Deaf Havana – SWG3, Glasgow – 21/03/2019

Norfolk’s finest pop-rock band Deaf Havana have quite a catalogue of work and they were able to put a lot of that work into action on the midway point of a fairly expansive UK headline tour when they visited Glasgow’s trendy, hipster venue SWG3 on Thursday evening. The place was packed and for good reason. This slick and upbeat bunch of talented artists poured their heart and souls into a performance that was so full of energy from the first to last beautiful note. This was my first venture to a venue that’s been on my list for a while and it did not disappoint.

Few bands can deliver an 18 song set while holding the attention of every person in the room, so it is testament to the depth of Deaf Havana’s musicianship and song selection that they can create that kind of atmosphere and keep it up there. I guess it helps to have hit singles like ‘Trigger’, ‘Mildred’ and set opener ‘Fever’ to call upon when you’re looking to keep the mood positive and upbeat.

It’s very clear that lead guitarist, and one half of the Veck-Gilodi brothers, Matthew loves to rock out to the heavier end of their spectrum of songs. With the crunchy wail of his guitar matched by his moves, he is one of the most animated guitarists that I’ve seen perform on any stage. In contrast to that we have the other half of the brotherly duo who has a voice that befits the music being painted underneath his vocal delivery. Suited to both the heavy as well as the radio-friendly tracks, James can find the harmony in each track and nail his vocal to suit it.

One of many highlights on the night was the surprise inclusion of guest vocals from support act LaFontaines frontman Kerr Okan, delivering a vehement rap-style spit alongside James’ gentle vocal on ‘Hell’, which had followed two acoustic numbers in the floaty ‘Happiness’ and big crowd pleaser ‘Hunstanton Pier’ – a 2012 ballad released as a single and based on the pier in their hometown. This went down well as the crowd showed appreciation by belting out the chorus right back at them.

The set was brought to a false ending with big hitter ‘Sing’ – a song that has one of the most infectious guitar parts opening, a catchy hook chorus that was sung back from the crowd with real meaning. As the party looked to have been brought to a close, there was time for just one more song, and what a song to do it with. ‘Sinner’, the only single released from 2018 top ten album Ritual. The song lends itself to a gig with its choir-style chorus, something that the crowd was not going to let the band down with as they attempted to take the decibel levels into the red.

You can still see Deaf Havana on the rest of their March UK Tour in the following venues;
22 Aberdeen – Unit 51
24 Middlesbrough – Empire
25 Manchester – Albert Hall
27 Sheffield – Leadmill
28 Birmingham – O2 Academy
30 Belfast – Limelight 2
31 Dublin – Green Room

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