Last Friday, I went to a very special concert. Deaf Havana have been part of The War Child Brit’s Week which was a series of different concerts, giving fans the opportunity to see some of the biggest names in music in intimate venues across London and Manchester while raising money and awareness for children whose lives have been affected by war. War Child is a non-governmental organisation which was founded in 1993 in the UK providing assistance, educating, protecting and standing up for children in need in conflict areas. Together with o2, they organised 11 concerts in small and intimate venues, using the money from the ticket sales as funds for the charity.
Deaf Havana, being James Veck-Gilodi (vocals, rhythm guitar), Lee Wilson (bass), Tom Ogden (drums, percussion), James’s brother Matthew Veck-Gilodi (lead guitar) and Max Britton (keys, piano, acoustic guitar, percussions), who I’ve seen before twice (one time in Coventry and one time in Cologne), played an incredible sold-out show at the Union Chapel in London which is a gorgeous atmospheric and individual venue with an amazing acoustic. For their set, the alternative rock quintet from Hunstanton, Norfolk, teamed up with the London Contemporary Voices and Parallax Orchestra, playing songs of their latest release ‘All These Countless Nights (Reworked)’ (2017, SO Recordings) which shows a range of different vibes and styles featuring strings (e.g. Ashes) or Latin oriented influences (e.g. England). Having a real strings ensemble, as well as a choir in the live set, made the concert even more special and created magical vibes. Nonetheless, there was still the full band set with drums, electric guitars, bass and acoustic guitars. James’s voice was absolutely on point and gorgeous. Not only the choir but also the fans sung along all of the songs and screamed the lyrics at the top of their lungs, filling the chapel. The resonance of the crowd, which was quite a mixed and slightly older (twenty plus) audience, and all the positive feedback were highly appreciated by the band who could not thank the crowd enough and was very overwhelmed. Even though it was a seated concert, the audience could not resist to stand up for the last song which was ‘Caro Padre’ from their album ‘Old Souls’ (2013, BMG Rights), and dace around, lining up right in front of the stage, bursting with energy. As the re-worked version of ‘Anemophobia’ (Fools And Worthless Liars, 2011, Easy Life Records) is one of my favourite Deaf Havana songs, the re-worked version of ‘Anemophobia Pt. II’ was one of my absolute highlights and created an incredible, as well as honestly vulnerable, atmosphere.
After the crowd entered the chapel which opened the doors around 7.30pm, the Scottish singer-songwriter Colin Macleod from Stornoway opened the stage. Musically, he creates modern and moody folk music. So far, he released the single ‘Dream’ (2016, BMG Rights), his EP ‘Old Fire’ (2017, Country Punk Records) and the latest single ‘Kicks In’ (2017, Country Punk Records). For the concert, he performed all songs by himself with his guitar which created an amazing atmosphere and suited the venue well.
The acoustic of the venue, the Union Chapel, and the lighting were great. Very often, rounded and small venues appear to be echo-ish and unpleasant to listen to. However, the technician did a great job as the sound was carried perfectly through the room and filled the space with a clear and well mixed sound. The lighting was nice as well as supported the atmosphere of each song.
All in all, the concert was a great experience and a special time. The music was incredible emotional, delivered by talented musicians in a gorgeous venue, supporting the War Child Foundation. Both the audience and the bands had an amazing time and enjoyed the evening. Deaf Havana delivered a beautiful set which was highly appreciated by the audience who joined the performance by singing along. The band was overwhelmed by the positive resonance and couldn’t thank the crowd enough showing even more how down-to-earth they are.
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