After Big Dome concert, Honne finally feels like ‘a proper band’
The British electronic music duo Honne has already played a number of live gigs and festivals in the Philippines but their recent concert at the Araneta Coliseum was easily their biggest in the country—and one of the biggest of their career.
The fact that they managed to fill the venue was a feat and experience both heartening and “humbling” for music artists Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher.
“I was smiling very hard, so much so my cheeks hurt. It’s so good to be back. We missed you all so much and I can already tell that this is going to be the best night,” Andy told the giddy crowd in Manila, the first stop of the band’s three-part Philippine tour, which also included concerts in Cebu and Davao.
Favorite gigHonne, which last performed in the country in November 2019, dished out a 19-song set that had them pouring their most personal thoughts and emotions over synth-pop sounds that alternated between groovy and playful and pensive and soulful. Theatrical fog and smoke diffused the colorful stage lights, creating a dream-like atmosphere.
“I’m gonna go ahead and say that I think this is my most favorite gig I have ever played. You guys are the best. Mahal namin kayo!” Andy said to deafening cheers. “I can’t believe it… I really can’t. It’s impossible that we’re here right now doing this.”
Prompting resounding, feel-good sing-along sessions were their hits “Me & You,” “Warm on a Cold Night” and “Good Together.” The front act and Honne’s frequent collaborator, singer-songwriter BEKA, joined Andy and James onstage and added a sweet and mellow layer to “Location Unknown” and “Crying Over You.”
Andy and James made sure to interact with the crowd every so often: They asked them how they were feeling, led the singing of “Happy Birthday” to a lucky fan who had just turned 25; and told fun, at times gruesome, anecdotes—like that one where James accidentally hacks off one of his fingertips.A couple of years back, he visited his university neighborhood in Guildford, England, to meet up with friends. They were on their way home after a couple of drinks when they decided to play “Knock, Knock, Ginger,” a children’s prank or game that involves knocking on a stranger’s door and running away just before the owner opens the door.
James decided to take it up a notch. “I wanted to make extra noise, so I used the letterbox, which turned out to be very sharp. And as I was running off, I looked down and realized that I was missing a part of my finger,” related James, who had everyone groaning and wincing in horror.
But there was a happy ending, sort of. “I went back to the house, and the finger was still in the letter box, poking out. So I picked it out and put it back on. Luckily, the surgeon was able to sew it back,” he said.
On a more heartwarming note, Andy, sitting on the edge of the stage with James, dedicated the whimsical ballad “By My Side” to his wife. “We have been together for more than 15 years. We met in high school, fell in love, got married and had a baby. And she’s always there for me, every time. She’s got my back when I’m sad and anxious. I love her,” he said.
Toward the end of the concert mounted by Ovation Productions, Andy said that he suffers from impostor syndrome, a psychological occurrence in which people persistently doubt their talents, question their achievements and worry that they may be frauds.
And this despite Honne having achieved considerable success around the world.
“You believe you’re not worthy, that you shouldn’t have achieved all these things,” Andy said. “But tonight, for the first time, I feel like we’re a proper band. Thank you for giving me the confidence.”
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