Deaf Havana – Live Review From The Lincoln Engine Shed 20th December 2014

Deaf Havana Press Photo 2013

For many inside Lincoln’s Engine Shed, tonight is the last gig of the year. Luckily for them, Deaf Havana, The Lonely The Brave and Verses do not disappoint, putting on a show worthy of bowing an excellent year out.

Verses (7) start out fairly subdued, but once they find their groove and conquer early sound issues, the band come out on top. Playing their fairly generic but nonetheless catchy brand of rock to a crowd undeniably suited for it gives them a distinct edge tonight, and their on stage moves are honed to a standard worthy of a headlining band. Tonight, Verses have made an impression on a mostly new crowd, surely a successful night for any opening band. Rock Sins were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Jason and Joe of Verses which can be viewed here.

Next up were Scottish rockers Lonely The Brave (6). Though the band put on a technically proficient show – filled with better than decent, straightforward rock songs – a distinct lack of interaction from lead singer David Jakes makes the entire experience feel slightly awkward for all involved. Instead, the crowd interaction is handled by guitarist Mark Trotter.

Finally, Deaf Havana (8) grace the stage. Despite this being their second UK tour of the year, along with a variety of international gigs, home turf festival appearances and it being just over a year since their last album was released, frontman James Veck-Gilodi apologises for “not being very active recently.” Quite what else he expected his band to do in the last twelve months remains a mystery. Despite this supposed absence, Deaf Havana show no signs of rust. Every member of the band is tight and cheerful; each song sounds note-perfect.

Despite some initial outcry around the fan chosen setlist every song goes down well, though the set contains relatively few rarities, focusing mostly on material drawn from the bands most recent couple of releases. This along with the wholly unnecessary cover of Counting Crows’ Round Here makes the whole setlist competition feel like something of a wasted opportunity to air out a few rarer tracks. The reworked versions of songs from the bands post hardcore styled earlier releases, Nicotine and Alcohol Saved My Life and Smiles All Round, sound especially excellent, and Veck-Gilodi’s unique singing voice makes the songs more poignant.

Another point of contention regarding the set is that tonight the headliners leave the stage for good without performing an encore. As the last notes of Hunstanton Pier ring out, the house lights rise and the crowd disperses at once, seemingly content with the show they have seen. Though this may have been down to venue restrictions, it still feels like an immensely odd way to end an otherwise brilliant night.

Despite the lacklustre setlist and the early exit, Deaf Havana managed to deliver a spectacular rock show and the crowd gathered in Lincoln tonight leave the Engine Shed grinning.


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