herein lies the comedy. They are not trying to be a comedy act. They are trying to be rappers. It is certainly true that rap music has always been full of humour. Eminem had funny lyrics but no one ever called him a comedy act. But then he wasn't from Cornwall. It's a real life tragicomedy. And it's great in so many ways:
I for one will be voting for Hedluv + Passman in this year's What's On Awards, and if you made it this far then I suggest you do too. Also, if you like, you can follow me on Twitter: