The Roundhouse, Camden, London
added: 27 Oct 2013
// gig date: 25 Oct 2013
reviewer: Paul Chapinal
According to Deaf Havana, they’ve never been taken that seriously, seen as a drunken joke in some quarters and generally dismissed. Is that fair comment, maybe but there’s no point in wallowing in self-pity as with Old Souls, this tour and tonight’s show, they’ve proved they are a formidable musical force.
Pity about missing Big Sixes, equally a pity about catching Charlie Simpson’s set. Kudos for experimenting with his music and trying different directions but this was a tedious heart-on-the-sleeve MOR rock. The performance was slick but virtually passionless, bereft of any real soul.
Deaf Havana came on to the playful sound of Elvis’s Teddy Bear and not so neatly segued into a boisterous Boston Square, followed sharply by the skyflying Little White Lies, a double whammy of old and new, that hit the spot. The Old Souls album was given a fair airing and its big sounds and themes suit this venue, and the band quickly caught the audience’s mood. Everybody’s Dancing and I Want to Die was superbly rendered, with great feeling and joie de vivre that was infectious.
The piston pump of Leeches and the more contemplative The Past Six Years made worked well in tandem. They’ve recently been likened to Brooce and the snatch of I’m on Fire was maybe a little dig at some. Having said that vocalist James Veck-Gilodi does appear to suffer from Springsteen’s problem in that he becomes almost totally incoherent when his gob goes anywhere a live mic. Can’t say what it was like at the other gigs but it was a chore listening to him sing tonight, though didn’t detract too much from the overall performance of the band. The cover of The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love was a peach before closing the main set with a potent version of Hunstanton Pier.
As the band told the audience all night, thanking them at almost every opportunity, this concert was a big deal for them. Well, it was a big deal for the crowd in this sold out venue too. Snap, everyone went home happy and you can’t really ask for much more than that.
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