Review: Deaf Havana at Engine Rooms, Southampton


Deaf Havana did not fail to impress upon their return to Southampton. Their mix of old classics and new fan-favourites from 'All These Countless Nights' made for a really exciting and moving live performance.

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It was the second night of their second UK tour and Deaf Havana rocked the Engine Rooms in Southampton with passion.

Bath-born guest act Decade opened the night in style, playing hits such as ‘Daisy May’ and ‘Turn Off Your TV’ from their second studio album, Pleasantries, before opening the stage to the second support act, Black Foxxes.  The young British rock trio received a strong welcome and produced an excellent display of songs such as ‘Husk’ and ‘Whatever Lets You Cope’ for their fans in Southampton – where the band will be returning to headline themselves in 2018.

Then there was little waiting time before James Veck-Gilodi, front-man and guitarist, and the rest of Deaf Havana took to the stage.  There wasn’t a need for any fancy back drop; all focus was on the band and their widely-acclaimed live performance. They kicked off with fan-favourite ‘Fever’ from the new album All These Countless Nights, closely followed by another new favourite ‘Sing’ – as the mighty chorus kicked in, the crowd almost completely took the song from James, singing along at the top of their lungs.

Since their formation in 2005, Deaf Havana have built up an impressive catalogue of songs from their three studio albums and various EP releases.  Their 16 song set contained a mix of new and old, including ‘Mildred’ from their third studio album in 2013, but it was the new tracks from the latest album that dominated.  The band had also recently released a reworked version of All These Countless Nights and so it was only fitting to play some of these versions during this tour. The sell-out crowd at the Engine Rooms were spoilt with ‘Like a Ghost’ and the emotional ‘Pensacola, 2013’, reworked versions which moved the entire audience.

Deaf Havana evidently know how to please their crowd. James frequently made conversation with the fans which made the performance feel personal, and built an atmosphere of intimacy, while his unmistakable and harmonious vocals pulled at the heartstrings of every single fan inside Engine Rooms with each and every song they played.  Throughout the gig, the band stepped away from the microphones to allow for the vocal fans to sing their pieces, which was a nice touch and really encapsulated the atmosphere their music created – it wouldn’t be a Deaf Havana show without a sing-along, after all.   The entire set was almost flawless as well as being professional and truly illustrating the flare and skill of Deaf Havana.

The band exited the stage after thanking the fans, but the crowd cheered continuously for more and, of course, Deaf Havana weren’t finished yet. They returned to the stage, the instantly recognisable first notes of ‘Trigger’ played out, and that was all that the band needed before an almighty, triumphant cheer rose from the audience. The encore was finished with ‘Anemophobia Part II’ and the band wrapped up a remarkable return to Southampton.

It is unclear what Deaf Havana have in store for 2018, but all I can hope for at least is some festival appearances so that I can get my fix again soon!

You can watch Deaf Havana’s latest music video for their song ‘Happiness’ from their album All These Countless Nights right here:  


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Psychology student at UoS.

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