English Duo HONNE Reveal their Love for Filipinos!
Lance Paolo Lim | July 14, 2020
Not too long ago — in 2017 — a then up-and-coming London-based duo called HONNE, flew to Manila to perform at the annual Wanderland Music & Arts Festival. Back then, the English act — composed of James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck — got caught by surprise after seeing thousands of Filipino fans singing to the songs from their debut album Warm On A Cold Night at the event’s mini-stage.
In 2018, HONNE returned to Manila for a gig at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent and co-headlined a show with American singer and rapper Anderson .Paak. While the show has nothing been short of a blast, the duo deems their 2017 show as one for the books.
But little did the two members of HONNE know that two years later, they would be returning to perform at the same place and event at the other side of the world — only this time around, it was going to be at the main stage of the annual Alabang-held festival.
It was too soon to say at that point in time but those who have been following HONNE since day one knew right then and there that it was the beginning of the duo's rise to worldwide prominence.
In fact, the duo was already so big in the Philippines in 2019 that no less than celebrity Nadine Lustre fangirled over them during the show and shared clips of one of their performances on her Instagram stories.
at the start of 2020 we went to los angeles and set up a little studio in a rickety old house in silverlake. here we are on the front door step. we spent 3 weeks writing day and night, and wrote some songs that are very special to us. this is a bit of a new chapter for HONNE which is scary and exhilarating all at the same time. ? ? one song in particular marked a turning point...that song is called 'no song without you', and we cannot wait to share it with you on june 5th 2020. pre-save it now (link in bio)
“I remember that show very well. It’s pretty much one of my most favorite shows that we’ve done up until that point. You’re probably right. We were smiling quite a lot probably in disbelief ‘cause it was our first show in the Philippines. And everyone was singing,” Andy Clutterbuck said, recalling his Wanderland 2017 experience in an exclusive interview back in 2019.
James Hatcher, on the other hand, easily described Filipinos as some of the “loveliest people in the world.”
“They are some of the loveliest people in the world, for sure. Some of the loudest singers. And some of the most like dedicated to our music, I think. We feel very lucky to be out to come and play here to have come along and sing along to our songs at every show,” James said.
Months later, HONNE returned to Manila for the fourth time and did a series of shows with another indie-pop duo, joan, in seven different malls across Metro Manila.
Last Tuesday, July 7, HONNE caught up with some members of the media to talk more about their newly-released album “no song without you” through a Zoom conference organized by Warner Music Philippines.
Here, James Hatcher recalled how their last visit to Manila easily became one of their favorites ever — noting how it was particularly special for them.
“My favorite is probably one of my favorite memories of any gig ever and it was during the mall shows. We were doing two mall shows in one day within two hours of each other. So the second one, we’re like, 'Oh my God. We’re gonna die. This is the night that we die…' We turned up and it was outside as well so it was super hot," James Hatcher said.
He went on: “But then we went out and the crowd, it was just huge, it was like sprawling out to the sides. And they were the loudest singing group of people I’ve ever come across in my life. It was absolutely insane."
Adding what made it even more special, James said: “It was the first time we did Location Unknown a capella.”
“It gives you so much energy and makes you feel so crazy for us to be out, to come all the way to the Philippines, and have thousands of people singing our lyrics to us. It’s all really special and yeah you remember moments like that forever I think."
LOVE FOR FILIPINO FOOD
When it comes to Filipino food, James and Andy both agree that the Philippines has some of the tastiest food — and three well-loved dishes made it to their list.
Clutterbuck said: “We tried Adobo. Is that right?” “It was good actually,” Clutterbuck added, referring to the famous Filipino dish Adobo.
“And we’ve tried Sisig. I’m not sure which one that was but it was good - the one with the soupy broth thing. Kansi,” Clutterbuck stated, revealing that he also loved the Ilonggo fusion of nilaga and bulalo called Kansi.
But the ultimate winner for both of them? Sisig.
“I like Sisig because it was a real mixture of things. And I’m not sure what was in it. But I’m not going to find out. I’m just going to enjoy it and taste it. It was good. I like it a lot,” Clutterbuck said of the Pinoy dish which originated in Pampanga.
“Tasty,” Hatcher added.
PLANS TO EXPLORE THE PHILIPPINES
HONNE has yet to visit some of the country’s best tourist destinations to explore and unwind, but the duo already has two spots in mind to visit in the near future — Laguna and Cebu.
“We’ll have to make that a plan for next time,” Clutterbuck said.
Meanwhile, HONNE’s “no song without you” is now available in all digital streaming platforms.