Glasgow is a city with numerous tremendous music venues and so we Weegies have come to expect a band to hit the city as part of a Scottish leg. Eschewing the ‘norm’, Deaf Havana skipped it and went to Edinburgh, instead opting to play in the The Picture House, a venue that I’d never visited before so cue a small road trip to the east coast.
The Picture House is a superb venue, blowing many of my home town gig locales out of the water. Small yet roomy, atmospheric, and with superb sound it was a revelation, the old world feel of it perfectly suiting all three bands on tonight’s bill. First up were Big Sixes who warmed the crowd up nicely, their grown up alt/indie sound going down well. Front man Charlie has a distinct vocal in a Silversun Pickups-esque kind of way which meant it was initially a bit weird on the ears, but after a song or two the warmth in it won me over as did the exuberance of the collective band.
Next up was another Charlie, one Charlie Simpson, whose blend of borderline country folk-rock I was absolutely delighted with when he release début solo album Young Pilgrim back in 2011. Truth be told when I saw him back in Glasgow a couple of years back I got a little bored by the end of the set, but tonight he and his backing band are most entertaining. Taking the biggest hits from the album and adding a few new tracks from next years follow up, he sounded easily as good as he does in recorded form. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him again on the inevitable second album tour.
But the night belonged to headliners Deaf Havana. The band released third album Old Souls just last month and so the set list understandably had a heavy slice of the new material bolstered by a fine selection of tracks from both versions of previous album Fools and Worthless Liars, on occasion merging different versions into one song.
They are a young band with an adult sound and a gift for crafting melancholic songs that lift the soul whilst the words bleed out from passionate vocalist James Veck-Gilodi. Songs are written with a maturity that belies the bands age and it’s obvious that they are grateful for their fanbase as James intimated on more than one occasion.
Simply put, the entire evening was a treat. The venue was great, the bands were great, and I squeezed in a cheeky wee Nando’s beforehand. What more could one ask for of a night?