A few days ago I went to Cologne to go to the Deaf Havana concert 🙂 I saw them before in Coventry and I absolutely enjoyed their music… So after I heard they will go on tour again I directly got the tickets and it was definitely worth it – the concert was absolutely amazing and I really had a special time.
The concert which took place at the LUXOR in Cologne was completely sold out. Around 500 people fit in the small scene club which is known for hosting rock, alternative, indie and pop concerts, as well as electronic dance music events.
Deaf Havana is a British alternative rock band from Hunstanton, Norfolk (UK) and was founded in 2005. The current members consist of three of the founders who are James Veck-Gilodi (vocals, rhythm guitar), Lee Wilson (bass) and Tom Ogden (drums, percussion), as well as James’s brother Matthew Veck-Gilodi (lead guitar) and Max Britton (keys, piano, acoustic guitar, percussions). After they wrote a few songs and a demo called ‘White Lines But No Camera’ in 2006, they toured and started writing songs for their debut EP ‘Evangeline’. In 2007, they started writing more songs which were released on their debut EP ‘It’s Called The Easy Life’ after they got signed to Wolf at Your Door Records in 2008. Straight on in 2009, the band released their debut studio album ‘Meet Me Halfway, At Least’ also via Wolf at Your Door Records. Afterwards, the band started touring during 2010 and played some festivals. In 2011, Deaf Havana released their second full-length studio album ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ (via BMG) which peaked at number one on the UK Rock Album Charts and was re-released as deluxe version with additional re-recorded versions of the songs. After more shows and touring with bands such as Architects and You Me At Six, they began composing new songs for their third full-length studio album in 2012 which was called ‘Old Sols’ (via BMG) and finally released in 2014 as deluxe version which featured a documentary of the band’s history. After their big UK and US tour during 2014, it became a little bit more quiet around the band. However, at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 Deaf Havana toured again in the UK and pre-released a new single ‘Cassiopeia’. Furthermore, they announced that they will work on a new studio album which finally was released in 2017 via So Records and is called ‘All These Countless Nights’. After the band’s appearance at the Leed’s and Reading Festivals, they announced another UK tour in over two years. They also announced tour dates all over Europe and had their first show out of the UK on the 22nd of March at the LUXOR in Cologne!
Before I have attended one of their shows in Coventry in 2014, unfortunately, I haven’t heard a lot of their songs before. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the ones I knew and wanted to go to the small concert and it was really amazing! Hence, as I heard of their Europe tour in 2017 I knew that I definitely would go to another of their concerts and it was again absolutely amazing!
As supporting act they had the English alternative rock trio Dinosaur Pile-Up that was founded in 2007 in Leeds and recently consists of Matt Bigland (vocals, guitar), Mike Sheils (drums) and Jim Cratchley (bass). Deaf Havana themselves really enjoy Dinosaur Pile-Up’s music and watched the gig from the back of the stage. James Veck-Gilodi even wore their band shirt and told how much they enjoy them musically but also a people. I really could hear Dinosaur Pile-Up’s musical influences of Nirvana and Foo Fighters during the concert. Further influences are bands such as Weezer, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Beatles, Slayer or Deftones. It is not surprising that they are very often compared with the grunge scene of the early 90’s. Even the style and look of the band members, especially the singer Matt remind of the grunge band Nirvana.
So far they released the EP’s called ‘My Rock’n’Roll EP’ (2008), ‘Traynor 7”’ (2009) and ‘The Most Powerful EP In The World’ (2009), as well as three full-length studio albums which are ‘Growing Pains’ (2010, recorded by Matt Bigland), ‘Nature Nature’ (2013, So Recordings) and ‘Eleven Eleven’ (2015, So Recordings).
With their grunge-ish attitude, they caught the attention of the crowd right at the beginning as well as the members of Deaf Havana who were watching the show right from the back of the stage. However, it kind of seemed as if the crowd showed their very critical side as they were not as impressed and wild as it would have been expected regarding the great performance of the band who showed once more how there can be a rich sound with only three members. Unfortunately, Cologne is known for having quite reserved and hard to catch concert attendees which seemed to be the case at the LUXOR that evening. The venue and quite raw light show suited perfectly and created a great and edgy vibe. However, unfortunately, the acoustic was not on the point (in my opinion). The instruments were extremely loud compared to the mics and seemed to fuse into one big mess. Nevertheless, the band itself did a really great show and seemed to enjoy their time on the stage and it was great watching their show.
Dinosaur Pile-Up setlist:
White T-Shirt and Jeans
Might As Well
Friend Of Mine
After Dinosour Pile-Up finished their set and the stage had been prepared for the main act of the evening, Deaf Havana finally entered the stage and started with one of their latest singles ‘Sing’. Compared to their show in Coventry, they were even more energetic and seemed to have a blast on stage! It’s a pity that the crowd wasn’t as energetic moshing around just as the British crowd did. But that’s maybe the Cologne mentality 😉 However, the people were singing along, jumping and clapping their hands which showed that they really enjoyed the show.
Deaf Havana played a selection of their latest three full-length albums and ended the concert with full power and energy playing ‘Cassiopeia’ and ‘Anemophobia’.
Deaf Havana setlist:
The Past Six Years
I’m A Bore, Mostly…
Especially, Matthew’s spectacular moves and twirling around showed their fun, joy and energy as well as how much they got ‘lost’ in their music. All of the members seemed to have a blast on stage and really appreciated the fans coming to their shows which they mentioned over and over again. I think that makes them even more human and sympathic as they know how hard the music business can be and that it is not obviously to have such a huge success. Unfortunately, many people seem to take their success for granted and forget appreciating it.
The acoustic for Deaf Havana’s performance improved a lot compared to the first band of the evening. All the different instruments as well as the vocals were clearly mixed and created a harmonic, not chaotic-seeming sound. The volume of the vocals got along with the overall volume. Furthermore, the light show was kept simple and raw which suited the venue and overall performance perfectly. The atmosphere and ambience during both shows were amazing, energetic and quite magical. I kind of felt wrapped into the music and had a special time being there 🙂
I already knew that I would enjoy the concert as I have seen them live before, however, they got even better since then and the concert in Cologne was absolutely amazing and made me shiver (in a positive way of course). Only the crowd was not as energetic as I expected it to be.