The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live: Deaf Havana

The band’s twangy, acoustic rock came across clear and concisely


5th April

Academy 1


Deaf Havana played at Academy 1 on the Manchester stop of their UK tour, where they play various dates before embarking on a US tour later in April with fellow UK alternative band You Me at Six.  The mostly packed venue was a supportive crowd that was appreciative of the hour and a half set Deaf Havana produced, featuring songs from various albums, with an emphasis on 2013 release Old Souls, as well as new single ’22’, part of an EP that will be released this summer.

The band’s twangy, acoustic rock came across clear and concisely.  Main support was provided by another veteran pop punk band, Americans the Maine, whose fellow often angst-ridden alternative music was a compatible counterpart to Deaf Havana, although vocalist John O’Callaghan spent almost as much time drunkenly musing about the hard-partying ways of Deaf Havana than playing his own band’s set.  In contrast, Deaf Havana frontman James Veck-Gilodi barely spoke throughout the set, concentrating on playing as many songs as possible.  Songs in the set included ‘Everybody’s Dancing and I Want to Die’, with lyrics such as “with age comes insecurity / embarrassment and tragedy / increasing fear of growing old lonely” betraying far less confidence than the stage presence of the band seemed to suggest.

The band (predictably) returned for a three song encore, which included one of their initial popular singles ‘Alcohol and Nicotine Saved My Life’, and finished with another song from their newest album.  Refreshingly, Deaf Havana’s live gig did seem to have the sentiment of being ‘all about the music’, and although there’s never quite been a departure of maturing from their teen angst appeal, there’s some comfort to be drawn from the fact that some good things don’t need to change all that much.