Deaf Havana. Photo by Alex Koscian.

Following a turbulent pause between 2013’s ‘Old Souls’ and the release of ‘All These Countless Nights’ in January this year, Deaf Havana resurrected from the ashes and kept going, making music, touring and sticking it out together through the tough times. The band are a persevered bunch who just don’t give up – and rightly so.

Midway through their UK tour, the seaside loving Norfolk boys took to the ‘Second City’ on the 21st February to grace us with a well-anticipated set. The old ornate building of the O2 Institute was packed from front to back with eager fans; ones that had evidently been there from day one to newly converted fans thanks to their latest album.

Dead! unlocked the show with heavy, raw rock tunes that, while incredibly entertaining and managing to send vibrations through your body, didn’t seem right for the folky-rock expectation from a Deaf Havana gig. Nevertheless, the next support, Dinosaur Pile-Up, filled the room with excitement when they graced the stage, showing off a Nirvana-like presence of the trio with grungy yet pop elements. It wasn’t clear if the crowd’s excitement was for the band that were getting people psyched up, or whether it was simply the bubbles of nervousness for the fact Deaf Havana were about to take to the stage shortly after such a long wait.

Deaf Havana. Photo by Alex Koscian.

Much like their album, ‘All These Countless Nights’, they kicked off their set with ‘Ashes, Ashes’ into a set that was eighteen tracks long, and included all the widely adored tracks from ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ through to the latest album. It’s safe to say the crowd got what they wanted; they deserved a long set with all the favourites to further push all the reasons why Deaf Havana are loved and why the fans have stuck by them until now.

Deaf Havana. Photo by Alex Koscian.

Part way through ‘Happiness’, frontman James Veck-Gilodi jokes, “Can’t believe I’ve already forgotten lyrics to my own song” as he stops and lets the crowd carry on singing, adding “I just wasn’t thinking, just singing not thinking”. No amount of lyric forgetting, or even the sore throat and cold he had, could bring down the crowd. He could’ve stood there and let the audience sing the whole set; the atmosphere in the room was more heartfelt and dedicated than any other Deaf Havana tour in the past.

Deaf Havana. Photo by Alex Koscian.

Taking a step back, James gives his brother, Matt, the glory he deserves for the track he wrote, and sings ‘Mildred’; an adored, uplifting, fiery track that was, again, sang back to the band.

Floating through the tracks, stumbling over words, and emotional speeches of appreciation, fans were more engaging than ever, like they had waited their whole lives for this. They were tighter than before, the lyrics more personal than before, and the band were happier than before. These vibes were just thrown all over the room, filling each person with feelings they thought they had lost for good.


All photos by Alex Koscian. 

About The Author

Harriet Willis

Media and Communication student based in Birmingham, absolutely adore the Sheffield music scene and most things indie/alternative and a bit of grime/hip-hop. Radio presenter of Indie Cassette on Scratch Radio. Twitter: @harrietmwillis