Deaf Havana at O2 Guildhall Southampton (17/10/13)


In light of the recent release of Old Souls, Deaf Havana’s third studio released album, the Norfolk 6-piece have embarked on a UK tour, beginning in our very own city of Southampton.

Forming back in 2005, the band originally had a post-hardcore sound. The departure of their frontman, Ryan Mellor, meant the band took a different direction. Their influences ranging from Bruce Springsteen to The Smiths. This summer has been a major one for the boys. They have gone from supporting Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling, to playing a highly successful set at Reading & Leeds, and to reaching the Top 10 with their recently released album. The combination of all of this makes it easy to see a highly successful future for the band.

Southampton Guildhall is a classic venue in the city, even after its recent partnership with O2. As one of the South’s largest multi-purpose entertainment venues, it was a great place to begin the tour. The neoclassical building was designed for large crowds, which Deaf Havana managed to lure into the building with the promise of an amazing night of music.

Big Sixes were the first support, with influences ranging from Bon Iver to Arcade Fire, they set the show off to a great start. The Buckinghamshire quartet, with their classic rock sound and audience interaction, were popular with the crowd and its easy to see why Deaf Havana wanted them to join them on tour.

Charlie Simpson, a man who hates his past achievements more than Robert Pattinson, proved that his Busted days are further behind him than ever before. His wholesome, acoustic rock sound was supported greatly by his enthusiasm, as well as the screams of gushing girls from the front of the crowd. His sound is similar to that of Deaf Havana, entangling a country and western feel into his music, particularly his new single, which he performed for the first time that night.

Opening their set with ‘Boston Square‘, Deaf Havana didn’t let the fact the show wasn’t completely sold out to hinder them. Neither the band, nor the audience, lacked enthusiasm, allowing them to race through their discography, as well as giving James (lead singer) a chance to genuinely thank everyone for coming out and supporting them so far in their career.

As a band that began through their love of messing around and playing covers, it was only fit that they performed a cover. They chose to play The Cure’s ‘Friday, I’m in Love‘, editing it to something that was in fitting with their sound and James’ vocal range.

Overall, a fantastic beginning to the tour for the band, demonstrating how far they have come in the past few years, how much they’ve struggled and how little they take for granted in the music industry.


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Head of Events for The Edge magazine. Keen concert goer and angry feminist. Shared recycled oxygen on a 12 hour flight with Foals.

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