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Last year we ran the Northern Exposure INmusic Competition Final in partnership with Pirate Studios and association with MAH and EuFest. The final was held in Salford, Manchester at Pirate Studios event space. From an amazing shortlist, six lucky bands The Americas, Hands Off Gretel, Himalayas, Deep City Diver and The Receivers played on the night to compete for paid flights, entry in to the festival, camping and a 6pm slot on the main stage of the INMusic Festival #13 2018 where Queens of the Stone Age headlined. It was False Heads who took the prize and travelled over last week to play the prestigious Croatian festival.

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I spoke with lead singer Luke Griffins whilst still in Croatia, he told me how happy he was to be over there. ‘Firstly, I want to thank you so much for helping us get here. It’s been fucking beautiful. Croatia is beautiful too and so is the festival’ It was great to hear that they were loving the whole experience and to see the months of hard work come to fruition. We had over a thousand entries and all the bands that got through and played the final were all worthy of travelling over to Croatia, but it was False Heads energy and performance than won over our judges and that was even when Luke had puemonia! For me, it was a bit of a strange one when we started the competition, I saw this amazing opportunity for so many bands but ones I approached just wasn’t interested. Luke, as always, was quite straight and honest on his thoughts on bands entering competitions. ‘Yeah it can be weird for bands sometimes and it can seem off putting but at the end of the day if the right people are behind it and you have an amazing support network, entering that competition ended with us supporting David Byrne and QOTSA at one of the biggest music festivals around. Not all of the competitions are the same, I think you can get a pretty good gauge of what it’s going to be like through the people involved, how it’s set up and what the prize is.

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If it’s talent night run by nutty Kev in your local with the prize of playing his back-garden then I’d say don’t do it, but they can give you amazing exposure and put you somewhere you just wouldn’t be in otherwise. Who gives a shit if we got to InMusic via a competition? It was incredible. And we’ve nothing been supporting leading up to it and the minute we got there. So anyone debating whether to enter next year, take it from us its 100% real’ 

I’ve seen False Heads quite a few times over the past few years and to be honest I didn’t expect there to be any nerves before the festival  but with a longer set list asked of them pretty much last minute, it appears a few did set in. ‘Nerves weren’t actually too bad. Once we found out Frank Carter had pulled out due to a bus accident and we had to play an hour which we hadn’t rehearsed for the nerves set in slightly. But we sat down and our tour manager Alan Wells chilled us out. We went through the longer set and just once we were out there it felt amazing and like we were meant to be on a stage that size. We loved every minute of it. The crowd reception was amazing to be honest. Greeted us with open arms and cheered everything. Amazing’

False Heads are one of those bands than have electricity running through their veins from the moment their set starts to it finishing, I was keen to know how easy it was to translate their live show from the gritty, underground scene to a major festival abroad. ‘I think it’s easier personally’ Luke tells me, ‘Yeah it’s great in small sweaty clubs. But on that stage you have the scope and the movement to raise the energy even more. And once you win the crowd over. There’s so much you can do on a stage that big’ I asked Luke how they manage to stay so creative within their music and show and how the dynamics of the band worked. Despite the nature of the live show. We rehearse so much and work it around our jobs and we are so meticulous with our song writing. We obsessed over the right riff and right melody and it is evolving constantly. It’s us three in our container where we rehearse just throwing ideas to one another and building the songs something into we all love and want to play’ 
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The three piece certainly show their dedication from lyrics to live performance, been the frontman of the band I asked Luke if it was hard been the focal part of the band and what his thoughts were on the apparent dying breed of rock ‘n’ roll stars, also, who he’d say was the most iconic frontman that he looked upto. Erm not really. I mean there is always an element of pressure and yeah the crowd want the front man to be the person who is going to dominate the stage and also there are other pressures outside of that. But I’m also lucky that Jake and Barney are intense characters too. So on stage there’s lots to focus on. I think we miss a breed of a proper rebellious rock and roll star in the public eye like Kurt Cobain or Liam Gallagher. They’re out there though, waiting to be plucked into a position in the mainstream where they can show people you can fuck up the status quo a little bit. Most iconic front man? Iggy Pop or David Bowie’ 
The INmusic festival and False Heads gained the attention from UK music press the NME, once the go to source for all things new on the underground music scene. The magazine recently made the decision to maintain only its digital existence, keeping up with the society of instant pleasures, gone are the days where you’d run to your local newsagents every week for a copy. The NME has over the past few years lost a lot of credibility over its content, tending to focus on established artists and 9 times out of ten the same ones repeatedly. ‘We and a lot of people have given the NME a lot of stick over the last few years because of what has happened to it. But I will say 1. Very early days they featured us in the radar section and 2. They made an effort to put a new young band like us in there main review of that day. They didn’t have to do that. So props to them. There’s obviously people there that still care about new music and love new music. Let’s hope they can have impact. It’s still great exposure for us so we’re grateful’ 
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Not wanting to keep Luke away from the sunshine, beer and festival too long he told me what the bands plans were once they got home. ‘We’re gunna do an EP which is recorded and ready to go. Things will start rolling with that very soon in terms of release dates, we’re also doing a huge UK/EU tour in September/October to promote it and then yeah I think we’re going to start cracking on the album’  With next years competition on the horizon, False Heads will play a guest slot on the night of the final. ‘It’s an amazing festival with an amazing vibe and we’d love to come back!’

You can follow all things False Heads below: 
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RACHEL BROWN

PHOTOGRAPHY: ALAN WELLS PHOTOGRAPHY 

 

 
 
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