It’s no secret to anyone that Falmouth is lacking in terms of its nightlife, with a shortage of clubs and a scarcity of decent music, so a do-it-yourself culture has flourished within the town.
With an array of creatives in such a close-knit community, it’s not surprising to see collectives being formed with the aim of putting on events to cater for what a lot of people feel is missing in the Falmouth scene.
From the likes of Bando Sound, an underground music collective, to somgang, a multi-faceted, multi-platform creative collective, and Mind Garden, an apparel company that aims to provide a platform for aspiring creatives, a number of groups have formed across the town.
All taking different directions in their work, these collective are able to do their own thing in the way they want it, but are choosing to utilise each other through collaboration to put on events that not only entertain the people here, but act as a platform to showcase the creative talent our town has to offer.
I was lucky enough to sit down with the people running these collectives to find out what made them want to start running events and discuss what it’s like to do so here in Falmouth.
Ali Owens, creative director of Bando Sound, says that he founded the collective in response to the lacking nightlife scene in Falmouth and to provide a platform for creative expression.
His frustration of always doing the same thing and constantly hearing the same old music every time he went out led him to form Bando Sound to create events for themselves and everyone else who it appeals to.
“The number of collectives that have formed down here is definitely down to the array of creativity, with no platform for creative expression as such. People have just gone ‘why not just do it ourselves?’”
Label President/Manager of Red Van Records, Milo Gore, has taken a different approach in his attempt to fill the void by forming a platform that showcases local unsigned artists.
“I just felt something was missing from the Fal scene”, explained Gore. “Some sort of platform on which all unsigned artists have a chance to grow their brand… I also just love live music, so I guess that definitely was a factor in my decision.”
Although it’s apparent that the scene here in Falmouth is under par, the lack of nightlife does have its benefits as it allows the collectives here to take advantage of the free space and turn it into the scene they desire.
And, it’s the colourful community that our little town provides that is assisting them to do so.
“The best thing about here is the closeness which enables easy collaboration since everyone knows each other”, said Owens. “Also big events companies rarely come down here, so there isn’t loads of competition.”
Jake De Bruitee, co-founder of somgang, attributes the success of his collective to the town’s open-mindedness and the environment that gave him a chance to try something new.
“Falmouth’s a blank canvas where people are open to new things, especially related to any form of creative expression.
“It has a very safe environment for trial and error with a very accepting and open audience, you can’t ask for much more.”
And James Morgan, ambassador of Mind Garden, agrees: “I think there’s a gap in the market and we have just capitalised on it. I think there’s more to this scene than making a quick buck, it’s a community thing for me.”
Much like Morgan, most of the people running these events attribute a lot of their success to being here in Falmouth and feel it wouldn’t be the same anywhere else.
“Falmouth’s a great place and I’m really grateful to have had the chance to set up a company here”, said Alex Riley, co-director of Sweatshop Audio. “Cornwall used to have a crazy free party scene and keeping in tune with the DIY ethic, keeping it original and real has always been part of the ethos.”
To some, Falmouth may look as if its lacking nightlife, but to others it is the opportunity to express themselves, to work with others and create their own scene – it’s safe to say that you’ll never find it done anywhere quite like this.